Why Use A Rice Cooker
It may seem an expensive toy for your kitchen, but a rice cooker is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment. Not only will your rice be fluffier and more perfectly cooked, but you can use it as a crockpot, and set it to be ready as much as 24 hours in advance. It can also double as a steamer or a pressure cooker, depending on the model you choose, and it can cut your cooking times down dramatically. It’s all about finding the rice cooker matching your preferences.
What Are The Best Rice Cookers
To choose your rice cooker, there are a few things to consider. Your first consideration should be how often you’re going to use a rice cooker. A multifunction rice cooker that works as a steamer or pressure cooker will get more use than a smaller, cheaper model that only handles grains.
Space is another issue. If it’s something you’re going to need to pack away, will it be convenient to use? Will the power cord get in the way, or become easily tangled? If you can keep it on the countertop, will you need a smaller model for yourself, or a big family-size 5 or 10 cup rice cooker?
Finally, think about what features in the best rice cookers are a must for you. Automatic keep-warm settings and timers are a must to get the most out of your rice cooker. Look for a detachable inner lid that can help prevent accidents and makes cleanup easier than hinged lids. Finally, the most simple rice cookers are one-touch operation. Fancier rice cookers have digital displays, but their buttons should still be intuitive enough to be easily understood.
The top 6 Rice cookers in 2020
1. Insta-Pot LUX Mini 3-Quart 6-In-1 – Best Small Rice Cooker
Insta-Pot is a brand that has almost a cult following in the cooking world. This Insta Pot LUX Mini 3 qt is six appliances in one. It works as a steamer, rice cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker, warmer, and allows you to saute in the pot. It has 10 built-in programs for everything from cooking rice, to warming leftovers, and making soup. It has a pressure regulator to prevent disasters as you use the pressure cooking functions, and a safety lid to protect you from accidental openings. All that in a 3-quart pot.
Great safety features for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and more. Easy to clean, with lots of multifunction capabilities.
Some reviewers reported the Insta Pot doesn’t last as long as advertised.
2. M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker – Best Microwave Rice Cooker
There’s no shame in still learning your way around a kitchen. If most of your cooking is still done in the microwave, you might think that you don’t need the best rice cooker. But this M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker from Joseph Joseph is one of the best and can make a huge difference in your one-pot dinners. Instructions are simple to follow, and you can make as much as two cups of perfectly fluffy rice in the microwave.
The minimal activity required by the user. Simply pop it in the microwave.
User instructions don’t include cooking times for varied microwave wattage. It may take some experimenting to understand measures and cooking times.
3. Digital Rice Cooker – Best Multi-Use Rice Cooker
The best way to ensure you’re getting all the use you want out of the best rice cookers is to invest in a rice cooker that can perform multiple functions. The Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker is good for 20 cups of rice and includes functions for vegetable steaming and slow cooking. It even comes with flash rice cooking times, so you can speed up the cooking time for various grains, and a 15-hour delay timer. You can pop an entire meal in this rice cooker and it’ll be warmed and ready for you when you get home from work!
Multiple uses, huge capacity, functions as a slow rice cooker
Lid stays attached and needs to be wiped down.
4. Oster 6 Cup Rice Cooker – Best Rice Cooker On A Budget
Most rice cookers come with a hinged or locked lid, which makes them harder to clean. The best Oster 6-Cup rice cooker comes with a tempered glass lid that makes it easier to clean. It’s a great rice cooker for anyone on a budget. It is a simple, one-touch operation. Though it doesn’t come with complete with other functions, like many of the others on this list, Oster will back this product with a 1-year warranty.
Works perfectly for white, sushi, and sticky rice. The cooker lid is easy to remove.
No timer. No multifunction.
5. Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker – Best Rice Cooker On The Go
Hamilton Beach is famous for accessible, specialized kitchen gadgets, and their Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker is great for rice, grains, oatmeal, and even steamed vegetables. It’s got a huge 8 cup capacity, so it’s good for the whole family and includes the rice rinser/steam basket, so cleanup is a snap. It’s one of the fastest rice cookers on the market, and great for eating healthy on the go!
Multifunction and versatile. Inexpensive. Great customer service
Bit of a learning curve. May need to read the users manual before operating.
6. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer – Best Rice Cooker Overall
We’ve saved the best for last! Zojirushi is the name when it comes to top-quality rice cookers, and their 1.0 Liter Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer is pricey, but completely top of the line. It uses “fuzzy logic” to choose the right time and temperature for almost every kind of grain you can imagine. Plus porridge, steamed veggies cake, and more. Even brown rice comes out perfect every time! It’s retractable cord and removable lid, steamer tray, and rice bowls make cleaning easy. Definitely the best rice cooker on the list, and well worth the extra cost.
“Fuzzy logic” so you get the right cook time every time. Lots of multifunction capabilities.
Does not include rice measure. Cook times can get long, depending on your rice. Spatula not dishwasher safe.