I have a very good friend from Japan, his name is Quyen. In Japanese cuisine, rice is one of the most fundamental elements of dishes. In fact, people in Japan use rice as a side dish, in sushi, as the base for various meals and in many other ways.
However, cooking the rice might be challenging, he says. Thus, most of the Japanese families have at least one rice cooker at home. In Quyen’s family, there are three rice cookers.
Needless to say, they have no problems with cooking rice. Why struggle to cook the rice on the stove, if you can just push the button and let the technology create the perfect rice for you?
Why Do You Need A Rice Cooker?
Rice cookers are the time savers, which comes as one of the biggest advantages in our busy work-life schedule. Yet, how do you know what is the best rice cooker?
If you are struggling to find the best rice cooker, I feel you. With the existing variety of rice cookers in the market, the challenge is real. Some of the cheap models might be tempting to buy, as they also perfectly fill the need of a preparing a perfect rice.
However, some more sophisticated models are offering a number of amazing settings that come at an extra price. Moreover, in case you are up for the most expensive rice cooker, you can enjoy some extra niceties, such as special cooking modes, digital times, locking lids and much more.
In the end, the key function of the rice cooker is to cook the rice. Therefore, all of the models are actually do their job, yet, the choice depends on what you are looking for.
You might be looking for the best rice cooker for brown rice, or for the best cheap rice cooker, or maybe for the best stainless steel rice cooker. Either way, while choosing the rice cooker, it is crucial to find the balance between the functionality and the price.
That is exactly what we will do in this Best Rice Cooker Buyer Guide. We will go over some models in two price ranges – above $75 and below $75.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Rice Cooker?
First things first, let’s find out what are the specifications of the good rice cooker. The following are the key specifications and features of a good rice cooker.
Easy To Use Panels
Standard rice cookers usually offer one-touch operation. More advanced models will offer digital controls. However, they should be easy enough to navigate after just a look at the instructions manual.
A Good Digital Timer
Rice cookers with digital controls should have a timer. The timer is ordering your rice cooker to switch on at a certain time, as it also lets you know how much time is left until the rice is ready.
Easy To Clean Cooking Pot
The rice cooker in any price range should have a nonstick cooking bowl that is easy to clean with moist sponge, soap, and water.
Some of the cooking bowls are dishwasher safe, which is a great advantage. Moreover, some of the models have the stainless steel bowls that last a bit longer that the usual ones. However, bear in mind that these are harder to clean.
A Stay Cool Outer Surface
The exterior of your rice cooker should not get too hot when the appliance is working. Otherwise, you might get serious burns. In case you are planning to serve directly from the rice cooker, make sure that the external part of the rice cooker is cool.
An Automated Warming Setting
A lot of rice cookers will automatically keep your rice warm after it is cooked. It comes in handy when you don’t want to eat it right away.
A Quick Cook Setting
In case you are looking for a more sophisticated rice cooker model, make sure it has a quick-cook setting. This setting is allowing you to speed up the cooking process when you are short in time.
Various Modes For Cooking Different Kinds Of Rice
In case you are a fan of white rice, this might be not necessary. However, if you are usually experimenting with brown, jasmine, or wild rice – make sure your rice cooker has this option.
Measuring Cup And Rice Spatula Attached
This is the requirement for most of the rice cookers. The spatula holder on the side of the cooker can come as a nice addition.
A steam basket or tray is a very nice addition to the rice cooker. It allows you to steam different foods in the rice cooker, even at the same time that your rice is cooking.
Detachable Power Cord
This feature is very convenient since you can store your rice easier.
Now, when you know the key features of the good rice cooker, it is time to choose your best rice cooker.
Let’s start with the actual overview of the rice cookers. As I mentioned earlier, we will focus on two price ranges.
Best Rice Cooker Over $75
As we start our comparison, it is necessary to mention that the final choice of the rice cooker must be dependent on your personal preferences. However, we are happy to provide you with the just the necessary information that will help you to find your best rice cooker.
In the price range above $75, there are two practical and easy-to-use models. We will go over the following rice cookers:
- Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in- 1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
- Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2- Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker
- Capacity: 5 Quart
- Model: IP-DUO50
- Brand: Instant Pot
- Voltage: 120V AC
- Power: 900W
- Maximum Weight: 5.3kg
Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker is a great option for busy and active families. If you are reading this and simultaneously checking your son’s homework, this rice cooker might be your best choice.
This cooker provides the great balance of the functionality and the price. It allows you to cook healthy, tasty meals for your family, while still spending time with them.
The Instant Pot IP-DUO60-ENW Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker is durable if taken care of properly. However, I still did not mention the best thing about it. This appliance combines a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer and yogurt maker in one device.
Moreover, you can use it for sautéing or glazing meat or vegetables. A warmer function comes as a great convenience, as well. The dual pressure settings provide fast cooking, where the high-pressure setting decreases the cooking time up to 70%.
