So what’s with a rice cooker? Well, nearly half of the seven billion people in the world consider rice as their staple food. That makes half of the population need and want a rice cooker. Rice cookers are beneficial kitchen appliances designed and engineered to produce perfectly cooked rice at least twice a day. However, they aren’t just for cooking rice. Most rice cookers nowadays can steam vegetables, make soups and oatmeals, and even cook easy main dishes.
Your kitchen wouldn’t be perfect without it and your rice wouldn’t be worthy to be deemed perfect rice unless it’s from a rice cooker. There are many types of rice cookers on the market; their prices are confusing and their features are enormous. So to make it easier for you, we’ll help you find the best rice cooker that will suit your needs. We’ve done this by testing, monitoring and measuring 56 rice cookers. Then we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best rice cookers and thereafter ranked them from #1 to #5. Below the rice cooker reviews, you’ll find our buying guide, which should help you make the final buying decision.
|MODEL||PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||CAPACITY||USER RATING||PRICE||OUR REVIEW|
|Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT||11.8 x 9.1 x 7.5 inches||6 cups||4.6/5||$$$$|
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|Zojirushi NS-TSC10||10.1 x 8.5 x 14 inches||10 cups||4.5/5||$$$$$|
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|Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W||13.9 x 10.6 x 8.4 inches||5.5 cups||4.5/5||$$|
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|Tiger JNP-S10U-HU|| 9.8 x 10.8 x 10.3 inches||5.5 cups||4.4/5||$$$$|
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|Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB||10.8 x 11.2 x 10.8 inches||20 cups||4.4/5||$|
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Before moving on to the top five rice cookers we recommend, you must first identify the size of the rice cooker that will best fulfill your kitchen needs.
The size of a rice cooker is measured by cups and range from 3 to 10 cups. A good rule of a thumb is not to buy a larger unit than what you need because the cooker is designed to operate properly with a certain amount of rice and water. You also shouldn’t overfill your cooker since this will cause it to boil over which can get quite messy, giving you more time to clean than eat.
Bear in mind that if a rice cooker is advertised as being a 7-cup cooker, it doesn’t usually mean that the cooked rice will measure 7 cups. A 7-cup rice cooker means the cooker size accommodates seven cups of raw rice, which will produce a larger cooked capacity of rice. The expansion of the uncooked rice doesn’t always double in size. It actually depends on the type of rice you’re using. For safety purposes, check the specifications of the product before buying. Other products may specify “10-cups” alongside the name of their cooker models with the inclusion of whether the “10-cups” mean uncooked of cooked. You have to ensure what the label means to avoid regretting in the end.
Now, let’s discuss the size.
3-cup rice cookers are ideal for singles or couples.
5-cup rice cookers are recommended for families with more than two members. This size is also the most popular choice.
10-cup rice cookers are perfect if you have a large family and if you’re a lover of leftovers.
This easy-to-use, cETLus listed rice cooker priced less than $150 is not just for cooking perfect rice. It can also be used as a steamer. It even has a cake menu setting for baking cake! The NS-TSC10 Micom features use Fuzzy Logic Technology that identifies the type of rice you’re using and adjusts the time and heat settings automatically.
It has eight menu settings: white/sushi, brown, mixed, porridge, sweet, cake, steam, and quick cooking. It also features a delay timer, an automatic keep warm setting, and an extended keep warm setting. You can even reheat your rice with this cooker—one feature that only high-end rice cookers have. The NS-TSC10Micom also highlights its easy-to-read LCD control panel. Plus, the melody and beep signal signifies you that the cooking is done. What’s a better alarm than that?
Cleaning up is also easy with this one because of the detachable and washable inner lid and built-in retractable cord. It even comes with a BPA free steaming basket, a measuring cup, a nonstick rice spatula, and a spatula holder. It also has a 12-month limited warranty.
What you won’t like, however, is it takes much time to cook rice. Cooking white rice will take about an hour and cooking brown rice will take 1 ½ hour. Also, it’s only for short and medium rice varieties. At the end of the day, though, it’s still the best Japanese rice cooker and the best rice cooker for the money.
This rice cooker is the definition of “small but terrible”. With its small size, you can actually cook white rice/sushi, mixed rice, brown rice, sweet rice, porridge, and quick rice. It’s even the best rice cooker for brown rice. And because it’s compact, it can be easily transferred from one place to another and it won’t take up much space on your counter.
Zojirushi has done it again with this rice cooker. And by that, I mean it has a micro computerized Fuzzy Logic Technology which offers a lot of benefits and one of those is automatically adjusting the temperature for the type of rice you’re cooking. This rice cooker also features a colored LCD control panel that’s so easy to read, an automatic keep warm setting for your rice, and a built-in retractable cord that can be easily kept after using the rice cooker.
The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom is also made of stainless steel, allowing heat to be evenly distributed. It’s also durable and easy to clean. No wonder it’s the best small rice cooker.
In spite of all that, this rice cooker is recommended for small families only since it can make up to 6 cups of cooked rice only. The English instructions are also poorly translated from Japanese.
The Tiger JNP-S10U-HU is one well-built, foolproof rice cooker with a beautiful design. Its urban satin color makes it attractive to your guests and serves as a classy kitchen décor.
