Rice is the main staple in many kitchens around the world and rice cookers are made to cook rice to perfection.
Some think they are overrated and unnecessary and others can’t live without one. Cooking rice may not be the most difficult thing to do, but a rice cooker will save you time, free one stove burner which is very handy if you only have 2 burners like us, and you’ll make the perfect fluffy rice without any guesswork.
Rice cookers come in different sizes and within different price ranges. They are either easy to handle with single buttons or they are computerized machines. Some will just cook rice and others are multi-functional.
We reviewed the best available rice cookers and explained about the capacity and cooking functions which is surely something you want to know before considering buying one.
- Best multi- purpose for beginners: Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker 7 in 1
- Best professional version: Aroma Housewares Professional Version
- Best small capacity: Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Non-stick Pot
- Best large capacity: Aroma Housewares 10-cup uncooked
- Best budget friendly: BLACK+DECKER Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
- Best for microwave: Progressive International Set Microwave Rice Cooker
Why should you buy a rice cooker?
If you’re still not sure if you need a rice cooker, here are some reasons to help you decide and some answers to some of your questions.
- You will get much better and consistent results compared to people who cook rice in a pot on the stove.
- There is no need to guess and mesure how much water for different types of rice.
- There is no need to constantly check if the rice is ready.
- If rice is often part of your meals, a rice cooker will save you a lot of time.
- You are freeing a stove top burner to cook other dishes.
What you should consider before buying a rice cooker
The capacity depends on how large your family is. Companies often talk about cups to describe the capacity and this can be confusing because some go by “cooked cup” whereas others go by “uncooked cup.” Always double check and make sure this information is clear.
Rice comes in many varieties and Jasmine rice for Thai cuisine is rather soft which is different from the more firm basmati rice or brown rice. You guessed it already, some dishes and types of rice call for different textures, and everyone has their own preferences.
The higher end rice cookers come with a range of texture settings, so you can make rice to suit all kinds of dishes and cuisines.
Cooking pot materials
Rice cookers have cooking pots made from either stainless steel or non-stick coated aluminium just like your regular pots and pans.
Stainless steel is more durable but it might be a little harder to clean. Non-stick is easier to clean, but it’s not as long lasting. All rice cookers come with a lid and glass might be the most preferable so you can keep an eye on the rice eventhough everything should work automatically.
Timer and other functions
Although it is not the most essential part of a rice cooker, this function might be handy for busy working people as you can place the rice and water in the machine up to 23 hours in advance and delay the start of the cooking process.
Some rice cookers can also be used to make porridge and other kinds of grains as well as vegetables and stews.
Review of rice cookers
Best multi- purpose for beginners: Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker 7 in 1
This instant pressure cooker is not only the most popular with 150,000 buyers but it does it all! It cooks rice perfectly, it’s a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a sauté pan, a food warmer and a yogurt maker. This “mini” model is compact and ultra-convenient.
Duo Nova is powered by a sophisticated microprocessor that monitors and adjusts pressure, temperature, time, and heat to cook food up to 70% faster than other methods.
The food-grade stainless steel cooking pot is dishwasher-safe and durable, with no chemical coating.
Best professional version: Aroma Housewares Professional Version
It perfectly prepares up to 8 cups of any variety of cooked rice and it saves time since it steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below.
The easy-to-use, programmable digital controls with automatic keep-warm and steam function are perfect for busy people with a 15-hour delay timer for flexible meal planning.For those who always start preparing food late, the quick rice functions claim to cook grains up to 50% faster.The only downside is that the settings are only for white and brown rice but It is the perfect size for most households, it is compact and users rave about the machine’s versatility and durability, calling it a “game-changer” and “great value.”
Best small capacity: Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Non-stick Pot
It is perfect for individuals or for healthier portion control.Although it only has a 2-cup capacity, this rice cooker is also used to cook oatmeal, stews, soup, quinoa, pasta, and even steamed veggies! This machine is easy and quick to use! Set it and forget – might be a step too far – but preparation time is minutes (simply add water and your uncooked rice, pasta, or veggies), and press the cook button. Your steamed meal or side dish is ready in less than 20 minutes, with less clean up. The keep warm function makes sure your ingredients will never overheat or overcook.
The fun colour options will match any kitchen décor and this mini rice cooker is backed by a 1-year manufacturer warranty and includes a rice paddle, measuring cup, removable pot with PFOA-free non-stick coating, recipe book and recipe database access.
Best large capacity: Aroma Housewares 10-cup uncooked
If you often have to cook rice or soup for large groups this machine is what you need. You can prepare anywhere from 2 to 10 cups of uncooked rice and the cooker is incredibly simple to operate with a user-friendly digital panel that switches to keep warm automatically once cooking is finished allowing you the freedom to take back your time instead of worrying while you cook.
This multicooker not only includes all your favourite cooking options, but also possesses the unique features of slow cooking and sauté-then-Simmer. You can be very creative with this cooker as it is even possible to cook cakes!The cooking pot has a nonstick surface and can be washed in the dishwasher. This rice cooker includes a non-stick inner pot, rice measuring cup, a plastic steam tray, and a plastic rice spatula.
Best budget friendly: BLACK+DECKER Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
This budget friendly device is cheap and it comes in different sizes from 3 cups to 28 cups! It comes with a steaming basket, measuring cup, and serving spoon.
Shoppers love how easy the rice cooker is to use and clean, and with 10,000 users rating it with 5 stars, you surely have a perfect deal for your money!
Best for microwave: Progressive International Set Microwave Rice Cooker
It is the least expensive option but perfect if you have a tiny kitchen with little counter space. This microwave cooker works for all types of rice and can make up to 3 cups of uncooked rice, oats or quinoa.
The 4-piece set includes the rice cooker with locking lid, rice paddle, measuring cup and cooking instructions. They have upgraded the set as the cooker now has handles and the lid can be sealed.
The non-stick surface makes cleaning quick and easy; it is made of high heat propylene and is BPA-free and dishwasher safe.
Why Trust Culinary Ambition?
We are both working in the industry for over 25 years and have tested plenty of kitchen products and appliances. We love gadgets but understand that everyone’s needs are different and we try to find solutions for any size of kitchen as well as the different desires of all kinds of cooks. We hope this review helps you find your perfect match!
Also check our recipes with rice!