The Tefal company has several electric rice cookers in its line, most having an 8- to 10-cup capacity. They can steam food as well as cook rice and, depending on the model, come with accessories that include steamer tray or basket, spoons and measuring cup. In general, the basic rice cooking instructions are the same across models.
Before you get started, you should keep in mind a couple of things. First, the cooker needs to be used on a flat, heat-resistant surface. It shouldn't be used near water either. Also, the cooker shouldn't be operated near any heat sources. Don't use the cooker without the bowl inside. Don't turn on the cooker if the bowl is empty and don't take the bowl out while the cooker is on.
You have to take care not to burn yourself, especially when lifting the lid. Keep an eye on the steam outlet, and make sure it isn't blocked. If the appliance catches fire, smother the flames with a damp towel. Don't pour water on it. The body of the cooker is not immersible.
Make sure the removable bowl of the cooker is clean, then put it inside the cooker. Plug the appliance in, add the rice, then the water. The inside of the bowl has markings that tell you the maximum amount you can add to the cooker. Make sure you don't go over the maximum.
Use the included measuring cup to measure the rice only, unless you are only cooking a cupful of rice. A cupful will be at the 160 mark on the cup, this corresponds to 150g of rice, which will yield one to two servings, depending on how hungry you are. For one cupful of rice, add 1 1/2 cupfuls of water.
Since one of the 150g cupfuls of rice makes one or two servings, doubling that---2 cupfuls into the bowl---yields two to four servings; tripling that yields six to 12 servings, and so on. Depending on your model, you can add up to 10 cupfuls of rice to the bowl for 10 to 20 servings, depending on everyone's appetite.
The manufacturer says to rinse the rice before you add it to the bowl if you want it to be less starchy. Don't rinse risotto, though. Once you've added the rice to the bowl, make sure it is spread evenly so it will cook evenly.
The marks on the inside of the bowl are water levels. If you have added 2 cupfuls of rice, add water to the bowl until the water reaches the 2 mark. If you've used four cupfuls, add water up to the 4 mark, and so on. You don't have to limit yourself too water; you can also use stock. At this point, it's also time to add salt and any spices you'd enjoy.
After you turn it on, the rice cooker will automatically operate according to how much water and ingredients were added to the bowl. It also can tell how much water is absorbed, so it knows when to stop cooking. In general, two to four servings will take up to 17 minutes, while 10 to 20 servings will take up to 35 minutes. When the rice is done, the warmer function will kick on. At this point, stir the rice, then let it sit for a few minutes in the rice cooker before serving.
While the rice is cooking, you can attach the serving spoon to the lid by way of a plastic clip you install by the handle. The side handle may also have a condensation collector that also holds the lid. When ready to serve, attach the lid to the handle. Serve the rice with the spoon, then put the lid back on to keep the rice warm.
While the rice cooks, you can also use the steamer attachment to steam other food like fish or vegetables. This way you can cook much of your dinner at once. In general, after adding the rice ingredients, add the food to be steamed in the tray or basket before closing up the cooker.
If your model allows you to steam separately, add water to the bowl, insert the tray or basket, add the food, then close up the cooker. Make sure the condensation collector is properly installed before turning it on. You have to refer to recipes to know how much water to add (see Resources).
Reheating Food and Other Foods
You can manually start the warming function on the cooker. Just lift the control switch. The manufacturer says this function can be used to reheat cold food.
Some of Tefal's rice cookers can cook recipes that use ingredients like macaroni and potatoes. It's even possible to cook desserts. Visit Tefal's online storefront to find recipes and the contact information of the manufacturer (see Resources). Manuals that include recipes are available for download.