The 5 Best Rice Cookers for A Soft and Tasty Rice in 2019
#1 Cuckoo CRP-P0609S Rice Cooker
While there are a variety of rice cookers out there, the Cuckoo CRP-P0609S rice cooker does more than just make a nice pot of rice. Other features include:
- Water drainage system
- Can cook other dishes aside from rice
#2 Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 Rice Cooker
If you like Japanese cuisine, then you might want to invest a Japanese rice cooker. And the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 is the best model for you. This rice cooker features include:
- User friendly and large display
- Ability to adjust temperature to the single degree
- Easy to transport
#3 Tiger JAX-S Rice Cooker
Looking for one-pot (or one-appliance) cooking situation? Then the Tiger JAX-S Rice Cooker is the right device for you. Some of its features include:
- Tiger’s Automatic Cooking Logic
- Can be used to make porridge or stew
- Also functions as a warmer
#4 Aroma Pot-Style Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
Looking for a rice cooker that won’t break the bank? The Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style rice cooker & food steamer will be a great option for you. Here are some of its features:
- Includes a steam tray that can cook simultaneously with your rice
- Ability to cook more things than rice
#5 Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker
If you need a rice cooker but don’t have much space, you should try the Hamilton Beach rice cooker. Here are some of the features:
- Includes a rice rinser and steam basket
- Can cook whole grains, too
- Cooking pot, steam basket, rice measuring cup and rice paddle are dishwasher safe
Rice has been a standard dish for many different cultures around the world for a long time. And there are also tons of ways one can not only prepare the grain as a side dish but a main one, too.However, if you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to deal with constantly watching your pot of rice, you may want to consider investing in a rice cooker. And today’s rice cookers do more than make a pot of fluffy rice. They can also cook other types of grains, and some are also able to cook a full meal instead of just the side dish.
If you’re new to this type of appliance, you might need help when it comes to choosing the right one. And we’re here to help. After looking through all the different types of rice cookers out there, we have found five that are perfect for any and every lifestyle.
Learn more about the five best rice cookers below.
Editors' Choice: Cuckoo CRP-P0609S
If you’re looking for a rice cooker that’s a cut above the rest, then you should get the Cuckoo CRP-P0609S. This model might be a big machine, but it makes up for it with all its capabilities. Not only can you make a solid pot of rice, but it can also bake bread, boil chicken soup or make a fresh helping of sushi rice.
With the digital timer, you can choose from the 12 cooking options. And if you don’t feel like doing all the cleanup, don’t worry. The Cuckoo CRP-P0609S can steam clean itself.
Cuckoo CRP-P0609S Pros
- Multiple cooking functions: You can choose from a variety of preset settings to cook with.
- Self-cleaning: It has an auto steam clean function.
- Smart Voice Guide: It can operate in English, Chinese and Korean.
Cuckoo CRP-P0609S Cons
- Pricey: It can set you back more than $250.
- Heavy: It weighs 14.3 pounds.
- Doesn’t warm for long: It does not warm the rice for long.
Best Value: Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
If you’re looking for an affordable rice cooker that is easy to use, then the Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker & Food Steamer may be a good option for you. It has a tempered glass lid so you’ll be able to see how your food is cooking.
It not only has the inner cooking pot for your rice, but there’s also a steamer included. This means that you can steam any proteins or vegetables while the rice is cooking.
Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker & Food Steamer Pros
- Easy to clean: The non-stick surface of the inner cooking pot makes for easy cleaning.
- Simple to operate: Press one button, and it’s ready to go.
- Doesn’t take up space: Since it’s a six-cup rice cooker, this one won’t clutter your kitchen counter.
Aroma 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker & Food Steamer Cons
- Spurts out water: Once it gets hot, it can spurt water everywhere.
- Browns white rice: Since there’s no temperature control, it might turn the bottom of your rice brown.
- Not durable: Some components like the buttons and steamer rack have been known to be a bit flimsy.
Best Japanese Rice Cooker: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC 10
If you’re looking for a Japanese rice cooker, then Zojirushi is the right brand to go to. Coining the term, “Neuro Fuzzy” to describe a technology particular to the company, their Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC 10 is one of the best rice cookers you will find.
Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC 10 Pros
- Neuro Fuzzy tech: A term the company came up with, the idea is that these rice cookers can instantly adjust cooking time and temperature based on what’s happening in the machine.
- Cooks multiple rice textures: You can cook different types of rice with ease.
- Warm setting: With the warm setting and reheating cycle, you can just use the machine as a serving vessel for the table.
Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC 10 Cons
- Bulky: Whether it’s the 5.5 cup or the 10-cup rice cooker, they’re both pretty hefty looking.
- Availability: This model may not be readily available at many retailers, which means you may have to wait a while to get one.
- Can get dirty: Since it’s white in color, you’ll need to wipe it down a fair amount.
