Are there any Rice Cookers without Aluminum Insert???

9 Jan

I posted this question a few days ago in a blog I quite enjoy visiting and commenting in – Serious Eats. It’s not vegetarian, that’s why is not part of my BlogRoll.

Since I became a vegetarian, I was told how hazardous to our health was to cook on aluminum – cookware or foil. So, when I moved by myself and was buying all my kitchen stuff, I bought all stainless steel pots and pans. To me, it was something easy to do and would in the long run, not compromise my health.

However, I have not been able to replace my rice cooker. My rice cooker has been with me since 1992. My mom gave it to me as a present when I moved to Chicago for grad school. I have made any kind of rice you can imagine there – white rice, now wholegrain brown rice, rice with corn, rice with vienna sausages, now rice with tofu dogs, rice and vegetables, you name it… So I posted a question onto the Serious Eats TALK section to see if someone more foodie than I am could help me locate the rice cooker of my dreams – without the aluminum insert.

The responses have been many. But what surprised me most is that people were asking me WHY I wanted to eradicate cooking in aluminum. I guess thats one of the by-products of these community blogs where people share their opinions rather than aswering the question at hand… and even though I was surprised, I am also glad because the question sparked a discussion on the pros and cons of the different cookware and their health risks, if any.

My position and recommendation – to avoid using aluminum when cooking. Aluminum has been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, osteporosis/softening of the bones, imparied kidney functions, memory loss, among others. My POV – if changing my pots and pans can help avoid these risks in any way… why not do it???

I use now stainless steel, glass, pyrex to cook. I line baking sheets with silplat or unbleached parchment paper. I confess, I use aluminum foil sparingly, just because of the convenience.

I included a link to my question in Serious Eats and let me know what’s your POV… and if you know of any rice cookers without aluminum inserts… I will really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.


65 Responses to “Are there any Rice Cookers without Aluminum Insert???”

  1. Tracy January 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    Hi! Congratulations for becoming vegetarian!! 🙂

    I’d never heard anything negative about cooking with aluminum, but as you said, if you want to avoid it, then other people shouldn’t care.

    I’d suggest posting your question at There are a lot of nice, knowledgeable people on that site, and hopefully one of them can help you.


    • 1eyed cobra January 12, 2012 at 12:50 am #

      Seriously?? You have not heard anything negative about aluminum? It is a metal that is highly toxic to the human body. I won’t have it in my home. I still find it difficult to believe that companies make cooking products out of it. Same with the nonstick surfaces and plastic. All of these will break down with continued use. And don’t fall for the baloney that these are safe. The companies that make them are not concerned about your health, only how much money they can make.

      • Zac December 1, 2016 at 6:07 am #

        Completely agree

  2. freshhell January 9, 2008 at 4:33 pm #

    What an interesting conversation! Thanks for posting this. I, too, cook LOTS of rice (my kids apparently can’t live without it) in my old rice cooker which does have an aluminum insert. I’ve never worried too much about this issue – I have plenty to worry about already with kids – but it was nice to see it debunked. Maybe. Anyway, love this blog and your recipes – I’ve been vegetarian (but not vegan) for 20 years. I’m raising my children vegetarian, too.

    • ericsbrain January 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

      You should worry more because you have kids. You are the only thing protecting them. It has not been debunked. It is a serious problem. When I grew we were given a BPA water bottle and we chewed the straws! And we laughed at the people that said the plastic was bad and said their claims were bunk. Well quess what they were right! And, look at all the cancer rates! Sky high because our products cut corners and contain carcinogens. It is your duty to protect your children from these things. You don’t have enough to worry about if you aren’t worring about this.

      • freshhell March 24, 2016 at 9:06 pm #

        Blah blah blah. Mind your own business.

  3. fallenangel65 January 9, 2008 at 11:06 pm #

    I have heard varying information about aluminum and my pov is if you can do away with using it regardless of whether it is a huge risk or not, than why not? I still use pyrex, cast iron, and stainless steel. I do still have some really old aluminum bread loaf pans that were my mom’s but I rarely use them. I have also switched from using regular deodorant to the crystal – why? Because of the aluminum in the regular product.

