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Best Rice Cooker [2019]

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INSTANT POT DUO60
  • Wide Variety Of Meal Applications
  • 1,000-Watt Power Output For Quick Preparation
  • Seven-In-One Appliance Capabilities


Instant Pot has specialized in the rice and pressure cooker appliances for quite some time, so it’s no surprise that one of their models is the best option for a rice cooker overall. The Instant Pot DUO60 is the perfect blend of quality and value that will suit the average person’s needs. With a great variety of ease-of-use features, it is a dependable option that will work well in any home.

PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker
  • Simple Switch Makes Rice Preparation Easy And Quick
  • Affordability And Variety Of Model Sizes
  • Can Be Used For Grains And Hot Cereals


If you’re looking to provide the largest amount of rice you can for the cheapest price, then the Proctor Silex will be the best option. While it isn’t as fancy and doesn’t have the same quality of other brands, the low price of the Proctor Silex 37534NR Rice Cooker combined with its capacity and the consistency of its cooking make it an easy choice for those looking to save money.

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker
  • 10-In-1 Appliance That Allows You To Cook Anything
  • 15 Preset Smart Cooking Settings
  • Quality Materials And Features For Your Money


While they are a bit of an unknown, Mueller has produced a quality product with their Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker. If you don’t mind putting out a bit more cash for a rice cooker, then this model will fill just about every function you will ever need in the kitchen with efficiency and speed. Its high complexity makes it a bit more challenging to use correctly, but once you’ve got a good grasp on its capabilities you will feel like a wizard in the kitchen.

How We Picked

A rice cooker is a perfect appliance to quickly and easily prepare rice for any sort of meal. Whether you’re looking to provide a large amount of rice for a family function, neighborhood dinner party, or simply for a solo countertop meal, a rice cooker is indispensable for saving time and producing delicious grains.

But where are you supposed to start looking for one? And what should you look for to find the perfect one? There is absolutely no end to the number of different rice cookers out there now, so selecting just one can be a little daunting.

With our help, you’ll be able to narrow your search to the top ten rice cookers we’ve tracked down.

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD

AROMA HOUSEWARES ARC-914SBD

Specs:

  • Capacity: 8 Cups
  • Size: 8.25” x 8.5” x 9”
  • Weight: 3.6lbs
  • Power: 450W

Our first rice cooker is from Aroma Housewares, which is a trusted and dependable brand of cooking appliances. They’re also dedicated to sustainability with their products and packaging so you can be sure your purchase won’t unnecessarily harm the environment.

AROMA HOUSEWARES ARC-914SBD

The Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD is a great multifunctional appliance for any type of kitchen. Not only can it be used to cook white, brown, or flash rice, but it can also be used to cook jambalaya, veggies, and even cake! It comes with an added steamer function for extra reliability, allowing you to prepare other meals while your rice or soup is taken care of by the cooker. There are variable settings with options to cook regularly, slow cook, or saute-then-simmer (STS).

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD display

This cooker comes with accessories, including a non-stick inner pot, steamer tray, rice measuring cup, and a plastic rice spatula. It even comes with exclusive recipes and coupons for Mahatma and Carolina Rice, so you won’t be at a loss for interesting new dishes to make with your rice cooker.

If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use, and compact appliance, then this rice cooker is perfect. With its small dimensions and simple cook settings, it can fit anywhere in the kitchen, whether you are working with a professional or apartment setup. The rice cooker has some style too with silver, stainless steel exterior, and easy-to-understand button design. Among those is the delay timer button which is a nice useful feature that can elevate your meals.

This rice cooker is also one of the more affordable options on the market, so you won’t need to dip deep into your wallet for this model. Because it is a lower priced model though, so it doesn’t cook as fast as other rice cookers will. It’s also a bit more difficult to clean, despite its non-stick bowl. Overall though, these are small problems that don’t hinder its performance.

What We Like

Simplicity and dependability are the names of the game with this rice cooker. With its basic, sleek style and intuitive button and feature layout, it’ll find a place in any type of kitchen without requiring a master’s degree to operate properly.

Overall

If you’re looking for a cheap, dependable and easy-to-use rice cooker, then this is the perfect model for you. With its large, eight-cup capacity and the variety of cook options, you’ll probably end up relying on it more often than not in the kitchen.

