With specially-crafted designs that work with a selection of grain types, from white and brown rice to quinoa - and even oatmeal, these versatile countertop cookers will get endless use in your kitchen. In our guide to the best rice cookers, we’ve picked a selection of brands like Cuckoo, Philips, and Zojirushi, as well as options from Instant, Dash, and NutriBullet. When shopping for the very best, it’s usually a good idea to go for a Japanese brand, as these rice cookers often include ‘microm’ technology. This stands for micro-computer and means there are smart sensors to detect the temperature and weight of the rice and make the necessary cooking alterations automatically. There are also induction rice cookers that evenly spread the heat distribution across the entire cooking pan. Alternatively, models that come with modes for cooking more than just rice can be the smarter choice for those who want a more flexible design. Our best Instant Pots can cook rice and slow cook at the same time, and they can even pressure cook meats to pair with your rice.

Best rice cooker

While we’ve not tried all of the best rice cookers in this guide, we have spent time researching and comparing only the very best designs and included some of our favorite Homes & Gardens-approved models. Explore our top 8 rice cookers below so you can make the right choice for your kitchen and cooking habits. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT looks smart but doesn’t take up more space than is necessary. It has a three-cup capacity, which will be more than enough for most families, and modes for all sorts of grains. Why we love it Using the modern convenience of induction technology, the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT is only activated when the pot is on the heating elements. This is a nice safety feature and will also serve to heat the rice directly instead of the pot around it. That speeds along the cooking time. Made in Japan, you can trust that the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT (just like any Zojirushi rice cooker) is designed to take the cooking of rice and grains very seriously. That includes brown rice, which has numerous health benefits but is tricky to cook.  Features The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT is a pricier choice, but it does have more power than most rice cookers. Modes include white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free, and quick cooking. Available in pink and silver, the Cuckoo CR-0632F is our top pick from the iconic rice cooker brand. It is by no means Cuckoo’s most expensive offering, but it has ten cooking modes and a six-cup capacity of uncooked rice, which will yield 12 cups of fluffy, cooked grains.  What we love The controls are very smart indeed, with a timer to set your rice ahead of time, and a quick cook mode for speedy meals. While the display looks a little confusing at first it is easy to get to grips with, especially thanks to the included instruction manual.  It also has a self-clean function, which is a blessing for anyone who hates dealing with the sticky remnants of last night’s rice, and great insulation for easy keep-warm and reheating.  Features Settings include White Rice, Gaba Rice, Quick Rice, Multi Grain/Brown Rice, Porridge, Multicook, Slowcook, Auto Clean, Warm, and reheat. The pot is nonstick, which is a blessing for easy cleaning.  One of NutriBullet’s latest launches, the brand is branching out from making some of the best blenders and trying its hand at rice cookers. I love the design of this one, which is slick and space-age.  Why we love it There is a steaming insert, so I steamed broccoli at the same time as cooking the rice, saving on additional pots and pans and using other cooking appliances. It’s also very safe, with a secure button on top of the machine to open it easily.  A lot of rice cookers have cluttered displays, but this one is a good mix of simple but multi-functional. Cook white rice, brown rice, quinoa, grains, and oats with the aptly-named EveryGrain.  Features The cooking pot is non-stick and you’ll also get a steaming insert, measuring scoop, and recipe guide to get started. As with most NutriBullet products, the accessories can all go in the dishwasher.  The Panasonic Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker cuts back on the complicated controls that often come with microm rice cookers, leaving you with picture-led one-touch controls for cooking white and brown rice, soup, steam cooking, quick meals, and porridge.  Why we love it The thoughtful touches with this Japanese-style rice cooker are what set it apart. The domed lid will allow drops of water to fall back into the cooking pot, and it can also keep your meals warm for up to 12 hours.  Because it’s an induction rice cooker, it will automatically adjust cooking times depending on the amount of rice you add. That’s pretty foolproof.  Features The Panasonic Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker is quite a large rice cooker for its internal capacity. It can take five cups of uncooked rice, which when cooked will serve a family.  What we love The design may be small and simple, but it is thoughtfully made with a nonstick pot and keep-warm handles.  Included with the rice cooker is a rice paddle to make serving straightforward, and the included measuring cup is marked for straightforward servings and perfectly fluffy grains, every time.  Features  The Dash Mini Rice Cooker has one button, so there will no hassle in choosing the right mode for you. It also has a keep warm function to make sure your rice is ready to eat whenever you need it.  Instant pot makes some of the best air fryers we’ve reviewed, and the brand also has a budget-friendly and smart rice cooker. The capacity is eight cups, which is plenty of entertaining, and there is even a 20-cup option for feasting.  Why we love it You can use the Instant Pot Zest 8 Cup Rice Cooker to steam veggies and meat as well as cook rice. There is a dishwasher-safe steaming rack included with the rice cooker, and a thick and easy-to-clean pot. With a button for delayed starts and one to keep warm once your grains are cooked, the Instant Pot Zest 8 Cup Rice Cooker is also an excellent option for busy homes.  Features There are five modes in total: white rice, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and steam for vegetables and fish.  The lid is hinged, which can be a pain if you’re storing it under countertops and want to open it easily.  It looks the part, and the GreenLife Healthy Ceramic Nonstick Go Grains also has smart and easy-to-use controls to make sure your rice is cooked perfectly.  Why we love it The four colors include white, pink, blue, and yellow, and they are all very easy on the eye. The dishwasher-safe removable parts will also ensure that cleaning is easy, and the exterior is heatproof to be safe for use in the busiest kitchen.  Features The four cooking modes are for white rice, brown rice, quinoa, and steel cut oats for perfect oatmeal.  Delay start will allow you to preset your rice so is fluffy and ready to eat whenever you need it.  The MUJI Rice Cooker - 3 Cup’s simple and sleek design can effortlessly integrate into the modern home, adding a small yet stylish touch to a kitchen. Why we love it Legendary Japanese designer, Naoto Fukasawa (opens in new tab) designed  this rice cooker to embody an elegant simplicity that can grow with a kitchen for years to come. Small enough to fit into a variety of different kitchen settings, the design can cook up the perfect bowl of rice - and keep it warm until you are ready to serve. Features With eight different settings: brown, quick, rinse-free, mixed, white, sprouted, curry and porridge, the design can cater to a range of meal types. With a warm setting and custom timer and menu options, the cooker also comes with a supplied measuring cup.

