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Fluffy, tender rice cooked to perfection – this goal is something we have all struggled at least once in our lives. However, if you want to master this skill without worrying about over or undercooking them, a stainless steel rice cooker is just what you need.
In our mission to hunt down the best stainless steel rice cooker, we examined 20 products and included seven of them in this article. We have found that the Instant Pot DUO60 stands out among the rest. Thanks to its multipurpose features, efficiency, and high performance, this product is the perfect pick for easy and delicious meals that even Martha Stewart would be proud of. We’ve also gathered six other top-notch rice cookers to help you make the right choice.
Despite your experience or cooking skill level, you should always invest in a rice cooker that meets certain quality and functional standards. However, this can be a rather daunting task. That is why our team has compiled a summary table, detailed product reviews, and a buying guide, with information sourced from the best online and offline resource banks. But first, let’s shed some light on a few key features to consider for your rice cooker. For starters, always check that you have the right size in terms of the dimensions and capacity of the cooker depending on your family size and consumption levels. You should also look at the number and type of programs the cooker offers. For instance, many people opt for rice cookers that can cook different kinds of rice and also slow cook, pressure-cook, or steam vegetables and meat. Finally, don’t forget about other features such as brand warranty and cooking accessories.
Available in 3 qt. and 8 qt. models, the Instant pot DUO is hands down one of the best stainless steel rice cookers out there. It’s a small electric cooker that also serves as a multipurpose appliance for pressure cooking, slow cooking, steaming vegetables, sautéing, and even warming food up.
Operating at very high efficiency, it helps you whip up healthy and scrumptious dishes in no time, ensuring automatic pressure and temperature regulation due to its embedded 3rd generation technology microprocessor. Furthermore, it’s been lab-tested and UL certified for optimal functioning, meaning that it prevents harm-causing common errors and food spoilage. Thanks to its multi-step safety features, we can jump on that bandwagon and cook perfect rice!
A potential con is that this product has a steep learning curve, owing to its numerous features and multiple programs it offers. Although a manual is provided to the consumers, there’s still some information missing related to cooking cycle, temperatures, and a few other minute features. However, once you get used to it, cooking can be a breeze for you, especially if you’re short on time. The best part about this product is that it makes no noise and provides a worry-free experience, thanks to its interior non-stick inner steel pot and durability.
Restaurant quality home cooking – that’s how this Aroma model can be best described as. It’s compact, easy to clean, and comes in a 7 qt. size as well, with its own steaming tray, spatula and measuring cup.
Simply place 3 cups of uncooked, rinsed rice with cold water inside, and the cooker will do the rest! Once the rice is cooked, it’ll turn off automatically and switch to keep-warm mode. No need to monitor the time, no need to cover the top or worry about your rice turning cold. This is a fantastic small rice cooker with a self-regulating temperature and time feature!
The only thing to watch out for is not to let it stay on the keep-warm mode for too long, so that the rice at the base doesn’t turn sticky and crispy. You can also find other models of this product with various capacities (e.g., 6-cup and 14-cup ones) and dimensions. And don’t let the one-touch button fool you into thinking that this product is too basic because it’s also great for the preparation of soups and stews!
What makes it special?
Available in different sizes
One-touch rice cooking
Easy to clean
What cons did we find?
Rice could become sticky and crisp if left on keep-warm for too long
The Elite Gourmet 10-cup rice cooker is perfect for cooking any and every type of rice, whether you want to make white rice, brown rice, long-grained rice or mixed rice. Its stainless steel interior prevents any discolorations and ensures that your rice neither sticks nor burns, even if you leave it unattended for a few minutes. While its interior is designed to keep your food warm long after it’s been cooked, its exterior is created to keep your hands from burning, all thanks to its cool-touch handles, which also make transporting the cooker extremely convenient.
This model is has a glass top with a steam vent, which allows for easy cooking. However, some people noticed that the water tends to sputter out at times if you add a lot of it, despite the lid. Still, it has a cook and warm indicator light that allows you to know exactly when your cooking cycle commences, stops and switches to the keep-warm mode. But that’s not all – this model comes with 5-cup and 20-cup capacities as well, and all under $35, making for a great budget-friendly option.
