We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.(Last Updated On: July 12, 2023)
Rice cookers have truly revolutionized the way we prepare and enjoy one of the world’s most versatile staple foods. With an array of options available on the market, you might be wondering which rice cooker is the ideal choice for your needs. Keep reading and you will discover the top rice cookers of 2023 and learn how they distinguish themselves from the competition.
Essential factors to consider while choosing a rice cooker include its capacity, cooking settings, ease of cleanup, and price. High-quality brands like Zojirushi, Cuckoo, Tiger and Instant Pot, among others, offer a range of models tailored to different user preferences. By understanding your unique requirements and priorities, you’ll be able to find the perfect appliance that not only simplifies your cooking process but also elevates your dishes to new heights.
Our Top Categories:
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
Best Simplified Cooker (not many buttons!):
Zojirushi 6-Cup Rice Cooker
Best Large Quantity Cooker:
Instant Pot 20-Cup Rice Cooker
Best Mid-Size Cooker:
Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker
Best Small Quantity Cooker:
DASH Mini Rice Cooker Steamer
Rice Cooker Buying Guide: Features and Tips
If you are looking for a high-quality rice cooker that can deliver perfectly cooked rice every time, then the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is the perfect choice.
- Multi-menu cooking functions for various types of rice.
- Triple heater ensures even heating.
- Easy to store retractable cord.
- Not cheap.
- Internal battery for timer cannot be replaced by the user.
This rice cooker for those who want to enjoy perfectly cooked rice without any guesswork. It has special settings for white/mixed rice, sushi rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice, long grain white rice, steel cut oatmeal, and quick cooking.
The triple heater (bottom, side, and lid) generates heat all around for even heating, and the detachable and washable inner lid makes it easy to clean. The retractable cord makes it easy to store, and the interchangeable melody and beep signal make it easy to know when your rice is done.
While it is not the cheapest rice cooker on the market, its high-quality construction and multi-menu cooking functions make it worth the investment.
If you’re looking for a versatile rice cooker that can also steam your favorite seafood, poultry, and veggies, then the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer is a great option.
- Enjoy maximum cooking versatility with this one multi-function cooker.
- Large removable nonstick pot that fits up to 8 cups/2 quarts of cooked rice.
- The steam basket may not be large enough to fit larger items such as a whole fish.
The Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer’s 2-in-1 steamer basket can be used to rinse grains before cooking, which prevents clumping and results in a fresher taste. You can also steam seafood or vegetables while rice cooks below for fast, easy one-pot meals.
This rice cooker and steamer is easy to use with its one-touch cooking and preprogrammed options. A countdown timer shows you how much time is left and it automatically switches to warm when cooking is complete. The nonstick cooking pot is also dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
BEST SIMPLified Cooker
If you’re looking for a compact and efficient rice cooker that can cook rice to perfection, then Zojirushi 6-Cup Rice Cooker is the right choice for you.
- The steaming tray and nonstick cooking pan are easy to clean.
- It has an automatic keep-warm function after cooking.
- The stay-cool handles make it easy to handle.
- Easy for the home cook. (Not many buttons to learn!)
- The size of the cooker can be confusing.
- Not as many options as other models.
This rice cooker is perfect for those who want to cook rice without any hassle. Its automatic keep-warm function ensures that the rice stays warm after cooking, and the steaming tray and nonstick cooking pan make it easy to clean. However, the size of the cooker can be confusing, and it can be difficult to measure the exact amount of water and rice.
BEST LARGE QUANTITY COOKER
If you’re looking for a versatile rice cooker that also cooks grains, quinoa, and more, the Instant Pot 20-Cup Rice Cooker is worth considering.
- 8-in-1 functionality for versatile cooking options
- Carb-reducing technology for healthier rice options
- Easy-to-use presets for effortless cooking
- Large size may not be suitable for smaller kitchens
- Higher price point compared to basic rice cookers
This rice cooker’s CarbReduce technology is a standout feature, reducing carbs and sugars in rice up to 40% without sacrificing taste and texture. Plus, the 8 smart cooking presets take the guesswork out of time and temperature settings for easy cooking.
