12 Best Rice Cookers (Review) In 2021
- 1. Instant Pot Duo 7-In-1 Electric Pressure Rice Cooker
- 2. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker And Warmer
- 3. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice And Grain Cooker
- 4. BLACK+DECKER 16 Cup Rice Cooker
- 5. Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker
- 6. Zojirushi 3 Cup Rice Cooker
- 7. Toshiba 6 Cup One-Touch Rice Cooker
- 8. Value Series Rice Cooker
- 9. Tiger IH Rice Cooker
- 10. AmazonBasics Multi-Functional Rice Cooker
- 11. Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker
- 12. Zojirushi Tulip Rice Cooker And Warmer
The Best Rice Cooker
A rice cooker is not only convenient in terms of cooking rice but can be used for multiple functions, including a steamer, a warmer, a slow cooker, a cake maker; that's only naming but a few. It is unlike a microwave in that it can keep the rice edible for several hours, in some cases longer. Rice cooker can be used to cook whole meals, not just rice, and when catering for a large number of guests a rice cooker is up to the job. It doesn't need much water, and it doesn't take up nearly as much counter space as a microwave.
Choosing the best rice cooker for you and your family will depend on how often you like to cook rice, yes, but it will also come down to what some of these reviews reveal. You may think that a lot of the information isn't ultra-relevant, but then again, it might be that you love sushi and want a machine that will perfectly adjust to that particular kind of rice. It might be that making rice is secondary, and you want to cook oatmeal, porridge or stew. Some machines specialize in doing multiple things equally well; others are just good old fashioned rice cookers that will produce perfect rice every time.
The latest 3rd generation technology
Combines 7 appliances in one
14 one-touch Smart Programs
Easy to Clean
The Instant Pot Duo 7-In-1 Electric Pressure Rice Cooker is a delightfully professional-looking, Canadian designed rice cooker, which can accelerate cooking time up to six times as rapidly, and claims to use 70% less energy in the process. It has a 7-in-1 function, which effectively means it is a slow cooker, steamer, sauté, pressure cooker, yogurt maker & warmer, and of course rice cooker, all rolled into one! It boasts 14 programs (Soup, Meat/Stew, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Pasteurize & Jiu Niang, Keep-Warm, Yogurt) for your convenience, all of which are activated at the touch of a button. Its 24-hour timer enables you to activate a delayed cooking option, while its automatic stay-warm feature will hold the rice at the desired temperature until ready to serve. It emits hardly any noise or steam, and keeps aromas inside, without adding heat to your busy kitchen. The 3-ply stainless steel pot is ultra-strong and avoids the health concerns sometimes connected to non-stick. This machine utilizes an integrated microprocessor that regulates temperature, pressure, time, and level of heat. Having passed the demanding UL certification and included ten safety features and patented elements, it is a perfect, family-friendly rice cooker, fit for all seasons.
Free Instant Pot app on iOS and Android devices
10+ built-in safety features
Most Popular Size Capacity
Stainless Steel Inner Pot
1 year warranty, not longer
Nonstick could be better
Pressurizing option inconsistent
Micro computerized fuzzy logic technology.
Keep warm and reheating cycle
Stainless steel exterior
2 delay time settings
Melody and beep signal
Retractable power cord
This sleek looking culinary machine will produce fluffy white rice, flawlessly, every time. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker And Warmer has a brown rice setting whereby a unique flow is suited to that form of rice. There is a steaming basket to allow vegetables, seafood and other delicious yet delicate foods to be perfectly cooked. It even has a Cake menu setting, and includes a cheesecake and sponge cake recipe in its user manual. The removable inner lid can be detached, which makes it easier to clean; meanwhile, the cooking pan has a nonstick coating so rice won’t get stuck on to it, and cleaning is that much easier. A retractable power cord means that storage is a doddle, and it won’t clutter up your work surface annoyingly, allowing it to seamlessly blend in with your other kitchen appliances.
Easy-to-read LCD Display Panel
Clock and Timer functions
Interchangeable melody and beep signal
Relatively long cooking time
Rice cooker pot doesn’t have handles
Easy to store at home
User-friendly digital panel
Non-stick inner pot
This pleasingly designed 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker produces the highest quality rice, allowing for healthy steamed food, one-pot affairs, and so much more; all at the touch of a button. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice And Grain Cooker can cook both brown and white rice, and automatically turns to ‘keep warm’ mode when done, so you’re done fretting over the timings. The steam tray is very convenient because it allows you to steam vegetables and meats at the same time as cooking your rice! Its Flash Rice option reduces cooking time by as much as 50%. It can be used, if you wish, for chili, soups, jambalaya, even oatmeal. Its 15-hour delay timer works well for families with busy schedules, while its dozen functions opens up the possibilities in terms of enjoying a varied and nutritious diet. Slow cooking and Saute-then-Simmer STS are also possible with this model; it also comes with a complimentary rice measuring cup, plastic steamer tray and rice paddle.
