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The 10 Best Rice Cookers to Get in 2021 – The Easy Way to Cook Rice

While we all grow up eating a specific type of food our entire life, there’s always the urge to try something new, and that is why restaurants that specialize in foreign cuisine are always sought after. Asian cuisine, in particular, is very popular everywhere around the world, especially because it is very flavorful and simple.

For example, there are certain key ingredients that are almost always present in Asian cuisines, such as soy, fish, and rice, and there are even kitchen appliances dedicates to cooking these specific foods, such as the rice cooker.

Best rice cookers

That’s precisely the topic of today’s article, as we will be talking about rice cookers, including what they are, how they work, how to choose between a low-quality and a high-quality one, and we will even even include 10 different rice cooker reviews so that you can easily choose which fit your needs.

What Is a Rice Cooker Made Of?

Before we talk about which are the best rice cookers, you need to understand what makes a rice cooker tick. You see, while it’s easy to look at them from the outside and dismiss them as nothing more than specialized cooking pots, you couldn’t be any farther from the truth.

Rice cooker

Your everyday rice cooker is made up of 5 main components:

  1. The main body
  2. The sealing lid
  3. A thermostat
  4. An inner cooking pot
  5. One or more electric heating plates.

One core component of a rice cooker is the electric heating plate since the fact that the cooking pot doesn’t have direct contact with the stove’s flame is the secret as to why rice never sticks to the bottom of the rice cooker.

This component is installed on the inside of the rice cooker’s main body, and once you turn it on and it senses that the inner cooking pot has been sensed onto it, it will start heating up, acting like an induction stove.

Of course, there are other components, but these are usually optional and present in the more sophisticated models. For example, there are some rice cookers that feature sensors and steam vents to prevent your food from boiling too fast or spilling out onto your countertop and making a big mess of things.

How Does a Rice Cooker Work?

Rice cooker 2

As the heating plate becomes hotter and hotter, it will start transferring heat to the rice cooker’s inner pot and to the food inside of it. The water inside of the pot then evaporates and turns into steam, and in turn gets absorbed by the rice, which makes it softer and fluffier.

However, keep in mind that there are different kinds of rice, and each of them takes a different time to cook, so a good idea would be to look at the rice’s packaging to get an idea about the ideal cooking time.

Follow this table to get an idea of how much water you need to add and how much time the rice will need to cook:

Rice TypeWater-to-Rice RatioRecommended Cooking Time
White2 : 1~15-20 minutes
Jasmine1 : 1~15-20 minutes
Arborio3 : 1~18-20 minutes
Basmati1.5 : 1~20-25 minutes
Quinoa2 : 1~20-25 minutes
Brown2 : 1~30-35 minutes
Mixed1.4 : 1~35-45 minutes

Of course, there’s also the matter of what your rice cooker is made of, since this can affect heat transfer, in turn, cooking time.

Fortunately enough, most standard rice cookers are made using the same materials, and there’s also a point where rice ceases to cook (you can’t overcook or burn rice in a rice cooker), so even the hardest rice to cook will still be done in 45 minutes tops.

The secret behind a rice cooker’s inability to burn the food inside the pots lies in the built-in thermostat. In short, the thermostat will detect when all the water inside the pot has been absorbed by the rice, because the pot is heating up much quicker, and when that happens, it switches the rice cooker from cooking mode to Keep Warm mode.

Speaking of which, you know how halfway through a meal you can sometimes feel the need for a second serving? Well, that’s where a rice cooker’s keep warm function can definitely come in handy since it will keep the rice warm, fluffy, and delicious for hours, and it’s a feature that has become a standard, even in the cheapest of models.

How Do I Use a Rice Cooker?

Rice cooker instructions

Rice cookers are inherently easy to use, but for those of you that have never used one before, here’s a short guide on how to take a package of rice and some water and turn it into the fluffiest sticky rice that you’ve ever eaten:

  1. Measure the amount of rice that you want to cook.
    • Most rice cookers come with their own measuring cups.
  2. Soak the rice so that the cooking time will be shorter.
    • This step is optional.
    • You can also look at the markings inside the cooking pot that will give you an idea of how much rice is needed for a set amount of servings.
  3. Wash the rice of dust and excess starch by putting it in a strainer and rinsing it with water.
  4. Put the rice into the inner pot.
  5. Measure the amount of water that you need and also add it into the pot.
    • The water needs to be cool, not pre-heated.
    • The exact quantity of water depends on the type of rice you are using.
    • Refer to the rice’s packaging for additional information.
  6. Put the pot inside the main body.
  7. Cover the pot with the lid.
  8. Plug in the rice cooker.
  9. Switch the rice cooker on.
  10. Once the rice is cooked, remove the lid and stir the rice thoroughly.
  11. You can now go ahead and serve the rice.

Things to remember when using a rice cooker:

  • Do not open the lid and stir the rice while the rice cooker is working. This will only make the cooking time longer.
  • There’s no need to keep an eye on the rice cooker while it is working since most models switch to keep warm once the rice is cooked.
  • If you’re using a top-tier rice cooker, check the manual to see if it has specialized settings for dealing with different kinds of rice.

Which Are the Top-Rated Rice Cooker Brands?

