This sturdy multifunctional cooking machine works faster and uses less energy than a steamer. It has a dedicated rice button to automatically adjust for fluffy rice cooking every time. It allows you to cook different types of rice well, such as long-grain rice and wild rice.
There can be a learning curve for those who are unfamiliar with pressure cooking.
Programming is user-friendly and allows the user to set it and forget it. The machine can make a whopping 20 cups of rice, so it appeals to home entertainers and those who want to make a big batch of rice on a budget. Compact and easy to fit inside a cupboard, it comes with a rice measuring cup and a plastic rice spatula.
The machine will dry out rice if you leave it for too long, and cleaning the inner pot can sometimes pose a challenge.
Stay-cool handles protect vulnerable hands. A user-friendly LED screen makes operation straightforward. An excellent choice for for an average-sized family. Has a keep-warm function. Bonus points for wall-mounting capacity.
Some frequent users voice complaints of durability problems after only a few years of use.
Inner pot is removable for easy cleanup. Makes 6 measuring cups of cooked rice or 3 cups of rice to accompany your ingredients in the steamer basket. Has a fairly small footprint, so it’s popular for apartment or dorm living situations where countertop space is limited. Rice doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom.
It’s only effective at cooking slightly less than 6 cups of rice at a time.
Extra-large bowl is capable of making family-size meals. Steaming basket offers the option to prepare veggies, meats, and fish simultaneously. Convenient keep-warm function is a customer favorite, especially for potluck parties. A winning selection from BLACK+DECKER.
Its limited settings may not serve all users, and there have been occasional reports of water boiling over and out of the pot.
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.
In the world of culinary tasks, the stovetop rice-cooking process may not be the most difficult endeavor, but when you’re in a pinch or cooking for multiple guests, a rice cooker can save you some much-needed time and free up one of your burners. Rice cookers are also handy for preparing other foods, such as beans and oatmeal, and other grains, including quinoa and risotto. Perhaps best of all, these affordable kitchen gadgets are easy to use and known for their ability to produce wonderful results.
Are you shopping for a new rice cooker? Before you decide which one is right for your kitchen, you’ll want to consider its capacity, presence of a delay timer, preset functions and settings, and ability to cook other foods. Some rice cookers are actually part of a larger and more sophisticated pressure cooker that can saute, steam, and warm foods. Rice cookers range in price, from models for the budget chef to models packed with features and designed for home cooks with heftier budgets.
If you're deliberating about whether you need a rice cooker or not, let’s find some clarity. Below, we examine some of the advantages a rice cooker can bring to your kitchen.
The capacity of a rice cooker is often described by the number of measuring cups it can hold. This can be confusing because some companies tell you how many cups of cooked rice you can prepare at once, whereas others tell you how many cups of uncooked rice you can prepare at once. Notably, some manufacturers also list the machine’s capacity in gallons. For some, this might make the machine’s potential a little easier to visualize.
Think about how much rice you might want to make at any given time. For instance, if you have a large family or want the ability to prepare big batches of rice and store the leftovers, you'll require a much larger cup capacity (perhaps a 14-cup rice cooker or even a large-capacity 20-cup rice cooker) than if you only want to cook one or two cups of rice at a time.
High-end rice cookers aren't just glorified electric steamers; they have microchips inside that survey and assess the temperature and other conditions inside the cooking pot. Using this information, the appliance adjusts accordingly so your rice turns out perfectly every time. Most rice cookers use one of two technologies for this: neuro-fuzzy logic or induction heating. The latter may be considered slightly superior, as the chip can adjust for measuring errors while still rendering excellent results. However, rice cookers equipped with neuro-fuzzy logic are still far more effective than entry-level rice cookers.
Rice cookers with intelligent cooking capabilities are worth it if you have cash, but a basic rice cooker is good enough for most home cooks.
Rice cookers tend to have inner pots constructed of stainless steel or a nonstick-coated aluminum material. If you are familiar with different types of pots and pans, you probably have developed a preference already, but both materials have positives and negatives. For the sake of durability, we tend to gravitate toward stainless steel over aluminum. Stainless steel may be harder to clean if rice gets burned onto the bottom, but this shouldn't happen if you use your rice cooker correctly. A nonstick inner pot offers easy cleaning, but the material is not as long-lasting as stainless steel, and some people question whether or not it contains harmful toxins.
Many rice cookers feature a delay timer that allows you to add your ingredients and then postpone the start of the cooking cycle for up to 23 hours before you want the finished product. This is ideal if you have a limited amount of cooking time because it allows dinner to come together much more easily, especially if you arrive home late from work. It also makes breakfast preparation a breeze, as the majority of rice cookers can also be used to prepare porridge.
Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to rice type and texture. Furthermore, some dishes or types of rice call for specific textures. For instance, rice that’s meant to go with Thai food should be soft and sticky, whereas an Indian curry might go better with a slightly firm Basmati. High-end rice cookers tend to offer a larger array of texture settings, allowing you to prepare rice to suit a variety of dishes.
You can buy a perfectly reasonable basic rice cooker for not much more than the price of a family-sized takeout meal. An entry-level rice cooker with just a few features, such as a timer and white and brown rice settings, should cost between $25 and $60, depending on the brand and the cup capacity. For many consumers, a basic rice cooker is all that’s needed..
A mid-range rice cooker should cost roughly $80 to $120. Expect to see appliances with more that come from well-known brands. You can also find multicookers with rice settings in this pricing category.
A top-of-the-line rice cooker with induction heating or neuro-fuzzy logic, plus all the texture settings and other features you could hope for, should cost anywhere from $120 to $400. Many of the rice cookers in this price range offer a large capacity; some are suitable for commercial kitchens.
A. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes, you might plan your dinner timing perfectly but still end up with your rice cooked 30 minutes before your main entree is ready. Or, something else might come up that pushes back your dinner time. The question becomes, with such delays, how do you keep your rice warm and fresh? Don't worry; your meal needn't be ruined. Most rice cookers have a "keep warm" function that keeps your cooked rice warm without burning or overcooking it.
A. While the lid material probably shouldn’t be a primary deciding factor, we note that a glass lid can be useful for keeping an eye on how your rice is cooking. If you’re stuck between two models you like equally, one with a metal lid and one with a glass lid, we suggest that you strongly consider the one with the glass lid.
A. Yes, you can prepare sushi rice in a rice cooker. You may want to obtain a recipe first; you can find a lot of mouthwatering recipes online. Sushi rice differs from “traditional” white rice: It is a short Japanese grain with a sticky consistency that makes it ideal for creating your favorite sushi rolls. Sushi rice can be easily prepared in a rice cooker. Note: It can also be prepared in an Instant Pot (pressure cooker) or on a stovetop.
A. This depends on the make and model of rice cooker you choose. Often, the more basic rice cookers are better at cooking non-rice foods than ones with neuro-fuzzy logic or induction cooking, as these are specially designed to "know" how to cook perfect rice. Non-rice foods that you might be able to make in your rice cooker include other grains, steamed vegetables, steamed dumplings, soups, stews, and risotto.