I have a Breville rice cooker and follow the instructions exactly (for 2 cups of rice). There are two settings - on or off (keep warm). The manual says:

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But no matter what type of (white) rice I use, there is always a layer of hard (overcooked) rice at the bottom. I've tried various timings, stirring between cooking and resting etc. but that releases the steam and I still had the same problem.

The manual has some tips:

enter image description here

But again, even changing the amount of water slightly (tip 1) seems to do very little to the end result. I must say, apart from the layer at the bottom the rest of the rice is absolutely fine. However when you're cooking only 2 cups and losing half a cup or more it isn't exactly efficient. Is it just because I'm cooking such a small amount of rice in a relatively large/shallow cooker?

I've already searched Google, and I'm going to try some other methods. I was wondering though if anyone can see anything obviously wrong with the manual that I have, or if I'm simply missing an additional step that would solve the problem?

I already rinse the rice beforehand. I came back from visiting the Philippines with a rice addiction after eating so much of it, but until now have never really cooked it much myself. Very much an amateur...

Any advice or constructive criticism welcome :)

EDIT May 2018: I've been using it as a steamer with the included thingy and for that it works wonderfully!

  • 1
    Probably just a bad rice cooker. I have had a couple and never had that problem.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 14:34
  • @Paparazzi I was hoping that wasn't the case as it was a birthday present, and it seems like a good brand. You could be right though.
    – Lyall
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 14:37
  • I agree with @Paparazzi, it sounds like it's busted to me. Send it back while it's still in warranty, in the meantime use a pan with a lid - making rice is very easy.
    – GdD
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 15:05
  • The hard layer at the bottom of the pot of rice is actually considered a delicacy in some cuisines. It’s called socarrat (Spain), tahdig (Persia), nurungji (Korea)
    – Joe
    Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 12:27
  • The table above seems highly questionable. It calls for rice:water in a 1:1 ratio by volume, which I suspect would result in extremely "chewy" (i.e. hard) rice. My entire life, I've always used a 1:2 ratio, and so does everyone else I've asked. My rice, made in a National rice cooker, comes out perfect every time.
    – kreemoweet
    Commented Apr 3, 2023 at 2:37

6 Answers 6


Does your rice cooker have a scale up the inside of the bowl?

With mine, you add a number of scoops of rice, then fill with water up to the correct number on the side of the bowl. Maybe it is just that the manual is badly worded, and this isn't clear?

It's a long shot, I know, but just thought I'd mention it in case you hadn't noticed :)

  • 4
    Hi - just checked and it does have markings that say "4", "6", "8" and "10 cup" so I'll give that a shot with four cups and filling to that line. I guess there isn't a marking for two cups due to the bowl starting to curve towards the base that low down in the bowl. It could be that it just doesn't like such a small amount of rice/water. Thanks!
    – Lyall
    Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 18:07
  • 6
    Note that 'cups' can be different depending on the rice cooker. Mine comes with a 'cup' for the rice, but it's not 1 Cup, it's significantly less. As a result, the markings in the bowl usually only work if you use the measuring 'cup' that came with the rice cooker.
    – James
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 2:21

I observe the same behavior with my own rice cooker. The reason this is happening seems to be due to the simple, but in my opinion incredibly smart principle behind the rice cooker's operation. It just turns off when the bottom of the pot reaches temperatures above the boiling point of water - it means that there is no more water left, so the rice must be cooked.

I learned that the following procedure greatly reduces the amount and crunchiness of the crust:

  1. Do not use the 'keep warm' feature of the rice cooker. Immediately after it turns off, I turn it off completely. There's no need to add more heat to the rice now.
  2. Take the lid off, let the condensed water drip into the rice. Fluff up the rice. This helps to mix the dryer bottom layers of the rice with the upper layers, which are more moister. Put the lid back on to prevent the rice from drying up.
  3. Put the pot on a cold surface (I just put it on the floor). This makes steam condensate under and on the crust at the bottom of the pot and not so much on the lid. The crust gets rehydrated by the condensation.
  4. Wait for some time. After about 5-10 minutes the rice will still not be too cold but the crust will be much softer.
  5. When taking the rice out of the pot, the rice should be much easier to scrape off the surface. I usually eat the remaining crust (which is now rather pliable) because I find it tasty due to the small amount of Maillard reaction that occurs at the bottom.



Basic, inexpensive rice cookers do a good job of cooking rice evenly, without a crusty layer at the bottom. I find it rather surprising that a Breville product (which are pricey) would fail to do this basic feature properly.

The crust is generally associated with cooking in a pot on the stove, rather than a rice cooker.

I would make sure that you are using the "cup" that comes with the rice cooker. This cup should be calibrated with the water lines in the main pot, but is probably not a cup in the imperial measurement sense. In other words, do not substitute an imperial cup for the rice cooker cup.

  • Thanks - yes I am using the cup that came with it (following the instructions in the manual exactly like I said). I am surprised too, it was a birthday present which is why I'm trying to get it to work properly.
    – Lyall
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 8:23

Maybe you are just underresting the rice (a seemingly hard or even stuck layer of rice that becomes palatable when rested is common with simple rice cookers), or using a water ratio that is ill-suited to the actual brand and type of rice you are using?

  • Thanks - I've tried lots of different rices and brands (was given a load as a gift along with the cooker) so I'll check next time that it rests for the full amount of time.
    – Lyall
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 10:26

I originally had issues with a rice cooker and had burned and crusty rice on the bottom and discovered that my house voltage was much higher than it should be and not the rice cookers fault. If your expensive breville is making crusty rice, it's probably defective. You shouldn't have all these issues.

  • I was going to suggest the same thing. If the voltage in the home is higher than expected, the heating element could be running hotter than expected. Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 18:50

You can try stirring a tablespoon or 2 of oil to the mix after washing but before cooking the rice. I find that this prevents rice from sticking to the bottom. At least to me, the oil does not seem to affect the taste or texture of the rice very much.

As an aside, some people actually enjoy the overcooked "sheet" of rice at the bottom. It may be inevitable that you get at a least a bit of overcooking on the bottom if you enjoy your rice with some bite like me.

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