Updated June 2022
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best Aroma rice cookers

When you’re rushing to get dinner on the table, the last thing you want to do is babysit rice on your stovetop. But babysitting is exactly what rice on a stovetop requires. Add too little water, and your pot will scorch. Add too much water, and your side dish won’t be done on time. Indeed, getting this simple staple right can take more focus than perfecting your entrée.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution within the grasp of every home cook. A rice cooker can help you turn out perfect rice every time, on time, and with minimal effort. It won’t speed up your cooking process, but it will encourage better results without the need for constant monitoring. What’s more, it frees up an extra burner in your kitchen.

If you’re looking for a dependable and 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 some of the best rice cookers on the market today. Some are capable of preparing enough rice for a crowd. Some have convenient timers that allow you to pre-program dinner so you come home to hot, fluffy rice. Advanced units may even allow you to cook meat or vegetables simultaneously.

Aroma rice cooker
Rice is a staple source of nutrition for at least half of the world’s population.

What to consider when choosing an Aroma rice cooker

Capacity

Do you usually cook for a couple or a crowd? Aroma rice cookers range in capacity, from 4 cups to 20 cups.  Keep in mind when shopping that Aroma units are labeled with the amount of cooked rice the unit holds, not the number of cups of uncooked rice it can hold.

Additionally, note that Aroma’s cup measurements refer to the size of their included 6-ounce rice measuring cup rather than a traditional 8-ounce measuring cup. When measuring out your dry goods, remember that rice doubles in size while cooking. Thus, if you want 4 cups of cooked rice, use 2 cups of uncooked rice.

Options with a 6-cup capacity are the most popular with consumers. This size feeds the average family, has room for extra rice when company comes for dinner, 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 primarily found in commercial kitchens.

Cooking pot materials

Rice has a slightly sticky texture thanks to its inherent starch. For this reason, many aluminum cooker pots feature a nonstick coating. The coating helps prevent hot rice from sticking to the cooking pot. That said, some customers don’t want to take any chances on nonstick material ending up in their rice. Instead, they prefer a different kind of cooking reservoir. If this sounds like you, consider a product with a cooking pot made of ceramic or stainless steel.

Ceramic cooking pots are heavier than those made of aluminum.They retain heat longer, so you have to be careful when handling them. To protect your fingers from getting burned, a pair of oven mitts or an oven glove are imperative to have on hand.

Rice rarely sticks to ceramic, and even if it does, the pot can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Rice may stick to stainless steel. If this happens, you can simply soak the pot in hot water and scrub without worrying about flaking. Notably, most stainless steel pots are also dishwasher safe.

Multicooker capabilities

All of Aroma’s rice cookers prepare rice, but some models do much more than that. Some steam meat and vegetables for your dinner at the same time your rice is cooking. Others sauté, simmer, and slow-cook. A handful can even make yogurt.  However, most of the cooking options found on a multicooker (besides steaming) can’t be used while the machine is cooking rice. If you use your Aroma cooker for preparing soup or chili, for example, you will have to wait to cook your rice or cook it beforehand.

Remember, the more functions your Aroma rice cooker offers, the higher the price tag will be. If you want a rice cooker that doubles as a multicooker, it will definitely cost more, but you may find the extra features to be worth it. If you just want a simple machine, however, take note of the features offered, making sure you’re only paying for the options you plan to use.

Available at a range of prices, an Aroma rice cooker is an accessible kitchen appliance for everyone. The priciest rice cookers cook anything from rice to cake, but lower-priced rice cookers include plenty of options, too.

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The best Aroma rice cooker features

Cook settings

Aroma’s basic rice cookers have options for cooking and warming, but many advanced models have settings for different types of rice, namely 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. However, it also retains more nutritional value than its white counterpart.

Since brown rice takes longer to cook, more water is also required for the cooking process. Sensors help the cooker fine-tune water levels. Generally, you need around 2 1/4  cups of water per cup of brown rice compared to 1 1/2 cups of water per cup of white rice.

Rice cooking settings vary by machine. Some include a flash setting to cook rice quickly, and others let you sauté meat or cook veggies on a steam tray. Some top-end appliances allow you to make porridge, pastries, yogurt, and more.

Convenience functions

A delay timer lets you set a time to start cooking during the daytime so you can come home to a batch of freshly cooked rice. This set-and-forget function is a lifesaver for busy families who might forget to start the cooker in the midst of homework and chores. Most Aroma units allow you to delay the cooking start time up to 15 hours.

If you forget to set your delay timer, you don’t have to resort to takeout. A handy 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 notable features

Other features to consider include the following:

  • A cool-touch exterior housing, which prevents unfortunate burns from inadvertent contact
  • Auditory alerts that cue you when the rice-cooking cycle is complete
  • Tempered glass lids that allow you to visualize your meat as it steams to avoid overcooking
  • Lids that can be fully removed, which are far easier to clean than hinged, integrated lids with multiple crevices
Aroma rice cooker
DID YOU KNOW?
Many home cooks understand the quest for perfect rice. The trickiest part about it is the preparation. With an Aroma rice cooker, the pressure is off of you. Just empty your ingredients into the cooking pot, sit back, and wait for perfectly fluffy rice.
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Rice cooker accessories for the home cook

Once you discover the joys of perfect rice prepared in a rice cooker, you may decide to start featuring dishes with rice on your dinner menu more often. You don’t need many supplies to enjoy perfect rice, but a few items do come in handy.

