Even though it seems easy, cooking rice is an art that needs to be learned. There are a lot of techniques involved in perfectly cooking rice. If you are someone used to the traditional method of cooking rice, you know the amount of patience and effort it takes to ensure that the rice is ready to go. A slight miscalculation in the amount of water and cooking duration can ruin your efforts in the kitchen.
Do not fret as the best rice cooker will certainly save your day, much like a knight in shining armor. It is designed and programmed to make your life easier by handling the entire cooking process. All you have to do is add the rice and an adequate amount of water and let the rice cooker take care of the rest. Electric rice cookers are very much in demand in many urban households as they are extremely convenient to use, maintain, and do not burn a hole in your pocket.
Rice is the perfect comfort food and to cook it to perfection, you need the best appliance in the market. This buyer’s guide is created to help you find the ideal rice cooker that will enable you to make restaurant-style dishes in a jiffy.
Let us begin by viewing some of the most sought-after and popular rice cookers in the market. Each appliance has something unique to bring to the table that might just fit right onto yours.
Top 8 Best Rice Cooker 2021
Zojirushi is a renowned Japanese appliance brand known for its incredible range of consumer electronics. The NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker is unsurprisingly one of its top-rated products.
The Micom Rice Cooker has a capacity of 1 liter that can hold up to 5.5 cups of uncooked rice. It is a micro computerized rice cooker enabled with fuzzy logic technology that results in fluffy and brilliantly cooked rice in every use. With a wattage of 120 volts/ 610 watts, Zojirushi’s rice cooker functions as a rice warmer too.
This appliance comes with a variety of settings that let you cook anything from white and brown rice to steaming veggies and bake spongy cakes. It also features the keep warm, reheat, clock, and delay-timer functions along with an LCD. The melody and beep signal used to mark the end of the cooking process can be used interchangeably.
Zujiroshi’s Micom Rice Cooker includes a removable inner lid, inner pot, and a steam basket that allow for easy cleaning. The inner pot is coated with a non-stick layer to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The retractable built-in power cord allows for the easy transportation and storage of the rice cooker.
Priced a little below $180, the Micom Rice Cooker from Zojirushi is certainly the best rice cooker. With great customer reviews and ratings, it has captured the attention of many. Buyers have admitted to cooking up restaurant-quality rice with the help of this remarkable appliance.
Versatility, durability, easy maintenance, functionality, and quality are some of Micom Rice Cooker’s USPs. If you do not want to miss out on this golden opportunity, we recommend investing in this rice cooker.
2. Aroma Cool-touch Rice Cooker
Aroma Housewares produces some of the best cooking appliances such as coffee and tea brewers, doveware, and rice cookers. One of the highly rated and well-priced rice cookers is Aroma Housewares’ Cool-touch Rice Cooker.
Sleek and compact, this rice cooker has a capacity of 4 quarts sufficient for 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice. The multipurpose cooker can be used to cook white and brown rice, along with flavorful stews and soups, steamed vegetables, and cakes. The multifunctional feature of Aroma Housewares’ cooker lets you create wonderful one-pot meals right from breakfast to lunch and dinner.
The 8-cup capacity of this rice cooker lets you cook rice and steam vegetables simultaneously with the help of the removable steam tray. The Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker also comes with a serving spoon, non-stick inner pot, and a measuring cup.
The simple and versatile functions of Aroma Housewares’ Digital Rice Cooker allow for convenient and hassle-free cooking. It comes with six unique functions – white rice, brown rice, flash rice, delay-timer, keep warm, and steam – that make cooking a fun experience. This digital panel is extremely user-friendly and also features a display screen for timers and temperatures.
This 120V/450W is an energy-efficient appliance that is ideal for small households. The Digital Cool-touch Rice Cooker is easy to use and enables you to cook delicious meals at the press of a button. Retailing under $30, this rice cooker is available in colors such as silver, black, and white.
Pleased customers have given this rice cooker exceptional reviews and ratings. They are testimony to Aroma Housewares’ quality and performance. Easy-to-use, maintenance, ergonomic, and durable are some words that are frequently used to describe and praise the Digital Cool-touch Rice Cooker.
Another phenomenal product from the extensive appliance range of Aroma Housewares is the Digital Rice Cooker.
Available in basic and professional variants, the Digital Rice Cooker has a 20-cup capacity that can easily yield anywhere between 4-20 cups of cooked rice. In addition to rice, you can use it to make hearty soups, stews and broths, steamed vegetables, and also bake a fluffy cake. You can prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner – all in a single pot.
Aroma Housewares’ Digital Rice Cooker offers 7 unique cooking programs for simple yet versatile cooking. It includes slow-cooking, white rice, brown rice, keep warm, flashes rice, delay-timer, and steam. The 15-hour delay-timer lets you plan meals accordingly so that you get warm food when you want to serve. Along with a display screen, these pushbuttons are extremely user-friendly and allow for convenient operation.
