The Best Rice Cookers

Table of Contents

It's easy to love rice, but it's not always so easy to prepare. A rice cooker is a super convenient way to make rice if you don't have a stovetop, or just don't like using one. Rice cookers produce perfectly cooked rice and are super easy to operate as well Some rice cookers can also cook other grains like barley and quinoa, or steam vegetables, fish and meat. The handy appliance comes in a variety of models and sizes to accommodate a range of budgets and needs.

Read more about rice cookers you can purchase online to make an informed decision before choosing one for yourself.

1. Editor's Pick: Black + Decker 2-in-1 Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

1. Editor's Pick: Black + Decker 2-in-1 Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
  • Affordably priced
  • Makes six cups of rice
  • Has an automatic "keep warm" feature
  • Dishwasher safe and has non-stick, removable interior pot and lid
  • Includes a steamer, measuring cup, and serving spoon
  • No programmable functions
  • Small interior for steaming large vegetables like broccoli

Key Specs

Brand: Black + Decker
Model: Rice Cooker
Colour: White
Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 22.86 x 13.97 cm
Item Weight: 1.68 kg

Rice is the perfect side dish for meat and fish dishes and it can also be the main player in a variety of recipes. This rice cooker from Black + Decker is an affordably priced option for anyone starting out and watching their dollars, but doesn’t want to skimp on quality and performance.

Easy to use, the included measuring cup ensures the right water-to-rice ratio so the end result is fluffy rice, every time. With a six-cup capacity, the yield is enough for one or two people, with leftovers. This unit also comes with a convenient steamer that can be used to steam vegetables, fish and meat, and the included plastic serving spoon won’t scratch the interior of the non-stick pot.

This rice cooker has a super handy ‘keep warm’ function – the machine automatically switches to keep warm when the cooking is done, so there is no worry that the rice will burn when all the water is absorbed. Other features include a non-stick pot that is removable for easy cleaning; a durable tempered glass lid with cool-touch handle and a steam vent; a ready indicator light; and a built-in holder on the handle for the lid.

Designed to cook at a consistent rolling boil, this rice cooker is ideal for grains such as quinoa and oatmeal, plus steaming vegetables, fish and meat.

2. Best Runner Up: Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

2. Best Runner Up: Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
  • Eight cup capacity
  • Can cook rice and steam vegetables, meat, or fish at the same time
  • Includes a warming and flash rice function as well as a 15-hour programmable timer
  • Non-stick cooking pot
  • Non-toxic PFOA, lead and cadmium-free
  • Water level marks inside the pot are hard to see
  • Cup size is smaller than standard measurements

Key Specs

Model: Aroma
Colour: Silver
Capacity: 4 quarts
Product Dimensions: 20.96 x 22.86 x 21.59 cm
Item Weight: 1.63 kg

This mid-sized rice cooker from Aroma is a great choice for busy home chefs who appreciate an all-in-one cooker and don’t have the time to stand over a pot, mixing and watching until it's done.

With a capacity of between two and eight cups of cooked rice, this cooker also offers the option of a steamer that can be used at the same time as the rice is being cooked. One pot, multiple ingredients — meal prep doesn’t get much easier.

The easy-to-use digital controls offer up a choice for white or brown rice, steaming and a warming function. When the rice is cooked, the machine switches to warm so there’s no need to mix or worry about the bottom burning. With the rice cooking below, the steam tray is great for meat, fish or vegetables — a one-pot solution for busy days. And when you’re really pressed for time, the Flash Rice function cuts cooking time by up to 50 per cent.

Other features of this versatile rice cooker include: a programmable 15-hour delay timer for flexible meal planning; unique Sensor Logic Technology that uses an on-board micro-computer to automatically optimize cooking temperature; and, a five-layer non-toxic, non-stick inner pot that won’t chip or flake; and dishwasher safe.

This rice cooker comes with a recipe booklet, a steam tray, a rice-measuring cup, a serving spatula and a soup ladle.

3. Best Small: Dash 2-Cup Mini Rice Cooker

3. Best Small: Dash 2-Cup Mini Rice Cooker
  • Perfect for a small kitchen, dorm, or RV
  • Perfect for individual portions
  • Easy one-touch function with a keep warm function
  • Includes a measuring scoop, rice paddle, and recipe book
  • Non-stick pot with stay-cool handles
  • Small capacity
  • Does not have a steamer
  • Pricey for a small-sized, one-function cooker

Key Specs

Model: Dash
Colour: Aqua
Capacity: 2 Cups
Product Dimensions: 21.08 x 16.51 x 40.64 cm
Item Weight: 1.32 kg

When cooking for one person, sometimes it's great to make a large batch to have leftovers, and other times it's all about portion control. As well, in a small kitchen, RV or dorm, there’s just not enough room for larger appliances. A mini appliance, like this cute two-cup rice cooker from Dash, is ideal for one person or anyone who would like to control the size of their food portions and not be tempted by leftovers.