The unit can keep rice or grains warm for up to 10 hours, making it convenient for meal prep or serving guests. And when you’re done cooking, cleanup is a breeze with the non-stick cooking pot and removable inner lid that are all dishwasher safe.
BEST Mid-Size COOKER
If you’re looking for an affordable and versatile rice cooker, the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker is a great option.
- Multi-functional use, allowing you to cook a variety of meals.
- User-friendly programming with preset digital functions and automatic Keep Warm mode.
- Built-in Steam function.
- The lid is not removable.
- The delay timer only goes up to 15 hours.
This compact rice cooker, with its specialized functions for both white and brown rice, can cook restaurant-quality rice at home. The steam tray also allows for steaming of meats and vegetables while rice cooks below. The delay timer is perfect for busy families, allowing you to prepare rice up to 15 hours in advance.
BEST SMALL QUANTITY COOKER
If you’re looking for a compact and versatile rice cooker, the DASH Mini Rice Cooker Steamer is a great option.
- The 2-cup/.5 quart capacity allows for individual portion control.
- Set it and forget it.
- Updated with a keep warm function and indicator light.
- The 2-cup capacity may not be enough for larger families or meal prep.
The DASH Mini Rice Cooker Steamer is perfect for those who live alone or have limited kitchen space. It’s not just for rice – you can also use it to make oatmeal, stew, soup, quinoa, and pasta. The compact design makes it easy to store and transport, and the fun color options will match any kitchen décor.
The keep warm function ensures that your food stays hot and ready to eat, and the removable, nonstick pot makes clean-up a breeze. The DASH Mini Rice Cooker Steamer also comes with a mixing paddle, measuring cup, recipe book, and recipe database access.
If you’re looking for a reliable rice cooker that can also prepare other grains and dishes, the CUCKOO CR-0675F Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is worth considering.
- 13 menu options, including white rice, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and more.
- Large 12-cup/3-quart capacity.
- The user-friendly digital controls and Fuzzy Logic technology.
- The absence of a sushi rice setting may be a disappointment for some.
- The machine is a bit complicated to operate, in case you prefer simpler appliances.
The CUCKOO CR-0675F Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer can cook everything from oatmeal to quinoa, and the large capacity makes it suitable for small family gatherings or entertaining a few guests.
The user-friendly digital controls and Fuzzy Logic technology ensure that you get perfect results every time, and the non-toxic nonstick inner pot and auto-clean function make cleanup a breeze.
If you are looking for a rice cooker that can cook two dishes simultaneously, then the Tiger JBV-A10U Rice Cooker is a great choice for you.
- The “tacook” function allows you to cook rice and a main dish at the same time.
- Automatic cooking logic system, for perfectly cooked rice every time.
- The non-stick coating inner pan makes cleaning up after cooking a breeze.
- The rice cooker does not have a reminder when the rice is done cooking.
- The product may be too big for some kitchens.
This rice cooker is perfect for those who want to cook rice and a main dish at the same time. The automatic cooking logic system ensures that your rice is perfectly cooked every time. Plus, the non-stick coating inner pan makes cleaning up after cooking a breeze.
Additionally, the lack of a reminder when the rice is done cooking may be inconvenient for some users. Finally, the size of the product may be too big for some kitchens.
RICE COOKER ESSENTIALS: The Ultimate GUIDE FOR EVERY KITCHEN
Features to Consider
You should consider the capacity of the rice cooker to better suit your needs. If you usually cook for a small family or just yourself, a smaller capacity (e.g. 3-cup) rice cooker might be sufficient. However, if you often cook for large gatherings, you may want a larger capacity, such as a 5.5 or 10-cup rice cooker.
