Comes in white or silver. Nonstick inner pot holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice. Can steam meat and vegetables while rice cooks below. Programmable digital controls with Keep-Warm, White Rice, and Brown Rice functions. Flash Rice function cuts cooking time by 50%. 15-hour delay timer. Great for white rice varieties. Can even use for quinoa.
May not cook brown rice well – try adding more water than usual.
Steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below. Automatic Keep-Warm setting. Full-view tempered glass lid. Large steamer basket. Cooks between 2 and 6 cups of any kind of rice. 3 cup capacity depends upon variety of rice; check manual before using.
No audible signal when cooking stops. Must unplug to turn the unit off.
Yields up to 20-cup of cooked rice. Nonstick inner pot. Steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below. Programmable digital controls with automatic Keep-Warm and White Rice, Brown Rice, Steam, Flash Rice, and Slow Cook functions. 15-hour delay timer. Simplifies dinner. Easy to clean.
Water from the air vent can drip back down into the rice once the unit cools, creating mushy patches.
Ceramic inner pot is stovetop-safe. Prepares 4 to 12 cups of cooked rice. Digital controls and automatic keep-warm. Cool touch outer surface. Can also use for tarts, cakes, and yogurt. Lead and cadmium-free. Rice cooks well, evenly and consistently. No burning.
Excess steam can condense in the edges of the lid and drip into the rice when you open the pot.
Comes in choice of 6 cup, 14 cup and 20 cup models. Inner pot is made of 100% surgical-grade 304 stainless steel. One-touch operation with automatic Keep Warm function. Can cook many different kinds of rice.
Thick, starchy steam can spray out the steam hole onto the counter. Rice on the bottom can scorch if you don't unplug the unit right away.
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When you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, the last thing you want to do is babysit rice on the stovetop. Too little water, and your pot will scorch. Too much, and it won’t be done on time. Getting this simple staple right can takes more focus than the entrée.
A rice cooker can help your rice turn out perfectly, on time, and with minimal effort. It won’t speed up your cooking, but it ensures better results without constant monitoring and it frees up an extra burner to boot.
If you’re looking for a dependable, reasonably priced rice cooker, look no further than those made by Aroma. This trusted brand is known for its affordable food preparation tools, and their rice cookers are no exception.
Aroma offers several rice cooker models — some cook enough for a crowd, while others have timers that let you come home to hot, fluffy rice. Advanced units let you cook meat or vegetables simultaneously. Keep reading to learn more, and when you’re ready to buy, check our recommendations for the best Aroma rice cookers on the market.
Do you usually cook for a couple or for a crowd? Aroma rice cookers range from four cups to 20 cups in capacity. Keep in mind that Aroma units are labeled with the amount of cooked rice the unit holds, not the uncooked amount you put into it. Additionally, Aroma’s cup measurements refer to the size of their included six-ounce measuring cup rather than a traditional eight-ounce measuring cup. When measuring, remember that rice doubles in size while cooking — if you want four cups of cooked rice, use two cups of uncooked rice.
Rice cookers with a six-cup cooked rice capacity are the most popular sellers. This size feeds the average family, has room for extra when company comes, and still fits neatly in a kitchen cabinet. Larger families may prefer a 10- or 12-cup rice cooker. Units that hold 20 cups or more are mostly used for commercial purposes.
Rice has a slightly sticky texture thanks to its starch, so many aluminum rice cooker pots feature a nonstick coating. This coating keeps rice from sticking to the pot. Some customers, however, don’t want to take any chances on nonstick material ending up in their rice. If this sounds like you, consider cooking pots made from ceramic or stainless steel.
Ceramic cooking pots are heavier than those made with aluminum.They retain heat longer, so you have to be careful when handling. Rice rarely sticks to ceramic, and even if it does, the pot can be placed in the dishwasher. Rice may stick to stainless steel. If this happens, you can simply soak the pot in hot water and scrub without worrying about flaking. Most stainless steel pots are also dishwasher safe.
All of Aroma’s rice cookers prepare rice, but many do much more. Some steam meat and vegetables for your dinner at the same time your rice is cooking. Others sauté, simmer, and offer slow-cooker options. A handful can even make yogurt. However, most cooking options besides steaming can’t be used while cooking rice — if you use your Aroma cooker for soup or chili, you have to wait to cook your rice. Remember, the more functions your Aroma rice cooker offers, the higher the price tag, so make sure you’re only paying for options you use.
