Best rice cooker: 6 great models compared

BEST OVERALL
Sale 30%
Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 rice cooker, in our opinion, is the best rice cooker on the market. Its 'Fuzzy Logic Technology' lets the device make judgment calls for perfectly cooked rice. It is chocked full of settings and ideas that make cooking rice foolproof.

Though perfect rice does come at a cost, the NS-ZCC10 has a high price point, and it looks dated with an odd appearance and 'retro' sounds.

BEST VALUE
Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker

If you’re looking for an affordable rice cooker that can serve massive amounts of rice, take a look at the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Digital Rice Cooker.

It has a modern design, is simple to use, and has tons of features. Though not all of them are perfect, and the appliance can be a challenge to clean.

Why is it so difficult to cook rice?

On the face of it, cooking a single ingredient in hot water for a certain length of time sounds like one of the easiest recipes in the world. However, specific nuances make cooking rice a challenging task that, for most people, ends with either burnt rice or an unappetizing and unappealing gloopy mess.

That’s where rice cookers can save the day.

A good rice cooker will remove all the guesswork and automate the process to produce perfect fluffy rice every single time. These simple-to-use kitchen appliances take the stress out of mealtimes. Anyone with a heavy rice-based diet should consider buying a rice cooker, but with so many on the market, which one should you choose?

Here are six of our favorite rice cookers to help you decide. 

1. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker (NS-ZCC10)

BEST RICE COOKER
Sale 30%
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, Premium White, 1.0-Liter
  • 5-1/2-cup computerized rice cooker and warmer with advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology. Wall mountable
  • Multi-menu selections; automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycles. Electrical Rating - 120 volts / 680 watts
  • Spherical, nonstick inner pan allows for uniform heating; LCD clock and timer; retractable cord

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13 x 8.13 x 10.13 inches
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Appliance Weight: 3lbs
  • Capacity: 5.5 Cups (Uncooked) / 11 Cups (Cooked)
  • Available Colors: White

Things To Love

  • Unrivaled Performance: There is no other appliance on the market that performs as does the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 rice cooker.
  • Neuro Fuzzy Logic Technology: With its origins in complex mathematical theory, ‘Fuzzy Logic Technology’ is a dynamic system that will cook your rice until it’s ready without sticking to a rigid time and temperature parameters the way a regular machine might. 
  • Spherical Non-Stick Pan: This specially designed pan was produced to ensure an even and consistent heat throughout the rice, without the contents sticking to the bottom. This pan is marked with clearly visible lines so you can quickly and precisely add water. 
  • Made In Japan: Rice is taken very seriously in Japan, and as a result, they produce some of the best rice cookers on the market. Their appliances make the most beautifully consistent rice and usually have a bunch of other features to complement their devices.
  • Multiple Settings: The Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 gives you the ability to cook different kinds of rice and grains with pre-programmed settings, such as white rice, brown rice, sweet, semi, and a ‘keep warm’ feature.

What’s Not To Like?

  • High Price Point: If you only plan on using this appliance once a week, the high price point of the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 rice cooker might this cooker seem like a costly luxury.
  • Looks Dated: The overall appearance of the Neuro Fuzzy looks very dated when compared to similar rice cookers, and despite its outstanding performance may look out of place in modern, contemporary kitchens. Even the devices beeps and tones are straight out the 80s.

Final Remarks

The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 rice cooker can ‘think for itself’ so you will have perfectly cooked rice every time. This appliance is so chocked full of features and innovative designs that we cannot list everything that makes this rice cooker so great. The Neuro Fuzzy is well-deserving of the title ‘Best Overall Rice Cooker.’ 

Overall Score: 17/20

2. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker (ARC-150SB)

BEST VALUE RICE COOKER
Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (10 cup uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Food Steamer, SS Exterior (ARC-150SB),Black
  • Multi-functional use – whether you are in the mood for a hearty jambalaya, steamed veggies and rice, or even a fluffy cake (Yes, cake!) you can accomplish it all with Your arc-150sb cooker. The possibilities are as creative as you are.
  • Nutritious & delicious – the built-in steamer function allows for nutrient-rich meals to be prepared above while rice, Soup, or any other meal addition cooks below, allowing you to save time without sacrificing quality. This Multicooker not only includes all of your favorite cooking options, but also possesses the unique options of slow cook and saute-then-simmer STS, making meals rich, tasty, and a guaranteed family favorite.
  • Capacity & Dimensions – The arc-150sb has a 20-cup cooked capacity yielding anywhere from 4 to 20 cups of cooked rice and measures 11.1" X 11.2" X 10.8". Power Consumption- 120V/60Hz 860W

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.13 x 11.25 x 10.75 inches
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Appliance Weight: 6.5lbs
  • Capacity: 10 Cups (Uncooked) / 20 Cups (Cooked)
  • Available Colors: Black/Stainless Steel

