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The Best Small Rice Cookers for 2020

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Best Small Rice Cookers

Your Ultimate Guide to 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 cookers 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 more 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 small rice cookers are their portable build and user-friendly functions. Despite their size, many small rice cookers are built with great features that can come in pretty handy in the kitchen. With that, we have compiled the top 10 best small rice cookers in the market to help you make the best choice for your investment.

In a Hurry? This is the Best Small Rice Cooker:

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

The Aroma MI Cool Touch Rice Cooker is easily the best small rice cooker you can find in the market today. It 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 non stick coating, it definitely does a great job in making the process of cooking rice a breeze.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP 5 PICKS FOR BEST SMALL RICE COOKERS

OUR FAVORITE: Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker
MOST VERSATILE RICE COOKER: Instant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker (3qt)
FOR MAX FUNCTIONALITY: Tiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker
FOR ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
MOST BUDGET FRIENDLY: Panasonic SR-G0FG Automatic Rice Cooker

Is It Worth Getting a Rice Cooker?

Rice cookers are 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 a rice cooker allows us to cook our healthy meals quickly and conveniently, without worrying about spending too much time in the kitchen and running late for school or work. Most cookers now have very simple operations that allow you to just pop the ingredients in and wait a few minutes before your food is ready. 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 a big bulky rice cooker in 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 rice 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 rice cooker for you. 

Why Buy a Small Rice Cooker?

With a vast number of rice 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 rice cooker tends to be easier on the wallet compared to their 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 have the same functions that a bigger rice 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 spatula.

Easy to use

Small rice 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. That means a small rice cooker is perfect for busy individuals and those who don’t have the luxury of time to spend preparing their rice-based meals.

Cooks the perfect amount of rice

Families that compose more than 4 or 5 people, of course, would need a bigger rice cooker like those that the Hamilton Beach brand have 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 rice 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. Plus, its size makes it easy to clean and store.

What to Look For When Buying a Small Rice Cooker

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a rice cooker. 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 rice cooker features you should be looking for:

Capacity

Conventional mini rice cookers would have a cup capacity of 3 cups of uncooked rice and 6 cups of cooked rice. This amount is enough to feed at most 4 to 5 people. There are small rice cookers, though, that have a larger cup capacity of 4 cups to 6 cups despite its small size. There are also those that can accommodate only up to 1.5 cups of uncooked rice (3 cup of rice cooked).

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 small 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

Since small rice cookers are more 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 small 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 stainless steel pots and builds. Figure out which one best suits you, while keeping in mind how simple the rice cooker is for daily use.

Versatility

Cooking rice has never been easier with a small, handy rice cooker in 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 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 clean them 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. How much water you should put will depend on the type of rice you’re cooking. For most varieties, the ratio is 1 is to 1 — 1 cup of water per 1 cup of rice. 
  7. Put the pan in the 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 tasty and fluffy rice!

How to Cook Rice in a Small Rice Cooker

Cooking rice has never been easier with a small, handy rice cooker in 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 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 clean them 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. How much water you should put will depend on the type of rice you’re cooking. For most varieties, the ratio is 1 is to 1 — 1 cup of water per 1 cup of rice. 
  7.  Put the pan in the 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 tasty and fluffy rice! 

Top 10 Best Small Rice Cookers

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Aroma Housewares MI 3-Cup (Cooked) (1.5-Cup UNCOOKED) Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker,WhiteAroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker• Portable
• One-touch control
• Wide variety of cooking settings
Check Prices on Amazon
Instant Pot LUX Mini product imageInstant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker (3qt)• 6 appliances in 1
• 3rd gen microprocessor technology
• Wide variety of functions and features
Check Prices on Amazon
Tiger JAX-S10U-WY Micom Rice Cooker & WarmerTiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker• Tacook cooking pot
• 10 cooking settings
• 2 preset timers and automatic keep warm
Check Prices on Amazon
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker and WarmerZojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer• Micro-computerized fuzzy logic technology
• Wide variety of menu settings
• Keep warm, delay timer, and reheating cycle features
Check Prices on Amazon
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice CookerPanasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker• Easy to use
• Single switch operation
• Automatic keep warm
Check Prices on Amazon
Cuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice CookerCuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice Cooker• Fuzzy logic and intelligent algorithm
• Accommodates GABA and brown rice
• Teflon coating
Check Prices on Amazon
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice CookerZojirushi NHS-06 3 Cup Rice Cooker• Easy to use
• Single swith operation
• See-through glass lid
Check Prices on Amazon
B+D RC503 Product Image 1Black + Decker RC503 3 Cup Rice Cooker• Easy to use
• One touch operation
• Dishwasher safe parts
Check Prices on Amazon
Aroma-ARC-753SG-Simply-Stainless-3-Cup-Uncooked-Rice-CookerAroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker• BPA-free
• Easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe
• Fine mesh
Check Prices on Amazon
Oster® DuraCeramic™ Titanium Infused 6-Cup Rice and Grain Cooker with SteamerOster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker• BPA-free
• Easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe
• Fine mesh
Check Prices on Amazon

Let’s Go Over Each Small Rice Cooker

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

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. 

