Rice cookers allow you to cook rice in just a few minutes and make all sorts of dishes. If you’re interested in giving these devices a try but aren’t quite sure where to begin, then our list of the best rice cookers will help you get a better idea of what sort of features you should look for when picking one out for yourself.
Best Overall Rice Cooker
Breville The Rice Box Rice Cooker
- 10-cup capacity
- Has a non-stick pan for easy scooping and cleanup
- Auto shut-off protection
- Standard warranty length of one year
Everything from the timer to the cooking settings on the Breville is automatic and can be chosen with the easy press of a single button. Speaking of cooking settings, the cooker comes with six settings: sushi, congee, porridge, soup, steamed rice, and crispy rice. This means that it’s pretty safe to say that this device has you covered when it comes to diversity of rice meals.
You also have the option to reheat your food, fast-cook it if you’re in a hurry, and an “auto keep-warm” option that makes sure the rice in the pot is nice and warm until you open it. You also get a timer, which allows you to put in the rice and the water, set the timer, and schedule the cooking to start and finish when you want it to.
Best Budget Rice Cooker
Russell Hobbs 10 Cup Family Rice Cooker
- 10-cup capacity
- Comes with a spoon and a measuring cup
- No extra features
Even though it’s the cheapest model on our list, this Russell Hobbs model can still provide you with all of the essentials every rice cooker should have, which is to say that it comes with both a cook and a keep-warm option. This model is incredibly easy to use and it can be a great choice for people that just want a reliable device with no additional bells and whistles.
Best Premium Rice Cooker
Breville The Smart Rice Box Rice Cooker
- Removable components for easy cleaning
- Programmable timer
- Automatic temperature adjustment for optimal cooking results
- Some users complained of rice sticking to the pan often
This cooker model utilizes something called fuzzy logic, which essentially divides the cooking process into several instances and uses the built-in thermostat to estimate how much the temperature should be lowered or increased in every instance. This makes sure that all of the water is boiled away properly and the rice that’s left at the end of the process is perfectly cooked to the specifications that you set.
That being said, the rice might get burned if left on the keep warm feature while on high cooking settings, but the 5-hour automatic shut-off reduces the chances of that happening. You get a lot of cooking settings—eight to be exact—and they essentially cover all of the different types of cooking.
Most Versatile Rice Cookers
Breville The Multi Chef Risotto & Rice Cooker
- 10-cup capacity
- Steaming, searing and slow cooking functions
- Auto keep-warm function
- Limited customisation or adjustment of cooking settings
- Some customers found the bowl could scratch easily
This model probably has the most classic rice cooker design out of all of the items on our list. The stainless steel pot has a very simple see-through lid that allows you to see when your meal is done and two handles that make it easy to lift and move the cooker. The six-button control panel at the bottom controls everything from the cooking settings to the cooking speed and pressure.
The device also comes with a stainless steel steaming tray, a serving spoon, and even a rice scooper.
Instant Pot Duo Nova Electric Multi-Use Pressure Cooker 8L
- Combines seven appliances in one
- Simple to use digital display
- Overheat protection and safety lock
- Advanced steam release controls
- Some customers found it hard to clean or that food sticks to the bottom
- The inside of the bowl is easy to scratch if you use metal utensils
This rice cooker comes with a staggering 14 different cooking options which can allow you to prepare anything from soup broth and meat stew to bean chilli or even yoghurt. You can also use the delay start option in order to set when you want the cooker to prepare your meal and even adjust the pressure levels inside of the cooker.
Best Rice Cooker Brands
As you might have noticed from our list, Breville has a lot of range when it comes to the rice cookers that they make. Checking them out will give you a wide selection of different types of rice cookers that have slightly different functions or settings.
Instant Pot's multi cookers are also extremely popular with customers and are worth considering if you want to have versatile cooking options in one device.
How To Choose The Right Rice Cooker
The most important feature that a cooker needs to have is a suitable capacity. The average cooker size is usually an 8-cup, which means that most of the cookers that we mentioned on our list are above average when it comes to serving sizes.
Additionally, aside from the features that we mentioned in the individual breakdowns like the timers and the non-stick pans, you might also want to find a rice cooker that has insulated handles so that you don’t burn yourself and you can transport it easier, and maybe a measuring cup that comes with the appliance for that little bit of extra convenience.
How Do Rice Cookers Work?
The most important elements of a rice cooker are the heating element, the thermostat, and the so-called “golden ratio”. The golden ratio is the amount of water that you put in proportionally to the amount of rice and it’s stated as being 1:2. Essentially, all you need to do is put in two cups of water for every one cup of rice and just turn the device on.
The heating element will boil the water until the steam starts cooking the rice. The thermostat then turns off the heating element as soon as all the water has evaporated and has been absorbed by the rice. The rice then remains in the cooker until you open it up and eat it. There is no manual boiling required and you don’t even need to be around the device. All you need to do is put in the rice and the water, flip the switch, and come back whenever you feel like it.
What Recipes Can You Make in a Rice Cooker Other Than Rice?
Since the rice cookers use steam in order to prepare the rice, this essentially means that you can prepare any sort of steamed meal in one of these devices. A particularly popular option is to steam your vegetables in order to soften them up before adding them to a stew or simply eating them as they are. We also covered a lot of cookers that have additional cooking settings for specific food as well.
You can easily find a cooker with settings for everything from the more common options such as steamed or crispy rice, to something a bit less expected, like sushi or porridge. You can also find specific recipes that can easily be prepared in a rice cooker, and all you really need to do to find these recipes is do a quick Google or Youtube search. What we’re trying to say is that there’s no shortage of possible foods that you can prepare in a rice cooker.