It features a nonstick inner pan that makes cleaning easy. Add that up to the removable and washable steam vent and you get a simple, very easy to clean rice cooker. A retractable cord also allows you to save some kitchen space especially if you’re done cooking and you don’t want a messy counter. This rice cooker also highlights a keep-warm function that can keep your rice warm and not dry for up to 12 hours.
Because of its simplicity, using this is won’t be a pain in the butt. Its instructions are so easy, reading it once or twice would be enough. You’ll also love how it maintains the same quality of rice after years of use. With its high-quality construction and well-insulated design, you’ll enjoy evenly cooked rice. This is also guaranteed to have no boil-over issues.
On the other hand, one of its drawbacks includes its price. For a single switch rice cooker, it’s actually pricey. Also, this rice cooker cannot be used for steaming meat or vegetables.
On a tight budget? Well, this is your lucky day. Priced less than $35, here’s the Aroma ARC-150SB—the best budget buy. It comes from one of the most trusted brands in the industry and it cooks any type of rice flawlessly.
It features its stainless steel and black plastic exterior with a nonstick Teflon interior. The Aroma ARC-150SB also has programmable digital controls that include low cook, white rice, brown rice, and automatic keep-warm settings. It also takes pride of its water reservoir that channels excess condensation away to keep your rice perfectly moist. You’ll also love its delay timer that can be set up to 15 hours.
Thanks to the nonstick, removable, and dishwasher-safe inner cooking pot, cleaning up will be fast and easy. This affordable rice cooker will even impress and excite you with the number of cups it can hold—20 cups of cooked rice. Yes. You read it right. 20 cups. So, plainly, it’s recommended for large families or for those who love leftovers. Aside from this amazing feature, it also comes from one of the best brands in the industry. It’s even the best seller on Amazon under the category of rice cookers.
However, no machine is perfect. The drawbacks include the non-detachable and nonretractable power cord and the same goes with the lid. The lid, therefore, is difficult to clean since it cannot be removed from the main vessel. The Aroma ARC-150SB also requires you to soak the rice first before cooking or else it will boil ever and make a huge mess on your clean kitchen counter.
Indulge in the beautifully-cooked, fragrant, flavorful rice and sumptuous dishes made by TigerJBV-A10U-W and you’ll be surprised by how this 5.7-pound rice cooker can work wonders in your kitchen.
It features its ever-unique synchro-cooking mechanism that lets you simultaneously cook simple main dishes on its innovative, BPA-free Tacook plate while cooking rice on the lower level of the inner pot. Its Tacook plate is brilliantly built. There are no holes on its bottom to ensure that the juices from the food cooking on the upper level won’t grip down to the rice. The flavors won’t mix as well. Truly, the Tiger JBV-A10U-W takes cooking to the next level!
Aside from that, it also features a removable inner cooking pot that can be submerged and a built-in carry handle to make transport easier. This sophisticated-looking rice cooker even works as a slow cooker. More importantly, it cooks plain rice and brown rice perfectly. You’ll also find this one trouble-free to use thanks to its one-push operation. And if you don’t feel like eating yet, it will keep your food warm until you’re ready to.
For all that, it still has some cons. First, it needs constant monitoring. Second, the keep-warm function may result in a layer of crunchy rice in the bottom of the inner pot if it’s left to sit for longer than 60 minutes. Lastly, its lid is not detachable, which makes it difficult to clean.
By now, you probably have one or two choices in mind. So let’s move on to the factors you need to consider when choosing the best rice cooker for your needs as well as the tips when buying.
1. Price, Brand, and Warranty
2. Size of the Rice Cooker
3. Type of Rice Cooker
4. Type of Heating Technology
Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers think on their own and make the necessary adjustments on their own. This is possible thanks to their micro computerized (micom) chip.
Induction Heating uses radio frequency electricity through an electrically conductive material. Therefore, it doesn’t need any contact. Induction Heating Rice Cookers or Electric Rice Cookers have an induction heating zone underneath its inner pot which serves as a heat conductor. An alternating electric current then flows in the external vessel where the inner pot is placed to produce resistive heating. In turn, the surrounding heat cooks the rice or the food in the inner pot. Inner pots should have a high ferrous metal content at the base for this type of rice cooker.
At the end of it all, it depends on your budget and personal preference. The winner of this ongoing battle depends on you.
Rice cookers are offered with different heating technologies, in different styles, and in different sizes. The number of choices is indeed overwhelming.With proper knowledge and guidance, however, choosing becomes way, way easier.
Don’t forget to identify what type of rice you’re going to cook with your rice cooker. If you are incorporating brown rice in your diet, then your cooker should have a brown rice setting. A good rice cooker, however, should be able to cook more than one type of rice. Your budget is also a huge factor in choosing. Only select your choices from the price range you can afford. Otherwise, you’d find yourself depressed about why you can’t afford that expensive rice cooker. Do yourself a favor and only get the size you need. Choose the necessary features and check if the features of the product go along with the price.
Having a rice cooker will allow you to cook rice, even other dishes, perfectly. There’s no other way of making rice than with a rice cooker. Rice cookers are now at a very high quality. With this guide, I hope I have made it easier for you to choose the best one for you out of the price ranges and products available today.