The easy-to-use control panel allows you to timely navigate between 14 built-in Smart Programs. This cooker is also providing the delay cooking feature and 3 temperatures for sauteing and slow cooking.
To sum up the key characteristics of the Instant Pot IP-DUO60-ENW Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker:
- 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer
- Large, easy to use control panel with 14 built-in Smart Programs, Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for sauteing and slow cook
- 14 Micro-Processor controlled programs: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice
- Delay cooking time up to 24-Hours; Manual setting up to 120 minutes of cook time
- UL and ULC certified with 10 proven safety mechanisms; Highly energy efficient and kitchen friendly
- 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes in English, Spanish, Chinese and French
Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker And Warmer
- Capacity: 5.5 Cups (Uncooked) / 1 Litre
- Model: NS-TSC10
- Brand: Zojirushi
- Voltage: 120V
- Power: 610W
- Maximum Weight: 4.3kg
The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2- Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer is a good alternative for those, who are really searching for the rice cooker that can cook any type of rice or rice dishes.
The Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is not only cooking amazing rice. It also has a variety of cooking settings, which include white rice/sushi, mixed rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, steaming function, and quick cooking setting.
Moreover, this rice cooker is coming with a steaming tray and a cake menu setting. The Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer can produce as much as 10 cups of cooked rice.
The cooker has black inner cooking pan that makes it even easier for the heat to accumulate. Consequently, the better cooking is guaranteed. One more convenient feature – the beep signal at the end of the cooking process. It will notify you that your meal is ready.
Other important things include a removable and washable inner lid, automatically keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycles and an easy-to-use LCD control panel.
The Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer also has a removable power cord, spatula, a spatula holder, and a stainless steel exterior. One of the key advantages of this rice cooker is the Microcomputer technology.
The Microcomputer technology, or MICOM, implies that the microchip in the rice cooker is ‘thinking’ for you. The smart technology, which is also called Fuzzy Logic technology, is adjusting the cooking times and temperatures as per the kind of rice you are cooking.
Moreover, it knows the right time of the pre-soaking of the grains and the right period of the steaming process. Where the basic models of the rice cookers simply turn on and off in reaction to the temperature changes, MICOM comes as a great step into the future of the rice cookers.
MICOM is utilizing the thermal sensor in order to calculate and regulate the timings and the temperature. The thermal sensor is the small round button at the bottom of the inner pot of the cooker. Once the inner bowl is placed inside the cooker, the sensor feels the weight and is activated. From this moment, the sensor is monitoring the temperature and the time of the cooking process.
Summing up the characteristics of the Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, it is necessary to stress the following:
- Micro computerized fuzzy logic technology (sensor button)
- Capacity: Up to 10 cups / 1.8 liters
- Automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycle
- Easy to clean stainless steel exterior, 2 delay time settings
- Interchangeable melody and beep signal
- Built in retractable power cord
- Easy-to-read LCD control panel with Clock and Timer functions
- Detachable and washable inner lid
- Includes steaming tray to steam foods
- Cake setting for baking cakes
- Menu Settings include: white/sushi, mixed, porridge, sweet, brown, cake, steam, and quick cooking
In the modern era, rice cooker comes as a necessity to most homes, not as luxury. Either people rush to work, or, on the contrary, enjoy the time with their families – rice cooker saves time in both the cases.
Moreover, in case you opt for a more expensive rice cooker with a variety of functions, you will definitely find the option that suits your needs. The current rice cooker market is saturated and the choice range is extremely wide.
After reviewing these two models of rice cookers over $75, you might want to do some additional research on other models or just purchase one of the described above. In either way, rice cooker is a very useful and multifunctional appliance in the kitchen.
The Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in- 1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker is a great choice for the family. Nevertheless, it is also suitable for couple or even one person, since it gives an opportunity to cook a number of interesting recipes.
The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2- Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer is a good option for rice dishes fans. This versatile rice cooker will do magic with all kinds of rice.
Best Rice Cooker Under $75
Moving on to the rice cookers from the lower price range, it is necessary to mention that all the following rice cooker models can be considered by anyone, who is searching for a good price/quality ratio. In this section ‘Best rice cooker under $75’, we will discuss the following models:
- Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker
- Tiger JAZ-A10U- FH 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
- T-fal RK705851 10-In- 1 Rice and Multicooker
Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-Cooker
- Capacity: 5 Quart
- Model: Mb-fs5017
- Brand: Midea
- Voltage: 120V
- Power: 875W
- Maximum Weight: 5.7Kg
Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker is not called smart for no reason. It is actually a smart rice cooker! This Midea cooker is designed for people with the tight schedule.
It offers you the delay timer and automatic keep-warm function, which gives you the freedom to start cooking any time of the day. You can set up the Delay timer to have your rice ready when it is convenient for you, which provides great flexibility in your meal planning routine.
