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The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

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Small Rice Cookers

Rice cookers come in all shapes and sizes. Each one has its own unique features that may or may not be for everyone. Some rice cookers make use of innovative technology and have a wide variety of menu settings. Others have simple operational features that make the cooking cycle a breeze. 

And then there are small rice cooker models that have a compact build and a limited capacity. Often, they can only make up to 6 cups of cooked rice, which is why a small rice cooker isn’t for everyone. They’re ideal for small households and those who want an easy way out when cooking their daily home-cooked meals. 

The best perks that come with a little quality rice cooker are its portable build quality and user-friendly functions. Despite their size, many small cookers are built with great features that can come in pretty handy in the kitchen. 

With that, we have listed the top 5 best small rice cookers in the market, plus their features, pros and cons, and more to help you make the best choice for your investment.


Which is the Top Small Rice Cooker?

Editor's Choice

best small rice cooker
Best Overall
best small rice cooker
Best for Versatile Cooking
best small rice cooker
Best for Quick Meals
Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker

Weighing only 2.45 pounds, this rice cooker packs a punch with a Keep Warm function, versatile menu options, and a nonstick inner pot.

Instant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker

This rice cooker functions as 6 kitchen appliances in one: a sterilizer, slow cooker, steamer, saute, warmer, and pressure cooker.

Tiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker

This rice cooker comes with Tiger's Tacook technology that enables you to cook your rice and viand simultaneously in one cooking cycle.

Functionality: Quality: Price:
Functionality: Quality: Price:
Functionality: Quality: Price:


Let’s Go Over Each Top Rice Cooker

best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Functionality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Price:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Capable of making 3 cups of cooked rice, the Aroma MI Cool Touch Rice Cooker is one with a sleek and simple design.

It only weighs 2.45 pounds and measures 6.75 x 6.25 x 7.25 inches, making it easy to use, carry and bring with you to picnics and small gatherings. With these features, rave reviews, and benefits, it’s no surprise this highest-rated personal rice cooker makes it to the top of our list. 

This portable Aroma flash rice cooker is operated with one simple push of a switch. That is enough to begin the cooking cycle. Once the rice has finished cooking, the switch will automatically flick back up to prompt the Keep Warm function, which can maintain your rice at optimal serving temperature for up to 12 hours. 

The Aroma MI Cool Touch can cook more than brown or white rice. You don’t even need a separate cooking pan to make a complete meal. Using one device and its accompanying measuring cup, you can serve yourself an entire meal with oats, flapjack, pasta, veggies, and meat, and you can even bake cakes — all while avoiding a sink filled with dirty dishes! 

The nonstick inner pot and cooking lid are all removable, so, along with its rice paddle and measuring cup, it’s dishwasher safe and highly durable — plus points for being easy to clean.

Amazon Aroma rice cooker review information and sales speak for themselves, as this best inexpensive rice cooker is #23 on the list of bestsellers in the basic Rice Cookers category, competing against even larger capacity products from brands such as Hamilton Beach.

Pros and Cons of the Aroma MI Cool Touch

ProsCons
✔️ Budget-friendly
✔️ Portable and compact
✔️ 12-hour Keep Warm function
✔️ Great first-time rice cooker
✖️ Does not feature advanced interface buttons
✖️ Simple build quality

best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Functionality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Price:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Instant Pot Lux Mini may be small, but in its small build also comes with 6 different kitchen appliances in one!

This is more than a rice maker where rice cooks perfectly. It has the functions of a sterilizer, slow cooker, steamer, saute, and warmer, and can even pressure cook. Perfect for a single dweller, student, or small family, you’re definitely getting more than what you pay for with this Instant Pot compact rice cooker.

The device is built with the latest 3rd generation microprocessor technology, enabling it to function effectively in different capacities. It is able to monitor its time, pressure, and temperature, and adjusts its heat intensity and duration to yield perfectly cooked rice or even risotto every time.

