Rice is a staple ingredient in many cultural dishes around the world. Whether it accompanies a fiery chicken tikka masala or takes centre stage as a fragrant risotto, it’s essential to every pantry. That is, if the grains of cooked rice are fluffy perfection and that's where the best rice cooker comes in!
Every home cook and their family can attest to the slightly charred taste of failure with this grain. Being the best rice cooker usually involves years of blackened pots. However, technology has now taken the guesswork out of preparing all types of rice, and you can relax, push a few buttons, let the rice cooker do all the work.
The manufacturers promise that automatic cut-off switches and preset cooking settings make scrubbing burnt pots is a thing of the past. We prefer to do our research. Are these machines as good as so many proponents claim?
Read on for our research results and find out which models vie for the Best Rice Cooker title.
- Best Rice Cooker For The Home Cook: Our Top 10
- 1. Yum Asia Sakura Rice Cooker & Ceramic Bowl (Best Overall)
- 2. Zojirushi Rice Cooker (Best For Congee)
- 3. Reishunger Rice Cooker & Steamer (Best For Beginners)
- 4. Zojirushi Rice Cooker - Stainless Steel Brown (Best Premium)
- 5. Yum Asia Kumo Rice Cooker & Multi-Cooker (Best Mid-Range)
- 7. M4Y Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker & Food Steamer (Best For Convenience)
- 8. Crock-Pot 2.2l Sauté Rice Cooker (Best Variable Function)
- 9. Breville 1.8l Rice Cooker & Steamer (Best For Small Families)
- 10. Buffalo Commercial Rice Cooker (Best For Small Business Use)
- Best Rice Cooker FAQ
- The Best Rice Cooker Feeds The Soul
Best Rice Cooker For The Home Cook: Our Top 10
The Yum Asia Sakura comes in as the Best Rice Cooker overall. It delivers perfect fluffy rice every time and boasts several additional settings.
The versatility and ease of use set this machine apart. Thanks to the multiple settings, it can take the place of several other kitchen appliances, including your slow cooker. Use it to make porridge, soup, a casserole, cake, yoghurt, and Tahdig.
- Fuzzy logic technology for perfect results
- 24-hour timer and keep warm function
- Cooks for between 1 and 8 people
- Seven-stage cooking process
- Cool-lift handles and high-quality ceramic inner
- Simple to clean
- Durable inner ceramic bowl
- Cooks rice in several stages
- Non-stick coating scratches easily
The Sakura cooks fluffy, fragrant rice for any occasion, thanks to its intelligent cooking functions. The machine cycles through each stage flawlessly, from preheating to steaming. You’ll get perfect granules at every meal.
The Zojirushi wins the Best Rice Cooker for Congee award. It’s simple to use and ideal for small families. Our inner technology freak would like it to have more features, but simplicity can be a valuable feature as well—not everyone wants a rice device that can bake or make yoghurt.
- Heats evenly through the side, bottom, and lid heaters
- Cooks up to three cups of uncooked rice
- Settings include: brown, long-grain, sushi, white, and congee
- Super-boiling setting
- Timer and keep warm function
- No complex programming
- The instructions are clear
- No replacement parts
Do you have too many kitchen gadgets languishing in the back of the cupboard? The Zojirushi is compact enough to store on the counter to use as needed. It’s pricey but cooks each meal to perfection (it also plays a little jingle when the food is ready).
The Reishunger is the Best Rice Cooker for beginners. It is affordable because the company reined in the features, but it does come with a steamer basket. It has everything you need to cook rice, and the appliance switches from cook to warm automatically.
- Suitable for all types of rice
- High performance
- Capacity for up to six cups
- Double-coated inner bowl
- Steaming function
- 8-hour warming function
- Minimalist design
- Six-cup capacity
- Additional inserts available
- Great price
- Rice sometimes sticks to the sides
- Not always easy to clean
What really impressed us with this model was the low price and stylish design. The company opted for value for the money over flashy features, which every beginner appreciates. The company also provides replacement inner pots, an environmentally-friendly solution that also happens to be convenient.
You may want to order an extra bowl so that you can prepare two batches of rice in quick succession.
You should consider this model an investment, but you get what you pay for here. It might take a few attempts to achieve the cooking temperature with different types of rice, but it won’t take long to master.
- Fuzzy logic tech to enhance cooking
- Three-pin plug suitable for the United Kingdom
- Keeps food warm for twelve hours
- 5.5-cup rice capacity
- Settings available for white, sushi, sweet and brown rice.
