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September 15, 2022  |  Kitchen

Which mini rice cooker is best for compact kitchens?

If you live somewhere with limited kitchen space, cooking can be stressful. No matter how much you try to conserve counter space, it can be hard to get around using bulky appliances, especially when it comes to rice cookers. Finding a small rice cooker with enough capacity to justify your cooking time can also be tricky, but for compact kitchens, it’s essential. Even better are rice cookers that feature multiple cooking options for steaming vegetables, making soup and more.

In this article: Tiger 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker, Aroma Housewares 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker.

Size, capacity and portability

Overall, the capacity of a rice cooker is a rough indicator of how much space it will take up on the countertop. For small kitchens, choosing a small rice cooker can be as easy as measuring its dimensions and comparing them to your counter. Still, you can find rice cookers in various shapes and sizes, with some taller units holding more food. You can also find rice cookers that feature useful handles, so you can easily store them away when not in use.

Single-switch rice cookers vs. timed units

If you’re on a budget, you can usually find cheap rice cookers with small capacities in single-switch configurations. These rice cookers simply include a switch to activate cooking that will automatically switch to a keep-warm setting once your rice is finished. However, upgrading to a rice cooker with a programmable timer may be worthwhile. This makes the rice cooker more versatile, allowing you to cook more foods and even set a delayed start timer.

Variable cooking modes

Another great rice cooker upgrade is variable cooking modes. This makes it easy to use your rice cooker for more than rice, with some units offering programs for soups, stews, hot cereal, steamed vegetables and more.

Removable nonstick pot for easy cleaning

Even for mini rice cookers, making clean-up time easy is crucial. Nearly all rice cookers include some kind of removable nonstick pot to make cleaning easy. This lets you clean the pot, the inside lining and the area surrounding heating elements to avoid food buildup or fire risks from food scraps.

Other rice cooker accessories

Most rice cookers you buy today will at least come with a few accessories. For one, you can’t really use a rice cooker without a lid. However, most also come with a spatula, and you can find others that include bonus goods such as recipe books, steaming compartments and other tools for cooking.

Best mini rice cookers for compact kitchens

Tiger 5.5-Cup Mini Rice Cooker with Food Steamer Basket

This small rice cooker is small enough to fit on small countertops, and it features more versatile cooking options than most of this size. It has a nonstick inner pan for easy cleaning and comes with a measuring cup, cookbook and spatula.

Sold by Amazon

Aroma Housewares Mini 3-Cup Rice Cooker with Carrying Handle

This rice cooker is taller than it is wide, making it a great space-saving design for any kitchen countertop. It has a simple digital control panel featuring a power button and settings for either white or brown rice.

Sold by Amazon

Cuisinart 4-Cup Mini Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Exterior

The Cuisinart 4-cup rice cooker comes with useful handles, an easy-to-remove glass lid and a single switch for simple operation. This rice cooker’s cubic design and stainless steel exterior make it more aesthetically pleasing than most others of this size.

Sold by Amazon

Zojirushi 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker with Nonstick Inner Cooking Pan

This is a basic 3-cup rice cooker with one switch that automatically shuts off when the rice is done cooking. It also includes a removable nonstick pan that’s easy to wash and two side handles for optimal mobility.

Sold by Amazon

Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Digital Programmable Mini Rice Cooker

If you have the counter space to spare, it might be worth upgrading to this programmable 8-cup rice cooker. It features pre-programmed settings for white rice, whole grains, hot cereal and steamed foods, and it also has an easy-to-use timer.

Sold by Amazon

Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Digital Mini Rice Cooker and Steamer

Another excellent upgrade rice cooker, this Aroma Housewares version features a convenient timer and several preset options. In addition to flash rice, brown rice and white rice settings, it also includes steam, keep warm and delay timer cooking options.

Sold by Amazon

Chaceef 2-Cup Portable Mini Rice Cooker with 24-Hour Timer Delay

Beyond being better looking than most rice cookers, this small appliance features cook settings for brown rice, white rice, porridge, soup, stew and cake, and delayed start or keep warm settings. You can buy this in green or gray.

Sold by Amazon

Tayama 1.5-Cup Portable Mini Rice Cooker with Side Latches

This simple portable rice cooker is a great option for those who need only a single switch. It automatically shuts off when rice is complete and includes strong latches on each side to secure the nonstick pot inside.

Sold by Amazon

Soseki 2-Cup Small Cylindrical Rice Cooker

This simple rice cook has a minimal, matte design with a basic single-switch design. Its cylindrical shape makes it a great countertop option, taking up less horizontal space than other wider and deeper units.

Sold by Amazon

Toshiba 3-Cup Digital Programmable Mini Rice Cooker

This programmable rice cooker has a 3-cup capacity and added settings such as reheat, slow cook options and a delayed start timer. It features a triple-heating function that warms foods up evenly and precisely.

Sold by Amazon

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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