AROMA HOUSEWARES ARC-914SBD

  • Eight Cup Cooked Rice Capacity
  • Variable Cook Options For Different Meal Types
  • Sleek, Silver Design And Intuitive Button Layout

INSTANT POT DUO60

INSTANT POT DUO60

Specs:

  • Capacity: 6 qts
  • Size: 13.4” x 12.2” x 12.5”
  • Weight: 11.8lbs
  • Power: 1,000W

The next rice cooker comes from INSTANT POT, a brand that has been in the pressure cooker business for ten years. Each of their products is focused on multifunctionality and take the place of a number of different appliances in the kitchen.

INSTANT POT DUO60 with open lid

One of the most impressive models on the market, the INSTANT POT DUO60 takes the place of seven other kitchen appliances. It will serve you as a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, and warmer. With a maximum capacity of six quarts, this rice cooker can whip up larger portions for any group event or family dinner. If you’re willing to put up a few more bucks you can even get the eight-quart option and maximize your potential meal output. The DUO60 also comes in four colors; black, red, teal, and white.

INSTANT POT DUO60 display and settings

With specific and varied cook options for any meal you can imagine, this cooker will likely become a consistent tool in your kitchen meal preparation. You can monitor the cooker’s pressure and temperature, keep time for consistent meal preparation, adjust the heating intensity and duration for perfect control. Its 1,000-watt power output cooks meals quickly and accurately as well.

INSTANT POT DUO60 in the kitchen

However, with all of that opportunity for control and accuracy, the cooker can become a bit finicky during use. It’s a rather sensitive appliance so it may take some time to troubleshoot, which is always a hassle. These are rare problems, but it’s important to be aware of them as discovering that your cooker is malfunctioning with little time to fix it for meal preparation is never a good thing. Ultimately though, if you don’t mind some minor hiccups, the Instant Pot DUO60 works wonders.

What We Like

The many different utilities and possibilities that this cooker allows make it a worthwhile purchase for any kind of cook. While the system can be slightly problematic on occasion, the accurate and precise control and cook option make up for it.

Overall

While it is one of the pricier options (but not nearly as pricy as some) out there, the Instant Pot DUO60 is a precise and adaptable appliance that will find indispensable use in any kitchen. The variety of cooking options, easy use buttons and settings, and precise controls make this rice cooker a must-have.

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INSTANT POT DUO60

  • Wide Variety Of Meal Applications
  • 1,000-Watt Power Output For Quick Preparation
  • Seven-In-One Appliance Capabilities

PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker

PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 8 Cups
  • Size: 8.6” x 11” x 7.6”
  • Weight: 3.22lbs
  • Power: 350W

Proctor Silex began with a simple clothing iron and has grown to supply a number of appliances for every area of the modern home. From coffeemakers to deep friers, the company continues to put out dependable and affordable appliances for everyday life.

PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker

The next rice cooker in our list comes from them and is probably the most affordable one on it. While it isn’t necessarily the flashiest cooker out there, it is a cheap appliance that any budgeter can afford. The Proctor Silex 37534NR comes in white with a single switch, avoiding a lot of buttons and complex systems in favor of a simple design format. You flip the switch and the rice cooker turns on, with two lights indicating whether the pot is warming or cooking.

Food prepared by the PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker

If you’re looking for a larger capacity cooker you can also upgrade to the ten-cup model or even the thirty cup one for a few more dollars. The cooker’s compact size and style also mean that it can fit easily in any sort of kitchen. It also comes with a rice spatula, dishwasher safe lid and cooking pot, along with a steamer addition so that you can prepare frozen vegetables along with your rice or soup.

Of course, you also get what you pay for with the more affordable cookers. There are some issues with water splashes and overflowing from the rice cooker while it’s in use, especially if you are preparing brown rice. The warming function isn’t always as helpful as it claims to be either, which can be problematic when preparing food far in advance. If you don’t mind the mess though, and you aren’t planning on keeping the food for too long in the pot before serving, then this rice cooker will get the job done.

What We Like

The simplicity and easy use, set-up, and preparation of this rice cooker make it a reliable appliance for any kitchen. The low price also means that you won’t need to drive yourself bankrupt in order to prepare your meals.