Rice cookers

Asians are the masters of cooking rice, and they’ve perfected their cooking methods throughout the years, so it comes as no surprise that the biggest names in the rice cooker industry are also Asian companies, particularly Japanese.

These include companies like:

Aroma Housewares – Aroma Housewares is a company known for delivering high-quality products that always offer a very good performance to price ratio.

Instant Pot – Rice cookers made by Instant Pot are some of the most intelligent cooking appliances on the market, having specialized settings that make them ideal as pressure cookers, rice cookers, slow cookers, steams, and more.

Zojirushi – A Japanese company (obviously) that specializes in making premium rice cookers. Sure, their products may be a bit more expensive, but if your budget can handle it, then you’ll be amazed by how great their products are.

Oster – Unlike Zojirushi, rice cookers made by this company are known for their budget-friendly price tags and how easy they are to use. Their cookers always come with an additional steamer tray so you can steam fish and vegetables while cooking your rice, all at the same time.

Which Are The Best Rice Cookers of 2021?

1. Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Rice Cooker

Instant pot duo 7 in 1 electric rice cooker

Here at DIYS.com, we love when you can do more with just one tool, and that’s just one of the many reasons why the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Rice Cooker is the #1 entry on our list.

Staying true to its name, this rice cooker can also be used to fill in the roles of an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steams, sauté pan, and food warmer, and you can easily switch between the various cooking modes via 13 Smart Touch customizable programs.

This means that you won’t be paying just for a fancy pot that can cook rice, you’ll be buying your own personal chef that can easily handle ribs, soups, beans, chicken, and deserts, all while setting the machine on autopilot while you carry on with your other daily tasks.

Speaking of programming, the Instant Pot Duo uses the latest microprocessor technology that monitors the pressure and temperature inside the cooking pot, thus adjusting the heat intensity by itself. 

While we already mentioned that this rice cooker can double as a slow cooker, don’t be under the impression that this little kitchen appliance can’t move fast when it needs to.

In fact, if you switch to pressure cooking, it can have your food done up to 70% faster compared to traditional cooking methods, so whenever you feel your stomach growling, at least you know you won’t have to wait for too long.

With food cooking so fast, it’s pretty normal to think about potential safety hazards, but this rice cooker’s clever design includes more than 10 different and tested safety features, including the overheat protection and safe-locking lid, which have become somewhat of an industry standard.

Another thing that we liked about this particular model is that it comes in 4 different sizes:  3, 6, 8, and 10-quart versions, so it doesn’t matter if you live alone or if you have a large family, this rice cooker can feed you all.

Once you’re done with the cooking, you’re probably wondering just how much time you’ll be spending washing this rice cooker.

Well, the good news is that not only does this appliance cook food in record time, it can also be cleaned in record time as well, all thanks to the fingerprint resistant stainless steel sides, as well as the dishwasher-safe lid, which include the lid, the inner pot, and some of the plastic accessories.

For those of you that are on a tight schedule, you’ll probably be looking for a rice cooker that comes with a built-in timer, and this model is one of them. You can set it 24h beforehand, and once the food is done, it will switch to keep warm mode so you can eat it as soon as you get home.

One last reason why you should definitely consider this rice cooker is that there is a free Instant Pot app available for Android and iOS, and you can use it to learn new and delicious recipes, along with precise instructions on how to cook them with your Instant Pot Duo. 

If this rice cooker sounds exactly like something that your kitchen needs, then you can go ahead and read more about it by visiting the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Rice Cooker’s Amazon page. While you’re there, you can also visit the review section and see what other users that have bought it have to say.

Specs:

  • Type: Micom rice cooker
  • Color: Black and silver
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pot coating: None
  • Pot capacity: 3 – 10 quarts
  • Control method: Touch
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 13.38 x 12.2 x 12.48 inches
  • Weight: 11.8 Pounds

Pros:

  • Incredibly quiet
  • Several safety features
  • 13 different cooking modes
  • Available in 4 different sizes
  • Works as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, and more

Cons:

  • Spare parts can be expensive
View price on Amazon

2. Black+Decker Rice Cooker

Black+decker rice cooker

When it came to the Black+Decker Rice Cooker, we knew from the moment we saw the specs and the price tag that we had to make it our number 2 choice in this list, but the real challenge was choosing the exact version since this particular model comes in 6 different variants: 3-cup, 6-cup, 14-cup, 14-cup with saute function, 16-cup, and 28-cup.

However, this great variety of sizes can only be seen as a plus since you can benefit from the same high-quality cooking features, but now in sizes that would allow you to satisfy both single servings as well as servings for an entire banquet.

Besides, you’ll also find included in the package a measuring cup that allows you to cook perfectly-sized servings. 

All you need to do is add the rice, add the water, program the rice cooker, and then wait about 20-30 minutes to create several servings of some of the fluffiest and most delicious rice you’ve ever tasted.

Like all other rice cookers on our list, once it senses that the rice is done, it will switch from cooking to keeping it warm, allowing you to enjoy a perfect bowl of rice, no matter when you decide to eat.

Once you’ve emptied the entire pot and had your fill, you’ll have no problem cleaning it up because the rice pot, tempered glass lid, and plastic accessories are all dishwasher safe.

