The Evil Rice Cooker of Doom

Not long ago, on the advice of a well-wisher, I purchased a rice cooker. Being of limited means, I felt lucky to find one in a local thrift store: complete, intact, and at a bargain price. It even had an air of retro-charm about it.

It looks innocent enough...

I found instructions online, and used it several times without incident. It took about 15 minutes to cook a small (1-2 cup) batch of rice, plus the requisite 15-minute waiting period for the steaming-somewhere between the wait for a Polaroid photograph and that for a handgun purchase, but much closer to the former. No glitches or worries at all-until last night.

I had chicken stir-fry on the menu, and I was feeling a bit distracted, so I set up the cooker. Otherwise I would have to “baby-sit” the rice on the stovetop, which just felt a little too complicated. So-1 part rice, 2 parts water-check; spray cookpot with non-stick stuff-check; rice and water in cookpot-check; plug in, turn on-check; go on with life-check.

Until I smelled it.

A very peculiar, particular odor.

Not of rice cooking, or any food at all.

Plastic. I smelled melting plastic. That was not steam coming from the hot water in the cooker; no, it hadn’t been plugged in for more than a couple of minutes. That was smoke, coming from the narrow gap between the cookpot and the outer shell of the cooker. I unplugged the thing and, hoping to salvage what was already in there, fished around in the cupboard for a clean saucepan.

By the time I found one, crucial seconds had passed, in which time the now-unplugged rice cooker had started doing an altogether strange thing for an unplugged rice cooker to do-it was cooking the rice. The billowing clouds were now definitely steam, and the burning-plastic smell was accompanied by a cooking-rice aroma. The Family, now aware that something was amiss in the kitchen, was both reassured that I had unplugged the misbehaving device and amazed at its tenacity. I let the thing be until it cooled down a bit, then went to transfer the rice to the saucepan so I could finish cooking it on the stove. By now, maybe five minutes had elapsed since the whole escapade began; from the time I plugged it in to the time I unplugged it again was maybe two minutes.

What do you think I found in the cooker?

How about…

would you believe…

…perfectly…cooked…rice?

It’s true. It needed maybe another minute’s worth of heat to soak up the last of the water. It was delicious. I wish I’d taken a picture.

And now my humble kitchen is haunted by the specter…

…of the EviL RiCe CoOkEr Of DoOm!!!

BEWARE!!!

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About poorlocavore

Welcome to one family's journey towards a smaller food-mile footprint on a small food budget. How do our choices affect the environment, and what influences our choices? Read on and find out what I'm learning.
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2 Responses to The Evil Rice Cooker of Doom

  1. Cassie says:

    That’s funny. Have you taken it for a spin since?

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