Overall

Affordability is the name of the game with the Proctor Silex 37534NR Rice Cooker. If you are in need of an effective and cheap solution to preparing a large amount of rice quickly and easily.

PROCTOR SILEX 37534NR Rice Cooker

  • Simple Switch Makes Rice Preparation Easy And Quick
  • Affordability And Variety Of Model Sizes
  • Can Be Used For Grains And Hot Cereals

ZOJIRUSHI NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker

ZOJIRUSHI NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 5.5 Cups
  • Size: 10.1” x 8.5” x 14”
  • Weight: 9.1lbs
  • Power: 610W

Zojirushi has been around for over 90 years and produces a wide range of household appliances. It has changed names and product lines many times over the years, but their quality has remained just as valuable and important to their company.

ZOJIRUSHI NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker in the kitchen

With highly advanced technology, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker is one of the priciest and most impressive rice cookers on the market. Its compact and portable design makes storage and carrying easy, while giving the rice cooker a unique and engaging look. The fairly high wattage output of 610W will cook your meals efficiently. You can also use the warming function to ensure that it stays ready for long periods of time.

ZOJIRUSHI NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker used for preparing rice

A precise timer system with variable delay options mean that you can prepare meals far in advance without worrying about losing valuable extra preparation and cooking time. The button interface allows for cooking white rice, sushi rice, quick rice, porridge, steamed foods, etc., making this cooker an indispensable part of your mealtime routine. With all of the use it’s getting, it will become an elegant looking part of your kitchen with its silver color and compact design.

It isn’t as powerful as some of the larger pot rice cookers on the market, and there have been complaints about the time it takes the Zojirushi to cook rice, but overall this is a subjective issue. Some batches of the rice can become too mushy or dry though.

What We Like

The design and efficiency of the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 are tough to beat, with its unique style and power supply design. Its ability to make a wide variety of meal types also give it an edge over the competition.

Overall

This rice cooker is a perfect fit in any sort of kitchen, though the price of it may deter some other people who are strapped for cash. If you’re looking for a powerful, well-made rice cooker with a lot of variabilities though, then this is the cooker for you.

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ZOJIRUSHI NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker

  • Sleek, Unique Design Fits Anywhere In The Kitchen
  • Wide Range Of Meal Options
  • Extended Delay Timer

HAMILTON BEACH 37518 Rice Cooker

HAMILTON BEACH 37518 Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 8 Cups
  • Size: 8.2” x 9.7” x 9.9”
  • Weight: 4lbs
  • Power: 400W

The next cooker comes from an American brand that has been making a wide variety of kitchen appliances for over a hundred years. Hamilton Beach appliances are some of the highest in quality and affordability on the market.

HAMILTON BEACH 37518 Rice Cooker and food

The fifth entry in our list is the Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker. It’s a big step down in price from our last entry while still retaining some of the quality and power of higher price options. As a two in one appliance, this rice cooker comes with a rice rinse/steam basket so that you can steam vegetables and other things as well as cook white rice. Along with that, it’s also possible to cook whole grains, hot cereal, and so many more things. You can also steam seafood in preparation for a coastal themed dinner.

HAMILTON BEACH 37518 Rice Cooker settings

With a silver/black color scheme and easy-to-understand button layout, the rice cooker fits perfectly in your pantry or on your kitchen counter. The delay timer also lets you keep your food warm and ready when preparing meals in advance. Its non-stick pot is dishwasher safe and easy to clean even after repeated use.

The Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker can be a bit temperamental, however. The process for preparing rice is very specific and attention to detail is key to getting your rice cooked perfectly every time. Straying from it can result in burnt or improperly cooked meals. It also doesn’t do well with rice mixes (i.e. brown and white in the same pot), so you’ll need to stick to one or the other for single batches. If you follow those restrictions though, your rice cooker meals will be thoroughly enjoyable for the whole family or individual meals.

What We Like

The affordability and the quality are what make this cooker special. That combined with the large capacity of the Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker put it in the top tier for rice cookers on the market.

Overall

This cooker is perfect for any budget though and still retains the quality of higher priced brands, making it an easy choice to purchase and use.

