Rice is a basic food staple because it is versatile, easy to make and very affordable. In North American homes, it is featured at least once a week on the menu. Dishes that include rice as one of the main ingredients tend to be liked by all, including kids. The only drawback to making rice is having to watch over it while it cooks to make sure it’s not burnt or under/overcooked.

If you want to consistently cook perfect rice, with very little effort, investing in a rice cooker will make all the difference. These appliances are designed to make the task of cooking all kinds of rice truly effortless. You won’t need any other utensil or tool to make delicious rice recipes, time and time again. Up next we give you all the information you need to get the most out of these handy appliances.

Key Facts

  • Rice cookers are electrical appliances that make cooking all sorts of different types of rice effortless; simply measure the rice and use the correct amount of water. This will always result in perfect rice that is never over or undercooked, basically allowing you to master the art of cooking rice.
  • Using a rice maker is also a cleaner way to cook rice. The only thing that gets dirty is the removable, non-stick pot – which is very easy to clean, and in most cases dishwasher safe.
  • These appliances are often not only a more energy-efficient way to cook rice, but they also encourage simple and healthy recipes by requiring little oil. Moreover, the way in which the rice is cooked further brings out the flavors of the rice and it’s condiments.

Ranking: The best rice cooker on the U.S market

Let’s begin by introducing you to the best rice cookers available in The States. This information will allow you to better understand the makings of a quality rice maker. Pay attention to the features that make each one of these models stand out, it will help you better determine your own needs and requirements.

No. 1: Instant Pot — DUO60 – 7 in 1 (6 qt.)

This model by Instant Pot is one of Amazon’s best selling 7 in 1 rice cooker. It is available in 3 different capacities: 3 quarts, 6 quarts and 8 quarts. The 6 qt. That we feature in this article, it’s the most popular size among buyers. It can serve up to 6 people with everyday meals. The beauty of this product is that it replaces 7 appliances, with one, multifunctional kitchen tool. It can be used as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute, yogurt maker, and to warm food.

It comes with a bunch of features that are there to help you get great results consistently. It monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time. The technology behind this cooker, allows you to prepare dishes up to 70 percent faster than conventional appliances. Being that it is fingerprint resistant, made with a stainless steel lid and components and accessories that are dishwasher safe, it is very easy to clean.

No. 2: Hamilton Beach — Rice Cooker and Steamer (8 cup)

Making a complete and balanced meal in the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Steamer is as easy as placing the ingredients in the bowl and turning it on. Not only does it cook rice and whole grains perfectly, but an integrated basket can be used to steam seafood, poultry, and vegetables even while the rice cooks below. That means with just a few presses of a button, it’s quick and easy to serve a full meal.

The 2-in-1 steamer basket can also be used to rinse grains before cooking, which prevents clumping and results in a fresher taste. Clean up is a snap with the dishwasher safe nonstick cooking pot. Its compact size makes for easy storage. This product has an 8 cup capacity, allowing you to make the equivalent of 8 cups of rice in one go. It comes with a nonstick pot that is dishwasher safe, just like the rice rinser/steam basket.

No. 3: Proctor Silex — Rice Cooker (8 cup)

This model from Proctor is a crowd favorite, and it also comes in different sized with 8 – 10 and 30 cup capacities – the capacity described are of cooked rice. This pot has an automatic shut off that turns the heat down when the rice is ready, and it automatically starts working to keep it warm until it’s ready for serving. Like other products on this ranking, this appliance is easy to clean.

This is because the cooking pot, the lid, and accessories are all top-rack dishwasher safe. This appliance is mainly made for rice, but it can also be used to cook grains and other hot cereals. It should be noted that 1 rice cup (6oz) is not equal to 1 US cup (8oz). Make sure to use the provided measuring cup and keep in mind that the capacity may vary depending on the type of rice or grain you’re working with.

