Hi there, and welcome to our top three electronic rice cooker reviews on the best models, steamers and warmers of 2016. My name’s Jade and I’ll be guiding you through the awesome ratings we have for you… 🙂
We’ve thoroughly researched, used, tested and polled consumers on the most important features, most reliable brands, and the finest tasting rice results they’ve achieved (with both white and brown rice), with the easiest to use products — the results are in, and we’re happy to share them with you:
Our #1 Pick – Zojirushi NS-ZCC10, Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Warmer (Premium White – 5 1/2 Cup, Full Year Warranty)
The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 with Neuro Fuzzy Logic technology, is by far the leading cooker and warmer on the market right now for the price.
While it’s not a cheap, little dinky cooker you’d find at Walmart, if rice is an important part of your diet, you’ll be cooking this staple food in no time, with ease.
The menu includes different modes for types of cooking (brown, sushi, mixed, porridge, steam), as well as an automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycle.
With the inner detachable lid, cleanup is a snap. The stay-cool side handles allow for quick and easy access to your rice, even right after cooking has finished.
The top comments suggest “it is very easy to use and clean”, “several months later, no problems, use this almost daily and STILL love this appliance”, and “it plays a cute little song when it’s done cooking rice”.
Based on all of the customer comments, its ease of use, unique “set and forget” tech, how simple each cleanup is, and the results we’ve achieved with it, it gets our highest rating by far, and is well worth the investment. You’ll love the yummy rice it makes.
Our #2 Pick – Instant Pot IP-DUO60, 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker (Stainless Steel & Latest 3rd Gen Technology)
Okay, so the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 is technically a pressure cooker, true. However, it makes a mean batch of rice, and gives you the option of using the 14 smart controlled options for making quite an array of dishes all within the same pot.
This 7-in-1 behemoth is a pressure, rice, slow, saute, browning and yogurt maker, steamer and warmer, all in one. It comes with an easy to read display that helps you select what you’re looking to accomplish.
We found the screen easy to read and understand, but it did take some learning and reading the manual to get the different modes and settings down. Over time, it becomes easier to remember.
This kitchen friendly, highly efficient product works great for most types of rice. White turned out the best. Brown and a few other varieties required some tweaking, but it’s pretty simple to get the right consistency after only a couple batches.
We’re not the only ones impressed with this device. With over four thousand reviews on Amazon, this #1 rated best seller outsells many other models many times over.
With popular comments like, “I am so enthusiastic about this product”, “I tell everyone about this fantastic kitchen tool”, and “fast cooking, easy to use”, if you’re looking for a solid rice and pressure cooker, the Instant Pot is an excellent, durable option.
Based on the quality of the product, the continual improvements that manufacturer has been making, and the instructional owners manual that comes with the Instant Pot, we recommend it for anyone looking to make rice and other recipes with a pressure cooker.
Our #3 Pick – Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Cooker & Warmer (Most Intelligent, Advanced Fuzzy Logic)
The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is the best of the best when it comes to quality. With artificial intelligence, fuzzy logic technology, this product is far ahead of any others on the market.
Let’s be honest, if you’re tight on budget, you’ll want to look to a different model. However, if you’re looking to use the top brand and unit available, this is it. Period.
This induction heating, pressure cooker is as feature-packed as they come. With a setting for nearly every rice imaginable, the cooking functions include settings for white, mixed, sushi, sweet rice, brown, GABA brown, porridge and quick cooking.
As with nearly all Zojirushi steamers, the digital readout is super simple to get used to and read (even from a few steps away). I kid you not, every setting we used on every different kind of rice turned out utterly delicious.
There are also three new settings on the particular model: umami, steam-reduce and scorch. Umani extends soaking and steaming time for tastier rice, steam-reduce helps you control and tweak the settings, while scorch can help crisp your rice for recipes.
This package comes with the unit itself, a rice spatula, a spatula holder, and two measuring cups. One for regular rice and the other for rinse-free rice. Users really love this unit, with comments ranging from “outstanding product! really love this one” to “makes excellent rice, well worth the higher cost”.
If you are looking for the Mercedes model, this is it. The pressure/induction heating technology is the best on the market. Great for ultra consistent, delicious rice every dang time. With many settings to choose from, you’ll be very happy with this product.
Deciding on the Best Rice Cooker for You
This is by far the most common question we get: how do I choose the right one for me? Our general answer is to remember that you’re investing in an easy-to-use product that will last you years of cooking great, delicious rice, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re making your purchase.