- Doubles as a steamer with a versatile Steam menu
- Several settings, including baking and steaming
- Reasonable capacity
- Intelligent design
- Requires trial-and-error
If it weren’t for the price, this model would be higher on the list. Helpful features set it above the rest in terms of quality, like the retractable power cord.
This appliance offers impressive value for the price tag, but is it the best rice cooker on the market? No, while it incorporates similar technology to our top choice, the functions take time to navigate. However, the compact footprint and multiple functions make it a helpful addition for most kitchens.
- 5.5-cup capacity
- Fuzzy logic technology
- Cooks brown, short and long grain rice
- YumCarb setting reduces carbohydrate count by up to a quarter
- Makes porridge
- Doubles as a steamer and slow cooker
- Durable inner
- 24-hour keeping warm function and timer features
- Ten-minute warning before cooking finishes
- Multi-purpose appliance
- Useful presets
- Reduced carbohydrates setting
- Heats evenly
- Unclear instructions
- Inconsistent results
Despite the unhelpful instructions, the rice cooker’s presets make it simple enough to operate. The reduced-carb setting nudged this model into our top ten.
Russell Hobbs is a reputable brand. It creates durable products, and this rice cooker is no exception. It is also ideal if you’re a stickler for cleanliness, as you can pop both the lid and inner container into the dishwasher.
Don’t expect much size-wise—the manufacturer claims it can cook up to 2.8 kg of rice, but that’s debatable. There has been a lot of criticism hinting that the true capacity might be lower. However, it’s difficult to argue with a three-year guarantee and decent cooking results.
- Reasonable capacity
- Dishwasher safe inner and lid
- Steamer basket
- Keep food warm
- 2 Year Manufacturer’s Guarantee
- An additional year warranty when you register online
- Detachable lid
- Reputable brand
- Easy to clean
- Smaller than advertised
- Fewer features
The Russell Hobbs model is reasonably priced and of excellent quality. There aren’t many features, but it cooks well, and it is very easy to clean.
When you’re feeding an army, you may not have time to play around with complicated rice cooker functions. The M4Y model is the Best Rice Cooker for convenience. You can load up food 15 hours in advance and set the delay timer, perfect for large or busy families.
- Cooks all types of rice
- Slow cooking function
- Steaming basket
- Sauté setting
- Easy to clean
- The inner bowl doubles as a serving dish
- Condensation capture feature
- Wide recipe selection with instructions
- Feeds up to ten people
- Doubles as a slow cooker
- Allows for sautéing
- 15-hour delay timer
- Steamer function
- No baking function
We particularly like the sauté function—there is one less dish to wash. The steam function is a bonus point as it allows you to take full advantage of limited vertical space.
As another Crock-Pot classic, this American brand doesn’t disappoint with this large rice cooker. It boasts several impressive features, including oat-based desserts, so it’s a steal.
At first glance, the 60-minute keep-warm function is on the lower end. If you want to start your meal before leaving for work, you’re also out of luck.
- Twelve-cup capacity
- Non-stick inner
- Toughened glass lid
- 60-minute keep-warm function
- Simple settings
- Dishwasher-safe bowl and accessories
- Two-year guarantee
- Reasonable guarantee
- Outstanding service from this manufacturer
- Durable and solid
- Short keep-warm time
- Might overcook rice
The real caveat here is that the keep-warm function may be a little high. If you’re not careful, the rice will dry out and overcook. It’s an easy problem to overcome with practice, however.
The generous steaming tray makes it possible to cook a whole meal for a small family. For example, you could steam fish or chicken in the top tray while the rice cooks below it. The machine takes the guesswork out of meal preparation, and the inner doubles as an attractive serving dish.
- Cooks up to 8 cups
- Toughened glass lid
- Features a non-stick inner
- Two settings
- Accessories and inner dishwasher-safe
- High-quality, non-stick coating
- One-year guarantee
- Dishwasher-safe components
- Great steamer
- Reputable brand
- Indecipherable instructions
- Water bubbles over
Considering the price point, this model provides everything that you need. We don’t recommend using it to full capacity, as the water is likely to boil over. It’s a pity because the rice cooker works well otherwise.
We debated whether to put this on a list for the home cooks because of the large capacity—it cooks over 40 portions. The rice cooker is best for business use, but it could work for you if you have a large family or an affinity for preparing meals ahead of time. The best part is the superior quality of the materials used to manufacture it.
