Is It Safe to Leave a Rice Cooker Unattended?

A rice cooker is one of the plug-and-forget kitchenware in your household. However, is it safe to leave a rice cooker unattended? You could easily get distracted, or doze off. When you wake up or return home to meet yours unattended, you will wonder, “how long can you leave rice cooker plugged in?”

how long can you leave rice cooker plugged in


You can leave your rice cooker unattended and plugged in for long. Nothing much happens even if you use cheapies. It can dry out your rice and scorch the bottom of the cooker a bit. It does not get anywhere closer to causing a fire. A fairly decent quality rice cooker can stay plugged in for hours with no problem.

Although your rice cooker can burn for long, never leave it unattended. In Cleveland, two persons were injured in a fire at home when the person cooking fell asleep.


Your rice cooker turning off automatically depends on your manufacturer and model. If your rice cooker does not turn off, it will switch to a lower temperature.

The heat is not enough to raze your home. However, your rice will get crusty when you return. Your biggest concern is going to be to get your crusty rice off the cooker’s bottom.

Do Rice Cookers Turn Off Automatically?

When your rice is cooked, the rice cooker turns off automatically. Depending on the model, it can completely turn off or just switch into warm mode if left unattended.

Many rice cookers do not go off instantly, but instead stop the rice cooking and switch to the warm mode. This mode keeps your rice warm, and your rice stops cooking.


A rice cooker only continues to cook as long as there is water in it. The heat produced inside by the heater turns water into steam.

The water does not get hotter than 100 degrees Celsius but can also cool off at 100 degrees Celsius.

This means that your rice cooker will remain at 100 degrees Celsius, keeping its contact magnet active.

When there is no more water, your cooker has nothing to dump in the heat, only the rice, and pot. The rice and pot get hotter than 100 degrees Celsius, causing the pot temperature to increase, including the contact magnet.

When the contact magnet gets a lot hotter, it loses its magnetic components and releases the switch.

Your rice cooker goes into the warm mode and stops cooking. When the contact magnet cools off, the magnetic properties are restored from the permanent magnet.

Do Rice Cookers Automatically Switch to Warm?

Your rice cooker thinks the rice is done if water runs out in the pot. The temperature will increase above 100 degrees Celsius.

The thermostat detects the temperature rise and automatically switches into the warming mode which stops cooking.

In this case, you get a bowl of undercooked rice if the amount of water is small. The rice cooker takes no blame as it works with what it gets.

If you use excessive water, your rice cooker is not at fault as it cooks the rice too soft.

Since a rice cooker can switch to warm, therefore, leaving it plugged in is not a major call for concern.

Unless you do not use a reliable contemporary rice cooker, you want to consider a modern rice cooker with humanized technology.

Best Rice Cooker with Warmer

What is the function of the warmer in the rice cooker? Your rice cooker comes with the keep-warm mode it occasionally switches to do as it says—‘keep warm’. It will only cook if it detects water in the pot.

However, the warmer feature also means your rice cooker can switch to this mode. Therefore, your cooker can be plugged in for as long as you stay away.

You only get back to meet crusty rice. Below are the best rice cookers with warmer:

Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom

Can rice cookers be left unattended

Zojirushi built this one for you – your one-stop rice cooking solution. It is built so that if you forget your rice cooker plugged in, you do not return to meet fire.

The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom is a quality in a home. Apart from vitality, comfort, and cooking ease, its advanced technology lets it stay plugged in for hours without a problem.

Below are the reasons it is your best rice cooker with a warmer:

  • Warmer. Of course, it supports warmer functionality. It uses an automatic heater to ensure a reheating cycle that keeps the rice warm. Its triple heater, located on the lid, side, and bottom, produces the needed heat to keep your rice warm.
  • Timer delay. With its 2-setting timer delay, you can set your cooker to run automatically. Your rice remains freshly cooked at the time you program. You can even go to sleep or out of the house while your rice cooker is plugged in.
  • Design. It provides the design you need to complement the contemporary finish of your kitchen. Zojirushi gives you this clear-coated stainless still to enhance your kitchen décor and make cleaning snappy.
  • Menu options. Apart from the warmer that lets you leave your rice cooker plugged in, the NS-LGC05XB Micom supports multiple menus. You can cook your sushi rice, white/mixed rice, brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and long-grain white rice quickly.

