Best Rice Cookers in 2021 – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews

By Luna Regina | Updated
Edited byDonna Currie
Our recommendations are made independently through research and testing following our review procedure. We may receive commissions from purchases made via our links at no additional costs to you.
Best Rice Cookers 2021

A good rice cooker cooks rice perfectly every time. It will save you the disappointment of the mushy or crunchy texture of overcooked or undercooked rice. While rice cooked on the stovetop would not usually have a subtle nutty flavor, rice cooked in a rice cooker often does.

Conventional rice cookers are inexpensive, straightforward to use, and don't take up a lot of space. They make perfect fluffy rice quickly and easily, and the rice will never be mushy or sticky. 

Multipurpose rice cookers are versatile kitchen appliances. Their use extends beyond rice cooking, and may include steaming meat, baking cakes, or even cooking a bowl of oatmeal that will make breakfast almost effortless.

Whether you’re shopping for a conventional or multipurpose rice cooker, sorting through the options can be overwhelming. To help with that process, we’ve rounded up a list of the five best rice cookers in every key category. 

We’ll also provide you with extensive information regarding the pros and cons of each product so that you can make an informed choice. If you’re not sure about which one to buy, our buying guide will point you in the right direction.

How a Rice Cooker Works?

A standard rice cooker consists of five primary parts: the main body, a tight-sealing lid, thermostat, inner cooking pot, and electric heating plate(s). Multipurpose rice cookers may employ sensors and steam vents to prevent the contents from boiling quickly and then ultimately spilling out across your countertop. 

The heating plate is permanently installed in the interior of the main body’s bottom. After the cooker is powered on and the inner pot is placed into the cooking base, the plate will start heating on a warm setting. 

To begin the cooking process, you’ll need to push down the control switch to the “cook” position so heat converted from electric current can be transferred to the pot and into the rice via the heating plate. 

Structure of a Rice Cooker

As the cooker is heating, the water will boil and vaporize into steams at 212°F. That steam will then get absorbed into the rice and help soften the starch. Some varieties of rice take longer to absorb water than others. That’s not the only source of variation, though.

There are a number of materials used to make your cooking pan, and the specific material will affect how evenly heat gets distributed. But generally, you may generally get steamed fluffy rice in about 20 minutes.

The built-in thermostat is designed to control the heat source, making sure the rice won’t burn and the water won’t boil over. To be more precise, once “noticing” all the water has been absorbed and the pot is heating quicker, the thermostat will automatically switch the heating element to its ‘keep warm’ cycle.

Speaking of the keep warm setting, even the most basic rice cookers will include this function, which is really handy if you want a second helping of heated rice halfway through your meal. There will be warm, fluffy rice whenever you choose to eat.

How to Choose the Best Rice Cooker

Now that we understand the basics of how a rice cooker functions, let’s think about how to choose the right one. On the surface, they usually tend to look very similar, especially to the untrained eye. That’s why we’re going to outline some important points to consider before purchasing a rice cooker.

Types 

There are various types of rice cookers on the market, including microwave, standard, micom, and induction-heating rice cookers.

Microwave rice cookers bpa free

Microwave Rice Cooker

These are BPA-free plastic containers that allow you to cook rice, oatmeal, and other grains right in the microwave. These little gadgets are great options for anyone with limited kitchen space.

Besides keeping more counter space free, they also cut cooking time in half compared to a standard rice cooker. They’re inexpensive (under $40) and generally dishwasher-safe.

Standard Rice Cooker

Standard rice cookers are commonly used in Asian countries, with some of the most famous ones produced in Japan (for example, the Tiger JNP-S18U-HU). With many more functions and features than microwave rice cookers, you can use them to stew beef, steam veggies, or even bake cakes.

Standard Rice Cooker

Most standard rice cookers use a single heating element, so they cook quite quickly, giving you cooked rice in only 20 to 30 minutes. Because the heat is concentrated only at the bottom, However, the rice may not be perfect every time. It can turn out crunchy or mushy if cooked with the wrong amount of water.

If cost is your priority, such models are the least expensive electric rice cookers, mostly retailing at between $15 and $50. Furthermore, they come in different sizes to serve different purposes, from small (3 cups of raw rice) to extra large (20 cups of raw rice).