As for the cooking pot itself, cleaning it will be extra easy, all thanks to the nonstick coating, which is made using a proprietary material, not something standard like ceramic or Teflon. However, the material is stable, inert, non-reactive, non-toxic, and are PFOA-free, so you don’t have to worry about food contamination.

More so, you don’t have to worry about scratching the surface, since the rice cooker is delivered with a plastic serving spoon that will not damage the inner pot’s coating.

To learn more about this amazing product, visit the Black+Decker Rice Cooker’s Amazon page and see what everyone has to say.

Specs:

  • Type: Standard rice cooker
  • Color: White
  • Material: Plastic
  • Pot coating: Proprietary nonstick material
  • Pot capacity: 3-28 cups
  • Control method: Buttons
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 8 x 8 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight: 2.43 pounds

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Comes in 6 different sizes
  • Proprietary non-stick coating
  • One version features a saute function
  • Comes with several useful accessories.

Cons:

  • The power cord could be a bit longer
View price on Amazon

3. Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker

Dash drcm200bk mini rice cooker

Not everyone has a lot of kitchen space, and while the first 2 entries on our list seem perfect so far, you’d have a hard time finding a place for them, except maybe if you bought the smallest versions available.

Well, counter space will no longer be a problem if you go for the Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker since it only comes in one size, and while it may seem a bit too small from the outside, it still has a capacity of 2 cups (or servings), so you can still use it if you have someone over for dinner.

More so, the fact that it comes in a 2-cup size means you have better portion control, making it ideal for those of you that are on a diet or have a natural tendency towards overeating.

Besides, if you’re living in your very first apartment where you don’t have too much kitchen space, or if you’re living in a college dorm room, or if you’re camping or traveling with an RV, you’ll love how easy it will fit right in thanks to the compact size of the machine.

Sure enough, like most other entries on our list, this product doesn’t just cook rice, it can cook a lot of other similar foods as well, including oatmeal, stew, soup, quinoa, or paste.

Regardless of what you end up cooking, one thing is certain: all you need is a few minutes of prep time while you put the ingredients in the inner cooking pot, and then you can set it and forget it!

Whatever you choose to cook will be done in around 20 minutes, and even if you’re not there at the moment, it will switch to keep warm all by itself, having an indicator light alert you, so you can say goodbye to burnt food since that will be a long-forgotten issue.

Besides, this means that you will have a perfectly portioned healthy meal warm and ready to be eaten at any hour of the day.

If this compact rice cooker sounds exactly like something you’d need, know that it comes together with other neat goodies, including a rice paddle, a measuring cup, a removable pot with a PFOA-free nonstick coating, a recipe book, and a code to access an online recipe database.

As far as what previous buyers have to say, pretty much all of them gave this product a 5-star rating. If you’re curious as to what they love most about it, visit the Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker’s Amazon page and look at the review section to see for yourself.

Specs:

  • Type: Standard rice cooker
  • Color: Black
  • Material: Plastic, metal
  • Pot coating: Proprietary material
  • Pot capacity: 2 cups
  • Control method: Buttons
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 8.3 x 6.5 x 16 inches
  • Weight: 2.94 pounds

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Compact design
  • PFOA-free nonstick pot coating
  • Switches to keep warm when food is done
  • The package comes with several useful accessories

Cons:

  • May give off a plastic smell the first time you use it
View price on Amazon

4. Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Rice Cooker

Aroma housewares arc 150sb rice cooker

While our previous entry was all about being compact and efficient, this next entry is ideal for those of you that frequently find themselves in need of cooking in bulk.

The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Rice Cooker is a multi-functional rice cooker that features an extra-large cooking capacity of up to 20 cups, making it perfect for both small single meals, sizeable family meals, and maybe even a small gathering.

However, 20 courses can be a lot, and maybe your guests aren’t that crazy about rice. Thankfully enough, this product can also be used to prepare other foods as well, such as jambalaya, steamed veggies, or, with the right ingredients and preparation, even a small fluffy cake.

This rice cooker can also prepare multiple foods simultaneously, thanks to the built-in Steam function. This lets you prepare nutrient-rich foods in the upper part of the cooker while your rice, soup, or other meals cook in the lower part, thus saving you time and energy that you’d otherwise waste cooking the two one after the other.

If healthy eating is more of your thing, you’ll be glad to hear that this rice cooker can also double as a slow cooker, allowing your meals to simmer low and slow until you obtain some of the juiciest foods your guests have ever tasted.

With so many programming options and features, it’s understandable if you think that controlling and programming may be complicated, but fortunately, that’s not the case. Created with a set it and forget it mentality, it uses an ultra-simple digital panel that you can use to set the cooker to do exactly what you need it to do.

In fact, the rice cooker lets you choose between the following programs: Keep Warm mode, White Rice, Brown Rice, Flash Rice, Steam, Slow Cook, Delay Timer (up to 15 hours).

Besides, even if you’re not there to turn it off, it will switch to Keep Warm all by itself once it senses that the food is done.

Once you’re done eating, it’s time to clean everything up, and this rice cooker is among the easiest to clean on our entire list. You see, the inner cooking pot is lined with an 8x bonded granite coating, making it far more durable than typical ceramic coatings, and since the material is also natural granite, you don’t need to worry about toxins seeping into your food.

