I have a really old, basic rice cooker. When it cooks brown rice, the steam/cooking vapor that escapes forms a grubby film on the lid, and usually leaves residue on surrounding surfaces in my kitchen too: cabinets, containers, cutlery, whatnot. This happens whether or not I wash the rice. It doesn't seem to happen with white rice (or at least, to a much less perceptible degree).

Do rice cookers dirty your kitchens too when cooking brown rice? Is it time for me to finally upgrade, or merely wash my rice much more vigorously?

Thanks in advance!

  • 3
    I don’t keep my rice cooker near the cabinets, but I can confirm that brown rice will leave a film near the exhaust hole of the cooker, especially when it’s full (I use a tiny personal sized one most of the time)
    – Joe
    Jan 23, 2023 at 13:10
  • If it leaves residues on places other than the cooker, the rice is being kept at rolling boil for too long IMHO. I generally turn down the flame once boiling starts.
    – AJN
    Jan 24, 2023 at 11:26
  • 1
    @AJN “Old, basic rice cooker” suggests that it’s the style where there’s only one button to start cooking, and it switches to warming once the water has boiled off. But your comment makes me wonder if you shouldn’t put brown rice in a non-‘fuzzy logic’ cooker.
    – Joe
    Jan 24, 2023 at 13:38

2 Answers 2


Many rice cookers leave reside in this way, upgrading doesn't necessarily help as some new ones do this as well. Rather than upgrade just fold a paper towel in half, then into quarters, then lay it over the hole with the second fold making a tent over the hole. The paper towel will catch the steam, the fold will keep it from covering the hole completely.

You can, as @FuzzyChef says, use a cloth towel instead of a paper towel, which is completely true. I found that the towel got very messy and hard to clean due to all the starch, so I switched to a paper one.

  • 1
    One can also use a cloth towel, which doesn't require the folding.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jan 23, 2023 at 18:18

I agree GdD that you can filter the steam if your kitchen doesn't have a vent or if you can't access the vent while your cooking the rice. I would consider a stove vent to be a better solution. If your kitchen has a vent and you can get your cooker under it, set it there so the steam is vented out of the kitchen. It's designed to address this issue. Not sure if a different kind of cooker would make any difference unless it has some kind of built in filter.

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