Newspaper-Powered Rice Cooker Proves Invaluable during Earthquake

An ingenious rice cooker designed to be used with rolled newspaper instead of gas or electricity has proven surprisingly useful during the recent earthquake that hit Japan.

The Tiger KMD-A100, aka ‘Tiger Kamado’ used to be ridiculed by people who simply didn’t believe in the premise that you could cook soft, fluffy rice with only a few newspaper pages as a power source. But the Japanese don’t mess around when it comes to rice, and the earthquake that rocked Japan on January 1st proved just how efficient and effective the ingenious Tiger Kamado could be. A Japanese man from the earthquake-affected Noto Peninsula recently took to X (Twitter) to praise the rice cooker his family had scolded him for buying last summer, claiming that it provided them all with hot meals at a time when gas and electricity were not available.

The man wrote that he often takes an interest in wacky products, so when he read about a rice cooker that could cook several cups of rice with just a few newspaper pages, he knew he had to buy one. But when the Tiger KMD-A100 finally arrived, his family scolded him for buying a heavy and useless product that couldn’t actually work as advertised. But their impression changed dramatically after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit Noto Peninsula on January 1st.

“My family stopped scolding me,” the man said, adding that they were among the 20,000 people who lived in makeshift shelters without electricity. the Tiger Kamado worked as intended, yielding almost perfectly cooked rice for the entire family.

The man’s post went viral, and the rice cooker’s efficacy was confirmed by dozens of other users who swore by the Tiger Kamado as long as the manufacturer’s instructions were followed to the letter. It can hold between 1 and 5 cups of rice and requires a specific number of newspaper pages depending on the quantity of rice being cooked.

The Tiger KMD-A100 consists of a metallic pot for the rice and a burning compartment with two large holes under the pot. The user has to first fold newspaper pages in a specific way and then insert them into the burner alternatively, at specific intervals in order to obtain perfectly cooked rice. As wacky as a newspaper-powered rice cooker may seem, it’s obvious that a great deal of work and testing went into the Tiger Kamado.

To cook three cups of rice, you need 9 newspaper pages. But you can’t just shove them in the burning compartment and set them on fire. First, you need to fold the pages diagonally, then rolled in a cylindrical shape thick enough to fit through the two holes. Rolling the paper too tightly apparently affects the way it burns and may result in poorly cooked rice.

After adding the rice and water to the Tiger KMD-A100 pot, insert one of the rolled newspaper pages through one of the two burner holes and set it on fire. As soon as it starts to burn, you need to wait 1.5 minutes before you insert another newspaper page through the other hole and set it on fire. After nine minutes have passed, lower the interval between pages to 1 minute. When you are left with a single rolled newspaper page, wait 10 minutes, then insert it into the burner and set it on fire. Wait another five minutes and you’re done.


As the guys at Gigazine can confirm, the Tiger KMD-A100 yields surprisingly well-cooked rice, considering what it uses for heating. It’s a great thing to have when you’re out and about, like on camping trips, or in emergency situations when gas and electricity are not available. It’s available on the Tiger online store for #19,800 yen ($135).

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