Following on this, the Midea Smart Multi-cooker has an Intelligent Control Panel. This rice cooker is offering you an easy to read and navigate clock and LCD display.
The device allows you to enjoy 11 different function settings, which include White rice, Congee, Quick rice, Brown rice(Wholegrain or Wild rice), Baby porridge, Oatmeal, Soup (Broth or more liquid based cooking), Steam, Stew (Roast or Beans, or less liquid cooking), Slow cook (up to 10 hours) and Reheat. The slow cook function allows you to use the rice cooker as a slow cooker.
The inner pot of the Midea Smart Multi-cooker is made of 5 kinds of material. This lets the appliance to heat fast and to preserve the heat for longer. In this way, the rice is fully absorbing the water, which provides extra moisture to your meal.
This rice cooker is coming with a steam tray, measuring cup, and a rice spoon.
The key characteristics of the Midea Smart Multi-cooker include:
- 5L capacity
- Easy to navigate touch control panel
- 11 different function settings
- 24-hour Delay Timer for flexible meal planning
- The inner pot is made of 5 kinds of material
- Steam tray, measuring cup, rice spoon
Tiger JAZ-A10U Rice Cooker
- Capacity: 5.5 Cups (Uncooked) / 1 Litre
- Model: JAZ-A10U
- Brand: Tiger
- Voltage: 120V
- Power: 500W
- Maximum Weight: 2.5Kg
The Tiger JAZ-A10U- FH 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker is a great option for cooking Pros and Beginners. This rice cooker is producing perfect white rice in a short amount of time and keeps it warm up to 12 hours.
The Tiger Rice Cooker has a nonstick coated inner cooking bowl and a removable power cord. Moreover, this rice cooker is coming with the steam tray, measuring cup, spatula, cooking and steaming pans.
Furthermore, the Tiger Rice Cooker has a double walled construction and the locking lid. This feature is ensuring the great flavor of the rice. Moreover, water level graduation marks on inner surface of rice cooking pot indicate the correct amount of water to be added.
In addition to the above, the Tiger Rice Cooker has the indicator light that is telling you whether the device is in the cooking or warming mode. It also has an incorporated carrying handle that is making it easy and safe to move the appliance.
The key characteristics of the Tiger Rice Cooker are as follows:
- Electronic controlled heating
- High quality double walled construction with locking top
- Special keep-warm heating elements
- Includes measuring cup, spatula, cooking and steaming pans
- Water level marks on inner surface of rice cooking bowl.
- Indicator lights show whether cooking or warming mode is in use.
- Non-stick coated rice/steam cooking pan.
- Integrated carrying handle
- Retractable power cord
T-fal RK705851 10-In-1 Rice And Multicooker
- Capacity: 10 Cups (Cooked)
- Model: RK705851
- Brand: T-Fal
- Voltage: 120V
- Power: 750W
- Maximum Weight: 5.3Kg
T-fal RK705851 10-In-1 Rice and Multicooker is the rice cooker with the great capacity and the variety of cooking programs. Families would definitely favor this rice cooker for the perfect balance of the convenience, price and the usefulness.
T-fal 10-In-1 Rice and Multicooker is able to cook anything from healthy breakfasts to desserts. It also has the Fuzzy Logic, or MICOM technology that is regulating the temperature and the timing with the help of the sensor button. The appliance has an intuitive control digital panel, which makes it easy to use.
This rice cooker has 10 pre-set cooking programs that include rice, risotto, reheat, oatmeal, slow cook, steam/soup, yogurt, baking, browning, and automatic keep warm. Detachable 2mm thick nonstick inner bowl with ceramic coating assures easy food release.
T-fal 10-In-1 Rice and Multicooker key features include:
- 10 pre-set programs
- Fuzzy Logic technology
- Push-button digital control panel
- Adjustable cook time; 24-hour delay start
- Micro pressure valve
- Removable 2mm thick nonstick inner pot
Previously, I argued that the rice cooker is a necessity in a modern house. One might say that the rice cooker is a pricey version of the standard pot. However, where everyone has their own views, no one can deny the fact that the rice cooker is a very versatile and convenient thing in our always rushing world.
The technology development is never stopping, and the rice cookers have evolved into the perfect kitchen helper. In the previous section, we examined three rice cookers under $75.
Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker was created for people with the tight schedule. One of the main advantages – the delay timer. The delay timer and automatic keep-warm function provide you the freedom to start cooking any time of the day.
Our next candidate, the Tiger JAZ-A10U- FH 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker, is a great option for cooks that are Pros and Beginners. It is very easy to use and it has a number of great features, such as high quality double walled construction with locking top.
Finally, T-fal RK705851 10-In-1 Rice and Multicooker is the rice cooker with the great capacity and the variety of cooking programs. This is an excellent choice for families, as it offers the perfect balance of the convenience, price and the usefulness.
In case you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
Last update on 2022-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API