Rice: It can be great fun to experiment with different types of rice in your rice cooker. Why stick to white and brown when you can enjoy other types of rice, such as wild rice, basmati rice, and arborio rice? These types of rice are available at many grocery stores, specialist stores, and from online retailers like Amazon. To learn how to prepare these varieties in your appliance, consult your user manual. You can also search for recipes and tips on cooking different types of rice online.

Food chopper: If you have a wok, a supply of rice, and a bounty of crispy veggies, why not cook them up in a bit of oil for a mouth-watering stir fry? One of the speediest ways to prepare veggies for a stir fry is with a food chopper. Use it to chop onions, peppers, carrots, celery, or whatever you enjoy in your dish.

Stockpot: Now that you have the capability to turn out perfect rice, you might get a hankering for more soups and stews in your life. A stockpot can help you get there. Throw your base ingredients, including broth and veggies, into the stockpot to simmer for a while. Prepare your rice in your countertop machine at the same time. Once the rice is cooked, add it to your stew. It’s hearty, healthy, and satisfying — not to mention far less expensive than canned soup from the grocery store shelf.

With the power of time, water, and soap, a rice cooker can be quite easy to clean. Unplug the appliance, allow it to cool, and soak the inner pot in soapy water for a while. Consider a rice cooker with a nonstick or ceramic inner pot for the greatest convenience.

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Aroma rice cooker prices

In our rice cooker review, we found that Aroma sells cookers that fit almost any budget. In other words, you don’t have to break the bank to get one of the best rice cookers the company offers.

Inexpensive

You can find basic selections for under $25. In this price range, units have a capacity of up to 6 cups of rice, and the appliance can keep the rice warm once cooking is complete. Some, but not all, have different rice settings for variety’s sake. If you frequently cook brown rice, make sure you look for these settings before investing in a lower-cost option.

Mid-range

Rice cookers with a few more options cost $25 to $40. These models contain 8 to 12 cups of cooked rice and can be set to operate on a timed delay. All mid-range Aroma rice cookers should have settings for white and brown rice, and most have a steam tray for meat and veggies as well. Look for preset options, too. Presets give you the ability to prepare quinoa and oatmeal, and they may also 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, including the more complex recipes you might find online with specialty rice, meat, steamed vegetables, and more.

If you don’t have much room on your countertop and cook for just one or two people, consider investing in a mini rice cooker. Aroma makes several countertop-friendly products branded as mini rice cookers.

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Tips

  • 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 also helps preserve the integrity of your cooking pot.
  • You can prepare other grains, like quinoa and millet, in your rice cooker. Both turn out well on the white rice setting with a ratio of 1 cup of grain to 2 cups of liquid. Thicker grains like farro and wheat berries do not cook well in a rice cooker.
  • Soak sushi rice before cooking it. Use short-grained rice when making sushi, and soak it before cooking it to develop the necessary stickiness.
  • In our rice cooker review, we found other excellent brands that make some excellent alternative products. If you would like to try a rice cooker by another brand, consider the offerings from high-quality appliance sellers such as Zojirushi and Hamilton Beach.
Aroma rice cooker
If you intend to use your rice cooker to simultaneously prepare rice and steam other meal items, choose a large appliance with plenty of room inside.

FAQ

Q. How long does it take to prepare rice in a rice cooker?

A. The timing varies slightly by machine, but typically, it takes 10 to 12 minutes per cup of white rice. With white rice, the quantity doubles along with the time. For example, 2 cups take 20 to 25 minutes, and 4 cups take 40 to 45 minutes. Notably, the ratio isn’t the same for brown rice. Two cups of brown rice take more than half an hour to cook, and 5 cups require at least an hour.

Q. Will my rice be ready to serve when the timer goes off?

A. Ideally, you should let fully cooked rice sit in the cooker with the lid on for 10 minutes after completion. Allowing it to rest like this encourages the moisture to redistribute throughout the pot, leading to fluffier rice with a more appetizing texture.

After 10 minutes have elapsed, lift the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Never stir the pot before this point, or you will inadvertently release the rice’s natural starches and risk creating gloppy, gooey rice instead of firmer grains.

Q. How many cups are in a serving of rice?

A. It comes as a surprise to some people that a full serving of rice is actually less than one cup. A single serving of rice amounts to approximately 6 ounces, or between 1/2 and 2/3 of a cup. If you’re struggling to visualize 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.

Q. What on earth is fuzzy logic?

A. In your shopping experience, you may have stumbled across the term “fuzzy logic” when reading about rice cookers. It sounds like magic, but it’s actually technology. “Fuzzy logic refers to rice cookers that contain a computer chip. The chip “senses” how the rice is progressing and adjusts the heat at precisely the right time so you get the very best results possible.

Some Aroma rice cookers possess fuzzy logic; others do not. Those with elevated technology also tend to have an elevated price. Fuzzy logic is a fantastic feature, but you can still get delicious fluffy rice without it. However, some home cooks decide to splurge on it, and we don’t blame them.

Q. Isn’t a rice cooker just another countertop gadget that will ultimately take up space in my kitchen?

A. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but we think a rice cooker is a countertop gadget worth the investment. Too many home cooks have been frustrated by burnt rice, blackened and crusted to the bottom of a stovetop pot, for us to ignore this simple fact: A rice cooker simplifies the process of cooking this grain so you can focus on other tasks in the kitchen. It’s not an absolute necessity, of course, but if you’re looking for one less thing to worry about while preparing dinner, a rice cooker is an affordable solution.

 

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