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Best Aroma Rice Cookers

Updated March 2023
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Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Aroma Housewares
ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
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Expert-recommended
Bottom Line

Our cooking expert approves this rice cooker; it does everything you need and more, and its delay function is a game-changer.

Pros

Nonstick inner pot holds up to 8 cups of prepared 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 percent. Has a 15-hour delay timer.

Cons

May not cook brown rice well. Try adding more water than usual.

Best Bang for the Buck
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Aroma Housewares
6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
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Feature-packed
Bottom Line

This multi-use unit has a tempered glass lid and a generously sized steamer basket, 2 features our expert appreciates.

Pros

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. Three-cup capacity depends upon the variety of rice; check the manual before using.

Cons

No audible signal when cooking stops. Must unplug to turn the unit off. The stated 3-cup capacity depends upon the variety of rice.

Aroma Housewares 20-Cup Cooked (10-Cup Uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, and Food Steamer
Aroma Housewares
20-Cup Cooked (10-Cup Uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, and Food Steamer
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Best for Large Households
Bottom Line

When you need to make a lot of rice, you need this programmable 20-cup rice cooker in your kitchen.

Pros

Yields up to 20 cups of finished 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. Fifteen-hour delay timer. Simplifies dinner. Easy to clean.

Cons

Water from the air vent can drip back down into the rice once the unit cools, creating mushy patches.

Aroma Housewares Simply Stainless 3-Cup (Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker
Aroma Housewares
Simply Stainless 3-Cup (Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

If you're switching your kitchen to stainless steel cookware, you'll want to give this model a try.

Pros

Comes in a 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 types of rice.

Cons

Thick, starchy steam can spray out of the steam hole. Rice on the bottom can scorch if you don't unplug the unit right away.

Aroma Housewares 12-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker
Aroma Housewares
12-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker
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Large & Versatile
Bottom Line

A big but low-profile rice cooker with efficient heating and a good number of alternative functions.

Pros

Takes up to 6 cups of uncooked rice to make a total of 12 cups. Low-profile height fits in more kitchen cabinets. All-around heating cooks rice efficiently. Has a sauté option to brown foods before steaming. Includes timer. Can be used as a slow cooker.

Cons

Takes up some counter space. Color is more brown than champagne.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

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.

52
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60
Consumers
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8
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for Best Aroma rice cookers

Rice is a staple food in many cuisines and an inexpensive, nutritious addition to any meal. However, cooking rice on a stovetop isn’t foolproof. If you like to serve rice regularly, an Aroma rice cooker could be a game-changing addition to your meal preparation routine. 

Aroma rice cookers are designed to make cooking rice easier and more convenient. They’re popular with busy households because they offer a hassle-free way to prepare perfect rice without having to monitor a pot or worry about the rice burning. 

It’s easy to overcook or burn rice using a traditional stovetop method, but Aroma rice cookers automatically shut off to stop the cooking process once the rice is done, ensuring good results every time. Aroma rice cookers are also versatile appliances that can be used to cook other grains, such as quinoa or oatmeal, and steam vegetables and meats.

We have evaluated Aroma rice cookers for their distinct features and performance. They range from small models that make a few servings to larger cookers that can prepare up to 20 cups of rice at once. Many come equipped with features like a delay timer, keep-warm function and a nonstick inner pot that makes cleanup easy.

We think the Aroma 8-Cup Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer is the best overall for its programmable features, rapid cook time and ability to cook a wide range of foods other than rice. 

Expert tip
Try cooking your rice with chicken broth for more flavor. Take it closer to fried rice with the addition of peas, small-dice carrots, and scrambled egg.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Best Aroma rice cookers

Aroma 8-Cup Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

This rice cooker holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice, making it ideal for preparing a whole meal for the household. Some of its standout features include a digital display with programmable settings, such as a delay timer, which allows you to program the cooker up to 15 hours in advance, and a keep-warm function that automatically activates when the rice is done, ensuring it stays at the perfect temperature until you’re ready to serve it.

We love the nonstick inner pot that prevents rice from sticking and burning and makes this model easy to clean. Additionally, the inner pot is dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze. It comes with a steam tray for steaming vegetables, meat or fish while the rice cooks below. This makes it easy to fix a complete meal in one pot, which is ideal for busy households in which time for meal preparation is limited.

Aroma 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

This budget-friendly option can steam meat and vegetables while rice cooks in the lower chamber. The one-touch operation makes it very easy to use, and the capacity of 2 to 6 cups of cooked rice makes it a great option for small households or single individuals. 

We chose this model for its ability to cook a variety of foods other than rice, including soups, vegetables and meat. This model also has a small footprint (11.1 inches wide, 8.1 inches high, 10.4 inches deep), making it easy to store. The inner cooking pot is made of nonstick, dishwasher-safe material, which means this model is very easy to clean. 

This model lacks some of the extra features found on more expensive Aroma rice cookers, but it has impressive capabilities for such a simple appliance. Its compact nature and versatility makes it a powerful, multifunctional addition to a kitchen with limited space for multiple appliances.

