Do you struggle to make dinner after a long day at work? Or perhaps you have trouble cooking rice on the stove? Try an electric rice cooker! Electric rice cookers create perfectly cooked rice with minimal effort. Rice cookers have even become so advanced that they can function as slow cookers or home bakeries, which means your whole meal will be ready and waiting for you.
After a ton of research, we've selected the 10 best electric rice cookers. The number one spot goes to the Induction Heating Pressure Cooker and Warmer from one of the rice cooker kings, Zojirushi, due to its high performance and longevity. Keep reading for the rest of our favorites, and check out our buying guide for plenty of tips.
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Looking for a great rice cooker but don’t know where to start? With a little homework and a bit of attention to the product specs, you can find a great unit that makes amazingly delicious rice time after time with minimal effort.
Without a doubt, the best rice cookers are from Japanese makers such as Zojirushi, Tiger, Panasonic, and Toshiba. In fact, Toshiba invented the rice cooker in 1955, and Panasonic came out with one in 1956. It should then be no surprise that Japan dominates the rice cooker market and improves its products.
Considering this, you usually can't go wrong with a quality Japanese rice cooker. If you follow the instructions, making perfect rice will be practically foolproof.
Nowadays, the number of features and menu options on your rice cooker might include more than you actually need. That being said, some of the functions can be quite useful. Understanding what's available will help you choose a cooker with functions that you'll actually use.
Almost all rice cookers make white and brown rice. However, there are several options beyond that, and not all cookers make all types of rice. The average types of grain people cook include white rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice, sticky rice, sushi rice, porridge, mixed rice, jasmine rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and clay pot rice.
If you only enjoy more common grains, like white rice, then any cooker should do. However, if you want to cook things like GABA brown rice or quinoa, make sure to look at the product specifications.
Some rice cookers come with a built-in home bakery system that allows you to bake cake or bread. Sometimes it does only one or the other, so make sure to check the product details!
While it may seem odd, don’t underestimate the power of a rice cooker to make cake or bread. It’s totally possible to achieve delicious baked goods in your rice cooker if it has the appropriate functionality.
Want to have a home-cooked, hot dish waiting for you when you get home? Or perhaps you just don't have time to babysit pots on the stove. To save time and dishes, you can easily make entire meals with a rice cooker!
Some rice cookers have a built-in slow cooker, steamer, or pressure cooker. These basically let you make your whole meal in one shot. Certain models even have a design that divides the inner pot into two chambers; you can cook an entrée in the upper chamber while the rice cooks below.
Cleanup is also a cinch in this case, as there is only one pot to clean. Also, if you don’t want to heat up your house in the summer, cooking your meals this way is an excellent choice!
Another interesting menu function available on some rice cookers lets you make yogurt. All you need is milk and a probiotic to make tasty homemade yogurt in no time. For vegans and vegetarians, you can also make coconut, almond, or cashew yogurt.
In a standard rice cooker, the heating element is below the inner pot and supplies heat under it to cook the rice.
However, a rice cooker with induction heating (I.H.) uses a magnetic field that reacts with the magnetic inner pot, making the pot become the heat source. This gives quick and precise temperature control, creating evenly cooked rice with the maximum amount of nutrients.
A rice cooker with a pressure cooker function mimics a classic stovetop pressure cooker; it utilizes pressure to retain nutrients and enhance flavor. Units with this capability also often use induction heating.
Many people tend to favor the taste of rice made with I.H. or pressure cooking. However, this depends on your sensitivity to the flavor of the rice. There are also plenty of people who can't taste the difference!
An advanced rice cooker that does not have an I.H. or pressure cooker function is bound to have "fuzzy logic A.I." This system adjusts the way it cooks your rice as you use it over time. For example, it learns based on what grains and measurements you use most often. It’s a basic function that's found in most quality Japanese rice cookers.
Most Westerners define perfectly-cooked rice as grains that don’t stick together after cooking and are separate. A rice cooker with an inner pot with a diamond coating makes small bubbles during cooking that evenly cooks the rice and keeps it from clumping.
