This is our comprehensive review of the ten best rice cookers this year. We wanted to finalize this list as many of us intend to serve rice meals during Christmas, and also for various festivities leading up to New Year’s Eve. As our goal with these top 10 reviews has always been to remain as transparent and objective as possible — We want you to know about our step-by-step process.
For such a simple grain, rice can often be a tricky thing to consistently cook correctly. Luckily, there are a number of great rice cookers that allow us to enjoy perfect rice each time and effortlessly. We took into consideration style, function, features, and value for money. After extensive research, these are the rice cookers that made it onto our list:
Best Rice Cooker Ranking & Rating
|#1 - Instant Pot Zest Rice Cooker||94%|
|#2 - Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Rice Cooker||92%|
|#3 - COMFEE' Asian Style Rice Cooker||90%|
|#4 - IMUSA USA Rice Cooker||88%|
|#5 - Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker||86%|
|#6 - Hamilton Beach Prog. Rice Cooker||86%|
|#7 - Progressive Int. Rice Cooker||86%|
|#8 - Proctor Silex Rice Cooker||84%|
|#9 - Dash Mini Rice Cooker||80%|
|#10 - Aroma Arc Rice Cooker||80%|
Rather than just copying the ratings and customer reviews from Amazon, we wanted to verify each aspect with our own in-depth testing. So as mentioned earlier, we asked friends and family members to participate in our product review, and we even consulted some professional chefs. After hours, days, and weeks of cooking, here is what we discovered:
#1 – Instant Pot Zest Rice Cooker
We begin our list with the Instant Pot Zest rice cooker. It has a cooking capacity of 8 cups of cooked rice, meaning you would fill it with a maximum of 4 cups of uncooked rice. Aside from brown and white rice, it can cook quinoa, oatmeal, and steam fish and vegetables.
There are four preset buttons and an LED time display. You can set a time delay, and you can also use a keep warm mode if you aren’t quite ready to serve your food.
It’s made from 18/8 stainless steel with a thick inner pot for even cooking. The pot has a non-stick coating and is dishwasher safe. It comes with built-in overheat protection. The accessories included are a steamer tray, a rice measuring cup, and a rice spoon.
It’s in a standard size for its capacity. It weighs 6.35 pounds and measures 10.9 x 10.6 x 10.3 inches. There is a warranty available; however, the length isn’t stated.
What We Like About It:
We thought the overall design was clean and modern. The display was easy to read, and the buttons were a soft touch with the right amount of sensitivity.
We like the app that you can download. There were more than 1000 recipes that gave us tips and ideas when using this rice cooker. The instructions that were included were very useful, too.
We were impressed that our food stayed warm for up to around 10 hours. Not only that, but the taste and texture were still fresh. Our rice came out perfectly each time, and there was no guesswork involved with the presets.
Some of our first-time rice cooker users were hesitant. They felt that after years of using a stovetop, there was no need to switch to an electric machine. But they changed their minds once they tried this product. They said it was quick, straightforward, and produced excellent results. Many were surprised by the great value for money for such a versatile cooking appliance.
#2 – Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Rice Cooker
The second Instant Pot we wanted to look at was the 6-in-1 rice cooker. As well as a rice cooker, you can use it as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté, steamer and warmer. This enhanced version allows you to cook eggs and cakes. There are 12 pre-programmed settings and features like time delay and automatic keep warm.
It’s a 6Qt rice cooker with three heat settings. In terms of rice, you just need to add rice and water and press one button to start cooking.
It is made from 18/8 stainless steel with a 304 food-grade inner pot. The base is 3-ply, so you know that your rice and other foods will be cooked evenly. There are no chemicals, and it’s UL and ULCER-certified. Also, it has ten safety features, so you know that you’ll be safe when cooking with this product.
This cooker comes with a stainless steel rack, a ladle, a rice paddle, and a recipe booklet. It’s available in silver and red and also silver and blue.
What We Like About It:
Both of the available colors are very nice. And we found the size to be ideal ( not too big or too heavy ). It’s a nice looking rice cooker, and we also found its controls to be very simple to use.