No. 4: Aroma Housewares — asc-150 sb Digital Rice and Slow Cooker (20 cup)

This model from Aroma Housewares is an appliance of multi-functional use, with this one appliance you can make soups, rice, jams, and even cake! Moreover, the built-in steamer function allows for nutrient-rich meals to be prepared above white rice, soup, or any other meal addition cooks below, allowing you to save time without sacrificing quality. This rice cooker includes a non-stick inner pot, rice measuring cup, and a plastic rice spatula, all of which are dishwasher safe.

This Multicooker not only includes all of the regular cooking options, but it also possesses the unique options of slow cook and saute-then-simmer STS, allowing you to make meals that are rich, tasty and easy. 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″. Last but not least, this cooker is incredibly simple to operate using our user-friendly digital panel that switches to keep warm automatically once cooking is finished.

No. 5: Zojirushi — NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker (11 cup)

This appliance is available in 2 different capacities, 11 cups or 20 cups of cooked rice. It also incorporates a micro computerized fuzzy logic technology, which allows for the machine to switch from cooking to keep warm when the food is ready. It also comes with extended keep warm settings and a reheating cycle. It is easy to clean since the exterior is clear coated stainless steel and the pot and accessories are dishwasher safe.

In this rice cooker, you can make many dishes, among its preset settings, you’ll find a white rice setting, brown rice menu setting, steam menu setting, and a cake menu setting. It comes with a removable inner lid that detaches for easy cleaning, an inner cooking pot, a steam basket, which can be used to steam vegetables and cook rice at the same time, and a built-in retractable cord for easy storing.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about rice cookers

This article is designed to help you find the best rice maker for your needs. Our aim is to give you the tools you need to be able to determine which product adapts best to your taste, lifestyle, requirements and budget. Pay close attention, this next section includes all the most relevant information concerning rice cookers, as well as answers to the most frequently asked questions among buyers.

Woman enjoying food

Rice cookers will make your life much easier.
(Source: Kachmar: 54122821/ 123rf.com)

What are rice cookers and how do they work exactly?

A rice cooker is an automated kitchen appliance designed to quickly and easily boil or steam rice. The basic set up consists of a heat source, a cooking bowl, and a thermostat. The latter measures the temperature of the cooking bowl and controls the heat, which allows the rice to cook to perfection. In the United States, there are brands which offer rice makers with some noteworthy features.

Using rice makers is often very simple, and pretty much anyone can do it. All you have to do is measure the rice, use the correct amount of water, add seasoning and turn on. With more complex cookers, you may have the added step of choosing a cooking setting. Although rice makers don’t shorten the time it takes to cook rice, they do allow you to walk away from the process until you have to serve.

Yuichi SatoCertified Japanese Rice Sommelier

“A rice cooker cup is not the same as a regular cup measurement which is 240ml. One rice cooker cup is 180ml. Be sure to fill the cup to the brim with rice for an accurate measurement.”

How to use a rice cooker?

There are a few tips to keep in mind when using your rice cooker. Make sure not to overlook this information, since it will help you get the most out of your appliance while making it last as long as possible. Heed our advice, and you’ll be making delicious rice with your appliance for years to come.

  • Cleaning: It is important that you clean the rice bowl well. The rice releases starch while it’s cooking. You must remove this substance well without scratching the non-stick coating, this will ensure the rice doesn’t stick the next time you use it.
  • Timing: Getting the timing of your cooker will be easier than with other methods. In the instructions, you will find the recommended cooking times. Keep in mind that this is just a guide and it will be the recipe and the type and class of rice and water that determines the best cooking time.
  • Multifunctional: Some models of rice cookers can be used to prepare other types of meals. In addition, some rice makers also work as steamers, which allow you to cook many types of food in this way.
  • Safety: You must bear in mind that, like any other electric household appliance, it is necessary to keep the base of the rice cooker away from the water. If you need to clean the outside of the appliance, use a slightly damp cloth. Never immerse the machine in water.
Preparando arroz en arrocera

Rice cookers allow you to easily cook amazing and diverse dishes.
(Source: Belchonock: 116092543/123rf.com)

What other things can you cook in a rice maker?

