If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of throwing away a pot of rice or having to eat rice that’s too dry or mushy, you’ll appreciate the expert results most rice cookers produce. Not only can a rice cooker ensure perfectly done rice each time, but most have specific functions, such as keep warm or steam release, to help facilitate the process. You’ll find a wide range of brand names, including well-known ones such as Aroma, Zojirushi, and Tiger. There are budget-friendly basic models and ones with all the bells and whistles. If you’re in the market for a new rice cooker, you’ll want to keep the following models in mind.
1. Aroma 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Don’t be fooled by its size, because this rice cooker can hold anywhere from 2 to 8 cups of cooked rice at once. In fact, you can even steam your favorite meat and vegetables as the rice is cooking below. This Aroma rice cooker features a user-friendly design that includes programmable digital controls and functions that include keep warm, white rice, and brown rice. There’s also a 15-hour delay timer, which makes it easy to cook your meals ahead of time. Other highlights include a steam tray, serving spatula, rice measuring cup, and recipes.
Price: $29.92 (73 percent off MSRP)
- 2 to 8 cup capacity
- Steams meat/veggies as rice cooks
- User-friendly design
- Top can be tough to clean
- Initial learning curve
- Takes awhile to reach optimal temperature
2. Black + Decker RC3406 3-Cup Dry/6-Cup Cooked Rice Cooker
The capacity for this budget-friendly rice cooker is roughly 6 cups of cooked rice — or 3 cups of uncooked rice. This unit stands out for its affordable price tag, making it an excellent choice if you’re shopping on a tight budget. Features include stay-cool handles on the lid and sides, ensuring safer serving and maneuvering even when the rice cooker is warm. There are “cook” and “warm” indicator lights to help keep you updated along the way. A tempered glass lid allows for easy visibility, and comes with a steam vent to cook any type of rice to perfection.
Price: $13.88 (44 percent off MSRP)
- Holds up to 6 cups cooked rice
- Glass lid with steam vent
- Rice can stick to bottom
- May sputter during cooking
- No on/off switch
3. Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
You’ll pay a bit more up front for this rice cooker, but its overall performance and features make it a worthwhile investment. For starters, it comes with much more than your basic white and brown rice options. This Zojirushi rice cooker offers white/mixed, brown, sushi, porridge, and quick cooking options. It also has an inner cooking pan for more precise results and measurements. There’s a detachable inner lid along with a large and bright LCD control panel that lets you monitor the cooking process without straining your eyes. Other highlights include a delay timer with two settings, retractable power cord, automatic and extended keep-warm setting, and a reheating cycle.
Price: $139.49 (20 percent off MSRP)
- Cooks multiple types of rice
- Detachable inner lid
- Large, bright LCD panel
- Subpar instruction manual
- Coated material on removable lid can scratch easily
4. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer with Tacook Plate
If you want a no-frills rice cooker that promises to get the job done right, this model is worth a close look. It offers four different cooking menu settings — synchrony-cooking, plain rice, brown rice, and slow cooking. The unique syncro-cooking function, known as tacook, allows you to simultaneously cook your rice and your main meal. There’s even a separate cookbook just for this function. Customers appreciate the user-friendly one push operation along with the nonstick inner pan, which prevents food from sticking and is also easy to clean. The Tiger rice cooker comes with a cooking plate, nonstick spatula, and measuring cup.
Price: $59.99 (39 percent off MSRP)
- Multiple menu settings
- Lets you cook rice and main meal together
- User-friendly operation
- Tough to clean
- Produces large amounts of steam when cooking
- Lid isn’t removable
Find more Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer with Tacook Plate information and reviews here.
5. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
This rice cooker has a simple yet upscale appearance thanks to a stainless steel finish and square modern shape. You can count on this rice cooker to steam and cook your rice to perfection. It can also be used to steam meats and vegetables. The unit automatically switches to keep warm mode once the cooking is done. Aside from a steaming basket it comes with a glass lid, measuring cup, and paddle. Need more room? Check out the Cuisinart CRC-800 8-Cup Rice Cooker.