HAMILTON BEACH 37518 Rice Cooker

  • Eight Cup Capacity For Large Meals
  • Simple Button Layout For Easy Use
  • Stylish Design And Pleasing Color Scheme

WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker

WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Size: 6.5” x 6.3” x 8.1”
  • Weight: 2.65lbs
  • Power: 550W

White Tiger is a Japanese company that specializes in rice cookers and other heating appliances. Japanese cuisine culture is centered around rice and White Tiger is a trusted brand in the country.

WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker

Most of our previous rice cooker entries have been meant for producing large portions of rice, but this next one is for individual or two person use specifically. If you aren’t looking for huge meals or need a rice cooker for travel, then the White Tiger Mini Rice Cooker is perfect for you. Its quick and efficient cooking method produces perfect rice in only fifteen minutes. The simple, one switch system can be used by anyone, no matter how proficient in the kitchen, and makes meal preparation easy.

WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker

Not only can you cook white rice, but brown rice, soup, hot cereal, pasta, etc., are all things that the White Tiger excels at making. Its slender, sleek design make it easy to pack and carry with you on trips, and its easy-to-clean interior pot has a heat dissipation port that increases its longevity. It will last you as long as you need it or for a short business trip. The keep warm function also ensures that you can keep your food safely warm and ready for long periods of time.

Of course, this is a smaller cooker though, so it won’t be useful for larger group meals. If you’re a solo traveler or looking for a good college dorm cooker though, this is the perfect size. It also doesn’t provide as many cooking options as other models might. When the cooker is plugged in and the switch is down, then it’s cooking. When it’s not plugged in, it isn’t. The simplicity is nice, but might not be useful for more complicated meals you might want to make.

What We Like

The sleek design and efficiency of this rice cooker sell this model on their own. Its simplicity and easy-to-use system are helpful for novice cooks or busy people who don’t have much time for lengthy meal preparation.

Overall

The WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker is the perfect option for any solo portions or busy and travelling people. It won’t break records for capacity or power, but it will get the job done quickly and easily so you can enjoy your solo meal.

WHITE TIGER Mini Rice Cooker

  • Small Size For Easy Carry And Use
  • Simple System Makes Cooking A Breeze
  • Reusable Interior, Easy Clean Pot

BLACK+DECKER RC506 Rice Cooker

BLACK+DECKER RC506 Rice Cooker

Specs

Capacity: 6 Cups

  • Size: 10” x 9” x 7.5”
  • Weight: 3.77lbs
  • Power: 300W

Our next cooker comes from Black+Decker a long-trusted brand for appliances and hardware tools. Their quality is undeniable, and their rice cookers are no exception.

BLACK+DECKER RC506 Rice Cooker

The Black+Decker RC506 Rice Cooker is one that anyone can afford and use easily. With its large capacity and efficient cooking, it can prepare hefty meals for any number of dining guests or family members. Another simple cooker option, it has a single switch and two indicator lights for whether the rice cooker is in cooking mode or warming mode. The simplicity and minimalistic design of this device are great for any experience level in the kitchen.

BLACK+DECKER RC506 Rice Cooker

Another great facet of the Black+Decker RC506 Rice Cooker is that it has a two in one function. It comes with a provided steam basket for steaming vegetables, fish, and more, so you can prepare well-rounded meals quickly and easily. There are also an included rice measuring cup for easy loading and a rice spatula that prevents scratching of the non-stick cooker pot.

BLACK+DECKER RC506 used for steaming vegetables

One of the only problems with this cooker seems to be that it creates a mess while running. Due to the natural bubbling of the rice during cooking and the size of the pot itself, there is a high chance that some rice water will overflow while the cooker is preparing your meal. If you place the cooker on a paper plate or towel though, then you won’t have to worry about a messy countertop and can let it run unsupervised. Another minor inconvenience in using this cooker is the short power cord. You’ll need to place your cooker very close to a power outlet, but overall this isn’t that big of an issue.

What We Like

The affordability and simplicity of this cooker make it a solid choice if you’re just starting out and looking for an easy-to-use rice cooker. Its large capacity and dependability also make this cooker perfect for family or larger group meal preparation.