The material of the inner pot can affect cooking quality and ease of cleaning. Some common inner pot materials include:
- Aluminum: Lightweight and conducts heat efficiently, but may be prone to scratching and reacting with acidic foods.
- Stainless steel: Durable, scratch-resistant, and non-reactive, but may not heat as evenly as aluminum.
- Ceramic: Non-reactive and provides even heat distribution, but can be heavier and more fragile.
Rice cookers can have a variety of settings for different types of rice and grains, such as:
- White rice: Adjusts cooking time and temperature for standard white rice.
- Brown rice: Uses an extended soaking and cooking time for better-textured brown rice.
- Quick-cooking: Speeds up the cooking process for when you need to prepare rice quickly.
Look for a rice cooker that has the settings you commonly use, or experiment with new ones to diversify your rice dishes.
Ease of Use
User-friendly features can greatly enhance your rice cooking experience. Consider the following:
- Clearly labeled buttons: Ensure the control panel is easy to navigate with clearly marked settings.
- Removable and easy-to-clean inner pot: Having a detachable inner pot makes cleaning more convenient.
- Safe and worry-free cooking: Features such as overheat protection, automatic shut-off, and cool-touch handles can improve cooking safety.
Benefits of Using a Rice Cooker
A rice cooker can help you achieve perfectly cooked rice every time. These appliances are designed to regulate the cooking temperature, which helps the rice retain its aromatic flavor and ideal texture. No more guessing or adjusting the heat on the stovetop. Once you’ve used your rice cooker a few times, you’ll know exactly how much water to add for the type of rice you’re cooking, ensuring consistent results each time.
Using a rice cooker can save you valuable time in the kitchen. With just a few preparations and a touch of a button, your rice will be cooking while you tend to other tasks or enjoy some leisure time. A rice cooker allows you to cook a variety of grains, such as quinoa, couscous, and millet, giving you the opportunity to create diverse meals without hovering over the stovetop. Additionally, many rice cookers have a keep-warm function, ensuring that your rice stays at the perfect temperature until you’re ready to serve it. You can free up your time and focus on other aspects of your meal, knowing your rice will turn out just right.
Rice Cooker Maintenance
Maintaining your rice cooker properly can extend its lifespan significantly and ensure that it continues to deliver delicious and perfectly cooked rice every time.
Regular cleaning is crucial for your rice cooker’s longevity and performance. Follow these simple tips to keep your appliance in top condition:
- Unplug and cool down before cleaning.
- Wash the inner pot: Remove the inner pot and wash it with warm soapy water using a gentle sponge or cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers, as they can damage the non-stick surface.
- Clean the heating plate: Gently wipe the heating plate with a damp cloth to remove any food particles or stains. Ensure that the cloth is not overly wet, as excess water can damage the cooker’s electrical components.
- Wipe the exterior: Use a damp cloth to clean the exterior of the cooker. Make sure not to let any water seep into the electrical parts of the appliance.
- Clean the lid and accessories: Detach the lid (if removable) and wash it along with any other removable accessories in warm soapy water. Dry them thoroughly before reassembling.
If you encounter any issues with your rice cooker, the following troubleshooting tips can help resolve the problem:.
- Rice is undercooked or overcooked: Ensure that you are using the correct water-to-rice ratio according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Additionally, check that the rice cooker is properly closed and the cooking mode is correctly set. If the problem persists, try using a different type of rice to determine if it is an issue with the rice itself.
- Unpleasant smell: Clean the rice cooker thoroughly, paying extra attention to the lid, inner pot, and steam vent. Make sure there is no leftover food residue or mold buildup. If the problem persists, consult the manufacturer for further advice.
The key to perfect rice lies in the right rice-to-water ratio. A general rule is to use 1 part rice and 2 parts water. However, for specific types of rice, these ratios may vary:
- Long-Grain White Rice: Use 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
- Short-Grain White Rice: Use 1.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
To cook your rice:
- Rinse your desired amount of rice in a strainer under cool, clean water.
