There are dozens of quality rice cookers available. So, how do you choose the right one? We can help you out.
How to Choose the Best Rice Cooker
Rice cookers come with plenty of features and options. But, when you are shopping for a cooker, there are just two main areas to consider:
- The size of the rice cooker
- The type of rice cooker
First, you will determine what size you need. This is based on the number of cups of uncooked rice that you would like to prepare. Then, you can explore the different types of rice cookers. Pay close attention to both of these factors in order to make the best choice.
Choosing the Right Size Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are measured based on their capacity. The most common sizes include 3, 5, and 10-cup rice cookers. This refers to how many cups of uncooked rice the machine can cook. Just so you know, the cooked size will nearly double. One cup of uncooked rice will generally yield about two cups.
Choosing the right size for your rice cooker is not complicated. You just need to think about how many servings you would like to make. Typically, one cup should be enough for one person. So, if you regularly cook for 2 or 3 people, then a 3-cup rice cooker should suffice.
Use the following info to find the right size for your rice cooker:
- 2 to 3 people – 3-cup rice cooker
- 4 to 6 people – 5-cup rice cooker
- More than 6 people – 10-cup rice cooker
Type of Rice Cooker
After considering the size of the rice cooker, you need to think about the type of cooker that you would like to use. Luckily, this decision is almost as easy as choosing the size. There are only two main types of rice cookers to concern yourself with – the basic on/off rice cookers and fuzzy logic rice cookers.
Basic On/Off Rice Cookers
As the name suggests, the Basic On/Off Rice Cooker has a simple on/off operation. You simply add water, add rice, and press the on button. When the rice is done with the cooking, the machine will automatically turn off.
- Average price: $20 to $50
- Pros: Affordable
- Cons: You need to be careful when measuring rice and water
These are the most affordable rice cookers, but they do not have the advanced heating technology that you will find in Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers. While you can save money by purchasing a Basic On/Off Rice Cooker, you will need to be careful when measuring out your ratio of rice and water.
Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
The other type of cooker is the Fuzzy Logic rice cooker. These machines use artificial intelligence to monitor the rice as it cooks. A Fuzzy Logic rice cooker can make adjustments based on the type of rice that you are cooking and the amount of rice.
- Average Price: $100 to $450
- Pros: Perfect rice every time
- Cons: More expensive than the Basic On/Off rice cookers
Fuzzy Logic rice cookers cook perfect rice every time. You always get fluffy, soft rice, even if you do not happen to get the measurements exactly right. The machine can sense when the rice is not cooking properly and will adjust the time or temperature to always give you fluffy rice.
Additional Rice Cooker Features
The size and type are the two most important considerations when shopping for a rice cooker. Though, there are other features to think about. These features will not make a difference in the quality of your rice, but they can be a nice bonus:
- Delay timers
- Programmable controls
- Steam tray
- Measuring cup and serving spatula
- Additional cooking functions (such as soap, oatmeal, or yogurt)
Some of these features are more likely to be found with the Fuzzy Logic rice cookers. For example, additional cooking functions are primarily not included with a Basic On/Off rice cooker. Though, you can find machines in any price range with various programmable controls and bonus features.
Recommended Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers
If you are ready to start your search for the perfect rice cooker, then begin by looking over the following recommendations. These are some of my favorite rice cookers. There is an option for any budget, size, or type:
Best Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker – This is the top-of-the-line rice cooker and you will pay a top price – about $400. While the price tag is not cheap, you get what you pay for. This rice cooker can do it all. Along with preparing rice, you can make soup, oatmeal, and other meals.
Best Value for Money
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 – If you do not want to spend as much on a rice cooker, but still want flawless rice, then consider this option. Also from Zojirushi, this cooker typically costs about $170.
Best Small Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-LAC05 – 3 cup rice cooker – Another option from Zojirushi, this 3-cup rice cooker is a great option for those that want a small machine. You can easily prepare enough rice for two or three adults.
Recommended On/Off Electric Rice Cooker
The Basic On/Off rice cookers are still suitable options. If you are not worried about getting your measurements wrong or do not care about the fancy features sometimes found on the Fuzzy Logic rice cookers, then consider going with some of these recommended on/off electric rice cookers:
Best Basic Rice Cooker
Aroma Rice Cooker – This is definitely the best rice cooker for under $50. Cook white or brown rice. This machine also includes a delay timer for delaying the cooking time for up to 15 hours.