Basically, ordinary pan is enough to boil and cook rice. But you may not get proper results. Keep in mind that you may not get proper results. Even worse, you need to hover around the pan at regular intervals. Even after doing that, you may get undercooked or overcooked rice.
Whether you want wild, toasted brown rice, or fluffy white and long-grain rice, you need a dedicated rice cooker which gives consistent results, without having to looking at it manually. To choose the best one out of hundreds of rice cookers available in Amazon, read on our Buyer’s Guide.
Why is Rice Cooker?
You can make fluffy, well-grained rice the way you like with the best rice cooker. If you are still confused as whether you need a rice cooker or not, here are some of the reasons to have one in your kitchen –
• A rice cooker can save a lot of your effort and time if you cook rice too much over the years.
• You can get a lot of consistent and better results with rice cookers instead cooking it on the stove or in a pot.
• They are very versatile to cook other dishes.
• Most rice cookers come with timers. Set your time every morning and come back to ready to eat, fluffy rice.
• You don’t have to stir or check consistently. Just pour the rice and ingredients and let the cooker do the rest.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For?
The capacity of rice cooker is measured in cups. Some companies describe it with ‘uncooked cup’ or some with ‘cooked cup’. So, it might be misleading sometimes. Some also define capacity in gallons to get things a bit clearer. Consider the type of capacity you need. If you cook to store leftovers or cook for large family, you will want larger capacity. Before buying, be sure to look at their definition of cup sizes.
Some modern cookers are more than just ordinary steamers. Their microchip keeps track on the temperature and other conditions. They adjust temperature all the time to give the well cooked rice all the time. To get it done, rice cookers often have ‘induction heating’ or ‘neuro-fuzzy logic’. Chip gives best results and can easily adjust for errors in measuring cups with induction heating.
But neuro-fuzzy logic in rice cookers is a lot more effective than common rice cookers. It has smart cooking ability which is worth for extra money. For most cooks, basic rice cooker is sufficient.
The cooking pots in rice cookers are more likely to be made of non-stick coated aluminum or stainless steel. If you don’t have problem with pans and pots to work with, you know what you need. But both of them have their own pros and cons.
Stainless steel is the most preferred material for durability. If rice is burned, it is very difficult to clean the bottom. But if it is used properly, there is no problem at all. You can easily clean non-sick cooker. But it is doubtful to have hazardous toxins and it is not long-lasting. Steamer inserts are also common in most rice cookers. It means you can steam vegetables while cooking rice.
In terms of rice cooking, different cooks have different needs. Some types of rice and dishes need various textures. For example, rice should be sticky and soft with Thai food. Some smart rice cookers have different texture settings to make rice according to your needs.
Most rice cookers have timer settings. You can easily delay the cooking cycle for around 23 hours after putting the water and rice in, so you can come home to well-cooked, ready to eat rice. This feature comes handy when you don’t have much time to cook. If you come back late from work, you can easily get dinner ready. You can also make delicious breakfast in rice cookers. These cookers have easy to clean non-stick pots.
Ordinary rice cookers are very affordable. They don’t cost more than a full-family takeout meal. With all the bells and whistles, deluxe models cost hundreds of dollars.
If you want more features, mid-range cookers from a reputed brand or multi-cooker will cost up to $80 to $120. With neuro-fuzzy logic or induction heating, a high-end cooker with texture settings could cost up to $200 to $400.
Best Buy Rice Cooker Reviews For 2018
1. Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB 20 Cup Cooked Digital Rice Cooker
Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB is not just a rice cooker. It is a digital food steamer and slow cooker as well. Aroma is the leading US-based rice cooker brand. It comes with capacity of 20 cups cooked and 10 cups undercooked rice. It has brushed stainless steel build. It has cool-to-touch controls on the side to deliver the tastiest food all the time. It has non-removable hinged lids that are BPA-free and easy to clean. This locking lid locks in all the steam and moisture to cook fluffier rice. It has non-stick interior pot made of 304 surgical-grade stainless steel.
You can cook from 4 to 20 cups of rice with perfection on the bottom with the tray placed above to cook vegetables. You can set the timer up to 15 hours to adapt to your work schedule. It keeps your food warm after cooked. You can also get notified with its beeper that the food is ready and turned into keep warm mode. It turns off with one touch and you can then unplug it.