Another factor is how often you’ll be using it. Many families have rice most days of the week, since it makes for a yummy meal that you can do a lot with in recipes. Pair it with any type of protein and vegetables, and you have a full meal ready to go in no time.
Spend Enough to Make it Worth It
So, first things first, spend enough to make the purchase worth it. We recommend most products in the $125-$350 range, depending on the size of your household, how much rice you’ll be making, and the features you’re looking for.
This is because it’s important to invest the amount of money that will get you a high quality, reliable cooker. Just like with any other product, you want to be getting the right features and durability, so it lasts and keeps working.
Getting the Right Size for You
As far as size goes, keep in mind how you’ll be using your new cooker on average. At the very least, you won’t want to buy one that’s too small, or else you’ll be using it multiple times whenever you have to cook more rice. This is another great reason to invest in a higher-end, larger cooker, since you don’t have to feel obligated to fill the entire cooker up with rice.
Computerized Technology (for Ease of Use)
Next comes ease of us; any cooking and warming product that uses computerized technology is always going to give you the most consistent results, which means delicious rice and happy tummys. So opting for this feature is vital when buying a new cooker (nearly all analyses we do are on these types of cookers).
Manufacturers have different names for this type of technology. One of the more popular ones is called Neuro Fuzzy technology, which basically means the cooker adapts to different kinds of rice and amounts of rice automatically. This helps produce a delicious, wholesome amount of rice each time you use your new product.
What Type of Rice Will You Be Cooking?
Another variable to keep in mind is the type of rice you’re cooking. Some of the lower end products are hard to use when varying for temperature and cooking time. Spanish rice and brown rice both cook slightly differently, which can make for interesting cooking challenges. However, the most popular brands have individual settings for each type of rice, making the cooking super easy.
Nearly all of the higher-end models by our top recommended brand, Zojirushi, has a setting for individual types of rice and cooking styles. These usually include brown, Spanish, and mixed rice, sometimes even a sushi rice mode, too.
Get a Warmer, Steamer and Cooker
There’s also one more thing to keep in mind: not all cookers are rice warmers as well. This is why most of the top products we recommend are steamers, cookers, and warmers, so when you’re enjoying your meal, your rice isn’t sitting out getting cold and potentially spoiling (if it sits out too long).
Thankfully, if you buy within the mid to high level quality range, you’ll almost always be getting a product that goes into automatic warming, and even reheating mode. These are great for big family dinners, or even conserving left over rice and reheating it.
How Often Will You Be Using Your Steamer?
Another important question to ask yourself is: how often will you be using this product. Something you use everyday will go a much farther way. This should give you confidence in investing in a more expensive, quality product.
If you’ll be using it most everyday, or at least a few times a week, your new steamer will pay for itself many times over, as you cook delicious rice with it, enjoy it, serve it to your family, etc.
A high quality product will yield much better cooking results. You’ll be happy with the rice each and every time. Technology has gotten so good these days that there won’t be any burning, or wasted rice. With the right unit, it’s simple to make it perfectly every time.
Picking Up Your New Rice Cooker Right Now
Rice is a staple food in over half the population’s diet. Thankfully, companies now offer the option for “set and forget” rice without the hassle. Just yummy rice without too much thinking. It becomes so much simpler this way.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews and will be making delicious white and brown rice here soon for your meals.
Go ahead and make your purchase today. Now is the right time to invest in the highest rated cooker that will be helping to feed you and your family for years to come. You deserve to make the purchase today.
Grain appliances are believed to have originated from japan during the post-war revival. Before they were invented, rice was being cooked using large pots placed on large stoves. Controlling temperatures on this stoves was challenging. Moreover, the cooked rice did appear the way it was intended to be.
Sony produced the first electric cooker. This cooker was made through interlocked aluminum electrodes which were later connected at the bottom of a wooden tub. The cooking results depended on the weight of the water used and the type of the rice. Rice was either overcooked or under-cooked. In 1955, Toshiba produced the first one that was commercially successful.
These products come in different shapes and sizes. You should therefore choose a model that suits you. If you are single, then you should go for a small size which is cheaper and will serve all your needs. If you have a family, then you should purchase the family size rice cooker.
Settings & Programming
Some models are more advanced than others depending on the make and model. Although there are some which are specifically designed to cook rice, they still come with additional cooking settings. If you want to cook brown rice, you simply press the button indicating brown rice.
