Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Rice Cooker & Steamer 2016 + Bonus Rice Cooker Reviews
- Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Rice Cooker & Steamer 2016 + Bonus Rice Cooker Reviews
- Best Rice Cookers 2016
- Comparison Chart of The Best Rice Cookers 2016
This guide aims to assist you to make the right decision when buying a rice cooker. A top rated rice cooker isn’t easy to find – simply because there are so many choices. There is no one best rice cooker brand – they all offer something different, so we’ve categorized our rice cooker reviews for you.
We love cooking, our recipes often call for rice – so let’s review the best for 2016.
Why Have a Rice Cooker
Hands down the best way to cook rice are in a rice cooker It’s set and forget. Because rice is a staple food for many families, rice cookers have become cheaper, quicker and better made. Cooking rice on a stove top needs constant attention and too much guesswork to get perfect results every time. With a rice cooker, not only do you simply combine rice and water, and hit ‘go’, using a cooker reduces the cooking time when compared to other methods and frees up your hands to finish dicing, chopping or just drink a glass of wine before dinner.
How to Pick The Best Rice Cooker
You need to factor in a few variables before deciding on the best rice cooker for your family. We’ve given you a review of the main buying factors that we’ve used over the years to decide on our favorite rice cookers. Cooking tip: spend more now, and save buying a second in a year when your cheap rice cooker stops working. Trust me; all rice cookers are not created equal. I made that mistake, not once, but twice. Never again.
Types of Rice Cookers & How Does a Rice Cooker Work?
There are three types of rice cookers
Induction Rice Cookers. Some rice cookers apply heat directly from an electrical plate below the inside pan. However, induction heating rice cookers take heat from the alternating electric current from the wall outlet. There are three big pros to having an induction rice cooker:
- The temperature sensor is more accurate
- The heat distribution area is larger – meaning more evenly cooked rice
- The temperature can be changed in an instant
Cooking tip: Cooking rice in the middle east has a brown chewy crust – You need to get a Pars rice cooker to make middle eastern style rice – fluffy – not sticky and with the excellent crust on the bottom.
Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers. Fuzzy Logic rice cookers have inbuilt computer chips that allow them the ability to make adjustments to cooking time and temperature. Buying a Fuzzy Logic rice cooker means you’re purchasing a rice cooker that can make adjustments based on what it thinks best for cooking times and temperature.
On-Off Rice Cookers. Also known as cook-hold rice cookers. In this type of rice cooker, you have an inner pot that sits on a heated plate – that brings water in the pot to a boil. A sensor then detects once the temperature has risen to that of boiling point for long enough to cook the rice, and then switches over to a keep warm mode. Cooking tip: sometimes the keep warm function over cooks rice and will make it stick to the bottom – so do not allow it to sit too long.
This one is easy. How many people do you need to feed regularly? Depending on if your rice is for the main meal, or side dish you’ll need to think about how many ‘cups’ of rice you will need. As a general rule in our (famished) family, we cook 1/2 of a cup of rice per person. We like big helpings and love leftovers. Rice cookers are labeled in how many cups of rice they can cook at one time. 2 cups, 4 cups, 6 cups and so on. Just check if it’s marked uncooked or cooked rice. It makes a big difference as rice doubles when cooking.
Buying a rice cooker in a slightly larger capacity than you think you may need is advised – a quality cooker will last you years, and you don’t want to be starting the search for the best rice cooker again because your one is too small.
Ease of Cleaning
Who wants to spend time scrubbing & cleaning a machine that is supposed to save us time? Not me, that is for sure. Check comments about the ease of cleaning in any rice cooker reviews (we have some below) before making your choice on which rice cooker is best for you. Cooking tip: Always unplug, and allow the rice cooker to cool completely before cleaning – but do wipe away any hard, burnt pieces of rice with a paper towel quickly to avoid it sticking.
Many rice cookers also have the ability to steam vegetables, make stews, baby food, chili, soups, and desserts. That said, the very best top rated rice cookers have a single function – making rice. Keep in mind, what is more, important to you – multi-function or A+ cooked rice.