- Cooks up to 4.2 litres of dry rice
- Durable stainless-steel outer
- Stay-cool handles
- Heavy-duty inner
- Even heating
- Non-stick surface
- Speeds up cooking time
- High-quality materials
- Two-year warranty
- Phenomenal capacity
- High-quality and durable
- Suitable for professional use
- Simple features
The product is a workhorse, and it isn’t flashy or fancy. Don’t expect it to replace many other appliances, but the price makes it an excellent investment for larger families. The average home will find it a bit much.
Best Rice Cooker FAQ
What Should I Know Before Buying A Rice Cooker?
The first consideration is to work out what you want to use it for and the right capacity. You don’t need to purchase extra features that you won’t use. Good intentions often lead to excessive kitchen gadgets, but you’ll appreciate it more if it’s part of your typical kitchen experience.
You should also check the reviews to ensure that the features are accurate. The advertised capacity may be in question, where one person’s portion size differs vastly from another’s ideal. It’s also wise to check the dimensions of the machine to see if it will fit into your kitchen comfortably.
What Features Should I Look For?
The top feature is that the rice cooker automatically shifts between cooking and keeping warm. It’s also helpful to choose a model that can steam food. If you like one-pot cooking, a sauté function is fantastic.
A good safety feature includes automatic shut-offs, especially if you’re a person who likes to prepare food ahead of time and use the delayed timer feature while you’re out of the house.
How To Use A Rice Cooker
The secret to fluffier rice is to soak it for about fifteen minutes beforehand and then rinse it vigorously. After the water runs clear during rinsing, put your choice of rice into the cooker and fill the water to the desired level. Select the setting according to the type of rice, pop on the lid, and let the machine work its magic.
If you’re preparing other types of food in the cooker, consult the manufacturer’s manual for suggestions on how to achieve the best results. Many multi-purpose models have preset buttons that take the guesswork out of the process. As long as you ensure the correct ratio of liquid to food, a rice cooker is an incredibly simple device to use.
What Can Be Cooked In A Rice Cooker?
Despite the name, most brands are versatile. If you can boil the food in a pot on the stove, you can probably do the same with these appliances. A rice cooker can make everything from brown rice to porridge and yoghurt. You might even try using the machine to boil eggs, bake pizza or cook macaroni and cheese. Ever wondered how to make your own sushi? Here's our take on sushi rice.
Top-end models even have a cake baking function, which is perfect for baking banana bread or even scones. However, even the simplest models make it possible to prepare most types of oat porridge and grains.
You may need to experiment with cooking times to get the best results.
Are Rice Cookers Dangerous?
If the rice cooker switches off automatically when it is finished cooking, it isn’t a safety hazard. However, any heated appliance requires a clear area around it to guard against fire or melting possibilities. It’s best to position it in a place with ventilation on all sides and somewhere that allows the steam to escape freely.
Is A Rice Cooker Worth It?
Yes, if you prepare rice as a regular part of your meal plans, it may prove worth the investment. It makes the cooking process much simpler, and machines with multiple functions provide greater versatility for small families.
However, a rice cooker is not always worth it if you have other options or are not prone to cooking rice very often.
It cooks large quantities and is generally more energy-efficient than using the stove. The chances of the food burning are much lower, and you may be able to speed up cooking times with some foods.
The primary advantage of these appliances is that you don’t have to check on them regularly. Once you get the water ratios right, you will happily enjoy consistent results. If you’re someone who forgets to set a timer, a rice cooker may prove invaluable.
Will My Rice Cooker Speed Up The Cooking Process?
Some models do have functions to accelerate matters, but most cooking times will be similar to what is possible on a stove. The best rice cooker speeds up the results slightly because of the even heat distribution. It also allows you to leave food cooking safely while you’re out, which saves a lot of time.
Can I Put a Rice Cooker In The Dishwasher?
You cannot soak electrical parts, but you can place the bowl and the lid (if it’s detachable) into the dishwasher. All you’ll need to clean the rest of the machine is a damp cloth and some elbow grease.
The Best Rice Cooker Feeds The Soul
The Best Rice Cooker Overall is the Yum Asia Sakura Rice Cooker & Ceramic Bowl. The multi-purpose device will prove a valuable addition to any kitchen. If you require a more convenient option, the M4Y Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker & Food Steamer are competitive in their own rights.
Each reviewed machine has distinct advantages earning them a spot on this list. However, all choices provide exceptional quality, reliable performance, and useful features. The next step is to consider features and capacity. Do you want a multifunctional device, an entry-level model, or a rice cooker to feed an army?
Once you establish what’s important to you, the decision is easy.