Cooking rice to perfection isn’t the easiest, and rice cookers make cooking convenient, particularly for newbies. However, scratches on rice cookers are inevitable no matter how well you use them. So, as you predicted, this article is dedicated to discussing on, is non stick scratches in rice cooker safe to use.
Is It Safe to Use Scratched Rice Cooker?
Most rice cookers come with aluminum-coated inner pots along with a layer of non-stick Teflon. The Teflon coating makes sure the rice you cook in the rice cooker won’t get stuck in the bottom. However, as I said, this coating might get damaged over time even when you take care of it to the best of your ability.
When this happens, the Teflon layer is damaged, the inner layer of aluminum obviously gets transferred to the rice you cook, and you will be left asking how to fix a nonstick coating or question rice cooker coating safety.
The simple answer to this query is, yes, it could be harmful when your non stick rice cooker has scratches on it. In addition, given these cookers operate using electricity to boil water at very high-temperature levels, they undoubtedly throw a variety of risks if you don’t handle them properly. A scratched non stick pan could be a nightmare considering all these elements.
Alternatives to Non Stick Teflon Rice Cookers
My recommendation would be to use a rice cooker without non stick coating, and an uncoated stainless steel-made product is a good choice you can consider. The best part of stainless steel is that it is pretty much safe to cook something like rice because it is regarded as a moderately reactive material.
However, I cannot approve of using stainless steel cooking pans for acidic food as they tend to dispense harmful chemicals such as nickel and chromium. Considering the fact that I’m explicitly talking about alternatives to Teflon coated rice cooker units, rice cookers without non stick coating would be the best (preferably stainless steel) option you can opt for.
Moreover, there are rice cookers made of ceramic, and these too offer the same issue as Teflon coated rice cookers. Of course, they are good for the work in terms of cooking rice to the optimum quality but have the tendency to leach nanoparticles when the surface is scratched.
Also, it is good to note that underneath the ceramic layer, there is an aluminum coating, which, as I said, can be harmful to the human body when there are scratches.
How to Remove Scratches from Non Stick Pan?
If you still think of using a scratched non stick pan, I have a comprehensive guide on non-stick cookware repair below. Let’s see.
First of all, you have to clean the non-stick pan in order to remove the peeled scratches and other sorts of stains. There are non-stick pan cleaning kits available in the market to ease the cleaning process. They are well capable of removing rust, stains, and other problematic stuff off the non-stick pans. Then, you can use a dry cloth to wipe the water and keep it in an open space to allow air to remove the moisture on the surface.
Then apply coconut oil on the non-stick surface of the pan. Make sure you provide an even coating of oil but do not soak the pan from coconut oil. The application only requires on the cooking side of the pan, not on the outside.
The third step would be to heat the pan using the medium setting. Don’t overheat the pan; the goal here is to let the applied coconut oil get absorbed into the pan. Then, let it cool for about one hour at room temperature.
Now you should be able to reuse the non-stick pan without much problem as you did previously when there are no scratches.
How to Choose Non Scratch Pans?
Personally, there are certain things I consider when buying non scratch pans. I hope this guide will help you as well.
When it comes to coatings, there are two major variants; Teflon and ceramic. Although Teflon coated products are not “non-scratch”, my choice always has been such pans over ceramic ones. Both of them are good in terms of the ability to prevent food sticking, but Teflon coated pans last longer compared to their counterparts.
Similar to coating, there are two sorts of materials as well; aluminum and stainless steel. Aluminum-made pans help you cook fast as they tend to heat up pretty fast. Having said that, as I previously mentioned, if the Teflon or ceramic layer gets damaged, using aluminum pans can bring you health issues.
In that sense, stainless steel products have the upper hand even though they are slightly expensive compared to aluminum ones.
Let me keep it this way. If you want to own a hassle-free non-stick pan, it’s better to think of it as an investment and buy a high-quality rice cooker; the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. Go for a stainless steel pan or rice cooker without considering the price factor; that would be my suggestion.
In addition, most probably, you are reading this article because you are using aluminum and Teflon coated rice cooker or a non-stick pan; that itself provides you with the answer, I guess. Anyway, there is no need to rob a bank to buy a high-quality stainless steel made non-stick product.
When to Throw Away Rice Cooker?
If you are using a non stick inner pot rice cooker, you can expect a prolonged lifetime compared to a Teflon coated rice cooker. However, it would be best to know when to throw away a rice cooker, isn’t it?
Those who are maintaining their rice cookers in a proper manner can expect a lifespan of around 7 to 8 years with regular usage. However, it drastically gets lowered (about 3 to 4 years) with heavy use. When you are in the market for a product, make sure it is a BPA free rice cooker in the first place. Secondly, it is imperative to inquire about the manufacturer warranty.
Most products come with one-year warranties, but if you can invest in a high-quality eco friendly rice cooker, the said warranty period may even go up to three years. That said, the lifespan of a rice cooker heavily depends on the way you use it.
Safety Tips for Rice Cooker
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your rice cooker.
- Manufacturers provide comprehensive manuals on how to use the products. So, read everything and try to follow that information as much as possible to prevent premature issues.
- Keep the machine on a stable surface. This will help your rice cooker to stay away from accidents. Ensure you facilitate sufficient space for the cooker, and it should be a flat surface.
- Make sure there is no water around the rice cooker before you plug it into the power source. Also, it is advisable not to plug it until you are ready to cook.
- When you are opening the lid of the rice cooker, be mindful of the safety of your hands and face. There are loads of accidents reported with rice cookers due to improper handling.
Cleaning Tips for Rice Cooker
- Before you start cleaning, ensure the cooker is disconnected from the power source. Also, it should be cool before you do anything after you cook.
- When you are cleaning the inner pot of the cooker, do not use kitchen utensils to do so. If your rice cooker is a Teflon coated one, there is a high possibility of the inner pot getting damaged. Soap and warm water is the best solution for the job, along with a sponge.
- The inner bowl should be 100% dry before you put it again in the rice cooker. The exterior of the cooker doesn’t need a thorough cleaning. A damp cloth would be more than enough for proper cleaning.
- Look for the food debris on the heating plate before you put the inner bowl on the base. Such debris can impact the performance of the rice cooker and eventually cause various other problems.
Is It Ok To Use Zojirushi Scratched Rice Pot?
Zojirushi is a popular brand that most people use around the world, including me. They have both non-stick coated and non-coated products. However, as per the manufacturer’s website, they use only PTFE and polytetrafluoroethylene for their products that are known to work well against corrosion, abrasions, and heat. So, as far as I know, they are free of Teflon, and there shouldn’t be any problems in using scratched rice pots.
Is non stick scratches in rice cooker safe to use? I think now you know how to deal with a non stick rice cooker scratched inside. Simply put, if your rice cooker has a Teflon coating and is damaged, it would be ideal not to use it to cook rice. The solution is to buy a stainless steel-made rice cooker. If you have further inquiries, please use the comment section below. Have a great day!