rice cooker Rice cookers are plug-in electrical appliances that cook rice by the absorption technique. They can also be used to make rice porridge (juk or congee). An outer pot insulates and protects an electric heating element that sits under an inner pot, usually a light aluminum pot. The lid fits tightly. The inner pot has markings on it to show the level of water required to cook specific quantities of rice. Generally a rice cooker uses a little less water than is required for absorption cooking in a heavy rice pot (probably because there is less evaporation as the rice comes to a boil, since the lid is on the whole time).