Aroma 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker

With a capacity of up to 20 cups of cooked rice, this cooker is ideal for feeding a large household, preparing a whole meal or hosting a dinner party. The digital control panel lets you easily choose from different cooking modes, such as white rice, brown rice or steam. With the included steam tray, you can cook rice and vegetables or meat simultaneously for an easy one-pot meal with minimal cleanup. 

We’re particularly impressed that this model doubles as a slow cooker. With cooking times of 2 to 10 hours and two temperature settings, this rice cooker is capable of producing a variety of soups and stews. The keep-warm function automatically kicks in once the cooking time is over, ensuring that your meal stays hot until you’re ready to serve it. The inner pot is made of Aroma’s bonded granite five-layer nonstick material, which is very durable and dishwasher-safe. 

Aroma Select Stainless Rice Cooker & Warmer

A food-grade 304 stainless steel cooking pot sets this Aroma rice cooker apart from many other models. One of the primary advantages of stainless steel is its durability and even heat distribution. Unlike nonstick coatings that can wear off over time, stainless steel resists scratching and damage. This model’s inner pot is also dishwasher-safe.

In addition to its unique inner pot, this cooker is a compact and easy-to-use option for producing rice and one-pot meals. Its one-touch operation and automatic keep-warm function make this one of the most user-friendly rice cookers on our list. It also has a tempered glass lid which lets you monitor the progress of your meal without having to open the lid. With a capacity of up to 6 cups of cooked rice, it is suitable for individuals and households alike. 

Aroma 12-Cup Digital Rice Cooker

We’re impressed by the wide range of cooking options available with this rice cooker, with 12 cooking functions besides making rice. It can steam vegetables and make soups, yogurt and even desserts like cakes and tarts. The sauté-then-simmer feature allows for high-heat sautéing of aromatics, vegetables or meat before adding liquid to simmer, making it simple to do all your cooking in one pot. 

The easy-to-use digital controls let you select the cooking function, adjust cooking time and temperature and monitor the cooking progress. The display is easy to read and intuitive to use. With a generous 12-cup cooked rice capacity, this cooker is perfect for larger households or preparing whole meals.

In addition to this model’s many distinct features, we also think its champagne pink exterior and sleek, modern design make it a stylish addition to any kitchen. If you’re willing to trade a little more counter space for a rice cooker, this model is a good pick. 

Aroma 20-Cup Rice & Grain Cooker

This is an impressive, all-in-one machine that can cook much more than rice. This feature-packed appliance is designed to prepare rice, grains, stews, cakes and even risotto. We like the time-saving Quick Rice option, which shortens the cooking time for a fast meal in a pinch. With a maximum capacity of 20 cups of cooked rice, it’s ideal for large households and dinner parties. 

This model also comes with a sauté-then-simmer function, which allows you to sauté ingredients like onions and garlic before adding the rice and liquid to the pot, adding another layer of flavor to rice dishes and eliminating the need to use a skillet. With options for slow cooking and a delay timer of up to 15 hours, you can make sure that your meal is ready for you when you get home. 

Aroma 4-Cup Rice & Grain Cooker

The most compact model on our list, this rice cooker has a 4-cup cooked rice capacity, ideal for individuals who don’t need to make large quantities of rice or who have limited kitchen space. Those who are new to using a rice cooker will appreciate the simple one-touch operation and automatic keep-warm function. It’s capable of cooking more than rice, including soups, stews, oatmeal and pasta. You can also use the rice cooker to reheat soups, sauces and other foods. 

The nonstick inner pot is easy to hand-wash, and the glass lid lets you keep an eye on the cooking process. Weighing in at just a little over 2.5 pounds and measuring 10 inches wide and 8 inches high, this cooker is easy to lift and store in a cupboard. 

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 to 20 cups. Keep in mind that Aroma rice cookers are labeled with the number of cups of cooked rice the unit holds.

Note that Aroma’s cup measurements refer to the size of their included 6-ounce measuring cup rather than the typical 8-ounce measuring cup. When measuring your dry ingredients, remember that rice triples in size while cooking. If you want 3 cups of cooked rice, start with 1 cup of uncooked rice.

Cookers with a 6-cup capacity are the most popular with consumers. This size feeds the average-size household, has room for extra rice when company comes for dinner and still fits neatly in a kitchen cabinet. Larger households might prefer a 10- or 12-cup cooker. Units that hold 20 cups or more are primarily used in commercial kitchens.

Cooking pot materials

The starch in rice gives it a slightly sticky texture. For this reason, many aluminum cooker pots have a nonstick coating. That said, some customers don’t want to take any chances that the nonstick coating will chip off and end up in their rice. 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. It’s a good idea to use oven mitts to prevent burned fingers.

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

Multi-cooker capabilities

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

Remember, the more functions your Aroma rice cooker offers, the higher the price. If you want a rice cooker that doubles as a multi-cooker, it will definitely cost more, but you might find the extra features are worth the added cost. If you just want a simple machine, take note of the features offered so you’re only paying for the options you plan to use.

