The Best Rice Cooker (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Rice Cooker Review GuideRice is a great side dish that goes with just about anything. Whether you make white rice and brown gravy to accompany your homemade meatloaf or you make brown rice as a healthy side with your baked chicken or fish, rice is a versatile side that can be enjoyed with all of your favorite entrees. However the one drawback to rice is cooking it. You have to constantly stay on top of the pot to make sure that it doesn’t boil over, resulting in a huge mess, or worse, that the rice burns so it’s inedible and your pot is ruined.

Cooking rice can be a hassle, and it can even distract you from cooking your entree and other sides. To cook your rice perfectly every time without having to keep your eye on the pot every second, you might want to consider adding a rice cooker to your kitchen.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Rice Cookers of 2016

What is a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is a small kitchen appliance that is used to cook grains of rice. You can cook white rice, brown rice, jasmine, yellow, sticky, and many other types of rice in this device. These are designed to be very easy to use; all you have to do is add your rice, add the correct amount of water, shut the lid, and set the timer.

There’s no more hovering over a stovetop, no more rice sticking to your pot, and no more burning your side dish. This is truly an appliance that allows you to “set it and forget it.”

What are the different types of Rice Cookers?

This appliance is a must-have item for anyone that cooks a lot of rice, whether it’s for a side or as part of your main dish. Before you buy, though, familiarize yourself with the different types of cookers you may want to purchase.

Basic models – These come in various sizes and have different features like heat settings and timer options. These are designed solely to cook rice.

Steamers – These are used primarily for steaming rice, but they pull double duty in allowing you to steam vegetables and other foods. They are easy to use, use less energy than a traditional stove, and result in far less cleanup.

What are the Advantages of Owning a Rice Cooker?

These devices take the guesswork out of cooking rice. You won’t have to sit at the stove, you won’t have to worry about burning your rice, or serving it before it’s fully cooked. You’ll have perfect rice every time with just a few simple steps. You can set the timer right on the device, and it will shut off when it’s finished cooking, so you don’t have to worry about overcooking like you would on a stovetop. If you buy a steamer, you can also steam your favorite vegetables and foods to create a healthy meal that your family will love.

Who are the contenders for Best Rice Cooker?

Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and Steamer – This is an excellent appliance for anyone that wants to cut down time in the kitchen and save money. This affordable model is designed to cook your rice to perfection, but that’s not all it does. It also allows you to steam your favorite meats and veggies while you cook your rice, and you can even use it for soups, stews, and other recipes. This versatile model comes with a built-in timer, is easy to use, and is available at a great price.

Black & Decker RC3314W Rice Cooker – If you have a large family or entertain often, you’ll get a lot of use out of this cooker. In addition to making large quantities of rice, it also comes equipped with a steamer basket, providing you with a healthy way to cook a variety of different foods. The non-stick bowl prevents your food from sticking, and it’s removable to cut down on cleaning time. It has various settings that allow you to cook your food perfectly or just keep it warm until it’s time to eat, and it is available at a low price point.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker and Warmer – This appliance is designed for the serious chef, but even if you don’t have much experience in the kitchen, you’ll find it so simple to use. Looking beyond its modern design, you’ll see that it offers all of the functions you could ever want in a small appliance. In addition to being able to cook your rice so it tastes just right, it can also steam a variety of foods, providing you with a faster and healthier way to cook. When you’re done with the main course, it even has an option that allows you to bake a moist, delicious cake for dessert, making this one of the most versatile cookers on the market.

Considerations for Choosing the Best Rice Cooker

Now that you’ve made the decision to add one of these small appliances to your kitchen, it’s almost time to start shopping. Before you begin, though, you need to do a little research to make sure you buy a great product. No one wants to get stuck with a lemon that spends more time in the storage cabinet than cooking a meal, so before you buy, take note of these four features for every product that catches your eye.

Price
These appliances can be very affordable but like any other product, there are lower end models, as well as high-end models that come with the higher price tag. If you don’t plan on using your cooker that often, a basic model may do the trick. However, if you want a more versatile model that cooks, steams, and performs other functions, you should raise your budget to purchase a model that does it all.

Warranty
Electronic items sometimes fail, and you shouldn’t be held responsible if this happens. With a warranty in place, you won’t have to worry about something going wrong beyond your control. Manufacturer’s warranties, which can last from a few months to several years, protect your purchase from defects that cause your product to fail or not work as it should.

Capacity
If you’re making rice for yourself or for a smaller family, a cooker that makes just a few cups may do the job. However, if you have a large family or plan to steam large amounts of vegetables or meats, you’ll want a high-capacity model in your kitchen.

Uses
As mentioned, these appliances can pull double-duty, and some can even go beyond that. If you like steamed foods, make sure the product you choose comes with a steamer basket that lets you cook other parts of your meal while you cook your rice.

Price

Aroma Digital Cooker and Steamer

This model has a price tag of $30, making it extremely affordable.

Black & Decker RC3314W

This is another budget-friendly option, setting you back just $40.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

This model costs around $190, placing it on the higher end of the pricing scale when compared to other products.

