The Western culture doesn’t consider rice as a staple, unlike some Asian countries that have it every meal. And so the concept of owning a rice cooker may be unfamiliar, if not completely foreign to some of you.
But, just because you don’t eat rice a lot doesn’t mean you don’t a rice cooker. Rice cookers have multiple purposes and you can use it for cooking other things easily. Most of the rice cookers just require a single push of a button to work their magic. Imagine baking a chocolate cake with just a push of a button! Some rice cookers are capable of that, if you know how.
To start you off, you should check first how much rice a certain model yields. Small cookers can produce 3 to 4 cups of cooked rice that is perfect for people living on their own, or with a roommate. Medium cookers are able to produce 5 to 6 cups, and that should be enough for small families. Large cookers are great for bigger families, as they produce 8 or more cups of uncooked rice.
There’s no point in buying a high-tech and expensive rice cooker if you’re going to cook white rice only. But if you plan on using the machine on anything else (such as for making soups, and various dessert), that’s when you should start researching about what kind of cooker you’re going to need. But most of the time, traditional models will do the job well enough.
Best Rice Cookers 2018
Here are top rated 8 best rice cookers out in the market today. If you want to check out all of these cookers you may go through one after another but If have already decided to review a very specific brand/model or type you may quickly navigate any of the followings based on your need:
- Best Japanese: Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH
- Best Stainless Steel: Instant Pot DUO80
- Best Cheap: Aroma ARC-914SBD
- Best Tiger: JNP-S18U-HU
- Best Small: Zojirushi NS-ZCC10
- Best Multi-Cooker: Panasonic 5-Cup Microcomputer Controlled
- Best for Brown Rice: Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W
- Best Fuzzy Logic: Panasonic SR-DF101
1. Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH – Best Japanese Rice Cooker
No one can argue with the fact that a basic, traditional rice cooker is all you’ll need if your sole purpose is to cook white rice. But an induction heating rice cooker, such as the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer, can do plenty of things that a conventional model can’t.
Induction heating technology means that the machine generates heat all around, so that the rice will be cooked evenly. This model in particular, has heaters on the bottom, as well as on the lid, and on the sides. Its stainless steel exterior is clear-coated in order to fit any kitchen décor. It also makes cleanup a snap.
Additionally, it has a thick, black spherical inner cooking pan, and an easy-to-read, easy-to-use orange LCD control panel with clock and timer. It is definitely a total package.
Because of how it works, your rice will come out flawlessly every time. Do note that you must only use the cup that comes along with the product when measuring the rice. This is to maximize its efficiency.
In addition to its main specialty, it also comes with a multitude of cooking functions for you to choose from. This includes settings for white rice (regular, softer or harder), jasmine white rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, and quick cooking.
It also has two delay timer settings, as well as an automatic keep warm option that can be changed into an extended keep warm function.
This Zojirushi rice cooker model is for the 1L but 1.8L version is also available under the same brand and compare to both of those just follow the link below.
2. Instant Pot DUO80 – Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker
With all of the models available out there, it could be difficult to choose only one rice cooker, especially when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. And so, the Instant Pot DUO80 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker came into being.
What exactly is it, you ask? Well, it’s 7 machines in one affordable package. If that isn’t impressive, we don’t know what is.
Essentially, this rice cooker is also a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a sauté/browning, a yogurt maker, a streamer, and a warmer. Although technically, most rice cookers come with a warming function, we could still consider it cool for having all those functions rolled into one.
It is large enough to fit most things that aren’t rice. That includes dry food such as chicken and vegetables. The stainless steel construction assures durability. Do take note that the outer rim is not made of stainless steel and is coated with a thick, heat-resistant paint.
Compared to other models, it is relatively easy to use, thanks to the simplified control panel. You will also find it convenient that it is very efficient when it comes to energy usage, so you’ll save a lot by choosing this one.
For something so durable and conveniently easy to use, this model still has an amazing array of features to back it up. It has 14 built-in smart programs, including automatic keep-warm and 3 temperature adjustments for sauté and slow cook.
The best thing about this 7-in-1 rice cooker is that it comes at an affordable price.
3. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD – Best Cheap Rice Cooker
Aroma is one of the most successful manufacturers in the US, and one glance at their products can give you an idea how they managed to achieve that. Take a look at the Aroma ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker, for example. It is by far the least expensive model on this list.
You may get this product within a price range between 30 to 50 dollars from different sellers, but that doesn’t mean that its services are cheap. In fact, we could say it is among the best ones out there, especially because of the service quality it provides.
First of all, it has a stainless steel exterior. You can be assured that this rice cooker will stay solid for a long time. It will serve you for years to come because stainless steel is very durable.
In terms of capacity, it can make from 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice, with a maximum of approximately 8 servings. Do keep in mind that the rice must be cooked in the cup that comes along with the product.
