Best Rice Cookers: Top 5 Models, According To Food Experts

While culinary enthusiasts often advocate for shifting from the stovetop method to a dedicated rice cooker, you might wonder if you really need another appliance on your packed kitchen counter. The advantage? A rice cooker delivers consistent results, freeing you from constantly watching over the pot. Rice cookers come in a variety of sizes and styles. There are basic models and advanced multi-functional devices that can steam veggies or even make stews and soups.  Many top models also have a “keep warm” setting to keep the rice at an ideal serving temperature. With so many options, which is the best rice cooker? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to!

While many believe that brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice, a new study proves that this is actually a myth! It turns out that while brown rice has slightly higher levels of nutrients, eating it over white rice doesn’t actually make much of a difference in the long run. So, next time you pull out your rice cooker, you don’t have to feel too guilty about making white rice instead.

How to Cook Rice Correctly:

The best rice cookers can make cooking rice a breeze, but there are still a few things you can do to make sure your rice turns out perfectly every time.

1. Rinse the rice. This removes excess starch, which can make the rice sticky or gummy. To rinse the rice, simply place it in a fine-mesh strainer and run cold water over it until the water runs clear.

2. Use the correct water-to-rice ratio. This ratio will vary depending on the type of rice you are cooking. For white rice, a good general rule of thumb is to use 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of rice. For brown rice, use 2 1/4 cups of water for every cup of rice.

3. Add a pinch of salt. This is not essential, but it can help to enhance the flavor of the rice.

4. Stir the rice and water together. This helps to distribute the water evenly and prevents the rice from sticking to the bottom of the rice cooker.

5. Close the lid and turn on the rice cooker. The rice cooker will automatically switch to warm mode when the rice is done cooking.

6. Let the rice sit for five to 10 minutes before fluffing and serving. This allows the rice to absorb any remaining water and prevents it from becoming mushy.

Not all rice varieties need rinsing. Some packaged rice is pre-rinsed, and rinsing again can remove fortified nutrients. Always check the package instructions. Brown and wild rice have less surface starch than white rice and may not need as thorough a rinse, and some rice cookers come with a designated rice-rinsing bowl. If you want to find the best rice cookers to get the perfect batch all the time, which ones are worth it? We have compiled a list of the top five models to consider below. Love one you don’t see on the list? Let us know in the comments section.

Steaming spoonful of white rice
Steaming spoonful of white rice (Photo by Faris Mohammed on Unsplash)

The List: Best Rice Cookers, According to Food Experts


1. Zojirushi 5.5-cup Induction Rice Cooker

Zojirushi is a household name for rice enthusiasts and makes several excellent rice cookers, two of which make our list. “This model is as high-tech as it gets,” according to Bon Appetit. “It comes with the same nonstick cooking pot and Keep Warm function that our fave model boasts, and it can similarly cook multiple types of rice, tackle ingredients other than grains, and auto-adjust its settings. The result is the most evenly cooked rice you’ll ever eat: Each grain comes out fluffy, tender, and more flavorful than rice cooked in any other machine.”

Zojirushi 5.5-cup Induction Rice Cooker
Zojirushi 5.5-cup Induction Rice Cooker

This Zojirushi rice cooker is intuitive to use and easy to clean, according to Epicurious. “The nonstick inner pot was the heaviest of any we tested, and the markings inside that indicated how much water to add for various types of rice were the easiest to see (the markers are white, which contrasts well with the dark pot). But the thing that really set this machine apart was its use of induction heating, which provides a precise, even heat source that warms the whole pot rather than just the bottom. (Most rice cookers simply have a heating element that warms the bottom of the pot, which can result in uneven cooking and browned bits at the bottom of the batch.) Rice from the Zojirushi was always evenly cooked; it was fluffy, perfectly tender, and just overall better than the rice we made in every other machine.”

If you eat rice every day or are a professional cook looking for fancier features, Food and Wine says this is the rice cooker for you. “The rice cooker comes with many presets on its clear display panel: white or sushi, quick, mixed porridge, Sweet, Brown, cake, and steam. The display might be tricky for less savvy users, but the instructions make it easy to use. Since this rice cooker makes large quantities of rice, it isn’t the best choice for someone with limited countertop space or storage. We found the rice texture kept consistent during the keep warm function, which lends further credence to the machine’s temperature regulation thanks to induction heating.”

2. Zojirushi 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer

Epicurious says, “The Zojirushi 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer costs less than the induction model, yet features many of the qualities we loved in the winning Zojirushi. It comes with a similarly sturdy cooking pot and has an intuitive, easy-to-use digital interface with a Keep Warm function and preprogramming options. We also like its retractable cord and the handles on the pot that allow you to safely lift it from the rice cooker while still warm.”

Zojirushi 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Zojirushi 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer

“After more than 150 hours of research and testing, during which we’ve cooked approximately 275 pounds of rice, we recommend the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10,” states The New York Times. “It makes the best white rice, across all grain types, of any cooker we’ve tested, and it also turns out great brown rice.”