    I have an auto immune disease so anywhere I can cut out environmental toxins, I do.

  4. fallenangel65 January 9, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    PS – Have you tried Basamati Rice? While it is a white rice – it is very healthy and easy to cook without a rice cooker. I can’t cook brown rice or short grain white rice without a cooker – but I can make perfect basamati every time and it smells amazing.

  5. Dirk January 10, 2008 at 2:11 pm #

    I can’t remember what brand it is, but at home I have an electronic vegetable steamer with a rice cooker insert – all plastic, and it works wonderful.

    • Lisa April 2, 2010 at 11:43 am #

      Plastic is just as bad.

  6. karmafreecooking January 21, 2008 at 6:27 am #

    JS: Thank you!!!1 Thank you!!!! Thank you!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    This is exactly what I have been looking for… I was sure I could not be the only one to have thought about it.

    You rock!!!!!!!

    • California4Life June 5, 2012 at 12:47 am #

      finally a response from someone who isnt retarted from aluminum, flouride and all the other crap! yay… peace

    • Talan August 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm #

      The Aroma brand food steamer sold at Target is BPA free.

  7. SensRule92 February 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm #

    Thanks to both of you…i had the same concerns recently and my internet search turned up this blog and the recommendation…i’ll be buying one as well

    • Melissa April 2, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

      Thanks so much . I have replaced all of my aluminum cookware too….. exept for my rice cooker. I thought there might have been a ceramic one but couldn’t find anything. Thanks thanks thanks.

      • California4Life June 5, 2012 at 12:48 am #

        hey there just to let you know most ceramic cookware including crockpots contain LEAD!!!

  8. Mel June 21, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Thank-you I am glad you posted this also. I hope there are more solutions coming your way. I also have the same concern and will keep searching and let you know if I find anything.

  9. Mel June 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm #

    Found One!!!

  10. Ger June 29, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    I received the results of my “materials reactivity” test ( 2 weeks ago and haven’t cooked rice since. Turns out I’m allergic to aluminum as well as an alloy of stainless steel. Hulda Clark, author of “Cure for all Diseases” also believes we should not be cooking with stainless steel or cast iron but only with glass or ceramic cookware. I’d be leery of plastics–too many carcinogenic chemicals used it its production.

    I’d love to find a rice cooker with a ceramic insert like my slow cooker.

    I’m looking at the enamelled set from Mercola ( but no rice cooker ;(

  11. Ger July 3, 2008 at 10:36 pm #

    I just cooked the perfect rice in my slow cooker with a stoneware insert. It takes a little longer about 3 hours but it was delicious!

    Here is the perfect slow-cooker rice recipe:

    1 part rice
    2 parts hot water
    1 Tbs extra virgin coconut oil or butter
    Salt to taste

    Place ingredients in crock-pot/slow cooker with a 4 hour setting and let cook for about 3 hours or until all the water is used up and rice is tender.

    It feels great not to worry about toxic heavy metals in my meals. Enjoy!

    Now where to find an enamelled wok???

  12. 112358 July 23, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    Has anyone found a Stainless, pyrex or stoneware rice cookier yet?
    I like the idea of the slow cooker, but would like the automation (fuzzy logic) of a rice cooker. I just can’t understand how the evidence of toxins will not stick to teflon. It is nearly impossible to find products without it. I try to avoid plastics and bare (non-anodized) aluminum too. Just remember, asbestos was once a safe product.

  13. 112358 July 23, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    Listed below are some brands of rice cookers which offer stainless cooking surfaces. I just found them on the web and wanted to share the info with you. Vitaclay and Tayama are terracotta. There are more out there when searching for rice, cooker and stainless or clay.
    Vitaclay appears to be the only one with programmed features.