Item holds up to 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice.
Steams meat and vegetables
Flash Rice function
15-hour Delay Timer
Exclusive recipes and coupons
Slow cooking time
Automatic Keep Warm
11.5 x 11.5 x 9.25 inches
Ready Indicator Light
Weight: 6.86 lbs
This sturdy, attractive BLACK+DECKER 16 Cup Rice Cooker is nimble as well as capacious, delivering great rice in 20-40 minutes, its automatic ‘keep warm’ function ensuring that the rice stays fluffy all the way to the dinner plate. Its steaming basket enables you to cook healthy meat and vegetable dishes, too, while its nonstick bowl and reinforced glass lid are both dishwasher-friendly. If you want, you can even make stews, soups, and oatmeal in this machine! The helpful, colored light design make it easy to see when the rice is being cooked, and when it is being reserved in ‘keep warm’ mode. Its measuring cup (included) helps you scoop up the exact amount of dry rice required, while its serving spoon, made of plastic, will never scratch the bowl, which is nonstick. This is the perfect rice cooker for family dinners, or dinner parties of a dozen or more guests.
2-Year Limited Warranty
Two Heat Settings
Removable Non Stick Bowl
Nonstick coating could be thicker
Electronic features not that robust
Makes More Than Rice
Pre Programmed Settings
8 cup capacity
Includes rice rinser/steam basket
Robust, reliable, smart-looking are words that come to mind when viewing this Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Steamer. Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker efficiently cooks whole grains and rice, and has a basket for steaming, so vegetables, poultry, and seafood can be going on at the same time as your rice. This increases the number of dishes you could be creating, and reduces washing up and fiddling about on the stove-top with multiple pots and pans. The two-in-one steamer basket can rinse grains pre-cooking, thus avoiding a congealed outcome and providing a fluffier, more delicious experience. Its non stick cooking pot is dishwasher friendly, and it is not overly large so easy to store. It can produce 8 cups of rice and boasts 4 settings to perfectly tailor performance to get the best from whole grains, hot cereal, and white rice. A handy countdown timer shows the time left until it’s ready, while a ‘warm function’ retains the food’s optimal temperature after cooking is completed. Included accessories are a rice measuring cup and a serving paddle.
Perfect for one-pot meals
Dishwasher safe, nonstick pot
Automatic keep-warm function
Mold forms if not stringently cleaned
Slow cooking time
Easy-to-use single switch control
See-through glass lid
Stay cool handles
Durable nonstick inner cooking pan
This attractive, smart model has a user friendly switch control and translucent lid with a ‘stay cool’ knob. The steam tray is made from stainless steel, while its ‘keep warm’ function (up to 5 hours) allows you breathing space as to when you actually serve it the contents. Zojirushi 3 Cup Rice Cooker can produce 3 cups of rice, and comes with a complimentary measuring cup and spatula, for added convenience. The simplicity of this product is pleasing; the main switch and light turn to ‘off’ when it’s finished cooking. It’s a no-nonsense, easy to maintain, easy to clean gem of a rice cooker.
Includes a 6-ounce plastic measuring cup
Durable nonstick inner cooking pan.
Stainless steel steaming tray
Automatic keep-warm function (NHS-10 & NHS-18 models only)
Not dishwasher friendly
Industry leading 3D cooking tech
Intelligent 6-step cooking process.
Quick Rice feature
2 delay time options
Removable large steam vent
This wonderful machine produces a restaurant standard of rice, at the push of a button. The Toshiba 6 Cup One-Touch Rice Cooker has a twelve-hour delay timer and twenty-four hour ‘keep warm’ feature, so there’s no pressure on eating it right away. A generous 12 cups of fluffy rice can be produced, not forgetting the steaming capability which can prepare vegetables and soups, too; accessories include ladles. The menu setting can tailor the machine to cook various kinds of rice. When cooking with a large volume of water the porridge setting will enable the porridge to remain perfectly fluffy. The lower temperature of this model will also produce rice that has a mouthwateringly soft texture. It can even make healthy oatmeal, so it is ideal for breakfasts! A steam basket gives you plenty of options, including all kinds of meat and fish.