It is the best choice to cook all types, lengths, and colors of rice and to cook different foods like soups, quinoa, stew, jambalaya, and roasts. You can easily soak and cook beans overnight.
• Used for multiple purposes
• Cooks different types of rice with texture control
• Cook from 4 to 20 cups the way you like
• Timer settings for up to 15 hours
• Difficult to clean
• Lid is non removable
2. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
The Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is designed with steaming basket along with cake menu settings. So, you can cook flawless rice, steam and bake cakes. It comes with capacity to make 10 cups of rice (cooked) and has different cooking features, such as mixed rice, sushi/white rice, sweet, porridge, brown rice, steam, cake, and quick cooking. It has thick black cooking pan for better and even heat distribution and it has beep indicator and melody to indicate once the rice is cooked.
It also has LCD control panel, easy to clean and removable inner lid, and automatic reheating, extended keep warm, and keep warm cycle, two settings in delay timer, as well as stainless steel body, which is easy to clean and to complement your kitchen décor. It also comes with accessories like rice measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder.
• Easy to cook sushi, brown rice, mixed rice, steam and porridge
• Steaming basket is made of BPA free material
• Removable inner lead which is easy to clean up
• Thick inner cooking pan for even heat distribution
• Some parts are not made of quality materials
• Short life span
3. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
If you assume that a rice cooker doesn’t have something to love, Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD is something which you will fall in love with. This easy-to-use, beautiful food steamer and rice cooker can cook a wholesome meal anytime you want. It has rice measuring cup, steam tray, and a spatula to serve food. This rice cooker is truly lightweight and it doesn’t take much space and it is cute, shiny, and very handy.
With its cute, portable, stunning and clever design, there is something more you will fall for it. It has easy settings and LCD panel to make it foolproof. It has got eye-catching design and is versatile enough to cook more recipes. So, make it your best kitchen companion that can deal with bumps and scratches over time. It proves you wrong if you think you cannot cook quinoa in it.
With so competitive price, the quality is something to die for. It has BPA-free plastic parts and stainless steel finish. Be vary of opacity and stains in shiny surface. Keep it in cool place as it is not designed to tolerate outside heat. It is very handy and durable product. It is the best choice to prepare rice and different vegetables at once. Cook your delicious fish, beef, or steamed chicken in one round.
• Perfect gift for bachelors
• Can cook different varieties of food
• Not long lasting
• Cooking vessel is not easy to cleanup
4. Oster 4722 6cups Rice Cooker with Steamer
Oster is literally a brand you can trust for all kitchen appliances. Oster 4722 is a 6-cup rice cooker and steamer which is good to steam some veggies and prepare fluffy and delicious rice. It is great to make rice, cakes, fondue, and stew. It is very multitasking which has been a great investment. This cooker is very light and you can get the most of rice cooking with it. You can cook 2 cups of uncooked rice which serves four portions.
But if it is not measured well, water will come out of vent hole. It is simply a basic steamer and rice cooker. So, you need to prepare everything with caution. But it is easy to use and understand. It comes in very appealing red color to add a warm touch to your kitchen. It just has a lever to pull. To avoid burning the rice, you need to stay around. It is a basic rice cooker which lets you to be creative and get the most of its features.
This kitchen utensil is built to last and resists scratches and bumps and you can also use it to improve your menu items. It fits well in the table and it can easily manage your hard work. It is the best choice for bachelors, catering services, and large families and cook everything you like.
• Easy to use functions
• Prepares delicious rice and steams vegetables
• Material is built to last
• You need to stay around it or rice will burn
• It is an ordinary cooker which needs proper measurement
5. Tiger Corporation BV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer and Slow Cooker
With patented ‘tacook’ synced cooking feature from Tiger Corporation, this multi-functional Micom Rice Cooker can prepare two different dishes at the same time. It can easily and actively keep track on your cooking temperature with one-touch and minimal preparation. You can easily create delicious meal with well-designed cooking plate to keep cooking plate from affecting the texture and taste of rice.
• One-push function for easy operation
• Non-stick coating on inner pan makes it easy to clean
• Comes with four menu settings
• Lacks timer on this cooker
• Not good for making porridge
6. Hamilton Beach 37548 7Cups Uncooked Rice & Hot Cereal Cooker
Hamilton Beach is a leading and household kitchen appliances brand trusted by millions of households over the decades. This stainless steel 37548 model has truly outlasted its legacy. It has the capacity to cook up to 14 cups of rice or food. It has the capacity of 7 cups of dry rice and it is made of BPA-free material. Keep in mind that it is not pressure cooker.