Besides being quite a sizeable rice cooker, the box contains plenty of other tools that will make your kitchen life easier, such as a rice measuring cup, a serving spatula, a recipe booklet, coupons for Mahatma and Carolina Rice, and more.

Keep an entire family or a party fed and happy with the help of this amazing rice cooker. Visit the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Rice Cooker’s Amazon page and press the Add to Cart button now!

Specs:

  • Type: Micom rice cooker
  • Color: Stainless Steel, black
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Pot coating: Granite
  • Pot capacity: 20 cups
  • Control method: Touch
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 11.13 x 11.25 x 10.75 inches
  • Weight: 6.15 pounds

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Programmable times
  • A capacity of up to 20 cups
  • Inner pot lined with granite
  • Can cook several foods at once

Cons:

  • The Keep Warm feature dries the rice if activated for too long
View price on Amazon

5. Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker

Sistema microwave rice cooker

All of the rice cookers presented so far were complex and standalone cookers that needed no external help in order to prepare their meal. Well, the Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker is an exception, as it is the only microwave rice cooker on our list.

It features a simple design that makes it ideal for cooking rice, polenta, and couscous, and it works via the use of steam circulating on the inside that is created by microwaves interacting with the water that you add. Not only that, but it also includes a pressure chamber plate that allows any overflow to be collected and then drained back into the base chamber, so no more spilling.

Of course, the design of this rice cooker prevents the buildup of pressure that would otherwise make it blow up inside the microwave, all thanks to the steam release vents placed on the lid.

Since at its core it’s basically a microwave-compatible container, it can be used for more than just rice, as it can work with reheating just about anything else, like meat dishes and soup, as you will get the same high-quality results every time.

Unlike other microwavable dishes, you don’t have to worry about burning your fingers once the rice is cooked, and you need to take the pot outside because it comes with cool-to-the-touch easy-lift tabs that make picking up and opening the rice cooker easier.

The entire rice cooker is made using lightweight and durable 100% virgin plastic that is microwave-approved and both phthalate and BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals contaminating your foods.

As far as storage and maintenance are concerned, you can keep this rice cooker in the freezer, and since there are no electronic components whatsoever, you can put the whole thing in the dishwasher for easy cleaning too.

The Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker can be yours for a very low price only if you take advantage of the sale that’s happening right now on Amazon!

Specs:

  • Type: Microwave rice cooker
  • Color: Red
  • Material: Plastic
  • Pot coating: None
  • Pot capacity: 2.6 L
  • Control method: None
  • Dishwasher safe: Yes
  • Size: 8.5 x 7.67 x 6.33 inches
  • Weight: 10.9 ounces

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Splatter-proof
  • Completely dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with all microwaves
  • Made from phthalate- and BPA-free plastic

Cons:

  • The box lacks an instructions manual
View price on Amazon

6. Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker

Hamilton beach digital programmable rice cooker

Smart devices are the latest rage, and when it comes to rice cookers, few are smarter than the Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker, and that’s all thanks to the pre-programmed settings that allow you to switch between steaming, cooking, or even activating both, all with a single switch of a button.

Also, you have an LCD display that shows you a countdown timer with the remaining cook time, and while the Keep Warm feature can be set manually, it will still activate by itself once it senses that a cooking cycle is complete.

Complete and well-balanced meals are very important if you want to have the energy to start the day on the right foot, and those types of meals are precisely what this rice cooker specializes in since the cooking process more or less involves you placing the ingredients inside the bowl, and then turning it on.

Besides being a rice cooker, this device can easily handle other grainy foods, such as whole grains or hot cereal, and it can also act as a very efficient steamer, turning vegetables and fish into food that is both nutritious and easy on the stomach.

If you’re interested in cooking multiple dishes at a time, you can use the steamer and the rice cooker simultaneously, thanks to the 2-in-1 basket that includes both a rice rinser and a steam basket, and because of the interior design, the aromas of the two will not mix, preserving the natural flavor of each dish so that you can enjoy it the way it was meant to be.

As for capacity, the inner bowl can hold 8 cups of cooked rice, so it can easily handle a large family, or a smaller family where everyone wants a refill (the rice will be so good it’s understandable).

If you’re interested in further details straight from users that already have the product, go to the Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker’s Amazon page, and check out the comments section.

Specs:

  • Type:  Micom rice cooker
  • Color: Stainless steel and black
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pot coating: Teflon
  • Pot capacity: 8 cups
  • Control method: Touch
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 8.25 x 9.74 x 9.88 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds

Pros:

  • Non-stick coating
  • Comes with a steaming basket
  • Cookes 2 dishes simultaneously
  • Great for several varieties of food
  • Several included pre-programmed settings

Cons:

  • Cleaning can be tricky 
View price on Amazon

7. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker

Zojirushi ns tsc10 rice cooker

The Japanese are the kings of making rice cookers, both in terms of sheer specs, as well as having a long history in doing so, and you can tell that just by looking at the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker.

