Looking to purchase a good rice cooker for your kitchen but don’t know which one you should get? You’ve come to the right place! There are several rice makers in the market, but not all of them will give you value for your money.
In this rice cooker buying guide, we’ve listed the Top 10 best rice cookers to help you make sure you have an informed choice on your investment.
Japanese brand Zojirushi has exceeded our expectations to become the best overall rice cooker by creating the NS-ZCC10 and NS-ZCC18 units. Definitely a cooker for the future and worthy to be named the best rice cooker in 2020, the NS-ZCC features high-tech and advanced Neuro-fuzzy logic technology, allowing the device to “think for itself.” It learns and masters the different temperatures, time, and heat requirements needed to cook a perfect serving of rice every time.
With a wide array of features and a fine selection of menu settings for all types of rice, the NS-ZCC10 (5.5-cup capacity) and NS-ZCC18 (10-cup capacity) Zojirushi rice cooker models guarantee a seamless and stress-free process of preparing rice through the use of innovative and advanced technology.
For some, cooking may seem like a tedious activity. Plenty don’t have the luxury of time or energy to make their own home-cooked meals, so they opt to eat out or order food from restaurants. But this isn’t always the best choice. Luckily, the advent of rice cookers has made preparing meals a lot easier (as long as you get the right one). Investing in a good cooker will give you a kitchen companion that will make the process simpler and significantly reduce cooking time, giving you the chance to prepare your home-cooked meals while still meeting the demands of your fast-paced lifestyle.
The first and foremost thing to consider when choosing rice cooker brands is capacity. This would depend on how much rice you’re aiming to cook per cycle. Of course, the bigger the serving sizes you want, the bigger your cooker should be.
For single-family households, a 3-cup capacity rice cooker will be more than enough to cook rice for a day’s meal. On the other hand, bigger families are best to opt for a bigger cooker with at least a 10-cup capacity.
Ultimately, it all depends on how much rice you’re going to cook. Take into consideration how often you’re going to eat rice and how many servings you want to yield in one cycle.
The features and functions to look for in a rice cooker would depend on your needs and preferences. For instance, if you’re the type of person who loves to cook, then a multi-functional cooker that has the ability to prepare different rice and dishes would be the best choice. But if you’re looking for a simple, fool-proof, and easy-to-navigate appliance, then a basic cooker with simple features would do the trick.
Some general functions that would be ideal to have in a rice cooker are:
A rice cooker should not only help make the cooking process easier, but it should also be easy to clean, so as to avoid the hassle of washing and rinsing the cooker after use.
Ideally, the parts of the cooker, such as the inner pan, lid, etc. should be detachable for easy washing. You might also opt for stainless steel, non-stick inner pots so as to avoid the difficulty of scrubbing food residue on the pan.
Many rice cookers come with accessories such as a measuring cup, spatula, rice scoop holder, etc. Although accessories are not absolutely essential, investing in a cooker that comes with these useful kitchen gadgets will save you the extra cost of purchasing them separately.
The most common and basic rice cookers in the market are standard rice cookers. These are the conventional electric kinds in which you put rice and water in the inner pot, flick the single switch, and the preparation process begins. The heat used to cook the rice usually comes from the bottom of the cooker and spreads to the other parts of the inner pot. Built-in thermal sensors then signal the cooker that all the water has been absorbed and evaporated. This tells it that the rice is cooked and it automatically flicks the switch from “cook” to “heat.”
Standard cookers are very simple to use and are ideal for those who want to simplify and add convenience to their cooking experience without all the bells and whistles of innovative and advanced technology. They may not be the best and smartest cookers, but they’re tremendously cheap and easy to use.
Digital rice cookers can be considered as new and improved versions of standard, conventional ones. They have more functions and features that are navigable using simple buttons in a digital control panel. Usually, the added options include an on/off setting, rice warming function, cooking timer, delay timer, and brown rice or white rice menu selections.
Digital rice cookers give more control to the users to select and choose whichever feature they want to activate through the LCD control panel. They have a slight improvement in terms of rice quality, basically because you can select the options and actions taken by the cooker.