Why did it make our list?
Tempered glass lid with a steam vent
Affordable price tag
What is not ideal about it?
The water tends to sputter out sometimes despite the glass lid
If you’re looking for a very durable and reliable stainless steel rice cooker, this product will serve you well, saving you time and counter space. With its state-of-the-art indirect heating system, which heats up the entire pot, it provides even cooking, with an unbeatable taste kick. You can even prepare pan-Asian dishes such as dim-sum and noodles with this magical appliance’s own steaming tray!
Now, coming back to the rice. Soft, fluffy, but not mushy – a perfect combo, to be honest. You can use this multi-function rice cooker to make up to 11 cups of uncooked (22 cups cooked) rice. So, even though it’s a bit pricier than other brands out there, it makes up for that with its features and remarkable serving size.
You can even use it for cooking food for large social gatherings at your place without having to worry about time and space constraints. Its four-mode feature also allows for different types of cooking, such as light frying, braising, and stewing. You also get a small bonus, including extra accessories such as a rice spatula, and a measuring cup.
Bow down to this all-in-one rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, and steamer, because you won’t find a better deal. This GoWISE model is literally a kitchen beast when it comes to cooking sweets and savories. Rice, meat, chicken, soup, vegetables, oatmeal, pies – you name it.
It has 12 pre-set cooking programs with a built-in 24-hour delay timer, a removable steel pot, steaming rack and a basket as well. Also available in 12 qt. and 14 qt. models, and all of them come with their own rice scooper and measuring cup. The GoWISE cooker has a much faster and efficient system than traditional rice cookers.
Being one of the best electric stainless steel rice cookers obviously offers its perks: an easy-to-read digital display, a 1000+ Watts power rating, and a starter pack with 50-plus recipes for pressure cooking, with tips and tricks. Now, that’s worth every buck you spend on this product! Don’t forget the must-haves like a keep-warm feature (that works for up to 20 hours), auto-timing, and temperature adjustment control. Plus, this product comes with a 1-year warranty and free lifetime support by GoWISE USA. Unfortunately, some owners said that the pressure valve could be more reliable.
Why did it make our list?
20-hour keep-warm feature
Many accessories included
Multiple cooking settings
Temperature and time control
What is not ideal about it?
The top-pressure valve can get a bit loose over-time
The Oyama CFS F18W has a stainless steel triple-layered bowl that doesn’t use any chemicals for non-stick coatings and can cook both, white and brown rice in a jiffy, without any fuss. This means that you can cook soft and fluffy rice even if you’re in a rush and have just a few minutes to spare.
Although the rice grains do tend to stick a bit to the bottom, if you’re looking for a Teflon-free cooker with uniform heating, then this product is a kitchen must-have for you. Unfortunately, people mentioned that the scoop was of poor quality. But it is a minor issue because you can easily find a replacement.
The cooker utilizes a 3-dimensional heating system, warming the base, sides, and lid. It can keep your rice warm up to 24 hours after it’s done cooking. The lights on the front panel tell you whether it is still cooking or is switched to the keep-warm mode. You can use this unit for steaming vegetables, meats, and poultry with the stainless steel steamer tray that comes with the product.
Why is it special?
Can be used for steaming vegetables, meats and poultry
What are the flaws?
The rice grains tend to stick a little to the bottom
This cooker has a 100% stainless steel pot as well as a steaming tray, without any harmful chemical coatings. That is why this cooker helps you to prepare rice easily while preserving the flavor, as well as the nutritional value of your meal. It neither soaks up any odors, nor leaves any rust, or peel behind, resulting in an easier clean-up time after cooking.
The best part about this product is that its stainless steel steamer can also be utilized to make various cuisines, especially dim-sum and dumplings, which are quite popular among Chinese and Thai food lovers. The steamer tray also works exceptionally well with tortillas, moo shu pancakes, spring roll wrappers and rice skin wrappers.
When your food is completely prepared, this machine will switch to a warm mode on its own, maintaining heat at a lower temperature. However, you must be attentive and turn the cooker off completely once you’re done. Otherwise, you may end up burning your food. Moreover, there are no measuring marks inside the bowl, so it can be a bit hard to know how many ingredients do you need to add.