This rice cooker is micro-computerized and employs something called fuzzy logic technology which, in simple terms, means that the rice cooker thinks for itself and will adjust cooking time and temperatures accordingly based on what you put inside the pot. However, you can still input your own setting via the digital control panel, and you can see exactly what values you programmed via the LCD screen that will display everything from remaining cooking time to what temperatures or settings the rice cooker is currently using.

Once the food is done, it will automatically switch to Keep Warm, and Extended Keep Warm, or can even go through a reheating cycle, depending on the circumstances.

The rice cooker can also be used for other foods as well, and you can see this from the menu settings that include: White/Sushi, Mixed, Porridge, Sweet, Brown, Cake, Steam, and Quick Cooking.

These presets work together with the fuzzy logic technology to create the best versions of every meal, so if you choose the White Rice setting, you’ll obtain perfect fluffy white rice, while the Steam menu setting along with the steam basket will allow you to steam up veggies and fish to perfection in no time, all while the rice is cooking below.

Not only that, but if you’re a fan of cakes, or if you have friends or family that are, you can use the Cake menu setting to create very delicious deserts, including sponge cake or cheesecake, and even if you don’t know how to bake them, you have several recipes included in the user manual that comes inside the box.

Washing this rice cooker is very easy thanks to the removable inner lid and the nonstick inner cooking pan, both of which are completely dishwasher safe, and if you want to store the rice cooker after using and cleaning it, you don’t have to worry about tangled power cords because this rice cooker’s cord is retractable.

If you want to enjoy the benefit of using modern-day technology from a company with years of experience creating top-tier rice cookers, get your own Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker today!

Specs:

  • Type: Micom rice cooker
  • Color: Stainless Brown
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pot coating: Teflon
  • Pot capacity: 1L
  • Control method: Touch
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 14 x 10.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds

Pros:

  • Switches to Keep Warm, Extended Keep Warm, or Reheating when the cooking is done
  • Retractable power cord for easy storing
  • Great for creating fluffy cakes
  • Fuzzy Logic Technology
  • Sufficient capacity

Cons:

  • The cooker cannot hold the scoop, paddle, and steamer basket inside itself for storage.
View price on Amazon

8. COMFEE’ Asian Style Programmable Rice Cooker

Comfee' asian style programmable rice cooker

Some users love products for the number of functions that they have, while others are simply interested in the quality of whatever they produce. In the case of rice cookers, that would be the quality of the rice (or other food) that it can cook, and few do it better than the COMFEE’ Asian Style Programmable Rice Cooker.

Those of you looking to cook the perfect bowl of rice each and every time should check out COMFEE’s proprietary and an extremely intelligent 6-step cooking process that involves the use of a steam valve and a clever inner pot design, both of which contribute to creating fluffy rice like a professional chef.

However, just like all other rice cookers on our list, this Japanese style rice cooker can handle other types of foods as well, and you can see this for yourself from the 17 different digital cooking programs that are on the control panel, effectively allow this device to replace 5 other appliances.

These cooking programs include presets for making rice, pasta, soup, stew, saute, steamed veggies, and more, all of which will be cooked with the same mastery as the aforementioned fluffy rice.

Don’t worry if 17 programs sound too complicated to control, since the rice cooker’s touch panel is very user-friendly, and it comes with a digital LED display where you can see the precise cooking parameters of your dish.

Besides, this touch panel makes it flexible for meal planning thanks to the 24-hour delay timer and the self-activating Keep Warm function that works for up to 12 hours.

This rice cooker will not only create perfect delicious meals, but it will cook a lot of them at the same time, thanks to the 20 cup capacity of the cooking bowl, more than enough to feed you, your entire family, or even an entire gathering of rice lovers.

Cleanliness is another strong point of this product since the external housing is made using stainless steel, and it comes with a removable steam valve. As for the inside of the pot, it’s coated with a BPA-free non-stick layer, and the plastic accessories that come in the box are dishwasher safe as well.

Speaking of accessories, this rice cooker’s box also includes a rice measuring cup, a steamer tray, a rice paddle, and a soup paddle.

One thing we really love about this rice cooker was that, besides being very easy to use, it also comes equipped with several safety features, such as cool-touch handles that prevent any burns whenever you try and open the cooker, making it an ideal choice for those that don’t have much experience around the kitchen.

Forget about trying to make rice and other foods the old fashion way. See what the future holds for cooking with the COMFEE’ Asian Style Programmable Rice Cooker, now available on Amazon!

Specs:

  • Type: Micom rice cooker
  • Color: Stainless Steel and black
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Pot coating: Teflon
  • Pot capacity: 20 cups
  • Control method: Touch
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 13.9 x 10.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds

Pros:

  • 17 different cooking functions
  • High-capacity cooking bowl
  • User-friendly control panel
  • Cooks food to perfection
  • Several safety features

Cons:

  • Slow cooking times compared to other entries on our list
View price on Amazon

9. Toshiba Cooker

We’re coming close to the end of our list, and this entry is yet from another Japanese tech giant, Toshiba. The Toshiba Cooker is a Japanese-style (as expected) rice cooker that is powered by industry-leading 3D cooking technology and an intelligent 6-step cooking process, just like the Zojirushi rice cooker.

It has a steam valve, and the cooking pot is coated with a nonstick material so any food that is inside of it will preserve the heat and the steam, keeping it fresh and ready to eat at any time of the day.