With the advent of multi-functional rice cookers, this kitchen tool can now do more than cook rice. Multi-functional cookers are manufactured with the goal of being the one device you need to prepare a full meal. They are very versatile and can include a vast array of rice settings and features you can select at your leisure.
Many multi-functional rice cookers make use of advanced technology and high-tech innovations to help you cook rice perfectly every time. With their menu settings, you can get it to operate according to whatever type of rice you’re after — whether it’s plain, white rice, sushi rice, porridge, brown rice, sticky rice, etc. Not only that, but they can also double as steamers that allow you to cook vegetables, meat, fish, etc. while your rice is cooking simultaneously.
Induction heating rice cookers by far have the highest price range in the market. That’s owing to their advanced features and several available functions. The thing about induction heating (IH) cookers is that they don’t cook rice the same way conventional cookers do. Instead of making use of single heating elements below the cooking pot, IH cookers utilize the entire pot as a source of heat. That way, it cooks the rice at a balanced and equal temperature throughout, which results in the best quality of rice every time.
A pressure cooker, as its name implies, adds pressure to the rice during the cooking process. When the pressure cooker selection is turned on, the cooker traps steam in the pot, which causes the density of each rice grain to change. This makes the rice softer and easier to digest. It also retains the softness and quality of the rice for a longer period of time.
The Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker is highly raved, with everyone wanting to have it in their homes. And there’s no question as to why. This rice cooker can cook anything, from quinoa to oatmeal. It has a large capacity and can yield up to 14 cups of rice, enough to serve the whole family plus several other dinner guests during dinner parties. What makes it even more desirable is its delay timer, making it best for busy people who like preparing their meals in advance. With this feature, you can pop the rice grains into the cooker and set the cooking cycle to start for as late as 15 hours.
|Model Number||Digital Simplicity 37549|
|Dimensions||10.25 x 10.25 x 9.5 inches|
|Max Capacity||7 cups uncooked|
14 cups cooked
|✔️ Has a steamer function|
✔️ Easy to clean
✔️ Small in size despite its large capacity
✔️ Saves counter space
✔️ Easy to use
|✖️ Lack of menu settings|
✖️No brown rice menu selection, unlike most rice cookers
The Tiger JKT-S10U holds the best of the best innovations that Tiger has manufactured. This model is equipped with Tiger’s unique Tacook Cooking Plate and induction heating technology, both coming together to help you prepare two tasty dishes simultaneously. But beyond that, the JKT-S10U also does the work of a slow cooker and has synchro-cooking and bread baking functions. Whether you like your rice brown, plain, or mixed, this rice cooker can do the trick, thanks to its 11 computerized menu settings.
|Dimensions||10.2 x 13.9 x 8.4 inches|
|Max Capacity||5.5 cups|
|✔️ Stainless steel design|
✔️ Detachable parts for easy cleaning
|✖️ Lack of accessories and items|
✖️ Heavy weight
The Cuckoo CRP-P0609S is more than just a rice cooker. It has multiple functions and can double as a pressure cooker and steamer. It’s also equipped with a heating plate that’s programmed to cook anything from porridge to crispy rice. This cooker comes with a multicooker function that allows you to cook other dishes such as soup and even bread!
Other notable features of the Cuckoo CRP-P0609S include:
|Dimensions||10.1 x 11.6 x 14.2 inches|
6 cups uncooked
Aluminum steam tray
|✔️ Non-stick inner pot|
✔️ Detachable inner lid for ease in cleaning
✔️ Can double as a pressure cooker
|✖️ Heavy weight despite its medium capacity|
The Black + Decker RC3406 is one of the most reasonably-priced rice cookers in the market. It’s best for single-family households, since it only has a small capacity of 3 cups (uncooked) and 6 cups (cooked). This great rice cooker makes preparing home-cooked meals an easy and seamless experience, especially for college students or those who have busy lifestyles yet still want to prepare their meals on their own. Its 2 main functions (cook and keep warm) can be navigated through the flick of a switch and the selected function is shown through indicator lights.