This portable Aroma rice cooker is operated with a one simple push of a switch. That is enough to begin the cooking process. 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 Rice Cooker can cook more than white rice or brown rice. Using one device, you can serve yourself an entire meal with oats, flapjack, cakes, pasta, veggies, meat, and more — all while avoiding a sink filled with dirty dishes! The inner pot and cooking lid are all removable and coated with non stick material so it’s dishwasher safe and highly durable — plus points for being easy to clean.

Pros and Cons of the Aroma MI Cool Touch

ProsCons
✔️ Budget-Friendly
✔️ Portable and Compact
✔️ 12-hour Keep Warm Function
✖️ Lack of innovative functions and features
✖️ Can break down easily

The Instant Pot Lux Mini 3 Cup Rice Cooker may be small, but in its small build also comes 6 different kitchen appliances in one! This is more than a rice cooker that cooks perfect rice. It also has the functions of an electric pressure cooker, sterilizer, slow cooker, steamer, saute, and warmer. 

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

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.

The JAX-S10U digital rice cooker may be one of the Tiger brand’s smallest rice cookers, but it does not fall short of all the best features that Tiger is known for. The JAX-S10U has the exclusive “Tacook” cooking pot that allows you to cook your white or brown rice with your viand at the same time. The advanced technology ensures that the flavors and textures of each food does not affect each other even while cooking in the same pot simultaneously — yielding one complete, perfectly cooked meal every time.

The JAX-S10U digital rice cooker has 10 cooking settings you can choose from, including: plain white rice, synchro-cooking, quick, sweet, mixed, porridge, multigrain, brown rice, slow cook, and steam. All of these are accessible through simple navigation and a digital display. Further, you can enjoy the benefits of 2 preset cooking timers and automatic keep warm features.

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

Our Overall Rating:

3.5/5

Japanese brand Zojirushi is known for incorporating advanced technology into their rice cookers with the goal of making the cooking process more innovative for users. One of Zojirushi’s small rice cookers, NS-TSC10, holds the same high-tech features found in bigger counterparts.

It’s equipped with Zojirushi’s famous micro-computerized fuzzy logic technology that learns and masters your preferred rice cooking method. It then adjusts its heat intensity, temperature, and time, in order to yield the best quality of rice for every meal. This is the perfect cooker for rice varieties, including white rice, sushi rice, mixed rice, porridge, sweet, brown rice, and even cake! 

Also in place are 2 delay timer settings and automatic keep warm, extended keep warm, and reheating cycle features. This rice cooker has a 5.5 to 6 cup cooked rice capacity.

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

Our Overall Rating:

3.3/5

The beauty of the Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker is in its simplicity. It may not be as high-tech or advanced as the other rice cookers on this list, but it’s a crowd favorite thanks to its ability to simplify the cooking process. 

If you’re a fan of no-fuss cooking, then this rice cooker is for you. It has a 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 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 the best rice meal any time. What’s more is that this rice cooker and food steamer has a 6 cup cooked rice capacity (3 cups uncooked 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

A small rice cooker doesn’t often have the functions and features that its bigger counterparts do. But with the Cuckoo CR-0351F, size is not a hindrance. This rice cooker is equipped with fuzzy logic and intelligent cooking algorithm that makes cooking your daily meals fuss-free, while ensuring the best rice of top-notch quality. 

Aside from white rice, the Cuckoo CR-0351F can also accommodate GABA rice and brown rice, thanks to its turbo cooking functions. Its inner pot is coated with Teflon to ensure durability and easy cleaning. For a rice cooker measuring only 7.80 x 8.90 x 11.50, you’re getting a good deal. Although you might have to cook more than one cycle since this rice cooker can only yield 3 cups of rice at one time.

Pros and Cons of the Cuckoo CR-0351F

ProsCons
✔️ Nonstick inner pot
✔️ Innovative turbo-cooking feature
✔️ High-tech features
✖️ Lack of countdown timer
✖️ Digital display is hard to read

Zojirushi has always been known to produce highly advanced rice cookers with high-tech functions and features. Although that’s a gamechanger for some, most people don’t like all the bells and whistles and advanced fuzzy logic technology when cooking their daily rice meals. Luckily, Zojirushi has a Japanese rice cooker for all types of people, no matter what their preferences may be. 

For those who want their cooking sessions to be as easy and quick as possible, Zojirushi offers the NHS-06 3 Cup model. This small rice cooker, which we also named as one of the best cheap rice cookers, has a 3 cup uncooked/ 6 cup cooked rice capacity and simple buttons that will help with fuss-free cooking. It has a one-switch control, a see-through glass lid, stay cool knob, and durable non-stick inner pot — all you really need for simple, stress-free cooking.