The large capacity of the Digital Rice Cooker allows you to simultaneously cook rice and steam veggies or meat in the removable steamer insert. You can easily cook an entire meal at one go. The rice cooker also comes with a serving spatula, a non-stick inner pot, and a rice measuring cup that are conveniently dishwasher-safe.
This rice cooker from Aroma Housewares will cost you somewhere between $30 and $40. Popular for its usability, easy cleaning, versatility, and longevity, the Digital Rice Cooker has received plenty of positive reviews, appreciation, and ratings from gratified buyers.
Next on the list for the title of the best rice cooker is Zojirushi’s Micom Rice Cooker. Much like Zojirushi’s other phenomenal products, this rice cooker delivers quality and excellent cooking performance.
This rice cooker comes with a holding capacity of 0.5 liter, which is adequate for 3 cups of uncooked rice. The compact design of the rice cooker allows for convenient storage. The Micom Rice Cooker offers 8 cooking programs that include white rice, GABA brown rice, steel-cut oats, quick, and sushi.
Zojirushi is known for its micro computerized rice cookers and Micom is one such appliance. The computerized system automatically adjusts the temperature and cooking time for yielding perfectly cooked rice, every time. In addition to this, the rice cooker features heating elements in the bottom, sides, and the lid that cook the rice evenly from all sides. The rice cooker is energy-efficient and has a wattage of 120V/450W.
The Micom Rice Cooker has a removable vented lid that allows for mess-free cooking even in high-temperature situations. The retractable power cord prevents unnecessary tangling and lets you stow away the cooker when not in use. Furthermore, the alert sound can be set to either a melody or a beep signal interchangeably.
Zojirushi’s Micom Rice Cooker will cost a little over $100. Having garnered a lot of attention from home cooks and rice fanatics, it has received exceptional ratings and reviews. If the reviews are anything to go by, then this rice cooker is one of the finest appliances available for this price.
Instant Pot has become a household name because of its exciting range of kitchen appliances such as blenders, pressure cookers, air fryers, toasters, etc. Keeping up with the trend, it has now introduced the Zest Rice Cooker and it has instantly become a hit in the market.
This 8-cup rice cooker doubles up as a food warmer and also allows you to prepare a variety of other meals such as quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal. With its 4 smart programs, you can also quickly steam vegetables, meat, and seafood at the touch of a button.
Similar to most Instant Pot devices, the Zest Rice Cooker is also constructed from stainless steel that provides durability and sturdiness to the cooker. The interior of the hinged lid is made from 18/10 stainless steel that traps in heat and moisture for better cooking. This compact and lightweight rice cooker feature a built-in overheating protector that resists the cooker from reaching extreme temperatures.
The Zest Rice Cooker comes with a non-stick ceramic-coated inner pot, a dishwasher-safe steamer tray, a measuring cup, and a plastic serving spatula. Instant Pot combines the best of value, convenience, and easy cooking in this wonderful appliance.
Priced around $60, Instant Pot’s Zest Rice Cooker is one of the finest products on this list. The customer reviews and ratings speak for the form and functionality of this rice cooker. Key features such as usability, hassle-free cleaning, flavorful cooking, and versatility make this rice cooker stand out from the crowd.
Black Decker needs no introduction. It is a name synonymous with convenience and versatility. Black Decker is known for its maintenance and specialized tools for everyday living, landscaping, cooking, and cleaning. One such impressive product is the RC506 Rice Cooker.
This bestseller from Black Decker has a large capacity that yields 6-cups cooked and 3-cups uncooked rice. You can use this rice cooker to prepare meals for gatherings, get-togethers, and regular dinner. The 2-in-1 RC506 Rice Cooker lets you cook rice as well as steam vegetables and meat for a complete meal.
The one-switch operation makes cooking a breeze. Once the rice is cooked, the cooker automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ and maintains the optimal serving temperature.
Black Decker’s Rice Cooker comes with a rice measuring cup, a plastic spatula, and a steamer basket. The basket is removable and is made of a non-toxic, non-stick material that is dishwasher-safe. The measuring cup lets you accurately measure the amount of rice you need and the spatula prevents unwanted scrapes and scratches to the inner pot.
The tempered glass lid provides visibility while the rice is cooking. It is vented to let out steam in a controlled manner for better cooking. It also features a built-in lid holder that lets you prop it up when you lift it off the rice cooker.
The entire cooking process takes 20 to 30 minutes and creates perfectly cooked rice that is fluffy and light. In addition to rice, you can also prepare soups, stews, and oatmeal. Black Decker provides a 2-year limited warranty for the RC506 Rice Cooker.
