Besides being the best ingredient in sushi, rice is just full of nutrients that the body needs. Plus, it goes with everything—from your steamed vegetables to your delicious grilled steak.
Cooking rice could be easy for the individuals who grew up in a family that insanely prioritizes rice. However, for some who’s still trying to learn how to work around the kitchen, let one cook rice, this could be quite tricky.
The art of cooking rice is pretty challenging to grasp most, especially when you’re still trying to get used to it. You don’t want your rice to get soggy or, worse, burnt. So, I suggest that you should invest in purchasing trusty homeware that could help you cook your perfect, fluffy rice.
Perhaps, it is already known that rice cookers are just the staple homeware in an Asian household. Other than it being helpful when it comes to giving you that perfect well-cooked rice, it is also hassle-free because you don’t have to keep an eye on it for long minutes.
Rice cookers also just go beyond cooking rice. It can also steam your vegetables and even make risottos for you without stirring. Hence, it isn’t just a one purpose homeware.
With different rice cookers in the market, there is no doubt that the variation can overwhelm you. Worry not, though, because the best rice cookers are relatively easy to spot, but if you’re new to shopping for rice cookers, then this list might be helpful for you.
Best Rice Cookers Compared and Reviewed
1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Rice Cooker
Other than cooking your rice instantly by 70%, this can also function as your pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker, and warmer. Frankly, you’ll be getting the worth of your money.
Looking at this rice cooker will tell you how much technology has developed. Its microprocessor monitors the pressure, temperature, and even keeps the time while you’re cooking.
You don’t have to overthink your rice not coming out as fluffy and hot because this rice cooker adjusts your rice’s heating intensity and duration. With this, you can achieve the desired results every time you cook.
Because of its 14 one-touch smart programs, it sticks to its promise of versatility. Cooking your ribs, soups, beans, poultry, and other sustenance types will come easy and tasty because of this smart rice cooker.
If you’re in the hustle and bustle lifestyle and cooking is quite a hassle for you, this rice cooker may also be the best one there. There are hundreds of recipes available in its mobile app that can tell you how to cook your food with this homeware.
This is for single individuals to prominent 6-member families—perfect for meal prepping and batch cooking. Moreover, it is also easy to clean and the components and accessories are dishwasher-safe.
Many Amazon reviews said that they’re not fond of the steam release valve because it doesn’t reset to its sealed position. This can affect your food and can eventually undercook it if you’re not aware.
What have others said about the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Rice Cooker?
“I looked at this item for a long time before I finally decided to buy it. What I don’t need is another device in my house, but I use my crockpot almost every weekend and loved the idea that I could cook stuff so much quicker with the instant pot.
I unpacked it and read over the instructions for testing it out to make sure everything worked. After the test, I decided to try my first dish. I had a frozen salmon fillet and this was one of the selling points, that you can cook frozen food and it will be just fine. My problem is that I always forget to take food out of the freezer to thaw.
I grabbed a frozen filet and per the directions that I found online I added water and lemon juice to the pot and sprayed the steamer rack with non stick spray, then I placed the filet on the rack and cooked it for 4 minutes. Without seasonings. The salmon was perfect and so yummy! I couldn’t believe it.
Over the weekend I made chili and mac and cheese. The chili only took 14 minutes after browning the meat and the mac and cheese took 4 minutes.
I love this so much. I can’t wait to cook more items using the different functions.”
– Debbie B
2. Aroma Housewares Cool-Touch Rice Cooker
When you’re a rice-lover, you would know that different grains require different cooking processes or cooking time. For instance, your brown rice is relatively more challenging to cook compared to your white rice.
More often than not, brown rice can be either undercooked or overcooked because the heat and the water that you’ve added may not be enough. However, this won’t longer be a problem with this Aroma Housewares 2-8 Cups Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker.
This multi-functional rice cooker can cook your white and brown rice perfectly. Moreover, it can also cater to your steamed vegetables, soups, and other desserts.
Its built-in steamer function lets you cook your meals on top of your cooking rice or soup below. This definitely helps you save time and wares to clean, without having to compromise the quality of your food.
Cooking your rice and other foods in this rice cooker won’t be much of a challenge because of its easy-to-use and programmable digital controls. This also has an automatic keep-warm function to make sure that you’re serving that warm rice in your plates.
