I’m sure we’ve all been there. The rice cooker is boiling and it smells like rotten eggs or burnt toast. What’s going on? Why does the rice smell bad when cooking in a rice cooker? Well, that’s because your rice steamed too long and was overcooked by the time you took it out of the pot which causes an unpleasant odor. Luckily for us, there are some easy steps to fix this problem!
Let’s explore these steps together so we can enjoy our delicious cooked rice!
Reasons for the bad smell of rice in a rice cooker
First, we will discuss the reasons behind this bad smell then we will move on to the fixes. Most of the reasons will be obvious for you and they will be really easy to fix.
Here are some of the top reasons-
Inadequate cleaning of rice
Smelly rice occurs when the surface of raw rice is contaminated with fungi or mold, before cooking. It can also result from using dirty equipment or improper cleaning. This can also be a health risk because fungi and mold produce toxins that can cause disease. Although they are not that severe, the smell is alone a reason enough to do the hard work of cleaning.
It should also be mentioned that some kinds of rice have too much starch. Those release a lot of their starch when cooked in a high heat and that can smell a lot.
Unclean rice cooker
A rice cooker can acquire a bad smell if it’s not cleaned every time you use it. If there are bits of food that stick to the walls, the smell will become worse. Additionally, bacteria will stick to the surface of the rice cooker, which is not healthy for anyone using it.
Presence of cleaning agents
This smell can also come from cleaning products like dishwashers which you might have used to clean the rice cooker. If cleaning with dishwasher detergent gets into the pores of the inner pot, it can give a bad smell. Moreover, if you don’t clean it properly, the whole rice cooker gets spoiled and thus gives a bad smell to the rice.
Cooking for too long
Cooking rice for too long can also be the cause of the bad smell in your rice. When cooking rice, it’s best to check it after approximately 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook it, the more likely a bad smell will emit from the rice. If you leave it too long after cooking, a burnt or rotten egg type of scent can punch through your kitchen and make you start all over again.
How to fix the bad smell of rice
Now, you know all the general reasons for rice smelling bad in rice cookers. Each one has a separate solution. If you don’t want to do all of them find out which causes are making the bag smell in your rice cooker.
Clean the rice properly
This is the first step to fix the bad smell of rice.
When you wash your rice, do it as if you were washing your hands. Use cold water and rinse thoroughly and repeat to be 100% sure that all rice starch has been removed.
Rub them against each other. You might see a white substance coming out. That’s the starch. Depending on the rice the amount of starch can be more or less. Then, let the washed grains sit in the water for around 10 minutes.
Clean the rice cooker properly
This step might not be very simple for busy people. But there is no way around+
Clean the rice cooker every time you use it! That way, no build-up of food or rice will happen and thus no bad smell once the cooking starts.
You can clean the inner pot with soap and water. Let it dry before putting rice for cooking inside. Make sure you do this after each use, because if you don’t, the rice cooker will start to smell bad.
Also make sure you clean the outside of the cooker with a cloth or sponge soaked in water and soap. You can use vinegar diluted in water if you want to disinfect it more. Dry it afterwards with a dry cloth/towel.
Cook it properly
Now that you have clean rice and the inner pot, the only thing that remains is to cook your rice in a proper way. When cooking in a rice cooker the temperature should be around 90°C (194°F) for best results.
Use a ratio of 1:1 of rice and water when cooking rice in a cooker. That will ensure it doesn’t give off any bad smell. Add salt if you want but not too much at once because it can make the rice taste bitter if too much is added to begin with.
Keep the rice in the cooker for 15-20 minutes without opening it. It is important to keep the lid closed during this time because it will release steam and that steam makes sure the rice doesn’t dry up making the bad smell.
Add broths and spices
You can add vegetables, spices and broths to your rice. Vegetables can be carrots, peas, corn etc. Broths are the liquids that come from cooking beef or chicken. You can add spices like cumin, thyme or oregano depending on your taste.
It is better to add these ingredients at the end of cooking time for they also give off a smell if cooked for too long.
Utilize some vinegar or lemon
As a last resort, you can add some vinegar or lemon juice to your rice when cooking it. Vinegar gives the rice a sour smell and the lemon an acidic sour smell. Both give a different and unique taste to your rice. That is a good way to mask the bad smell.
Be careful with vinegar though because if you add too much, it can have a similar effect of adding salt at the beginning.
In general, there are many reasons why rice can have a bad smell in your rice cooker. We’ve given you some tips on how to remedy the problem and make sure it never happens again. Take your time to implement them properly and you will be able to cook all types of rice without the fear of it smelling bad.