Cooking rice can be difficult for anyone, regardless of skill level. A good rice cooker saves time and effort by allowing you to prepare fully cooked grains ahead of time—no more babysitting the stove and ending up with starchy, undercooked mush, or crunchy, half-done grains.
We assessed each product’s cooking capacity, functionality, and versatility, for a comprehensive list of all types of household needs. We also considered how easy each product is to store and clean.
Whether you’re looking for a small tool for tight spaces or a professional-level device to really dive into a variety of grains, this list of the best rice cookers has something for everyone.
Pros: Eight presets like steam, slow cook, and sauté make this a multifunctional machine perfect for small kitchens with limited storage space.
Cons: Additional parts (like the steamer insert) mean there’s more to clean up.
Aroma’s cooker is rapid, long-lasting, and cost-effective. It can prepare up to 8 cups of brown rice, white rice, and quinoa (including a “rapid rice” option that claims to cook grains up to 50% faster) and serve up to eight people using particular capabilities. This Aroma version also includes a steaming tray for cooking proteins and veggies at the same time, as well as a removable nonstick inner cooking pot for simple cleaning. It’s a versatile gadget with eight modes like steam, slow cook, sauté, and oatmeal that’s excellent for tiny kitchens with minimal storage space. It’s especially beneficial for busy home cooks who don’t have time to supervise a burner because it has a 15-hour delay timer. For increased convenience, an automatic keep-warm function activates as soon as the rice is finished cooking.
Pros: This simple, compact machine is easy to use, clean, and store.
Cons: This option only yields about 3 cups of rice and cannot be programmed in advance.
This 3-cup cooker is great for tiny kitchens with limited counter or cabinet space. This Zojirushi cooker, like its larger siblings, produces precisely cooked rice on a smaller scale. The 3-cup cooker has a significantly simpler interface than the others on this list, with only one easy-to-use switch. It’s ideal for single servings or two-person dinners, and it’s a quick and easy way to have grains on hand. It’s also not a suitable choice for individuals who want to create large batches or preset their rice cooker ahead of time. This simple gadget is easy to use and store because it only has one function, and the robust nonstick inner pan makes cleanup a breeze. Handles and knobs that stay cool offer easy transport.
Pros: It can yield up to 20 cups of rice and utilizes automatic functions to keep it warm after cooking.
Cons: This cooker is one of the pricier options on our list.
If you eat rice on a daily basis, Tsai recommends investing in a professional-grade rice cooker.
Zojirushi’s Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer is a professional chef-approved machine. “I have an ancient Zojirushi rice cooker that makes life a lot easier in the kitchen because it not only cooks the rice—and quinoa, bulgur wheat, and any number of grains—but also keeps it warm,” TV chef Nigella Lawson told us, adding that it’s especially beneficial for those with children or busy work weeks.
This device employs computerized “fuzzy logic” technology to detect how your grains are cooking and adjusts the time and temperature accordingly to cook up to 10 cups of uncooked rice to the perfect texture. There are eight settings on the device, including white and brown rice settings as well as a steaming function for veggies and fish. This rice cooker also features an option for baking cake, making it a remarkably multipurpose device. The cord can be retracted for easy storage. An easy-to-read LCD display, a stainless steel body, and automatic functions like “stay warm,” “extended keep warm,” and “reheat” are among the other design characteristics.
Pros: This simple machine is easy to use and automatically flips to a warming setting when rice is done cooking.
Cons: The large capacity could make it a challenge to clean and store in smaller kitchens.
This commercial-grade rice cooker is by far the largest on our list, and it’s excellent for someone who wants to produce a large batch of rice at once. When the grains are done cooking, the extra-large capacity automatically switches to “keep-warm” mode, yielding up to 60 cups of rice. The nonstick aluminum cooking pot prevents any rice from caking on the bottom of the pan, and the heavy-duty stainless steel lid locks in heat and steam.
This cooker is perfect for restaurant or commercial use where huge volumes are required because of its enormous size and sturdy parts. The gadget comes with a measuring cup and spatula, and the simple functionality has two settings: “cook” and “warm.” Keep in mind that, because of its size, this machine may be difficult to store in small kitchens and is not suitable for apartment living. “Reheat,” “stay warm,” and “keep warm.”
Pros: Induction heating allows for more even cooking, and precise temperature adjustments allow cooks more control.
Cons: The accessories and the inner pan must be hand-washed, and it’s the priciest option on our list.
One of the most recent advancements in the rice cooker category is induction technology, which allows for faster and more flexible rice cooking. Unlike traditional rice cookers, which heat from the bottom up, induction rice cookers heat the entire container, allowing the grains to cook faster and more evenly. In fact, this Zojirushi option heats from the lid and keeps the rice warm for up to 8 hours after it’s finished. It also allows cooks more control by allowing them to regulate the temperature of the unit while it is operating.
The Induction Heating System from Zojirushi may be used to cook jasmine rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, GABA brown rice, and more. You can control when you start cooking with the delay timer, and the digital clock and LCD control panel are easy to read. A spatula and measuring cup is included with the set. Despite the fact that this device is effective and convenient, it is the most expensive on our list.
Pros: This pressure cooker is fully programmable and completely versatile thanks to its seven different cooking functions.
Cons: It’s not a dedicated rice cooker, so the functionality can be more complicated than some of the simpler gadgets on this list.
The traditional Instant Pot is an efficient alternative for a versatile kitchen appliance that serves several tasks. In one stainless steel pot, you’ll find a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, sauté pan, yogurt maker, and rice cooker. It’s a good choice for meal prep or feeding large gatherings because it has a 6-quart capacity. This 7-in-1 multipurpose cooker has a delay timer so you may prepare food ahead of time and manage when it starts cooking, as well as three temperature settings for cooking different dishes properly. The pot is dishwasher safe and nonstick, making cleanup a breeze. This device has ten safety features, including overheating protection and a safety lock, for enhanced convenience. The Instant Pot is great for anyone searching for a multi-functional appliance that is also a reliable and quick food prep tool.
Pros: This fully programmable cooker lets you control the exact texture of the cooked rice, and an automatic cleaning function steam-cleans the cooker after use.
Cons: Accessories must be hand-washed, and certain functions (like mixed rice) can take over an hour to cook.
Brown rice, unlike white rice, retains its bran and germ coating, making it chewier, nuttier, and a little more difficult to prepare. Look for a rice cooker with more user control, such as this Cuckoo option, for the best results. This 6-cup rice cooker has a revolutionary “My Mode” function that allows users to choose exactly how their rice is cooked, in addition to 11 menu and texture options. This rice cooker provides a more customized experience, from sticky rice to crunchier, more al dente rice. The removable inner nonstick pot and cover make cleanup a breeze, and the excess water dish drains excess moisture to prevent soggy rice. A delay timer on the fully programmable machine allows you to select the finishing time up to 13 hours ahead of time.