If you are looking for a rice cooker then you probably love rice like me, or at least I’m assuming you do. My own quest for finding a good rice cooker has lead all over and throughout this journey I have read and learned a heck of a lot. Because of this I decided to take the time to write up this of the best rice cookers of 2018.
Whether you are a serious rice enthusiast who eats this delicious grain multiple times per day or you just want a rice cooker for the rice meal you plan on making once a month, this list is for you.
Don’t Know What to Look for? I’ll Help You Choose
The first thing that you need to know, and that I’m assuming you already know since you are reading this, is that not all rice cookers are created equally. Cooking rice is not as easy as it may seem. Although it is one of the easier dishes to whip up in the kitchen, it takes skill to really make some good quality rice. And as you can imagine… it takes a good rice cooker to make some really good quality rice.
There are many things you have to consider when choosing a rice cooker. Besides the obvious, such as how much a rice cooker costs and how much rice it can cook, there are things that you might not think of right away, for example the cooking timer technology or the heating method used that help to ensure a perfect cook.
In this list I’ll be going over what I consider to be the 10 best rice cookers on the market right now. Some important features that I’ll be taking a close look at include the following…
To start off the list I have several of the more basic rice cookers out there that are well worth looking at. Then I’ll go over a few of the “do-it-all” rice cookers that can do a lot more than just cook rice. Lastly I’ll go over the rice cookers that bring quality cooked rice to an entire new level.
Starting off the list at #10 I bring to you ….
Basic Rice Cookers
This digital rice cooker by Aroma is best suited for someone that is looking for an easy way to cook decent rice. Its far from the best quality rice cooker out there but it gets the job done and its very affordable.
This ARC-914SBD model comes in a nice shiny stainless steal exterior with digital cook setting buttons. It recommended capacity is 2-8 cups of cooked rice, which make it a good choice for a small family or someone that is just going to be cooking for themselves. Along with it being on the medium/small side, it has a convenient handle on top that makes it very easy to move about.
With different cook settings, this cooker is suitable for cooking brown and white rice. It also has a “flash cook” function which is good for cooking rice at a faster speed or for cooking tougher grains. And if you want to make a complete meal there is a handy little steamer tray that you can place over top of your rice to steam veggies/meats inside the pot along with it. The delay timer is also something worth mentioning. You can set the delay up to 15 hours so that you can perfectly time a meal from much earlier in the day.
When it comes to the quality of the cooking there is more to be desired, as you can imagine…. but I guess you get what you pay for right? There are number of complaints on Amazon.com about rice not cooking thoroughly and it just being too difficult to cook the perfect rice.
As far as cleaning goes its pretty good. The pot has a non-stick Teflon coating and there is a removable lid. However, rice & rice juice tends to get in hard to clean areas as this sometimes leak/bubble out as its cooking.
All in all this model is good for the price you pay. It is low in price but comes with its fare share of complaints ranging from durability issues, to not fully cooking rice, to being difficult to clean and more. If you are looking for a good rice cooker that will last you years to come then you are going to want to avoid this one.
This Tiger rice cooker is great for someone that is looking for something that will last a long time but aren’t needing anything fancy. Its has a very basic design with one simple button that you click down to cook, which then flips up to warm automatically after the cooking is complete. With a retractable cord, there really isn’t much too this thing if you were to see it sitting on the counter.
But if you are looking for quality and simplicity then this might be the one for you. Just don’t expect to just through in any kind of rice and have it cooked to perfection. It is not equipped with fuzzy logic technology or anything like that. This one does have its limitations.
However, durability is not one of its limitations. Durability is something that is a staple to this cooker and the entire Tiger brand. Its built firm and solid, with quality material. Everything from the outer to the inner is build to last and should do so for years to come.
Customer reviews for this cooker are very good. Its a bit pricier than most of your basic rice cookers out there but the way I see it you are paying for the quality and durability that the Tiger JNP-S10U brings. Personally I think its a great choice for someone that is looking for a simple rice cooker that is built to last.
The Zojirushi NSRNC10FZ is made by Zojirushi, which is a Japanese brand that is well known in the world of rice cookers as producing quality products.
This NSRNC10FZ model is one of its most basic and lowest priced models. You have all the basics that you absolutely need in a rice cooker, but not much more. With this cooker you only have one switch to touch… just push it down and the rice will cook after which it will keep it warm.
Of course this cooker comes with the necessary non-stick coating on its pot, a detachable lid for easy cleaning, a condensation collector so that when you open the lid water doesn’t drip everywhere.. and so on. The retractable cord is something nice that I believe all Zojirushi’s have, along with the Tiger rice cooker (above), which allows for less clutter on your counter when you are not using it.
