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Home » Kitchen » The 11 very Best Rice Cookers

The 11 very Best Rice Cookers

Free vector flat yellow background with ladder and light bulb innovative concept vector illustrationWhether or not you want an affordable and easy mannequin or a technologically savvy machine with lots of settings.

Glass Cooktop OvenBest general
Best electric steamer
Best easy
Greatest small
Finest Persian
Finest with stress cooking
Greatest high-end
Finest donabe

Making rice is deceptively easy: Measure, rinse, add water, simmer, steam, and less than a half an hour later, you’re carried out. And but so typically – regardless of if you’re an beginner in the kitchen or consider yourself fairly accomplished – the final result is a letdown. Generally the grains flip to mush; generally they’re exhausting within the middle; and all too typically they’re stuck to the underside of the pot (in my home, the last word “let it soak overnight” offender – never a fun factor to wake up to).

Enter rice cookers, which, for a lot of, save the day. They’re basically a focused type of electric cooker, much like a pressure cooker or gradual cooker, solely they excel at making plump, perfectly cooked rice. They’ll both be incredibly simple, with simply two settings to “cook” and “keep heat,” or they are often quite superior, with presets for all different types of rice (brown, long grain, sushi, and extra) as well as preparations like congee, porridge, and even pressure-cooking (which is, sure, a technique wherein all these electric cooking instruments can overlap).

I spoke with a bunch of specialists about their favourite fashions, which ranged from cheap and straightforward contraptions to extra excessive-tech machines. However the underside line is, in case you eat rice even a couple times per week, a rice cooker could also be well worth a spot on your countertop.

What we’re searching for

Most of the rice cookers beneath come in a number of sizes. I’ve listed all of them so you can easily see what your options are. Also vital to remember: The larger the capacity, the more room the cooker will take up. In fact, how huge of a capacity you go for will rely upon how much rice you eat per meal, in addition to if you wish to have leftovers. But generally, a 3-cup rice cooker is good for one or two people, a 5- or six-cup rice cooker is good for about four individuals, and anything bigger is greatest when you eat a lot of rice or host individuals frequently for dinner.


As I discussed before, some rice cookers come with just a few settings, and others include many. The one exception is the final on this record, which is a guide donabe rice cooker. Right here, I’ve listed each of the particular functions the given rice cooker can carry out.

Greatest total rice cooker

Capability: 5.5 or 10 cups | Settings: White/sushi, combined, porridge, sweet, brown, cake, steam, and fast cooking

In my reporting, Zojirushi got here up greater than another model. It has a fancier model with much more settings that a number of specialists mentioned (you can read about that one further down the listing), but this one – particularly given that it’s lower than half the price of the other – makes for an all-around nice purchase.

MOHAI - old heating stove.jpgMeals author and recipe developer Kiera Wright-Ruiz had to leave hers behind when she lately moved to Hawaii; she advised me it’s the factor she misses essentially the most. “I’m sure people have stated this before, but it surely really is the Lamborghini of rice cookers,” she says. The standout purpose is what Zojirushi calls “fuzzy know-how,” or a constructed-in microcomputer that can sense how your rice is cooking and modify the time and temperature so that “even in case you add too little or a lot water, it’ll self-right,” says Wright-Ruiz. “You get a consistent texture with a margin of error.” One other particularly appealing feature is the flexibility to preset while you need your rice to cook: For example, if you’re braising one thing that takes three hours, you possibly can time it in order that the rice is finished concurrently.

Lastly, though perhaps not probably the most imperative to the rice itself, Zojirushi’s machines play music while you start them (an adaptation of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”) and when they’re executed cooking – and it’s clearly delightful sufficient that everybody who recommended the brand (again, extra on the remainder of those people, beneath) made mention of the jingles.

