Zojirushi rice cooker smells like burning plastic? What To Do?

As a family, rice was eaten with meats, sauces, stews, red beans, and seafood. Occasionally, my mom would transform the rice into a lovely rice pudding for dessert. I have also purchased different brands of rice cookers throughout the years.

My primary complaint with all those brands was the hard browned rice at the bottom of the pot, which I tossed into the garbage. But then I discovered Zojirushi. The model I purchased is NP-NWC10/18. It’s several years old and performs like a dream-never any hard, crunchy bottom of the pot rice-unless you choose the scorch setting.

However, your rice cooker could occasionally emit unusual burning odors. Sometimes the issue can be resolved quickly, but other times you might need to replace the item.

What is the Zojirushi rice cooker?

Zojirushi rice cooker or rice steamer is an electrical appliance that automatically cooks rice. Unlike the stovetop, which you have to supervise throughout, the rice cooker has a button that you press, and you can continue doing your chores.

Rice cookers have thermal sensors that detect when the pot’s water has been absorbed or converted to steam, at which point they either automatically shut off or keep the rice warm for a while.

Did you know that this appliance can cook more than just rice? You can use it for cooking other grains, i.e., barley, grits, and quinoa. You can also steam vegetables in the rice cooker.

The rice cooker is superb to prepare large quantities of perfect rice. So, how is this possible?

  1. Estimate the amount of rice you want to cook and place it in a bowl: basmati rice or brown rice.
  2. Soak the rice in water-Rinse the rice until the water is clear. Keep in mind that this step is optional. Some people think rinsing rice only makes it too soft, so they prefer to skip this step.
  3. Transfer the rice from the bowl to the inner pan of your rice cooker.
  4. Estimate the amount of water and add it to the cooker-The general water ratio is 1:1. The amount of water you can use depends on the amount of rice you are cooking. i.e., it could be 2 cups or 3 cups of rice.
  5. Close the lid of your rice cooker.
  6. Plugin your rice cooker and turn it on to rice cook.
  7. Allow your rice to cook-This will take about 30-45 minutes. The cooker will beep and automatically switch to Keep-Warm when it has completed cooking.
  8. Serve your rice using your plastic serving utensils.

In addition, Zojirushi rice cookers exist in various models, i.e., Micom rice cooker and warmer NS-TSC10A/18A, micom rice cooker and warmer NS-TSC10/18, among others.

When I finally cooked rice in my Zojirushi rice cooker, I was overwhelmed by its performance. I felt like I had never eaten rice before, so I invited my mom over for dinner and told her about the rice cooker.

Choosing the best one that fits your needs leads to better results.

Why my Zojirushi rice cooker smells like burning plastic

I remember being over the moon when I discovered the Zojirushi rice cooker. The rice tasted more delicious than the ones served in our prominent restaurants. All I wanted to cook and eat was nothing besides rice.

One chilly Saturday morning, as I was preparing my morning meal (egg fried rice), I smelt an awful smell emanating from the rice cooker. I was angry since I had just recently bought my rice cooker. It was a dull morning indeed.

When I contacted customer care, I learned that the smell is familiar with new appliances and will fade with time.

So, what causes the smell?

The smell of burning plastic could be a result of the following:

  • The protective or non-stick coating is situated on the warming apparatus burning off. The purpose of the protective layer is to prevent the rice cooker from corrosion.
  • Power cord design problem-The power cord is responsible for the passage of electricity from the source to the rice cooker. I was just about to toss my rice cooker at some point, thinking there was a significant connection issue inside the appliance.

I never thought it could be a power cord design problem, as it worked much better initially. I had to wiggle and jiggle a lot to remove the power cord each time. I thought I had loosened the connection to the point of no return.

  • First-time use-This is an everyday experience when using your rice cooker for the first time. However, if the smell irritates you, you can use your appliance in a well-ventilated way enabling a good air supply in the room.
  • Faulty equipment-Check if everything from the inner cooking container is in good working condition. If the appliance is not in good shape, contemplate taking it to a repair shop.
  • Your rice cooker is overheating– Your rice cooker could smell like burning plastic due to something overheating internally, resulting from one of the device’s constituent parts faulting.

How to prevent the burning plastic smell:

Here are some important of the things you can do to prevent the burning plastic smell:

  • Frequently cleaning the rice cooker-Cleaning method helps the rice cooker often to remove disgusting odors and stains.
  • Allow the rice cooker to dry after cleaning-This action removes any chance of fold formation, which in turn causes a foul scent.
  • Frequently checking your appliance’s internal components-Routine maintenance enables your rice cooker to run smoothly. 
  • Let the rice cooker to cool-This prevents overheating and saves your rice cooker from producing a burning plastic smell. 
  • Using your appliance in a well-ventilated room-This allows fresh air circulation in the room. In addition, it also prevents dampness.

You have no reason to speculate about your food smelling burning plastic because the smell is not transferred to your food in the rice cooker.

The burning plastic smell coming from your appliance can drive you crazy. However, a rice cooker gives you ample time to indulge in other activities due to its intuitive nature. You have no reason to fuss over the appliance as you would on a stovetop.

Moreover, they can consistently produce delicious rice, making them ideal for food service establishments, i.e., restaurants, since they are easy to use and clean. A rice cooker is a must-have appliance in the kitchen. So, be tricky to use it to prevent plastic smell.