If you are under the weather and you want to prepare some okayu rice porridge, then you press the special button and it will be ready in an instant. Cooking convenience is more enhanced with clocks and timers that are included with the more modern brands. For detailed options and settings, some models even feature digital screens.
This is a must have feature across the board. You simply set it, go to bed and you have fresh rice in the morning. You can also set it before you go to work and you will find ready rice when you come back from work.
Multipurpose & Versatility
Cooking convenience is taken to the next level with today’s models. You can use it to steam some vegetables, or even use it to barbecue some meat. With such a combination, you will have a fresh, healthy, home cooked and affordable meal within a few minutes. There are some cookers which can allow you to cook all of them simultaneously in the same equipment.
Majority of today’s rice cookers accommodate a variety of uses. You can use the special cooking settings to prepare soups, meats, steam vegetables, and stews with the press of a button. Some also have special steaming trays. Others double as pressure cookers and crock pots. Using the timer, you just need to prepare the ingredients in the morning, adjust the timer and you will have a balanced meat when you get home from work.
Most models manufactured in modern times have a feature that keeps food warm when it is inside the cooker. Some can be used as slow cookers while others can also be used to bake bread or have features that maintain the suitable temperatures for fermentation of bread dough. Safe, convenient, and clean, these products make cooking rice easy and with timers, you can prepare a good meal conveniently even if your schedule is busy.
This piece of kitchen equipment can handle other tasks in the kitchen. It is with no doubt that it is the easiest way to prepare perfect rice. However, it is also gives convenience when it comes to preparing other foods. The good news is that it can also be used as a slow cooker to prepare a different variety of other meals. You just set the timer and go about your business. You can manipulate your cooker to cook other meals.
When you want to prepare breakfast, this is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, many breakfast foods can be prepared using a rice cooker, including us it to prepare boiled eggs. You can prepare many eggs at the same time. If you do it right, they’re also very easy to peel.
Oatmeal and other breakfast cereals can also be prepared easily as well. They should be soaked overnight in the steamer, and then cooker early in the morning in less than thirty minutes. Cooking oatmeal requires the porridge setting thus not possible for those who have a simpler on/off cooker. Other hot breakfast cereals that can be prepared this way include barley, breakfast rice puddings, cinnamon and breakfast grits.
Side Dishes & Whole Meals
One of the main benefits of using this products is that you can mix ingredients for your meal and leave it. As you cook your rice, you can also steam meat and vegetables. To add flavor, the broth produced when steaming vegetables and meat can be added to the rice. Most cookers come with instructions on how to use the steaming tray. If you want a full one-pot meal, you can decide to steam a whole fish while lining the steamer basket with vegetables.
Creamy mac and cheeses that require minimal heat or watching can also be prepared using a cooker. If you soak beans overnight, you can cook them, too. Cooking time can range from thirty minutes to three hours. The good thing with a pressure cooker is that you do not have to watch over your lentils, kidney beans, or soy beans when they are being cooked. Just set the time and leave. Chilies, soups and stews are another option for you to prepare.
Snacks & Desserts
If you do not have a conventional oven, then you can turn to your new product to prepare tasty desserts as well. Homemade hummus is a good treat. You can customize it to make it mild or garlicky according to the way you prefer. It takes about half an hour or less to prepare chick peas. Then, you can proceed to puree the chickpeas with the ingredients of the hummus. To obtain poached fruit, you can cook a fruit in hot liquid in order to absorb the flavors. Other desserts that you can prepare with your model include tapioca pudding, cheesecake, banana bread, and chocolate cake
The right model of steamer and cooker gives you different options in terms of meals. You just choose the one that you want to cook, prepare the ingredients, and set the timer. Most models are clearly more than a simple grain warmer which is why we review only the top products to feature here.
Top 3 Most Popular Rice Cooker Recipes
When it comes to your kitchen, a lot of appliances can serve multiple uses. Your grain steamer is yet another appliance that can be used to create a variety of delicious meals, not just rice. While many of these appliances today are electric, there is a bit of a past to this convenient product.
The Kamado was an earlier model used in Japan from 300 to 710 A.D. and was constructed out of clay, soil, and brick. Burning logs were placed underneath, which would heat water and cook the rice at the top. Eventually this evolved into the Oki-Kamado, a portable version with removable parts that would be the predecessor to the Imperial Kamado, an earthenware cooker.