Overall

While it isn’t the most advanced or complex cooker, the Black+Decker RC506 Rice Cooker is an optimal choice for anyone who’s looking for a cheap and simple option they can rely on. If you’re looking to cook meals for multiple people, but don’t want to throw too much money at a high-tech rice cooker, then this is the right choice for you.

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BLACK+DECKER RC506 Rice Cooker

  • Simple Switch Design Makes Operation Easy
  • Large Capacity Allows You To Prepare Group Meals
  • Included Steamer Function Works With Vegetables, Fish, Etc.

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 6 Quarts
  • Size: 13.4” x 13” x 12.8”
  • Weight: 16.4 lbs.
  • Power: 1,000W

While Mueller may not be widely recognized as a reliable kitchen appliance brand, this German producer is steadily working their way into common usage with great products like the next rice cooker on our list.

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker

The Mueller Ultrapot 6Q Cooker is the opposite of simple. With fifteen different preset smart cooking programs, this rice cooker is designed to have an option for any sort of meal you plan on creating. It takes the place of ten other appliances and can be used to make rice, oatmeal, soup, poultry, yogurt, eggs, beans, stew, and even cake. With such a wide range of uses, it’s easy to see why they need the variable preset smart cooking programs. For all of its complexity though, the cooker’s button layout is simple and easy to understand.

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker in the kitchen

This rice cooker is made to last too, with a stainless-steel inner pot, high-quality rubber seals to trap flavor and heat, and durable internal electronics. Also included in your purchase is a stainless-steel steamer basket that you can use to prepare your veggies with at the same time. Its internal microprocessors and heat monitoring controls come with eight safety mechanisms to ensure that you don’t fall prey to any mistakes while preparing your meal.

One drawback of this model however comes simply from its high-tech multitude of features and settings. A kitchen novice might not be able to adapt to this cooker as easily as they would a simpler version. That, combined with the higher price, give this cooker a few barriers to entry, but for those with money to spare and a good knowledge of meal preparation will be able to make the most out of the Mueller Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker.

What We Like

Its variability, especially the fifteen distinct preset smart options, make this pressure cooker a titan in the kitchen. Whether you’re making rice, soup, eggs, meat, or anything else, this model will certainly come in handy.

Overall

If you’re looking for an advanced and technically difficult rice cooker model, then you can’t go wrong with the Mueller Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker. It certainly isn’t the cheapest one or the easiest one to get a good handle on, but if you are ready for the challenge or really want the variability that this cooker provides, then you’ll love having this cooker at home.

MUELLER Ultrapot 6Q Pressure Cooker

  • 10-In-1 Appliance That Allows You To Cook Anything
  • 15 Preset Smart Cooking Settings
  • Quality Materials And Features For Your Money

INSTANT POT LUX60V3 Rice Cooker

INSTANT POT LUX60V3 Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 6 Quarts
  • Size: 13.2” x 12.2” x 12.5”
  • Weight: 11.5 lbs.
  • Power: 1,000W

The penultimate rice cooker on our list is another one from the well-known brand, Instant Pot. While many of the features and aspects of the two entries may seem identical, the two pots definitely have their own advantages and disadvantages to each other.

INSTANT POT LUX60V3 Rice Cooker

The Instant Pot LUX60V3 Rice Cooker is a beast of a machine, taking the place of six other kitchen appliances. These include: rice cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté, and warmer. The large capacity also allows you to prepare meals for the whole family or a dinner party with guests.

INSTANT POT LUX60V3 and food

Inside of the cooker are some of the latest third generation microprocessor technologies that give this model an edge over others. It has a maximum time of 240 minutes for pressure cooking, a 24-hour delay start function, keeps food warm for up to 10 hours automatically, and has three different temperatures to choose from for sauté and slow cook.

With a stainless-steel inner pot and a good seal, the cooker prepares delicious food and keeps all of the flavor inside. The organized button layout makes it easy to find and select the correct cooking option for your needs. All of the components, outside of the electronic pot itself, are dishwasher safe as well to make clean up easy and fast. Although there have been issues with cooking time, as in the preparation takes longer than it might with a regular stovetop pressure cooker, this model is still reliable and can prepare healthy meals for a large number of people.

What We Like

The multiple uses and the capacity of this rice cooker make it a great option for any kitchen. It is a slightly pricier model, and it doesn’t have the color options of the other Instant Pot on our list, but the quality is consistent.

