The best rice cooker

Cookware

The keep-warm function on a rice cooker is invaluable if timing your main dish to be ready at the same time as your rice isn’t your strong suit.

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Which rice cooker is best?

If you eat rice regularly, owning a rice cooker can make your life much simpler. It produces excellent rice every time, with little effort on the part of the user.

With the right rice cooker, you’ll never again have to endure mushy, crunchy, or burnt rice — you can make a healthy and filling accompaniment to your main meal with no fuss.

The trouble is choosing the best rice cooker from those available to meet your needs, considering features such as capacity and cooking programs.

To make your decision easier, we’ve put together this guide, which highlights our top three rice cookers, including two new choices and one exceptional old favorite.

Top rice cookers

1. Zojirushi’s NP-NVC10 Induction Rice Cooker: A pricey but truly excellent rice cooker. It uses AI to learn the best cooking methods to give you exceptional results across the board.

2. Aroma Housewares’s Digital Rice Cooker: New to our list, this affordable rice cooker has settings for brown rice and white rice, plus you can use it to steam and slow cook other foods.

3. Black + Decker’s Rice Cooker: We love the wide range of size options (from 3 to 28 cups) on this rice cooker, which is another new addition to our list. It’s reliable and comes from a trusted manufacturer.

What you should know before buying a rice cooker

One of the first factors to decide on when buying a rice cooker is its capacity. The capacity of a rice cooker is listed in cups but be aware that some manufacturers list the capacity in cups of cooked rice and others in cups of uncooked rice. The former is roughly double the latter, so a rice cooker with a 10-cup capacity for uncooked rice is the same size as a model with a 20-cup capacity for cooked rice.

Also, check the types of programs and settings your chosen rice cooker has. Some basic rice cookers don’t have settings for different types of rice, or just two settings — one for white rice and one for brown rice. High-end options, on the other hand, can have a wide range of programs for rice such as white, brown, wild, mixed and sweet, plus a choice of firmness settings. The best models have computer chips and internal sensors, so they can adjust cooking times and temperatures automatically for the perfect results.

You can find some basic rice cookers around the $20-$40 range, but the most advanced models can cost as much as $500. This seems like a lot to spend, but they’re worth it if you’re a rice connoisseur.

Tips

  • Some rice cookers have a porridge setting, which is designed to make rice porridge — a popular breakfast food in many parts of Asia. You can, however, use it to make standard oatmeal.
  • Learn the best water-to-rice ratio for the type of rice you’re cooking. 
  • Never fill your rice cooker over the max fill line or your rice cooker will fill to overflowing due to the rice expanding when cooked.
  • The timer on a rice cooker is great for those who don’t have much time to cook after work. Set it in the morning and you can return to freshly cooked rice.

The best rice cookers

Best of the best

Zojirushi’s NP-NVC10 Induction Rice Cooker

Zojirushi’s NP-NVC10 Induction Rice Cooker

What we like: Has a huge range of settings including white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, and sweet rice, plus timer and keep-warm functions. Uses “fuzzy logic” AI for flawless results.

What we dislike: It’s practically perfect — the only downside is the high price.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Aroma Housewares’ Digital Rice Cooker

Aroma Housewares’ Digital Rice Cooker

What we like: Versatile and easy to use, this is an affordable choice that’s also great for slow cooking and foods other than rice. We love the cool-touch exterior and the delay timer function.

What we dislike: The nonstick coating can flake if you aren’t gentle with it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Black + Decker’s Rice Cooker

Black + Decker’s Rice Cooker

What we like: This rice cooker is extremely simple to use. Can be used for cooking non-rice foods. Nonstick cooking bowl is removable for easy cleaning.

What we dislike: Lacks specific settings for cooking different types of rice.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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