How to choose the best rice cooker?

First and foremost, the best rice cooker should cater to your entire family with no limitations in capacity. If you only need to cook portions for one or two, a smaller rice cooker will be more than enough. However, we have also included rice cookers with a capacity of up to 12 cups of cooked rice.  Another thing to consider is functions, because while many smart rice cookers offer up to ten settings for all sorts of grains, beans, and pulses, others are far more simple and designed to cook only brown and white rice. The Dash rice cooker, which is the cheapest in our guide, is also the most simple. For those who want to cook white rice only, it is a top choice.   For more information on how we conduct our reviews, explore our how we test page.

What is the best rice cooker brand? 

Many opt for Asian rice cooker brands such as Zojirushi and Cuckoo, and it’s easy to see why. These rice cookers often lead the way in smart designs and, most importantly, perfectly cooked rice. That said, many brands such as Instant and Dash have come out with excellent alternatives that often cost far less, and are designed to make oatmeal and quinoa as well as white and brown rice. 

How much should I spend on a rice cooker?

You can buy a decent rice cooker for as little as $50, but some of the best rice cookers in our guide come up to $200, or more.  For your added money you will get a micom rice cooker. Micom cookers are the most modern options on the market. They are often powered by induction cooking, which is not only safer, but more efficient. 

What else can you make in a rice cooker?

Many of the best rice cookers in our guide have steaming modes to cook vegetables and fish as well as making rice. See the best slow cookers for something to cook your mains to pair with your rice.  More than just white and brown rice, you can cook dehydrated beans and grains such as quinoa and even oatmeal in some rice cookers - ideal for when exploring a range of grain recipes.

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