Things To Love

  • Massive Capacity: The Aroma Housewares (ARC-150SB) Digital Rice Cooker has an enormous 10-cup capacity to cook rice for even the largest families. 
  • Reasonable Price Point: While not the cheapest rice cooker on the market, the ARC-150SB is affordable enough to be accessible to most households.
  • Contemporary Appearance: Unlike the Neuro Fuzzy, this Aroma Housewares rice cooker has an attractive appearance that is more suited to modern Western kitchens.
  • Secondary Functions: This appliance is primarily a rice cooker; however, it can also be used as a steamer or slow cooker giving it a lot more versatility in the kitchen.
  • Set & Forget: With user-friendly programming, you can use the simple control panel to begin cooking and then set about other kitchen tasks. 

What’s Not To Like?

  • Deficient ‘Keep Warm’ Function: The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Digital Rice Cooker will automatically keep your rice warm if you go over the pre-programmed time. This function works well for short periods but left for more considerable lengths of time, condensation builds inside and eventually drips on to the rice causing a mushy mess.
  • Challenging to Clean: Several consumers report having problems when cleaning the primary pan and struggling to remove any remaining debris.

Final Remarks

The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB Digital Rice Cooker is an affordable appliance that gets the job done. It has a massive capacity that can cook more rice than you probably need. It looks great and can steam vegetables at the same time as cooking your rice.

It offers many useful features, yet the keep warm function can be problematic, and the pan is difficult to clean.

Overall Score: 16/20

3. Black + Decker Rice Cooker (RC516)

Sale 34%
BLACK+DECKER 16-Cup Cooked/8-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker and Food Steamer, White, RC516
  • 16-Cup Capacity - Prepare anywhere from 3 to 16 cups of cooked rice, great for one large meal or to save as leftovers
  • Automatic Keep Warm - The rice stays ready for serving! The unit automatically switches to the "keep warm" function after cooking is complete
  • Removable Nonstick Bowl - The nonstick cooking bowl is completely removable for easy dishwasher cleanup

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.5 x 11.5 x 9.25 inches
  • Material: Plastic
  • Appliance Weight: 3.54lbs
  • Capacity: 8 Cups (Uncooked) / 16 Cups (Cooked)
  • Available Colors: White

Things To Love

  • Simplicity: Of all the appliances on our list, the Black + Decker RC516 Rice Cooker is the most spartan of them all. It has no features, but that simplicity is appealing to some people. Just plug it in and go.
  • Low Cost: The price point of the RC516 means almost anyone can have a rice cooker in their kitchen.
  • Part-Time Steamer: Use the steaming basket to steam your veggies or fish.
  • Dishwasher Safe: The removable non-stick pan is dishwasher safe to make the cleanup process as painless as possible.

What’s Not To Like?

  • You Can’t Turn It Off: While it’s not a deal-breaker, the lack of an off switch is a minor annoyance. The only way to turn it off is by unplugging the rice cooker.
  • Short Power Cord: Having a short power cord would not usually be noteworthy; however, the lead on the Black + Decker RC516 is so ridiculously short we felt we needed to comment.

Final Remarks

The Black + Decker RC516 Rice Cooker is a simple, no-frills appliance that gets the job done and is widely accessible to most families thanks to the low price point. The lack of features means you’re not going to get confused.

Overall Score: 14/20

4. Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker (NS-TSC18)

Sale 25%
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter
  • Automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycle
  • Easy to clean clear coated stainless steel exterior, 2 delay time settings
  • Interchangeable melody and beep signal

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.10 x 9.90 x 15.00 inches
  • Material: Steel
  • Appliance Weight: 10 Cups (Uncooked) / 20 Cups (Cooked)
  • Capacity: Cups
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel

Things To Love

  • Zojirushi Performance: Zojirushi makes the best rice cookers on the market, and the Micom NS-TSC18 is one of them. Perfect fluffy rice every time. 
  • Fuzzy Logic: Like the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10, the NS-TSC18 comes equipped with Fuzzy Logic Technology, an adaptive program that will autonomously adjust cooking times and temperatures dependent on a whole host of different variables. 
  • Retractable Power Cord: A pleasing yet straightforward feature that retracts the power cord to help keep your kitchen nice and tidy.
  • Cakes!: This rice cooker has multiple functions to perform different kitchen tasks, and you can even bake cakes using the Cake menu setting. Zojirushi even supplies a cake recipe in the manual.

What’s Not To Like?

  • It’s Very Expensive: There’s no getting around the fact that high-end products come with high-end price points. This rice cooker is the most expensive on our list. 
  • Long Cook Time: The rice from the NS-ZCC10 is near-perfect, but be prepared to wait for your meal as the cooking time takes longer than similar appliances. 