What are its best features?
No harmful coating
Steaming tray and other accessories included
Works well for different types of meals
Easy to clean
What could be improved?
Users need to be attentive to avoid burning the food
No measuring marks on the bowl
Things to Consider
Whether you make rice occasionally or on a regular basis, the convenience provided by rice cookers cannot be ignored. Sure, you’ll still have to go through the pre-cooking steps of washing it properly or soaking it for a bit and then measuring the amount of rice, oil and water required. However, once this is done, you can do away with the pesky task of fussing over your rice from time to time, because your stainless steel rice cooker will ensure automatic cooking completion and will keep your food warm once it’s cooked to perfection.
Things to consider before buying a stainless steel rice cooker
Stainless steel rice cookers are non-reactive and preserve the taste, aroma and flavor of your food, as well as the nutritional value. Furthermore, a stainless steel interior makes up for an easy cleaning process. However, before you jump right off to buying the best stainless steel rice cooker, you must take a few factors into consideration, which we have highlighted below for your ease.
Rice cookers are available with various capacities, with the measurement done by the number of cups a cooker makes. Keep in mind that cups can be measured for both cooked and uncooked rice as well. So, make sure you check it when buying your cooker. For example, the Tatung TAC-11KN(UL) cooker can cook up to 11 cups of uncooked rice, which is equivalent to 22 cups of cooked rice.
If the capacity is specified in quarts, simply multiply this number by 4 to find out how much cooked rice you can get.
Before making your purchase, you should consider your family size and how many cups you usually make for a single meal.
If you have a large family and cook rice frequently, then it’s best to opt for a model like the Instant Pot DUO60, which can make up to 12 cups of rice at a time.
Most people just don’t buy rice cookers to cook rice specifically. The advent of multi-purpose products in this day and age have led many brands to integrate multi-cooking programs in their rice cookers. This means that you can now cook numerous dishes with just one appliance that occupies minimal counter space, rather than waste money and space on different things like cooking pots, steamers, and pressure cookers. For instance, the GoWISE USA GW22620 rice cooker can not only make rice, but has 12 pre-set programs for cooking dishes with meat, poultry, vegetables, and even slow-cooked desserts. Again, each program allows for a hassle-free cooking experience, since the cooker has an automated cooking timer set, alongside self-adjusting temperatures for each dish-type. Most rice cookers now also have a warm mode to allow you to enjoy your dish even several hours later, which is extremely convenient.
Ease of use
Let’s be honest – nobody has time these days to sit down and go through complicated manuals with complex program settings. Therefore, you should always consider how easy the appliance is to use before buying your cooker. Some stainless steel rice cookers have simple, one-touch controls. All you need to do is pour the rice, water and other flavoring ingredients, press the start button, and voila! The cooker will execute the rest of the cooking to a tee and automatically switch off once everything is done.
Some rice cookers even have digital controls with LED screens, indicating automatic keep-warm operations, steaming, stewing, and more. And if you want to go a step ahead, you can buy one that has a 24-hour delayed cooking time option, such as the Instant DUO pot, and let go of all your worries while you do other tasks.
The dimensions of a rice cooker are measured in terms of its length, width and height. Modern stainless steel cookers don’t take much of kitchen space but still can make a decent amount of rice per load. If you are looking for the most compact unit out there, consider the Aroma ARC-753SG. It has a capacity of 6 cups of cooked rice, which can be more than enough for a small family. Such small units are conveniently portable as well and are easier to use and maintain.
When buying a rice cooker, you should always check for a brand warranty. Many brands offer a warranty for at least a year.
A longer warranty period usually shows how much confidence the manufacturer has in the product.
For further details, just go ahead and check the description of the product or visit the brand’s official page. Remember – this is a long-term investment and a good rice cooker with warranty and after-sales service will provide you with good value for money.
Rice cookers can be extremely versatile appliances, with multiple accessories available as well. Most quality brands offer measuring cups and rice scooping spatulas alongside the cooker, for more value addition for consumers. Models like the GoWISE USA GW22620 even provide cookbooks as add-ons for beginners and advanced chefs, with proper guidelines for various dishes such as stews, pie-fillings, porridge, chili gravy, and even noodles and pasta.
