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The Best Rice Cooker

Last updated on October 16, 2020

We looked at the top 15 Rice Cookers and dug through the reviews from 82 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Kitchen Rated, Top Most Reviews, B4 Best Reviews, Foodie Selections, Quick Easy Cook and more. The result is a ranking of the best Rice Cookers.

Best Rice Cooker

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Our Picks For The Top Rice Cookers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Instant Pot Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

Instant Pot

Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Take

Multiple UsesThanks to its ease of use, this rice cooker allows you to cook rice with the touch of one button.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

COMFEE 5.2-Quart Programmable Rice Cooker

COMFEE

5.2-Quart Programmable Rice Cooker

Overall Take

Non-Stick Inner CoatingThis rice cooker is highly versatile, as it comes with 17 digital cooking programs.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  The Best Value

Instant Pot 8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

Instant Pot

8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

Overall Take

Attractive Stainless SteelThis cooker is lightweight and small in size, so you won't have any trouble storing it in a cabinet, on a countertop or on a utility shelf.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.

Zojirushi  Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-cup

Zojirushi

Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-cup

Overall Take

Induction TechnologyThis rice cooker is a do-it-all machine that's great for families or busy singles.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Kitchen Lola, Kitchen Rated, Foodie Selections, Good Kitchen, The Spruce Eats, Cook Logic and 9 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Best Buy.
Pros
" The problem with most rice cookers is the cleaning. With the Zojirushi rice cooker, the cleaning is made easy by the materials used in its making, which means you simply need to wipe it with a clean cloth and it..."
Cons
"Fan sound could be annoying."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
22

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the rice cookers available to purchase.
15

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

82

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: New York Times Wirecutter, Kitchen Rated, Top Most Reviews, B4 Best Reviews, Foodie Selections.

156,927

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and 4 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 15 Rice Cookers and also dug through the reviews from 82 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Kitchen Rated, Top Most Reviews, B4 Best Reviews, Foodie Selections, Quick Easy Cook and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Rice Cookers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Instant Pot Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

User Summarized Score
9.2
47,238 user reviews
Our Take

In addition to rice, this rice cooker has 14 one-touch smart buttons. Equipped with the latest technology, the rice cooker has a microprocessor that keeps tabs on everything from the cooker's pressure to its temperature. Users are even invited to download an app for free Instant Pot recipes.


The Best Bang For Your Buck

Instant Pot 8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

User Summarized Score
9.2
3,255 user reviews
Our Take

Home chefs will find that this cooker makes white rice, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal at the touch of a button. Thanks to the extra-thick inner pot, this rice cooker is able to provide even heat distribution. The unit is non-stick and all of the included accessories are removable and dishwasher safe for easy clean up.

Overall Product Rankings

Instant Pot Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

1. Instant Pot Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 1

COMFEE 5.2-Quart Programmable Rice Cooker

2. COMFEE 5.2-Quart Programmable Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 1

Instant Pot 8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

3. Instant Pot 8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 9.3
Reviews Included: 1

Zojirushi  Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-cup

4. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-cup

Overall Score: 9.1
Reviews Included: 18

Tiger Corporation Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-Cup

5. Tiger Corporation Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-Cup

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker, 10-Cup

6. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker, 10-Cup

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker, 20-Cup

7. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker, 20-Cup

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 1

Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker, 5 1/2-cup

8. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker, 5 1/2-cup

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 18

Black + Decker RC506 6-Cup Cooked/3-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker

9. Black + Decker RC506 6-Cup Cooked/3-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 10

Oster 6-Cup Rice Cooker with Steamer

10. Oster 6-Cup Rice Cooker with Steamer

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 14

Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

11. Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 9

Proctor Silex Rice Cooker

12. Proctor Silex Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 5

Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker

13. Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) Pot-Style Rice Cooker

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 11

Hamilton Beach Digital Rice Cooker, 8 Cup

14. Hamilton Beach Digital Rice Cooker, 8 Cup

Overall Score: 8.6
Reviews Included: 1

Our Rice Cooker Findings

Instant Pot Duo Electric Pressure Cooker, 6-Quart

What We Liked: In addition to rice, this rice cooker has 14 one-touch smart buttons. Equipped with the latest technology, the rice cooker has a microprocessor that keeps tabs on everything from the cooker’s pressure to its temperature. Users are even invited to download an app for free Instant Pot recipes.

COMFEE 5.2-Quart Programmable Rice Cooker

What We Liked: With this rice cooker, you’ll be able to make rice one day and yogurt the next. It’s also capable of preparing oatmeal, soup, pasta, steamed vegetables and even cake. The user-friendly cooker also has an LED display, a 24-hour delay timer and a host of BPA-free accessories.