We said any food because this rice cooker isn’t all about cooking rice since it comes with 7 -pre-programmed cooking settings perfectly suited for white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, short or long-grained rice, oatmeal, and porridge, and the 12-cup capacity (depending on model) is more than enough to prepare a large family meal.

However, despite its versatility, a rice cooker is still a rice cooker, and that’s what it does best, and prove that, the Toshiba rice cooker has a Quick Rice feature, which uses sensors to cook any rice, no matter the kind, in under 30 minutes, so no matter how hungry you are, food will be ready in no time at all.

Once the food is done, if you’re not there to start eating it, you don’t have to worry about it getting spoiled, since this cooker switches to a Keep Warm function, and can maintain it that way for up to 24 hours, so you prepare several servings of rice all for yourself, and eat them throughout the entire day.

However, that’s not the only time-saving option that this rice cooker provides you with. You see, it also comes with 2 delay time options, so not only can you eat it at any time after it is done, you can even decide when the rice will start cooking in the first place too.

With so many options that allow you to tend to other matters, it’s understandable if you’re worried about leaving the device all by itself since you’re probably worried about fire hazards, or overflows that can really make a mess.

Well, the steam vent allows the steam to go through it when it reaches a certain pressure, so you don’t need to worry about the whole thing boiling too fast or spilling over.

Besides the actual rice cooker, the box also contains a steam basket, a serving spatula, a soup ladle, and a rice measuring cup, and these can all be yours if you visit the Toshiba Cooker’s Amazon page.

Specs:

  • Type: Micom rice cooker
  • Color: White
  • Material: Plastic and stainless steel
  • Pot coating: Ceramic
  • Pot capacity: 5.5 – 6 cups
  • Control method: Buttons
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 16 x 12 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 9.08 pounds

Pros:

  • Uses industry-leading 3D cooking technology
  • Has a steam valve that prevents overflow
  • Keep Warm feature lasts up to 24 hours
  • 7 pre-programmed cooking settings
  • The specialized Quick Rice feature

Cons:

  • The electrical cord is oddly placed
View price on Amazon

10. Tiger JNP-S10U-HU Rice Cooker

Tiger jnp s10u hu rice cooker

A lot of users like to keep things simple and efficient, and if you’re on the market looking for a rice cooker, there’s none that’s simpler than the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU Rice Cooker. Featuring a simple button-controlled panel, all you need to do in order to make a perfect bowl of rice is to simply add the rice, add the water, and then press the button down to start the cooking process.

There are no additional cooking functions or presets, so if you want to use this rice cooker to make something other than rice, try experimenting first to see what else works, since it would be a shame to ruin an entire batch of perfectly good ingredients.

Going back to rice, once this cooker is done preparing it, it will switch by itself to a Keep-warm function (probably its only smart feature), which can last as much as 12 hours

Prepping and adding the rice is made easy thanks to the rice measuring cup and the rice spatula made for mixing that come in the box, however, if you are interested in your rice being cooked perfectly, try to use only the measuring cup that comes inside the box.

The retractable power cord makes it easy to store without having to worry about any pesky, tangled cords ruining your day the next time you need the rice cooker.

Another standard feature is the fact that this rice cooker comes with several dishwasher-compatible components, so maintenance will not be an issue. These include the inner pan that’s coated with a non-stick material, and the steam vent is also completely removable and washable.

This product comes in 5 different variants based on the cooking pot’s capacity: 3-cup, 4-cup, 5.5-cup, 8-cup, and 10-cup, and you can browse for them all on the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU Rice Cooker’s Amazon page. Simply visit this page, choose the desired size, and then click on Add to Cart.

Specs:

  • Type:  Standard rice cooker
  • Color: Urban Satin, White, Lovely Flower
  • Material: Stainless steel and plastic
  • Pot coating: Teflon
  • Pot capacity: 3 – 10 cups
  • Control method: Buttons
  • Dishwasher safe: Only the non-electrical components
  • Size: 9.8 x 10.8 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 7.57 pounds

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Switches to Keep Warm by itself
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to store thanks to a retractable cord
  • Comes in several different sizes

Cons:

  • The outer lid does not close tightly
View price on Amazon

Rice Cooker Buying Guide

After talking so much about which are (in our opinion) the best rice cookers that you can get, you may have noticed how we constantly focused on certain aspects of their design and functionality.

That’s because, regardless of what type of rice cookers we are talking about or who their manufacturer is, they pretty much all work the same, so there are certain criteria that you should always look for when buying such a product.

What Are the Types of Rice Cookers?

Based on the methods used to cook the food, rice cookers fall into 4 different categories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses:

  • Standard rice cookers
  • Microwave rice cookers
  • Micom rice cookers
  • Micom rice cookers

Standard Rice Cooker

Rice cooker types

As you can probably tell from the name, standard rice cookers are the simplest form of rice cookers available on the market, and they are very popular in Asian countries, especially in Japan.

However, many people make the mistake of believing that rice cookers are something new, but the truth is that these devices have been available all the way since 1955 since that’s when Toshiba released their first models.

The design and controls of standard rice cookers then were so iconic and efficient that nothing significant has changed about it, except maybe for the materials used in building them.