Overall

The Instant Pot LUX60V3 Rice Cooker is a great option for any kitchen, but especially if you’re looking to prepare foods far in advance. It won’t set many speed records, but if you need to plan for a big event, then this cooker is perfect for you.

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INSTANT POT LUX60V3 Rice Cooker

  • 6-In-1 Appliance For Variable Cooking
  • Long Maximum Cook Times Allow For Early Meal Preparation
  • Quality Materials And Advanced Technology

ZOJIRUSHI NHS-60 Rice Cooker

ZOJIRUSHI NHS-60 Rice Cooker

Specs:

  • Capacity: 3 Cups
  • Size: 7.1” x 9.1” x 7.8”
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs.
  • Power: 300W

To round out our list, it’s another rice cooker from Zojirushi. They understand that not everyone needs a pricey and advanced rice cooker, so they’ve made smaller and simpler models like the NHS-60 Rice Cooker.

ZOJIRUSHI NHS-60 Rice Cooker

This model is much simpler than the other Zojirushi on our list and can be comfortably used by just about anyone. Its small size and light weight make it perfect for travel or dorm usage while still providing quality food. You operate the cooker with a single switch and it only has one light to show when it is cooking. That’s as simple as it can get.

While it functions and looks simple, with its plain, white color and design, the Zojirushi NHS-60 Rice Cooker actually has a lot going on behind the scenes to make it so simple and easy to use. The microprocessors inside of the rice cooker actively measure the interior temperature and regulate it depending on the amount of rice inside. It will also shut off when the interior temperature rises about 212ºF.

Some natural problems come with the downgrade in complexity and price though. Mainly, the two largest issues with this cooker are the lack of quality in comparison to other Zojirushi models and the mess that the cooker makes when in operation. If you are looking for a cheaper model that still cooks rice well and you don’t mind cleaning up a bit more mess after cooking, then these issues aren’t too concerning.

What We Like

The simplicity of the rice cooker along with its high-tech internal temperature adjusting system really give it an edge over other cheaper models. While it won’t have the same quality as larger and more expensive Zojirushi cookers, it works well enough to put it in the top of cheaper models from other brands.

Overall

If you’re looking for a simple, cheap, and still decent quality rice cooker, then this is the one for you. While its smaller cooking capacity may not be suitable for families or gatherings, if you only need to make solo or two-person meals, then this model is perfect.

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ZOJIRUSHI NHS-60 Rice Cooker

  • Simple Design And Layout For Easy Operation
  • Internal Temperature Monitoring And Adjustment
  • Low-Price For A Quality Appliance

Buyer’s Guide To Finding The Best Rice Cooker

It can be hard to decide just what exactly you need to look for when purchasing a rice cooker. To help in your search, we’ve provided a few factors we consider to be essential in making a decision.

Capacity

One of the first things to consider when buying a rice cooker is the amount of rice you can cook with it. It may seem obvious that the larger the capacity the better, but that isn’t always the case. If you need to prepare large quantities for family dinners, parties, and so on, then, of course, you’ll want to make as much rice as you can at once. But sometimes less is more.

If you know for certain that you won’t need to produce larger portions when using your rice cooker, then having an eight-cup capacity will more often than not get in the way of meal preparation instead. Not only will it mean lugging around a larger appliance than you need, but often the cookers are designed specifically to manage with their capacity. This means that if you try to cook smaller portions in a large capacity rice cooker, it could harm the quality of your rice or other food items.

When perusing for the perfect rice cooker to meet your needs, make sure to take capacity into account. While having more does sound like the better option a lot of the time, it’s important to take into account what actual use your cooker will see and what portion sizes you’ll be preparing most often.

Complexity

The more complex a rice cooker is, the more you can feasibly do with it. This means that you’ll have a lot more variety and use with your appliance than if you were to get a simple one. However, a more complex model can also hinder your cooking if you aren’t very familiar with the different modes or which settings are meant for which foods.

Some of the main things that go into determining a rice cooker’s complexity are the number of different cook settings that it has, whether it can take the place of any other kitchen appliances, and the amount of control it provides you over meal preparation. For instance, a more complex model will be able to cook rice, but might also be able to prepare soups, veggies, and yogurts. This can be great if you know exactly how to prepare those type of foods in the cooker, but if you are only planning on cooking rice with it, then that complexity may not be necessary.