Best Small Rice Cooker: Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker
If you’re looking for no frills, straightforward rice cooker, then you’ll need to get the Hamilton Beach two-eight cup rice cooker.
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker Pros
- One-pot cooking: You can steam seafood or veggies in the steam basket will the rice cooks.
- Compact: It’s small so it fits nicely on your kitchen counter.
- Can cook whole grains: From quinoa to farro to buckwheat, this rice cooker can do it all.
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker Cons
- Not the most durable: It won’t last you forever.
- Timing: It can take longer to cook rice than in other machines.
- Difficult to clean: Some consumers have complained that it’s not the easiest to clean.
Best Multifunction Rice Cooker: Tiger JAX-S
Are you ready for something that’s more of a one-pot deal? Then you’ll want to invest in the Tiger JAX-S. It cooks rice and a lot of other dishes. And it also has the brand’s own “Automatic Cooking Logic. Learn more about this rice cooker below.
Tiger JAX-S Pros
- Tacook: You can cook rice and another disk simultaneously without worrying about their flavors mixing.
- Automatic Cooking Logic: The rice cooker can monitor cooking temperatures in real time and make sure they’re in working order.
- Different settings: There are options for cooking different things with the touch of one button.
Tiger JAX-S Cons
- Expensive: It can cost almost $200.
- Battery: It’s hard to replace the battery when it gets old.
- Constant cleaning: If you don’t, then some of your things can get moldy.
Types of Rice Cookers
As technology is getting better, that means household appliances are also getting better. So it’s no surprise that the rice cooker has upped its game. While there are lots of traditional rice cookers out there, there are no others that will get your rice to the right temperature for sushi or cuts the amount of time it takes to cook it. Find out how these types differ and what the best and worst parts are about them.
The conventional rice cooker is the rice cooker that some people who have grown up with eating rice have likely brought to their college accommodation. They usually had two handles — one on each side. It also came with a metal inner cooking pot that maybe made about 3 cups of rice. Obviously, there are bigger ones, but the key thing to point out about the conventional rice cooker is that the heat mainly came from the bottom. While that can cause some browning at the bottom, you can still eat the rice.
- Simple: It’s easy to operate.
- Easy to clean: Take the lid and pot out, soap, rinse then dry.
- Affordable: It usually won’t break the budget.
- It isn’t the most durable of rice cooker types.
- No control: These models don’t always have features that can aid in the cooking process or shorten cooking time.
- Can make rice brown: Since the heat comes from the bottom, there’s a good chance the rice can be brown at the bottom.
Micro Computer (MICOM)
Think about having a command center that’s all encased inside your rice cooker. Well, if it is controlled by MICOM, then it’s probably exactly that. Rice cookers that have micro computers are usually bigger in size but have more features and capabilities than conventional rice cookers. One can either select the type of cooking, time frame or rice type on these machines. So if you like this a certain way, this might be the rice cooker for you.
- Control: You can choose the right setting or the particular dish you want to cook. And these kinds of cookers can do the job.
- Fuzzy logic: Similar to control, this kind of rice cooker can usually let you set things to a particular setting or change something in super small increments.
- Lots of options: With the micro computer in a rice cooker, that means your cooking options are endless.
- Higher price tag: The computer alone means that it has a higher price tag.
- Can be complex: If you’re not into learning about a new machine, this might not be the one for you.
- Big in size and weight: Even the ones that don’t cook that much rice will still likely weigh a bit more than a conventional machine.
Micro Computer with Induction Heating
If you already like the micro computer machine, then maybe you’d like one with induction heating.
- Takes cooking rice to another level: You can fine-tune your cooking time and temperature with this one.
- No more brown rice at the bottom: Since the inner cooking pot is heated all over, then you will no longer have to worry about the brown mushy grains at the bottom.
- More ways to cook: Similar to the MICOM rice cookers, this will also have a lot of cooking presets and will likely let you cook more things than rice.
- Expensive: The more features a rice cooker has the more likely its price will go up.
- Takes up space: With something that does so much, it’ll need to make lots of room on your kitchen counter.
- Availability: If you have your eye on a particular model that does a lot, there might be a chance it will be hard to find as it’s likely made in Asia.
Micro Computer with Pressurized Induction Heating
Think about it. Not only does it have a micro computer to pick out specific settings, but it also cooks your rice with induction heat and in a pressurized environment. So you’ll have amazing tasting rice that won’t take as much time to cook. Learn more about this type of rice cooker.
- Precision: Rice can be cooked perfectly.
- Long-lasting: This kind of rice cooker will give your rice a longer shelf life as far as flavor.
- Quick cooking: Between the induction heat and the pressure, you’ll be able to have a fresh pot of rice in a very short amount of time.
- Complicated: If you’re not good with gadgets or digital things, this might be a bit much for you.
- Expensive: The more features there are the bigger the price tag.
- Bulky Between the mini computer inside and the steam pressure, this adds more and more to your appliance.
