If you’ve ever tried to cook rice for yourself or your family, you know how temperamental this grain can be. With rice being so ingrained in our diet, why isn't it easier to cook?
Rice cookers of all different kinds have emerged to take care of cooking any type of rice you want. And that’s part of the reason why the process of choosing a rice cooker—the best rice cooker—can get sticky.
You might be wondering:
Does that even matter? A rice cooker is a rice cooker. So long as it fits on my kitchen counter, it’ll be fine. If you’re really honest with yourself though, you know there’s more to selecting a rice cooker than just a matter of space.
There are a lot of rice cookers on the market, and it's not easy trying to decide which one is right for you. Which is why we here at Faveable have taken the time to research the best rice cookers on the market, compiling the most comprehensive list out there.
Let’s take a look at our list.
As far as microwave rice cookers go, this one ranks well for its versatility and speed—two issues you’ll often see reported with traditional rice cookers.
Like with any other inexpensive cookware, there tends to be an increased likelihood for the container to develop cracks or to not properly seal over time.
This steamer cookware comes in four different sizes, ranging from small (roughly producing 6 cups) to large (about 13 cups). In terms of the actual space these steamers take up, they measure about 9.4” x 9.4” x 4.5” at their largest, so they’re super compact and easy to store away with other cookware.
Microwave rice cookers don't have settings since they're just a steamer unit that gets placed inside the microwave. Take note, however, that Cook’s Illustrated has reported issues with cooking rice in the microwave due to differences in wattage between units. Before cooking any major meals with this microwave steamer, test out smaller portions of rice to ensure you know what temperature and amount of water works best for your cooker.
There are a variety of foods you can steam aside from rice, so that makes this microwave steamer pretty versatile in terms of what you can prepare in a short amount of time. It also doubles as a food storage container.
The one drawback to this microwave rice cooker is its quality. Since it’s plastic and it can go in the microwave, dishwasher, fridge, and freezer, it’s going to be subjected to a lot of varying temperatures. Most consumer complaints on this product are related to the failure of the steamer to remain in good shape for very long, so it’ll be important to take extra special care with this if you want to maintain the longevity of it.
The price of this microwave steamer ranges from $10 to $14.99, which is a great deal for what you’re getting. And while we hope yours doesn’t end up with cracks or a broken seal, if you’re going to have to replace your rice cooker, this is one of the easiest and cheapest products to replace.
With 700W power, this compact rice cooker reaches pressure quickly. The small size of this rice cooker is perfect for a dorm, apartment, RV, trailer, or boat!
May not be great for large families, as it is only 3 quartz in size.
This cooker is 3 quartz. It is the perfect size for a small apartment, dorm room, Rv, trailer, or even boat!
This Instant Pot Duo Mini has a fully automatic pressure cook program along with 3 slow cook heat settings. It has 700W power, meaning it can reach pressure quickly and cook your food fast. It also comes with an auto-keep-warm and a delay-start option.
This pot has great versatility. Use it as a steamer, pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker or to sautee, warm food, and even make yogurt! There is a reason it's called the "7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker".
This pot has the same great features as the Instant Pot Duo 6 quarts. (The bigger version) It's made to last with its stainless steel lid and cooking pot.
It's smaller in size and perfect for a smaller family or to make delicious side dishes. It's pricier than some of our other slow cookers but has the brand name to back it up.
This Zojirushi rice cooker is known for being top-of-the-line and built to last. Brown rice, white rice, sushi rice, or any other, this rice cooker’s fuzzy (micom) technology will help you consistently and regularly prepare high quality rice dishes and also happens to double quite nicely as an insulated storage unit.
One of the biggest complaints about this rice cooker is how slow it is. Previous users have also noted that their units didn’t last more than a year and that they had issues with low-quality non-stick coatings.
The Zojirushi rice cooker comes in two sizes: 1 Liter (about 5.5 cups) and 1.8 Liter (about 10 cups). While it is one of the bigger units on this list, it’s not too bulky and should fit nicely in your kitchen.
If you’re looking for a rice cooker with plenty of programmability, this one will definitely do it for you. Not only does it have settings for most types of rice preparations (including sushi), but it also has a delay timer, warmer setting, melody options, and cake baking applications.
What kind of rice do you want to cook? Whatever you’re looking for, they’ve most likely got a setting for it. It bakes cakes, too!
For starters, many users note that this is a rice cooker made to last a long time. In addition, the fuzzy technology used to run the rice cooking process is what ensures the high quality of rice output every time. (Fuzzy “smart” technology means that the heating system will auto-adjust itself based on actual cooking progress.)