You may have noticed in this guide, that some rice cookers can also be used to make dishes other than plain rice. Consider these types of appliances, you will be able to get much more use out of them if you can cook other foods with it. The table below outlines some of the possibilities within these cookers.

Food Preparation
Quinoa Put a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio in the rice cooker and turn it on the right time setting. Then use the quinoa to prepare the dish of your choice, this may even be done in the rice cooker.
Soups To prepare a soup in the rice maker you only have to put all the ingredients in the bowl and program the time needed for them to be cooked, you’ll be enjoying all the flavors in no time.
Pasta The rice cooker can help you prepare any kind of pasta. All you have to do is cook it inside its container. Then add your favorite sauce and let it simmer with the pasta.
Rice Not just white rice. Different types of rice can be prepared, such as seafood or vegetables. There are endless recipes for making these types of dishes with rice makers. Once you’ve tried it a few times, you’ll begin to use your imagination and see all the possibilities.

The famous American chef and TV host, Julia Child gave the key to having success in the kitchen:

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun!”

Who should get a rice cooker?

When you take into account the convenience of using a rice cooker, it is easy to reaffirm that anyone who cooks at home would benefit from the use of one of these appliances. Nonetheless, even if you’ve already made up your mind about getting a rice maker, it is always good to really know the benefits of having one. This list better explains all the reasons to invest in a rice cooker.

Reason Explanation
Price This is a truly versatile household appliance that can be purchased at really affordable prices. In addition, they are an energy-efficient way to cook.
Size There is multiple sizes of rice cookers with varying capacities. You will have no issues finding the one that best suits your needs.
Cooking If you are fond of rice and eat it frequently you will value the ease with which you’ll cook perfect rice, time and time again. It is without a doubt, the best option to always achieve excellent results.
Versatility In North America, you’ll find rice makers that are made to cook other types of food also. We have shown you some options in our ranking.
Simplicity Although it is an electric household appliance, its use is very simple and intuitive. Reading the instructions is usually enough to learn to use it properly right away.
Temperature Most models have an option to stop cooking when the rice is ready and stay warm to keep the temperature for up to several hours.

How to make rice with a rice cooker?

Making rice with a rice maker is very simple. As mentioned before, pretty much anyone could make perfect rice with one of these appliances. It’s not even necessary that you have previous cooking knowledge. Simply follow these steps:

  • Wash the rice with water to remove the starch – if you wish.
  • Combine the right amount of rice, water and seasoning in the rice cooker.
  • Start the rice cooker and set the cooking time.
  • When the time is up, let the rice rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Fluff the rice inside the pot and proceed to serve individual rations.
Delicious rice cooked

Rice has a perfect cooking point, rice cookers help you find it every single time.
(Source: Haitalang: 79264671/ 123rf.com)

What are the results of the different types of rice?

Depending on the type of rice you use, you’ll obtain different results. It is important that you take this into account so that you are not surprised by the main ingredient after cooking it. So, pay attention, these are the three main types of rice you’ll find in North America:

  • Short grain rice: This type of rice has a lot of starch, which results in a bowl of rice that is not very fluffy and sticks together easily. This makes it ideal for sushi for example.
  • Medium grain rice: This rice is still a little sticky due to the starch, however, it’s a bit looser and fluffy than the previous type.
  • Long grain rice: This type produces distinct firm grains that stay fluffy and separate after cooking. This type of rice uses the most water and takes the longest to cook. It is the one that needs the most water to cook and the one that takes the longest to get ready. This type of rice includes American long-grain white and brown kinds of rice, Basmati rice, and Jasmine rice.

What are the pros and cons of using a rice cooker?

