A clay rice cooker is a clay crock or pot that is used to cook rice. One type of clay rice cooker is placed on the stove or in the oven. Another type sits the clay pot into a slow cooker, which cooks the rice at a slow, even pace. Both types are touted for producing tender, tasty rice. One advantage of both types of clay cookers is that they can be used for preparing foods other than rice.
The clay crock can be placed on an open fire, making it useful for camping trips. The clay absorbs the heat through the bottom of the pot and uniformly cooks whatever food is placed into it. The most common food is rice, but the clay rice cooker can also be used to prepare other dishes. Campers may use the clay rice cooker instead of a Dutch oven to prepare a variety of meals.
Cooks may hang a clay rice cooker over an open fire, or place it on a rack over a campfire. Care should be taken not to make the fire too large, or the rice may stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. The fire should be large enough to reach the bottom of the clay rice cooker, but not so large that it comes up to the lid of the crock.
The electric rice cooker has the advantage of applying heat to the sides of the clay crock, as well as the bottom, which more evenly cooks all the ingredients placed in the pot. The clay crock is suspended into a metal outer unit that supplies the necessary heat. The electric rice cooker is programmed to cook the rice for a prescribed period of time, then keep the rice warm, making it a very handy appliance to have. The electric slow rice cooker generally comes with a lid and instruction manual. Some varieties also come with a cake tray, spoon, measuring cup, and a booklet explaining the various types of rice.
Some users prefer the clay pot over other non-stick types of chemical glazes such as polytetrafluoroetylene (PTFE), also known by the brand name Teflon®, that may be associated with toxicity. The clay is all natural, giving users the confidence that the final product is free from toxic chemicals. This is popular with consumers who prefer to cook in natural cookware. Home cooks will often enjoy using the clay rice cooker to prepare oats and other whole grains.