I have a cheap $15 rice cooker from my undergrad days (link). It has a metal pad on the bottom attached to a spring, a "Cook" switch (feels like a toaster lever), a "Cooking" light and a "Warm" light.
Generally speaking, how does a low-tech, electronic rice cooker work? Clearly the spring on the bottom is at play, as is the "Cook" switch.
- How does it know when the rice is "done"?
- What is the role of the spring pad on the bottom?
- How do the amounts (not just the ratio) of water and rice affect the timing?
- Is there a timing mechanism? Is there a temperature probe?
Bonus (since this isn't the main question): How can I use this knowledge to cook different amounts of rice or other things, such as lentils or beans, without resorting to directions online?