With the Instant Pot Lux Mini, you can enjoy a wide array of functions and features including a 24-hour delay timer for pressure cooking, automatic keep warm for up to 10 hours, 3 temperature options in sauteing and slow cooking, plus a reduced cooking time by up to 70%, thereby saving energy and helping you cook your meals quickly and easily, all while retaining the best quality of white or brown rice! 

As to how much rice it can cook, this best mini rice cooker prepares up to 3 cups of rice, perfect as a rice cooker for 2 persons. This versatile rice maker is the 18th best-selling Electric Pressure Cooker on Amazon. It also comes with a rice spatula, steam tray, and measuring cup.

Pros and Cons of the Instant Pot Lux Mini

ProsCons
✔️ Compact and portable ✔️ Innovative functions despite small build ✔️ 6 appliances in 1 ✔️ 10 smart programs that offer more food versatility ✔️ Very affordable✖️ Users complain about the pressure cooking function having a week steam valve ✖️ Has a tendency to burn the rice at the bottom because of the lack of an induction heating feature.

best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Functionality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Price:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Another one on our best small rice cooker list is this Tiger model. The JAX-S10U may be one of the Tiger brand’s smallest models, but it does not fall short of all the best features that the Japanese brand Tiger is known for. 

The JAX-S10U has the exclusive “Tacook” nonstick cooking pot that allows you to cook white rice or brown rice with your viand at the same time. The advanced technology in the BPA-free cooking plate ensures that the flavors and textures of each food do not affect each other even while cooking in the same nonstick pot simultaneously — yielding one complete, perfectly cooked meal every time —it’s the smartest and fastest rice cooker in this regard.

The JAX-S10U has 10 settings for making rice that you can choose from, including plain white rice, synchro-cooking, quick, sweet, mixed, porridge, multigrain, brown rice, slow cooking, and steam. All of these are accessible through simple navigation and a digital display menu. The variety of cooking settings for healthier meals make it one of the healthiest rice cooker models in the market.

Menu settings on these cookers make navigating the different presets of this fast rice cooker a lot easier. Further, you can enjoy the benefits of 2 preset cooking timers, automatic warming features that keep food warm, and free accessories such as a spatula and measuring cup. It’s no surprise this product garners a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and is regarded as the top rice cooker/ vegetable steamer.

Pros and Cons of the Tiger JAX-S10U

ProsCons
✔️ Small and compact
✔️ Innovative design
✔️ Has Tiger's Tacook cooking plate
✔️ Variety of menu settings
✖️ Small capacity
✖️ May be difficult to navigate for some users

best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Functionality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Price:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Japanese rice cooker manufacturer Zojirushi is known for incorporating advanced technology into its Micom rice cookers with the goal of making the cooking cycle more innovative for users. One of the Asian brand‘s smaller cookers, NS-TSC10, holds the same high-tech features found in its bigger counterparts.

This cute Japanese rice cooker is equipped with Zojirushi’s famous micro-computerized fuzzy logic technology that learns and masters your preferred rice cooking method. The fuzzy logic settings then adjust its heat intensity, temperature, and time, in order to yield the best quality of rice for every meal.

This is the perfect mini rice cooker Japan for rice varieties, including short, long, and medium-grain white rice, Japanese rice, sushi rice, mixed rice, porridge, sweet, brown, dry rice, fried rice, and even cake! 

Also in place are 2 delay timer settings and automatic keep warm, extended keep warm, and reheating cycle features that keep your rice warm when served. This Zojirushi rice cooker has a 5.5 to 6 cups rice capacity and comes with a rice paddle and measuring cup. Ranking #12 on the Amazon best-selling Rice Cookers list and the best cooker at Walmart, there’s no doubt as to this product’s capabilities.

Pros and Cons of the Zojirushi NS-TSC10

ProsCons
✔️ Compact build
✔️ Advanced technology
✔️ Variety of menu settings
✔️ Delay timer
✔️ Automatic and Extended Keep Warm
✔️ Comes with a steam basket
✖️ Pricey for its size
✖️ Complicated for beginners

best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Functionality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Price:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The beauty of the Panasonic SR-G06FG is in its simplicity.

