The Best Rice Cookers (2020 Reviews)

0
67

Making rice, steaming vegetables, and even baking a cake can become a simple task with a rice cooker. Most people purchase a rice cooker to ensure perfectly cooked rice, no matter the variety or unique characteristics. However, these capable appliances can do everything from cutting down on meal prep to cooking a full dinner. Regardless of what features you’re most excited about, factors like even cooking and reliability are essential to choosing the best rice cooker. To help you with your decision, we’ll give you our top picks for the best rice makers and explore helpful tips on what to look for.

Our Top Picks: Summary

The Best Rice Cookers: Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Zojirushi NS-TSC10

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker

For ease of use and versatility, the best rice cooker is the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5.5 Cup.Check Price

Why We Picked It

This comprehensive rice cooker gives you distinct settings for cooking white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, porridge, cake, and steamed vegetables. The standout feature for this model is Zojirushi’s “Fuzzy Logic” cooking technology. A microcomputer is used to automatically adjust the water temperature for the perfect cooking of any type of rice. A thermal sensor is used to keep track of the internal temperature and allows the microcomputer to make precise adjustments.

Other functions include Quick Cooking, Delayed Cook, a reheat function, and two Keep Warm settings that can keep your food fresh. The Zojirushi has a stainless steel finish featuring an LCD display panel with clock and timer functions. The built-in retractable cord helps make this an easily stored kitchen appliance. The removable inner lid, cooking pan, and steam basket are all nonstick for easy cleaning.

The 5.5 cup option is the best small rice cooker, and the available 10-cup option is not much higher in price for those who need the extra space.

Keep in Mind

One downside with this Zojirushi model is that it takes a longer amount of time to heat than other rice cookers.

In a Nutshell

  • Fuzzy Logic technology
  • Two Keep Warm functions
  • Two available sizes: 5.5-cup and 10-cup

Upgrade: Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH

Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Rice Cooker

This rice cooker uses induction heating to give you high-quality results.Check Price

Why We Picked It

The Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer gives you the best performance and top of the line features. It uses induction heating technology, which has the advantage of being fast-acting and efficient. A triple heater is used to warm food from the bottom, sides, and cover for uniformly cooked rice. Automatic keep warm and extended keep warm settings allow you to keep your food at the perfect serving temperature.

This Zojirushi rice cooker features multi-menu cooking options, including special settings for Jasmine white rice and germinated brown rice. This product includes a detachable lid, a nonstick pan, a measuring cup, a rice spatula, and a convenient spatula holder. The LCD control panel allows you to choose functions, set a timer, and change the melody and beep signal.

Keep in Mind

Zojirushi makes premium appliances, and this rice cooker is the most expensive option on our list.

In a Nutshell

  • Induction Heating System
  • Triple heater for even heating
  • Multi-menu cooking functions

Budget Pick: Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Programmable Rice Cooker

Proves you can get a great rice cooker at an affordable price.Check Price

Why We Picked It

One of the standout features for the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Steamer is how fast it cooks. The steaming basket also allows you to steam seafood or vegetables while your rice cooks so dinner can be made entirely in one cycle. Without the basket, this appliance can hold up to eight cups of cooked rice.

There are four pre-programmed settings for white rice, whole grains, steaming, and hot cereal. The countdown timer is clearly displayed on the front, and this rice cooker also features an automatic keep-warm function. The 2-in1 basket functions as both a steaming basket and a rice rinser, and this product also includes a measuring cup and serving paddle. The Hamilton Beach’s inner pot is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning, and the appliance has a small footprint for easy storing.

Keep in Mind

The overly simplistic controls on this rice cooker make using the more advanced features difficult.

In a Nutshell

  • Fast cooking
  • Most affordable option
  • 8-cup capacity

Best Large Capacity: Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB

Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB 20-Cup Cooked Digital Rice Cooker

The Aroma Rice Cooker can hold an impressive 20-cups of cooked rice.Check Price

Why We Picked It

People with big families or who often entertain can make huge batches of rice and other foods with the Aroma Housewares 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker. This multi-function rice maker features advanced cooking functions like slow cook and saute-then-simmer. There’s also a Quick Rice setting, keep warm function, and a 15-hour delay timer.

This rice maker includes four dishwasher safe pieces: a measuring cup, serving spatula, a soup ladle, and steam tray, and a removable pot with clear measurement lines for easy cooking. The steaming basket and large-capacity pot allow you can steam meat and vegetables while cooking rice. The Aroma Housewares rice cooker also manages to be one of the least expensive options available.

