Cooking rice might seem easy, but many of us struggle with getting it right. A rice cooker removes the hard work, giving you perfectly moist and flavorful rice every time and avoiding charred rice on your stove.
But which rice cooker is best for you? Today’s top rice cookers come with steam baskets, timers, and other features — here are the best rice cookers for 2020.
If you’re looking for something different, check out our picks for the best pressure cookers.
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
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 a 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 you’d find in slightly more expensive models, such as button controls for different types of rice, but for around $20, this rice cooker is hard to beat.
Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity
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. 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.
Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Cooker
A rice cooker at this price better have some nice features, 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 an 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 Rice 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.
Gourmia GRC970 11-in-1 Digital 20-Cup Rice Cooker
The Gourmia GRC970 11-in-1 Digital 20-Cup Rice Cooker is another appliance that does a lot more than cook rice. You can make creamy risotto, steamed fish or veggies, a small whole chicken, a batch of chili, or a variety of different one-pot meals. You can even make yogurt in this device.
The primary purpose of the GRC970 is cooking rice, and it does that admirably. But, it also has multiple button controls, including steam, slow cook, crispy, white rice, brown rice, quick rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and yogurt. It has an exceptionally large 20-cup capacity and a non-stick rice pot, so you can make large batches of rice at a time. It comes with a clear lid, measuring cup, spatula, and steam tray so you have the accessories you need to prepare rice or other recipes.
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 device take care of the rest.
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD Rice Grain Cooker and Food Steamer
Another affordable option by Aroma Housewares, this digital rice cooker cooks up to eights cups of cooked rice. It comes with a nonstick inner pot, a rice paddle, a rice measuring cup, and a steamer tray so you can make veggies and other foods in addition to just rice. Plus, there are included presets for brown and white rice, so your rice comes out just right.
We like this model because of the excellent price (and rice), sure. But we also appreciate that it’s super easy to use. Plus, it doesn’t take up too much space in the kitchen (you can store it in a cabinet), so it’s ideal for small spaces. The Aroma Housewares rice cooker also has that ever-so-useful delay-start timer that you can set up to 15 hours in advance.
miAroma MRC-903 Mini Cooker
Here’s another impressive rice cooking device from the Aroma Housewares catalog. The MRC-903 is the perfect compact option for quick one-plate meals or dinner for two. It operates cool to the touch, and single-button operation makes it a breeze to start cooking. Don’t be fooled by its size, either — this mini cooker can cook up to 3 full cups of food. You can make your favorite rice, quinoa, pasta dishes, and even meat-loaded breakfast omelets. And when you finish using it, this diminutive cooker can stow away in a cabinet with ease.
The Keep Warm mode continues to heat finished food for up to 12 hours — no burning — so your rice or other foods are always the perfect temperatures. The non-stick inner pot is a breeze to clean, and it’s also dishwasher safe to make quick work of the cleanup. Overall, the miAroma is an ideal mini cooker for budget shoppers or those that want a back-to-basics rice cooker without all the bells and whistles.
Choosing the best rice cooker for your needs means knowing what (and how) you operate. But you can’t go wrong with one of our top choices — even if you’re cooking dishes other than rice.
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