The possibilities are endless with the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker. Much like a crockpot, this rice cooker allows you to “set it and forget it” with programmable options for white or brown rice, as well as a keep warm feature. This rice cooker also doubles as a steamer--your vegetables can steam above whatever you’re cooking below. We also like that this rice cooker is compact so it’s easy to store away when not in use, and with a nonstick inner pot cleanup is a breeze! Other features we appreciate are the cool-touch stainless steel exterior, the built-in spatula holder, and the included measuring cup and rice spatula.
This simple and easy to use rice cooker from Proctor Silex cooks rice and other grains to perfection. All you have to do is add your measured grains and water to the cooker and turn it on--no timers or complicated settings! This model also features a steamer basket so you can steam vegetables or fish above the grains for a more complete meal. Once your food is finished the machine automatically switches to a keep warm function so your food is ready when you are. We especially love how easy the cleanup is with this model. The lid, cooking pot, and included accessories are all dishwasher safe.
This Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker is another great programmable option that switches to keep warm so you can prep your meal ahead of time and enjoy it when you’re ready. It’s easy to cook rice, grains, and cereals and the cooker can hold up to 8 cooked cups. Similar to other models, it includes a steamer basket for cooking veggies or seafood separately from the grains. The steamer basket also works great for rinsing rice prior to cooking. The nonstick pot is dishwasher safe for quick and easy cleanup at the end of your meal.
The Zojirushi rice cooker is a simple to use model with a basic on/off switch and a keep warm function. The more basic and smaller NSH-06 model does not include a separate steamer basket, although food can still be placed on top of the rice to steam as the rice cooks. The removable lid has a stay cool knob and the outside of the pot has stay cool handles for easy and safe transport. The inner cooking pan is nonstick, but not dishwasher safe. This is one of the smaller models we reviewed, which means it’s easy to store and is the perfect size for a small family or individual use.
This Aroma Housewares model is shaped more like a deep pot or double boiler, which gives you more cooking capacity for your one pot meals. It features a deeper aluminum steam tray for holding more vegetables or meat. Unlike some of the other models on our list, this model doesn’t feature any preset programs for cooking, but it can still handle soups, stews, or other types of foods. With an on/off and keep warm function all you need to do is add your ingredients and the machine will switch to keep warm when finished cooking. Because of the larger steam tray, this model is less compact but it’s more stylish and comes in 3 colors so you can match it to your kitchen.
We’ve detailed all of the reasons we love Instant Pots, and one of those reasons is their versatility. Most Instant Pots make excellent rice cookers, with the added bonus that you can use it to cook so much more. This 7-in-1 model has a pre-set rice button that automatically adjusts the cook time based on how much rice you add to the inner pot. We love that the Instant Pot speeds up cooking times while using less energy. It also has smart safety and cleaning features including overheat protection, a safety lock, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel, and dishwasher safe accessories. If you want a machine that can do it all (and produce perfect rice), this is the choice for you!
Perfect for individuals or small families, the BLACK+DECKER rice cooker is a budget friendly and compact option for your kitchen. The cooker can hold up to 6 cups of cooked rice and includes a steamer basket for creating complete meals. The inner pot and accessories are dishwasher safe for quick cleanup. This model is pretty compact, so keeping it on the counter if you use it daily shouldn’t be an issue. Like most manual (non-programmatic) rice cookers, you need to use the included measuring cup instead of a standard measuring cup to get the rice to water ratio correct. For smaller meals and daily use, this machine will get the job done!
A ricer cooker can help make your life easier by speeding up cooking time or allowing you to program your meal in the morning and arrive home to a complete dinner. Many rice cookers can also handle other foods such as soups, stews, grains, and even some baking projects! Nearly every rice cooker also doubles as a steamer so you can get a complete meal on the table in no time. When you’re trying to decide which rice cooker is right for you and your family, we would encourage you to consider how many people you are cooking for on a regular basis, if you would prefer a machine that can handle more than rice, and whether you need programmable options for meals on the go.
Every rice cooker we reviewed enables you to steam other food such as vegetables, fish, or poultry while the rice is cooking. Many models have steamer trays or baskets, but even if those are not included other foods could sit on top of the rice and steam while it’s cooking. If you’re cooking for a larger group or would like to make bigger batches of meat or vegetables, we would recommend a model with a deep steamer basket. Another consideration is whether you’d like your rice cooker to double as a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or other appliance. Many higher end models can handle grains, hot cereals, soups, stews, and more. If all you want your machine to do is churn out perfectly cooked rice, then we would recommend skipping these extras and just focusing on a machine with the rice settings you want.
Rice cookers come in many sizes so you’ll want a model that matches how much cooked rice you want at a time. For individuals or smaller families a 4- to 6-cup (cooked) model will work fine, but if you need to feed a crowd or want to use your rice cooker for meal prep, you could go all the way up to an 8- or 10-cup model. It’s important to check for the cooked rice capacity of the machine, since rice doubles in size when cooking. Also note that most rice cookers come with their own measuring cups that are slightly smaller than the standard 8 ounce size. The size of the steamer basket or tray is something else to consider if you plan on using it frequently. For big batches of vegetables or meat, look for a model with a deeper basket.
Many rice cookers feature a simple on/off switch that moves the machine to a keep warm setting when the cooking is complete. This is perfect for quick meals or if you’ll be in the kitchen preparing the rest of your meal. If you’d like your rice cooker to function more like a slow cooker, you may want to look for a model with programmable settings. This will allow you to add your ingredients in the morning and arrive home to a freshly cooked meal. Some are even more specialized, with settings for white or brown rice, hot cereals, and more.
Most of the models we reviewed featured nonstick interior pots, but not all are dishwasher safe. The nonstick lining will make it easy to wipe down, but for even faster cleanup look for a model that is labeled dishwasher safe. We also recommend checking on any included accessories such as a steamer tray/basket, measuring cup, and serving spoon to see if they can go in the dishwasher. One other cleaning consideration to note: models with lids that aren’t fully removable can be a bit more difficult to fully clean and dry between uses.