Greatest less expensive rice cooker

Capacity: 5 or 10 cups | Settings: Quick cook/steam, white rice, brown rice, porridge/soup, keep heat

The Panasonic is another easy mannequin, the one which meals photographer Neal Santos has also used for a decade – both personally and at his Philly-based mostly Filipino pop-up, Lalo (which unfortunately closed because of the pandemic). That’s what I grew up with in a Filipino household,” he says. We were in a meals corridor, so every part was small, and this was an environment friendly approach to do issues.” I put the suman in there and let it keep heat. It has a little basket that can steam veggies over the rice. That’s how we used it at the restaurant. “I’m not a excessive-tech kind of person, and this only has a few settings. Sometimes I’ll use it for different dishes as nicely. The Philippines has a lot of rice desserts – like suman, which is sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf. “It could be on on a regular basis and keep warm.

Reviewers of the Panasonic agree. “The 10-cup Zojirushi we’ve got will dry out the rice overnight.” “It keeps white or brown rice warm and able to eat for 24 hours, with out the rice drying out and changing into too onerous and brittle,” they write. “The ‘keep warm’ function is so convenient,” writes one, “and I by no means end up with burnt rice that’s inconceivable to clean off the pot. The truth is, I normally solely have to give the pot a fast rinse when I’m completed and it’s good to go.” One other says it’s even better than the Zojirushi with regards to that particular setting.

Finest even less expensive rice cooker

Capability: 4 cups | Settings: White rice, brown rice, keep heat, steam, delay timer, flash rice

For a low-key model that gets the job executed, chef Justin Lee turns to his Aroma rice cooker. So glad she wasn’t. That is just us cooking rice at residence so we are able to feed ourselves and our household.” For that, he maintains it’s perfect. “And positive, there’s one thing about the way in which the Zojirushi is constructed that makes it superior. “It’s simply easier than using a pot – or not less than you don’t have to watch it as a lot. “For house use, I feel a cheap and easy one is actually all you need,” he says. It will get the job completed totally tremendous,” he notes. However at the top of the day, we’re not making sushi rice. Another was particularly searching for an alternative to the Zojirushi – and was nonetheless “willing to pay massive bucks” – but couldn’t believe it when her sister informed her about this underneath-$50 unit: “I thought she was kidding. He’s not the only one who thinks so: The Aroma has a four-and-a-half-star rating on Amazon with greater than 50,000 reviews. Now my husband and that i [are] already having fun with our completely cooked brown rice.” “Even a caveman can make perfect rice” with this machine, writes one customer.

If you’re taken with a fair simpler model of Lee’s Aroma, Strategist senior editor Chelsea Peng (who grew up with Zojirushis) endorses such a mannequin. “And it’s very sturdy – I’ve bashed it around and picked it up by the top handle when it’s open (don’t ask me why) with no detrimental effect.” “The 12-minute ultimate countdown is a helpful feature, because it tells me when to squeeze in a Shona Vertue video or to start cooking the other components of my meal,” she says. She uses hers to make brown rice (and through tomato season, this “extremely dated however delicious” hack).

Greatest electric steamer rice cooker

Capacity: 6 cups | Settings: Steam, keep heat

Meals author Cathy Erway explains that her rice cooker, ubiquitous in Taiwan, works like an electric steamer: As an alternative of mixing rice and water immediately collectively, the Tatung heats water in a bigger compartment across the bowl that holds the rice. “I don’t want a ton of buttons to do this thing or that factor,” she says. But it surely additionally implies that “you can steam different foods, like eggs or broccoli, without boiling them,” Erway says, whether that’s on a tray set on top of the rice or with none rice at all. “After the first time or two making rice, you already know exactly how long it takes.” She additionally appreciates the straightforward performance. This generates steam and helps the person grains cook super-evenly.

[Editor’s note: Yun Hai is the only distributor of Tatung in the United States, although the model is reportedly planning to carry it elsewhere soon.]

Finest simple rice cooker

Capacity: 6 cups | Settings: Cook, keep warm

Recipe developer and author Justine Doiron loves her rice cooker because of its simplicity and reliability. She first purchased it about eight years ago at Goal as a result of it was the most cost effective one she may discover. The Imusa comes with a measuring cup and instructions on how much water to add, relying on what number of rice you’re making. Apart from that, it operates with a single cook button and a setting to keep food heat if you want. Despite the notably low price, the machine has confirmed to be incredibly durable and has “never finished me unsuitable,” she says. “When a cooking appliance is simply meant for one use, you don’t need the fanciest mannequin,” Doiron says.