If you’ve made it this far, you already have your own specific reasons as to why you want to get a rice cooker. Keep in mind that even though they are practical appliances, you should always consider the disadvantages as well as the disadvantages when making an investment. Next, we quickly summarize the main pros and cons related to rice cookers. Weighing them out can be key to making your final decision.

Advantages
  • Makes cooking rice effortless
  • Energy-saving cooking
  • Healthier style of cooking
  • Can be used to make many recipes and meals
  • Frees up one element in the kitchen to cook other things simultaneously
Disadvantages
  • Some models do not have a large capacity
  • May take up too much space in small kitchens

Purchase Criteria

In this last section, we want to review a series of important criteria you should keep in mind before choosing one rice cooker over another. If you want to make the best purchase to meet your needs and expectations, be sure to examine these aspects in each product you consider, they are the keep to making the best possible purchase decision.

  • Capacity
  • Power
  • Functions
  • Cleaning
  • Simplicity
  • Other options

Capacity

You’ll find that many friends offer rice cookers of different capacities. There are models made to prepare just two or three servings, while other appliances will exceed 10 servings. Make sure to consider the use you have a planner for it, and how many people you’ll be cooking for. It goes without saying that the model you choose, should meet these criteria. It’s good to find out if the model you get allows you to prepper smaller portions than it’s the maximum capacity.

Preparing of rice

Any body can make perfect rice with a rice cooker, it is the perfect appliance for those with little cooking experience.
(Source: Asawachiwantorngul: 74898220/ 123rf.com)

Power

It’s not necessary for the cooker to have a great power capacity in order for it to offer good results. However, if you opt for higher power, keep in mind that energy consumption will also be higher. If having an energy-efficient appliance is important to you, take a good look at the watts and energy efficiency. It is implied that the cost of using this appliance will fully depend on these factors.

Functions

There are some functions you’ll want your rice cooker to have. The main one being, that it automatically stops cooking when the rice is ready, helping you prevent the rice from burning or overcooking. Another good feature to look for is that it keeps the rice warm, some appliances can keep the rice at the perfect temperature for hours.

Cleaning

Make sure the rice cooker you choose is easy to clean. For starters, the pot should be removable, this will allow you to clean it without problems. Moreover, ensure that the pot has a non-stick coating, the food won’t get stuck to the walls, this is the key to cooking with less oil. When cleaning the bowl by hand, be gentle and don’t scratch the non-stick coating off. Finally, for the base of the appliance, simply wipe it down with a damp cloth.

Simplicity

Even though the use of most rice makers is pretty simple and intuitive, it’s always good to make sure the model you choose is actually easy to use, with simple, uncomplicated features. The biggest benefit of these appliances is their ease of use, avoid getting a product that will cause you headaches and defeat the purpose of the purchase.

Other options

Some models of rice cookers allow you to prepare other dishes in addition to rice. For instance, some appliances have a steamer for steam cooking. While others let you cook different dishes in the same bowl you make the rice in, stews, soups, cakes, and pasta are all within your reach. Check if the model you have chosen gives you these options.

Summary

If you like to cook, you know that cooking rice isn’t exactly rocket science, however, to cook the perfect rice, every time, you have to pay attention throughout the cooking process to ensure it doesn’t burn, or overcook. In this regard, rice cookers are game-changers, they allow you to measure the rice and water, press a button and walk away. Some models even allow you to cook other dishes, by including a steamer or in the same pot you cook the rice in.

These appliances are often very easy to use with intuitive features. Just make sure to be a diligent buyer and ensure the one you choose meets these criteria. Remember to choose an appliance that will have the capacity that best suits your cooking needs. The machine you choose should have features that make it easy to use, such as auto power off or keeping food warm. If space is an issue, you’ll have no trouble finding small models that are easy to store.

If you found the information in this guide useful, we would really appreciate it if you’d share it with others on your social networks. Alternatively, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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