Pros and Cons of the Zojirushi NHS-06

ProsCons
✔️ Small and compact
✔️ Single switch control
✔️ Stay cool handles
✔️ Durable non-stick inner pot
✔️ Easy to use and budget-friendly
✔️ Best for busy individuals and solo dwellers
✖️ Simple rice cooker
✖️ Lack of menu settings
✖️ Lack of innovative features
✖️ Not best for professionals

More than one sleek and easy addition to your kitchen counter, the Black + Decker RC503 3 Cup Rice Cooker also offers ideal functions and features that make it a good kitchen companion. This rice cooker takes the “cook” out of cooking because it’s incredibly easy to use. 

It has a one-touch operation, an automatic keep warm function, non stick rice pot, glass lid, dishwasher safe parts — from the lid to the inner pan, free measuring cup and spatula, and 3 cups capacity. All its features come together to make the cooking process as seamless as possible, making it the best choice for solo dwellers and busy individuals.

Pros and Cons of the Black + Decker RC503

ProsCons
✔️ One-touch cooking
✔️ Dishwasher safe parts
✔️ Non-stick
✖️ Lack of innovative functions and features
✖️ Lack of menu settings for different types of rice

Its design is the first thing you’ll notice in the Aroma Simply Stainless Steel Rice Cooker. It’s styled with health-conscious parts composed solely of food grade 304 stainless steel, which offers a non-stick and healthy approach to your favorite recipes. 

It’s made with a removable, transparent lid that allows you to monitor the cooking cycle in one glance. Though navigable with one single switch, the Aroma Simply Stainless Steel Rice Cooker is very versatile when it comes to the meals you can prepare. With this Aroma rice cooker, you can cook any type of rice and jambalaya, veggies, white rice, brown rice or even cake with one push of a button. We also hailed it as one of the best cheap rice cookers.

Pros and Cons of the Aroma Simply Stainless

ProsCons
✔️ Easy to use
✔️ Stainless Steel build for healthier meals and better durability
✔️ Sleek exterior
✔️ One-touch operation: cook and automatic keep warm
✖️ Minimal capacity
✖️ Not suitable for big families
✖️ Lack of menu settings
✖️ Lack of innovative functions and features

The Oster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker is quite simple when it comes to its functions. It has integrated one-touch controls for easy and convenient operations, while being able to yield up to 6 cups of rice. This rice cooker also comes with a measuring cup, spatula, and 1-liter steam tray where you can cook your veggies, meat, or fish simultaneously with your rice in one cycle. 

This cooker is enclosed using a glass lid, which is ideal for a small rice cooker. A removable, transparent lid will enable you to monitor the progress of the cooking cycle without having to lift the lid, letting steam out, and disrupting the cooking process.

What makes this rice cooker stand out is its Titanium-infused DuraCeramic nonstick coating, which you don’t see in many rice cookers in the market. It gives this cooker its sleek and sophisticated design, but more importantly, the coating helps with durability, lasting 8 times longer and can also cook rice 30% faster than original nonstick surfaces.

Pros and Cons of the Oster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic

ProsCons
✔️ One-touch cooking
✔️ Doubles as a food steamer
✔️ Non-stick coating that helps it cook 30% faster
✖️ Lack of innovative functions and features
✖️ Lack of menu settings for different types of rice

Best Small Rice Cookers Comparison

Small Rice CookerBrandPriceFunctionalityQualityTotal RatingCheck Price on Amazon
Aroma Housewares MI 3-Cup (Cooked) (1.5-Cup UNCOOKED) Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker,WhiteAroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker10899Check Prices on Amazon
Instant Pot LUX Mini product imageInstant Pot Lux Mini (3qt)9999Check Prices on Amazon
Tiger JAX-S10U-WY Micom Rice Cooker & WarmerTiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker9999Check Prices on Amazon
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker and WarmerZojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer8988.3Check Prices on Amazon
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice CookerPanasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker10788.3Check Prices on Amazon
Cuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice CookerCuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice Cooker8888Check Prices on Amazon
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice CookerZojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker9788Check Prices on Amazon
B+D RC503 Product Image 1Black + Decker RC503 3-Cup Rice Cooker9788Check Prices on Amazon
Aroma-ARC-753SG-Simply-Stainless-3-Cup-Uncooked-Rice-CookerAroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker8888Check Prices on Amazon
Oster® DuraCeramic™ Titanium Infused 6-Cup Rice and Grain Cooker with SteamerOster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker8888Check Prices on Amazon

Final Note

Small 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. But for solo-dwellers, students, busy individuals, and small households, small rice cookers are definitely what we recommend.

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

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Ji-hyun

Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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