Despite the simplicity of the RC3406, cooking rice is not all that it can do. This cooker also doubles as a food steamer, equipped with a plastic steaming basket that can hold a small portion of meat, veggies, or fish, among others. With this inclusion, you can steam your main dish while cooking your rice. After the quick and easy cooking cycle, you have a complete and ready-to-eat meal on the table.
|Manufacturer||Black + Decker|
|Dimensions||8.66 x 8.66 x 7.4 inches|
|Max Capacity||3 cups uncooked|
6 cups cooked
Plastic steamer basket
|✔️ Budget friendly|
✔️ Stay cool handle
✔️ Tempered glass lid with steam vent
✔️ Easy to clean
✔️ Warm mode to keep your rice warm for long periods of time
|✖️ Not suitable for large families because of its small capacity|
✖️ Basic rice cooker model
✖️ Lack of functions and features
The Instant Pot Lux Mini is rated among America’s top brand of cooking appliances. It earned its title owing to its multiple cooking functions and 10 smart programs that give you a vast range of options on how you want your rice to be cooked. What makes it a family favorite, though, is that it’s 6 appliances built into 1 piece of equipment, thereby reducing clutter in the kitchen and making it easier to clean up after meals. This model also comes equipped with a keep warm function that keeps your food warm for long periods of time.
The ultimate selling point of the Instant Pot Lux is that it comes with a promise of safe user experience. With this device, you don’t have to worry about accidents and kitchen hazards. It has 10 safety mechanisms in place, including: steam release, anti-block shield, safety lid lock, lid position detection, automatic temperature control, overheat (burn) protection, automatic pressure control, electrical fuse, thermal fuse, and leaky lid detection.
|Dimensions||11.50 x 10.51 x 10.51 inches|
|Max Capacity||6 cups uncooked|
12 cups cooked
|Accessories||Stainless steel steam rack|
|✔️ Abundance of accessories that come with the cooker|
✔️ Stainless steel inner cooking pot and steam rack
✔️ Dishwasher safe
✔️ Can be used with the Instant Pot Mobile App
✔️ Safety features
✔️ Delay timer
|✖️ Slow cooker function is limited to 4 hours|
✖️ Not the best for advanced home cooks
The Tiger JBV-A10U is a multifunctional electric rice cooker that’s perfect for beginners and those who easily get confused with buttons and digital controls. This rice cooker has a full range of functions and features that rewrite the cooking experience, while being easy to use at the same time. Equipped with Tiger’s unique “tacook” function, you can steam your viand simultaneously with the rice in one cooking cycle without having the flavors and textures affect each other.
The JBV-A10U gives you the freedom to choose between 4 different cooking settings. If you like your rice brown or plain, you can have it with this cooker. It also has slow cook and synchro-cooking functions. Upon choosing a cooking option, the rice cooker will adjust its heat, timer, and temperature settings to prepare your great tasting rice.
|Manufacturer||Japan Tiger Corporation of USA|
|Dimensions||13.8 x 10.6 x 8.4 inches|
|Max Capacity||2.25 cups uncooked|
5.5 cups cooked
|✔️ Perfect for beginners|
✔️ All accessories are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup
✔️ Easy to clean
✔️ Solid and reliable
|✖️ Short lifespan|
✖️ Inner pot is prone to nicks and scratches
The Oster 6-Cup Rice Cooker looks small and compact in size, but don’t judge a book by its cover just yet. More than making rice, this rice cooker also doubles as a steamer. It comes with a steaming tray that can hold a good portion of meat, fish, and vegetables. That means that you can cook your side dish simultaneously with your rice and prepare an entire meal in one cooking cycle.