    Lotus Foods

    • Yazmin September 4, 2009 at 1:42 am #

      I read one of the reviews in Amazon about the vitaclay and it says that the exterior container has a non-stick material. the issue is that clay is porous so there is the risk that the non-stick material will get inside the food

    • Justin December 5, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

      It looks like Sunpentown (SPT) makes two rice cookers that are all stainless steel and use no coatings. There is this one:
      Plus a three cup version of the same model.

      Thanks for listing these here!

      • karmafreecooking December 5, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

        I love this cooker… now I know what I am asking SANTA for. Thanks a lot

      • ericsbrain January 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm #

        That looks great. One question about stainless though. We should find out what type of stainless it is. “Type 304—the most common grade; the classic 18/8 (18% chromium, 8% nickel) stainless steel. Outside of the US it is commonly known as “A2 stainless steel”, in accordance with ISO 3506 (not to be confused with A2 tool steel).”

        I am worried about nickle leaching. Does anyone know if it is toxic. I know it causes skin reactions in rings and belt buckles.

    • Gary June 25, 2014 at 5:48 am #

      Sorry to upset things but the stainless steel cooking pot is in fact an aluminium pot with a stainless coating. The aluminium still leaches out into your food.

  14. meera August 28, 2008 at 5:38 pm #

    Thanks for the posts and the replies. This is what I’ve been looking for. I’ll be sharing this with all many of friends!
    Thanks a ton!!

  15. Lynette September 5, 2008 at 12:38 pm #

    You could also check out Dr. Weil’s new line. He has a programmable rice cooker that’s stainless steel with stainless steel interior.

    Has anyone actually tried the clay pot variety? Are they good?

    • Karen June 10, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

      I was interested in the product you mention, went to the website, read the instruction manual and it says the removable inner pot is NONSTICK!!! Argh.

  16. chiang cheng kooi September 23, 2008 at 6:33 am #

    An altenatif way to cook rice is to steam it or u can cook it in the microwave oven.

    KFC – I believe using the microwave oven to cook rice defeats the purpose of trying to eat more naturally and healthfully.

  17. Vitaclay January 27, 2009 at 6:12 pm #


    Very interesting topic! You may find out a perfect solution for you at the link of, or google on Vitaclay. Thank you!


  18. Charlie March 5, 2009 at 7:21 am #

    The Oyama cooker has a stainless steel rice basket, but the inner lid is made with aluminum. I wonder if the exposure of the steam to the aluminum lid would affect the food much? Otherwise it seems the design is better than the Miracle rice cooker. The heating elements on the Oyama cooker switch from bottom to sides and top after cooking has finished to prevent sticking and burning. The time the Oyama can be left on warm is longer, up to 24 hours. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with boil over like with the Miricle cooker.

  19. Wendy Chan April 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    I am searching for a new rice cooker also. The Miracle looks like a good one but it’s SS. I just heard about Tatung from a Chicago Chinatown store which is also SS. Dr. Mercola does not recommend SS but he does not offer anything like the ceramic pots and pans on his site now. It is very confusing to find something that would be healthy. Someone mentioned Oyama but it has an aluminum cover and I would not like that either. Sad to say, the best stores in Chicago don’t offer any SS whatsoever nor are the sales managers even aware that aluminum and non-stick are bad for one’s health. Aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s from what I’ve read in the past.

    Wendy Chan/Chicago

  20. JJ May 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

    The best rice cookers are made by Zojirushi (little elephant logo)

    The infrared cooking models are great. Be sure to get a mid-high level one. They are made in Japan, stainless inner lids and superior bowl surface.
    The cheaper ones are made in China, aluminum inner lid, crap coating bowls.

    • FW May 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

      Zojirushi make great appliances but the ‘superior bowl surface’ is a non-stick. It’s either Teflon or a similar product; this includes any reference to Titanium. Just looking for a product that doesn’t say ‘Teflon’ as many here seem to be doing isn’t the correct way to be thinking. Look for a product that _has_ what your looking for, be it SS, clay etc.