Rice Cooker Buyer’s Guide
It seems like rice cookers may have been around for ages. And they have been — sort of. There have been rice cooking vessels that go as far back as 1250 BC. However, those were the type of double boiler situations that would require someone to watch the cooking process closely. However, the ones we see more commonly today have only been in existence since the 50s. Developed in Japan, the first rice cooker that was commercially distributed was developed by Toshiba in 1956.
After some time, rice cookers started to take off, especially in parts of the world where rice is a standard at the dining table. As more and more people are starting to add rice to their weekly menus, rice cookers will easily become standards in many kitchens.
Below are some things to consider when selecting the right rice cooker for your home.
The first thing you would like to consider is what size your rice cooker should be. And while it’s easy to just think about which one best fits on your kitchen counter, it’s more effective to pick the size based on how much rice you consume in a week.
So one cup of uncooked rice actually yields more when it is finished cooking. After the cooking process, your one cup will turn into one-and-a-half cups cooked rice. Crazy right? Well, dry, uncooked rice takes up less space in your measuring cup. So when water is absorbed, they plump up and turn into the full and fluffy grains they’re meant to be.
If you’re a small household that doesn’t eat rice every day, then you might want to go for a small (3-4 cup) rice cooker. But if you’re looking for a Japanese rice cooker, then a good standard will likely be able to hold up five cups of uncooked rice.
One more thing to think about when it comes measuring how much rice goes into a rice cooker. If you purchase a rice cooker that’s made by a Japanese company, then take into consideration that one Japanese cup is 200ml while one American cup is 240ml. So be sure to use the little cup that comes with the rice cooker to measure out your rice instead of a standard American measuring cup.
If you would still like to follow that idea but your rice cooker didn’t come with a measuring cup, Amazon has a number of options in a variety of materials and don’t cost very much.
Inner Cooking Pot
When you get into the rice cooker, you’ll see that there is an inner cooking pot. This pot can be made of a number of materials — normally stainless steel, aluminum and ceramic. Depending on your preference, any of these are suitable. But it’s good to know what inner cooking pot is made of in order to ensure your safe from any harmful materials.
Stainless steel is a really popular choice because it is only non-reactive metal that’s used to produce cookware. That means all the nutrients and flavors will stay put as your food will also not absorb any weird smells or flavors. The heat spreads evenly and is also easy to clean.
Aluminum is a very popular material used for the inner cooking pot of a rice cooker. While it’s fairly durable and inexpensive, there is a risk when it’s covered in a non-stick material like Teflon.
If you do have a pot that is covered with a non-stick material, then be mindful of any peeling or scratches. You wouldn’t ever want to have that get into your cooked grains.
Ceramic is another material that does not have a non-stick coating on it. They are great with heating situations. The only issue with finding a ceramic inner cooking pot is that they aren’t as common as the metals.
Depending on the type of rice cooker you get, there are many that have preset cooking settings. And if you’re the type to change the type of rice you cook or want an alternative to nuking day old rice in the microwave, these preset settings are good options.
- Quick Cook
The “Quick Cook” option isn’t always available on rice cookers. But when it is, it will definitely help you get dinner on the table faster. Depending on the model, it can cut your cooking time up to half the time.
- Keep Warm
The “Keep Warm” setting is exactly what it says. It helps to keep your rice warm without overcooking or burning it. Some rice cookers sometimes can automatically go into this mode once the grains are fully cooked. Or you can switch this preset on.
Instead of popping it in the microwave or heating it up in the microwave, you can just put the cold rice into the inner cooking pot and press a button. Then in a few minutes, you’ll be ready for your meal.
- Rice Texture
With jasmine, basmati, Arborio rice and many others, you can make so many different types of rice dishes. But that also means there different ways and time periods in which to cook the rice. Luckily for you, some rice cookers actually have a feature where you can put in the rice texture or type of rice, and it will cook accordingly.
- Simmer/Slow Cook
Finally, there’s the simmer slow cook setting. This is usually meant for rice or grain dishes that you want to cover over the course of time. Or sometimes for a type like glutinous rice, which needs time to cook through, this will be the better setting to cook in than just turning it on normal. It’s also great if you want to make porridge or oatmeal.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning your rice cooker is fairly simple. After each usage, it’s best to take the inner cooking pot and lid out of the cooker. Then you can wash that with dish soap and water and let dry. These two components are dishwasher safe for the most part. However, it’s best to check the box to make sure. If there are pieces of rice that are stuck on, you can just cover those areas with hot water and let it soak for a bit, and it should easily rinse off.
If the hot plate area gets wet, you should also make a habit of unplugging and wiping it clean.
Warranties are based on the manufacturer and usually last for a year or 18 months for parts and labor. If you purchase it from retailers like Amazon, Walmart or Best Buy, they either have their own warranty plans included or sell separate plans for it.Read More