2 Delay Timer Settings
6 Cups Uncooked / 12 Cups Cooked Capacity
7 Pre-programmed functions
24 Hours Auto Keep Warm
65 Years Rice Cooker Development History
Bowl is not stainless steel
Measurement lines not straight
Consistent results time and time again
Ideal for front or back of the house
This rice cook has an enormous capacity; its 60 cup volume makes it suitable for large gatherings, even events like weddings, larger dinner parties, and graduation celebrations. Value Series Rice Cooker has a smart, metallic appearance and produces perfectly cooked rice, each and every time. It would be ideal for a restaurant, as well as for domestic use. It can be used to warm rice as well as cook it, so you won’t need to worry about rice becoming dry in a short amount of time. Stainless steel is extremely durable and long-lasting, so this could be the machine that takes you and your family comfortably through hundreds and hundreds of meals without a problem. If your philosophy is ‘bigger is better’, then this rice cooker is for you.
Has a matching lid
60 cup cooking capacity
Also functions as a warmer
Not suitable for domestic use
Needs a large storage area
Inner pan with grip handle
2 preset cooking timer
Electric rating- cook 1,080 Watts
8 layer inner pot
Detachable inner / outer lid
11 computerized cooking menus
This innovative rice cooker uses ‘synchro-cooking’, which means you can steam vegetables, meat or fish in one compartment, and cook perfect, fluffy rice, simultaneously! There is a really handy ‘Quick’ function if you just want some plain rice in a hurry. If you want something more fluffy then this machine’s ‘Ultra’ menu setting is for you. Tiger IH Rice Cooker even has a ‘Jasmine’ menu to cater to the unique properties of that kind of rice. The ‘Brown’ option lets you get the best out of brown rice, which tends to need more absorption in the water. Seasoned rice is catered for, with the ‘Mixed’ menu uniquely meeting the needs of short-grain rice. It can be used as a slow cooker, with gradual simmering leading to a juicier, more succulent outcome, as liquids and aromas are locked in. If you like porridge in the morning, then it has a setting for that; it even lets you choose either a ‘Hard’ or ‘Soft’ kind of porridge. The ‘Oatmeal’ option is another healthy possibility, or if you’re a bread lover there is a unique ‘Fermentation’ cycle, so it’s a bread maker, too. Such a versatile product should meet all your needs, and won’t let you down.
Induction Heating Technology
Spherical multi-layer inner pot (2.5 mm)
Easily removable inner lid
Removable steam vent cap
Automatic “Keep Warm”
Available in 2 sizes
Paint isn’t scratch-resistant
Expensive for what it is
Makes 20 cups cooked rice
Aluminum alloy inner pot
24 hours preset timer
This elegant machine is beautifully simple. Its digital display panel is user friendly, and its aluminum alloy interior bowl is attractive enough to be used as a serving dish. It’s also incredibly easy to clean. It has a 24-hour timer with automatic warming option, not forgetting a convenient rice scoop, steamer, and measuring cup, included with the main purchase. The AmazonBasics Multi-Functional Rice Cooker may be simple but it’s also powerful, efficient, attractive, and serves a large gathering of people if needed. 20 cups of cooked rice is considerable, so if you want to host a successful dinner party or celebrate with extended family, this machine is more than capable of meeting that need.
LED light display
Automatic keep-warm function
Long cooking time
Lid not condensation-proof
Induction cooker and warmer
Multi-Menu cooking functions
Automatic keep warm & extended keep warm
Healthy cooking options
Delay timer (2 settings)
Electrical Rating – 120 volts
This is the Rolls Royce of rice cookers, due to it IH (High-Tech Induction Heating) technology, which is able to tweak the temperature of the rice to ultra-precise measurements. In layman’s terms, this means that a magnetic material is put within a magnetic field, creating immediate heat inside the cooking pan, and enabling the pan itself to become the heat source. It is comfortable cooking brown rice, sometimes known as sprouted brown rice, which needs a slightly different heating process. The Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker is adept at cooking Jasmine, which is subtly different from medium or short-grain white rice. Once the cooking is complete it turns to ‘Keep Warm’ status. This induction cooker also has ‘Extended Keep Warm’, which allows you to keep the rice at optimum eating temperature for more than eight hours. This is done by slightly lowering the temperature, thereby preventing yellowing and drying. A tuneful melody sounds when the cooking process commences and when it has concluded. This may be altered to silent mode or beeps if desired. All in all, it is a great rice cooking experience!