This is also sized in a reasonable amount. It can serve two to eight cups of rice and can also perfectly do cooking batches.
Despite the good reviews, some Amazon reviews have commented that the plastic hook that secures the lid isn’t durable enough.
What have others said about the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker?
“Okay. I’ll give it five stars based on the rice it produces and easy of use and design. It does indeed make pretty much perfect rice, white, brown, wild, etc. as well as other grains. It comes with a little measuring cup. The water level marks inside (none too easy to see, are calibrated for the number of these little cups of grain you use.
But the cup is about 3/4 cup, Why? Because that’s 1-gou, the standard Japanese rice serving measure. But that’s no big deal. Nor is it a problem that the water marks inside are hard to read. Just use one measure of water to one measure of rice. I know. That’s different from your usual ratio for stovetop rice.
There’s a little bit of learning to do at first. I use more water with brown rice, more like 1.5 water to one brown rice. And some rice is drier than other rices, and need more water. I find that you can have a little more water, but you don’t want to have too little, because the rice will be less than fully prepared. For instance, I forgot about the little measuring cup and absentmindedly used a full one cup measure but added water to the line for two gou. I got slightly underdone rice.
Remember that the cooker knows when the water has been absorbed. Rice cookers work because, so long as there is free water in the pot, the temperature cannot rise above 212F (at sea level). So all the pot need do is stop cooking and reduce temperature to warm when the pot temperature rises about 212F. That’s why it works for all grains. And that means the cooker doesn’t really know when the rice is done, only when the water is gone.
Now, you will see all sorts of different ratios recommended by rice cooker recipes and for different cookers. Lots of people use 1.5:1 for white rice. Quinoa is happier with a 2:1 ratio. Anything reasonably close will work, so long as you use enough water for the grain to be fully cooked when the water is gone. If you use a little more water than you needed, it will go on cooking until absorbed.
The worst that will happen is that it might get a little softer than you’d like. And you can even fix it when you open the pot and find it isn’t quite done. Just add a bit more water and start the cycle again. The cooker will still know when that water is absorbed. That’s the lovely thing about a rice cooker. It can sort of peak under the lid for you, plus it doesn’t have to be watched.”
– Gerald C.
3. Tiger JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker
Now, it is no-brainer that Tiger has developed the best homewares with prime durability and high quality. Hence, you don’t have to think twice when looking at this Tiger JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker.
This has a Syncro-cooking function “tacook” that helps you cook your main dish and your rice at the same time. This only shows that this rice cooker is versatile enough, which can help you to save time and energy when cooking your meal.
This is such a simple rice cooker that skips through the complicated buttons and the unnecessary functions. This has a one-push operation that lets you cook your rice without complexity.
It has four cooking menu settings: synchrony-cooking, plain rice, brown rice, and slow-cooking. In this way, you can immediately cook your food without overthinking which to push.
Some Amazon reviews have commended that it can cook their brown rice and quinoa perfectly. However, some said that they didn’t like how the nonstick feature comes off even with light cleaning.
What have other women said about the TIGER JBV-A10U?
“I’m Japanese-American and I cook (usually white) rice every single day, so all I wanted in a rice cooker was something that cooks rice well. I didn’t need it to be able to steam veggies, or slow cook, or anything else – I just wanted something that’s gonna give me solid, delicious rice night after night, and this rice cooker absolutely delivers that.
(It can totally steam veggies though.) My personal pet peeve is “burnt” dried/hard rice you get on the sides or bottom of cheap rice cookers, and with this Tiger, I don’t have to be concerned about that at all because it cooks the whole pot evenly. And man, is it fast!! Maybe it’s because I’ve only had cheapo rice cookers all throughout college, but I had no idea that making 3.5+ cups of rice in under 30 minutes was even possible.
I highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend this rice cooker if you’re looking for a no-frills, solid appliance that’s going to give you amazing rice every time.”
– Kira Okamoto
4. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
Many are not exactly big fans of rice cookers made from stainless steels because it is pretty uncommon because non-stick Teflon is common in the market. Also, a lot think that this is unsafe because of the material.
Stainless steels, considering that they’re made from the high-quality type, are a safe material. You won’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaking into your food, most especially that it heats up at a pretty high temperature.
This Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker is definitely out of the ordinary because of how aesthetically chic it looks. However, other than it being good on the outside, its performance is also a keeper.
This can simultaneously cook your rice and also steam your meats and vegetables with its built-in tray. It is simple enough that it doesn’t come with too many buttons.
This also has an engineered steam vent that will prevent splattering when cooking. This also has a non-stick coating that will give you an easier cleaning time.
You can cook your rice and just forget about it because this automatically switches to warm when the rice is cooked. Moreover, to know that your rice is cooked, it has indicator lights that can help you.
Its simplicity may not be for some individuals because some really like smart rice cookers with multi-functions and buttons. However, if you’re part of the population that thinks a simple rice cooker is enough, then this one is definitely the right choice.
How others have reviewed the Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker?
“FEW MORE DOLLARS, BUT THE QUALITY IS WORTH IT.
For the most part, cuisinart is a really good product.”
5. Zojirushi Rice Cooker and Warmer
If you do not know already, Japan makes the best rice cookers in the market. Hence, getting a Japanese rice cooker can be one of your best decisions in shopping for a homeware; however, they don’t really come at an affordable price.
This Zojirushi Ns-TSC 10 Micom Rice Cooker is known for its fuzzy logic. I know it sounds quite weird and funny, but this is a pretty useful and exciting feature for your rice cooker.
This uses a sensing device to determine the doneness of your rice. For instance, the weather is hotter than usual, hence the rice cooker might be heating up faster than the usual/ With the fuzzy logic, it compensates for this occurrence.
The rice cooker automatically adjusts the temperature of the heating element when it senses a different temperature outside due to a warmer (or perhaps, cooler) weather. This helps the heating of the water and prevents the water to be absorbed quickly before the rice is finished.
This fuzzy logic is also helpful when cooking different types of grains; ranging from white rice to your sushi rice. Hence, this innovative technology really helps you beyond our knowledge.
What have other said about Zojirushi Rice Cooker and Warmer?
“My wife wanted this for a long time, so I finally bought it about 6 months ago. I had long doubted this rice cooker could make rice taste any better than the cheap $20 rice cooker we’ve been using for years. However, I’ve been completely blown away by the quality of the rice that comes out of this machine. I’m not a big rice eater, but I am now a believer in this machine. I won’t ever be going back to $20 rice cookers again.”
– W Bee
My Top Choice
Key Considerations When Looking For A Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are simple to purchase because they usually don’t differ much. However, with different types of rice cookers and with the development of technology, the disparity between the rice cookers are getting more evident.
To be honest, you can simply just buy a rice cooker with a simple push-button and you’re already good to go. However, if you’re pretty nitty-gritty with how your rice is cooked, then you should really keep an eye for the little details.
It is also completely understandable that you might want rice cookers that have different functions so as to maximize its usage. This can also help you with your time and your cooking work.
I would like to emphasize that there is no such thing as a wrong purchase (unless you bought a cheaply made or a fake one, then it is), but there will always be a regretful purchase. All rice cookers have one thing in common: they cook rice for you. However, is this enough for you?
Do you want a lot of features or do you just want the get-it-done model that is simple and straight to the point? Either way, it will cook your rice. Also, more often than not, the models with a lot of features are usually the high-end ones, hence, you could also assume its durability.
If you’re looking into the get-it-done model, then you can choose the rice cookers that have one push system. Take note that just because it is a get-it-done model, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cheap and not durable.
There are rice cookers that are simple yet offer good results with your rice. Nowadays, you can barely find rice cookers that do not have an automatic warm feature. So, even with the simple, get-it-done model, you’ll freely get this feature.
If you’re looking for a get-it-done model, then you might want to look into Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker because of its simple feature, yet can achieve the fluffy and sticky rice.
For the more expensive side, rice cookers with a lot of features extend its purpose to just more than cooking your rice. This can range from cooking meat to steaming your vegetables and cooking your pasta.
If you want a multi-purpose rice cooker, then I recommend looking into Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Rice Cooker. This is more than a rice cooker because it can also be your pressure cooker.
Ease of Use
Usually, when we talk about ease of use, we immediately think about one push system for rice cookers. However, this isn’t really the case. There are rice cookers that have many buttons and programs, yet still easy to use.
