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due to some paranoia issues with the microwave, I would like to heat up my food using a steam/rice cooker instead. Can I just put all my refrigerated food in a bowl and just put it in the cooker, add a little water at the base, and turn it on?

Are there any health concerns to take note here? e.g. the bowl might melt, BPA issues, etc

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For the amount of time it will take for this to work, you might as well use the stovetop, which is designed for this -- but if you must, read your manual for instructions on how to use the rice cooker as a steamer. Using a steamer basket inside the cooker pot should work; I'd recommend sticking with just the basket itself if possible; stainless steel is plenty safe.

If you are going to put a bowl or dish in there, use ceramic or stainless steel - both of those should be fine, and unlikely to leach strange things into your food. You might be able to use some plastics, but I'd think that heating up plastic with your food in it is more likely to put stuff you don't want to eat into the food than microwaving in a ceramic bowl would.

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From what I've read about using bowls other than what came with the rice cooker, I would use the bowl that came with the rice cooker. The bowls that come with rice cookers are chosen specifically for using with the rice cooker, because not all bowls can be used in a rice cooker. I certainly would not risk a plastic one or one that is not designated heat safe. The rice cookers that I've seen use a metal plate or burner at the base of the cooker so I'd be sure that any bowl used in a rice cooker is suitable to come in contact with direct heat, and not all bowls are. best to stick with the designate bowl for that rice cooker - not worth breaking it for one meal. Good luck.

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