These models eventually produced the Okama, made of metal and constructed in an efficient oval shape and were used only to cook rice. This eventually gave way to using electricity for cooking, which was experimented in the Taisho era (in the mid-1920s). However, these were more stoves or tubs with heating coils.
The Mitsubishi Electric Corporation created its own model in the late 1940s, but it required attention while cooking and was not automated. In 1956, Toshiba released 700 automatic models on the market and had employees go door to door to demonstrate the product. The popularity soared, and Toshiba was producing 200,000 models a month. Not more than four years later, they were found in half of Japanese homes.
Many owners are surprised to find out that pasta is a great dish to throw in your cooker. It takes a little getting used to, but you can successfully make pasta just about anytime. Keep in mind how much you can fit in, because pasta does double in size in the process of cooking.
For a decent portion, add one cup of your favorite pasta, a little bit of salt, and a teaspoon of oil. Cover with water and add about 1/8 inch more so it doesn’t cook al dente (unless you want that). Stir once or twice through cooking and catch before it switches to ‘warm’ for best results, and then you can go ahead and cook up a nice fresh tomato sauce with onion, garlic, oregano, and any fresh veggies you desire to go with it.
Hummus is a delicious snack that can be enjoyed with a variety of foods, like pita pieces, vegetables, and chips. Well, you no longer have to rely on the store to get your fix.
Cooking the chickpeas will take about half an hour, but be sure to soak them before you start. Cook your chickpeas in the model, remove them, and blend with your choice of ingredients, oils, and seasoning. Yum!
Nothing can really beat a decent pot of chili, and it’s even better when you make it in your cooker. Use pre-soaked or canned beans to save time. Combine a combination of your favorite ingredients and customize to make a great chili that satisfies. For a basic recipe, you can use ground turkey, beef, or chicken, black beans, tomato paste, sauce, chili seasoning, oregano, chili pepper, and salt and pepper. Cook raw meat in cooker until fully browned, then add your beans and tomato sauce and paste. Mix, add the seasoning, and then turn on for another full ‘cook’ cycle. Serve with a little shredded cheese on top and you’ve got yourself dinner!
More About Why Zojirushi Rice Cookers Are the Best
Have you ever seen those cute little appliances with the elephant on the front? Chances are you’ve been to a friend’s house and seen the little container with the electrical plug sitting on the counter. Did you ever wonder what it was for? What you were seeing was a Zojirushi, a classic grain steamer that allows you to easily cook rice as well as a number of other varieties of foods. You don’t just have to cook grains — one can cook quinoa, make soup, and more.
Where Zojirushi Appliances First Began
The Zojirushi Corporation is an established company based in Japan, the origin of grain appliances. This multinational manufacturer is responsible for many other products that people use in everyday life as well, including electric kettles. Founded in Osaka in 1918, the company was actually first named the Ichikawa Brothers Trading Company. However, the company name was changed thirty years later to the name Kyowa Manufacturing Company. The title was finally changed once more in 1961 to the name it holds today. That is also when the company made the decision to adopt a cute little elephant as its corporate logo. In fact, the name of the company literally means elephant mark, so it was a good mascot choice to say the least.
Zojirushi Corporation is now one of the largest producers of rice makers in the world. These warmers can help you make the perfect bowl of grains with the touch of a button. Zojirushi creates reliable products that will stand the test of time. Many customers have owned their warmers for several decades and are still using them. Produce a wonderful bowl of grains every time with an automated process that allows you to effectively ‘set it and forget it’ as well as actively change the way they are cooking in order to get the best result.
A formidable lineup of steamers and cookers span the company website. Their smart steamers can actually sense what the temperature is using their thermal sensors and will adjust their cooking to achieve the desired result. Even the simple products with designs on the side are beautiful, such as the calm white and sensible tan coloring of the Automatic version (NS-RNC10). With a lock tight lid, cool touch body, durable and non-stick inner cooking pan and retractable power cord as well as a fancy side condensation collector, this Zojirushi model in one of its most simple forms is still a sophisticated piece of machinery you need in your kitchen.
Zojirushi has a appliance in every size you could ever need. Small is good for one to two people, while families may want the larger, 8 cup models. With so many capable and reliable models on the market, and an impeccable sensor and timing system installed on each one, it’s easy to see why steamers from the company are so popular. Research above to see what Zojirushi has available. We’re sure at least one will be the perfect fit for your kitchen.
Last Updated: 7/16/2016