Cleaning it is easy because the non-stick inner cooking pot can be removed. The pot itself is dishwasher safe, so cleaning is made even less of a hassle.
This rice cooker also works as a food steamer, and it can simultaneously serve both functions. It steams meat and vegetables while it cooks the rice below. You’ll find that the features on this model are easy to use, because they are programmable with digital controls.
Accessories include a steam tray, a rice measuring cup, a serving spatula, and exclusive recipes.
4. Tiger JNP-S18U-HU – Best 10 Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
Rice cooker manufacturing companies will always try to throw sophisticated features at you so that you would go and buy their product. But what they usually forget is that nothing beats a simple, but easy to use machine. Take the Tiger JNP-S18U-HU 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer, for example.
This stainless steel model comes in a simple gray design that will surely fit into any kitchen setup. It’s not overly sleek or stylish, and so the basic appearance lets the room stand out on its own. It weighs only 9.9 lbs, and measures 10.7 in length, 11.7 in height, and 11.8 in width.
And just like any decent rice cooker, it automatically switches to “Keep Warm” after cooking is completed. It has an easy to use, single-stick inner pan for easy serving and cleaning. Also included in the package is the spatula and rice measuring cup.
Basically, it allows you to put in up to 10 cups of uncooked rice, wherein it will keep it warm for up to 12 hours after cooking is over.
You will also find it convenient that the power cord is retractable, meaning it could be stored away easily when not in use.
This could be one of the best choices if you are looking for an affordable rice cooker that is not overly complicated. Sometimes that’s all it takes to convince people to buy things. It’s as simple as that.
5. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 – Best Small Rice Cooker
Now there are people who like to keep things laidback and simple, but there’s no denying the fact that some people like things that are glamorous, even if that means getting the more expensive option.
The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer is one of the models that go somewhere in the middle of the spectrum: it is a sophisticated design, but it is definitely not expensive.
It comes with a “Premium White” exterior, which is just a fancy way of saying it is completely white. It’s a good choice of color though, because it goes well with just about any background design. Put it in a marvelous white kitchen and it will look stunning.
It measures approximately 14 x 8 x 9 inches, and the spherical non-stick inner pan allows for uniform heating. This means only one thing: that the design is backed up by practical usefulness.
In terms of usage, it is quite easy to handle. There’s an LCD clock and timer that allows you to see everything that’s going on while your rice is cooking. It also has a convenient retractable cord.
Included in the package are two measuring cups, a non-stick rice spoon/scooper, a rice spoon holder, and a couple of recipes you may find interesting.
But what’s really amazing about this rice cooker is that it uses advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology. Other functions include multi-menu selections, automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycles.
This fabulous rice cooker is available at under 200 dollars.
Rice cookers aren’t supposed to be expensive. In fact, they can come for a price of as low as $20 dollars. But since we’re talking about the best of the best here, we will be focusing on the cookers with a decent level of service quality coupled by an incredibly affordable price. Here’s where we introduce you to the Panasonic Microcomputer Controlled Multi-Cooker.
It measures 15.2 x 10.3 x 8.2 inches, and weighs 8.6 pounds. It has a Stainless Steel/White chrome finish that makes it look adorable when compared to the sleeker machines in your kitchen.
It is fairly easy to use, thanks to the additional features that come with it, including a 12-hour keep warm function, a 24-hour clock, and a large orange LCD display.
Despite being affordable, this machine provides the so-called Micro-computer “Fuzzy Logic” system, which adjusts power depending on how much rice is being cooked. This is perfect for precise cooking and more consistent results.
The menu includes 13 automatic options for a variety of rice, plus hot cereals, soups and more on a large.
Overall, this model is not to be underestimated.
7. Tiger JBV-A10U-W – Best Rice Cooker for Brown Rice
While some manufacturers go to great lengths just to make their rice cookers stand out, some only have to introduce an interesting feature to get the crowd’s attention.
The Tiger JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer is unique because of its syncro-cooking function, which makes it possible to cook the main dish and the rice at the same time.
This creatively-designed model comes in a plain white motif, which allows it to blend in with the rest of your kitchen tools. It also comes with a simple cooking plate.
Additionally, it has an easy to clean, non-stick coating inner pan, as well as a non-stick spatula, a cooking plate, and a measuring cup.
But what really stands out is the so-called syncro-cooking function. This feature is so unique, that the creators even included a cookbook that has a guide on how to use it.
Lastly, it allows you to choose between four cooking menu settings, including syncro-cooking, plain rice, brown rice, and slow cooking.
8. Panasonic SR-DF101 – Best Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
Not many can compare to the Panasonic SR-DF101 5-Cup “Fuzzy Logic” Rice Cooker when it comes to convenience and ease of use. For something that is sold at a price of a little over $70 dollars, that’s truly an impressive feat.