Ultimately, only you will be able to gauge just how much complexity you want in your cooker. Even if you don’t know how to cook soups, chicken, or other various meals in one, you might want to learn and try it later. Whatever use you want to get out of your cooker, you should try to make it as easy and unproblematic as possible.

Durability

Over time, there is natural wear and tear that comes from constantly placing the interior pot under high heat and scraping out the rice. Because of this, rice cooking pots can often get scrapes and scratches from extended use until finally there’s no choice but to throw them out because the rice will just stick. That’s why the next most important factor to consider is the durability of your rice cooker.

While this will not be the easiest thing to gauge (you’ll probably need to read through a dozen or so customer reviews to find out the general durability and longevity) it’s important to find out before purchasing. It’s bad feeling to have to get rid of an expensive appliance after only limited use.

Consistency

The final thing to consider before purchasing your rice cooker is consistency, or the ability of a rice cooker to consistently make delicious, even, and fluffy rice. While it seems relatively obvious, having a rice cooker which can cook rice well every time is one of the most important things to consider before buying.

Do the reviews say that the rice was burnt? Do some say that the rice came out soggy? Do even fewer of them say that the rice was perfectly fine? You might want to consider looking elsewhere if the cooker doesn’t manage to make consistently good rice every time. Of course, you’ll need to take all of the reviews with a grain of salt, especially if most of them are positive, as there’s a high probability that the imperfect batches were caused by user error. If enough are pointing to the fact that using the rice cooker is like flipping a coin and hoping that you don’t get a bad batch, then it would be best to look for a different cooker.

This category is probably the hardest to judge accurately, as it is difficult to know just how consistent the cooker is without using it yourself. You’ll have to rely on your own judgment and look through a lot of reviews in order to determine whether the rice cooker you have your eye on is consistent enough to warrant purchasing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rice Cookers

If you’re shopping for your first rice cooker, then you might have a great deal of questions. In this section, we will address some of the most commonly asked questions concerning rice cookers. If you find that you have any questions we didn’t address here, please let us know so that we can help you and improve our future lists.

Q: What capacity is best for me?

A: If you’re wondering what capacity you should shoot for in a rice cooker, it will largely depend on your needs. There is some basic helpful information though that could give you a more organized method of determining the correct capacity. An average portion of rice for a single person falls between a half to a full cup. So, if you’re only planning on using your rice cooker for solo meals, then you won’t need one much larger than a cup. From there, you can extrapolate to find the perfect size. For a family of four, a rice cooker around four or five cups will work perfectly well on family meals.

Q: Do I need a rice cooker?

A: Humans have been growing, cooking, and eating rice for centuries. If they managed to prepare rice without the fancy automatic machines we have now, then it stands to reason that we can still cook without the help of beeping rice cookers. It is definitely possible to cook rice in a stovetop pot. However, the main advantage of a rice cooker, and the reason it is such a big industry, is that rice cookers save an extraordinary amount of time in preparing meals. Where you’d need to stand over the pot and keep watch on your rice, unable to cook anything else at the same time, a rice cooker frees your hand so that you can prepare the meat or any other part of the meal while it cooks. That saved time can be indispensable in our busy modern era. Not to mention that you can do much more than just cook rice in a rice cooker.

Q: How much water should I use in my rice cooker?

A: Your rice cooker should come with instructions on how much water to use per cup of uncooked rice. It’s often best to follow those instructions as the manufacturer knows their product better than any rule of thumb will. However, most rice cookers will follow a simple ratio based on types of rice that you can apply:

  • Oriental/Soft Rice: 2 cups water / 1 cup rice
  • Basmati/Firm Rice: 1.5 cups water / 1 cup rice
  • Brown Rice: 2 cups and 2 tablespoons water / 1 cup rice

Conclusion

And that is our list of the top ten best rice cookers for 2019!

Hopefully, by the end of our list you’ve managed to find the perfect rice cooker for your lifestyle and needs. Our list should’ve narrowed your search a bit, our top picks should have narrowed it even more, and our buyer’s guide should have given you the tools to determine exactly what you want to look for in deciding on a purchase.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2019-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API