The safety features integrated into this cooker were great even down to its cool-touch handles. Plus, the machine felt sturdy, and we were happy with the quality of the materials that were used.
Cooking rice was fantastic. We absolutely loved the little markers inside the pot. This makes it easy to see until where to fill with water. Also, we found that all types of rice were cooked well, and there was no stickiness to it. Our professional chefs in the group used it with stock and spices for rich flavored rice.
We like its price, too. We felt that it was just right considering the variety of meals you could use it for, and the excellent results with our rice. More than anything, we felt that it was good value for money, especially because of its safety features and food-grade materials.
#3 – COMFEE’ Asian Style Rice Cooker
This is a beast of a rice cooker with a capacity of 20 cups of cooked rice. It can be used as a slow cooker, and also to steam and sauté. There are 12 preset programs for quick, white, and brown rice. There are also settings for chili, pasta, oatmeal, soups, and stews.
With the DIY setting, you can choose your own settings so that you can cook cakes, make yogurt, and even cook an entire chicken. Once the food is cooked, it will switch to keep warm mode for up to 12 hours. You can set a delay for up to 24 hours.
The body of the rice cooker is stainless steel, and it’s quite quick and easy to wipe clean. Meanwhile, its inner pot is non-stick and can be put in the dishwasher without issues. Plus, all its parts are BPA-free and are made out of food-grade materials. And the machine is also UL-certified.
All of its accessories are dishwasher-safe. It comes with a rice paddle, a ladle, a rice measuring cup, and a steamer tray. There is a one-year warranty with the Comfee rice cooker.
What We Like About It:
When we saw the capacity of this product, we thought that this rice cooker was going to be huge. But it was only 11 x 10.8 x 10.8 inches. We were also pleased with its weight. 7 lbs. It isn’t too heavy for us to easily store away.
It’s really nice to be able to cook perfect rice so easily. All we had to do was add the rice and water then press the on button. Also, its keep-warm feature is great during times that we’re quite busy doing other things simultaneously, as we don’t have to closely monitor the cooker.
The pro chefs in our test group thought that this was a great choice for small restaurants. They could prepare rice for a side dish for 8 to ten people in one go with no mess or fuss.
Finally, we unanimously thought that its price is just brilliant. It had all the right cooking options to make numerous meals, it comes at an ideal size, it’s made out of high-quality materials, and our test results were just right.
#4 – IMUSA USA Rice Cooker
IMUSA has two buying options, a 3-cup capacity, and an 8-cup capacity. We went for the 3-cup capacity, which is perfect for 1 or 2 people. The features of the 8-cup rice cooker are the same.
It’s only advertised as a rice cooker, although we assumed it can also be used for cereals and other grains. There is an on/off button and two light indicators. One is for cook mode, and the other is for the keep warm mode.
The removable inner pot has a non-stick coating. It only needs to be rinsed with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. There are heatproof handles. It comes with a tempered glass lid and a convenient air vent hole in the lid. You’ll also receive a measuring cup and a rice spoon.
It’s another good choice for people who are looking for a lightweight option. It’s made of plastic and weighs 2.6 lbs.
What We Like About It:
We absolutely loved the speed at which our rice was cooked during our tests. Our meals were ready in a matter of minutes, so it’s the perfect rice cooker for busy people or those who work late. Even though it cooked rice quickly, it was still cooked properly, to perfection.
The little booklet that comes with this product is very helpful. When we followed the directions in this booklet, we were able to get the desired results for both brown and white rice.
Some Amazon buyers had an issue with rice sticking to its inner surface. We discovered that if you follow the exact instructions and add the right amount of water, there were no problems.
We all agreed that the price of this product is quite attractive. It does exactly as it is supposed to do with consistently good results. It was easy enough for everybody to use, and it looks great in our kitchens.
#5 – Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker
Zojirushi has three options in its rice cooker range. This includes a 3-cup, a 6-cup, and a 10-cup model. We chose the 3-cup capacity. It’s worth bearing in mind that the 3-cup doesn’t have a keep warm feature, whereas the six and 10-cup cookers do.
