The Internet of Rice Cookers

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was going to be an anti-IoT rant: who the heck needs an IoT rice cooker anyway? [Microentropie], that’s who. His rice cooker, like many of the cheapo models, terminates heating by detecting a temperature around 104° C, when all the water has boiled off. But that means the bottom of the rice is already dried out and starting to get crispy. (We love the crust! But this hack is not for us. This hack is for [Microentropie].)

So [Microentropie] added some relays, a temperature sensor, and an ESP8266 to his rice cooker, creating the Rice Cooker 2.0, or something. He tried a few complicated schemes but was unwilling to modify any of the essential safety features of the cooker. In the end [Microentropie] went with a simple time-controlled cooking cycle, combined with a keep-warm mode and of course, notification of all of this through WiFi.

There’s a lot of code making this simple device work. For instance, [Microentropie] often forgets to press the safety reset button, so the ESP polls for it, and the web interface has a big red field to notify him of this. [Microentropie] added a password-protected login to the rice cooker as well. Still, it probably shouldn’t be put on the big wide Internet. The cooker also randomizes URLs for firmware updates, presumably to prevent guests in his house from flashing new firmware to his rice cooker. There are even custom time and date classes, because you know you don’t want your rice cooker using inferior code infrastructure.

In short, this is an exercise in scratching a ton of personal itches, and we applaud that. Next up is replacing the relays with SSRs so that the power can be controlled with more finesse, adding a water pump for further automation, and onboard data logging. Overkill, you say? What part of “WiFi-enabled rice cooker” did you not understand?

27 thoughts on “The Internet of Rice Cookers

        1. Don’t see why not. The worse that can happen is the BT and app no longer are of any use. Neither is necessary for the pressure cooker to work. They’re just value adds. Just like my laser tape has BT and app which are value-adds, but not necessary otherwise.

  1. Hey while I do believe that most electrical appliances should NOT be network enabled….at least it is not as bad as the internet enabled dildo or condom. Those were gloriously horrible ideas.

      1. The internet enabled dildo was not secured at all and had a camera in it. What could possibly go wrong with that combination?

        The internet enabled condom would publish stats about a persons love making skills….. If this is what the internet is to be used for in the future…..I dunno if I’d use it anymore

  2. Here I have an idea, let’s design a medical device that contains an ESP8266 and connect it to the anus. Its sole purpose is to monitor the frequency and quality of bowel movements and log that info on the internet, hence creating an internet of assholes (IOA) .

  3. OK, I sort of get this it is like my pre-IOT air conditioner unit or bread machine in the 90s. SSH in to my home server for school and turn them on for fresh bread or a cool apartment room when I arrive. Same thing with rice, load with water and rice before I leave, when it is time to come home the online trigger is probably better than a timer, also a kill keep-warm so I can abandon a waiting pot if I am not going to make it for dinner time after all.
    I still wish I had gone full auto on the bread maker when I ate that stuff; with metered water and a tube to Rube Goldberg the ingredients from sealed and possibly refrigerated storage.
    Also on rice cookers, possibly the most useful dorm room cooking appliance, good for rice, soups, steamed foods(can do this in a tray over rice), even a crappy way to heat water for coffee though a tiny immersion heater coil and cup works way better. Portable with a good handle and way to strap the cord is nice so you can bring hot food in your car or to another room. Don’t skimp on size as bigger is no big deal but too small leaves you hungry or waiting twice for a heiphenated dinner.

    1. Wow, that’s a lot of rice cookers. Doesn’t any make a simple one anymore? With mine I simply turn it on and when the rice is done it turns itself off. No controls, timers etc. Want more cooking, just add more water.

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