Rice Cooker Reviews

Rice Cooker ReviewsRice Cookers have rightfully earned a place in every American’s home. Before their invention, we were limited to using hobs and pots – slowly cooking rice to perfection. Thankfully, Rice Cookers have emerged onto the market with affordable price tags – making cooking delicious white rice a breeze in the park. Most of the models available now let you change numerous settings too – such as temperature and cooking time.

We have rigorously tested and reviewed all of the leading Rice Cooker models available to give you an unbiased buying perspective. We have formed our own opinion of the best Rice Cookers and rate each model based on numerous factors – such as pricing, cooking quality, technology and noise levels. We believe that our Rice Cooker Reviews will give you the edge in a market packed with many well performing models.

⇢ THE BEST RICE COOKERS: TOP PICKS OF 2017


Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Review

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Rice Cooker

4.9 out of 5

The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT is perhaps the most comprehensive and feature packed Rice Cooker available on the market. It firmly scores our top position mostly because it neatly fits into the market at an affordable price point. For the price, you’re really getting a superb appliance that will continue to cook rice to perfection for many years to come. An all-time firm favorite for the rice cooking family at Zozanga.


Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Review

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Rice Cooker

4.8 out of 5

The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is by far one of the most popular consumer rice cookers available. It consistently attracts positive reviews, and has been praised by many professional review outlets. For us, the NS-TSC10 is slightly out-dated in comparison to the NS-LC05XT – but that’s OK. It serves a unique purpose, and delivers delicious rice every meal time. This is a model that has to be considered for the family home.


Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Review

Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Rice Cooker

4.7 out of 5

The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 is perhaps the most popular rice cooker available. It boasts a sleek and trendy design, and is compact enough to fit into any work top surface or cabinet area. The variety of technological options are superb – giving you control over almost anything you would need to control. This model is yet another fantastic appliance delivered from industry leader Zojirushi.


Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 33969 Review

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Rice Cooker

4.7 out of 5

Finishing at 4th is yet another Zojirushi – the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT. This particular rice cooker is a bit of a dark horse. It excels far beyond any other rice cooker in certain uses, but then lacks in other areas. The overall quality of the rice after the cooking process is superb, and it’s almost like you’re eating professionally cooked rice at an authentic Indian restaurant. A must-consider rice cooker.


 Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Review

Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Rice Cooker

4.6 out of 5

Last on our list of top five rice cookers is the Zojirushi NS-VGC05. Boasting a rather small price tag, the Zojirushi NS-VGC05 features a 3-cup capacity and lets you control the cooking process through an easy-to-use menu system. This particular model is by far one of the most affordable of the Zojirushi family of cookers – but don’t let that put you off, as it also delivers exceptionally tasty rice.


⇢ RICE COOKER BUYING GUIDE: EDUCATE YOURSELF


What To Consider When Buying A Rice Cooker

Find yourself the best rice cooker for your needs by using our guide, which offers information on:

  • uses of a rice cooker
  • Sizing and cup measurements
  • Basic features
  • Advanced features

Rice cookers are one of the essential tools for the modern cook. Whether you are cooking for yourself, or working in the catering industry, the rice cooker can be the ideal way to make rice quickly, and to a high standard. Choosing the right kind of rice cooker will depend upon what you need, how often you will use the cooker, and whether you want something basic, or one of the more complicated cookers that are now available.

Uses for a rice cooker

The first step in choosing a new rice cooker is to decide what you will be using it for. This means calculating how much rice you will want to make in a single session, and whether you will also be using it for other purposes, such as to steam vegetables, or to cook a stew (as in a pressure cooker). The amount of rice that you will be cooking will help you to decide the size of the cooker that you will need, as well as the number of features you require.

Sizing your rice cooker

When you know the purpose or the reason why you are buying the rice cooker, you will have to select one which offers you the best size. If you have decided to purchase a Japanese cooker, which are often the best quality and have the most functions, when you should know that cup sizes are different. This means, for example, that UK cups tend to be 250ml and US cups 240ml, but Japanese cup measurements are 200ml. You need to be aware of this when making recipes which call for particular cup measurements. When selecting a size, you also need to work out how many cups of rice each will hold. The cooker will usually provide 1.5 cups of cooked rice for every cup put into the cooker. The standard is a medium cooker, which holds between 5 and 6 cups. Small cookers may only yield around 3-4 cups, and larger cookers will yield between 8 and 14 cups.

