The Top 10 Best Rice Cookers of 2015 & 2016

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Rice Cookers: Questions & Answers

What types of rice cookers are there?

There are three general types of rice cookers: basic models, fuzzy logic models, and induction heating models.

What is a basic rice cooker?

A basic rice cooker will usually have an on/off switch and settings to choose from white or brown rice, and that’s about all. They are the least expensive type of rice cooker available and good for anyone who wants to make basic rice dishes without the hassle of preparing rice on the stove. In general, basic rice cookers are good for white and brown rice only, and don’t perform well for specialty or wild rice.

What is a fuzzy logic rice cooker?

A fuzzy logic rice cooker offers a greater range of rice varieties you can prepare. Fuzzy logic rice cookers automatically monitor the heat inside the model and will adjust the temperature and cooking time to deliver ideal rice preparation for a plethora of options. You can prepare sticky rice for sushi or wild rice easily; some high-end fuzzy logic models also offer soup and porridge settings and can be adjusted to fit the rice’s desire texture. They are more expensive than basic rice cookers but are a must-have for anyone who wants to create a plethora of rice dishes using different types of rice.

What is an induction heating rice cooker?

An induction heat rice cooker is the highest-grade rice cooker you can purchase and delivers perfect, evenly cooked rice even if you make a measuring error. They are the most expensive type of rice cookers available but offer the highest quality preparation.

How much space does a rice cooker take up?

A rice cooker generally doesn’t use much space at all and can fit even in very small kitchens. To save space, consider buying a rice cooker that includes a steamer basket for a two-in-one cooker.

Can I prepare anything besides rice in a rice cooker?

Depends. Most models, like the Instant Pot IP-LUX60, can be used as a rice cooker or a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or browner, which gives you a wide range of cooking options that extends far beyond just rice recipes.

How big of a rice cooker should I get?

Generally, rice cookers can accommodate anywhere from 3 to 10 cups of rice at a time. If you plan on cooking a lot of big meals, opt for a larger, 8-10 cup model. For a family of four, 5-7 cups should be sufficient. If you live alone or with one other person, you can easily make enough rice with the smaller 3-cup models. If you purchase a smaller model, make sure not to overfill it or you could have a huge mess to clean up and possibly even damage it. Remember that 1 cup of uncooked rice will usually yield 1.5 to 2 cups of cooked rice.

How quickly will a rice cooker prepare rice?

Generally, preparing rice in a rice cooker will take a little bit less than the amount of time needed to prepare rice on the stove. The major benefit of a rice cooker is that it takes the guesswork out of preparing rice so that you never end up with under- or over-cooked rice. Some rice cookers do offer quick cooking settings that can speed up the rice-making process for a fast, easy meal.

What features should I look for in a rice cooker?

Some good features to have in a rice cooker include keep-warm settings, a steaming tray or basket, a timer, and a clear glass or plastic lid.

What are keep-warm settings?

Keep-warm settings are available on most mid- to high-quality rice cookers and will automatically switch the heat level after the rice has been cooked so that it stays warm until you’re ready to eat it. This is helpful because you can set the rice cooker and walk away, and you don’t need to worry about timing it exactly to be ready for dinner. No one likes to eat cold rice, so keep-warm settings can be a huge benefit.

What are the benefits of a steaming tray or basket?

Rice cookers that come with steaming trays or baskets allow you to steam vegetables or meat while the rice is cooking; this is a great time and space saver. Depending on the model, you can either steam vegetable and meat simultaneously with the rice, or prepare them quickly after the rice has finished. For example, with some Aroma models you can prepare a full dinner at one time, and you can save space on your stovetop to prepare other dishes while the rice, vegetables, and/or meat are being prepared on the rice cooker.

Why is having a delay timer beneficial?

With a delay timer, you can fill the rice cooker in the morning, set it to begin at the desired time, and come home to already-cooked rice that is ready to eat. This can save you a lot of the hassle of cooking after a long day of work. A delay timer is available on many high-end Instant Pot and Zojirushi models.

What are the benefits of having a clear lid?

The most basic, inexpensive rice cookers will have a metal lid. Having a clear glass or plastic lid makes it easier for you to check on the rice as it cooks and make sure that everything is going smoothly. Otherwise, you will have to lift the lid, which will release a lot of the heat and make cooking time longer or leave you with undercooked rice.

How is clean-up?

For easy clean up, look for stainless steel and non-stick rice cookers. Cooked rice tends to stick, so unless you want to spend a lot of time scrubbing the sides of your rice maker, it would be best to invest in a nonstick model. Some rice cookers are even dishwasher safe for easier cleaning.

How much should I spend on a rice cooker?

Rice cookers can range in price from as little as $20 to as much as $200 or more. How much you should spend will depend on what type of quality you are looking for; if you just need to make the occasional batch of white rice, you can look for lower-priced models. If you want the versatility to make a range of rice dishes, look for a more expensive fuzzy logic or induction heat model.

What kind of rice can I make in a rice cooker?

Depending on the type of rice cooker you purchase, you can make any type of rice you desire. From white to brown rice to more specialty varieties like jasmine, saffron, basmati, yellow rice, and wild rice. You can even prepare unique varieties like Thai purple rice, Chinese black rice, and Himalayan red rice, and you can prepare short- or long-grain rice as well.

What kind of dishes can I prepare with a rice cooker?

Depending on the type of rice cooker you purchase, you can make any number of rice dishes. You can prepare sushi or Thai sticky rice, make a wild rice pilaf, or create Italian rice balls. You can also use a rice cooker to prepare dishes like red beans and rice, chicken and rice soup, curried rice, and jambalaya. Make a side dish to complement your family’s evening meal, or prepare special rice-centric entrees and stews. You can also make porridge if your rice cooker has a porridge setting, available on many Zojirushi models.