Greatest small rice cooker

Capability: 3 cups | Settings: White, mixed, brown, rinse free, quick, sprouted, curry, porridge, timer, keep heat

This compact rice cooker comes endorsed by cookbook writer and recipe developer Lukas Volger. “It’s each cute and type of futuristic looking and fashionable and sleek, all at the same time. While it does retail on the higher end, especially for such a little bit machine, “I suppose the fact that ten years after I obtained it, it continues to be working nice is a testomony to it being a superb worth,” he says. It’s tremendous small (less than a foot in peak, depth, and width), with rounded corners, a hidden compartment for the cord, and a really minimal coloration palette. However then I bought this factor, and you can have perfect rice ready on a regular basis,” says Volger. For the longest time, I assumed, Why would I need a rice cooker in my tiny kitchen? For anybody who loves Muji, it’s very true to the company’s form. “The options are limited, which suggests it’s easy to make use of.” As for the look?

Greatest Persian-rice cooker

Capability: 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or 15 cups | Settings: Customizable timer, keep heat

The Pars Persian-rice cooker is constructed to do one thing completely different from all of the others on this checklist: make tahdig, the ubiquitous, crispy layer of rice at the bottom (and high, once you flip it over) of many preparations of Persian rice dishes. Funny sufficient, his mother and grandmother both used one, and it was in the course of the pandemic that he lastly decided it was time to get one himself. In reality, he has two now – the smaller four-cup he started out with and a bigger seven-cup he makes use of to make tahdig for a crowd. “It’s user-pleasant,” he says, “something that my 85-yr-outdated grandma who only speaks Farsi and isn’t that good at know-how can figure out. The primary time I used it, I used to be considering I would have to attempt a number of instances with a view to get it right, however it came out fairly completely – and then every subsequent time too.” Roshanian additionally likes that the insert is lightweight and “nonstick so it’s tremendous-simple to flip out and clear.” “I’m an avid dwelling cook, however rice was all the time robust for me, and that’s part of why for a while I avoided cooking quite a lot of Persian meals,” says writer Arya Roshanian, who chronicled his foray into utilizing the Pars for Vox last year.

Greatest rice cooker with strain cooking

Capacity: 10 cups | Settings: White rice, glutinous turbo, combined rice, brown rice, high heat, GABA rice (germinated brown rice), porridge, nu rung ji (scorched rice), multi-cook, auto-clear, pressure cook, reheat, keep warm, preset timer

“I bought a Cuckoo as a result of that’s what my mom and aunts use,” says Joanne Lee Molinaro, higher identified because the Korean Vegan. However cleanup with this rice cooker is a breeze across the board.” “When you go to a Korean grocery store, you see a bunch of Cuckoos all around the place.” Molinaro makes use of hers – a slightly older however related model to the one listed – primarily for brown rice as well as mixed rice, the setting for which she makes use of each time she provides soybeans, farro, pearled barley, and even chestnuts and candy potatoes. For food author Justine Lee, who has the more moderen model, “the multi-cook setting is where it stuns.” Multi-cook essentially turns the appliance into a pressure cooker and permits you to regulate the time and heat level. “Both are as simple as dialing the knob to set,” says Lee. I’ve even adopted recipes fitted for a standard Instantaneous Pot similar to cinnamon buns and yakbap, which might get sticky. “It’s how I steam a bunch of Korean sweet potatoes right before road journeys and quell my bean hankerings come summertime.

If you’re interested within the brand however don’t care so much concerning the multi-cook characteristic, Strategist editor Maxine Builder has a good older model of this below-$100 Cuckoo that nonetheless works perfectly after she’s used it for the previous several years. (Her precise mannequin is even older than the one linked and never available on-line anymore).