It may not be as high-tech or advanced as the others on this list, but it’s a crowd favorite thanks to its ability to simplify the process of cooking perfect rice. Make 6 cups of cooked rice (3.3 cups uncooked) easily with this model, especially when using its dedicated measuring cup.

If you’re a fan of no-fuss cooking, then this Panasonic electric cooker is for you. It has a tempered glass lid that allows you to keep an eye on your rice and one-step operation. All it requires is for you to pop the ingredients in the inner pot and push the lever down.

The switch will automatically flick back up after the cooking cycle to prompt the Keep Warm setting and keep your rice at optimal serving temperature for up to four hours, guaranteeing a perfect rice meal at any time. What’s more, is that this rice maker and food steamer has a 6-cup cooked rice capacity (3 cups uncooked rice)!

This is no doubt the best rice cooker under $20 and the best rice cooker for small amounts of rice.

Pros and Cons of the Panasonic SR-G06FG

ProsCons
✔️ Budget-friendly
✔️ Easy controls
✔️ See-through glass lid
✖️ Lack of innovative functions and features
✖️ Can't cook brown rice

Is It Worth Getting a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is becoming more and more important in today’s households. With our busy schedules and demanding lifestyles, we may not have the luxury of time to cook rice the traditional way — that is boiling the grains in a pot and waiting hours before we can eat! 

It’s also not financially practical to eat out every day, nor is it ideal for our health. There’s still nothing that can replace the benefits of cooking your own meals, especially when we’re talking about health and savings. 

For the sake of our health and convenience, a rice cooker is definitely a valuable investment to make. Having the best rice cookers allows us to cook our healthy meals like slow cooker red beans and rice quickly and conveniently, without worrying about spending too much time in the kitchen and running late for school or work. 

Most electric rice steamers now have very simple operations that allow you to just pop the ingredients in and wait a few minutes before your food is ready. Compared to a traditional cooker, this saves you so much time, money, and energy, eliminating the feeling that cooking is such a hassle. 

And it might not be appealing for you to have big, bulky, or expensive rice cookers on your small countertop. Especially if you are living alone and don’t necessarily need to cook big meals every day, buying a rice cooker may not be something you want to do. 

But it’s a good thing that there are now small cookers that are perfect for solo dwellers, busy individuals, and small households. So no matter what your preferences or needs are, you’re sure to find the best miniature rice cooker for you.


What Size Rice Cooker is Best: Why Buy a Mini Rice Cooker?

With a vast number of quality cooker models that come in different shapes, sizes, and features, there are advantages to having a small rice cooker in your kitchen.

Budget-friendly

A small cooker tends to be easier on the wallet compared to its bigger counterparts. But even for their cheap prices, they are still capable of performing the essential functions involved in cooking rice. 

Most small rice cookers on this list have the same functions that a bigger cooker would have — that means you get all the best features for almost half the price. Plus, most also come with a measuring cup and rice paddle.

Easy to use

Small cookers don’t have all the bells and whistles you would normally find in a bigger and bulkier cooker. Most have simple buttons and one-touch operations that enable you to cook rice quickly and without fuss. 

Plus, because of their size, removable glass lid, and often stainless steel builds, they’re incredibly easy to clean. That means a small cooker is perfect for busy individuals and those who don’t have the luxury of time to spend preparing their rice-based meals.

Rice cooks in the perfect amount

Families that compose more than 4 or 5 people, of course, would need a bigger cooker like those that the Hamilton Beach brand has to offer. But for students living in dorm rooms, solo dwellers, couples, and smaller households, having a huge, bulky, kitchen appliance isn’t the best choice. 

Nor do they want a high-maintenance cooker with features they can’t maximize. Having a small rice cooker will make it easier to section your meals and yield just the right amount of rice you need

There are many other rice cookers that can cook rice for solo dwellers. Using their own measuring cup, the size of a 1-cup rice cooker or 3-cup rice cooker makes it easy to clean and store.


What to Look For When Buying a Mini Rice Steamer

There are a lot of things to consider when buying the best rice makers. You need to know your preferences when it comes to cooking functions and features so that you can purchase the best one that suits your needs. 