The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker Warmer
The 14 x 8 x 10 inches rice cooker is a friendly looking appliance that can prepare up to ten cups of cooked rice. It comes in two different size: 1.0 and 1.8 liter. The cooker is equipped with a detachable stainless steel cooking pan and a removable inner lid. Both accessories can be easily cleaned using a dishwasher. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy features the MICOM Technology which allows the cooker to “think for itself”, adjusting the cooking temperature depending on the kind of the rice type that is being prepared. The cooker is also equipped with a fold down handle for even more convenience. The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy set includes useful accessories such as measuring cups, spatulas and a spatula holder.
Review of the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
This cooker is an intuitive, easy-to-use and sleek looking gadget that has a lot of handy features. It comes in two different sizes, either a 1.0 liter version or a 1.8 liter one. The cooker has a highly practical design with an easy-to-clean clear coated exterior made out of stainless steel, a built-in retractable power cord and removable inner lid and cooking pot for even more convenience. This Zojirushi cooker also features an user-friendly LCD control panel with a multitude of cooking functions such as keep-warm / extended keep-warm and a delay timer with two different settings. The cooker’s digital control panel also includes different menu settings that can be used when cooking different meals such as sushi, porridge and brown/white rice.
The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
Designed for preparing up to six cups of cooked rice, this cooker also features seven cooking functions which make it an extremely versatile appliance. These functions include the white rice, porridge, mixed rice, sweet, sushi, brown, and quick cooking rice modes. The Zojirushi cooker is equipped with a detachable inner lid and a removable spherical inner cooking pan which makes it easier to clean than the regular rice cookers. The easy-to-use digital controls give access to convenient features such as the keep-warm function, the reheating-cycle option and the delay-timer. The cooker has a small footprint taking up minimum space on the counter and it also features a built-in retractable power cord for even more convenience.
The Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Electric Rice Cooker & Warmer
This cooker model from Zojirushi is a convenient appliance that also has a keep-warm function making sure that the prepared meal is ready to eat even long after it was cooked. Its compact design makes it a perfect choice for users that cannot afford occupying kitchen space with bulky appliances. This cooker is equipped with an intuitive LCD display with clock and timer functions. Zojirushi Micom also features the MICOM Technology which enables the cooker to automatically alternate between different cooking temperatures depending on the type of the rice that is being cooked, making it a trustworthy appliance. The menu also includes settings for cooking white rice, sushi, porridge and also a quick-cooking option. The cooking pan is made out of a non-stick material and it can be safely washed using a dishwasher.
Reviewed: Instant Pot 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker
The Instant Pot IP-LUX is a multi-functional digital cooker with a sleek yet ergonomic design. This versatile appliance can be used for a wide range of cooking styles such as pressure cooking, sauting, browning, slow cooking and it can also be used as a rice cooker and steamer. This cooker features a large and easy-to-use digital interface with ten built-in smart programs, three different temperature settings and an automatic keep-warm option. It also features a delay cooking timer that can be set to up to 24 hours. Instant Pot IP-LUX is highly energy efficient and it is equipped with ten proven safety mechanisms. The whole set includes a stainless steel cooking pot with a 3-ply bottom, a rice paddle, a soup spoon, one measuring cup and various cooking recipes and time tables.
The Aroma ARC-150SB Digital Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
This Aroma digital rice cooker and food steamer comes in two different colored sleek designs: silver and black. It can prepare up to 20 cups of cooked rice while simultaneously steaming vegetables or meat. Once the cooking process is finished, the keep-warm feature keeps the meal warm. The Aroma cooker is equipped with a set of digital controls that can be used to operate specific cooking modes for white or brown rice, programmable steam and a 15-hour delay for a more convenient meal planning. The cooking pot is made out of a durable, non-stick material and it can be easily removed and cleaned using a dishwashing machine. With a small ten inch wide footprint, this cooker takes up minimum space in the kitchen.
Review of the Aroma ARC-753SG Rice Cooker
The Aroma ARC is a versatile rice cooker that comes in three different sizes for preparing up to 20 cups of cooked rice. It features a removable cooking pot made out of surgical-grade stainless steel that can be easily cleaned. The pot is dishwasher-safe, making it easier to clean than other regular cooking pots. The Aroma cooker can be easily operated with the help of the simple, one-touch switch making it a handy appliance. The cooker also features a keep-warm mode that is automatically activated once the cooking process is finished making it very useful for cooking fresh meals such as stews, soups and much more. The Aroma set also includes a cup for measuring and a convenient serving spatula.
Reviewed: Aroma ARC-914SBD Digital Rice Cooker & Steamer
Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer is a handy gadget to have at home. It can be used to prepare up to eight cups of rice while at the same time it can steam vegetables and meat. It has an intuitive user-friendly interface that allows the user to choose from a multitude of warming and steaming functions and it can also be programmed for slow-cooking meals by using the 15-hour delay timer. The Aroma Rice Cooker and Food Steamer has a compact design and it comes in two colors, white and silver. It has a small footprint, which makes it very convenient even when used in small kitchens. It can be used for cooking jambalaya, soups and many other meals.
The Oster CKSTRCMS65 Rice Cooker with Steam Tray
The Oster Rice Cooker is a handy appliance that has a sleek black colored design combined with silver details. It can prepare up to six cups of cooked rice and it can also be used as a meat or vegetable steamer with the help of the included steam tray. The cooker features a removable non-stick pot that can be easily washed using a dishwasher. The steam tray is covered by a tempered glass lid which allows you to constantly check on the meal that you are cooking. The Oster cooker also features a convenient keep-warm function that is automatically activated after the cooking process is complete. This can be helpful for keeping the food warm for an extended period of time.

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