Superior induction heating (IH) tech
Clear-coated stainless steel
Black thick spherical inner cooking pan
Detachable and washable stainless steel inner lid
Orange LCD control panel
Clock and Timer
Melody and beep signal
1 year limited warranty on parts and labor
Capacity* Up to 10 cups / 1.8 liters
Made in Japan
Nonstick isn’t ultra robust
Internal battery costly to replace
Easy one-touch operation
Automatic keep-warm system
Detachable, washable inner lid
This user-friendly machine looks extremely elegant, and makes cooking rice as easy as touching a button. The Zojirushi Tulip Rice Cooker And Warmer has a triple heater so heats the rice from all angles, and smoothly shifts into ‘Keep Warm’ mode once the cooking has finished. The main cooking nonstick bowl can be removed and washed, as can the inner lid. The lid locks tight and can collect dew to prevent it from damaging the quality of the cooked rice. Free accessories included are a spatula, spatula holder, and measuring cup. It comes in a 5.5 cup and 10 cup size; the tulip design harmonizes with the decor of kitchens with floral themes, while the sleek metallic option looks futuristic.
Easy-to-clean nonstick coated inner pan
Hinged lid with easy-to-open handle
Detachable power cord
‘Keep Warm’ not warm enough
Design looks dated
Features To Consider With Rice Cookers
If you want to cook for mid to large-sized gatherings, or even purchase a cooker for your restaurant then you'll want a commercial model that can yield 20 cups of rice or more. Some can even produce as much as 60 cups! Domestic models tend to produce anywhere between 1 and 10 cups. To avoid confusion, make sure you read the small print, though, because rice doubles in size when cooked; thus, 5 cups uncooked = 10 cups cooked. Capacity isn't usually the determining factor, however. Aspects like color, design, programs, and many other features all come into play.
The inner cooking bowl and sometimes the lid will often detach, so as to be put in the dishwasher. The nonstick surface of the cooking bowl will also mean that cleaning will not usually be a problem. Rice cookers are very convenient, in this regard. Rather than a multitude of pots and pans you'll just have to wash one main bowl. Occasionally these removable parts won't be dishwasher friendly, so always scrutinize the specifications if this is something which is important for you.
A Keep Warm option is great; many models will have it as standard, automatically going into 'keep warm' at the conclusion of cooking. The reason why it is so useful is that the rice will be kept at optimum eating temperature for hours, so you can get the rice part of your evening meal sorted out hours in advance, freeing you up to prepare all the other things later on. Some models offer an 'Extended Warm' feature which, usually at a lower temperature to prevent hardening or yellowing, will elongate this advantage and could mean you only need to cook rice once, and you're good to go for a whole weekend.
The measuring cup is useful but not essential; any cup will do. The advantage of the measuring cup that often comes with your main purchase, however, is that it is exactly the right size for a 'cup' of rice, which is 8.8 oz. That will mean you don't have to flap around procuring the best measuring jug but can just dive into your sack of rice, scooping up 8.8 oz each and every time. Remember that rice roughly doubles when cooked, so one cup of dry rice equals about two cups of cooked rice.
The main cooking bowl within the rice cooker is very often nonstick, and for good reason. Rice, especially the more glutinous variety, can be quick sticky, so you don't want to be putting much time scraping it all off. One note of caution is that nonstick coverings do not last forever; they gradually disintegrate so a purely ceramic material might be a better long-term investment as opposed to a TEFLON covering. Obviously TEFLON is not dishwasher friendly, although it can be very useful, so the choice is yours.
Rice cookers typically offer a variety of programs for different kinds of rice (white, brown, jasmine, etc.), but can also offer a range of programs for non-rice dishes, such as oatmeal, soup, stew, and a whole host of other things. Most rice cookers will automatically transition into 'Keep Warm' mode after cooking is completed because a rice cooker is not an instant but a longer-term heater of food. Other programs will allow you to steam vegetables, meat, fish simultaneously with the rice, and this can be a real advantage in terms of convenience and usefulness.
Rice cookers are not that forceful in terms of the heat they emit, unlike a pressure cooker, so they are relatively risk-free. There might be a slim chance of an electrical fault or electronic malfunction, but on the whole, there's not much that can go wrong in terms of a sudden flare-up or spillage. The most dangerous thing is probably lifting out the rice bowl from the rice cooker's inner cavity; however, you will normally be scooping out rice with a spatula rather than lifting out the whole container. If the cooker's lid is the type that can similarly be lifted off then it usually has a knob made of a 'cooler' substance, so you unlikely to get burned unless you're really clumsy!
The size of the inner cooking pot is what you really need to concentrate on since this tells you how much rice you can actually cook. In terms of the unit as a whole, you need to take into account how much counter space you're willing to sacrifice in order to make way for your rice cooker; or how much storage you have to keep it hidden away when it's not in use. The best rice cooker is one that can cook rice to perfection, yes, but also one that will be easy to use and easy to store.
