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How Long Do Rice Cookers Last?

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Wondering how long your rice cooker will last? This article is for you! We discuss what you can and cannot expect from a rice cooker.

If you’re thinking about buying your first rice cooker, you may be wondering how long it’ll last. Or maybe your rice cooker broke down — again — so you googled to find out if you’re using it wrong.

Thank you for stopping by, and we invite you to read on! Because, in the few paragraphs to follow, we’ll discuss what you can and cannot expect when it comes to a rice cooker’s useful life.

Let’s dive right in.

What’s the Lifespan of a Rice Cooker?

Every manufacturer will try to make you think that their rice cooker will last forever. And some truly do. But the warranty conditions make us think otherwise.

Most rice cooker manufacturers offer a warranty of 1–2 years for their appliances. And if you live in the European Union, you’re entitled to a minimum warranty of 2 years by law (your claim must nevertheless meet the terms and conditions of the warranty).

The typical rice cooker lasts at least as long as the warranty; maybe a few years more. Some are made to last a lifetime, and others last decades by chance.

The lifespan of a rice cooker varies by brand, owner, and, to some degree, luck.

Some people buy a cheap rice cooker for ten dollars, and it serves them well for a decade, two, or three. The Internet is full of anecdotes. Other people’s rice cookers break every few years, no matter how they look after them, and they’re left with no choice but to buy replacements every so often.

We want to give you specific advice — a general rule of thumb, even — but no studies exist that we can reference. The best thing you can do is get a quality rice cooker from a reputable brand and with good customer reviews, and use it as prescribed in the manual.

How to Make Your Rice Cooker Last Longer

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your rice cooker working longer. Here are the things that you can do to keep your countertop helper in mint condition for as long as possible.

First, the basics. We know it sounds like rice cooker kindergarten, but we can’t leave this unsaid. Put the rice cooker on a dry, level surface in your kitchen. The appliance mustn’t be exposed to direct sunlight or heat from other sources, like the stove, oven, or back of the fridge.

Second, dry the pot well after using it, preferably with a few paper towels or a clean dishcloth, especially the part that touches the heating panel. Always lock the pot securely in place and never force the buttons, switches, or lid if they give you resistance.

Third, unplug the rice cooker when it finishes cooking the rice and clicks to “Warm.” The warming function can wear out the heating panel over the years, especially if you leave it on for long every time.

Last but not least, if you’re a first-time owner, learn the minimum amount of rice and water required for each batch. Cook too little rice, and the pot may overheat, causing the heater to stop working.

In Summary

A rice cooker should last at least as long as the warranty, maybe a few years more. To maximize your cooker’s lifespan, familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual and don’t leave the appliance on “Warm” for too long.


Dim is a food writer, cookbook author, and the editor of Home Cook World. His first book, Cooking Methods & Techniques, was published in 2022. He is a certified food handler with Level 1 and Level 2 Certificates in Food Hygiene and Safety for Catering, and a trained chef with a Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma.

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