This cooker’s quite simple to use. There is an on/off switch. You add the water and rice, turn the machine on, wait for a while, and the rice is cooked. When you have the texture and cook that you like, then all you need to do is turn the machine off.
Meanwhile, its inner pot is non-stick for easy cleaning. Plus, it comes with a see-through glass lid and a handy stay cool knob. The handles on the body of this rice cooker are also integrated with the same stay-cool feature. There’s a stainless steel rack and a rice-measuring cup.
The 3-cup capacity rice cooker is 3.1 pounds in weight. It’s 7.5 x 9.1 x 7.5 inches. It’s a good size to be able to make meals for 2 to 3 people, side dishes for more. It has a one-year warranty.
What We Like About It:
This is a high-quality rice cooker with top-class cooking results. Our rice came out light and fluffy without a hint of being sticky. It worked brilliantly on brown rice, Thai, Basmati, and many of the types of rice that lots of us really wanted.
This cooker is quite durable. One Amazon buyer mentioned that they had had the machine for 15 years. Another commented on how ideal this was for seniors or those who tend to have a hard time cooking. The fact that there is just one button means you really can’t go wrong.
Very little maintenance is required. It’s easy to clean with warm soapy water as nothing sticks. Wiping down the outside with a cloth keeps it looking new.
Some felt it was a little pricey for a straightforward rice cooker. But the majority of us agreed that for the durability and perfect cooking results, it was well worth the money.
#6 – Hamilton Beach Prog. Rice Cooker
The Hamilton Beach rice cooker has a large capacity, being able to cook from 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice. You will be able to use it for whole grains, cereals and to also steam vegetables. Each option has a pre-programmed setting so you can cook with the touch of a button. You can make use of the countdown timer, and automatically keep warm.
As well as rice, you can prepare entire meals, like salmon and kale, chicken and broccoli with rice. The variety of meals is expanded with the steam basket that comes with this product. This can be doubled up as a rice rinser to reduce the starch before cooking. There is a measuring cup and a rice server, too.
There is little information about the materials used. We know that it is made of stainless steel and that its inner pot is non-stick and dishwasher-safe.
The size of the Hamilton Beach rice cooker is quite advantageous, according to many of the home cooks and pro chefs in our test group. It’s 8.2 x 9.7 x 9.9 inches and weighs just 4 lbs. It’s compact enough to leave on your countertop, yet small enough to fit in a cupboard.
What We Like About It:
We thought the price was really good for the amount of rice we could cook. It was a good size to prepare meals for two people or generous side dishes for four people. We also felt it was a bit of a bargain, considering you could cook more than rice.
White and brown rice turned out perfectly. This wasn’t a time-saving rice cooker, but it was far easier than traditional cooking methods. The chefs in our testing group made some delicious breakfast cereals and added apples and sultanas for a bit of a twist.
It’s perfect for home cooks and kitchen lovers who like a couple of pre-settings but not so many options that can be quite confusing. This cooker’s really easy to use, and we were impressed by how easy it was to clean, as were many Amazon buyers.
We felt this cooker came in a really good size, and this kept everybody happy. Its stainless steel and black visual design blends in well with a lot of other kitchen appliances, so it looked great out on display.
#7 – Progressive Int. Rice Cooker
The Progressive Industries rice cooker is perfect for those who don’t want another electrical appliance in their kitchens. This is a microwavable set. It comes with a large rice cooker, a lockable lid, a rice paddle, and a measuring cup. It also comes with cooking instructions.
It has the ability to cook up to 6 cups of cooked rice, oats, or quinoa in just a few minutes. It has a non-stick surface, which makes cleaning a breeze. You can also put it in the dishwasher.
It’s made of high heat Propylene and completely BPA-free. It’s small, compact and only weighs 5.6 ounces. It’s really easy to store away when not in use. Above all, it comes with a great price tag.
