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ljt2r
06-15-2007, 11:31 AM
Yes another question about rice cookers. :p

So we have always used (and liked) the "keep warm" function on our rice cooker. But the other day I was reading (and I forget where :o) that this is dangerous and allows germs to start thriving in the rice. Do you guys use your "keep warm" function? If so, for how long? If not, why? DD#1 is sick right now and is on the BRAT diet, so I made her some basmati rice. She will never eat all of it right now (although she will eat a lot--she LOVES rice), but I hate it to put it in the fridge where it will get all dried out. If I keep it in the cooker, she could have it again at dinner and have it be decently fresh... Thoughts?

Laura :D

donleyk
06-15-2007, 11:37 AM
I (thought) I understood the danger with rice is if it is packed tight in a container and refrigerated that it doesn't get cold quickly enough to keep germs from starting. I'll be interested in other replies.

Beth H
06-15-2007, 11:40 AM
I use the keep warm feature frequently and have never had a problem - although the longest I've probably had it one is an hour - hour and a half or so. Aren't some rice cookers designed to cook the rice and then keep it warm while you are at work?

Canice
06-15-2007, 12:34 PM
I think the longest I use mine is two-three hours; I never know for sure what time DBF will get home, so it's great to have the rice at the ready so I can put dinner together fairly quickly.

I'm not concerned about it from a safety standpoint, but I wonder what will happen to the rice after all that time? I thought it was OK on "keep warm" for 3-4 hours? Do the flavor and texture deteriorate?

avariell
06-15-2007, 12:40 PM
jeez louise... sick again? what are you doing to my niece - and so close to her birthday?!

i personally wouldn't think twice about leaving the rice on warm for 4-6 hours. but i am probably way too relaxed about food germs :D maybe it'll toughen the lil bugger up :)

sneezles
06-15-2007, 01:04 PM
I hate the Warm button and actually remove the pot as soon as it's done. I kep leftover rice in a ziplock bag so it can lie flat on the shelf. I reheat it in the microwave with a tsp or so of water for 20-30 seconds (depends on how much I'm reheating). I don't keep cooked rice longer than 3 days. We use a lot of rice 'round here.

ljt2r
06-15-2007, 01:07 PM
I use the keep warm feature frequently and have never had a problem - although the longest I've probably had it one is an hour - hour and a half or so. Aren't some rice cookers designed to cook the rice and then keep it warm while you are at work?

Yes mine warms up to 24 hrs....

ljt2r
06-15-2007, 01:15 PM
I think the longest I use mine is two-three hours; I never know for sure what time DBF will get home, so it's great to have the rice at the ready so I can put dinner together fairly quickly.

I'm not concerned about it from a safety standpoint, but I wonder what will happen to the rice after all that time? I thought it was OK on "keep warm" for 3-4 hours? Do the flavor and texture deteriorate?

IME the rice may dry out a little--but if you are eating it with a lot of sauce, it is fine. Obviously this is in the eye of the eater ;) but I like rice from the warmer better than I do rice that has been in the fridge. Mostly I strongly prefer my rice fresh.

What I especially don't understand (and I really wish I could remember where I read it) is that my rice is still steaming, 2 hours later (as it will be when it is served several hours later still). If I heat something to steaming in the microwave, I usually assume I have killed everything scary. So I would not have thought germs would be growing in the cooker on warm. Am I naive?

sneezles
06-15-2007, 01:28 PM
What I especially don't understand (and I really wish I could remember where I read it) is that my rice is still steaming, 2 hours later (as it will be when it is served several hours later still). If I heat something to steaming in the microwave, I usually assume I have killed everything scary. So I would not have thought germs would be growing in the cooker on warm. Am I naive?

The rice has to be held at 141dgrees F. The danger zone for food safety is 41-140F. Food can be held for up to 4 hours without a heat source but then it has to be thrown out at the end of 4 hours.

avariell
06-15-2007, 01:43 PM
this is a snippet from a question asked on www.canfightbac.org/cpcfse/en/cookwell/ask/csr/

We use a rice cooker almost every other day. How long is it safe to eat the rice that remains in the cooker on the warm setting of the steamer.
The safety depends on the temperature of the rice when your cooker is on the warm setting. To be safe, the rice should be warmer than 60C/140F to prevent harmful bacteria from growing such as Bacillu cereus known to contaminate rice and produce spores resistant to heat. Test the temperature with a food thermometer. If you cannot maintain that high temperature, the rice should be refrigerated within two hours from its cooking. To be sure all the rice is at a safe temperature, it should be stirred often.

stir it often and take its temp.

although i would probably not worry too much about it knowing me :D

ljt2r
06-15-2007, 01:45 PM
The rice has to be held at 141dgrees F. The danger zone for food safety is 41-140F. Food can be held for up to 4 hours without a heat source but then it has to be thrown out at the end of 4 hours.

Thank you, this answered my question. Our rice cooker (and maybe it is rice cooker dependent?) uses heat for its keep warm function, and I just checked and turned off the thermometer when it hit 150 degrees (it would have kept going). So clearly it is safe.

PS FWIW my rice cooker also has an extended keep warm function, so goodness only knows how long that lasts, although we have never used it.