CNET states, “The Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker not only produces perfect rice in fairly large quantities, but it also allows you to personalize your rice, if you prefer it dryer or moister, along with well-calibrated settings for brown rice, sushi rice, porridge, and other grains.”

3. AROMA Digital Rice Cooker

Dubbed the “Best Budget” rice cooker by many, The Food Network found, “The Aroma Rice Cooker worked surprisingly well despite its low price. It cooked the white rice really well, producing fluffy, tender, and individual grains of rice. The cooker comes with a steamer basket, measuring cup, and rice paddle.”

AROMA Digital Rice Cooker
AROMA Digital Rice Cooker

Food and Wine says, “This a simple and affordable stainless steel cooker for any household. We loved how the display panel is clearly labeled and has excellent features like telling you how much time remains in the cook cycle, allowing you to plan meals better. Its eight presets, such as slow cook, sauté, and steam, make this an affordable workhorse that goes beyond just making rice.”

“Considering how expensive high-end rice cookers can get, this one is shockingly affordable for its performance and features,” writes The Spruce Eats. “The controls are basic, but they include separate modes for white rice, brown rice, and steaming, as well as a simple display that counts down the cook time remaining. We found excellent results testing the machine with sushi, jasmine, and brown rice—especially the latter, which came out fluffy and not sticky at all.”

4. Cuckoo Pressure Rice Cooker

“The makes the best sushi rice of all the cookers we tested—chewy, distinctive grains that hold together perfectly,” states The New York Times. “Because it’s a pressure cooker, it also delivers these results more quickly than the other rice cookers we tested. The Cuckoo is especially handy at cooking brown rice quickly, in some tests taking almost half the time it took the Zojirushi.”

Cuckoo Pressure Rice Cooker
Cuckoo Pressure Rice Cooker

Food writer Justine Lee told New York Magazine, “The multi-cook setting is where it stuns. Multi-cook essentially turns the appliance into a pressure cooker and allows you to adjust the time and heat level…I’ve even followed recipes fitted for a traditional Instant Pot such as cinnamon buns and yakbap, which can get sticky. But cleanup with this rice cooker is a breeze across the board.”

“Once we switched the default language from Korean to English, we were off to the races with this large-capacity rice cooker,” says Food and Wine. “It’s easy to use and has several presets, including for gaba rice which is more complicated for more rice machines to cook correctly. All three styles of rice we tried were cooked thoroughly and consistently, and the warming function worked well with no scorching. The large volume is great for households that go through a lot of rice every week.”

5. Tiger Micon 5.5-cup Rice Cooker

The Food Network rates this the best rice cooker for brown rice. “Tiger cooks the best brown rice by far compared to all of the other rice cookers we’ve tested. With the specific brown rice cooking function, it took an hour to cook and resulted in tender and individual grains. If you are a brown rice lover, this cooker is for you. This rice cooker has a special function called Synchro-Cooking, which are specific recipes designed to cook the entree with the rice at the same time.”

Tiger Micon 5.5-cup Rice Cooker
Tiger Micon 5.5-cup Rice Cooker

“This Micom rice cooker combines speed, precision, ease of use, and budget-friendliness to capture the top spot in the rice cooker kitchen appliance showdown,” according to CNET. “It also has very simple controls and just four settings: white rice, brown rice, slow cook/steam, and a synchronized cook setting that allows you to cook two things simultaneously. This rice cooker comes with an instruction manual, recipe book, rice measuring cup, and rice paddle.”

“This is one of the cheapest rice cookers on the market using Micom technology,” says Epicurious. “Testers gave the white rice on the standard setting high marks. It’s a great, basic rice cooker, but it wasn’t small enough to qualify as a mini rice cooker.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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  1. Not all rice can be measured and washed using the same method (eg. sticky rice, short rice, long rice, jasmin rice etc). Rice is washed to get rid of debris, pollens, dust etc. Not starch, that is only released during cooking process and it is edible.
    I use good quality Asian rice brands and they cook in less than 5 minutes using the proper boil method.
    I use a regular pan, it is not made of unhealthy plastic, it is not toxic, it is not “nonstick”, it never brakes (used same pan for 30+ years). How long does the plastic, nonstick, electric rice cooker last? a year?, 5 years at best? I can use my traditional stovetop pan (and bamboo steamer baskets if needed) on any type of heating appliance, electric, gas, or an actual fire during a power outage. “Nonstick” !?, have you not seen the lawsuits against DuPont after being found guilty of lying about the safety of “nonstick” ?
    “Nonstick” that you have to oil just like a regular pan to prevent food from sticking, what a scam. What is the pollution footprint of that “nonstick” and plastic?
    Go watch a movie called either “Dark Waters” or “Black Waters”, it’s a true story about Teflon type chemicals being illegally dumped thus polluting a farmers land and livestock.
    “” is looking a bit suspect for trusted information.

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