I have been using my cooker for a couple of years without problems. I gave it a thorough cleaning recently. I just used it for the first time after, and the steam vent let out much more than just steam. My lid is covered with sticky liquid that spit out, and there is no liquid in my condensation collector.
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To insure long life and satisfactory performance from your Nordic Ware Rice Cooker, follow these simple guidelines (microwave use only).
1. Before using your Rice Cooker wash it thoroughly by hand in warm soapy water or in the dishwasher (top rack only).
2.Foods with strong colors (particularly red sauces, tomatoes) may stain your cookware.Staining that may occur will not affect the use of the cookware.
(Cooking times may vary due to variations in microwave ovens.Adjust cooking times for best results in your oven.)
To Cook Rice:
1. Remove basket.
2. Pour 1 cup of uncooked rice into the bottom of the basket, rinse rice thoroughly with cold water.
3. Transfer the rinsed rice from the basket to the bottom of the cooker.
4. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt (salt is optional).
5. Secure lid and lock clamps. Open vent holes.
6. Microwave on medium setting (50%) for 10 - 12 minutes (white rice) or 18-20 (brown rice).
7. Remove from microwave, close vent holes and let stand with the lid fastened for 4-5 minutes (the steam continues to cook the rice.)
8. Remove rice from the cooker and fluff with a fork.
Yields: 3 cups of cooked rice or 4 to 6 servings.
Cooking Potatoes and Vegetables:
1. Insert Basket.
2.Pour one cup of water plus 1/4 tsp. salt into the bottom of the cooker.
3. Peel vegetables (if desired), cut into evenly sized pieces and place inside basket.
4. Secure lid and lock clamps. Close vent holes.
5. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.
6. Remove from microwave and let stand with lid fastened for 3-4 minutes (the steam continues to cook the vegetables.)
1. Remove basket and lid (lid not used initially for preparing pasta inside the microwave).
2. Pour 2 cups (5 oz.) of uncooked noodles into the bottom of the cooker.
3. Add 2 1/2 cups water.
4. Microwave on high setting 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
5. Remove from microwave, stir noodles, secure lid and lock clamps. Close vent holes. Let stand for 3-4 minutes.
HELPFUL HINTS TO ENHANCE THE FLAVOR OF ANY MICROWAVE DISH:
1. Use chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.
2. Add a little butter or oil to contents.
Pressure cookers rely on pressure and steam, Do a dry run first...well not dry but with just water, (no food) especially if it's an old cooker. Inspect for cracks or pinholes before you go ahead, a crack ANYWHERE in a pressure cooker makes it a bomb...or a flower pot. Ensure all safety devices like the pressure regulator and blow out plug are in good condition and not plugged. If some previous owner replaced the blow out plug with a bolt or something silly don't use the cooker till it's repaired. Bring your pressure cooker slowly up to pressure over medium heat with an inch or two of water in the bottom. When it starts to vent steam turn the heat down so the steam barely escapes, if it has a rocker weight it will wobble a couple times a minute.
Slow gentle heat is the trick. A cooker will run for hours like that without boiling dry.
A couple tips, use salt and spice sparingly, it's trapped in there and permeates the food. Be careful with foods that expand on cooking like rice and dried things, they can get up and block the vents if they reach the lid.
Here is a piece from someone who had the same E4 error problem:
I had this problem. I noticed that steam was coming out almost immediately and the cooker would not start counting down. Eventually, the "E4" display would appear. I determined the steam vent valve (loose piece) was not seated on the vent hole in the cover so the pressure never built up. I removed the loose piece which consists of a metal cylinder and a black plastic cover with a handle. The plastic cover was so far down on the metal piece that it would not allow the metal cylinder to seat on the vent. You can use the metal piece by itself or work the plastic cap up far enough so that the metal piece seats on the vent in the closed position. I have had no more problems - it works fine.
You have a strange problem. I use my rice cooker often and the only thing that I can think of that may be casing your problem is if the steam vent is clogged. A clogged vent would cause the steam to condense and run to the bottom.
With the machine empty of food, you could try pouring hot water through the vent to see if this clears any clogs. If it does not, it could be other problems that I can tell you will cost more money to fix than to replace with a new Rice cooker.
No. if the steam is coming out, the vent valve is not seated on the vent and pressure won't build up. Either remove the plastic cover from the vent valve or slide it up enough so that the valve seals on the vent. If you remove the plastic cap, you will need to manually tilt the valve to "quick-vent" the cooker. Watch out for steam burns! Should work fine after that. You need to unplug the cooker and re-plug it to reset the "E4" error message.