The 5 Best Rice Cookers
While it is entirely possible to cook rice with a pan on a stove top, if you prepare rice often enough, it may be worth it to invest in a dedicated rice cooker. Cooking rice with a cooker is significantly easier and takes most of the work out of the hands of the chef. All it takes is to measure the correct amount of rice and water and flip a switch; the machine takes care of the cooking while you prepare the rest of your meal.
What Is a Rice Cooker?
A rice cooker is a small kitchen appliance dedicated to cooking rice. Most modern electric rice cookers come with a removable bowl where rice and water are placed. Inside the cooker, the bowl sits on top of a heater and a thermostat. The mixture of rice and water is heated until the water reaches its boiling point. Once all the water is absorbed by the rice or is boiled off, the temperature of the mixture continues to rise and trips the thermostat, causing the machine to shut off.
Best 5 Rice Cookers
Very well-reviewed by users, the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 consistently prepares excellent rice and is remarkably simple to operate. Its 5.5-cup cooking capacity makes enough rice in one batch for a family of five. This Zojirushi also comes with a number of advanced features and is capable of preparing a number of different types of rice, including brown, long, and short grain. Currently $165.21 on Amazon.
With a high-end price tag, the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 is for those who are serious rice consumers. Instead of the simple hot plate found in most rice cookers, this Zojirushi model utilizes induction heating, which cooks rice much more evenly than other models. Users claim it produces perfect rice every time and it does an excellent job handling many different types of rice, including white, brown, sushi, and porridge. Currently $290.57 on Amazon.
The Panasonic SR-G06FG is a perfect purchase for those looking for a budget, basic rice cooker. This particular model can’t quite compete with more advanced models, but it still produces excellent white rice, is extremely simple to use and takes up very little counter space. However, its small size means that it can’t accommodate larger families. Currently $29.95 on Amazon.
A favorite among users, the Aroma ARC-838TC is lauded for preparing excellent rice and including advanced features for a budget price tag. This Aroma has a carrying capacity of 2-8 cups of uncooked rice, can simultaneously steam meats and vegetables, and prepare soups and stews. Finally, this model also has a 15-hour delay timer to allow you flexibility on when your rice is prepared. Currently $34.99 on Amazon.
The Sanyo ECJ-N55W is best known among users for excelling at preparing brown rice. Aside from its ability to tackle the more difficult grain of rice, it can also prepare soup, porridge, and steamed vegetables. Finally, its 5.5-cup uncooked rice capacity means that a full batch will churn out 11 cups of finished rice. Currently $89.95 on Amazon.
And these are our recommendations for the five best rice cookers. Be sure to check out the Wise Bread Shopping Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!