Pretty much all standard rice cookers work via heat convection, and as long as you put the right amount of water in, you don’t have to worry about how the rice will turn out.

Here are some of the main characteristics of a standard rice cooker:

  • Automatic shut off and switching to warm keep warm mode
  • Easy cleaning thanks to the non-stick cooking pan
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes
  • Detachable power cord
  • Easy to use

Micom Rice Cooker

Rice cooker types 2

Micom stands for micro computerized, and, long story short, they are basically standard rice cookers that come with built-in microchips. In the case of rice cookers, these microchips help adjust the cooking time and temperature based on the current state of the rice in real-time, so you will get perfect fluffy rice every time you cook.

Thanks to these microchips, the rice cookers are plug and play and work on their own with minimal user intervention, allowing you to focus on other tasks while your rice is preparing.

Besides, these types of rice cookers are usually the ones that come with a wide range of cooking settings and presets, including some perfectly adjusted to cooking specific types of rice (white, brown, jasmine, basmati, etc).

The only real downside to these rice cookers is that this technological aid comes at a cost, and the price tag on micom rice cookers is higher than that of other types of rice cookers, with even the most budget-friendly of models starting out at around $70.

Of course, if you want the most premium of models, there are even rice cookers that cost over $200, but they also come with a lot of extra features that make the price tag worthwhile.

Induction-Heating Rice Cooker

Induction rice cooker

While we talked about micom rice cookers as being expensive, they are nowhere near as expensive as induction-heating rice cookers, since these appliances can cost anywhere between $200 and $500.

However, the way they work is very different compared to standard rice cookers. You see, while those distribute the heat from the bottom upwards via convection, these rice cookers create an induction heating zone by using the entire inner pot as a heating element, so they lack the electric heating plate that we talked about earlier.

Instead, the rice cookers come with an integrated induction coil that induces magnetic heat into the inner pot’s metal body, thus ensuring an even heat distribution, which in turn results in rice that is better textured. However, this method uses a lot more energy, so if you’re conscious about the environment, this may not be your ideal rice cooker.

Microwave Rice Cooker

Microwave rice cooker

Admittedly, microwave rice cookers aren’t exactly rice cookers, since they don’t do any of the heating themselves. Instead, they come in the form of BPA-free plastic containers that allow you to cook rice, oatmeal, and other grain-based foods in a microwave.

Because of this, they are an ideal choice for anyone that suffers from insufficient kitchen or counter space, and they also help cook rice a lot faster compared to their induction-based counterparts. Besides, they are usually very cheap, and since there’s no electrical component inside of them, they are also dishwasher-safe.

These are BPA-free plastic containers that allow you to cook rice, oatmeal, and other grains right in the microwave. These little gadgets are great options for anyone with limited kitchen space. Besides keeping more counter space free, they also cut cooking time in half compared to a standard rice cooker. They’re inexpensive (under $40) and generally dishwasher-safe.

Cooking Capacity

Rice cooker cooking capacity

Despite the fact that a rice cooker can prepare an entire batch of perfect fluffy rice in about half an hour, it’s very unlikely that you will ever use it to prepare just one serving, especially since all models come with a keep-warm function that makes it ready to eat at a moment’s notice throughout the day.

Because of that, the cooking capacity of a rice cooker is an important element that you need to look for since, let’s face it, everyone cooks rice in bulk.

When it comes to rice cookers, the capacity is defined by how much raw or cooked rice (therefore how many servings) can fit in the cooking pot in one go.

Of course, whenever you think of a rice cooker, you’re probably thinking of a device the size of a crockpot that can hold 2-3 scoops (servings), but there are also industrial-sized rice cookers that can easily fit up to 46 scoops, enough for an entire family meal.

Your everyday rice cookers can handle between 1 and 10 cups, and if you’re looking for a model that can easily feed a family of 4, a rice cooker with a 4-6 cup capacity will suffice.

However, keep in mind that cooking capacity directly correlates to the rice cooker’s size, so even if you do want a high-capacity rice cooker, check out the product’s measurements to see if you can fit it in your kitchen.

Note: When reading a rice cooker’s manual, remember that whenever they talk about cups, they are referring to the ones that come included in the rice cooker’s box, and not the standard US measuring cups.

Inner Coating

Rice cooker 3

Anyone that has ever tried cooking rice without a rice cooker knows how much of a headache it can be to clean up afterward, since rice always has a knack for sticking to the inside of the pot or pan, forming a crust that can be really hard to remove.

Because of this, another standard feature that most rice cookers employ is having the inner cooking pot lined with a nonstick material, usually PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) or ceramics.

There are also rice cookers that have uncoated pots that are usually made from stainless steel, but these are not that common since they are not as efficient.

The inner pot of your rice cooker is usually coated with a nonstick layer of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or ceramic. There are also uncoated pots made from stainless steel, but they’re not so common.

PTFE (a.k.a. Teflon)

Rice cookers with PTFE coating provide very good heat conductivity, and they are the best when it comes to materials that food never sticks to. This not only means that your rice will be cooked faster, and thus requires less energy to do the same job, but also that the pot will be much easier to clean since pretty much nothing will stick to it.