However, in Japan and most of Asia, delicious rice means the grains are clumped together and cohesive. This might be partially due to the fact that it would be a lot of work to eat rice with chopsticks if each grain needed to be picked up separately.
If you love rice cooked in the traditional Japanese style, you might not be happy with the looser, Western results of a diamond-coated pot. Be sure to decide what kind of rice you prefer before choosing a unit!
The majority of rice cookers come with a three, five, or 10 cup capacity, which refers to uncooked rice. Unless you need to make very large quantities of rice, a three or five cup capacity should be more than enough to make rice for a few people. The 10 cup units are usually more expensive and a bit larger.
Almost all quality rice cookers come with a detachable inner pot. However, some older models don’t have this function, so be careful to check the specifications. Having a removable pot makes a world of difference when cleaning up after a meal!
Other essential basics missing in some older models are a delayed cooking timer and a "keep warm" function. Both of these are vital for timing your meals. A delayed timer allows you to set a time for the rice to start cooking, while a warming function keeps leftovers hot.
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Induction Heating Pressure Cooker and Warmer
A Solid Induction Rice Cooker and Pressure Cooker Hybrid
IH Rice Cooker
Simultaneously Cook Rice and a Main Dish
Japanese Rice Cooker
Versatile Rice Cooker with a Diamond Coated Inner Pot
Pressure Rice Cooker With Induction Heating
Korean Cooker Jam-Packed With Menu Options
Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer
Excellent Mid-Range Rice Cooker With Essential Functions
A Huge Menu Selection and Super Large Capacity
Multi-Functional Electric Pressure Rice Cooker
Solid Multi-Functional Rice Cooker With a Marble Non-Scratch Inner Pot
Rice and Grains Electric Multi-Cooker
Whip Up Meals With Sixteen Set Menu Selections
Micom Rice Cooker With Food Steamer & Slow Cooker
A Multifunctional Cooker Great for Making Entire Meals
Electric Rice Cooker with Ceramic Inner Pot
Make Clay Pot Rice in a Scratch-Resistant Ceramic Pot
This cooker combines two appliances into one product! On the one hand, you get a state of the art rice cooker that will cook perfect rice time after time. On the other hand, you get a pressure cooker that can make a huge range of delicious meals with minimal effort.
Reviewers really liked that it has some rare functions, such as the "umami setting." This soaks the rice longer, which leads to sweeter rice. Other useful functions reviewers appreciated were the steam reduction, rice toasting, and reheating options.
There were a few complaints here and there about the inner non-stick pan getting scratched. Some reviewers weren’t impressed with the induction heating, saying they didn’t see a big difference when using this function.
However, the vast majority praised it as a higher-class machine. Reviewers loved that this cooker gave them the perfect texture of rice every time! They also liked the non-stick pot, noting that it made it easy to fluff up the rice. While it's able to cook a variety of food, reviewers especially recommended it for short-grain rice.
What doesn’t this rice cooker do? In addition to incorporating the latest induction heating technology and cooking to any type of rice, it comes with a host of menu options that give you an extensive range of culinary creativity all in one machine.
This rice cooker is made by legendary rice cooker specialist Tiger Electronics and has an original cooking plate. This plate divides the cooking chamber in two, so you can cook rice in the lower compartment and an entrée in the upper plate. Reviewers appreciated that the design prevents the entrée from changing the flavor of the rice.
There were a few complaints of scratches forming on the inner pot, and the power cord retraction function stopped working. However, reviewers were thrilled with the integrated fermentation setting, yogurt maker, and the ability to bake delicious bread and cake.
This rice cooker offered by Panasonic has a host of features that goes above and beyond a traditional rice cooker. It has a large menu with 13 settings where you can select from a wide range of rice types and cooking styles, such as white, brown, mixed, sticky rice, and porridge.
This utilizes induction heating cooking and has a seven-layer inner pan with a diamond coating. This coating makes small bubbles during cooking that evenly cook the rice and keep it from clumping, which is perfect for making Western-style rice.