  21. Dr Hulda Clark August 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    The responses have been many. But what surprised me most is that people were asking me WHY I wanted to eradicate cooking in aluminum. I guess thats one of the by-products of these community blogs where people share their opinions rather than aswering the question at hand… and even though I was surprised

    Purest Dr Hula Clark Cleanse Kits Here

  22. Amy September 21, 2009 at 2:30 am #

    Thanks for asking the same question I’m seeking — a rice cooker with no non-stick or aluminum interior. I’m in the process of getting rid of all my non-stick and aluminum cookware and need a replacement for my Sanyo rice cooker. Anyway, I just searched around and found the Oyama has a new model with stainless steel inner lid as well — see I have never even heard of this Oyama brand. Is this a reliable product? I usually rely on Amazon reviews for appliances but Amazon does not carry Oyama.

    • Amber December 9, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

      I purchased the Oyama rice cooker, and was so excited because of the stainless bowl and lid insert. . .except the lid insert is attached by a plastic piece which the steam from the cooking rice would cause to leech into the food.

      I was very disappointed because other than that, it looks like a great cooker!

  23. joyce September 27, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    It would be nice to have a resolution. Many to come still need to find a 1) a reliable, quality rice cooker with 2)minimal or non-reactive material 3)that at least 2 people agree on.

    love & peace

  24. suwa November 19, 2009 at 3:56 am #

    Thank You, For Share This.

  25. Laida January 28, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    hi! was window shopping today and found a rice cooker with ceramic pot made by supor.

  26. chris January 31, 2010 at 3:02 pm #

    chinese and bowl from clay pot.

  27. Paul June 19, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

  28. Ruth October 2, 2010 at 7:14 am #

    Enjoyed all the helpful information and have settled on Oyama Stainless Rice Cooker, with stainless steel lid, bowl, steamer. The inside of the lid is silicone on one model and appears to be stainless steel on another model, according to comments from Amazon reviewers. If you were to watch your mother slip away from reality, as we did, you would replace all aluminum products with stainless steel, purchase deodorant without aluminum, buy baking powder without aluminum (Rumford), etc. If we try to live/eat as healthily as possible, maybe we will be able to avoid Alzheimer’s. My happy thought is that Mom is in Heaven, walking through the gardens and enjoying eternity in a perfect body. Peace to you all.

    • Joyce December 3, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

      I am wondering if you buy Oyama rice cooker. If yes, which one (7 cup or 10 cup)? Is the inside lid of 7 cup rice cooker stainless steel? Thanks!

      • KarmaFree Cooking December 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

        @Joyce… no, I have not bought one yet.

  29. StephanieC @ Seriously?? Really? Seriously? January 12, 2011 at 2:49 am #

    The Vitaclay cooker seems good, but isn’t sold in Canada. Going to have to pay hefty shipping charges for the darn thing. Does anyone see a downside to the Vitaclay?

    This was the cheapest shipping I could find to Canada.

    • Stephanie C October 2, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

      Just wanted to say I love the VitaClay, it’s been great, but it does have metal sections on the outside of the clay pot for heating.

      Not sure of the material.

      Feels much better not to be using my old cheap plastic cooker.

      Sidenote – I noticed on frying pans the other day that it appears that horrific teflon-non-stick coating is being phased out by 2015.

      • KarmaFree Cooking October 2, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

        really??? did not know that… and what’s the new safer non-stick surface to use??? Those grey bottomed pans I have seen lately in cooking shows???

  30. Oyama Rice Cooker October 2, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    The Oyama rice cooker is an all stainless steel rice cooker, thus eliminating any possible health concerns caused by the presence of either aluminum or teflon coatings used by most other rice cooker manufacturers

    • KarmaFree Cooking October 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

      I’ve been meaning to buy myself one… but haven’t gotten around to it to be honest. Do you sell these online???

  31. Stephanie C October 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm #

    I think frying pans will have that grey material (again, not helpful in that I don’t know what it’s called).

    It waws dubbed “eco” and non-toxic. I registered for a frying pan for our wedding. They are pricey, but worth it if they aren’t toxic.