Price: $44.99 (50 percent off MSRP)
- Brushed stainless steel
- Modern square shape
- Steams rice, meats, and vegetables
- Can boil over when making rice
- Finding the right water ratio can be tricky
- No auto on/off
6. Breville BRC600XL The Risotto Plus Sauteing Slow Rice Cooker and Steamer
A generous 10-cup capacity (uncooked) and 20-cup capacity (cooked) makes this risotto-maker and rice cooker an excellent choice for families and those who want to whip up large batches at once. A handy risotto-making function allows for creamy and delicious risotto in just 40 minutes without the constant stirring. The rice cooker features an aluminum nonstick bowl for easy cleaning and comes with a removable cord for stress-free storage.
Price: $129.95 (35 percent off MSRP)
- Risotto-making function
- 20-cup cooked capacity
- Aluminum nonstick bowl
- Interior pot seems cheaply made
- Some complaints about rice turning out too dry
- Initial learning curve
Find more Breville BRC600XL The Risotto Plus Sauteing Slow Rice Cooker and Steamer information and reviews here.
7. Aroma Simply Stainless 3-Cup(Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker
This Aroma rice cooker holds 3 cups of uncooked rice and up to 6 cups of cooked rice. The capacity drops slightly lower to 2 cups uncooked and 4 cups cooked brown rice. A durable surgical-grade stainless steel material ensures that the cooker will be able to handle higher heats without burning the rice. This no-frills rice cooker appeals to consumers seeking user-friendly operation with its simple one-touch function. If you’re planning your meal ahead of time, you’ll also appreciate the automatic keep warm function, which keeps your rice at an optimal temperature once the cooking process is done. This cooker comes with a measuring cup and spatula.
Price: $37.10 (7 percent off MSRP)
- Holds up to 6 cups cooked rice
- Surgical-grade stainless steel material
- One-touch operation
- Hole in glass lid means leaks and sputters while cooking
- No “off” function
- Steam and water collects on inside of lid
Find more Aroma Simply Stainless 3-Cup(Uncooked) 6-Cup (Cooked) Rice Cooker information and reviews here.
8. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Its price tag is high, but you get what you pay for with this Zojirushi rice cooker. For example, it has a generous 1 liter capacity — or 5 1/2 cups of uncooked rice. Another bonus is advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology. There are several different menu selections, including auto keep warm, extended keep warm, and reheat cycles. A nonstick inner pan ensures uniform and efficient heating. There’s also a brightly lit LCD clock and timer so that you can monitor the cooking process. Aside from two measuring cups, this rice cooker also comes with a rice spoon holder, nonstick rice spoon/scooper, and recipes to help you get started.
Price: $179.29 (30 percent off MSRP)
- 1 liter capacity
- Enhanced cooking technology
- Keep warm and extended keep warm settings
- Doesn’t include a steamer basket
- Not very intuitive
- Only displays remaining cook time at end of cycle
Find more Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer information and reviews here.
9. Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U 5.5-Cup Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer with Tacook Plate
If you’re in the market for a rice cooker with all the bells and whistles — and standout performance to match — this could be the rice cooker for you. Rice is cooked to perfection thanks to induction heating via a microcomputer controlled system. There are four distinct functions to choose from, including rice cooker, slow cooker, bread baking, and syncro-cooking. You will also find 11 distinct computerized cooking menu settings for added versatility. There are also two different sizes to consider, a 5.5 cup unit and a 10 cup one. With a total of five metal layers and three layers of coating, this Tiger rice cooker excels in precisely cooking any type of rice.
Price: $367.00 (41 percent off MSRP)
Buy the Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U 5.5-Cup Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer with Tacook Plate here.
- Induction heating
- Multiple cooking functions
- Comes in 5.5 and 10 cup sizes
- Included cookbook could have better recipes
- Initial learning curve for less common types of rice
Find more Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U 5.5-Cup Induction Heating Rice Cooker and Warmer with Tacook Plate information and reviews here.
10. Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
If you’re looking for a smaller rice cooker that makes the optimal amount of rice for just one or two people, you’ll appreciate this model’s 3 cup capacity. You’ll get a lot of bang for your buck with this rice maker, starting with a handy nonstick aluminum pan for easier cooking and a single step automatic cooking and shutoff operation. There’s also a see-through glass lid, which lets you keep a close watch on your rice as it’s cooking. With 310 watts of power consumption, this unit also stands out for its efficiency. A measuring cup, rice scoop, and instruction manual are included.
Price: $30.99 (6 percent off MSRP)
- 3 cup capacity
- Nonstick aluminum pan
- Automatic shutoff
- Not ideal for brown rice
- Nonstick coating prone to peeling over time
- Rice can occasionally get stuck on the bottom