Did you know that rice is the staple food for more than half of the world’s population? So it’s no wonder that rice cookers are one of the most popular kitchen appliances.
We reviewed 21 products and selected 8 best rice cookers with the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 being our Editor’s Choice. The first feature we considered was the capacity of each appliance since this will influence how much rice you can make at once. Next, we looked at the size of each cooker, as well as the different programmable features, as these factors help to determine how your new cooker can be used.
More features: 2 delay time settings; interchangeable melody and beep signal
If you are in the market for the best overall rice cooker available, then you might want to start with this model from Zojirushi. This company has built a long and honored tradition of making quality rice cookers, and it is no different with this model. For starters, it has a very large capacity. This makes it the perfect appliance if you have a bigger family or you just love to eat a lot of rice. Its 11-cup capacity should be more than enough to keep you and your family fully satisfied.
Something else that helps to set this model apart from its competitors is its controls. While many rice cookers have very small and somewhat difficult to read controls, the ones on this model are large and simple to read. This makes finding the right setting very easy.
This model also comes fully loaded with plenty of different programs. These presets will allow you to make a wide variety of foods with your cooker. With this machine, you can make a multitude of different rice types, as well as porridge and other breakfast favorites.
The only real downside to this model is that it has a much longer cook time than other units. This model takes about an hour to cook rice. This is fully understandable, however, as it also takes this time to rinse the rice fully, which many rice makers are unable to do. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be too big of a deal, since you’ll still end up with delicious rice at the end.
More features: delay timer; triple heater
If you make rice often, then you understand just how versatile it can be. There are so many different kinds of rice that you make, and each type needs a little bit of a different cooking process. If you are into lots of different kinds of rice, including white or brown rice, then this is a great model for you. It has lots of different cooking programs that can be used to make pretty much any type of rice perfectly every single time. These programs are easy to select since the buttons and labels are very clear and easy to read.
To go along with these programs, this compact rice cooker also has a delay timer. This timer will allow you to cook your rice exactly when you want it. Basically, you can put all the ingredients together and then set the timer to start cooking when you want it to. This delayed cooking system will make it so that you have rice whenever you are ready for it, without running the risk of it drying out.
Something else that helps to make this such a good buy is its heating system. While many other rice cookers only have one heating element, this model features a unique and efficient triple heater. Not only does this make sure that the heat spreads out more evenly during the cooking process, but it also helps to speed it up as well. Even if you decide to make 6 cups of rice total, this machine will get the job done very quickly.
If you do decide to purchase this system, you need to clean it out often. Otherwise, it might develop an occasional buzzing sound. While this sound does not indicate a downgrade in performance, it can be quite bothersome, so it is best to keep it nice and clean so that it doesn’t occur.
More features: non-stick inner pan; Keep Warm function up to 12 hours; made in Japan
While having a rice cooker with tons of programs can be a huge plus if you are someone that likes lots of different kinds of rice, it can also be a bit of a hassle if all you want to do is make a big pot of white rice for your family to enjoy. If that is the case, then this just might be the right model for you.
This rice maker only has one mode, but with that one mode, you will be able to make a whole lot of rice at once. In fact, this cooker can prepare 11 cups of rice at one time, which is one of the higher capacities on the market today. This is a welcome addition to any busy family since it can make a whole lot of food in a short amount of time.
The simple design of this particular model also helps to make it one of the more durable you can purchase. Both the interior and exterior are designed to be used all the time. So even if you make rice every day, you shouldn’t have to worry about this machine breaking down on you.
This is also a very easy to clean system. The inner pan is completely non-stick, which makes cleaning it up a breeze. With this machine, you have the option of keeping your rice warm for up to 12 hours. Even if you do so, the rice comes right out without sticking at all. All you need to do is simply wipe it out with a cleaner, and you are good to go for your next meal.
More features: cool-touch body; anti-skid pads
If you are a part of a family that simply can’t get enough rice, then this is a great option for you. It has, by far, the largest capacity of any rice cooker from our list, which makes it the perfect cooker for larger families who eat rice at every opportunity. With this machine, you have the option of making up to 20 cups of rice at a time, which is more than enough to keep your whole family fed and happy.
Something else that helps to make this a great option for any family, but especially for one with younger kids, is its safety features. Even when this machine gets all the way up to temperature and is cooking away, it has a completely cool to the touch body. This will help to prevent your kiddos from accidentally getting a burn.