Some reviewers who love Japanese-style rice that clumps together were not fans of the diamond-coated inner pan. Also, I.H. rice cookers tend to make more noise than regular ones, so some reviewers found this cooker noisy.
Overall this rice cooker has received a lot of praise from reviewers from all over the world. They loved its simplified and functional menu, noting that it's easy to use and program. They liked that it's simple to clean and maintain, too.
In a rice cooker market dominated by Japanese units, this impressive rice cooker by Korean maker Cuckoo holds its own. It is one of the few rice cookers which integrates both pressure cooker and induction heating. Its built-in A.I. has an intelligent algorithm that automatically detects the ideal settings.
There's also voice navigation in English, Chinese, and Korean. This cooker even includes a GABA rice function which “activates” brown rice to increase a certain type of amino acid; this ups its nutritional value. Reviewers noted that only a few of the top rice cookers on the market have this function.
Some reviewers complained that this rice cooker is a bit complicated and has a confusing user manual. A handful also said it broke down after a few years. Some did not appreciate the noise of the I.H. function, as well.
Overall, however, reviewers said the rice tastes delicious and cooks quickly! Some even preferred this cooker over their previous Japanese models. Many also loved the cake function, especially those living in the city without access to an oven.
This model sits in the middle between the best top class Zojirushi rice cookers and one of their quality basic cookers. It has a variety of useful functions, like a delayed timer and two warming features. It also has the GABA function to enhance the amino-acid content of your brown rice.
Owners of an older model were disappointed that this model didn’t include a retractable power cord. The biggest complaint was that the internal clock battery was not replaceable, and some complained it broke after a few years. However, most were impressed with the level of quality.
Reviewers noted the uncommon function of this rice cooker to cook jasmine or basmati rice. Reviewers were surprised that the induction heating functions could make full meals and not just rice, too. Plus, they liked that this cooker offers most of the features that more expensive products have.
What doesn’t this rice cooker do? There may be no rice cooker on the market that offers such a large menu! If you have a small kitchen and want to reduce your appliances, this may be for you.
Basically, you get a rice cooker, slow cooker, home bakery, and yogurt maker all in one. It also uses BPA-free plastic, which is rare for rice cookers.
Some reviewers wished there was a "quick-cook" function for rice. Also, users were not happy that all the measurements are in metric. Some reviewers complained that the interface is clumsy, and its cooked rice isn't as good as other models.
Even with these negatives, most users were very satisfied with it. They explained how they make an unbelievable amount of dishes with this cooker, including pasta, oatmeal, steamed veggies, soup, stew, and cake. Reviewers raved that the functionality far exceeded what's offered by other rice cookers in the same class!
Cuckoo took some of the best technology of their high-end products and simplified it a bit to create this quality mid-range rice cooker. Even as a mid-range rice cooker, it still retains fuzzy logic A.I. algorithm technology as well as induction heating and pressure cooker functions.
Its shining feature is its marble-lined inner bowl, which gives it a rare non-scratch quality that is hard to find even in the most expensive rice cookers. Most units have a non-stick coated inner pot that is easily scratched, which is one of the common demerits of a rice cooker. However, this unit is thankfully non-scratch!
The cooker is supposed to have a three-language voice navigation system, however reviewers complained it actually only has Korean. In addition there were some who complained the rice cooker opens very forcefully.
A large number of reviewers were more than happy with the quality of how it cooks a wide range of rice. Many switched from using rice cookers made by other manufacturers to this one and were pleasantly surprised. Plus, they raved about how the inner pot truly doesn't get scratched!
This economy rice cooker offers menu selections and quality not usually found in its class. It actually does more function-wise than many rice cookers from the top range. Plus, Panasonic holds its own with some of the top rice cookers on the market.
Its functions include basic rice options as well as oatmeal, quinoa, clay pot, and sticky rice. It also has a built-in home bakery to make bread and cake. It can make soup and function as a slow cooker, too. All in all, you can't go wrong here when it comes to function and quality.
