This is a water heater with automatic shut-off feature. It should be operated strictly as intended. There are heater models that can be used for other cooking purposes. Rice cooker can be used effectively and safely for different cooking styles. However, rice cooker is different. It relies on the fact that water boils at 100 C (sea level). When all the free water has evaporated and other absorbed by rice. The temperature spikes and the thermostat mechanisms shuts the main heater and will turn to alternate keep warm mechanism. Alternate heat will dry out the cooked rice if left for prolonged period, but getting it burnt is very unlikely.
It is convenient if used correctly. Equipped with auto shut-off switch that relies on water vapor pressure. Located inside the handle, which has a duct at the top, pointing downward, intended to catch boiling pressure. The switch is triggered when water comes to a running boil. The water heater has been with us for years now and it never failed me.
There came to a point when I almost threw it away. It is still in good working condition. A little problem though. It was giving me a strong electric shock every time I lift it from base. It must be unplugged (before and after use) to avoid getting electrocuted. We often forgot so we got shocked countless times.
I disassembled it and discovered its working mechanism and the problem. The tube-like handle was filled with wet food debris which became electric conductor. It was our fault. Because it was convenient, we used it for coffee and hot chocolate preparation. Sometimes, making boiled eggs too. The debris were deposited overtime until it reached the switch. I cleaned it and never used again other than for water boiling. On the contrary, she is still do the old way during emergencies. She just make sure the cover is open to prevent pressure build-up. She also keep watch and shutting it off when reaches mild boiling.
It is not equipped with thermostat. If turned on without water, which I accidentally did once, it will pump the heat up and continue heating until do damage to itself or nearby appliance. Burn the house in a worse case scenario. Let us hope the worse case never happens. Thankfully, I checked it after fifteen minutes to fill my mug.
Ginger tea preparation using large ginger slices maybe feasible. As long as the slices are large bigger that the hollow tube going to the switch. I realized it when I ran out of Lipton tea and my only option was ginger. Other leaves, roots, barks and stem are perhaps suitable as long as they are in large chunks. Many of us are believers of herbal medicines but often fail to standardized boiling time. This might be your best tea maker friend. Weigh the leaves and measure desired water amount. Then, the herbal tea is ready as soon as the button switch pop-up. No more guessing game. No need for clock timer. It can be set and leave to do other job.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.