This rice cooker from Black Decker will cost you somewhere $15. Available in varying degrees of holding capacity, the RC506 Rice Cooker works like a charm. Unsurprisingly, it has received a staggering amount of reviews and ratings from delighted customers that is proof of how well this appliance works. If anything, this rice cooker is value for money.
Yet another brilliant product from Zojirushi – the Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. Unlike the previous two appliances, this rice cooker stands out for all the right reasons and is assuredly the best rice cooker we have come across.
The Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker is a unique machine that is equipped with fuzzy logic technology and varies from traditional electric rice cookers. Fuzzy logic technology is an advanced computerized system that enables the cooker to take judgmental calls, just like humans. It allows the rice cooker to fine-tune and adjust the cooking temperature and duration to get perfectly cooked rice every time.
This rice cooker has a capacity of 1 liter, which yields approximately 5.5 cups of uncooked and 10 cups of cooked rice. It also doubles up as a warmer. Besides rice, one can prepare a variety of other dishes as well such as sushi, mixed rice, porridge, and brown rice. You can also steam veggies, seafood, and meat and create a whole meal in a single cooker.
The Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker comes with a detachable lid, a removable inner pan, two measuring cups, and a non-stick rice scooper. The inner pan is spherical and is made from a thick, black non-stick material for even and efficient heating. It has stay-cool handles on the sides for easy and comfortable handling. The user-friendly display panel and buttons allow for the convenient operation of the rice cooker.
Zojirushi’s Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker is so compact and lightweight that it can be wall-mounted to save counter or storage space. It is also very energy-efficient as its wattage is 680W.
Valued a little under $180, the Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker is the most sought-after kitchen appliance in this category. Customers have raved highly about this cooker’s cleanability, usability, durability, ergonomics, and value for money. If you wish to serve your near and dear ones restaurant-quality rice, then Zojirushi’s rice cooker is the one for you.
Next on the list is one more appliance from Instant Pot’s long list of best sellers – the 7-in-1 Duo Multi-use Programmable Rice Cooker.
This 7-in-1 beast of a machine has a capacity of 5.68 liters or 6-quarts that is ideal for a family of 6 or more people. It is the perfect kitchen appliance to own during holidays or gatherings when you want to prepare a lavish feast. The Duo Rice Cooker combines the outstanding qualities of seven appliances into a single unit and allows you to slow-cook, pressure cook, steam, saute, warm, and make yogurt besides cooking rice.
Equipped with 3rd generation technology, Instant Pot’s Duo features a microprocessor that maintains pressure, temperature, and moisture and regulates the time and heat to get the desired result every time. This allows you to cook 70% faster than conventional methods. The 14 one-touch buttons let you whip up delicacies in a matter of minutes.
The Duo Programmable Rice Cooker features a stainless steel lid and an inner cooking pot with a 3-ply base for durability and even heating. Both these components are conveniently dishwasher-safe and fingerprint-resistant. This rice cooker also features additional safety elements such as an overheating protector and a safety lock on the lid.
With the versatility of seven appliances, Instant Pot’s Duo Rice Cooker is one of the most loved rice cookers on the market. Unquestionably, it is a hit with home cooks and professionals. The astounding number of reviews and great ratings are evidence of Instant Pot’s innovation and success. Priced a little below $80, the 7-in-1 Duo Programmable Rice Cooker is bang on the buck.
What To Consider Before Buying A Rice Cooker
Now that we have looked at some of the best rice cookers in the market, let us discuss the factors that must be taken into consideration before purchasing the perfect one for your family.
1. Size And Capacity
First and foremost, you must consider the size and capacity of the rice cooker. Generally, the capacity of a rice cooker is measured based on the number of cups of rice it can cook. Electric cookers are available with capacities from 1 to 6 liters. Access the number of people you will be feeding in a day and decide on a rice cooker. For a family of 5-6 people, a 3-5 liter rice cooker is recommended.
Opt for a rice cooker that is easy to operate. The more the buttons and functions, the more confusing it will be. Certain electric rice cookers come with a one-button function which means you just have to add rice, the correct amount of water, and let the appliance take care of the rest.
Many advanced variants come with digital displays and knobs that let you control the temperature, duration, and style of cooking for your convenience. Features like self-timer and auto-shutoff are extremely beneficial as they allow you to relax while the cooker cooks the rice and keeps it warm until serving.
The two main design features to keep in mind while purchasing a rice cooker are the build of the cooker and the type of lid that comes with it.
There are three types of rice cookers available in the market – traditional, jar-o-mat, and micro computerized.
Traditional and jar-o-mat rice cookers are basic versions of the appliance that feature a one-touch function for cooking plain rice. These cookers are extremely user-friendly and cook rice quickly.