What We Like About It:
We absolutely loved the simplicity of this product. There was no need to plug this cooker in or choose from a variety of settings. We only had to follow the instructions ( for the first time ) and put it in the microwave. We noticed that washing the rice first really helped reduce the starch. Our results were perfect each time.
Its materials are of high quality. We definitely appreciate its BPA-free components. We noticed that its materials felt superior compared to other microwavable cookware. Lots of Amazon buyers felt the same.
This rice cooker has the right capacity to feed a family. But it’s also suitable for single people or couples. We felt this is the ideal option for students who want delicious rice without having to invest in an electric rice cooker.
#8 – Proctor Silex Rice Cooker
With the Proctor Silex rice cooker, you can cook rice, buckwheat, barley, quinoa, sorghum, millet, wheat berries, and farro. It has a capacity of 8 cups of cooked rice. Proctor Silex strongly recommends using the provided measuring cup to ensure the right results.
As well as the measuring cup, it comes with a steaming tray and a rice paddle. With the steamer, you can cook your vegetables, poultry, and fish, so you can make complete meals. There is a glass lid with a heatproof knob. The handles are heatproof, too.
It’s an incredibly easy rice cooker to use. Follow the guidelines and turn the machine on. It will switch to keep warm mode once the food is ready. The inner cooking pot is non-stick and, along with the accessories, can be placed on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
This rice cooker is made of plastic. For this, you have great capacity, but it only weighs 3.22 lbs. It’s 8.6 x 11 x 7.6 inches. It is UL-listed.
What We Like About It:
We noticed that it was a bit more powerful than some of the other cheaper rice cookers we have seen. It also worked quicker, so we appreciated the time we saved. It was also nice that we had the keep warm function. The pro chefs in our test group noticed its wider base, and they said this improved cooking time.
It’s quite popular among many buyers because of its removable, easy to clean lid. You can see the food cooking without losing heat, and you can just take the lid off when you want to add seasoning or other ingredients.
We love all of the cereal and breakfast options that we can prepare with this cooker. One of our group members was a bit of a cereal fan and liked it for all meals of the day. It was a good option to make your cereal while getting ready for work, and you know it will still be warm. Overall, it comes at a reasonable price for a durable rice cooker with just the accessories you need to make meals and side dishes.
#9 – Dash Mini Rice Cooker
As advertised, this product as cute and compact. It has a two-cup capacity. Also, we tested this product, and it can produce 2 cups of cooked rice from 1 cup of uncooked grains. It’s perfect for rice, oatmeal, stews, soups, pasta, and steamed veggies.
Meals are ready in less than 20 minutes. There is a keep-warm function and an indicator light. It comes with a glass lid that has a steam vent; you can quickly check the progress of your food without removing its lid.
Its inner pot is PFOA-free with a non-stick coating. It’s easy to clean and can be placed in the dishwasher. It comes with a mixing paddle and a measuring cup. A recipe book also comes bundled with this cooker, and access to a recipe database is included. Plus, this cooker has a one-year warranty.
You can choose between black, white, aqua, red or pink. It only weighs 2.9 lbs. And measures 8.3 x 6.5 x 16 inches, perfect for dorm rooms, RVs, and smaller kitchens.
What We Like About It:
A lot of the testers in our group really liked the available color options for this product. They say it’s like having a Dash mini rice cooker to suit everybody’s kitchen. But for some of the pro chefs in our test group, they said it isn’t suitable for their commercial kitchen requirements. However, lots of the home cooks in our group said this product’s ideal for small families, especially since it fits nicely on countertops without taking up too much space.
This is a rice cooker that’s really easy to use and suitable for those who prefer minimalistic settings. You can add your rice, set to cook and leave it to do all the work. We decided this was the ultimate hassle-free method for cooking rice.
Many Amazon buyers said it worked equally well for brown rice ( when you add a little more water ) and pasta dishes like mac and cheese. One buyer even tried to used this cooker to make bread, which was a success.
The recipes were easy to follow and turned out very well. However, not all of us felt we needed it because the rice cooker was so simple to use.