Most rice cookers also have steaming trays as well, in case you want to opt for healthy options such as steamed vegetables, fish, dumplings and more.
While some rice cookers give free accessories such as racks, trays and spoons, others simply offer these extras at a higher price. So, it’s important to note what exactly you’re paying for before making your purchase, especially if you’re placing an order online.
This is perhaps the most important consideration when buying any product. Similarly, the price will be a key make or break for you when you’re buying a rice cooker. There are so many brands out there, offering cookers starting at $20 and going up to $400 models. Obviously, the price also depends on the capacity, number of programs and add-ons
On average, you can expect the price of a good quality rice cooker to be between $80 – $120. Here, we have the Instant Pot DUO60, which boasts multiple programs, 24-hour delayed cooking start and automatic pressure and temperature adjustments.
If you want to get something sturdier and simpler, the Tatung TAC-11KN(UL) cooker has four different cooking modes, a keep-warm function, a steaming tray and incredibly durable construction, due to which it costs $140.
However, if you’re on a budget and looking for rice cookers that can make small portions, fret not. You can go for cookers such as the Elite Gourmet ERC-2020, which cost as little as 35 dollars apiece.
Stainless steel rice cookers are one of the best rice cookers you can invest in. This is because you can both cook and store your food in it easily, without having to worry about the food going stale or smelling bad or resulting in some reaction. Why? Because steel is a non-reactive metal and won’t take away the natural flavor and aroma of your meal. At the same time, these cookers are don’t have any coatings (such as Teflon), which means that you will get safe and healthy food with high nutrition value. Moreover, steel doesn’t react with acidic foods and syrups, and can be cleaned quite easily without any chipped layering, peeling or rust!
It’s advisable to clean your stainless steel rice cooker with hot water and a dish-washing liquid. Most stainless steel rice cookers have detachable steel bowls so that the job can be done easily and quickly. Once detached, remove the food particles from your steel pot first and then wash it carefully. Follow this up with hand-drying the bowl with a clean, non-abrasive piece of cloth to remove the water spots and prevent drying marks from being left on the surface. For a more natural cleaning solution, you can use lemon, vinegar and apple cider. These common-found kitchen ingredients can remove tough food stains and are a cheaper option as compared to washing soaps and other chemical cleaners.
Stainless steel rice cookers can last anywhere from 2 to 8 years or even more if they are of high-end quality. Some stainless steel cookers don’t last for more than a year, despite care, but this may be because most often they’re not made from absolutely 100% stainless steel. To increase the durability of your rice cooker, take special care to clean it with a soft sponge and avoid over-boiling or reheating your meals inside it. Also, make sure to not leave food inside for extended time periods on the keep-warm mode, since prolonged heating can damage the coating of old-style inner steel pots.
Now that we’ve covered everything let’s get down to the meat of the matter: which stainless steel rice cooker should you go for? Well, to make it even easier for you, we’ve shortlisted the top 3 options from our review.
First, let’s talk about the Editor’s choice – the Instant Pot DUO60, which comes in 3 qt., 6 qt. and 8 qt. capacities. This cooker is a multipurpose electric appliance that cooks the food incredibly fast. It is UL certified as well as lab-tested and has multiple auto-safety mechanisms. The deal-making aspect here is that it is easy on the ears (noiseless cooking) and on the pocket.
Next, let’s talk about the Aroma ARC-753SG rice cooker. We love this one because of its compact design, which is very convenient if you have limited kitchen space. Although it seems small, the capacity it has is 6 cups of cooked rice. Moreover, it offers a one-touch operation and a keep-warm function.
Our final winner is the Elite Gourmet ERC-2020 rice cooker, which has a tempered glass lid with a steam vent, cool-touch handles and prevents the rice from sticking. Furthermore, the price tag is very low.
We hope that this information helped you to learn everything you need to make your purchase. All you have to do is to get the best stainless steel rice cooker, sit back, relax and let it work up its magic. Bon appetit!