Micom Rice Cooker

Micom Rice Cooker

Simply speaking, micom rice cookers are standard rice cookers that include built-in microchips. They can automatically adjust the cooking time and temperature, resulting in perfect fluffy rice every single time.

In layman's terms, micom rice cookers are plug-and-play appliances that will get the job done on their own, saving you precious time to tend to other tasks. They have an abundance of preset cooking modes for specific foods such as white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, or porridge. This makes them not only more convenient but also more expensive than conventional rice cookers.

Reliable micom rice cookers may cost around $70. But prices can go as high as $210 or more for the high-end models, depending on the feature set.

Induction-Heating Rice Cooker

Induction-Heating Rice Cooker

These are the most expensive models of all, with prices running between $200 and $500. While standard cookers distribute heat from the bottom up, these fancy rice cookers create an induction heating zone by employing the entire inner pot as a heating element.

Unlike other types, induction-heating rice cookers don't have an electric heating plate on the bottom. The integrated induction coil ‘induces’ the magnetic heating in the metal that makes up the inner pot’s body. This means it can distribute heat far more evenly, thus delivering better textured rice while also consuming less energy.

2. Capacity

The capacity of a rice cooker is defined by how much cooked or uncooked rice can comfortably fit in the cooking pot. You will find that this ranges from 1 to 46 scoops, equating to a small portion to enough for a whole banquet.

Note: When manufacturers talk about uncooked rice capacity, they're talking about the measuring cup that is included with the cooker. Though they sometimes refer to the measurement as a ‘cup,’ they are NOT talking about standard US measuring cups.

Rice cookers intended for home use can usually handle  1 to 10 cups of uncooked rice at a time. For families of four, something in the 4-5 cup range may do the job.

If you plan on using one for commercial purposes, then you should find models that can accommodate up to 46 cups at a time.

Your available kitchen space is also important to consider. Naturally, larger-capacity cookers have larger footprints. Decide how much counter space you want to devote to the cooker so that you choose the model that fits perfectly.

3. The Inner Pot’s Coating 

The inner pot of your rice cooker is usually coated with a nonstick layer of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) or ceramic. There are also uncoated pots made from stainless steel, but they’re not so common.

PTFE
Ceramic
Stainless steel
  • PTFE (also known as Teflon): High thermal conductivity and non-stick effectiveness are the advantages of this material. Besides ensuring hassle-free cleaning, these properties make PTFE-coated pots a good conductor of heat, helping reduce cooking time and energy consumption. 
  • Ceramic: This material has been around longer than PTFE and seems to allow for stronger food release. Most of the time they’re tougher too — you should still avoid scratching ceramics, but the material won’t scratch or chip off as easily as Teflon. 
  • Stainless steel: This man-made material has a high heat capacity, but it doesn’t conduct heat as well as PTFE. Being among the most durable, it is tough enough to last without rusting and tarnishing over time. Since its surface isn’t nonstick, however, dealing with burnt-on rice may be more challenging.  

Note: 

  • Although a nonstick coating may be scratched by metal utensils, there is no evidence to prove this could affect your health, as stated by the American Cancer Society
  • Most inner pots are marketed as dishwasher safe, but their exteriors may be damaged by the abrasive nature of dishwasher detergents. So, washing by hand is better in the long term. 

4. Tight-Sealing Lid 

The sealed lid feature is another standard for most rice cookers. A tight seal on the lid may either steam from escaping or allow it to escape in a controlled manner. This helps it maintain a stable temperature while the rice is being cooked. It also ensures that each batch of fluffy rice is perfectly done in a reasonable amount of time.

If you buy a standard rice cooker whose lid is entirely removable, it may release a lot of steam during the cooking process, which can be dangerous when you’re nearby. The upshot is that removable lids are easier to clean and less likely to retain odors. 

Tight-Sealing Lid

Cleaning micom or induction-heating rice cookers takes a little more work — you can’t dunk the body of the machine in water, after all. Before buying, it’s best to make sure that the inner lid can be detached. 

Remove this inner lid and wash it separately. Then wipe down the gasket area of the outer lid with a damp cloth. If not properly cleaned after each use, rice or other detritus may get stuck around the gasket. It can start to stink and also impact the quality of your rice. 