To ramp up the cooking process, the Oster 6-cup rice cooker has removed all the complications and multiple buttons to navigate the menu settings. It makes operating the cooker so much simpler by using a one-touch menu function that allows you to start and end the cooking process in a touch of a button.
|Dimensions||9.2 x 10.2 x 9.5 inches|
|Max Capacity||3 cups uncooked|
6 cups cooked
|✔️ Compact and lightweight|
✔️ Tempered glass lid for monitoring the cooking progress
✔️ Best buy due to its cheap price
|✖️ Not suitable for big families due to its small capacity|
✖️ Lack of menu selections and settings to cook different types of rice
✖️ Limited features
✖️ Lacks durability
The NP-NVC10 rice cooker and warmer is one of Zojirushi’s best top-of-the-line rice cookers. Similar to the previous NS-ZCC model, this cooker makes use of advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology with artificial intelligence to aid the cooking cycle and yield high-quality and perfectly cooked rice, exactly how you like it. This stainless steel rice cooker is also equipped with several menu settings you can choose from. It has the ability to cook any type of rice you want, including 2 healthy meal options.
Other features of the NP-NVC10 include:
|Dimensions||15.4 x 10.1 x 8.6 inches|
|Max Capacity||5.5 cups|
Rice spoon holder
|✔️ Wide range of menu selections|
✔️ Healthy cooking options
✔️ Non-stick coating in the inner cooking pan
✔️ Stainless steel material
|✖️ A lot of buttons|
✖️ Difficult to understand without reading the user manual
✖️ One of the most expensive rice cookers in the market
If you think the Aroma ARC 743-1NGR can only make rice, you’re in for a treat. This unit can prepare an entire meal during a single cooking cycle. Equipped with an aluminum steaming tray, you can steam veggies, meat, fish, and even dumplings with your rice cooking underneath. You can even experiment with soups, chili, jambalaya, and more.
Are you the type to get confused with too many buttons and settings? Well, the ARC-743-1NGR makes the cooking process easier with its simple, one-touch operation. All it takes is one press of a button, and you’ll have tasty and fluffy rice in no time.
|Color||Red, Black, White|
|Dimensions||8.1 x 11.1 x 10.4 inches|
3 cups uncooked rice
Nonstick inner pot
✔️ Dishwasher safe parts
✔️ Tempered glass lid for easy viewing
|✖️ Unfit for large families due to its small capacity|
✖️ Lack of cooking menus to cook rice varieties
The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10/18 fuzzy logic rice cooker is definitely one of the most high-tech cookers in the market. It’s made with the innovative Neuro Fuzzy logic technology that learns and masters the cooking cycle for any kind of rice (or other food!) you wish. Whether it be brown rice, white rice, sushi, or porridge, the NS-ZCC10 (5.5 cup capacity) and NS-ZCC18 (10 cup capacity) can make it for you. By utilizing its temperature sensor and heat settings according to the selected menu option, it can yield tasty and perfect rice every time. There’s really no question as to why we have hailed it the best rice cooker for 2020.
Other features of the Zojirushi ZCC10/18 are:
|Dimensions||11-⅛ x 14-¼ x 9-½ inches|
NS-ZCC10: 5.5 cups
|✔️ Low maintenance|
✔️ Advanced technology
✔️ Variety of menu settings
✔️ Easy carry and transport
✔️ Extra large, easy-to-read LCD display
|✖️ Might be difficult to navigate|
✖️ Basic body design
✖️ A little pricey
|Rank||Rice Cooker||Model||Price||Functionality||Quality||Total Rating||Check Prices|
|4||Oster 6-Cup 4722||9||9||9||9.0|
|6||Instant Pot Lux||9||8||9||8.7|
|7||Black + Decker RC3406||10||8||8||8.7|
|10||Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity 37549||8||8||8||8.0|
Investing in a rice cooker will give you a kitchen companion that can help you prepare tasty, home-cooked meals faster and easier. There are tons of available rice cookers in the market, but they all differ based on capacity, functionality, features, technologies, etc. The key to finding the rice cooker that’s perfect for you is to figure out your needs and preferences. Once you’ve got that lined up, then you’re bound to find a perfect rice cooker that suits you and your household.
This rice cooker review lists the top 10 best cookers in the market when it comes to the standards of cooking perfect rice, easy-to-use features, advanced technology, and performance quality. Take a look at our other rice cooker reviews to read and learn more about cookers that are worth your investment.