All in all this cooker is great if you are looking for something durable that will last, but you aren’t in need or rice cooked to absolute perfection. This model has your typical flat-heater, as do the other basic cookers I went over above, so its not going to give you great rice… but it will give you good rice. I’ll be going over some of the more top-notch rice cookers soon.
“Do It All” Rice Cookers
The Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 is one heck of an amazing invention. This cooker’s claim to fame is that it does just about everything. Out of this single cooker comes 9 different uses including: rice cooker, slow cooker, steamer, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, egg cooker, warmer, sterilizer, and cake cooker! So while the price is on the higher side, if you consider all the other appliances it could replace… its a good deal.
Durability is nothing to worry about with this one. It has a nice solid design with the common stainless steel outer. The cooking pot is excellent. With a 3 ply bottom, its made from food grade stainless steel and has to be good because of the pressure cooking feature. And don’t worry about safety. This fine piece of cooking excellence comes with 10 different safety features in place to avoid all potential harm.
When I first came across this model I was pleasantly surprised by the reviews. You would expect the quality of cooked rice that it produces to decrease because it isn’t entirely focused on rice cooking, however, it does a pretty good job with just about everything. You can get quality cooked rice, perfectly cooked eggs, and even slow cooked ribs in this thing.
If you are looking for a rice cooker that can do it all then this is probably your best bet. The rice cooked in the Instant Pot Duo 6 Plus won’t be quite as good as that of the Zojirushi NS-TSC (went over above), but it does a good job overall. This 9 in 1 pot is lives up to its name and owners of it really seem to love it. There have been several reviews I’ve seen that were buyers have received defective ones that don’t seal properly, but with the thousands of reviews out there this is bound to happen.
Besides cooking just about everything, another feature that caught my eye with this one is that it does not release steam when cooking. This means it can give you a nice, and almost unnoticeable cooking experience.
If the Instant Pot DUA is a bit too pricey for you then the Mueller 10-in-1 Pro Series rice cooker is an excellent alternative. The main difference I see between the two is the price.
Mueller is an Austrian brand but this cooker is made in Germany, which would probably make you think that its good quality. And if you would think this you would be right.
This model is a great choice for you if you are looking to save time, money, & counter space. It has and abundance of functions while means you don’t need all the appliances you normally world, with its pressure cooking capability it can save you a bunch of time when cooking, and like I said… its less expensive than the Instant Pot.
With 18 different pre-calculated cooking settings and it performing 10 different functions, the Meuller 10-in-1 Pro Series cooker does it all. Whether you are looking pressure cook some rice, bake a cake, steam vegetables, cook some eggs or make soup, this cooker has you covered. Its microprocessor chip senses whats going on and is able to adjust heat & pressure accordingly. It is also equipped with something called “ThermaV” technology which applies more evenly for a more thorough cooking experience.
Since a pressure cooking is one of its many capabilities you can bet it is durable and well made, with a high quality 3 ply stainless steel pot. And like the Instant Pot DUO (above), it is well equipped with safety features.
Top-Notch Rice Cookers
The Zojirushi NS-TSC is a great addition to this Japanese brand’s lineup of rice cookers. It has a somewhat strange design compared to your typical rice cooker but don’t let that fool you.
This model is great for cooking family sized meals of perfectly cooked rice. Being available in both 1 Liter and 1.8 Liter sizes, which can cook from around 10 – 20 cups of rice, you can get a size that is a good fit for your household.
Some of the nice exterior features of this cooker include a sleek stainless steel outer, a flip down handle for easy carrying, a retractable cord, and a digital timer that allows you to see the cooking time. But the inside is what matters most right? And this isn’t lacking at all. With fuzzy logic technology it can adjust the heat and timing according to what you are cooking… without you doing a thing. It does this on top of the pre-programmed cooking settings that it already has available on the button menu.
The delayed timer and extended keep warm + reheating cycle make this one of the better choices for someone cooking on a busy schedule.
The overall rating of this cooker is very good. Durability is great, the rice cooking is excellent (and you can cook a variety of meals including everything from rice to beans to cakes…yes cakes), cleaning the unit is simple, and out of the 1,000+ reviews on Amazon there really isn’t any major downside to it.
The Panasonic One Touch SR-DF101 is one of the most affordable rice cookers on the market that is equipped with fuzzy logic technology. While the durability of this products is somewhat questionable, it is nonetheless a good choice if you are looking for perfectly cooked rice but don’t want to spend too much on a rice cooker.