5. Electric Heating Plate 

The durability and cooking efficiency of a rice cooker may be partly determined by the heating plate’s quality. That’s why you should avoid choosing low-end rice cookers from unreliable brands. These devices may often have substandard heating plates that are more prone to short-circuiting. 

Not only that, but a poorly-constructed heating plate may also fail to fully cook your rice. There’s not much you can do to fix a weak heating element.   

Or occasionally, you may find a rice cooker whose heating plate and inner pot don’t seat tightly against each other. Such machines are defective and can be unsafe to use. 

6. Other Features

Many affordable rice cookers come with a timer. With this option, you can delay the start of the cooking process for up to 23 hours after loading the pot with rice and water. This is a great feature for those with little time to prepare meals. They may also have steamer racks which allow users to steam vegetables, fish, or even dessert while the rice is cooking.

High-end models often feature smart controls, which let users monitor the cooking progress via an app. Some even have an alert or musical tone that informs you when the rice is ready to serve. These are nice extras, but we don’t think they are entirely necessary.

Reviews of the Best Rice Cookers in 2021

At last, we’ve arrived at our most important feature – our selection of the best rice cookers.

  1. Best to Buy in 2021: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
  2. Best Japanese Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and WarmerLiter
  3. Best Budget Rice Cooker: Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer
  4. Best Small(Mini) Rice Cooker: BLACK+DECKER Uncooked Rice Cooker, 3-cup, White
  5. Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker: COMFEE' 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi Cooker
  6. Best Sushi Rice Cooker: Toshiba Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked (3L) with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking
  7. Best Microwave Rice Cooker: Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
  8. Best Brown Rice Cooker: Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (10 cup uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker

Here's our picks for the Best Rice Cookers.

1. Best to Buy in 2021: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

There are currently five  versions of the Instant Pot Duo, including the Duo, Duo Crisp + Air Fryer, Duo Evo Plus, Duo SV, Duo Plus, and Duo Nova. Depending on which model is chosen, they may be available in 3-, 6-, 8-, or 10-quart sizes.

Instant Pot Duo Mini Rice Cooker Review
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  • Intuitive control panel

  • Durable construction

  • Great performance on every function

  • Advanced safety protection

  • Affordable

  • The alarm sound is not loud enough

Among these five versions, the Instant Pot Duo and Duo Nova are the two most popular models, as they’re practical, inexpensive, and straightforward to use. Both feature the latest third-generation microprocessor technology which is able to regulate temperature and pressure, while adjusting the heat using built-in monitors to improve the quality and consistency of the food.

Versatility

These pressure cookers come at a very competitive price without compromising on quality or sacrificing essential functions. Designed with a multitude of options, Instant Pot pressure cookers allow users to cook all types of rice using either manual settings or by choosing the preset on the control panel.

Besides cooking rice, they also excel at sauteing, reheating, slow cooking, and pressure cooking. One of their most useful features is that when cooking frozen food, there’s no need to defrost it first. These models can defrost and cook all at once, saving you a ton of time in the kitchen.

Cleaning 

The stainless steel inner cooking pot, which is dishwasher safe, is a win-win for reliability, durability, and ease of cleanup. No matter what you’ve cooked, there’s no chance of hazardous substances chipping off and getting into your food, since there’s no surface coating.

Safety 

These models are built based on North American Electrical Standards. Even when the machines are working at the highest temperature setting, their exteriors always stay cool to the touch  to protect careless fingers from burns. When releasing pressure manually, users need to remember that the steam is very hot, and should make sure their hands aren’t in the path of the steam.

The Instant Pot Duo vs Duo Nova: What’s the Difference?

At first glance, these two products appear almost identical, but they are actually different.

While the Duo is now available in 3 different sizes (3-,6-,8-quart), the Duo Nova offers more size options, from the mini to extra large (10-quart), making it well suited to every need.

The 2019 Nova version also has some significant improvements in design and functionality over its predecessor. One of the welcome new features is a smart steam release valve, which automatically closes when the lid is closed, so there’s no need worry about the valve being accidentally left in the venting position.

Drawback 

When the cooking process has ended, the pressure cooker does beep ten short times.  However, the alarm sound is too low, you may not hear it.