Finest less expensive rice cooker with strain cooking

Capacity: 3 quart, 6 quart, or eight quart | Settings: Rice, soup/broth, meat/stew, bean/chili, poultry, multigrain, porridge, steam, saute, yogurt, sluggish cook, strain cook, keep warm

It’s no secret that the moment Pot can do rather a lot – but Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio primarily uses hers for rice, making it for her household of 4 at least once a week. Then she puts a half-inch or so of water at the bottom of the bigger container (not covering the top of the rack). “Obviously we could nonetheless do rice on the stove, but on top of the convenience, the instant Pot might be shoved to the edge of the counter and never take up a burner.” With just a little fluff, it’s ready to go. She cooks on excessive strain for four minutes, then does the sluggish release for about ten minutes (with a guide release if there’s any stress remaining at the end). She takes a stainless-steel mixing bowl, fills it with equal parts water and rice, and sets it inside the instant Pot on high of the wire rack the unit comes with. “It’s good to have the (nearly) set-it-and-neglect-it comfort of a ‘rice cooker’ that is also multipurpose for pressure cooking, sluggish cooking, and so on,” Trulio says.

Finest excessive-end rice cooker

Capacity: 5.5 or 10 cups | Settings: White (common, softer, or tougher), umami, combined, sushi/candy, Jasmine, porridge, congee, brown, GABA brown (germinated brown rice), steel minimize oatmeal, quick cooking, automated keep warm, extended keep warm, reheat

That is the beforehand mentioned greater-end Zojirushi mannequin that so many consultants enthusiastically recommended. In fact, it has that same standout know-how as the more inexpensive mannequin. It is, notably, essentially the most costly on the record, however it’s additionally clearly a favourite, a worth-it investment for those who eat enough rice. “This mannequin I bought specifically as a result of it has a congee mode,” says meals writer and editor Alyse Whitney. “I can set it at evening and have congee prepared within the morning,” she says. So, sure, I purchased this for a button, however it actually makes excellent congee.” Recipe developer and cookbook writer Betty Liu additionally makes quite a lot of congee in hers, calling it “convenient, fast, and incredibly reliable.” And at last, TikTok recipe creator Vivian Aronson makes use of that characteristic too, significantly for breakfast. The principle difference is the myriad of settings – and particularly, one that everyone whom I talked to honed in on. “The one I had previously for many years solely had Japanese porridge, which is thinner.

Finest donabe

Capability: 1, 3, 4, or 5 cups | Settings: None

Jing Gao, the founding father of Strategist-favorite brand Fly by Jing, has multiple donabes from the Los Angeles-based store Toiro in her kitchen, including this one particularly for cooking rice. First, as Toiro owner and donabe expert Naoko Takei says, it’s about one-and-a-half times thicker than the other fashions she sells, which means it takes longer to construct heat. While she also owns a Zojirushi, she swears this handbook technique makes the rice style better. Second, there’s an inside lid beneath the highest lid, which provides stress. While Gao’s vessel is just like a traditional donabe you’d use for soup or stew, in that it’s made from porous clay, there are a number of key differences that enable the grains to cook particularly evenly. And at last, it has a rounded form, creating “the most supreme circulation of water and moisture and steam throughout cooking,” she says.

To make use of this donabe, you simply set your flame to medium excessive, let it go for about quarter-hour, flip it off, then let it sit for one more 20 to further steam. It was designed to be simply as convenient and simple to use as electric versions (with historically formed donabes and customary stainless-steel saucepans, you’ve got to alter heat ranges and keep watch over things).

Gao additionally factors out that, beyond providing superior style and texture, the donabe appears to be like stunning. “Being able to show it out within the open is really nice,” she says. “It evokes you to cook with it.”

Some more rice cookers we’ve written about

Our specialists

• Vivian Aronson, TikTok recipe creator
• Maxine Builder, Strategist editor
• Justine Doiron, recipe developer and writer
• Jing Gao, founder of Fly by Jing
• Justin Lee, chef
• Joanne Lee Molinaro, writer, recipe developer, and cookbook creator
• Betty Liu, recipe developer and cookbook author
• Chelsea Peng, Strategist senior editor
• Arya Roshanian, author
• Neal Santos, meals photographer
• Lisa Cheng Smith, proprietor of Yun Hai
• Naoko Takei, owner of Toiro
• Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor
• Lukas Volger, recipe developer and cookbook writer
• Alyse Whitney, food author and editor
• Kiera Wright-Ruiz, meals author and recipe developer

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