Best rice cookers for 2021 Rice, rice, baby.

It may sound a bit strange, but rice is my favorite food. It’s comforting, inexpensive, and the perfect complement to any protein I want to cook. But there’s a reason why sushi chef’s apprentices can spend years learning how to make rice. It’s hard to perfect. enter the rice cooker, a clever little Countertop Appliances It whips up perfectly fluffy rice with no work other than pouring rice and water into a bowl – and it can cook many other dishes, too. Rice Pudding for Ribs. While cooking rice on the stove is easy enough, with an electric rice cooker, you’ll get the perfect texture and fluffy deliciousness in very little time.

But with so many options on the market, from $20 to $200 or more, how do you know which rice cooker is the best to buy? I tested 12 of the most popular options to find the best rice cooker. I will update this list from time to time as new models become available.

How we tested to find the best rice cooker

I tested 12 rice cookers simultaneously, each cooking 1 measuring cup white rice and 1 cup brown rice, following different directions and using each device’s standard settings for both. Almost every appliance recommended steaming the rice for an additional 15 minutes after it was done cooking, and I allowed that time for each.

I puffed and tasted the rice from each cooker at the 15-minute mark (which, in addition to the cook time, ranged from 28 to 56 minutes), and then again after about an hour on the “hot” setting.

Because some people like their cooked rice to have a slightly different level of moisture, I focused on problem In the output of each rice cooker, whether it be inconsistency in cooking, any uncooked rice, kernels that had not been cooked or those that had lost their distinction and had become mushy.

rest of the field

The 12 rice cookers I tested fell into three loose categories: small, affordable appliances, mid-range multicookers and specialty, high-end rice cookers.

Every Small Rice Cooker I Tested, Like $19 emusa 3-cup and $21 Black & Decker 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker – With My Favorite Bunch Oster – Offered nice, small servings of white rice. However, both Emusa and Black & Decker struggled a bit more with brown rice and mixed rice.

$30 8-Cup Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker Seems like a good deal for the size, but its rice was inconsistent, with severely undercooked, dry rice squares. 3-Cup Substitute of Zojirushi Also disappointed with rice that was too wet and slightly cracked, losing the distinction of well-cooked white rice.

Cuisinart’s 4-Cup and Black & Decker’s 7-Cup The rice cookers were my least favorite because they were both so messy. Cuisinart boiled over whenever I used this traditional rice cooker and Black & Decker’s larger model leaked onto my counter, requiring significant cleanup.


When it came to midrange multicookers, I found the cook times to be slow and the results consistently a little off: An 8-Cup Aroma Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, Instant Pot’s Zest Cooker And a 5-Cup Panasonic All excited me with the different functions available on their interfaces, but all three produced overcooked, slightly pulpy rice, possibly due to the slow cooking.

Finally, High End, Specialty Rice Cooker Tiger and ZOJIRUSHI Both were impressive, as I mentioned above. It’s clear that these devices are carefully calibrated, and the Zojirushi also offers a little bit of personalization in how you want to cook your white rice, which was a welcome addition to my wife and I, as our preferences are a bit different. Huh.

Which Rice Cooker is Right for Whom You?

If you love rice, but it’s not a staple of your diet, I wouldn’t recommend buying a rice cooker. Cooking rice isn’t difficult, and you can get great results with good technique in a pot of boiling water. That said, if you eat a lot of rice, the cooker can actually streamline the cooking process and preparation, allowing you to focus on the other elements of the meal.

I was surprised by the range of performance of all the devices I tested, and was clearly disappointed in some of them. But if you choose any of my top three, whether for the price, the size of the cooking pot (large families can eat a lot of rice) or simply because you want the best rice you can get every time , you should be completely satisfied.

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