For such a staple food, rice is a pain in the ass to make. If it’s not burnt, it’s too sticky, and if it’s not too sticky it’s undercooked. Finding the right balance of liquid, rice, and heat is tricky, which is why rice cookers are a godsend. But before you buy one, ask yourself a few questions. How much rice do you really eat, and do you need a top of the line machine that churns out any type of rice you could imagine? Or is a basic model a better choice?
The fanciest rice cookers offer advanced features and computerized sensors to ensure you’ll never have under- or overcooked rice again. They also free up your stovetop and are perfect for dorm or small apartment cooking. Many of the best rice cookers handle additional tasks like steaming veggies and protein, simmering soups and stews, or cooking other grains, from oatmeal to quinoa.
We took a look at the top rice cookers on the market that’ll save you time, effort, and, ultimately, frustration.
This cooker from a premium brand comes with premium features like a dedicated risotto function. It also looks damn sleek sitting on your kitchen counter.
Pros: The cord is removable, so you can take this unit directly from the countertop to the table — no need to dirty a serving bowl. And speaking of the bowl, the one in this cooker is lightweight aluminum with a nonstick coating.
Cons: There’s no display or timer feature, so you’re left keeping track on your own.
This pot features a see-through glass lid so you can keep an eye on your rice. The knob on the lid stay cools throughout the cooking process as do the handles, so you can transport the pot to the table with ease and without fear of getting burned
Pros: We appreciate the simplicity of this rice cooker design, which comes with just one button. The rice was fully cooked in just 15 minutes. It’s virtually foolproof.
Cons: If not used correctly, it can bubble or boil over.
If easy clean-up is a top priority, this cooker may be the one thanks to its dishwasher-safe nonstick cooking bowl and rice rinser/steam basket. The lid liner is also removable.
Pros: Thanks to its versatility, you can use this rice cooker to make everything from eggs to macaroni and cheese. This one-touch gadget makes dinner prep simple and straightforward. After cooking, the pot switches to the keep warm setting, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.
Cons: Rice cooking times can be a bit haphazard and uneven.
This glorious rice cooker doesn't mess around. You can use it to make perfect white rice, mixed, porridge, sweet, semi-brown, brown, rinse-free and quick cooking rice. Yup. And you can mount it on it on the wall.
Pros: If you’re serious about your rice, and don’t have the patience or room for errors, this investment piece is for you. For the price, you get a cooker with an automatic keep warm setting, an extended keep warm setting and a reheating cycle, as well as a spherical inner cooking pan and heating system that gets you restaurant-quality rice every time.
Cons: Well, the price. And the lid can get loose.
Designed to go right in your microwave, this rice cooker frees up space on your counters and stove top.
Pros: This rice cooker leaves your rice fluffy and tender. In addition to the cooking pot, this set comes with a measuring cup, colander, and multi-purpose rice paddle that locks the pot lid and doubles as the pot’s carrying handles.
Cons: Microwave times are different for each type of rice and each amount of rice. So proceed with caution.
The Instant Pot Duo Mini Rice Cooker makes up to 6 cups of uncooked rice or 12 cups of cooked rice. This powerful pot is ready to tackle all types of rice, including white rice, brown rice, wild rice, sushi rice, risotto rice and more.
Pros: Cooking rice in this multicooker is as simple as pressing a button, and while it’s working it emits no steam, heat, or smells. It feeds a very large crowd. And of course, Instant Pot fans swear by the magic of this machine.
Cons: The quality can be all over the place.
This square model steams rice, meats, and vegetables and automatically switches to warm mode when it's done cooking.
Pros: It’s a nice, solid, basic rice cooker for the price. You get 8-15 cups of rice, and we like the tempered glass cover and the stainless steel steaming pot, which is easy to clean.
Cons: If you don’t follow directions exactly, the pot will boil over. So read the instructions before using!
This miniature rice cooker is a great option for people with limited counter space.
Pros: The handle makes this rice cooker easy to transport, and the nonstick coating and removable pot make it easy to keep it clean.
Cons: If you’re cooking for a big crew, this isn’t the rice cooker for you.
This creation cooks rice and steams food at the same time.
Pros: You get six cups of rice, which is plenty for dinner, along with perfectly steamed veggies. It makes dinner that much easier to get on the table.
Cons: You get plain rice. So if you want risotto, or anything fancy, look elsewhere.
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