Verdict 

There’s no question about the abilities of the Instant Pot Duo – it makes rice cooking faster for busy people while still dramatically preserving the flavor and texture of rice. Do not hesitate to give this device a shot as it is much more multiskilled than you could have ever imagin

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2. Best Japanese Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter

Zojirushi is one of the biggest rice cooker manufactures not only in Japan, but also in the world, and for good reasons— it makes some pretty good rice cookers, combining a wide array of features with long-lasting performance. The manufacturer also impresses its users with stylish designs and unique cooking technologies which help differentiate its products from the competitors.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10
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  • Easy to use

  • Compact size

  • A wide range of settings

  • Automatic keep warm function

  • Multiple uses

  • Slow cooking process.

  • No steamer basket for steaming food.

Among many incredible models, the NS-TSC10 is simply the best micom rice cooker that this Japanese company has ever produced. Though the rice cooker is quite more expensive the Instant Pot Duo, it’s worth the extra money for its high quality, long-lasting inner pot and practical microcomputer technology.

Superior Technology

The computerized Fuzzy Logic technology makes adjustments to cooking time and temperature according to what type of rice you’re cooking. This means you’ll get the perfect outcome without constantly keeping an eye on the cooking process. The Zojirushi rice cooker is designed to do all the thinking for you.

Features and Settings

All the settings work terrifically well. The easy-to-use LCD screen and digital display offer you the opportunity to personalize your cooking options. Set the timer for when you want the rice cooker to start cooking and a musical alert, which is loud enough for you to hear from other rooms in the house, will alert you when your meal is done.

The power cord is firmly connected to the back of the rice cooker. The added value is that the cord can be retractable for neat storage. Thanks to this property, users can also customize the cord length to fit their different demands.

Capacity

For one meal, it yields up to 6 full cups of cooked rice to feed at least 5 people.

Drawbacks

Although this cooker can keep rice warm for up to 24 hours, some people reported that the rice might dry out after 2-3 hours of staying warm.

On first using the pot, many users noticed a strong burning plastic smell from the unit.  It’s likely the odor is from manufacturing oils or solutions on parts that are not likely to be accessible to users and isn’t anything to worry about. Like any cooking appliance, it makes sense to clean all the parts that come in contact with food before starting with your first batch of rice.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 vs. Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH

At first glance the NS-TSC10 may seem virtually identical to the NP-HCC10XH, with only slight differences in terms of price and design. But in fact, these two models are very different, especially in terms of their heating method.

As mentioned above, the NS-TSC10 is a micom rice cooker that makes use of a Fuzzy Logic computer to heat the inner cooking pan. This enables it to make the temperature and cooking time adjustments necessary to cook different types of rice. 

On the other hand, the NP-HCC10XH is an induction-heating rice cooker, and works by using the inner cooking pot itself as a heating element. This means that the device cooks the rice from all directions rather than just from the heating plate at the bottom like most conventional rice cookers. 

Thanks to the Induction Heating technology, this premium rice cooker is more responsive to temperature changes so as to make quick and precise alterations as needed. That’s why the machine often cooks faster and produces better results than the NS-TSC10. The only issue is that it usually consumes more energy, so the per-minute electricity use is higher. 

There are also some differences between these two models in terms of specifications. While both allow users to cook many types of rice, the NS-TSC10 can also be used for steaming and baking. The extra functions make this rice cooker more versatile than its counterpart.

You do pay for the versatility, though. The NS-TSC10 costs almost twice as much as its peers. 

All things considered, cost aside, the main difference between the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 and Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH is how evenly and quickly they cook the rice. With many extra benefits, the more expensive model is definitely a no brainer if money isn’t a major concern. But if price is your priority, go for the NS-TSC10, which is significantly cheaper but still good enough to prepare flawless rice every time.

Verdict 

The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is a rice cooker and slow cooker combination. Though it is a fairly basic rice cooker, it provides more useful features than you’d expect. It can bake cakes, steam veggies, and yes it’ll be the best replacement for your old-fashioned slow cooker. 

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3. Best Budget Rice Cooker: Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel Gray

This is one more product from a Japanese company that deserves a big round of applause for its outstanding performance. Able to accommodate 10 cups of uncooked rice at once, this machine has the capacity to cook enough rice for those with large families or those who love to host cozy dinner parties.