Instant Pot 8-Cup Zest Grain & Rice Cooker

What We Liked: Home chefs will find that this cooker makes white rice, brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal at the touch of a button. Thanks to the extra-thick inner pot, this rice cooker is able to provide even heat distribution. The unit is non-stick and all of the included accessories are removable and dishwasher safe for easy clean up.

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-cup

What We Liked: This rice cooker’s induction heating warms your rice and water from all sides. The two-setting delay timer keeps your rice warm and tasty. It wipes clean in seconds and looks great to boot. In our test kitchen, we liked that the water measurement lines were delineated by the type of rice, as well as the digital timer. We also liked the cute jingle that plays when you press the start button.

Tiger Corporation Micom Rice Cooker, 5.5-Cup

What We Liked: While many rice cookers require you cook your main dish using a separate device, this rice cooker comes with a steam basket so you can cook the entire meal at once and in the same machine. In fact, in order to make the best use of the “synchrony-cooking” function, the company supplies a complimentary cookbook. Once your meal is done, all you need to do is remove the inner pot and steam basket and wash them clean.

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

Our Rice Cooker Buying Guide

Rice is one of the largest crops in the world, and it’s one of the most commonly consumed grains. An estimated 3.5 billion people worldwide eat rice as a staple food, and it accounts for roughly 20% of their daily calories. 

Rice, particularly brown rice, has a number of important health benefits. A single serving of brown rice contains plenty of manganese, an essential dietary element that helps your body convert calories into energy. It also aids in your body’s defense against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may increase your risk of cancer and other diseases. 

Brown rice is rich in fiber, which helps you feel fuller for a longer period of time after you’re done eating. It’s also a good source of selenium, a mineral that’s vital to your body’s metabolic and immune systems. 

With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why you’d want to add rice to your daily diet. However, cooking rice on a stovetop is trickier than it looks. It’s easy to burn rice when using this method. The cook time can vary between different types of rice, and you have to keep a careful eye on it as it simmers. Removing the lid on your saucepan to check on the rice allows steam to escape, which can increase the cooking time significantly. 

You don’t have to go through multiple servings of burned or sticky rice to enjoy it as a nutritious carbohydrate. A rice cooker does the tough work for you — and you don’t even have to watch it as you cook.

Rice needs a lot of water and heat to transform from a small, stiff grain to a large, fluffy mouthful. A rice cooker takes care of the entire process in minutes.

Rice cookers are countertop appliances with a highly conductive metal bowl inside. A heating element and temperature sensor sit beneath the bowl. You’ll pour your rice and water into the bowl, then choose the correct setting for temperature and time. 

After you turn on the rice cooker, it starts heating the bowl, which conducts heat into the water and rice. Once the water starts boiling, it’s eliminated in the form of steam and rises from the bowl. This steaming process helps the rice cooker maintain an even temperature. Without the steam, the water at the bottom of the bowl would get too hot for an even cook.

The rice in your cooker begins absorbing some of the water in the bowl at this point. This creates a fluffy texture that comes with a perfectly cooked batch of rice. Once all of the water has either disappeared as steam or been absorbed by the rice, the temperature of the bowl shoots up. 

This sudden temperature increase triggers a mechanism inside the rice cooker to lower or turn off the cooker’s heat. Once the rice is done cooking, the cooker will either shut off or keep your rice warm until you’re ready to serve it. 

When you’re deciding on a model of rice cooker to buy, consider first how often you cook rice and in what quantities.

“If you aren’t making rice frequently, this will be just another one-function gadget taking up space in your kitchen cabinet or lingering in storage,” explains our resident kitchen expert Julie Chernoff, a food journalist, dining editor of Better magazine and member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. “If your family does eat rice frequently, this can be one of the most-used gadgets in  your kitchen arsenal.”

She suggests looking for features that make a rice cooker easy to use.

“You want a non-stick interior, an easy-to-clean exterior, a reasonably long electrical cord and a ‘keep warm’ function,” Chernoff says. “Bonus points if you can throw in water and rice in the morning, set the timer, and return to perfect rice when you return in the evening. Ease of use is something to consider, as is price.”

Do you already have an Instant Pot or other multi-function cooker? Remember that your rice cooker will take up extra space; there’s no need to double up if you already own something that cooks rice well.