This cooker is available in two sizes, that with a 5 cup (uncooked) rice capacity and one with a 10 cup capacity, making it the right size for a small or medium sized family. Its basic, smooth design along with the fact that it has a detachable cord allow it to look nice & neat on any counter top.
There really isn’t all that much to this Panasonic cooker. It’s fairly basic with only 4 pre-programmed cook settings and does not have a LED display or timer that you can read. The fuzzy logic technology is this product’s famed feature.
The durability is questionable, as I mentioned. Overall customer reviews for this cooker were good but I do have concerns about its durability. There were multiple reviews that I came across on Amazon from customers complaining about pieces cracking or breaking, such as the lid. This is somewhat expected in my opinion. Its a low priced rice cooker that has fuzzy logic technology… this means something has to be lacking right?
The Zojirushi NS-ZCC is similar to its brother model, the NS-TSC, that I just went over. It is yet another great choice for those looking to spend a bit of extra money to get perfectly cooked rice every time. One of the main differences this one brings is its appearance. With a rounded smooth shape this model might be more appealing depending on your taste.
Other than looking great it also performs great. This cooker also comes equipped with fuzzy logic technology which means you can cook many different things and it will do the guesswork of how long to cook and what heat levels to use. There is talk that this model actually has additional heat sensors compared to the previous model, which would mean even more perfectly cooked rice, but I can’t verify this 100%.
One slight advantage this one has is its cooking pot. Because of the rounded shape of the cooker, the bottom of the pot has a spherical shape to it, which allows for better heat distribution and better cooking. The pot also has cool-touch handles which means that you can take it right out after cooking to serve it.
Reviews for the Zojirushi NS-ZCC are great as expected. Overall I would give the edge to this model but not by all that much.
Cuckoo, is a Korean brand and like Zojirushi it is very well known for bringing quality rice cookers to the market. This particular model is on the cheaper side but it still good quality, which is why it made the list.
It comes with 8 different pre-programmed cooking functions and uses the famous fuzzy logic technology (I think all Cuckoo’s do) which of course means that you can cook a variety of different rices and foods with little effort.
One feature that I found interesting is that it has an auto-cleaning setting that uses steam to clean the inner pot and lid. This could be useful if you don’t clean the rice out right away and it begins to dry and become hard, in turn making it difficult to clean.
Other than that everything else seems pretty good…. no complaints about it being difficult to clean, not cooking rice thoroughly, etc. Durability is somewhat of a concern though. This is one of their cheaper models as I mentioned so this comes with the territory.
Due to the size and price of this this Cuckoo model I would say its best suited for an individual or small family that is on a budget but isn’t willing to sacrifice cooked rice quality.
If you are looking for a top of the line rice cooker then this is definitely worth considering. I will warn you that it is rather expensive though.
The Cuckoo CRP-HY1083F model is part of the “Black Pebble” series of Cuckoo’s, as you can tell by its rounded shape and shiny black appearance. It has a look that gives it somewhat of a modern style appeal. Yes I know it looks like an alarm clock but I assure you this is a fully functional rice cooking beast.
When it comes to the rice cooking it doesn’t get any better. This model combines fuzzy logic technology, pressure cooking, and induction heating all in one. This is the first cooker I’ve talked about with induction heating (IH) and basically what you need to know here is that this heating method leads to a more evenly distributed cook. With the fuzzy logic technology you are pretty much assured that the the timing and heating will be set accordingly and with the pressurized cooking you are able to cook things faster and foods that you normally wouldn’t be able to. In fact, I was reading through reviews of this product and found that some people use it to make mashed potatoes.
As if the cooking potential isn’t enough, this Cuckoo has voice controls for easier operation. It can be set to English or Korean. I can’t imagine why you (or anyone) wouldn’t love this feature.
Just about everything with this model is designed to perfection…which you can tell by the price. But hey… if you are want the best quality rice you get what you pay for. The reviews on Amazon reflect how good this cooker really is.
There are so many different options on the market and many people don’t even realize it. There is much more than just was is at your local Walmart, and if you want a good fit for you and your lifestyle you need to do some looking around.
Of course I always suggest doing some of your own research but the list I compiled above can serve as guidance. When it comes to doing research, comparing prices, overall selection, and lowest prices for rice cookers, there is no better option than Amazon.com.
Anyways… I hope you enjoyed this and before you go make sure to share this if you did and leave a comment below if you have any questions, comments or concerns 🙂
Kyle is an avid health enthusiast that believes in nature as a cure-all. When he's not drinking spirulina smoothies or dealing with the horrible aftertaste of stevia, he is probably working out, researching healthy herbs, or dealing with hand cramps he gets from writing articles like this.