Tiger JNP S10U HU-5.5 Cup Rice Cooker Review
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  • High-quality construction

  • Durable

  • Sleek design

  • Fantastic keep warm mode

  • Pricey

  • No programmable start time

  • No steaming feature

Construction 

Most people love the stainless steel finish which  offers good looks and a durable finish. There’s no doubt that this product will fit right in with your kitchen decor.

The cooker itself is decently made with a good seal and a tight fitting lid that plays an important role in keeping the rice fresh. Thanks to the latest technology in the  keep warm function, your rice will stay hot and fluffy for up to 12 hours after it’s cooked.

Durability 

Tiger is known as the workhorse of all the rice cookers, and many of them are still in use after 20 years. So if you’re looking for a product that will stand the test of time, this brand should be your number one choice.

Other Features

With this single-button rice cooker, you can get a bunch of useful accessories, including an easy-to-read spatula and rice measuring cup.  The device is also equipped with a retractable cord which has a feature similar to the automatic rewind cords on older vacuum cleaners, making storage hassle-free.

The steam vent can be removed for cleaning and is extremely easy to hand wash. Just keep in mind to reinsert it carefully to make sure the vent is properly aligned.

Drawbacks

This model does not cook mixed rice very well, despite the fact that it always makes a perfect batch of brown OR white rice individually.

Also, as confirmed by many long term users, while the latch for the lid is metal, the catch for this latch is hard plastic that has been known to break.

Verdict 

The Tiger JNP-S10U-HU is a basic, standard rice cooker that may impress you with its exceptional durability. With the solid construction, it’s long lasting and usable for yearsAnd given that the delivered rice taste is better than that of many other models, this item is certainly worth your consideration.  

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4. Best Small(Mini) Rice Cooker: BLACK+DECKER Uncooked Rice Cooker, 3-cup, White

The Black+Decker RC503 mini rice cooker is an ideal option for singles, couples, or small families. It’s not an advanced product but offers enough quality to support your cooking needs and perhaps make them a little less time-consuming.

Black+Decker RC503 Uncooked Rice Cooker
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  • Good size for 1-3 people

  • Stylish and convenient design

  • Fast rice cooking

  • User-friendly

  • No off switch

Ease of Use 

The beauty of this mini rice cooker is that there seems to be no secret to it. In other words, there’s nothing you need to know to get good results.

Simply rinse the rice, put the rice and the correct amount of water into the pot, press the switch down, and it turns on. 20 minutes later, cooked rice comes out impressively nice and pretty much evenly cooked. It’s even a little faster than the directions say.

Versatility 

Beyonds serving as a rice cooker, this baby is also a good food steamer. Many users have even tried to make soup, stews and oatmeal, which is really an unexpected extra for the price and size.

Convenience 

Like other one-touch control rice cookers, once the rice has been cooked to perfection, the indicator light will change color and the machine will automatically switch to the keep warm setting, meaning you don’t have to worry about overcooking your rice.

Furthermore, all removable parts are dishwasher friendly, including the non-stick inner pot, tempered clear lid, and plastic accessories (measuring cup and serving spoon).

Drawbacks

The machine itself does not have an off button. Users can only turn it off by unplugging it.

Verdict 

There are several benefits in using the Black+Decker RC503. With the unique heat generation system, it works well enough to eliminates mushy, crunchy, burnt, or undercooked outcomes. And because it has a more compact footprint than its larger counterparts, it does not consume as much as power. All together, that will then remarkably saves you time, money, and kitchen countertop space. 

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5. Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker: COMFEE' 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi Cooker

With up to 17 digital cooking programs, the COMFEE’ is the most versatile cooker on our list. From cooking rice to steaming veggies and baking cakes, this all-in-one appliance can do it all, quickly and effortlessly. Together with a distinctive brushed stainless steel housing, the cooker ensures to suit your kitchen decor as well as helping you cook like a pro.

COMFEE' 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi Cooker
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  • A wide range of cooking presets

  • Heavy-duty inner pot

  • Well-built steam vent

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Useful accessories

  • No instruction manual included

One less positive point though is that there's always a little amount of water dripping from under the hole where the steam exits, making your rice quite mushy (only in this spot).

