Rice can be a simple dish to make, but that doesn’t mean that all rice cookers are created equal. In fact, they can vary widely in quality, features, and usefulness. We’ll look at some of the best rice cookers based on the common criteria of:
- Cooking Size
- Extra Features
- User Experience
10. Oster CKSTRCMS65 3-Cup Uncooked resulting in 6-Cup Cooked Rice Cooker
This average-capacity rice cooker is among the best in terms of value. It has a great many extra features including an auto keep warm feature and a steaming basket so that you can add fish or veggies. The pot is non-stick and can be removed for easier serving or cleaning. Glass lid allows you to see how the cooking is going without needing to disturb the meal.
In terms of performance, some users do report that the keep warm feature cooks the rice too much, and that water spillage can occasionally be a problem. We should also note that the “cup” included is closer to 2/3rds, according to some.
9. Breville BRC600XL The Risotto Plus Sauteing Slow Rice Cooker and Steamer
This model is great for those who have need of large cooking capacities for parties or other events, able to dish out 20 cups of cooked rice. Some useful extra features include a non-stick aluminum bowl and cord removal to make table serving much easier. Although we like its versatility and extras, many users report that in terms of performance, they’ve experienced issues with shutoffs, rice boiling over or burning and safety switch failure at times. Because of this, we can’t rank it higher on our list.
8. Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
Perfect for the smaller household on the go, this rice cooker is one of the best if you want quick rice with a minimum of fuss. Easily makes 3 cups of uncooked rice with just the push of a button. Extra features include a great nonstick pan and a transparent glass lid, useful for checking on the rice.
Although this rice cooker performs very well, it’s only recommended for brown rice, and best to use only the measuring cup provided. We’d prefer it to be a bit more universal.
7. Hamilton Beach 37522 Rice Cooker & Food Steamer, White
This rice cooker from Hamilton Beach has a number of attractive features included, such as at rice rinser that doubles as a steam basket and a keep warm function to make sure the rice is always ready for you. This model also has a great capacity, able to cook 20 cups of rice easily. Unlike some models, it can cook all kinds of rice.
Although most users report high performance, some have difficulty with the heat, and the lack of a timer can also be a nuisance.
6. Nordic Ware Microwave Rice Cooker 8 Cup
We really like this unit from Nordic Ware. It’s one of the best rice cookers in terms of performance simply because it cooks a decent amount of rice, easily, quickly, and with almost no trouble at all. Indeed, one of the highlights is that it’s a rice cooker for the microwave, so it can be used by any household but also in small apartments or dorms. It doesn’t have any extra features, but with such a simple design they’re unnecessary.
Most users have nothing to complain about whatsoever, aside from it being a bit of a chore to clean at times.
5. Aroma 3 Cups Uncooked/6 Cups Cooked Rice Cooker, Steamer, Silver (ARC-363-1NGB)
This rice cooker from Aroma offers incredible performance and at a fantastic value besides. Not only is it a rice cooker, it can just as easily steam veggies or meats while you wait for the rice. Additional features include auto keep warm functionality and one touch operation. Best for small capacity needs.
Some users wish it was more than just a basic rice cooker, but this model is great if a few people just need some quick rice.
4.Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer
The Zojirushi gets marks for excellent performance as a top tier rice cooker. A nice amount of extras allow it to cook all sorts of dishes and grain types in addition to rice. It’s virtually a one-stop shop for high-grade rice making, with a large capacity for many people or big events.
However, it is on the pricier side, being a rice maker mostly aimed at rice connoisseurs, and we’d like to see something like this in a more affordable design.
3. Rice Cooker – Elechomes CR503 12-Cup (Uncooked) Multi-Cooker
An excellent choice for high capacity needs yet you can really cook any amount you need. We particularly enjoy this model for its bevy of extra features such as 6-in-1 functionality, presets and control panel options. The inductive heating method means it offers very high performance and gives you a very even, controlled cook.
Users do have some minor complaints such as the buttons being hard to find or read, and the outer lid not being removable, which can cause a bit of a mess when pouring or serving.
2. Westinghouse WRC10WA Select Series 10 Cup (Cooked), 5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
This rice cooker from Westinghouse is best for medium to large households or gatherings. Light on extra features but as a basic yet fully-functional rice cooker it performs well. Cooks rice easily with minimal input and keeps it warm till you need it.
Some users do report technical issues using this one, and a very few have had problems with mushy rice despite following the directions.
1. Instant Pot DUO60
The aptly named “Instant Pot” gets the top spot on our list for its incredible performance, able to make a variety of dishes with ease, no matter what. Very programmable, it monitors temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heat as necessary so that you don’t have to watch over it every five minutes. Comes with a ton of extra features including a rice paddle, steam rack, soup spoon and condensation collector.
Some very minor complaints such as cord flexibility and difficulty getting things just right as there are no times listed for cooking cycles. This is a 6 quart unit that also comes in smaller and larger sizes.
The price range and capacity of rice cookers can vary along with their features. For the most part, we recommend grabbing the simpler models if your goal is just to cook some rice with ease. If you’re looking to create great mixed dishes, perhaps a more complex model with additional features is right for you.