Final Remarks

Zojirushi are the powerhouses of the rice cooking community. The performance of their appliances is unrivaled, and as such, they command a high price point. The Zojirushi Micom NS-TSC18 is no different and will cook perfect rice every time (but it might take a while) thanks to the Fuzzy Logic technology and a whole host of functional features.

Overall Score: 16/20

5. Dash Mini Rice Cooker (DRCM200BK)

Sale 29%
Dash DRCM200GBPK04 Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot, Keep Warm Function & Recipe Guide, 2 cups, for Soups, Stews, Grains & Oatmeal, Pink
  • MORE THAN RICE: Oatmeal, stew, soup, quinoa, rice, pasta, and even steamed veggies! The 2-cup capacity allows for healthier portion control, or individual, quick and easy breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or sides
  • QUICK + EASY: Set it and forget it! Prep time is minutes (simply add water and your uncooked rice, pasta, or veggies), and press the cook button Your steamed meal (or side) is ready in less than 20 minutes, with less clean up
  • KEEP WARM FUNCTION: Updated with a keep warm function and indicator light - never overheat or overcook ingredients again, making for a healthy, perfect meal each and every time

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 6.5 x 16 inches
  • Material: Plastic/Metal
  • Appliance Weight: 2.91lbs
  • Capacity: 1 Cup (Uncooked) / 2 Cups (Cooked)
  • Available Colors: Black / White / Red / Pink / Aqua

Things To Love

  • Most Affordable: The Dash Mini rice cooker is the cheapest appliance on our list, making it accessible to everyone looking to get into rice cookers. 
  • Simple Yet Effective: With only two settings, the Dash Mini DRCM200BK rice cooker is straightforward to use. It’s also ‘set and forget’ so you can begin the cooking cycle and get on with other things. 
  • Color Options: Unlike the other rice cookers on our list, this appliance has five different color options to match your device to your kitchen décor. However, it is worth noting some colors cost more than others. 
  • Compact: This rice cooker is small and compact. It has a 1 cup capacity, which is perfect for small kitchens and people flying solo. 

What’s Not To Like?

  • If It’s Plugged In, It’s Heating: For some unknown reason, low budget appliances tend not to have off switches. The Dash Mini is continuously heating if it is plugged into the mains.
  • Non-Stick Coating Peels Off: A minority of consumers have reported that the coating in the pan has peeled off and contaminated their food, making it inedible.
  • Burning Plastic Smell: There has been an occasional smell of burning plastic when using this appliance. Again, these reports are from a minority of consumers.

Final Remarks

It is possible to cook more than just rice in the Dash Mini DRCM200BK, and this cheap and cheerful, no-frills rice cooker is an ideal entry-level appliance or is just the right size for single people.

There are a couple of build quality issues with this rice cooker, but that is to be expected with a low budget appliance.

Overall Score: 13/20

6. Hamilton Beach Digital Rice Cooker (37518)

Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer, 8 Cups Cooked (4 Uncooked), With Steam & Rinse Basket, Stainless Steel (37518)
  • Make more than rice: Make rice, whole grains, hot cereal, steamed vegetables and much more
  • Healthy, one pot meals: Steam seafood or veggies while rice cooks below
  • Pre-programmed settings: Cook and steam food at the touch of a button

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.25 x 9.74 x 9.88 inches
  • Material: Stainless-Steel
  • Appliance Weight: 4lbs
  • Capacity: 4 Cups (Uncooked) / 8 Cups (Cooked)
  • Available Colors: Black/Stainless Steel

Things To Love

  • One-Touch Presets: Cooking rice is super easy with five one-touch pre-programmed settings (White Rice, Whole Rice, Hot Cereal, Steam, and Warm).
  • 2-in-1 Basket: The basket that comes with the Hamilton Beach 37518 Digital Rice Cooker, is not only a vegetable steamer but also doubles as a handy rice rinsing device. 
  • Easy To Clean: As the removable cooking pan is dishwasher safe, cleaning is a cinch.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Rice Takes a While To Cook: While this Hamilton Beach appliance cooks delicious, fluffy rice, it does take a while. So consider that when preparing your meals. 
  • Ambiguous Instructions: It has been noted that the instructions that come with this appliance are challenging to understand and can be somewhat vague. You might need to go online to learn how to use the Hamilton Beach 37518 Digital Rice Cooker.

Final Remarks

Hamilton Beach have produced a reasonable rice cooker for an appropriate price point. While nothing is outstanding about this appliance, it does a solid job and is a worthy entry-level device.

The 2-in-1 basket is a nice touch you can use to rinse your rice once it has eventually cooked. Assuming you get your head around the instructions.

Overall Score: 13/20

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