Capacity 

With a 5.2-quart capacity, the COMFEE’ has a decent amount of cooking space to handle upto 20 cups of cooked rice, which is enough for small parties or families of 6-8 persons. Beyond its versatility, large capacity, and strong decorative appeal, this unit also stands out from the rest with its exclusive inner pot. 

Construction 

Coated with a honeycomb pattern nonstick surface, the COMFEE’ inner pot comes with the advantages of promoting greater thermal conductivity, more even heat distribution, and easier food release. 

The pot is  2.0 mm thick, which helps a great deal in preserving steam and heat for perfect cooked rice every time. You might also be pleased to hear that the pot cooking surface is highly scratch-resistant, allowing you to cook with all types of utensils (except for those with sharp edges). It is even dishwasher safe for hassle free cleaning. 

Advanced Feature 

The control panel looks quite complicated but it is very easy to use. To start cooking, simply select the desired cooking program after turning on the machine, and then press the Start button. The cooker also allows you to adjust the temperature and cooking time to give you more control over your cooking. 

Like most multifunction cookers, the COMFEE’ also features a keep-warm setting, allowing you to keep your cooked food at serving temperature for up to 12 hours. Just keep in mind that this function cannot be applied to Yogurt and Saute settings. 

Drawback 

This cooker doesn’t include an instruction manual. The accessories included with the cooker are a steamer, serving spatula, soup ladle, and measuring cup. The lack of a manual has raised a lot of complaints by consumers on Amazon who say they cannot learn how to use the machine without Googling it.

Verdict 

Apart from being used to cook all kinds of rice, the COMFEE’ is also good for a variety of other uses, like steaming, stewing, and baking. If your finances are still functioning properly, why not pick out an all-in-one model that will provide you with much more modern advancements? For sure, this will be the most versatile appliances in your kitchen. 

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6. Best Sushi Rice Cooker: Toshiba Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked (3L) with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking

If you’re a big fan of sushi and want to make your dish just the way you like it, the Toshiba TRCS01 works well in providing you with restaurant-quality sushi rice in the comfort of your own home. 

Toshiba TRCS01 Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked
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  • 12 cup cooking capacity

  • Fuzzy Logic technology

  • Delay Timer function with two cooking completion times

  • Six pre-programmed settings and Quick Cook function

  • Keep Warm feature

  • Easy removal steam vent

  • Alarm sounds

  • Stiff and short power cord

Performance

Like the Zojirushi NS-TSC10, this Japanese-style rice cooker uses  Fuzzy Logic technology to sense moisture levels and then it automatically adjusts the heat and timing for accurate cooking. In this way, it can perfectly cook different types of rice as well as many other dishes without requiring you to measure a precise ratio every time. 

Advanced Feature 

Featuring six pre-programmed settings for some of the most common dishes, the Toshiba TRCS01 also allows you to start cooking with the touch of a button. It can even let you know when the cooking is done by beeping 5 times (not many rice cookers feature this function, so for us, this is a great bonus). 

And after the last beeps, the Keep Warm mode will begin automatically. While the cooker can keep your rice at serving temperature for up to 24 hours, you should consume it within 5 hours after cooking to get the best flavor and texture. Normally, this cooker takes approximately 50 minutes to cook 6 cups of white rice, but you can shorten the cooking time to 30 minutes using the Quick Rice function. 

Things You’ll Love 

If you’re a busy home cook who wants to be more flexible in cooking, the chances are you’ll love the Delay Timer function of this unit. Thanks to this function, you can conveniently set the time for when to start the cooking cycle and when the meal is ready to serve. 

Just make sure not to set the delay timer for longer than 12 hours or you’ll risk creating the ideal breeding ground for bacteria, causing serious threats to your health. 

We appreciate that the inner lid, cooking pot, and vent are designed for easy removal, making it faster and easier for you to clean them after every use and reattaching. Be advised that these detachable parts are not dishwasher safe but can be easily washed by hand using a soft cloth and  dish soap. 

Verdict 

As a leader in the rice cooker industry with more than 65 years development history, the Toshiba company is committed to help rice eaters easily cook aromatic, fluffy, and flavorful rice every time. Although their products are relatively expensive, what you receive is exceptional, and the one in this deal — the Toshiba TRCS01 micom rice cooker — is not an exception. 