Warranty

Aroma Digital Cooker and Steamer

You’ll receive a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty with your purchase.

Black & Decker RC3314W

A 2-year limited manufacturer’s warranty protects your purchase of this appliance.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

Your purchase is backed with a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.

Capacity

Aroma Digital Cooker and Steamer

This model has a capacity for two to eight cups of cooked rice.

Black & Decker RC3314W

This cooker holds up to eight cups of cooked rice.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

You can make up to 10 cups of rice with this machine.

Uses

Aroma Digital Cooker and Steamer

This not only cooks rice, but it also has a steamer basket that allows you to steam other foods. It is also great for soups, stews, and chili.

Black & Decker RC3314W

You can steam vegetables and other foods in the included steamer basket.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

You can cook rice, steam, keep your food warm, make porridge, bake a cake, and much more with this versatile model.

Conclusion: Our Rice Cooker Reviews Are In

Aroma Digital Cooker and Steamer – Best Cheap Rice Cooker

Aroma Digital Rice Cooker and SteamerThis is a great and very affordable option for your kitchen if you’re new to using a rice cooker. This model is built to perform, but it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. You’ll enjoy the easy-to-use controls, which allow you to select white or brown options, adjust the timer, or set a delay for later cooking. It also has a warming function that keeps your food hot and ready to eat until it’s time to serve it.

While you cook your rice, you can use the steamer basket to make your favorite steamed vegetables, or you can throw in meats like fish that taste delicious and are healthier when they are steamed. This model can also be used for soup, stew, jambalaya, and other mixed recipes, making this a versatile appliance you can use daily.

Pros:

It is affordable. It comes with a warranty. It has a nonstick interior. Digital controls make it easy to use. It can be used for a variety of different cooking functions. It has an attractive stainless finish that looks great in your kitchen. It’s easy to clean. It comes with all measuring tools you need.

Cons:

The Teflon lining may throw some users off who don’t use products with Teflon. It is quite small. It may leak some water, particularly when making larger portions. Cooking time takes longer than with more advanced cookers.

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Black & Decker RC3314W – Best Rice Cooker for the Money

Black & Decker RC3314W Rice CookerIf you want a high-quality appliance that isn’t overly complicated, this fits the bill. This model doesn’t have all of the digital controls that can be confusing to use, so it’s very straightforward. This doesn’t mean that it’s not designed to perform, though, as you’ll find that it cooks rice to perfect and steams like a dream.

This model creates up to eight cups of cooked rice, and you can also use the steamer basket to steam other foods at the same time, which results in a faster meal and less mess. The cooking bowl is non-stick, so you don’t have to worry about your food sticking and burning, and it’s removable, so it’s easy to clean. It also features a warming option to keep your food at the perfect temperature until it’s time to serve, and it’s backed with a great warranty.

Pros:

It is affordable. It is easy to use. It lets you cook rice or steam various foods. It comes with a measuring cup and spoon. It has very easy to read instructions. It is very simple to clean. It comes backed with a better warranty than other models. It works very quickly.

Cons:

Water may leak with larger volumes of rice. It is a bit small. The nonstick coating may peel or chip over time.

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Zojirushi NS-TSC10 – Best Rice Cooker Overall

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker and WarmerThis is a great model to add to your kitchen collection if you believe in buying nothing less than the best. This high-end model not only looks great, but it outperforms many other similar appliances on the market. The first thing you may notice is its stainless steel finish, which is very easy to clean, and its modern digital controls. After you use it, though, you’ll notice just how well this device performs.

You can use this to make many types of rice, including white rice, mixed rice, brown rice, or even sushi rice. It’s ideal for making porridge, it can be used as a steamer with the included steamer basket, and it can even be used to make a moist and tasty cake for dessert. It has an auto keep warm feature, or you can set it for an extended time while you cook the rest of your meal. It has a reheat cycle, it’s very easy to clean and maintain, and it has a retractable cord that keeps it neat and uncluttered on your countertop.

Pros:

It offers many different functions. It’s easy to use. It has interchangeable alert tones. It has a delay timer. It’s easy to clean. The controls are easy to use. It comes with a detailed instruction manual and recipe book, including cake recipes. The inner lid is removable for easy cleanup. It comes with a warranty. It has a sleek, modern stainless finish that looks great in any kitchen. It works as a steamer. It cooks all types of rice. It has a large 10-cup capacity.

Cons:

It is more expensive than most other cookers. The nonstick coating may peel or chip over time.

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While cooking rice seems like it should be a very easy task, having to constantly monitor cooking progress, set the right temperature to avoid a pot that boils over, and cooking it so it’s done but not burned can be difficult, especially when you’re cooking other things. Avoid the hassle and make your job easier with a rice cooker, which is designed to let you add your ingredients, set the timer, and move on to other tasks.

If you’re looking for a model that has it all, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 looks great in your kitchen and performs like you wouldn’t believe. With many different functions, this multi-tasking kitchen item will quickly become your new favorite small appliance.