Best Rice Cookers iMore 2021
Rice is a staple in Asian cuisine, and some can argue that there's an art to cooking rice in a pot. Some swear by the good old finger measurement while others rely plastic cup measurement. Fortunately, rice cookers have come along to make life easier. There are so many out there, of varying capacities, settings, and more. It can become hard to decide which one to buy. Our top pick is the Instant Pot is one highly recommended, and it can replace seven kitchen appliances. If you want a rice cooker that suits your needs, there's one here for you.
- Best Overall: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-use Rice Cooker
- Runner-up: Aroma Housewares Professional Rice Cooker
- Best Budget Option: Proctor Silex Rice Cooker
- Made for One (or two): White Tiger Mini Rice Cooker
- Best Portable Option: Narita Travel Rice Cooker
Best Overall: Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-use Rice Cooker
If you want to cook rice and reduce the number of kitchen cooking appliances you have, then the Instant Pot Multi-use Rice Cooker is for you. This particular model combines seven appliances in one, including a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, saute pan, warmer, and yogurt maker.
This Instant Pot can monitor pressure and temperature. It can adjust heat intensity and even adjust cooking time if need be to achieve the best results. On top of that, it can cook food up to 70% faster than the stove. It's perfect for serving up one-pot meals for the family. With its pressurized lid, there are no leaks, and it keeps all the aroma inside the pot.
There are 14 built-in smart programs for you to choose from - stew, soup, multigrain, oatmeal, poultry, slow cook, and many more. It's just a case of pressing your cook option, and you're on your way. It has a 24-time delay so you can prepare everything in advance and have it ready for the next day. You can even have dinner ready for you when you come home from work. Better yet, why not have breakfast waiting for you in the morning. As a bonus, if seeing fingerprints on stainless steel is a gripe ,then rest assured that this Instant Pot has fingerprint-resistant stainless steel. For your one-stop pot, this one is for you.
- Replaces seven kitchen appliances
- Fingerprint resistant stainless steel
- Can take a bit of getting used to settings
Runner-up: Aroma Housewares Professional Rice Cooker
This Aroma Rice Cooker has Induction Heating (IH) technology, which means it can produce better cooking results as the heat is evenly distribute. Even cooking gives you lovely fluffy rice. On paper, the capacity will give you up to 20 cups of rice, though it does depend on the type of rice. It has turbo convection technology, which means it re-circulates the heat and replenishes the water. So, it retains the moisture while cooking. Combined with the induction heating feature, it makes for the best results every time.
This product is more than just rice though; you can also make soup, steam vegetables, tarts, cakes, yogurt, and many more delicious foods. You could even create single pot meals with its ability to steam vegetables and meat at the same time. It also has saute-to-simmer (STS) technology which provides high heat for sauteing food before allowing it to simmer when you've added liquid. For even less hassle, there's a time delay option where you can delay cooking for up to 15 hours. So you can get dinner set up in the morning and it will be prepared by the time you get home. Or you can have your oatmeal ready for when you wake up.
This Rice Cooker comes with a honeycomb colored, 2mm thick titanium inner pot. The pot is easy to clean and is dishwasher friendly. Also included are a bamboo spatula, rice measuring cup, rice spatula, soup ladle, and steam tray. There's a digital display so you can see the exact program and setting you've used. Plus, it comes with a -/+ slider so you can set the cooker to your preference. With its 12 function settings, you'll be able to cook close to perfection every time, whether it's white rice, brown rice, oatmeal, vegetables, or meat. The only gripe you might have is the price tag.
- Induction Heating Technology
- Dishwasher friendly inner pot
- Large capacity
- No drip cap
- Not so easy to clean
- On the expensive side
Best Budget Option: Proctor Silex Rice Cooker
If you want a device that just does what it supposed to, then the Proctor Silex Rice Cooker is what you are looking for. You can cook up to four cups of rice, though this will vary hugely depending on the type of rice you use. There's a steam basket in the box which means you can steam some veggies while your rice is cooking, giving you a single pot cooking option if you wanted, but this is pretty much a standard rice cooker. You can cook quinoa, barley, oatmeal, and buckwheat in this rice cooker also.
In the box, you'll also find a measuring cup and a rice paddle. The inner pot is non-stick and easy to clean. The pot and all accessories are top-shelf dishwasher safe. It's a one-button setting with automatic warming once the rice is cooked.
- Can also cook grains and oatmeal
- One-pot cooking
- Top-rack dishwasher safe accessories
- Water tends to spatter during the cooking process
- In practice, only cooks three cups
Made for One (or Two): White Tiger Mini Rice Cooker
If you live alone, or if there's just two of you in the household, White Tiger's Mini Rice Cooker is the perfect size. With its one-liter capacity and 15 minute cooking time, you can be eating rice in no time. If you thought all it did was cook rice, you'd be wrong there too. This little device can also cook pasta, soup, oatmeal, and cake.
It's quick and simple to use. Get everything you want in the pot, close the lid, and hit the button. Once the rice is cooked, it automatically switches to the keep warm position. The bottom of the cooker is designed with a heat dissipation port which prevents overheating, giving you a longer service life. Plus, you get the usual measuring cup, rice paddle and of course, the non-stick inner pot.
- Perfect for a small kitchen
- Perfect for one
- Fast cooking time
- No water trap
Best Portable Option: Narita Travel Rice Cooker
Small and compact, this rice cooker is perfect to take on the road with you. It can make 1.5 cups of rice and is simple to use with its one-touch operation. In the box, there's a food tray, spatula, and measuring cup. The inner pot is made of non-stick coating and is quick and easy to wash. The food tray is essentially a steam basket, so you can steam vegetables at the same time.
Some people have said that contents can boil over at times, but if you use the food tray that can act as an anti-splatter device. It's small enough to fit in a suitcase, take on road trips, or sit in a dorm room. It's the perfect travel rice cooker companion.
- One-touch operation
- Easy to clean
- Prone to spattering
For the best value, the Instant Pot is your best choice. By replacing multiple kitchen appliances, it's a great buy. It's the perfect size for making meals for the family. With its multiple program settings, just prepare your dish, hit your cooking option, and let it do its thing.
There are 14 different programs, and you can get going at the touch of a button. Get all your ingredients prepared, hit the program you want and you're off. What's more is the ability to set a timer delay. Get all your food prepared before you head out to work in the morning, or even better the night before. Then set your timer delay and you can come home at the end of the day to your meal nicely cooked for you, ready and waiting. The fact that it is a multifunctional machine with seven different functions is one reason this is a favorite choice.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
DJ Reyes is a staff writer here at Mobile Nations. Originally joining the team in 2010, she has recently re-joined keen to share knowledge of the best tech around. Follow her on Twitter @djr3yes
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