How long can a rice cooker stay warm?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how long can a rice cooker stay warm?” with an in-depth analysis of how long a rice cooker can stay warm. Moreover, we will also discuss how you can keep rice warm in a rice cooker.

How long can a rice cooker stay warm?

A rice cooker can stay warm for up to 12 hours. The keep-warm function of the rice cooker must keep the rice at a high enough temperature (higher than 60 degrees Celsius or 140 degrees Fahrenheit) to discourage bacterial growth, but it must not be so warm that it dries out or burns the rice. Electric rice cookers can keep the rice warm for up to 12 hours without it becoming spoiled.

For how many days can you leave rice in the rice cooker?

Storing rice in the rice cooker for several hours is completely safe, but not for days. You can keep rice for a maximum of ten to 12 hours in a rice cooker. However, leaving rice for that time is safe only if the keep-warm function keeps the rice at a temperature higher than 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do you keep rice from spoiling in a rice cooker?

Maintaining proper temperature:

The main reason rice spoils is that it contains microscopic spores that proliferate into bacteria at room temperature. To prevent this, rice cookers hold temperatures well above that which the bacteria can grow in, both while cooking and on the keep warm setting.

If your rice cooker falls below this temperature, your rice will begin to spoil, and quickly at that. In addition to this, if rice is spoiled inside your cooker even once before, bacteria can remain on the surface and spread into any rice cooked inside of it afterward.

Make sure that your cooker has, and switches to, its “keep warm” setting after it finishes cooking and that the keep warm setting remains at a temperature above 60° Celsius (140° Fahrenheit).

Proper cleaning of the rice cooker:

Properly cleaning, and caring for your cooker, ensuring it is cleaned thoroughly and isn’t scratched or dented will deter bacteria from clinging to the surface, further helping to preserve any future batches.

Can you leave the rice cooker on warm overnight?

Technically, yes. Rice cookers either turn off or switch to “Keep Warm” when the rice is done. There’s a very remote possibility for the device to cause a fire or short circuit during this stage.

What keeps the temperature of a rice cooker warm?

When the water has all been absorbed, the temperature can rise above boiling point, which trips the thermostat. Some cookers switch to low-power “warning” mode, keeping the rice at a safe temperature of approximately 65 °C (150 °F); simpler models switch off; the rice has entered the resting phase.

How do you keep rice warm for a long time?

Do not reheat rice more than once. If keeping rice hot for some time make sure it is first cooked to 75°C or above then held above 63°C for the rest of the time. You can keep rice hot in a rice cooker if you leave it on.

How can you keep rice warm in a rice cooker?

Cook your rice as you normally would in your rice cooker. 

Rice cookers are the most common tool to keep your rice warm since you most likely used one to cook your rice in the first place. Each rice cooker cooks rice differently, so just follow the cooking instructions that it came with.

Keep your rice cooker on and switch it to its “keep warm” function. 

Once your rice is cooked, just switch the function from “cook” to “keep warm.” It should be able to keep your rice warm for 2 to 3 hours.

Rice left warming in a rice cooker past the 2 to 3 hours will begin to become gummy or even stick to the rice cooker and burn. It will still be edible, but the quality may drastically decrease. 

Just do not leave it warming longer than a day in the rice cooker as it can start to grow bacteria.

Not all rice cookers will have a warming function. So make sure that yours does ahead of time.

Add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water per cup of cooked rice. 

The rice cooker will slowly remove moisture from the cooked rice. So adding water will help prevent your cooked rice from drying out, and add moisture back into the cooked rice.

Scale-up with the water amount depending on how much cooked rice you have prepared.

Stir the rice every 15 to 30 minutes, and add more water if needed. 

This will keep the rice at the bottom of the pot from sticking and burning. If the rice seems to be getting dry, then add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water at a time until the rice looks moist again. How moist you want your rice is purely up to you and your preference.

Rice cookers can have varying temperature levels preset for the warming function. So if this is your first time using the warming function, try and check on the rice every 15 minutes to make sure the rice is not burning.

Other FAQs about Rice cooker that you may be interested in.

Are rice cookers pressure cookers?

Are rice cookers worth it?

How long does it take rice to cook in a rice cooker?


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “how long can a rice cooker stay warm?” with an in-depth analysis of how long a rice cooker can stay warm. Moreover, we have also discussed how you can keep rice warm in a rice cooker.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.