What makes choosing the best cooker, the most tricky is – all of the features, options, and gadgets. Try to look for a few key features:
- Removable inner bowl. Makes cleaning so much easier
- Steam tray option. Rice and steam veggies are a great mix
- Delayed timer. You can set it to have rice ready as you get home from work
- Reheat function. It’s so nice to cook rice, and be able to eat it again the following day – or for late night leftovers.
- Quick cook functions. Press and forget is my motto
- A transparent lid. This way you can see your rice as it cooks – with no need to take off the lid
Money, money, money. It’s often the most motivating factor for any purchasing decisions – you can buy a cheap rice cooker for around $20, and you can lash out and spend upwards of $1000 on a Toshiba State-of-the-art Japan made rice cooker.
Unless you are a professional cook or have a huge family, there is certainly now need to spend $1000, but as I mentioned early a $20 cooker can leave you with the task of making a new purchase far too soon. Once you have a rice cooker, you can’t live without it – so we suggest you spend a little extra, and you’ll get a long-lasting rice cooker!
How Much Water to Add With Rice & How Long to Cook Rice?
The standard rule is 1:1. Use one cup of uncooked rice, to one cup of cold water. The exception being for brown rice when it becomes 1:2. Cooking tip: rice cookers come with an 180ml cup – whereas, an Australian cup is 250, and American cup is 240ml. So long as you use the 1:1 or 1:2 rule you will be fine – just keep in mind your hungry dinner guests.
Here is a general guide to rice cooking times – but, please do check your rice cooker’s instruction manual and also the rice packet instructions – as five mins too long or too little cooking time and you won’t be able to eat it.
- White Rice. Approx 17-25 minutes
- Brown Rice. Approx 40 minutes
- Wild Rice. Roughly an hour
- Basmati Rice. Is the same as white rice + an extra 5 minutes steaming time
Best Rice Cookers 2016
We’ve taken the time to research for you the top, rice cookers for brown rice, the ultimate sushi and Persian rice cooker models and also finding you the best cheap rice cooker – among others. We’ve added links to many in-depth reviews of rice cooker reviews to help you make up your mind as to which rice cooker suits your best. We have also provided our own rice cooker reviews for your convenience. At the end of the article, you can use the comparison chart to help you select your next rice cooker.
Comparison Chart of The Best Rice Cookers 2016
We took the best rice cookers, features, price and made this easy-to-use table to help you review and decide which one suits you best. Click on any heading to sort the table accordingly.
Price Range: $= less than $100, $$ = $100-$300, $$$=$300+
|Image||Check the link for reviews||Cooked Rice Size||Price||Our Score|
|Cuckoo Rice Cooker CRP-CHSS1009FN||10 Cup||$$$||5|
|Aroma Rice Cooker – ARC-914SBD||8-Cup||$||5|
|Cuckoo Rice Cooker CR-0631F||6 Cup||$$||5|
|Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN||10 Cup||$$$||5|
|Tatung TAC-20||20 Cup||$$||5|
|Cuckoo Rice Cooker CRP-HY1083F||10 Cup||$$||5|
|Zojirushi Micom||10 Cups||$$||4|
|Cuchen Micom||6 Cup||$$||4.5|
|Tiger Rice Cooker JKT-S18U||10-Cup||$$$||5|
What is the Best All Purpose Rice Cooker 2016
Zojirushi Rice Cooker NP-NVC10. The NP-NVC10 5-1/2-cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker and Warmer is the most intelligent rice cooker ever made. Friends of mine who lived in Japan have commented that this is the best rice cooker available on the US and Australian markets. Having been on the market for several years (since 2012) the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is not new – so any bugs and faults have been ironed out now.
The cooker uses induction heating combined with pressure cooking – what that means to you is that the machine automatically adjusts the amount of pressure depending on the menu selection. This little robot learns from each new cooking experience – giving you the best-cooked rice over all other rice cookers.
Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Best Features
- The platinum micro-particles removes undesirable smells & tastes in tap water, and alkaline draws out the sweetness in the rice
- Delayed timer. You can set the cooking up to 24 hours in advance
- The inner cooking pot and the lid are all removable for easy cleaning
- Multi-menu cooking functions for various types of rice
- Umami setting extends soaking and steaming time for better rice
- Steam-reduce setting reduces steam to 50-percent of regular setting
- Scorch setting toasts rice to a crispy golden brown, ideal for Persian style rice
Best Rice Cooker For Brown Rice 2016
Zojirushi Rice Cooker NP-HBC10. This 10 cup Japanese rice cooker is hands down the best rice cooker for brown rice. In order to cook brown rice, you need a rice cooker that has an extended preheating time to better absorb the water. The best brown rice cookers also cook at a lower temperature to allow the rice to cook longer without becoming mushy. In my experience, a multi-functional product never cooks brown rice as well as a rice cooker designed for one purpose – cooking rice.This is where NP-HBC10 steps in – the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 has several specific rice settings:
- White rice
- Quick cook mode
- Mixed rice
- Sushi rice
- Rice porridge
- Sweet Rice
- Brown rice
- GABA brown
You can make the rice ahead of time and leave it on warm and use it over several days. The cooked rice stays just as fresh as day one. An additional bonus to this 10 cup rice cooker is just what hungry families of 4-6 people need.
Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Best Features
- Made in Japan. Premium quality
- Stainless steel inner bowl
- Cook as little as 1.2 cup
- The unit’s clear-coated stainless-steel exterior not only cleans easily, but also matches any kitchen decor.
Best Cheap Rice Cooker Review 2016
Instant Pot IP-DUO60. This baby is cheap and very functional. You get a real bang for your buck here. At under $120 your family won’t regret this purchase. The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 is a 7 in 1 Multi-functional rice & pressure cooker
It can take 5 cups of uncooked rice, which is plenty for four people. But the reason it’s #1 for families is that as well as being a rice cooker, it also functions as pressure cooker, slow cooker, porridge maker, steamer, and yogurt maker. That’s taking all-in-one to whole new level!
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Best Features
- Cooks with high pressure which reduces cooking time by up to 70%
- 14 in-built programs including soups, stews, chili, poultry, sauteing, steaming, rice, porridge, multi-grain, slow cook, keep-warm, yogurt, pasteurize and slow cook from 30 mins up to 20 hours
- Yogurt maker function can heat milk for pasteurization and fermentation, making yogurt in either jars or cooking
- Auto Shutoff – perfect for having kids around.
Other popular cheap rice cookers:
Best Rice Cookers Made in Japan 2016
The Japanese rice cooker brand Zojirushi that are made in Japan are the brand I recommend. I reached out to Zojirushi direct, and they told me the following models are made in Japan:
Best Persian Rice Cooker Review
PARS Automatic Persian Rice Cooker. The big difference between Asian rice cookers and Persian Rice Cookers is Fuzzy Logic. Fuzzy Logic is designed to avoid burning, which makes Tahdig – the Persian style of making rice impossible. The PARS Persian rice cookers range from 5 cups all the way up to a hungry family 15 cup model.
Perfect Portable Rice Cooker
Dinner parties, kids sports trips, and even a road trip are all times you’d want perfectly cooked rice. The Wolfgang Puck 3 Cup, portable rice cooker, has a carry handle, removable nonstick-coated cooking pot inner lid, detachable power cord & measuring cup.
Best Rice Cooker to Make Meals
Tiger Rice Cooker JKT-S18U. This Tiger rice cooker is both a high-quality cooker and makes meals. This 10-cup rice cooker and warmer comes with the new ‘tacook’ synchronized cooking function where you can prepare two dishes simultaneously with Synchro-Cooking function and the power of Induction Heating. Unlike other rice cookers, Tiger’s cooking plate is specially designed, so the flavors from the cooking plate do not affect the flavor or texture of the rice.
Best Rice Cooker For Students
No better value for money for a first-time cooker for students. It consistently makes excellent rice for one (maybe two people). It’s a very small rice cooker so it’s great where space is limited & it is light enough to move into cupboard each time.
Best Microwave Rice Cooker
A definite must have for any kitchen that needs fast, healthy meals. This little rice cooker for the microwave allows you to steam vegetables, cook pasta, and it also makes excellent Japanese sticky rice. Cooking tip: You need to set your microwave at 70%, or the rice will boil over and leave a sticky mess in the microwave.
Now that you know what rice cooker you want, all you need now is to get out your best rice cooker recipes and master how to cook in a rice cooker like a pro.
Which rice cooker model would you like now?