- Place the rinsed rice in your rice cooker and add the appropriate amount of water based on the rice type.
- Turn on your rice cooker, and allow the rice to cook as per your cooker’s instructions.
Cooking Different Types of Rice
Different types of rice may require slight adjustments to cooking methods. Here are the guidelines for a few common rice varieties:
- Brown Rice: Brown rice typically takes longer to cook than white rice. It’s recommended to soak your brown rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking. Once it’s soaked, use a rice-to-water ratio of 1:2.25 when measuring your ingredients.
- Jasmine Rice: This type of rice has a relatively similar cooking process to white rice. Use a 1:1.5 rice-to-water ratio to achieve optimum taste and texture.
- Basmati Rice: Basmati rice has a distinct aroma and texture. Before cooking, rinse your basmati rice until the water runs clear. Then, use a 1:1.5 rice-to-water ratio. Let the rice sit for 10-15 minutes after cooking to allow it to steam and become more flavorful.
Remember, these are general guidelines and may need to be adjusted depending on your specific rice cooker. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for your specific appliance for the best results.
Recipes and Additional Uses
Rice cookers can do more than just cook rice. With a bit of creativity, you can prepare a wide range of dishes using this versatile kitchen appliance. Check out some of these non-rice dishes and have fun exploring the steamer function.
1. Teriyaki Shrimp: A simple yet flavorful dish using fragrant ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, and fresh shrimp. Notably, this dish is steamed, not fried, making it a healthier option.
2. Mac and Cheese: Surprisingly, making mac and cheese with a rice cooker is easy. Just add pasta, cheese, milk, and seasonings of your choice, then let the cooker do the rest.
3. Chili: A hearty chili can be prepared using your rice cooker, which is perfect for a one-pot meal. Add your favorite beans, vegetables, and spices, then enjoy the results.
Many rice cookers come with a built-in steamer function that further extends their capabilities. Here are a few ways you can make the most of this feature:
1. Steamed Vegetables: Fill your rice cooker steamer basket with your favorite vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or green beans for a perfectly steamed side dish.
2. Steamed Chicken: Place seasoned chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks in the steamer basket, and let your rice cooker steam them to tender perfection.
3. Steamed Dumplings: Transform your rice cooker into a dumpling steamer by lining the basket with parchment paper and placing your favorite dumplings inside. In just a few minutes, you will have delicious, homemade dumplings ready to enjoy.
Here are some other great recipes
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a rice cooker cook other types of grains?
Yes, a rice cooker can cook various types of grains besides rice. These include quinoa, barley, oats, and even pasta. However, cooking times and the water-to-grain ratio may vary depending on the specific grain. It’s important to consult the instruction manual of your rice cooker or conduct some research to find the appropriate method for cooking each type of grain.
What is the optimal water to rice ratio?
The optimal water-to-rice ratio depends on the type of rice being cooked. As a general guideline, use the following ratios:
- White rice: 1½ to 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice
- Brown rice: 2 to 2½ cups of water per 1 cup of rice
- Basmati or jasmine rice: 1¾ cups of water per 1 cup of rice
WHAT IS A FUZZY LOGIC RICE COOKER?
Fuzzy logic rice cookers, also known as smart or digital rice cookers, come with advanced features such as preset cooking programs and adjustable cooking settings. These cookers use microprocessors to monitor and adjust the cooking process for optimal results.
DOES A RICE COOKER IMPROVE THE TASTE OF RICE?
Rice cookers are designed to cook rice consistently and help preserve its natural taste by maintaining the right temperature and moisture levels throughout the cooking process. While the taste of rice may not necessarily be drastically changed by a rice cooker, the even and consistent cooking can lead to a better overall texture and quality. Additionally, advanced rice cookers with features like Fuzzy Logic Artificial Intelligence can further enhance the cooking process, resulting in a more satisfying final product.