Let’s admit it. Rice cookers, although deemed as a necessity now, can get very costly. It’s not the first thing you want to spend money on, especially if you’re living alone or with a partner. A rice cooker may be seen as a luxury that only big families need and can afford.
But there are many cheap options in the market. You just have to find one that has all the features you need so you can cook rice easily, quickly, and perfectly. We looked for the 10 best cheap rice cookers you can buy that are easy on the pocket, and yet equipped with features that make it a bang for the buck.
The Aroma ARC-150SB is definitely a great appliance for its price! You get a 20 cups cooked rice capacity, which is more than enough to feed a big family and guests. This rice cooker is equipped with several menu options, allowing you to cook veggies, rice, jambalaya, or even cake with a simple press of a button. It’s definitely worthy of a top spot in the best cheap rice cookers list.
|✓ OUR FAVORITE: Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker|
|✓ BEST FOR SIMPLE COOKING: Oster 6 Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer 4722|
|✓ BEST FOR HEALTHIER MEALS: Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker|
|✓ FOR LARGE SERVINGS: Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker 37549|
|✓ THE MOST DURABLE: Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker|
To cook rice the traditional way (boiling the grains in a pot via a stove) is not ideal anymore in this day and age. Since we’re busy most of the time and want to spend our free periods relaxing or bonding with our loved ones, no one wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing home-cooked meals. Eating outside or getting take-out everyday may not be a viable option either because of the cost, and of course, the toll of fast food on our health.
Luckily, there is a way for us to prepare our meals at home quickly and easily — without spending too much time in the kitchen to cook or clean up. That’s thanks to the use of a rice cooker. Having this handy appliance in your kitchen means you can set it and forget it. Just put all your ingredients in the inner pot, push the buttons to start the cooking process, and your meal will be ready in a few minutes.
The common misconception is that low-priced rice cookers don’t perform as well as more expensive ones. But that’s not true. There are highly functional rice cookers in the market that are handy and affordable.
Rice cookers come in all shapes and sizes. Each model is unique in a sense because they have different functions and features. Here are some of the basics you need:
When it comes to best cheap rice cookers, you want an appliance that can help you cook your daily meals easily and quickly — that is the purpose of investing in one after all. In your search for best cheap rice cookers to invest in, find one that has simple operations. Most rice cookers make it as easy as pushing down a single switch to start the cooking process. Some have simple digital displays where you can navigate tons of cooking options.
Not all affordable rice cookers are small. There are also big ones that can yield up to 16 cups of rice. First and foremost, you have to know how many cups you’re yielding to serve per cooking cycle.
Small rice cookers usually have a 1-3 cups capacity of rice grains, which can make 2-6 cups of cooked rice. Bigger ones can yield as much as 20 cups of cooked rice. If you live alone or with a partner, a small rice cooker will do.
Just because an appliance is affordable doesn’t mean that you have to settle for bad quality. There are plenty of budget rice cookers that are made with the best materials that are durable and easy to clean. Ideally, you want one that comes with a non-stick inner pot to prevent scratches and to ensure that you can use it better. Stainless steel rice cookers are also durable and easy to clean.
Rice cookers, in default, come with accessories which include a measuring cup and spatula or rice paddle. These are the basic accessories you need. It’s essential that the measuring cup is built specifically for that appliance so that you get the right measurements and prevent exceeding its capacity.
Some cookers can offer more accessories, such as a steaming tray, rice washer, or recipe book. Ultimately, it depends on what you need. Buying a cooker that comes with the essential accessories will help you save more compared to buying them separately. At the same time, you can ensure that you’re maximizing the use of the appliance by using the accessories made specifically for it.
Aroma ARC-150SB 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker
|● 20 cup capacity|
● variety of menu options
● cooking versatility
|Oster 6 Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer 4722||● doubles as a steamer|
● one touch operation
● automatic keep warm
|Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker||● health-conscious design|
● easy to clean
● simple navigation
|Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker 37549||● 14 cups capacity|
● several menu options
● unique heat/ simmer function
|Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker||● highly durable|
● stainless steel
● doubles as a food steamer
|Hamilton Beach 16-Cup Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||● big capacity|
● doubles as a steamer
● one touch navigation
|Zojirushi NHS-06 3 Cup Rice Cooker||● Easy to use|
● Single switch operation
● See-through glass lid
|Black+Decker RC506 Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||● Doubles as a steamer|
● One touch operation
● Nonstick inner pot
|Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker||● meal versatility|
● variety of color options
● easy navigation
|Hamilton Beach 37508 Mini Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||● 2 in 1|
● easy cleanup
● one touch operation
The Aroma ARC-150SB is one of the cheapest yet most functional rice cookers in the market. It has everything you need in a handy kitchen appliance, including several menu options, easy navigation, keep warm settings, delay timer, measuring cup, spatula, and more.
This rice cooker can also function as a slow cooker and food steamer, so it’s as if you bought 3 kitchen appliances for an amazingly low price. With one touch of a button, you can prepare several rice varieties and even steam your meat and veggies. One quick cooking cycle can yield up to 20 cups of perfectly cooked rice for your family and guests! It’s incredibly functional yet budget-friendly and easy to use, making it worthy of the top place in the best cheap rice cookers list.
Although not big on capacity, this Oster 6-Cup Rice Cooker is still a good deal because of its features. It can cook anything you’re craving for despite its compact build and even comes with a steam tray where you can cook your veggies, fish, or meat simultaneously with your white or brown rice. A measuring cup and spatula are also included.
