The best rice cookers for every budget

Say goodbye to instant rice: Five rice cookers that do it right

Why buy a rice cooker when you can make instant rice with minimal effort in just a few minutes, or just cook rice in a saucepan? Well, there are a couple of reasons.

First, instant rice is more expensive. While this might not seem like a big deal for a single meal, if you eat rice on a daily basis, the cost difference will quickly add up. Second, using a rice cooker instead of instant rice or a saucepan means improved taste and texture. There’s simply no comparing the deliciousness of a freshly prepared bowl of piping hot rice. And finally, using a rice cooker is a hassle-free and convenient way to guarantee delicious rice every single time, thanks to the set-it-and-forget-it nature of this kitchen appliance.

If you’re looking for your first rice cooker, or are ready to upgrade from your old pot, here are some appliances that you should consider.

Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer ($17+)

aroma-rice-cooker

Aroma Housewares makes a wide-range of rice cookers, and just about all of them could have been included on this list. We chose the Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker because it’s easy to operate, it’s sold at an unbeatable price, and it has decent cooking capacity.

Appliances don’t get much easier than this offering from Aroma. Simply add rice and water, flip the switch, and the rice cooker will take care of the rest. The Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker will even automatically switch to “warm” mode when your rice is done, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking your rice.

This product is missing some features, such as a sauté function, but for $17 this rice cooker is hard to beat.

Amazon

Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity ($51)

hamilton-beach-digital-simplicity-thumb

While it’s amazingly simple to cook perfect rice with almost any rice cooker — simply add your ingredients, select your cooking mode, and let the appliance do the rest — the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker earned its inclusion on this list thanks to two key features: a delay start timer and an included steaming basket.

The Delay Start Timer allows you to set up your meal up to 15 hours early. This means that you can get everything prepped before you head to work, set your start timer for the end of your workday, and by the time you get home you’ll have a freshly prepared meal. Digital timers are a common feature on rice cookers, but it’s not something that’s included on many appliances in this price range. This Rice Cooker also doubles as a steamer. Rice cookers create a lot of steam, and the Hamilton Beach doesn’t let any of it go to waste. With the included steaming tray, you can steam vegetables, meat, or other sides at the same time that you cook your rice.

Amazon

Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Cooker ($399)

zojirushi-np-nvc10-induction-heating-pressure-cooker-rice

A $400 rice cooker better have some nice features to justify its price, right? Well, how about artificial intelligence that learns from past cooking experiences and takes things like room and water temperature into account? Or how about heat induction technology that drives heat into your food from all angles, ensuring an even cook? Or what about a separate “scorched” setting to create a layer of crispy rice? What about a umami cooking setting that extracts more sugar out of the rice to create a sweeter dish?

Those are just a few of the features that make the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Cooker one of the most impressive rice cooking appliances on the market. While the price tag may keep some shoppers away, this product is certainly worth it for serious chefs who are only satisfied with the very best rice.

Amazon

Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker ($100)

instant-pot-7-in-1-multi-functional-pressure-cooker-thumb

The Zojirushi rice cooker may be impressive, but its price tag may put it out of reach for most home cooks. While the Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles of the Zojirushi, it is a pretty versatile appliance, and it’s listed at a much more affordable price. This product can cook a great bowl of rice, but it can also be used as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, and even a yogurt maker. Of course, the two most useful features for rice eaters are the steaming and sauté functions.

The Instant Pot also boasts several convenient features, such as a 24-hour delayed start timer and an automatic “keep warm” function. Read our full review.

Amazon

T-Fal 10-in-1 Rice and Multicooker ($73)

te28091fal-10-in-1-multi-cooker_3638-800x533-c

The T-Fal 10-in-1 Rice and Multicooker is another appliance that does a lot more than cook rice. You can make creamy risotto, hearty stews, yogurts, and even bake desserts with this device. Of course, its main purpose is cooking rice, and it does that admirably. The T-Fal has the same technology found in more expensive models, which allows this cooker to automatically adjust its temperature and cooking time in order to make a consistently great bowl of rice every time.

While this appliance can cook everything from breakfast to dinner to dessert, it’s still amazingly simple to operate. Add your ingredients, choose your cooking method, and let the T-Fal 10-in-1 take care of the rest. You can also use the 24-hour delay start timer to prepare your meals up to a day in advance. Read our full review.

Amazon

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

This Silicon Valley studio rents for $1,500 per month — to 2 cats

A man in San Jose, California, rents a studio apartment for $1,500 per month for a very important reason: So his daughter's two cats have a place to call their own. It may be the swankiest cat pad on the West Coast.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Roomba robot vacuums by up to $150

Amazon is offering discounts on iRobot Roombas and other robot vacuums to help you get a leg-up on those chores. We've rounded up the best deals available now and put them all in one place.
Smart Home

Speed up cooking with one of the best pressure cookers on the market

Not all pressure cookers are created equally. You have to choose between stovetop cookers, multicookers, canners, and even microwave cookers. Our pressure cooking buyer's guide includes our picks for the best in each category.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Smart Home

This just in: Alexa can now deliver the news like a professional newscaster

The Amazon Alexa team has given Alexa a newscaster voice that improves the way she delivers the news and reads Wikipedia articles, making the smart assistant easier to understand.
Health & Fitness

In search of the fountain of youth, beauty companies turn to tech

Beauty tech is a fairly new concept, but at CES 2019, companies such as Olay, L’Oreal, and Neutrogena were fully embracing it with all kinds of gadgets that promise to give you glowing skin.
Product Review

Ring Video Doorbell 2 is the simplest entry into a smarter doorway

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 may lack the style and sophistication of premium door-dingers, but few can match its simplicity and versatility. The device, available in both wired and wireless configurations, is easy to set up and adds instant…
Smart Home

Ring security camera catches man licking the doorbell for hours

A family in Salinas, California had their Ring camera capture something pretty unexpected: a man licking the doorbell outside of their home for more than three hours. The incident took place around 5:00 a.m.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…
Smart Home

Airbnb says sorry to guest for how it dealt with undisclosed security camera

An Airbnb guest recently found a surveillance camera in his rental apartment that hadn't been properly disclosed in the listing. The firm admits its initial response to the guest's complaint was poor, but has since made amends.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

The best smart locks turn your phone into a key

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.