    Who knows, they could be outlawed in 10 years, too!

  32. andre2andreew December 5, 2011 at 5:19 am #

    Hello all If you are looking for great Rice cookers have a look in Toshiba, that dont have Aluminium : Fujitsu, sanyo Mitsubishi Sharp, Rice cookers with great designs and cen be used in the Usa. with ou without transformer. Look in Japan yahoo or google japan direct.
    search Rice cooker Toshiba and the same for sanyo fujitsu toshiba etc… as well you can write on youtube rice cooker from japan.
    or japanese rice cooker built.

  33. Vik December 17, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    I’ve been looking for a while and here are the half-answered half-addresses concerns:

    Vitaclay – its clay, no non-stick, but the concern of having Lead content in the clay and whether it/how much of it leaks into the food remains unknown

    Oyama staintless steel – ss, but the product description clearly states “Stainless steel cooking bowl has an aluminum inner core for uniform heating without burning the rice”. So what exactly does this mean?

    Odd that oyama above states it is an all SS cooker when the product description states otherwise. Hopefully someone can lear it up 🙂

    • skp January 14, 2012 at 3:01 am #

      Most stainless steel cookware has an aluminum core (or copper), because stainless steel is not a good conductor of heat and aluminum and copper are. You would not want cookware that was 100% stainless steel; it would not function well. The outer stainless layers, however, will protect you from the toxicity of the aluminum.

      Looks to me that the reviews on Amazon favor the Oyama vs the VitaClay at least in terms of reliability, so I’m off to Bed Bath and Beyond soon for the Oyama myself.

  34. Vik December 17, 2011 at 11:10 am #

    PS, just found this page at lotus foods, i think i’ll be getting one, it gives you all the detail you need on

    aluminum in cookware, and teflon/silverstone,

    SS all day way!

  35. Michelle January 25, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    This one seems pretty good– I’m going to order it and check it out to make sure it has no aluminum. May have stainless steel (which some people do not want), but it’s still a million steps up from non-stick and aluminum!

    **And for anyone interested in the Vitaclay cooker, there is some speculation regarding its safety– clay naturally contains some percentage of lead, so it may leach into your food. Just something to consider when you shop for your rice cooker!

    • Michelle January 25, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Looking at the picture, I do see that the inner pot of the cooker is black, but it doesn’t look like a non-stick coating. I’ll reply to this thread again once I receive it to tell you what the surface is– hopefully something safe because I’ve been researching rice cookers for quite some time now, and would like to get on with the cooking!

  36. Ky March 14, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Not sure this help. this rice cooker has porcelain inner pot. I am getting this soon.

  37. Liza Brtell February 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

    I bought 2 Oyama Rice Cooker and very happy now-all stainless steel!; Only one that is all stainless steel inner pan and lid after all months of research. I originally bought the Inner Pot Pressure cooker 1st for the stainless pot but the rice burns on bottom and the rice over soaked from water drip in side pan.Tayama also has stainless steel pan but company said it’s aluminum lid; what’s the point in that? “Oyama Rice Cooker” with all different size(5 cup, 7cup, 10cup) is the only and best stainless steel choice, and it doesn’t break your wallet. It is about half the prize of the zojirushi rice cooker-a nonstick aluminum(yuk) and Tiger brand. Price range from $59 to $69 depending who you buy it from. I got 7cup for $59 & 10cup for $64. 🙂

  38. Tom August 17, 2014 at 5:23 am #

    Buffalo cookware is a good stainless steel option – the inner pot is stainless steel inside and outside with a thin aluminium middle layer for even heat distribution. I very much doubt the aluminium could leach as it is sandwiched between the steel, and only the stainless steel is in contact with the rice. The pot itself is quite heavy and feels well made. As well as rice, you can also stir-fry, bake bread, etc. It’s a Taiwanese brand and is highly regarded in Asia – I live in Sydney where it seems to have a strong following. Here’s a link:

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and I agree that aluminum causing illness is definitely an important health concern – avoid spray deodorants too for the same reasons.

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