It has LCD light on control panel with 6 different modes to choose from. You can heat, simmer, and steam rice. It has delay cook timer up to 15 hours. It turns keep-warm mode automatically after cooking. The simmer and heat mode makes it easy for beans, pasta, soups and dinners. You can easily steam your delicious fish, meat, and vegetables. It can cook all types of rice like white and brown varieties, whether short or long grain, farro, quinoa, and others. It is very easy to clean and convenient to use. Simply pour the vegetables and meat on the basket and rice on the bottom.
• Perfect for steamed chicken, whole rice and veggies in one round
• LCD panel with 6 different modes
• Very easy to use
• Basket is too small to steam
• Instructions are no so accurate
7. Cuckoo CR-0631F Electric Heating Rice Cooker
The South Korean brand, Cuckoo has been the most trusted rice cooker brand over the four decades with fuzzy logic technology. The CR-0631F model has the capacity of 6 cups of dry rice that gives you well-cooked rice all the time. You can also cook just 1 cup of rice if you are alone. It comes with turbo or slow cooking modes.
It has aluminum pot that has non-stick Teflon coating so it keeps everything from sticking. It is not dishwasher safe. Hand washing is recommended for easy cleanup. It has flat bottom on inner pot with curved edges. It is capable to cook all types or rice including brown and white rice. You won’t go wrong when you prepare rice, grains, and cooked cereals with its 6 different cooking modes. It also has intuitive and large LCD control panel.
• Works on fuzzy logic technology and smart algorithm makes well-cooked rice
• It does all the magic with non-stick coating so rice won’t burn
• Easy to cook 6 cups of uncooked rice
• Manual has confusing instructions
Rice Cooker Cleaning and Caring Instructions, Caution
Cleaning the rice cooker is not a very big task. All you have to do is clean it right after using it. It helps in preventing the food to stick on and also stains which are difficult to remove later.
It is easy to wash and care for a rice cooker. Since it is an electrical equipment, you must make sure that it is cleaned and maintained well. Whenever you want to clean the rice cooker, make sure that you unplug it and take apart all its part individually. The parts such as detachable lids and inner pots are usually removable and also dishwasher safe. You can even use them with the help of a mild dishwashing liquid.
All you need to wash the rice cooker is a mild dishwashing soap and a sponge.
• Soak the inner utensil of the appliance in the soap water and in case there are certain stubborn rice bits sticking to the interior of the utensil, just scrap it with the help of a spatula or a spoon.
• Give the utensil a good scratch on the surface using the sponge.
• In case that doesn’t help, use the sand paper but make sure it is a metal utensil on which you are using the sand paper.
• And then rinse.
• Dry it up using the soft cloth and now you are ready to store it.
• Always read the user’s manual once whenever you get an electrical appliance. After washing all the components, make sure that you are assembling them once they are completely dry. Only then you must either use it again or store it.
• Make sure that whenever you are going to wash the appliance it must be cool.
• Use the spray cleaning solution in order to remove the stains on the cooker.
• Whenever you are done using it, store it properly and make sure that all its parts are completely dry.
• Brown rice and white rice calls for different amounts of water. Every cup of white rice needs up to 1 ½ cup of water, while brown rice calls for 1 ¾ to up to 2 cups of water.
• To know how high to fill the pot of cooker, refer to user’s manual or you can also look for max fill mark. Don’t overfill the rice cooker as rice expands after cooking.
• You can find a lot of recipes on the web to make more than rice with your rice cooker. But don’t try to experiment from the first time.
• Once rice is cooked in your rice cooker, let it sit locked for up to 10 minutes and fluff with something like fork to get best results.
• You can cook porridge in most rice cookers. You can easily cook rice porridge for breakfast. Look for this kind of setting in your rice cooker.
• Add a pinch of salt to avoid bland taste.
• Make sure to buy rice cooker with timer to schedule cooking for up to 15 hours or more so you can come back to well-cooked, hot rice.
We have listed some of the top rated and best selling rice cookers that can please you for all your cooking needs. They can save you a lot of time for other tasks and you will always get well-cooked and delicious rice and meals in one pot. Most of these rice cookers come with keep-warm mode that is turned on automatically once rice is cooked.