For starters, here are the features you should be looking for:

Capacity and Cooked Rice Serving

Conventional mini rice cookers would have a cup capacity of 3 cups of uncooked grains and 6 cups of cooked rice. This amount is enough to feed at most 4 to 5 people. There are small cookers, though, that have a larger cup capacity of 4 cups to 6 cups despite their small size. 

There are also those that can accommodate only up to 1.5 cups of uncooked rice (3 cups of ready-to-eat rice). A student living alone and a family of four will have different needs that would require different cooker capacities. 

So you need to know, first and foremost, the amount of rice you aim to yield in a single cooking cycle. A serving for one person would typically require 1-2 cups of rice. Our advice is that you buy a smaller rice cooker that can yield up to 6 cups of cooked rice (3 cup capacity uncooked) since you can always reduce your serving size by measuring the grains in a rice measuring cup.

User-Friendliness in Cooking Rice

Since small rice cookers are ideal for small households and busy individuals, you don’t want an appliance that has complicated functions and numerous buttons. Hence, one important factor to consider is the rice cooker’s user-friendliness. 

Most rice cookers can be operated with a single switch, while others have digital displays and fool-proof navigations. Some models are also easy to clean thanks to a stainless steel nonstick pot, a tempered glass lid, and builds. 

Figure out which one best suits you, while keeping in mind how simple the cooker is for daily use. Many of these picks are ultra-simple, and you won’t need to flip through the table of contents in a lengthy manual.

Versatility

Most rice cookers today don’t stick to just cooking rice. There are those that double as a food steamer, warmer, etc. 

Even small rice cookers can be versatile, able to perform different cooking styles, and accommodate different rice varieties, whether making sushi rice, brown, white, or sticky rice. Plenty also has a detachable steam tray that comes with the cooker itself.

Do you want to be able to cook quinoa, pasta, oatmeal, veggies, and meat in your small cooker? If you do, then you need a highly-versatile one. But if you’re only after cooking rice for your daily meals, a simple model will do. 

You also need to consider if you’re after cooking only long-grain white rice, or if you want to try out other varieties such as brown, sushi, basmati rice, or mixed rice.
Also note that there are small models that have good features like synchro-cooking, keep warm, delay timer, induction heating, etc. So consider if these are functions that you need.


How to Cook Rice in a Small Rice Cooker

While these appliances may be small, you can’t underestimate what they can cook! Aside from making evenly-cooked, fluffy rice, you’ll find that plenty of newer models have the ability to make different dishes, such as fish, and meat, and even come with a steam tray to steam vegetables.

One of our featured models, the Instant Lux Mini, has preset programs that include: soup/broth, meat/stew, sauté, porridge, steam, pressure cook, keep warm — and even functions as a slow cooker. With these options, there’s no shortage of recipes you can try out with your small appliance! Some of the food you can cook in the Instant Lux are:

  • Rice (White, brown, jasmine, sushi, and other varieties)
  • Chicken (Whole, shredded, etc.)
  • Beef
  • Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Yogurt
  • Quinoa
  • Eggs

Cooking rice has never been easier with a small, handy cooker on your kitchen countertop. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Take some rice grains, the quantity of which will depend on how many cups you want to cook. 
  2. Toss the dry rice grains either in the inner pan or in a rice washer
  3. Put some water in the pan until the grains are completely submerged. 
  4. Take handfuls of rice grains and begin rinsing rice by rubbing the grains together. 
  5. Drain the dirty water and repeat the cleaning process until the water is no longer cloudy. 
  6. Measure the right amount of water and add it to the pan of rinsed rice. How much water you should put in will depend on the type of rice you’re cooking. For most varieties, the ratio is 1 to 1 — 1 cup of water per 1 cup of rice. 
  7. Put the pan in the grain cooker and press start. Let it cook according to the instructions. 
  8. The cycle should end in a matter of minutes and you’ll be all set to enjoy your perfectly tender grains and tasty, fluffy rice!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best and smallest rice cooker?