Expert tip
The length of time you need to cook your rice will depend on what kind of rice it is. White rice takes about 10 minutes per cup of rice to cook, but brown rice needs about 15 minutes per cup.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Aroma rice cooker features

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 more quickly because the hard outer hull — the bran and germ — have been removed, allowing water to penetrate more easily. Brown rice still has its bran and germ and so takes twice as long to cook. However, it also retains more nutritional value than its white counterpart.

It also takes more water to cook brown rice. Sensors help the cooker fine-tune water levels. In general, it takes 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 so you can come home to freshly cooked rice. This function is a lifesaver for busy households 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.

And if you forget to set the delay timer, you don’t have to resort to takeout. A handy flash-cooking option can save the day. This feature cuts the cooking time in half so you can still have a home-cooked meal.

When life gets in the way, a keep-warm setting takes over when the cooking cycle ends. This ensures that the rice stays hot no matter when you eat, but it shouldn’t be left for more than 12 hours.

Other notable features

Look for these other features as you shop:

  • Cool-touch exterior: This prevents burns from inadvertent contact while the cooker is on.
  • Auditory alert: This tells you when the rice is done.
  • Tempered glass lid: This lets you check food as it steams to avoid overcooking. It also keeps the heat and steam in the pot because you don’t have to open a lid to check on the food. 
  • Removable lid: A lid that comes completely off is much easier to clean than a hinged lid with multiple crevices.
     
Expert tip
Avoid sticky rice by rinsing the rice thoroughly once or twice before cooking. This removes a good deal of the starch that coats the rice, the ingredient responsible for the stickiness.
BestReviews Cooking and Baking Expert

Rice cooker accessories for the home cook

Once you discover the joys of perfect rice prepared in a rice cooker, you might decide to start serving dishes with rice 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 with white and brown when you can enjoy other types like wild, basmati and arborio? These types are available at many grocery stores, specialist stores and from online retailers. To learn how to prepare these varieties in your appliance, consult the user manual. You can also search online for recipes and tips on cooking different types of rice.

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 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. Toss your base ingredients, including broth and veggies, into the pot to simmer while your rice cooks. Once the rice is done, add it to your stew. It’s hearty, healthy and satisfying, not to mention far less expensive than canned soup from the grocery store.

Tips for using a rice cooker

  • Use the included utensils. 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 helps protect the materials in your cooking pot.
  • Prepare other grains in your rice cooker. Quinoa and millet turn out well on the white rice setting with a ratio of 1 cup grain to 2 cups liquid. Note that 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. Soaking it before cooking helps it develop the necessary stickiness.

FAQ

Q. How much does a rice cooker cost? 

A. You can find basic selections for less than $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. 

Rice cookers with a few more options cost $25 to $40. These models hold 8 to 12 cups of cooked rice and can be set to operate on a timed delay. They also offer presets, which give you the ability to prepare quinoa and oatmeal, and they may also sauté or slow cook.

The highest-priced units from Aroma cost $90 to $120. These units are really multi-cookers with an option for cooking rice. You can use them to cook white and brown rice quickly and make many other hearty meals, including the more complex recipes you might find online with specialty rice, meat or steamed vegetables.

Q. Do I need to rinse rice before cooking it? 

A. Yes, it’s generally recommended that you rinse rice first. Rinsing helps to remove excess starch, dust and debris that can affect the texture and flavor of the cooked rice. It also helps remove any pesticides or chemical residues that may be present on the grains.

Rinsing rice is an easy way to ensure that your rice cooker produces great rice every time. Place the desired amount of rice in a fine mesh strainer or bowl and rinse it in cold running water for a few minutes. Gently agitate the rice with your fingers to remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck to the grains. 

Q. Are Aroma rice cookers safe?

A. Yes, Aroma rice cookers are safe when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Aroma is a well-known and reputable brand that produces a range of high-quality kitchen appliances. 

One of the main safety features of Aroma rice cookers is the automatic shut-off. Once the rice is cooked, the cooker automatically switches to the keep-warm mode, maintaining a safe temperature to prevent the rice from burning or overcooking. This feature also prevents the cooker from overheating and causing a fire hazard. As long as you follow the safety guidelines in the Aroma rice cooker instructions, it’s a safe and convenient way to cook rice at home. 

Q. How do I know how much rice to make?

A. As a general rule of thumb, you can estimate that 1 cup of uncooked rice yields approximately 3 cups of cooked rice. A serving size of cooked rice is usually around 1/2 to 1 cup per person, so 1 cup of uncooked rice will typically serve three to six people. However, if rice is the main dish and you’re serving hearty eaters, you might want to increase the amount of rice you make. It’s always better to err on the side of making too much rice than too little. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and easily reheated.

Q. What is “fuzzy logic”?

A. As you shop, you might stumble 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.

Some Aroma rice cookers possess fuzzy logic, others do not. Those with the more sophisticated technology also tend to have a higher price. Fuzzy logic is a fantastic feature, and you might decide to splurge on it, but you can make delicious fluffy rice without it. 

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