The rice cooker measures 10-1/4 inches in diameter, 13-13/16-inches in width, and 7-3/4-inches in height. It only weighs 6.6 pounds, so it is quite lightweight. It has a simple white finish.
This model is great because it has an easy one-button operation with convenient cooking icons. The micro-computer fuzzy logic controls and adjusts the power automatically depending on how much rice is being cooked. It even includes a streaming basket, a rice scoop, a measuring cup, and a detachable power cord.
As for the features, the menu lets you choose between white rice, brown rice, porridge/soup, steam/quick cook, and keep warm function.
Rice Cookers Buying Guide
Some cultures consider rice as a staple for every single meal…but the Western culture isn’t one of those. In fact, many people can’t even imagine eating rice that often. It’s just one of the many wonderful aspects of our global society: the diversity.
Now just because you don’t eat rice often doesn’t mean you don’t want to eat rice at all. Just because you’re not having rice meals three times a day doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to own a rice cooker.
And judging by how far you’ve gotten into this article, we could say that you are really interested in buying one. The reviews on the top of this guide should help give you an idea about what kind of rice cookers you should be striving to have.
But if you’re still confused about what exactly you need to look for in a certain model, then you’ve come to the right place.
This portion of the article is a buying guide that will teach you some of the basic things you must know about a rice cooker, so that you could go pick one out for yourself. We will show you the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself, so that your trip to the appliance center will be much easier.
It’s so much simpler to make a decision if you know what you are looking for. Let’s get started.
First and foremost, what is a rice cooker?
The answer is simple: it’s a machine that cooks rice. The inventors didn’t really want to make things complicated here. But if you wanted a more detailed explanation: a rice cooker is a small electric appliance that has an inner pan, as well as an external vessel or pot. The heating plate sits in the bottom of the external vessel. Lastly, an electric cord attaches into a wall socket to provide the energy that the rice cooker requires to heat up.
To use it, you simply put in the measured (and uncooked rice) into the inner pan, and add water, depending on how much rice you are going to cook. Most rice cookers have markers to serve as your guide for putting in water. The water is then heated to a boiling point, while the rice is cooked inside the pan.
Once a certain internal temperature is reached, the unit automatically switches to a warming cycle until you unplug it. Cooking time depends on the rice cooker, the type and quantity of rice, and the heating technology used. Usually, this ranges from 30 minutes to an hour.
Types of rice cookers
Now that you know what a rice cooker is and how it works, we can tell you what the major types are. They are basically categorized according to what kind of heating technology they use.
Conventional Rice Cookers – these ones are the most simple. Conventional rice cookers (or traditional rice cookers) are very easy to use because you just add the rice, and the water, and push a button. It will heat your rice, cook it, and then the heat will turn off. It is ideal for white rice, but you can also use it for brown rice.
Micro-Computerized Rice Cookers – who knew that rice cookers could be high-tech? Micro-Computerized Rice Cookers, also known as Micom rice cookers are equipped with thermo sensors that adjust the cooking time and temperature automatically. It is good for all types of rice.
IH + Micom Rice Cookers – These rice cookers use induction heating (hence, the IH) while also making use of Micom technology. The IH heating system heats up the entire inner pan with induction heating principles. This is great for cooking any type of rice flawlessly.
Pressure + IH + Micom Rice Cookers – This is the kind of rice cooker that makes use of all the available heating technologies in order to make the perfect rice, no matter what type it is. The pressurized heating system raises the cooking temperature to a higher level, thereby cooking rice faster, and making it easier to digest.
How often do you plan on eating rice?
Perhaps you don’t have to buy a rice cooker at all. But if you come from a family that loves rice meals, then your own cooker would be a worthwhile investment.
How many people are you going to feed?
If you have a family of more than 6 people, you should buy a model with a 10-cup capacity. For smaller families, a 3 to 5-cup rice cooker should do the trick. It is also important to note that cooked rice doesn’t spoil easily, and you can just reheat it for a week without any problem.
What features do you need?
Simplicity is the beauty – and there’s a reason behind that saying. If you don’t cook rice often, you wouldn’t need all the fancy bells and whistles that come along with the sophisticated models. But there are some features worthy of your consideration such as reheat cycle options, quick cook functions, texture settings, basic safety features, and auto-cord reels.
What is your budget?
Rice cookers are sold at various prices ranging from 20 to 400 dollars. Invest wisely, because only you can say for sure whether you will use your machine often or not.
Remember that if in doubt, you can always refer to our handy list up there. The machines we’ve listed down are the best of the best among the rice cookers available in the markets. If you don’t trust your gut, you can always trust our knowledge.