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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

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 (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

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.

Want to check out other rice cookers? Check out our complete guide on the best rice cookers of 2020

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

Small rice cookers tend 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 bigger models 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 bigger and bulkier models. 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. 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 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 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 cups 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 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. Figure out which one best suits you, while keeping in mind how simple the rice cooker is for daily use. 

Versatility

Most rice cookers today can do more than just cook rice. There are those that double as a steamer, pressure cooker, warmer, etc. Even small rice cookers can be versatile, able to perform different cooking styles and accommodate different rice varieties. 

Do you want to be able to cook quinoa, pasta, oatmeal, veggies, and meat in your small rice cooker? If you do, then you need a highly-versatile one. But if you’re only after cooking the best rice for your daily meals, a simple model will do. You also need to consider if you’re after cooking only white rice, or you want to try out other varieties such as sushi, mixed, or brown 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! 

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 rice cooking process a breeze.

Top 10 Best Small Rice Cookers

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker ● portable ● one-touch control ● wide variety of cooking settings Aroma MI Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker
Instant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker (3qt) Instant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker (3qt) ● 6 appliances in 1 ● 3rd gen microprocessor technology ● wide variety of functions and features Instant Pot Lux Mini Rice Cooker (3qt)
Tiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker Tiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker ● Tacook cooking pot ● 10 cooking settings ● 2 preset timers and automatic keep warm Tiger JAX-S10U Micom Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer ● Micro-computerized fuzzy logic technology ● wide variety of menu settings ● keep warm, delay timer, and reheating cycle features Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker ● Easy to use ● Single switch operation ● Automatic keep warm Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic Rice Cooker
Cuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice Cooker Cuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice Cooker ● Fuzzy logic and intelligent algorithm ● Accommodates GABA and brown rice ● Teflon coating Cuckoo CR-0351F Electric Heating Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NHS-06 3 Cup Rice Cooker Zojirushi NHS-06 3 Cup Rice Cooker ● Easy to use ● Single swith operation ● See-through glass lid Zojirushi NHS-06 3 Cup Rice Cooker
Black + Decker RC503 3 Cup Rice Cooker Black + Decker RC503 3 Cup Rice Cooker ● Easy to use ● One touch operation ● Dishwasher safe parts Black + Decker RC503 3 Cup Rice Cooker
Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker ● BPA-free ● easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe ● fine mesh Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker
Oster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker Oster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker ● BPA-free ● easy-to-clean and dishwasher safe ● fine mesh Oster Titanium-Infused DuraCeramic Rice Cooker

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 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.

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! 

The JAX-S10U 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.

The JAX-S10U 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. 

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, 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. 

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 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.

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.

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 when cooking their daily rice meals. Luckily, Zojirushi has a 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 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.

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.

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 rice cooker, you can cook jambalaya, veggies, white rice, brown rice or even cake with one push of a button. 

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. 

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.

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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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