Keep in Mind

This model is more difficult to clean due to its large size and because the cover does not detach.

In a Nutshell

  • 20-cup capacity
  • Slow cook and saute-then-simmer functions
  • Affordable price

How We Chose the Best Rice Cookers

Above all else, you need a rice cooker that can handle regular use and make your job in the kitchen easier. To find the best rice cookers, we focused on overall performance, customer satisfaction, and how well designed each product is. To give you a better idea of how we got our top picks, some of the key characteristics are outlined below.

Consistency

We looked at how consistent rice was cooked with each product to ensure you get the best results. Each batch of rice should come out fluffy with no crispy edges or mushy grains. We also compared consistency in multiple batches; the best rice cookers should give excellent results regardless of batch size. We found that smart technology (like Zojirushi’s “Fuzzy Logic”) does the best job of making uniform rice batches thanks to temperature adjustments while cooking. Products that use induction heating also have the most even heat distribution, though you do pay a premium for the technology.

Ease of Use

We wanted to help you find a rice cooker that not only performed well but also had easy-to-use controls. Products use an array of different types of controls and displays. Most of our top picks feature one-touch buttons for specific different types of pre-programmed foods. Convenient to use rice cookers also need to come apart for cleaning, and we found some that included dishwasher safe pieces.

Price

The best price for a rice cooker is subjective, so we focused on finding a variety of differently priced products and comparing their specs. Expensive rice makers have to justify the high price tag by including premium cooking features. Some of these might consist of more accessories, smart temperature monitors, or multi-menu cooking options. Budget appliances will most likely have fewer features, but we still wanted to make sure you got great results. For cheaper options, we focused on high-performance in its basic functions and providing you with the best user experience.

Customer Reviews

Analyzing the experiences of other customers allows us to weed out any unreliable rice cookers and note stand-out features. Sometimes, we find the best features of a product through user reviews instead of the specs a company highlights for sale. Other times, frequent manufacturing issues or bad customer service experiences can help us avoid products that seem reliable at first.

What to Consider When Choosing a Rice Cooker

It’s vital that you figure out which rice cooker is the best for your specific needs. Each person has different preferences when it comes to the food they’ll make and what features are the most important. To help you narrow your search, keep the factors below in mind while you shop.

Capacity

The size of a rice cooker’s bowl will determine how much food you can make in one batch. People who will only make food for themselves or maybe one other person can probably manage with a five to eight-cup capacity. Home chefs who have a lot of mouths to feed will most likely prefer bigger products that can hold 10 to 20 cups. Pay attention to whether or not the listed capacity is based on cooked or uncooked rice because the two are drastically different.

Type of Rice

Not all forms of rice cook the same, which means your rice cooker needs to be able to handle the different demands. Every rice cooker will be able to make white rice. Medium-range models will also be able to do long grain and brown rice. Advanced rice cookers can take it even further by adding functions for mixed rice, Jasmine white rice, and germinated brown rice.

Features

A rice cooker that can handle multiple types of rice will feature different functions for each type. This is so that every kind of rice gets the proper amount of heat and prevents under or overcooking. There are also appliances with extra features to give you even more cooking options. Porridge is made with white rice but is cooked longer to provide a mushier consistency. Steaming functions allow you to steam vegetables and other food items – some rice cookers can even steam vegetables and cook rice at the same time.

Some ease-of-use features can be added to cooking functions to make the experience better for you. While practically every rice cooker will have a timer, some have delayed cook settings that allow you to schedule a start time. Premium rice cookers often have a stay-warm function that keeps your meal fresh after it’s done cooking. Quick-cooking features can cut waiting times in half by using a higher temperature. Another thing to consider when looking for a rice cooker is the included accessories. Removable pots and steam baskets allow you to cook certain types of foods while measuring cups, ladles, and holders can make a product more convenient.

Price

It’s important for you to identify your budget before looking at rice cookers. While some of the best models cost between $150 and $200, you can find less advanced models for under $30. More expensive products don’t always give you the best performance. However, better features and settings are often only available with top-of-the-line products. Cheaper models might only have basic functions, but some of the least expensive models actually cook rice better than premium models.

Related Resources

Looking for more kitchen gadgets and appliances? Check out our reviews below to find the best products.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here