I got a fancy Cuchen rice cooker and it highlights that it uses fuzzy logic to cook rice. I generally understand the concept of fuzzy logic, but I don’t see how that makes better rice. Shouldn’t there just be standard settings for every kind of rice and some senaors of time, pressure, temperature, and moisture that tell the machine when it is done? Why does the flexibility of fuzzy logic help?
It’s just marketing. It sounds fancy and therefore better. There were some examples of this that got brought up when I was learning about fuzzy logic in school.
That being said, fuzzy logic does well when it’s hard to get a good math model of the system or when it’s particularly complex. That likely technically applies to cooking rice, but not enough to really warrant it.
Because there are a variety of factors that can affect any given bag of rice before it’s being poured into your rice cooker. Where was it? For how long? Where was it polished? What was the humidity that day? How bout the water? How hard or soft is it? Etc etc
Normally when you cook rice you apply heat to water and rice, and shut the heat off when the rice is done. That’s two states: Heat, then No Heat.
Rice cookers that can turn the heating element on and off in response to pressure or amount of steam or latent heat in the vessel are using something to control the heating/not heating switching. Part of this is due to water, upon reaching boiling point, cannot get any hotter. So getting to a simmer (say 90C or whatever, 195F) is actually both more energy efficient and better at cooking rice, since the rice is cooked longer due to less evaporation. fuzzy logic cookers do this by turning the heat on until it reaches some threshold, usually above 90C, say 93C, and then shutting the heat off until another threshold, say 87C is reached.
Combining this staggered heating with a lid that traps steam and heat in – as opposed to a weakly sealing glass lid – almost guarantees perfect rice; regardless of if you rinse your rice, or put salt in, or oil, or other stuff other than rice, or the wrong amount of water.
Going back to the regular method of cooking rice, since water cannot be hotter than 100C (212F) – if the temperature in the vessel goes above that (say 102C) it just shuts off, or may reduce the power to “keep warm” either by actually limiting power, or switching the heating elements on and off using some sort of PWM driver. “fuzzy” logic isn’t PWM, the “on” portion can be longer than the “off” portion for half of the cycle, and then switch to the other way around.
TL;Dr – most fuzzy cookers still only have “on” and “off” – but due to the design of the actual cooker can be more energy efficient and cook rice more gooder.
Wild guess: Based on a set of inputs (time spent cooking, rice temp, ambient temp, humidity, etc) if the output value of the formula using all these inputs passed 80% or perhaps if the value remains above 75% for 5 min … then the rice is done.
Truely, there is no clear reason. I’m also suspicious of their use of the term “fuzzy logic”. Everything has a microcontroller and sensors these days … it’s just “what is the logic” it’s using to determine if the rice is cooked?