One major drawback is that, just like all pots and pans with Teflon coating, you need to be very careful with what kitchen utensils you will be using to stir inside the pot, or what type of sponge you will use to wash the pot.

This is because the Teflon coating is very easy to remove by accident, and once you’ve made a few scratches in the coating, you’ve greatly reduced its effectiveness.

As such, it’s recommended that you always use wood or soft plastic utensils when sturring, and avoid metal ones. As for cleaning, never use metal sponges!

Ceramic

Ceramic coating has been around for much longer than Teflon, and the two are very similar in terms of how they behave since they both provide good heat conductivity, they prevent food from sticking to the pot, and they are both easy to clean.

Unfortunately, both Teflon and ceramic coating share the same drawbacks, such as sensitivity to scratches, although a ceramics coating is a bit harder to destroy than Teflon.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel is rarely used in rice cookers because they don’t have a no-stick surface, so dealing with burnt-on rice would be something you’d have to face pretty frequently. On the flip side, stainless steel provides good heat conductivity, and is very resistant to rust and staining, making them ideal if you’re looking for a rice cooker that is meant to last.

Note: Although a lot of inner pots are labeled as dishwasher safe, dishwasher detergents can still damage their exterior due to their abrasive nature. Thus, always try to handwash your rice cookers, since this will provide them with longer life.

The Lid

Rice cooker lid

In case you were wondering why we kept recommending that you keep a rice cooker’s lid closed while it is working, you’re about to find out right now.

When it comes to rice cookers, a sealed lid has become a standard feature, since its design is meant to prevent the steam from escaping or, if it does, it does so in a controlled manner.

Because the steam stays inside the pot during the entire cooking process, pressure builds up, allowing the steam to enter the rice grain much easier, and therefore cook faster. Not only that, but this also helps maintain a stable temperature during the entire cooking process.

Depending on the model of the rice cooker, you may notice lids that are also entirely removable. While these are much easier to clean, their biggest drawback is that they can release a lot of steam while working, and this can be dangerous if too much pressure builds up, all the steam is released at once, and you also happen to be nearby.

Speaking of cleaning, you should know that cleaning micom or induction-heating rice cookers is a bit trickier than with standard rice cookers, mostly because you can’t simply dunk the whole rice cooker in water because you’ll fry whatever circuitry is inside.

If you want to avoid this, but still want a micom or an induction-heating rice cooker, make sure that it has a lid that can be completely detached.

Once you buy one, here’s how you can clean it:

  1. Remove this inner lid and wash it separately.
  2. Wipe down the gasket area of the outer lid
  3. Using a damp cloth would be ideal

Note: Maintenance can be very important, and if not properly cleaned after each use, rice and other food particles may get stuck around the gasket. This can lead to unpleasant smells and can affect the taste of the rice that you will be cooking in the future.

The Heating Plate

Rice cooker heating plate

While the inner cooking bowl may be the part of the rice cooker that holds the actual rice, it’s the heating plate that acts as the core of the entire machine, since it dictates just how good it is at heating whatever is inside.

Because a heating plate’s quality determines the overall quality of the rice cooker, try to avoid low-quality models from unknown brands, since the first place they usually cut costs when it comes to manufacturing is usually the heating plate, and a cheap heating plate can short-circuit, and even if it doesn’t, it may do a poor job of cooking your rice.

Another important feature is how the heating plate is placed, more specifically, make sure that there’s a bit of space between the heating plate and the inner cooking pot.

Additional Features

While we talked about the must-have features that you need to look for when buying a rice cooker,  but if you manage to find models that offer more for the same money, then go right ahead.

For example, many rice cookers come with timers that allow you to delay the cooking so that it can start (and be done with) precisely when you need it. This makes it ideal for those with busy work schedules, as they can add the rice and water in the morning, set the timer to start somewhere in the evening, and have a fresh batch of fluffy rice ready by dinner.

Another bonus feature that you can look for in a steamer rack, which allows you to steam vegetables and fish or even cook some deserts while you’re cooking the rice.

Couple this with a timer, and with a little bit of morning prep, you can set to have an entire meal ready right when you get home.

Lastly, if you have the budget for a more high-end model, you can look for rice cookers that have advanced smart controls which allow you to connect the rice cooker to your phone via an app so that you can monitor what it’s cooking in real-time.

These are great since they can alert you when the rice is done, but because the price tag is so high, we only deem it an optional feature.

Best Rice Cookers: Closing Thoughts

This concludes our article covering the best rice cookers on the market, and we hope that you had a great time learning all the ins and outs of what makes a rice cooker tick, and how to choose the best one for your particular needs.

Know that as far as the showcased products are concerned, we chose them based on their features, their overall quality, and just how popular they already are with the users across the Internet.

As far as price goes, we tried including both entries that are simple and budget-friendly, as well as premium products with all manner of neat features, although you may have noticed that most of the products are indeed mid-range.

All in all, remember that there is no such thing as a perfect rice cooker (and even if there was, you’d pay through the nose for it), and it’s best that you pay very close attention to all of its specs and features to see which suits your lifestyle best.

If you want to read more similar articles, but with a different topic, leave your suggestions in the comments section below, and our team will do the research and create a guide just like this one, or maybe even better!