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7. Best Microwave Rice Cooker: Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker, 87.2 oz./2.6 L, Red

You don’t have to pay a load of dollars for a standalone rice cooker to have perfect, fluffy rice every time, because the Sistema Microwave Collection can get the job done without a high price tag.

Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
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  • Compact yet efficient

  • Easy-lift tabs

  • Useful steam vent

  • BPA- and phthalate-free parts

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Handles get hot

  • Incapable of cooking large quantities of high-starch rice

Advanced Feature 

If you cook rice in a high wattage microwave that tends to heat up incredibly quickly, causing the food to boil too high and then splatter all over the turnable, you will appreciate this cooker’s pressure chamber plate. 

Together with a steam release vent on the lid that helps ensure splatter-free cooking, the pressure chamber plate aids in resolving the spilling problem by allowing any overflow to be caught then drained back into the container.  

The side handles have a reasonable length, making it easier to retrieve the cooker from the microwave. While they’re advertised as cool to the touch, we don’t think you can remove the cooker from the microwave without the use of potholders. 

There are four lift tabs around the plastic lid, which allow the lid to lock firmly onto the container. As a great bonus, the tabs are easy to lift, making it easier to open or cover the lid. This rice steamer even comes with a nonstick rice spoon that has a moderate heat-resistance rate and allows for easy rice release. 

Safety Notes

Made from 100% virgin plastic, this BPA- and phthalate-free microwave cooker is entirely safe for household use. It’s also safe to put in the fridge, dishwasher, and convection microwave using a convection setting. That being said, it cannot be used in the convection oven, under the grill, or on the stove. It also cannot prepare dishes using liquid with fat content such as milk. If you don’t follow the Use & Care document, explosions can occur, posing the risk of injury.

Drawback 

We just recommend the Sistema for those who cook rice occasionally to feed an average family, due to its small capacity (2.6L) and the attention it requires. While the Sistema manufacturers claim that you only need to place the cooker with rinsed rice inside the microwave and cook for about 15-18 minutes, we found that you should take out the cooker halfway through for stirring to make the rice evenly cooked throughout. This makes the cooking process a little bit more complicated than using a stand alone rice cooker. 

Verdict 

Particularly designed to cook rice, polenta, and couscous, this microwave rice steamer allows you to prepare delicious meals in no time at all. It even heats up noticeably faster than many countertop rice cookers. The main drawback is that it cannot cook large quantities of rice with high starch content in one go. 

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8. Best Brown Rice Cooker: Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (10 cup uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Food Steamer

The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB appeals to many users not only because of its price and brand, but also because it  includes a steaming function, a slow cooking function and a warm setting.

With 4-quart capacity, the cooker can yield up to 20 cups of rice of any type. It has separate buttons for white and brown rice, ensuring that the rice is cooked perfectly every time. Not only that, it also has a 15-hour delay timer ensuring that the rice is always ready to serve when it’s needed.

Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked Digital Rice Cooker
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  • Best for cooking brown rice

  • Safe and sturdy

  • Easy-to-use buttons

  • Inexpensive

  • Awesome steamer attachment

  • Cooking time a bit slow

  • Inconvenient lid

  • It doesn’t do a great job of keeping food warm

Drawbacks

This rice maker isn’t good at keeping the rice warm for long periods of time. When left too long the rice gets dry and even brittle and hard. This usually doesn’t happen with the more expensive rice cookers, proving that you get what you pay for.

The difficult-to-clean lid that cannot be removed from the body of the rice cooker is another awkward downside. This part is less than practical, as you must clean it while trying not to wet any other part of the rice cooker, which is a bit inconvenient.

Verdict 

The Aroma Housewares takes our vote for the best rice maker for cooking brown rice due to its affordable price tag and specialized functions for diffierent types of rice. With a moderate durability and versatility, this is something that you can count on. 