Finally, we loved its price. It’s one of the cheapest options for an electric rice cooker, and although smaller, it does an awesome job.
#10 – Aroma Arc Rice Cooker
Aroma also has a few buying options, but not just related to capacity. It’s worth making a note of the product number to make sure there is no confusion. This is the ARC 757sG. It has a capacity of 14 cups of cooked rice. There is also a 14-cup digital rice cooker.
It can cook brown and white rice, pasta, oatmeal, soups, and omelets. There’s a simple one-touch button to turn the rice cooker on, and two indicator lights ( cook and warm ). It has a tempered glass lid and heatproof handles.
Its inner pot is easily removed so that it can be cleaned in the dishwasher. It’s made from 110% surgical-grade 304 stainless steel. It’s ideal for cooking and easy to clean.
This Aroma Arc comes with a rice measuring cup and a serving spatula. All accessories are safe for the dishwasher and BPA-free. It isn’t too heavy at just 5.42 lbs. And for a 14-cup cooker, it’s quite compact, measuring 9.6 x 9.4 x 12.3 inches.
What We Like About It:
Lots of us in our test group love the size of this cooker. We’re able to serve a medium-sized group, and it was great for those who like cooking extras for leftovers. The rice was light and fluffy. Even in warm mode, the texture remained exactly how we wanted it.
Its manufacturer promotes the ability of this product to make cakes, so the pro chefs in our test group tried a simple sponge and a chocolate cake. The results were surprisingly tasty. The cake was light and airy with more flavors than we expected.
It’s very easy to use and even easier to clean. Meanwhile, it isn’t a huge thing for some, but we found its built-in spatula holder quite helpful. It kept things a little tidier in our kitchens.
With regard to the price of this cooker, we’re quite pleased. It has multiple functions without numerous settings and great capacity.
And these are our test results. We tried out more than ten products and only included ones that really stood out after we carefully reviewed our findings. Also, you’re advised to go through the checklist that we mentioned above as you browse through our selection of the ten best rice cookers this 2021.
How We Selected the Top 10 Rice Cookers
First, we needed to find out which of the rice cooker brands and models out there today are the most popular across the USA and other countries all around the world. So we went to Amazon and other large shopping platforms. Taking a closer look at their best-seller lists, we also studied the ratings and reviews left by other buyers for each of the most popular rice cookers today.
And of course, we also asked for the feedback of our family, friends, peers, and fellow home cooks, pro chefs, foodies and culinary enthusiasts in the social groups and online communities that we regularly visit to discuss related topics. This is to compare and contrast the comments of buyers at these shopping platforms against the feedback and experience of our peers in using each of the products in our shortlist. And while doing this, we managed to develop a list of the most important factors to keep in mind when you’re in the market for a rice cooker. So here’s our checklist:
Factors to Consider When Buying Rice Cooker
- Size & Capacity — This is among the most important aspects to take a closer look at when you’re shopping for the best rice cooker for your kitchen today. That’s because this depends primarily on the number of people or guests that you frequently serve. Surely, you wouldn’t want to keep on cooking new batches of rice just because your cooker can’t accommodate the right amount of rice in one fell swoop, would you? That’d be an awful waste of time, energy, and resources. Plus, its size should be ideal for the area that you want to put it on. Otherwise, it’ll just add up to all the clutter that you might already have in your kitchen;
- Food-Grade Design — Toxic components like harmful chemicals and plastics have no place in your kitchen, especially for your appliances, tools, and utensils. That’s because these products come in direct contact with your food. So you’re recommended to check and confirm that only BPA-free components and high grade, rust-free materials are used to manufacture the rice cookers in your shortlist;
- Safety Design & Sturdiness — Obviously, you should get a rice cooker that won’t be a fire hazard. Now, this depends largely on its safety design. Plus, you wouldn’t want a rice cooker that’ll easily topple over and spill its hot contents all around your kitchen even with a slight bump, would you? So also check the sturdiness of its base and overall form factor. And these primarily depend on the durability of its materials and the design of its footprint;
- Durability & Warranty — High-grade components are often very durable and usually give the product a sturdy heft. On the other hand, many manufacturers rely on the results of their thorough tests to come up with a warranty offer for their products. For example, if their test results show that their rice cooker can withstand the prolonged heavy use of up to 2 years, then they’re likely to slap up a 2-year warranty to their rice cooker. So keep this in mind while you’re reviewing our roundup of the ten best rice cookers this 2021;
- Additional Features — Many of the products in our finalize shortlist of the top 10 rice cookers this year are integrated with value-added functions. These include a configurable auto-timer, easy auto drain features, detachable parts for dishwasher-safe benefits, and so on. Just confirm if you’ll really need these added functions as each additional feature tends to add up to the price of a rice cooker; and
- Price & Value-Added Benefits — After going through the items above as you look closer at our collection of the ten best rice cookers today, don’t forget to compare and contrast the prices of each product. After all, you surely want to pay a reasonable amount for the exact value that you expect to get from a rice cooker, wouldn’t you? Plus, keep in mind that many manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and vendors offer rewards, incentives, and freebies from time to time. These can be free recipe books, discount coupons for other relevant kitchen products from the same manufacturer, and so on.