Small and mighty, this rice cooker has a keep warm function, a PFOA-free non-stick coating for easy food release and cleaning, and cool-touch handles for safe handling and transporting from kitchen to table. Simple to use by pressing the cook button, other features include a measuring scoop; a rice paddle that protects the cooking surface from scratches; cook and keep warm indicator lights; auto shutoff function; a recipe guide with 14 different meals and sides that can be made in the cooker; and it’s dishwasher safe.

4. Best Large: Comfee' 20-Cup Rice Cooker

4. Best Large: Comfee' 20-Cup Rice Cooker
  • Can also be used for stewing meat or making soup
  • Produces 20 cups of cooked rice
  • LED smart digital panel display
  • 24-hour timer and 12-hour keep warm function
  • Made of BPA-free food-grade material and the brushed stainless steel exterior is easy to clean
  • More expensive compared to other rice cookers
  • Larger size takes up more space
  • Heavier than other models

Key Specs

Model: MB-FS5077
Colour: Black
Capacity: 5.2 quarts
Dimensions: 35.3 x 27.4 x 26.7 cm
Weight: 9 lbs.

When it’s party time, it’s time for large quantities of food. Having a rice cooker with the capacity to produce 20 cups of cooked rice is a great start to feeding a hungry group. And, when the cooker is packed with awesome features, the process becomes fast and easy.

This multi-functional rice cooker from Comfee’ has 11 menu settings from rice cook, sauté and slow cook, to steam, brown rice/quinoa and soup-stew, plus 17 smart programs. The 24-hour timer lets you put the ingredients into the pot and set the timer, and you’re ready to go about your day. When the rice is done, the keep warm function maintains a hot temperature for up to 12 hours, so it’s ready to eat when you are ready to eat it.

Other features of this versatile rice cooker include: an LED smart digital display panel; simple control buttons; and the included measuring cup, steam rack, rice paddle, soup spoon and condensation collector.

5. Best for Microwave: Progressive Microwaveable Rice and Pasta Cooker Set

5. Best for Microwave: Progressive Microwaveable Rice and Pasta Cooker Set
  • 17-piece set
  • Cooks rice, pasta, and vegetables
  • 12-cup capacity
  • Made from high-heat propylene and BPA-free
  • Top rack is dishwasher safe
  • Recommended cooking times may have to be altered depending on the wattage of the microwave

Key Specs

Model: Microwave Rice/Pasta Cooker
Colour: Grey
Capacity: 8 Cups
Dimensions: 27.3 x 16.5 x 22.9 cm
Weight 2.06 lbs.

For rice lovers who prefer the convenience of using a microwave, there are rice cookers specifically designed to be used in this popular appliance. Simple and easy to use, a microwave rice cooker gets the job done well, with excellent results.

We included this 17-piece BPA-free set from Progressive since it is not only designed to cook and reheat rice, it comes with extra accessories that open up cooking options to include making pasta and steaming vegetables.

The cooker comes with an easy-lock lid that secures tightly to prevent spills and messes and with an eight-cup cooked rice capacity, there is enough fluffy rice to serve friends for dinner or to give you a few days' of leftovers.

This microwave rice cooker also comes with a pasta insert to make spaghetti or other shaped pasta noodles and the vegetable steamer insert is perfect for turning out delicious, crispy veggies, all in the convenience of the microwave.

Also included in the set is a pasta measurer, six measuring cups, four measuring spoons, a rice paddle and a locking lid, everything that is needed to make easy, delicious meals in the microwave every night of the week.

What to Look for When Choosing a Rice Cooker

Capacity

Before choosing a rice cooker, think about how much rice you plan to make at a given time. Firstly, realize that there is a difference between raw-rice capacity and cooked rice capacity, so always make sure it’s the cooked capacity that you are looking at.

That being said, if you have a large family, or like to make large batches to have leftovers for during the week, then consider a 10 to 20-cooked-cup capacity to ensure you have enough. Of course, even with a large-sized rice cooker, you can make smaller quantities if needed.

If you are on your own or a couple and don’t intend to entertain, then it’s fine to choose a smaller model that produces between six and eight cups of rice. There are also mini-rice cookers that make individual portions, which is great for college dorms or in the office.

Features

Rice cookers come in basic models with a one-touch operation and just do one thing well — cook rice. These are usually the most affordable options and perfect for anyone who is not interested in a product with many features. However, a feature that is good to have is a keep warm function, which will keep the rice warm for an extended time without it burning on the bottom.

Another really convenient feature to have is a steamer insert, especially if it can be used at the same time as when the rice is cooking. This one-pot meal solution is super convenient, since you can have the rice, vegetables or meat cooking at the same time. If you don’t care to have multiple foods cook at the same time but like the idea of using a rice cooker to steam vegetables, choose a model that has a steamer that cooks food separately.

Finally, there are rice cookers that are so versatile, they can be used to cook and steam a variety of foods and grains, including white and brown rice, quinoa, barley, vegetables, meat, fish, soup, oatmeal — well, you get the picture. These versatile cookers are great to have on hand for an all-in-one cooking appliance.

At the end of the day, it's best to choose the model that has the features and capacity that you will want and need today, and in the future.

Price

Like most things, rice cookers are available in a range of prices, including many affordable models. Generally speaking, the more features the rice cooker will have, the more expensive it will be.

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