The 7 Best Rice Cookers to Buy in 2017

Shop for the best rice cookers available on the market today

Bowl of rice and veggies
Davide Illini/Stocksy United

Rice cookers are one of those appliances that people seem to love or hate. On one hand, it’s easy to cook rice in a saucepan on the stove, so a rice cooker seems like a counter-space-stealing unitasker. On the other hand, in countries where rice is a major part of the food culture, rice cookers are an essential appliance in almost every home kitchen. While cooking rice might be a simple task, a rice cooker frees up a burner on the stove, which is especially helpful if the rest of your dinner is...MORE being prepared there, and it makes rice-cooking foolproof.

Rice cookers aren’t really unitaskers since they can be used to cook other grains including steel cut oats, wheat berries, or barley. Some have special settings for different types and styles of rice. Some can also be used as slow cookers. And some have simple on-off settings for folks who only want their rice cooker to cook rice.

One important thing to know about rice cookers is that they come with their own measuring cup that usually measures about 3/4 cup rather than one full cup. It’s important to measure the rice in that that cup, since the fill lines in the rice cooker pot are calibrated to that measure. And when you’re determining how much your rice cooker can make, keep in mind that rice cooker capacity is usually based on that smaller cup, and refers to the uncooked quantity of rice that the cooker can accommodate. Here are the best rice cookers on the market to get you started.

  • 01 of 07
    Panasonic SR-DF101 5-Cup
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    If you’re looking for a solid rice cooker that will fit most kitchens, this is the one to choose. It is a smart rice cooker with a micro-computer that adjusts the power depending on how much rice is being cooked. This means the rice is cooked perfectly every time, whether you’re cooking rice for one person or for your whole family.

    While the cooker is a smart model, the controls are very simple to use, with icons on the buttons for selecting white rice, brown rice, porridge or soup, or the...MORE quick-cooking or steaming setting. It has an auto-shutoff, and can keep rice warm for up to 12 hours after it has been cooked. It comes with a steaming basket, rice paddle, and a measuring cup. The power cord is detachable for safety and storage, and the interior bowl has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning.

    If five cups of uncooked rice (which yields about 10 cups of cooked rice) isn’t enough, there is a larger model that can handle up to10 cups of uncooked rice.

  • 02 of 07
    Proctor Silex 5-Cup Rice Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    If your rice cooking needs are modest and you’re looking for a no-fuss budget cooker that will take the task off the stovetop, this cooker is just what you need. There are no menus or digital controls, since this is operated with an on-off button. It has an automatic keep-warm function once the rice is cooked and has a non-stick pot for easy cleaning. This includes a measuring cup and rice paddle. You can choose a model with or without a steaming basket and a smaller 8-cup model is available for...MORE those who can get by with an even smaller appliance.

    While there are no settings for different types of rice or grains, you can still use this cooker for more than plain rice by changing the amount of water used. The cooking pot, lid, and accessories are all dishwasher safe.

  • 03 of 07
    Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    For those who eat a lot of rice and a wide variety of kinds that require a range of cooking methods, this cooker might actually do a better job than you could on the stove. It uses induction cooking that heats the bottom, sides, and lid of the pan, and it can make precise adjustments to the cooking temperature to make perfect rice every time.

    The cooker has settings for white rice (regular, softer, or harder), jasmine white rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, GABA...MORE brown rice and for quick-cooking. There are two keep-warm settings, one for holding rice for a short time when dinner might be delayed, and another for keeping the rice warm for longer than eight hours. The extended keep-warm uses a slightly lower temperature to keep the rice from drying out and can hold the rice for up to 24 hours.

    The cooker lets you choose a standard beep to let you know the rice is ready, or choose a melody if you have too many beeping devices to keep track of. You can also set it to silent mode if you don’t need the notification.

    The cooking pot has a nonstick coating for easy cleaning, and the cooker includes a measuring cup and rice paddle. The cord is retractable for storage. This unit will cook up to 1 liter of rice (about 5 cups); there is a larger model that can handle up to 1.8 liters. If you need the appliance to do even more, there’s a similar model with a higher price that has pressure cooking ability.

    This high-end cooker comes with a high-end price that might only be worth it for people who are very passionate about their rice.

  • 04 of 07
    Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3 Programmable Electric Pressure Cooker, 6Qt
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    If you don’t make rice on a daily basis, it might make sense to get an appliance that can cook more than just rice. While the Instant Pot can cook rice for sure, you can also use it for pressure cooking, slow cooking, and more. The updated model for 2017 now includes settings for cooking eggs, which has been a popular function among users. It also has a new button for cakes, like cheesecakes or moist-cooked carrot cake or banana bread.

    This can also pressure cook for up to 240 minutes and you can...MORE set it to silent mode, so the beeps won’t disturb you. There is a cooking delay for up to 24 hours, and it has both an automatic keep-warm and a manual keep-warm setting for up to 10 hours. This does not have a low pressure setting.

    The inner cooking pot is stainless steel, so it’s dishwasher safe and there’s no need to worry about using metal utensils.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    Kotobuki Rice Cooker
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    This traditional stovetop cooking pot is made from earthenware and is used for cooking plain fluffy rice as well as whole host of Japanese dishes including soups, meat, and vegetables. The pot has an inner lid that creates pressure and steam during cooking. This can cook up to 1 1/2 cups of rice yielding about 4 cups of cooked rice. The pot is attractive enough to use for serving, and should be hand-washed.

  • 06 of 07
    Prep Solutions by Progressive Rice Cooker, 6-Cup Capacity
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    If you don’t want another appliance on the counter, but are looking for an easier way to cook rice, this microwave unit might be perfect. It cooks up to six cups of rice and includes the cooker, locking lid, rice paddle, and measuring cup. It is made from PBA-free plastic and is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.

  • 07 of 07
    Aroma Housewares 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker & Steamer
    Courtesy of Amazon.com.

    If your goal is to cook a lot of rice without a lot of fuss, this 10-cup cooker will make up to 20 cups of cooked rice at one time and it comes with a modest price tag. It has presets for white rice, brown rice, slow cooking, and steaming, and has a delay timer and a keep-warm setting. It includes a measuring cup, rice paddle, and steaming basket. The cooking pot has a nonstick surface and can be washed in the dishwasher.

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