Now back to our step-by-step process. Second, we contacted our peers and fellow home cooks and kitchen lovers. We asked them if they’d be willing to participate in a test group that we’re forming to finalize our list of the ten best rice cookers this 2021.
Also, we formulated our test guidelines and procedures by using all the data that we’ve gathered at this point. This is to ensure that we’ll be able to cover all bases as well as to represent as many user groups as possible. That’s why we also mixed and matched home cooks, pro chefs, foodies, beginner and veteran culinary lovers to finalize our test group. And of course, we used all the data that we collected at this point to formulate evaluation standards and guidelines.
So that’s our standard step-by-step process to finalize our list of the ten best rice cookers this year.
Do You Need a Rice Cooker?
If you regularly serve different types of rice to your family, friends, and guests, then the quick and simple answer is yes — A rice cooker can really help you more conveniently prepare and cook the rice that you want. You’ll be able to do this in much faster and far simpler ways than using a standard pot. Plus, you’ll be able to keep your rice warm for a much longer time, instead of wasting time and energy re-heating your rice in a standard pot or pan.
But even if you only serve rice during special occasions and other rare moments, then you’re still recommended to get a rice cooker. That’s because it’ll still be quicker and easier for you to do this than with a standard pot. Plus, each of the top 10 rice cookers in our roundup this year won’t cost a fortune, anyway.
However, keep in mind to go through the most important factors to consider while looking closer at each of the products in our list of the ten best rice cookers this 2021. We discussed each of these crucial aspects in more detail earlier, and you’re advised to refer to this checklist. This way, you’ll be able to spot the most suitable brand and model for your exact needs. You’ll then be able to compare and contrast each one until you find the rice cooker that can give you the best bang for your buck.
Also, consider getting a multi-purpose cooker in case you want to do more things with your rice cooker. Some of the products in our roundup can be used to cook rice, vegetables, and bread, among others. This can give you good value for your time and money since you don’t need to purchase different appliances or tools, which can also take up significant space in your kitchen. Just don’t forget to look at the warranty of the multi-purpose rice cooker that you want. After all, you obviously wouldn’t want to keep on replacing your unit time and again, right?
What is the rice cooker for brown rice?
Zojirushi NHS-06 is the best option for cooking brown rice.
What is the best 3 cup rice cooker?
According to our research, IMUSA USA is the ultimate choice for the best 3-cup rice cooker.
What is the best small rice cooker?
Hamilton Beach Prog. is right size rice cooker if you’re looking for a small rice cooker.
What is the best microwave cooker?
Progressive International is the best choice for a microwave rice cooker. It comes at #7 in our overall best rice cookers list.
What is the best Japanese rice cooker?
Again, it’s Zojirushi NHS-06 when it comes to being the best Japanese rice cooker. Zojirushi has established itself as one of the best Japanese brands in kitchen products.