Another great safety feature for this unit is the anti-skid pads on the bottom. While many smaller models will slide all over the place if they are bumped accidentally, this machine will stay in place. This will help to prevent any spills and keep the cooker on the counter where it belongs.
While this is a fantastic cooker with lots of programs, you need to be careful with how long you allow your rice to sit in it. Its heating system is top-notch and runs a bit hot on the warming setting. While this isn’t all that big of a problem if you are letting the rice sit for a bit in it, you will run the risk of drying the rice out if you keep it in the cooker for too long.
More features: made in Korea; 3-language voice navigation
Something else that you want to keep in mind when you are looking for a great rice cooker is just how durable it is going to be. The last thing that you want to have happen to you, especially if you eat rice a lot, is to have your cooker break down on you.
That, plain and simple, will not be the case if you decide to purchase this model. This cooker is built to last and has an extra thick casing that will help to prevent it from breaking down over time. Of course, this does make it a bit on the big side, but that might be well worth it if you want to use your cooker for the next several years without fail.
This model also features a large display that makes it easy to see what program you have selected, and the amount of time left for your rice to cook. This large display will help to make sure that you are getting exactly the kind of meal that you want out of your cooker each and every time. The controls are also nice and big, which makes switching modes a breeze.
Another thing that helps to set this model apart from other cookers is its voice navigation system. Using this system, you can switch between the different cooking programs with your voice. This system can be utilized in Korean, Chinese, and English.
More features: comes with a rice rinser and a steam basket
When it comes to rice cookers, having more versatility is never a bad thing. The more programs and the larger the capacity that you can have at your disposal, the better off you are going to be. That is especially true if you have to use your cooker to make any other types of food. While rice is delicious, it shouldn’t be all that you eat.
If you decide to purchase this cooker, then you won’t ever be limited in what you can make. This device is able to make rice or hot cereal with ease. It can also be used as a steamer, as well, which is a great feature. Since this model comes with a steam basket, you can steam any type of vegetable that you might want, which included carrots, broccoli, or green beans. This versatility will allow you to make lots of delicious and nutritious meals right in your kitchen.
Even though this is a relatively compact cooker, it still has plenty of space to make plenty of food, no matter if you choose to make rice or some other type of food. The compact design also helps to keep it from taking up too much space in your kitchen, which is ideal if you have a smaller home.
The only real drawback with this model is that it is very difficult to clean. This is mostly due to the compact design. Since the inner workings of the appliance are made to be small, they can be difficult to clean under and around. You need to take extra care to clean out all of the leftover food so that the cooker can keep working correctly.
Even though rice cookers are extremely easy to use, that doesn’t mean that the more advanced models are for everybody. If you are purchasing your first rice cooker, then you probably don’t want to shoot for the moon and get a model with a lot of different features and programs. This model is perfect for the beginning rice cooker since it is very easy to use.
In fact, all you need to do with this particular model is load up the right amount of rice, put in the water, and turn it on. From there, the cooker will do the rest for you, making a perfectly cooked pot of rice every time that you use it. Of course, the pot of rice will always be the same, too, so if you are someone that thrives on variety, you might want to steer clear of this model and get one that has some different cooking programs.
Another key feature of this model is its compact design. While this does limit its capacity a bit, this smaller than average size makes it much easier to fit into a smaller kitchen. If you are living in a smaller space but still want to make delicious food for yourself, then this would be a good purchase.
While this machine doesn’t have different programs to worry about, it does have some nice features for added convenience. For instance, this model will automatically turn itself off and switch to warming mode once the rice has been cooked. It also has easy to read indicators that will let you know if your rice is being cooked or if it is ready to eat.
If you are looking to save a bit of money, but still get a high-quality rice cooker, then this is the model for you. For starters, it is very easy to use. All you need to do is load up the right amount of rice and water and let the cooker do the rest. This model is also very compact. Even if you have the smallest kitchen in the world, this smaller than average model will fit on your counter or in your cabinets with room to spare.
The fact that this model is so small is a big plus too since you will probably want to keep it on your counter as a showpiece. This cooker comes in a variety of colors, which makes it easy to coordinate with your household décor. The exterior is also scratch-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it showing too much wear and tear if you keep it out all the time.
Something else that helps to make this model such a good value is that it comes with everything you need to make rice right out of the box. With the purchase of this machine, you get a mixing paddle and a measuring cup. The cup is absolutely necessary, since most rice measurements do not go by standard cups, but rather follow rice making guidelines.