You should always buy a rice cooker that doesn’t make you overthink which button to press and that makes your thinking process longer than the cooking process itself. Of course, don’t we all want to just press one button then go on with our routine?
If you’re looking for a rice cooker that is easy to use, then you might want to look into Tiger JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker.
There are always two types of people when it comes to purchasing homeware: the frugal one and the extravagant. Regardless of the two, we still tend to look at the price and its worth.
You can be frugal and still get the best in the market. Of course, there are good rice cookers out there priced at a very affordable price, yet always correctly deliver its purpose.
If you prefer a rice cooker that is priced at a premium price, then you can choose to purchase Zojirushi Ns-TSC 10 Micom Rice Cooker. However, if you’re at the other side of the spectrum, you might want to look into Aroma Housewares 2-8 Cups Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker.
The additional features are usually an exciting or useful part of the rice cooker. Some features just make your life easier, while there are features that make your experience better.
Usually, when we talk about the additional feature, we often shrug it off and choose the cheaper version because other features do make its price. However, there are additional features that you just can’t shrug off because it’s just simply amazing!
Who knew that your rice cooker can come with a recipe that can be accessed through your phone? And who knew that we would come to a time that our rice cookers will be needing recipes?
Since your rice cooker offers different functions, it is truly understandable that you don’t know which are allowed to cook in your homeware. However, with this recipe application, you can now maximize the use of your rice cooker.
If you want to have this feature, you might want to check out The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Rice Cooker. You can maximize its multi-purpose quality with its recipe that can be accessed through your mobile device.
I believe, if not all, most rice cookers in the market offer the keep-warm feature. This feature gives you flexibility with your time because you no longer have to keep an eye on your rice cooker.
When you’re cooking rice on a stove, you always have to make sure that your presence is available because you don’t want overcooked rice. But with rice cookers, this comes with your purchase.
Tiger JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker is a good rice cooker that has an excellent keep-warm feature. Honestly, its keep-warm quality really delivers well considering that it can cook most kinds of grain.
The fuzzy logic might be probably sound new to your ears. Since this is just a fairly new feature added onto rice cookers, most especially the sophisticated ones, it is understandable that not everyone knows about it yet.
The fuzzy control monitors the real-time temperature, timing, and pressure of the cooking process. For instance, it’s a hot day, the machine is sensitive enough to figure out the weather and adjust to how it cooks your rice.
This feature can also differentiate the grain types that are being cooked in the rice cooker. If you’re cooking brown rice, it usually requires more water and longer cooking time. However, you don’t have to worry about it when your electronics have fuzzy logic because it can adjust to it to give you the perfect consistency.
If you’re looking for a fuzzy logic in your rice cooker, I suggest checking out Zojirushi Ns-TSC 10 Micom Rice Cooker.
Frequently Asked Questions About Rice Cookers
Question: Can I steam my eggs in a rice cooker?
Answer: Yes! You can steam your eggs using a rice cooker, instead of waiting for your water to boil. There are rice cookers that come with a basket, tray, or a steamer function for foods like eggs and vegetables.
Question: Do I still have to wash my rice even if I’m using a rice cooker?
Answer: Yes! Because it removes the debris and other dirt that comes with your grains. Moreover, it also removes the surface starch that makes the rice clump together. However, you don’t really have to wash it until the water clears out!
Question: Is there a difference between using a rice cooker and cooking rice on the stove?
Answer: Rice cookers let you do the job correctly every time. Moreover, they also have a keep-warm feature that keeps your rice warm once it’s done cooking. In this way, you don’t have to check your rice once in a while to see if it was over- or undercooked.
Cooking on the stove requires more effort and more attention. Moreover, a lot of people say that cooking with a rice cooker makes the rice taste better. However, some might disagree on this, most especially those who are experts with the stovetop method.
Buying a rice cooker indeed saves your excessive effort and your time when cooking your rice. Since rice cookers come in a wide array of variations, it can be overwhelming to buy.
But, don’t be easily swooned by all the multi-function purposes the rice cooker model promises. Always remember that you should go back to what you want and what you need from a rice cooker.
Paul is an aspiring amateur chef from Sydney, Australia. Paul comes from Vietnam and has a passion for Asian food. He has visited Asia including Vietnam, China, Thailand, and Singapore and hopes to inspire others with his passion for food.