Rice Cooker FAQ
Q: Are rice cookers healthy?
Rice cookers are indeed healthy, as long as you keep yours clean, and ensure that you don't rice that has been left in it for days on end. The steamer section can become moldy, so regular maintenance is important, as well as cleaning the actual rice itself, to make double sure that no stray microscopic bugs or even arsenic have made its way in. One potential issue is the nonstick surface of the cooking pot per se. This can be carcinogenic if it starts to peel away, so aim for one that states clearly that it is BPA-free. If you consume rice that is days old, there is an increased chance of contracting Bacillus cereus, so just don't take the risk and follow the manufacturer's guidelines to the tee. For one of the safest cooking options, check out our selection of air fryers.
Q: Is it ok to leave rice in the rice cooker overnight?
With the 'Extended Keep Warm' option it is certainly fine to leave rice in the cooker overnight, or as long as the manufacturer recommends. Such a rice cooker will maintain the rice's texture at a relatively lower temperature, but eventually, all rice will harden and yellow, so to avoid even the faintest chance of getting some sort of food poisoning, don't take any risks. Rice also freezes and defrosts really well, so consider this option instead.
Q: How do you keep rice from sticking to the bottom of a rice cooker?
To remove the stuck-on rice, just fill the pot with water and let it soak for a few hours. If you don’t want to wait that long, put the pot of water back in the base and press the “ON” button. The water will heat up and soften the stuck rice, making it easy to scrub off. Just remember to stop the cooking process midway so the water has been heated, but will not have been boiled away.
To prevent the rice from sticking altogether is much more difficult if you want to eat fluffy steamed rice because the starch that is released during the cooking process is what is causing it to stick. A non-stick coated cooking pot is the best answer, but that would require you to buy a new rice cooker with this feature. If your cooker already has a non-stick cook pot and the rice still sticks, then you can try pre-soaking and then washing/rinsing the excess starch off the grains prior to cooking, using several changes of water, at the very least until the water runs clear.
You can also try using a different longer grain of rice then you are currently using. Shorter grained sweet/glutinous rice, like Japanese sticky rice, or Arborio rice have much more starch and will be much stickier. Longer rice grains like Thai jasmine, basmati, and other varieties called “long grain” are less sticky, so they will not stick to the pot as much, however, each will have a much different flavor and texture than the other length rice grains. Lots of rinsing will allow these rice varieties to cook up much fluffier with individual grains.
Finally, there is the pilaf method in which a fat or oil is used before cooking to toast the grains and to coat each one with a layer of oil and prevent the rice from sticking. This also will change the texture and flavor of the rice from what you are used to, and may not be what you are looking for.
Q: Can I reheat rice in a rice cooker?
The reheat function in many rice cookers implies an emphatic 'Yes' to this question. You would do well to add maybe one tablespoon of cold water before engaging the 'Keep Warm' function, and then your rice will be good to go. Gentle reheating is preferable to sudden heating because it reduces the possibility of either burning the rice or rendering it unpalatably squishy. Texture is everything with rice, so the fluffier and plumper the better. The added water creates just enough moisture to reduce the chance of the rice drying out but doesn't create too much moisture. Of course, if the rice is still in the rice cooker and hasn't been taken out, then you won't need this added water and can just rely on the 'reheat' option instead. Engaging the 'delay timer' is also a useful function, because you can then get the rice to be perfectly reheated when you actually want to eat it; for example, at lunchtime, you could set it for dinner time.
Q: What else can a rice cooker cook?
The real question is what else can a rice cooker not cook, and the answer is 'not much'. Boiled eggs are a possibility; they can also be cooked in quantity which could be useful if cooking for a large part of people. Frittatas can be whisked up and cooked by using the regular rice setting. Oatmeals work wonderfully in a rice cooker; just leave the oats to soak overnight, then next morning it will take just 30 minutes to achieve. Pancakes can even be made using a rice cooker; just think of the thickness you can achieve - giant pancakes fit for a king! Steaming can often occur simultaneously to the cooking of the rice; vegetables, meats, and fish galore. Try a pork roast; with a rice cooker, it's possible and delicious. An entire chicken can be cooked, too, by using the warming setting and leaving for about an hour. Mac and cheese, beans, tofu, soups, stews, chilis, fruits, puddings, cheesecake, chocolate cake, banana cake, the list just go on.
How to Use a Rice Cooker - Hunker
How a Rice Cooker Can Cut Your Food Budget - HuffPost