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Top-rated Rice Cookers Comparison Chart

ProductMaterial TypeCapacity
(Uncooked Rice)
Smart Built-In ProgramsWarranty
Instant Pot Duo
(Editor's Choice)
Stainless Steel2-cup
4-cup
6-cup
Yes1 year
Zojirushi NS-TSC10Stainless Steel5.5-cup
10-cup
Yes1 year
Tiger JNP-S10U-HUPlastic3-cup
5.5-cup
8-cup
10-cup
No1 year
Black+Decker RC503 Plastic3-cupNo2-year
COMEE’Stainless Steel10-cupYes1 year
Toshiba TRCS01Plastic6-cupYes1 year
Sistema Microwave CollectionPlastic5-cupNo1 year
Aroma HousewaresAluminum10-cupYes1 year

Best Rice Cooker Brands

Among many rice cookers built using Japanese technology, Zojirushi products are our favorite ones. Other less widely-known yet reliable names are Toshiba, Aroma, Instant Pot, and Panasonic. They are affordable rice cookers that can get the job done pretty well. The rice you get from these models, however, seems to be not as good as that produced by Zojirushi.

1. Instant Pot

instant Brands

These are intelligent electric pressure cookers that give you  the functions of several cooking appliances, including a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and warming pot.

2. Zojirushi

Zojirushi Brand

This Japanese company is famous for manufacturing conventional and digital rice cookers but at higher price tags. So if your budget is flexible enough, then this trusted manufacturer deserves your investment.

3. Aroma Housewares

Aroma Housewares

Aroma Housewares is another popular and trusted brand in the industry. If you’re seeking a reliable standard rice cooker, then this brand is certainly worth your consideration. Solid yet powerful, Aroma standard rice cookers deliver a good performance for their price range. 

The company also has a reputation for producing programmable multi-cookers. Though these smart cookers are not as fancy as Instant Pot or Zojirushi, they’re still versatile enough to handle a variety of cooking tasks.

4. Oster

Oster Brand

Many Oster rice cookers are budget-friendly and straightforward to use, thanks to their simple design and intuitive controls. These devices often come with a vegetable steamer tray, which allows users to steam fish or vegetables while cooking rice.

How to Use a Rice Cooker

For a closer look at how to efficiently use a rice cooker, here, we bring to you the step-by-step instructions that will help you make an ideal bowl of rice.

  1. Use the measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker to measure the amount of rice you plan to cook. The fill lines in the cooking pot are standardized to that measure.
  2. Put the rice into a strainer and rinse the rice carefully until the final drained water runs almost clear.
  3. Transfer the rice into the inner pot.
  4. Measure the amount of COOL water needed and pour it into the pot. Keep in mind that how much water you add depends largely on what type of rice you’re using. For example, usually, 1 cup of white rice will require 2 cups of water.
  5. Soak the rice for about 30 mins so as to shorten the cooking time. You can skip this step if you wish.
  6. Place the pot into the rice cooker body, make sure that it’s dry on the outside. Then cover it with the lid, plug the machine in and switch it on.
  7. After the rice has been cooked, open the lid and stir the contents thoroughly. It’s now ready to serve.
Rice Type Water-Rice Ratio(Cup)Cooking Time 
White 2:115-20 min
Brown 2:130-35 min
Jasmine 1:115-20 min
Basmati 1½:1 20-25 min
Quinoa 2:120-25 min
Arborio 3:118-20 min
Mixed 1½:1 35-45 min
How to use a Rice Cooker

Notes:

  • While the cooker is running, do not open the lid or stir the rice unless you want to prolong the procedure.
  • Most rice cookers will automatically switch to a keep-warm setting once the rice is completely cooked. So there’s no need to constantly keep a close eye on the process. Just turn it on and forget about it.
  • Most high-end products nowadays have a wide range of settings to deal with different types of rice.

Conclusion

That is our list for the best rice cookers this year. We make sure these models reviewed offer the best combination of price, quality, and versatility. Just keep in mind that whatever product you choose, it should meet your needs and budget. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your rice cooker is simple to use and compact enough so that it won’t take up too much counter space. If you're a beginner looking for a reliable rice cooker, we recommend that you should find something that works straightforwardly and allows for easy cleaning, like the Instant Pot Duo.

Luna Regina

A writer and entrepreneur, Luna’s day doesn’t start at the computer keyboard, but in the kitchen.

Half of her working hours are spent on mixing ingredients for her recipes. The other half involve working with the tech team to research and test the tools and appliances that promise to make kitchen work effortless and mess-free. From a kitchen knife or water filter to the Instant Pot, if it can help save time and effort for the home cook, Luna and her team are on it.

Luna’s extracurricular pastimes include camping, travel, and photography.

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