Some reviewers had trouble getting an even cook on their rice, noting that it came out crispy or soggy. Many complained that there was leftover water in the bottom of the pot after cooking. However, other reviewers suggested being sure to follow the measurement guidelines exactly to avoid these problems.
Many reviewers praised the delicious rice that this machine makes. Those who are experienced owners of rice cookers noted that even though this one doesn’t have induction heating or a hybrid pressure cooking function, it still can make tasty rice! Plus, reviewers appreciated that it was simple to use.
This a useful rice cooker if you have limited space and want to have a hot meal waiting for you when you come home! From rice cooker expert Tiger comes this A.I. rice cooker that adjusts and tweaks its cooking performance over time based on how you use it and what kinds of rice you cook.
One of the most popular features is the integrated slow-cooker function. This allows you to cook a large range of dishes with minimal effort and easy cleanup!
Some reviewers were disappointed that there is no retractable cord, and others said this rice cooker only lasted them a few years. Reviewers also felt like this cooker is more prone to moisture buildup.
However, many praised its innovative "Tacook" function that divides the rice cooker into two chambers and lets you cook an entrée above the rice. It even stops the integration of flavor that you would expect from the two being in such close proximity. They also confirmed that it makes excellent rice!
One of the biggest drawbacks of a rice cooker is the fragility of the inner pot's non-stick coating. Unless you are quite careful not to scratch it, the non-stick lining will peel off over time. Tianji has bypassed this almost universal rice cooker flaw by making an inner pot made of scratch-resistant ceramic.
For a basic rice cooker, it has a cooking system that bears a resemblance to induction heating. There is a suspension bowl heating system that lifts the pot; this distributes the heat more evenly and gives I.H. benefits to the cooking process.
The biggest strength of this unit is also its biggest weakness. Reviewers complained that the ceramic pot is a bit fragile and chips if not handled with care. Also, the inner lid is made of aluminum instead of steel, which concerned health purists.
Traditionalists like that the ceramic pot also gives them the option of making clay pot rice, which has a similar flavor to traditional Cantonese-style rice cooked in earthenware over a fire. This is said to also preserve the original flavor of the rice. Reviewers also appreciated that it is very easy to clean!
Most quality rice cookers from top brands like Zojirushi and Tiger will last for years with the right care. The biggest obstacle to this is the non-stick lining on the inner pot of the rice cooker. If you are not careful, it can easily be scratched. Once it is, the lining will start to peel, and the pot's function will decline.
Preserving the inner pot just takes a bit of care. Make sure not to use any metal utensils or abrasives when cleaning it. Always use wood or plastic to scoop the rice out of the pot. Even then, be gentle! Also, keep in mind to wash it carefully even when using non-abrasive cleaners. Follow these tips, and your rice cooker should last a long time.
Have you experienced soggy rice or inconsistent results with a rice cooker? There are steps you can take to get reliably tasty results! Most quality units will give you perfectly cooked results if you follow the manufacturer's measurements and guidelines when preparing the rice.
If you don't use digital measurements, make sure you use the included cup for measurements and make sure the water amount matches the pot's gauge or markings. You may be surprised that just a little too much or not enough water or rice will make a major difference in how the rice comes out.
Another way to guarantee perfect rice every time is to use a digital scale to weigh the amount of water and rice you use. You can then play with the numbers and find the perfect consistency you like.
After you find what amounts work best, you can add the exact amount in grams each time. This will guarantee that you always have perfect rice cooked to your liking!
Decided to go with digital measurements when cooking your rice? Maybe you need a good set of measurement cups for cooking your meals? Want a pair of chopsticks to eat your homecooked rice with? Check out our recommendations for the above and much more!
No. 1: Zojirushi | Induction Heating Pressure Cooker and Warmer | NP-NVC10
No. 2: Tiger | IH Rice Cooker | JKT-S10U-K
No. 3: Panasonic | Japanese Rice Cooker | SR-HZ106
No. 4: Cuckoo | Pressure Rice Cooker With Induction Heating | CRP-DHSR0609FD
No. 5: Zojirushi | Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer | NP-HCC10XH
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