The biggest drawback to this model is its size, however. If you want to make rice for more than one or perhaps two people, this cooker will not work out. It can only make two cups at a time, so you would be severely limited in how much rice you can make at one time.
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know to find the best rice cooker possible. We have also taken the time to answer several frequently asked questions, so be sure to read through those as well if you need any more information.
There are plenty of reasons that you should get a rice cooker over just using your stovetop. These include the following:
As you can imagine, there are plenty of features you need to take into account when you are looking for a new rice cooker. In this section, we will go through everything you need to know to find the right model for your needs.
The first thing that you are going to want to decide upon before you go out and get your new rice cooker is just how large of a capacity you need. Obviously, if you have a larger family, you are going to want a larger model. That way, you will be able to make enough rice to keep everyone fed and happy. Of course, larger models are usually going to cost a bit more, so if you are looking for a cheaper model, you can get a smaller model.
If you need to get a high-capacity rice cooker, then the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB is going to be your best bet. This large model is capable of making up to 20 cups of rice at a time, which makes it a great choice for larger households. On the other hand, if you are only cooking for yourself, you can save a bit of money and get something along the lines of the Dash DRCM200GBRD04.
While getting a rice cooker that cooks a great bowl of rice is obviously the most important thing to keep in mind, it is also a good idea to look for one that has a bunch of other programs as well. By getting a rice cooker with lots of cooking options, you will be getting an extremely versatile machine that can be used to cook a variety of foods in the same convenient manner that you are making your rice.
The best rice cooker, in this case, is probably going to be the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Steamer. This wonderful model has lots of different programs that you can use to make all sorts of delicious dishes, all with the push of a button. The only downside to selecting a cooker with a lot of programs is, as you might have guessed, cost. If all you need to cook is rice, then you can stick with a simpler and cheaper model, like the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU.
Something else that you are going to need to carefully consider are the dimensions of your new rice cooker. This is mostly because you need to make sure that you have enough room for it in your kitchen. You also need to decide where you are going to place it. If you intend to keep in on your countertop at all times, then you simply need to measure to make sure it will fit there. If, however, you are going to put your new appliance in a cabinet, then you will need to measure your cabinets inner space to find a place.
Some of these cookers, especially large capacity and high function models like the Zojirushi NS-TSC10, can get relatively large. If you are limited in your space because you have a smaller kitchen, then you should make sure to buy a smaller rice cooker. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it properly, and it will just end up dominating your space.
Whenever you buy any new appliance, you always want to make sure that you look for one that comes with a good warranty. That way, you will be protected should anything fail through normal use. You need to be careful, however, as many companies will claim that everything is covered under warranty but will only cover certain parts or functions completely.
Even though all of the cookers on our list have some form of a warranty and come from reliable companies, it is always a good idea to read through the fine print on any warranty information you might receive. That way, you will be able to make sure of what is and what isn’t covered under the terms of the warranty. This certainty will help to keep you from having to pay for any unexpected repairs.
While rice cookers are relatively straightforward appliances, there are still several different extra features that you might want to keep in mind. One such feature that you might want to look for is a non-stick inner pan. After all, you are getting this new cooker to make your life easier, and if cleaning it is difficult, it will really not work out that way. A non-stick pan will make cleanup a breeze, which is, obviously, ideal.
Something else that you might want to look for when you are getting a new rice cooker is a rice rinser. You always need to rinse your rice anyways before you make it, so it makes sense to get a rinser right off the bat. This will also save you a bit of money, since a rinser, like the one that comes with the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Steamer, is included in the purchase price.
One other feature that you should keep in mind is an absolute essential if you have children. The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB has a cool-touch body, which, unlike many other models, will not get hot to the touch. This is very much safer, as it will keep anyone from accidentally burning themselves.
A rice cooker can be a very handy kitchen appliance, especially if you cook it often. These machines work by rapidly boiling the water you add to the cooker. Since the cooker is sealed, it reduces the air pressure over the water, which makes it boil a whole lot faster than a standard pot of water. To make the ideal bowl of rice for any meal, simply follow these steps:
If you are in the market for the best overall rice cooker, then the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 should be your first choice. This durable and well-made model has a large capacity and enough programs to keep a whole family fed and happy. We highly recommend that you check this model out.
If you want to make brown rice in your new cooker, then your best bet is going to be the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH. This model has lots of programs that make making almost any type of rice quick, easy, and fun.
If you have a busy schedule, then the best rice cooker for your needs is going to be the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU. This model is extremely easy to use and, more importantly, easy to clean. This makes it a great model for anyone that is strapped for time.