Among the best small rice cookers, the smallest one on this list and in the market by far is the Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker. It only measures 6.75 x 6.25 x 7.25 inches and weighs a meager 2.45 pounds.

What is the smallest size rice cooker?

The smallest size for a rice cooker is 0.4 liters, which measures roughly 1.96 x 6.69 inches and weighs 2.16 pounds. A rice cooker of this size can make approximately 1.6 cups of rice.

What is considered a small rice cooker?

A small rice cooker typically has a 1.5 to 3-cup capacity and measures less than 10 inches all around.

What size rice cooker for 2 persons?

To feed 2 people, you need a simple rice cooker that can accommodate at least 3 cups of rice. At full capacity, a 3-cup rice cooker can yield more or less 1 cup of rice per person.

Is a 3 cup rice cooker too small?

It depends on how many people you’re looking to cook rice for. A 3-cup rice cooker is more than enough to yield delicious rice for one to two people.

Will rice cooked in a compact or mini rice cooker burn?

No, rice cookers are built to stop the cooking cycle when the rice is fully cooked. You will never encounter burned rice at the bottom of the pot with a rice cooker, especially if your model is equipped with advanced rice cooking technology.

How much water should you add to a mini or compact rice cooker?

The rice-to-water ratio when using a small rice cooker will still depend on the type of rice you are cooking. Generally, you should add one cup of water for every cup of rice. But some rice varieties, such as brown or red rice, will require more water.

How long does it take a small rice cooker to actually cook the rice?

The cooking duration of a small rice cooker will depend on the type of grains you’re cooking and the grain cooker that you have. While it generally takes 15-20 minutes to cook rice in a small rice cooker, some models have quick cook settings that can cook rice faster.

Is a mini rice cooker worth it?

These best small rice cookers can be perfect kitchen companions for small households, solo dwellers, or University students, allowing them to cook their daily meals without all the fuss.

How much does a rice cooker cost?

Rice cooker prices depend highly on the brand and model that you choose. You can expect to shell out anywhere from $20 to $150 for a good rice cooker.

Which cheap rice cooker is best?

The best cheap rice cooker is the Aroma ARC-150SB 20-Cup Rice Cooker, which features a large 20-cup capacity, cooking menus for white and brown rice, a Keep Warm setting, a delay timer, steam, slow cook, and a flash rice feature. Read more about this model and other cheap rice cookers in our full guide.

Which brand rice cooker is best?

The best brand of cooker for you will depend on your needs, cooking preferences, cooking frequency, and more. However, top options include Zojirushi, Tiger, and Aroma.


Conclusion

Compact rice cookers are definitely a good buy, considering that they are budget-friendly, compact, and easy to use. Most, like a number of those we listed here, have the same functions you will find in bigger models but shrunk to a smaller package.

Ultimately, the choice between buying a small rice cooker or a bigger one will depend on your needs and preferences, because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cooker. But for solo-dwellers, students, busy individuals, and small households, small cookers serve a good purpose and are definitely what we recommend for your daily rice dish fix.

If you’re looking for a much bigger model, take a look at our guide to the best rice cookers, where you will find large-capacity rice cookers like Hamilton Beach, Tiger, Cuckoo, etc.


best small rice cooker, The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2023

Editor’s Choice

Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker

The Aroma MI Cool Touch Rice Cooker is easily the best small rice cooker you can find in the market today. In fact, it’s probably the smallest rice cooker available.

This 3-cup rice cooker for one person or two has a very unique and innovative build, plus a sleek handle that makes it possible for you to bring the appliance anywhere you want to.

With its one-touch operation, keep-warm feature, removable inner pot, and nonstick coating, this portable rice cooker definitely does a great job of making the cooking process of rice a breeze.


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Chrizelle Diaz

Chrizelle is a writer who is most passionate about food blogging. She loves teasing her palate with new flavors just as much as she enjoys sharing new dishes and cooking hacks with her readers. Growing up in an Asian family, rice has always been a part of her diet. In her spare time, she makes rice-based meals for her household and shares the recipe on WeKnowRice for readers to try.

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