While this is definitely an expensive Japanese rice cooker (as most Zojirushi are), the price tag is well worth it if you cook rice often and want a high quality product that will last. It’s also a bit cheaper than other top-tier rice cookers like Hamilton Beach and Tiger.
If you love to cook, this multi-cooker will take care of a variety of your needs. With an easy-to-read and use LED interface, it also is quite easy to work with. Make sure you take a moment to check out the Consumer Reports review on this since it gives a great run-down on how to make the best use of it.
When we looked at the possible drawbacks to this rice (multi) cooker, we noticed that a lot of consumer complaints sounded like those of inexperienced cooks. So if you are new to cooking rice or want a little more handholding in the kitchen, this is probably not the right cooker for you.
This cooker is very large. It’s got a 4-quart cooking pot and weighs around 11 pounds. So if you cook a lot, cook in bulk, and you’ve got the room for it, this cooker will work well for you.
There isn’t a lot of information on this multi-cooker as it strictly pertains to rice, which means that most of the settings are related to general food preparation. Settings include sauté, simmer, yogurt, risotto, slow cook, and more. This one does also give you more control over temperature (which most rice cookers don’t do), so this is great if you’re an advanced cook and want more control over that.
With the size, settings, and a stir tower add-on, this cooker provides a lot of versatility in terms of how many different types of food it can cook. In terms of rice though, the precision needed for different rice types may be lacking.
Stainless steel kitchen appliances tend to be more heavy duty and higher quality than others, so the construction of this cooker is definitely solid.
While this isn’t the most expensive cooker out there, the price tag may be a little too high if you're only looking for something to cook rice. If you are a more advanced cook and want to add a more multi-faceted and multi-purpose tool to your kitchen, the price is perfect for what you’ll get with the KitchenAid Multi-Cooker.
This rice cooker has a 14 cup capacity for rice or whole grains. It comes with a 2-in-1 basket so you can cook your rice while also cooking your veggies!
Not as versatile as some of our other slow cooker options.
The stainless steel electric cooker can hold about 7 cups of uncooked rice or 14 cups of cooked rice.
The Hamilton Beach Electric Cooker includes a 2-in-1 basket. The rice rinser and steam basket. You can cook your veggies while cooking your rice at the same time! It comes with pre-programmed settings meaning you can cook and steam your rice with just the touch of a button. There is also a delay start button - so you can wake up or come home to an already made warm meal!
This pot is great for cooking or steaming rice, hot cereal (oatmeal), steamed veggies, and whole grains.
Made with stainless steel and the pot is non-stick.
A great, inexpensive rice cooker that can make food for the entire family.
This slow cooker is 6 quarts, perfect for 6lb chicken or 4lb roast. It is dishwasher safe and has a tight clip lid so it's easy to transport. The temperature probe helps to measure the exact temperature of your food.
None that we could come up with!
This Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker is 6 quartz - a perfect size so it won't dominate your counter but can also fit everything you need inside.
This slow cooker comes with a temperature probe so you can measure the exact temperature of your food. Maybe the best part about this cooker is the smart technology that allows you to set your desired cook time or temperature and then will automatically switch to warm when your set time/temperature is reached.
It comes with a manual mode, programmable mode, and probe mode.
This slow cooker seems to be perfect for almost anything! You can cook meat, rice, veggies, side dishes, potatoes - you name it!
Made with stainless steel and built to last you and you family for many meals to come!
This cooker is currently on sale and cheaper than many slow cookers on the market.
Instant Pot Programmable Pressure Cooker will perfectly cook whatever you're looking to make - whether it be just a few cups of rice or a whole chicken dinner. It is a 7-in-1 multi-functional pressure cooker that is extremely easy to use with 14 built-in smart programs.
A little pricier than some of the other rice cookers on our list.
This pot is 6 quarts and is perfect for a family.
The Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker has 14 built-in settings. It has 3 temperatures for saute/browning and slow cook. This cooker is a 7-in-1 multi-functioning machine. You can manually set up to 120 minutes of cook time and it has a delay cook time of up to 24 hours.
The Instant Pot is extremely versatile. It has 7 different programs: Slow cooker, rice cooker, pressure cooker, food warmer, steamer, saute, and yogurt maker. Basically, anything you are in the mood for, this cooker can make.
This Instant Pot Duo Pressure Cooker has a 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle, rice paddle, soup spoon, and measuring cup. It is sturdy and durable, made to last for you and your family.
You can add a protection plan for only a small additional cost giving this pot an even greater value. It is also on sale for over $30 less than the original cost. It's pricier than a few of the other options on our list, but we believe it's worth it.