It is designed for only 3 cups, perfect for a small family. Indeed, the NS-LGC05XB Micom is a small-sized rice cooker packed with maximum features.

Toshiba TRSH01

Is it safe to leave a rice cooker unattended

The Toshiba TRSH01 is your go-to design and size for the countertop. Its capacity is ideal and is built to keep the carbs down with the Steam Basket technology.

Apart from its warmer functionality, you get to experience a healthier rice nutrient that balances your diet. With this technology, health-conscious persons can be glad.

Why is the Toshiba TRSH01 the rice cooker you can leave plugged in?

  • Delay timer. The timer feature lets you decide what time your rice will finish cooking and the Micom knows when to cook. You can delay-time your rice so that by the time you wake up or return home, your rice meal is ready. In this manner, you do not have to worry about leaving your rice cooker plugged in.
  • Multipurpose. Toshiba TRSH01 is a multi-menu rice cooker. You can also use it as your food warmer, steamer, and slow cooker. Apart from the rice, this stainless beauty lets you steam seafood, vegetables, and more.

Do not forget to adjust the time setting longer or shorter.

Can a Rice Cooker Burn Your House Down?

A modern rice cooker will not burn down your house as it can automatically turn off. When the pot loses water, it stops cooking, or simply switches to the warmer mode.

The heating element is sealed in a rice cooker to keep the oil boiling out. It does not also heat to temperatures capable of catching fire or even cooking oil.

A rice cooker uses a safety device, a switch sensor that puts off the heater and warms the rice. When you turn it on, it boils water at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius.

The rice absorbs water and some escape as steam while the cooking temperature gets hotter at the boiling point. This triggers the switch to connect to the circuit with a lower temperature that gets it to the warm mode to stop cooking.

If your rice cooker is plugged in, it warms for as long as it is on. Your rice gets crusty, and you have to pour it out.

Can you leave a rice cooker on warm all day?

You can leave a rice cooker warm all day. It does as it says and the rice stays warm as long as it is plugged in.

Your rice can eventually dry out, getting crusty. However, it needs to be plugged in for a very long time for that to happen. You do not have to worry so much the time you leave it plugged in all day or night.

It is not advisable to leave your rice cooker plugged in all day, although it switches to warm mode.

The ‘keep warm’ temperature could stay above 145-165 degrees Fahrenheit or 75 degrees Celsius. Below this temperature, bacteria begin to grow in your rice.

Can You Eat Rice Left in Rice Cooker Overnight?

It is not recommended to eat the rice left in the rice cooker overnight if it is not warmed. Nevertheless, many families do it and nobody goes sick.

If you must eat the rice you left in your rice cooker without warming, ensure to reheat it. You can add oil to a pan on medium heat to get hot and leave it there.

Foodborne illness can result from not heating or cooking your rice after storing it cold. A dirty environment can also cause a problem, so consider these factors before eating the rice from your rice cooker.

In essence, reheating the rice properly after taking it out of your rice cooker can make it good for consumption.

Final Thoughts

How long you can leave your rice cooker plugged in depends generally on your manufacturer and model. Nevertheless, you must not leave it unattended too many times.

If your rice cooker is a cheapie, it can malfunction when you leave it plugged in for too long. A rice cooker you spend more hundred bucks on will not go bad.

Most expensive Korean or Japanese rice cookers are rugged enough to stay plugged in for long. Some families even leave them plugged in for weeks.

Your rice cooker is designed to keep the rice warm after cooking it; do not worry about fire risks.

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