One significant difference between traditional and jar-o-mat rice cookers is the presence of heating elements. Traditional cookers feature a single heating element in the bottom that heats the rice unidirectionally. This results in the formation of a crust once the rice is cooked. Whereas jar-o-mat cookers have additional heating coils in the sides of the pot that cooks the rice evenly, without any crust.
As the name suggests, micro computerized rice cookers feature an automated mechanism that controls the cooking process. Known as ‘fuzzy logic’, this mechanism warms the rice before cooking and cooks it at varying temperatures during the cooking process. This results in much fluffier and softer rice. It also features different settings that allow you to customize the process.
While stainless steel lids are durable and easy to clean, glass lids are vented and improve visibility while the rice is cooking. The steam vent retains moisture and heat for better cooking.
If you manage to overcook the rice, chances are that it will most likely stick to the pot and you will need some elbow grease to clean it all out. While choosing a rice cooker, look for one that has dishwasher-safe parts that allow for easy and convenient cleaning.
A removable bowl and lids can be scrubbed with soapy water and popped into a dishwasher for the rest of the cleaning process. Stainless steel, aluminum, or non-stick pots are viable in the long run.
5. Multipurpose Cooking
If you have a large family of 4-6 members, it is recommended to consider a multipurpose rice cooker. It comes in handy when you have to cook a variety of meals and all you need is one appliance. Many rice cookers feature different cooking settings that let you steam vegetables, meat, seafood, etc. Some variants also let you cook soups and stews along with rice.
Many rice cookers come with additional kitchenware that facilitates the cooking process. The set of accessories may vary depending on the model of the rice cooker. A few basic accessories that may be included are a steamer insert, measuring cups, a serving spatula, and an inner non-stick pot.
Last but not least, the most important factor that needs to be considered while purchasing a rice cooker is its warranty. A majority of the premium brands offer up to 2 years of warranty that includes repair or replacement of the damaged device.
Rice cookers are one of the most essential appliances in the kitchen, next to basic cookware. It is something you will use for years to come which is why after-sales service is so important.
Rice cookers have become an essential commodity for households, just like a washing machine or a refrigerator. If you are someone who consumes rice quite often, then a rice cooker is a worthy investment. It streamlines the entire cooking process and lets you focus on the other elements of a fancy meal.
The best rice cooker will result in perfectly cooked rice every single time. A minor change in the texture and quality of rice can bring a huge difference to your overall dining experience. Unlike traditional methods, making rice in an electric cooker makes the process much easier and faster.
No more hovering around the stove waiting for the rice to cook so that you can carry along with your day. Using an electric rice cooker to make rice also keeps your stove free for other dishes. All in all, a rice cooker is an indispensable appliance that makes life a lot less complicated.
As we conclude this buyer’s guide, we hope that we have assisted you in deciding on a rice cooker best-suited for your needs. It will not only make cooking convenient but will also help you create wonderful meals for your family and loved ones. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are Induction Rice Cookers Better?
Similar to regular induction cookware, induction rice cookers use radio frequencies for no-contact heating. The inner pot acts as a thermal conductor and creates an induction heating zone within the cooker for even cooking.
Unlike standard rice cookers that have a heating element in the base, induction rice cookers warm the whole appliance that allows for efficient cooking. Induction-based heating is more susceptible to temperature adjustments and can cook rice in the least amount of time. It has proven to cook rice that is fluffier and tastes better than rice cooked in standard rice cookers.
If you are someone looking for efficiency and will not mind shelling out a few extra bucks for achieving perfectly-cooked rice, then an induction rice cooker is all you need.
Q2. How Do I Choose A Rice Cooker?
To decide on the best rice cooker, it is imperative to consider the following key factors:
Size and capacity of the rice cooker
Easy and convenient operation
Type of rice cooker – traditional, jar-o-mat, or micro computerized
Multipurpose cooking function
Warranty and after-sales services
Q3. Can I Leave My Rice Cooker Unattended?
Although many rice cookers come with auto-shutoff or stay-warm features that keep the cooker on for hours to maintain the optimal temperature, it is recommended not to leave a rice cooker unattended for long. Ultimately, rice cookers are man-made machines and slight negligence can cause irreparable damage.
Q4. What Does Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker Mean?
Fuzzy logic rice cookers are a type of kitchen appliance that feature computerized chips that guide the cooking operations. These chips help the cooker make adjustments to the cooking time and temperature to achieve perfectly cooked rice.
In comparison to standard rice cookers, fuzzy logic rice cookers are programmed to complete tasks mechanically. The fuzzy logic technology enables the appliance to make decisions regarding its functions and make judgment calls about the cooking process, similar to what a person would do. This ensures that the rice cooker yields perfectly cooked rice in every use. Zojirushi’s NS-ZCC18 Neuro Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker 10-cup version is one such product.