Hi there, and welcome to our review of the top five electronic rice cookers, 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 rice cooker”, 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 rice cooker! 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 rice cooker 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 rice cookers 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.
Rice cookers 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.
History of Rice Cookers
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 rice cooker which was commercially successful.
Rice cookers 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 and Programming
Some rice cookers 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 in the modern rice cookers. For detailed options and settings, some models feature digital screens.
This is a must have feature in all rice cookers. 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 and Versatility
Cooking convenience is taken to the next level with today’s rice cookers. 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 rice cookers 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 of the rice cookers 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.
Rice cookers are safe, convenient, and clean. It makes cooking rice easy and with timers, you can prepare a good meal conveniently even if your schedule is busy.
Although it is called a rice cooker, 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, the rice cooker is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, many breakfast foods can be prepared using a rice cooker. A rice cooker can be used to prepare boiled eggs. You can prepare many eggs at the same time and they end up being easy to peel.
Oatmeal and other breakfast cereals can also be prepared through a rice cooker. They should be soaked overnight in a rice cooker 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 the 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 a rice cooker 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 cheese that require minimal heat or watching can also be prepared using a rice cooker. If you soak beans overnight, you can cook them using a rice cooker. Cooking time can range from thirty minutes to three hours. The good thing is with a pressure cooker, you do not have to watch over your lenticels, kidney beans, or soy beans when they are being cooked. Just set the time and leave chilies, soups and stews are another delicacy that your rice cooker can prepare. Just put the ingredients inside the pot and wait. Make sure that it does not overflow and soil things.
Snacks & Desserts
If you do not have a conventional oven, then you can turn to your rice cooker and prepare those desserts. 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 rice cooker include tapioca pudding, cheesecake, banana bread, and chocolate cake
A rice 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. It is clearly more than a simple rice cooker.
Guide Last Updated: 12/24/2015