DWYM Fun Fact

Rice can serve as a base starch for hundreds of dishes, and it’s great at soaking up sauces and marinades. Since it’s used to make other components of a meal stand out, it’s easy to forget that rice is tasty and fascinating on its own. However, rice does get one day a year to toot its own horn — April 19 is Rice Ball Day.

Rice Balls, or O-nigiri, are inexpensive and tasty Japanese treats. They’re made from boiled white rice that’s formed into a three-dimensional triangle or ball, then wrapped in seaweed. Rice balls are usually filled with salty, sour or pickled fish. Vegetarians can enjoy rice balls with salted plum or mustard plants, while adventurous diners can try squid-filled O-nigiri.

The Rice Cooker Tips and Advice

  • Rice cookers are the most convenient way to make a delicious meal, but they can be tough to clean. Before you buy, look at what materials are used in the cooker. Bowls with a non-stick coating will wipe clean in a blink. Meanwhile, features like detachable lids make it easier to wash every nook and cranny. 
  • Make sure that your rice cooker is dishwasher-safe before you toss it in on that high-heat setting. Cookware with a nonstick coating should never be placed in the dishwasher, and the electric components of your cooker need to stay nice and dry. To be on the safe side, wipe down the outside of the cooker, the lid and the bowl inside the cooker with gentle dishwashing liquid. Rinse them clean, then allow them to air dry completely before using your rice cooker again. 
  • The classic rice cooker design uses a heating component under the bowl to boil your water. However, some cookers use more advanced heating technology. Rice cookers with induction heating will evenly warm the water from all sides, including the lid. Induction heating allows your rice cooker to make more precise heating adjustments for a perfect cook on your rice every time. 
  • There are dozens of different types of rice, and they all require different preparation times and different amounts of water. Long-grain white rice fluffs up pretty quickly, but you do have to spend a few minutes rinsing it through a strainer before you pop it in the rice cooker. You’ll use just under two cups of water to cook it. Fragrant jasmine rice only takes 20-25 minutes to cook, while medium and long-grain brown rice strains can take up to an hour to finish cooking. Double-check what kind of rice you have and research its cook time before you fire up your rice cooker. 
  • Cook times can also vary from model to model. If you don’t have much time to spend in the kitchen, compare the estimated cook times on each model and go for the fastest rice cooker you can find.
  • Most rice cookers are fairly small, but cookers with extra features might take up a little more room on your counter. That won’t matter if you’ve got a large kitchen with plenty of storage space, but you’ll want to measure your available space carefully if you’ve got a smaller countertop. Space-saving traits like retractable power cords are also helpful. 
  • You’ll also want to figure out the exact spot on your counter where you’ll be using your cooker. If it’s not next to a power outlet, make sure that the cooker’s cord is long enough to reach one without using an extension cord.
  • Traditional rice cookers use analog dials and buttons, but newer models often have digital displays and controls. You can make very precise temperature adjustments with digital controls, and digital displays are easier to read. Digital models tend to cost a bit more, but they’re worth it if those features are important to you. 
  • Using a rice cooker is generally safer than cooking rice on your stovetop, but it’s still an electrical appliance. Look for an auto-shutoff feature or timed warming cycles on your rice cooker — those will help prevent the unit from overheating and reduce the risk of fires. 
  • Your rice cooker won’t be very convenient if you have to keep loading it to cook the amount of rice you need. Check each rice cooker’s capacity before you buy to make sure it’s large enough for you and your family.
  • Some rice cookers go well beyond their name. Examine each cooker’s product description to see if they come with accessories like steamer baskets. This adds to the value of your rice cooker, and it makes it really easy to whip up a healthy meal in minutes. Some models can even make soups, stews and desserts.
  • Most rice cookers are relatively soundless, but some models are noisy during the steaming process or make loud “thump” sounds when the cook cycle is complete. Think about how much sound you’re willing to put up with before you pick your rice cooker.
  • If looks are important to you, pay careful attention to each rice cooker’s color and style before you choose one for your kitchen. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, from futuristic stainless steel to cheery, colorful pot-style cookers. 
  • Rice cookers are handy, but they’ll still add to the amount of electricity you use on a daily basis. Look for energy-efficient models to cook a little greener.

About The Author

Abby Stassen
Abby Stassen 

Abby Stassen has a bachelor's degree in English language & literature from the University of Michigan. She's been writing professionally for over a decade. Food is medicine, and if you've got the right tools you can have fun creating delicious medicine every day. Abby loves cooking, and she only uses kitchen products that meet her exacting standards. Whether it's air fryers, electric steamers or the perfect set of cutlery, Abby knows which kitchen products deserve an online mention.