The tempered glass lid allows you to monitor your food as it cooks in the inner pot. But you can also just set it and forget it, as the cooker automatically shifts to keep warm after the cooking cycle and has an auto shut off feature to prevent your food from burning. Hence, you can always yield perfect rice with this one.
The Aroma Simply Stainless has really proved its worth, being one of the best small rice cookers and also one of the best cheap cookers. At first glance, you immediately want it in your kitchen countertop because of its simple yet sophisticated exterior.
The Aroma Simply Stainless is made with a health-conscious design using food grade 304 stainless steel which helps you cook healthy meals and prepare up to 6 cups of cooked rice every time. Plus the fact that it’s stainless steel from the exterior to the pot means it’s easy to clean up after use.
The Hamilton Beach 37549 can yield up to 14 cups of cooked rice in one cycle and enables you to expand your menu with perfectly-cooked dishes thanks to its several menu options. It’s a cooker for rice, beans, whole grains, pasta, etc., so you can simply select one of the versatile settings, including: white rice, brown rice, quick rice, whole grain, a unique heat/ simmer, and steam cook.
This cooker is also equipped with a delay timer function and keep warm feature. The former enables you to toss your ingredients in the pot before leaving for work, setting the timer up to 15 hours in advance so your rice starts cooking minutes before you get home. The latter automatically turns on after the cooking cycle to ensure your meals are in optimal serving temperature when you’re ready to eat. A measuring cup and spatula are also included.
The Cuisinart CRC-400 is probably one of the most convenient rice cookers you can get at an affordable price. It costs less than $60, but is equipped with all the ideal functions and features you need for daily use.
This appliance doubles as a food steamer and comes with a stainless steel cooking pot and steamer tray where you can put your meat and veggies to cook simultaneously with your rice. All parts are made with high-quality, non-stick material (including the measuring cup and spatula) that makes them easy to use, easy to clean, and durable.
If you need to feed a big group of people but don’t want to spend so much time in the kitchen, you need the Hamilton Beach 16 Cups Rice Cooker & Food Steamer. This appliance has the capacity of 16 cups of cooked rice — enough to feed a big family and guests!
It also comes with a measuring cup, spatula, and steam basket that can hold a massive amount of meat and veggies. Cook a complete meal quickly and easily with one touch navigation. The cooker will automatically transition to its Keep Warm function after the cooking cycle ends.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a smaller rice cooker that can cook just enough for one or two people, you have the Zojirushi NHS-06 with 3 cups cooked rice capacity. It’s a simple appliance that has a single switch, see-through glass lid, and durable nonstick inner cooking pan.
Incredibly affordable, easy to navigate with a single touch, and capable of preparing your daily meals quickly — those are reasons why this is another optimal choice of budget rice cookers This one doesn’t fall short of the high-quality appliances that Japanese brand Zojirushi has to offer.
The Black+Decker RC506 is a new and improved version of its predecessors. It’s a simple and fool-proof appliance that can help you cook your complete daily meals in one cycle. This cooker has a 6-cup cooked rice capacity, automatic Keep Warm, non-stick inner pot, plus a good steaming basket that offers versatility and variety when it comes to what you want to cook.
And the best part? It’s easy on the pocket! The RC506 is a member of the Black+Decker RC series composed of different rice cookers with differing capacities. So you can choose any one that fits your needs and preferences.
Not enough space on your kitchen countertop for a big rice cooker? Then why not go with a smaller and cheaper version like the Dash DRCM200BK Mini?
The Dash Mini will cost you less than $30 but doesn’t fall short in terms of functions and features. This cooker, despite its price and size, has meal versatility, Keep Warm functions, and a variety of color options in its arsenal.
You can choose from either white, black, aqua, pink, or red and enjoy the best budget rice cooker you can use to easily prepare rice, oatmeal, stew, soup, quinoa, pasta, and even steamed vegetables.
The Hamilton Beach 37508 Mini makes for a very sleek yet functional appliance in your kitchen. It’s 2 cooking appliances in 1: a rice cooker and a food steamer. In a single cooking cycle, you can yield up to 8 cups of cooked rice plus freshly steamed meat, fish, or veggies.
The Hamilton Beach 37508 has a quite intimidating build. But don’t worry. It has an easy and fool-proof one-touch navigation. A single switch can begin the cooking cycle and transition to Keep Warm. The cooker is easy to clean as well for a more convenient clean up session after dinner.
|Rice Cooker||Brand Name||Price||Functionality||Quality||Total Rating||Check Price on Amazon|
|Aroma ARC-150SB 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker||10||8||8||8.7|
|Oster 6 Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer 4722||10||8||8||8.7|
|Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker||8||8||8||8|
|Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker 37549||8||8||8||8|
|Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker||8||8||8||8|
|Hamilton Beach 16-Cup Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||8||8||7.5||7.8|
|Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker||8||7||8||7.7|
|Black+Decker RC506 Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||7||8||8||7.7|
|Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker||8||8||7||7.7|
|Hamilton Beach 37508 Mini Rice Cooker & Food Steamer||8||8||7||7.7|
You don’t have to pay too much and break your budget to get the benefits of convenience and great-tasting meals everyday. These 10 best cheap rice cookers can make the cooking process much easier and more pleasant from tossing your ingredients in all the way to cleaning up after dinner. The best part is that you have a helpful kitchen companion that allows you to save time, effort, and energy without breaking the bank.