Aroma’s basic rice cookers have options for cooking and warming, but many advanced rice cookers have settings for brown and white rice. White rice cooks faster because the hard outer hull, bran, and germ have been removed, allowing water to penetrate more quickly. Brown rice, on the other hand, still has its bran and germ. This means it takes twice as long to cook but retains more nutritional value.
Since brown rice takes longer to cook, it needs more water. Sensors help the rice cooker fine-tune water levels when cooking brown rice. Generally, you need around two-and-a-quarter cups of water per cup of brown rice compared to one and a half cups of water per cup of white rice.
Other cook settings vary by machine. Some include a flash setting to cook rice quickly, and others let you steam vegetables or sauté meat. The highest-end rice cookers let you make porridge, pastries, yogurt, and more.
A delay timer lets you set a time to start cooking so you can come home to freshly cooked rice. This set-and-forget function is a lifesaver for busy families who forget to start the cooker in the midst of homework and chores. Most Aroma units let you delay the start time up to 15 hours.
If you forget to set your delay timer, you don’t have to resort to takeout. Rice cookers with a flash cooking option can save the day. This feature cuts your cooking time in half and you can still have a home-cooked meal.
When life gets in the way, a keep warm feature ensures your rice stays hot, no matter when you eat. This function takes over when the cooking cycle ends. It should not be left for more than 12 hours.
Other options to consider include:
Cool-touch units, which prevent burns from accidental contact
Auditory alerts that cue you when the cooking cycle is complete
Tempered glass lids that let you see meat as it steams to avoid overcooking
Lids that can be fully removed are more easily cleaned than hinged, integrated lids
Some brands border on exorbitant, but Aroma sells rice cookers that fit almost any budget. The priciest models cook anything from rice to cake, but many lower-priced units include plenty of options, too.
Inexpensive: You can find basic rice cookers for under $25. In this price range, units cook up to six cups of rice and keep it warm once cooking is complete. Some, but not all, have different rice settings. If you frequently cook brown rice, make sure you look for these settings.
Mid-range: Rice cookers with a few more options cost $25 to $40. These models contain eight to 12 cups of cooked rice and can be set on a delay timer. All should have settings for white and brown rice and most steam meat and vegetables. Preset options let you prepare quinoa and oatmeal, and they may sauté or slow-cook.
Expensive: The highest-priced units from Aroma may cost $90 to $120. These units are really multicookers with an option for cooking rice. You can use them to cook white and brown rice quickly and to make a slew of other hearty meals.
Most rice cookers come with a measuring cup as well as plastic or bamboo spatulas. Using these specially measured and designed items ensures well-cooked rice and preserves the life of your cooking pot.
You can cook other grains like quinoa and millet in your rice cooker. Both turn out well on the white rice setting with a ratio of one cup of grain to two cups of liquid. Thicker grains like farro and wheat berries do not cook well in a rice cooker.
Q. How long does it take to cook rice in a rice cooker?
A. It varies slightly by machine, but Aroma rice cookers typically take 10 to 12 minutes per cup of white rice. With white rice, the quantity doubles along with the time: two cups take 20 to 25 minutes, four cups take 40 to 45 minutes, and so on. The ratio isn’t the same for brown rice. Two cups of brown rice take more than half an hour to cook, and five cups take at least an hour.
Q. Is my rice ready to serve once the timer goes off?
A. Ideally, you should let fully-cooked rice sit in the cooker, lid on, for 10 minutes after complete. Doing so lets the moisture redistribute throughout the pot, leading to fluffier rice with better texture. After 10 minutes, lift the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Never stir the pot before this point or you release its natural starches and risk creating gloppy, gooey rice.
Q. How many cups are in a serving of rice?
A. Actually, a full serving of rice is less than a cup. A single serving is about six ounces, or between one half and two thirds of a cup. If you’re having a hard time visualizing that, picture the amount of rice that would fit levelly in a cupcake liner. Remember this guideline is for nutritional standards, not for what most people eat. In reality, most diners consume two thirds to one full cup of rice over the course of a meal.