Choosing basic features

All rice cookers will have basic functions which allow you to control the essential parts of the cooking process. When you are looking for a simple cooker without too many complicated functions, then there are a few basic varieties of cookers which you should consider:

On/off rice cookers

The most basic function on a cooker is the on/off switch, and this is one which is commonly used by a variety of basic cookers. In this function, the cooker will operate for a certain length of time, usually a set cooking time for the rice, and will then shut off by itself. There are no extra functions, such as ‘ready’ lights to tell you when the rice has been cooked. You simply get an automatic switch which turns the cooker ‘off’ when the rice should be done. Many home cooks use this basic form because it is cheap, and the controls are easy to understand

Cook and warm

The other rice cooker which is suitable for beginners is the ‘cook and warm’ function cooker. Here, the rice is cooked until it is done, and then the cooker lowers the heat (rather than turning off completely), until the rice is used. An electronic version of this can be used to keep rice warm for as much as 12 hours. The downside is that cookers with this function have to be unplugged in order to stop them operating, which can increase your energy bill. On the plus side, they tend to be at the low end in terms of price:  and most of them are less than £70.

Advanced function rice cookers

If you want more from your cookers than a simple warming function, and are prepared to spend a little more money to get it, then you may consider cookers with advanced functions. Cookers in this range will have a non-stick pan, and may also include other accessories such as a steamer basket, which can be perfect if you want to steam dumplings, meat or vegetables as the rice is being cooked.

Rice cookers with extra functions include:

  • Multiple-settings: These are a step-up from the basic rice cooker, and allow you to set the length of time that the rice will be cooked, choose the type of cooking, and even set the cooker to produce sticky rice. This can be ideal if you cook a variety of different rice types, including brown, white rice and wild rice varieties.
  • Cycling settings: Another type of functional setting allows you to cycle different types of rice, so you may be able to use it to cook porridge, or some forms of breakfast rice. These require slower cooking that dinner rice, and so the cycling process is essential. A reheat cycle can also be used to warm up rice which has been stored overnight in the fridge, so that it is re-cooked at the right temperature.
  • Induction cooking: Rapidly becoming one of the most popular ways to cook in the modern kitchen, induction heating will allow you to have the latest in rice cooking technology. It is designed to take account of weighing errors, so that there is less chance of burning, and will also heat the rice using less energy than standard devices. These rice cookers can be expensive, often coming in at around £170, but they do help you to cook your rice evenly and accurately.

Other important features

When you are buying a rice cooker, you should also be aware of other features offered by some cooker manufacturers which can help you in the kitchen. Cookers which shut off after a certain length of time without being opened or given other instructions, for example, can prevent energy loss and can also keep you safe. Fuse and surge protectors ensure that the cooker will not overheat and cause a fire if you leave it on by accident, are also a good idea in a busy kitchen.

⇢ RICE COOKER COMPARISON CHART: COMPARE THE BEST MODELS


Our Rice Cooker Comparison Chart lets you easily navigate between the best models on the market. You’ll be able to determine the best Rice Cooker for you by filtering by: Purpose, Price and our overall score. To learn more about each model, simply click on the button to read our full and comprehensive review.

Rice Cooker Comparison Chart – by Price, Purpose and Score.

⇢ RICE COOKERS EXPLAINED: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


Using a rice cooker is one of the best ways to produce perfect rice every time, and it can save you from burning your rice, or turning it into mush. Rice has been used more often in the West in the last 50 years, and many modern cooks are now turning to one of the staples of Japanese cooking equipment, the rice cooker. If you are thinking about purchasing a rice cooker, then you may want to know more about how they work, and what they are used for.

How rice cookers are designed

There are a few basic elements which will be included in any type of rice cooker. The cooker itself is rather like a modern slow cooker in shape, with a steel cylinder body which has three or four feet keeping the heating element away from the worktop, and a lid attached by a hinge to the back of the cooker’s body, and is usually covered with a heat-resistant material. At the front of the main body there is a tool which allows you to program the cooker.

Inside the rice cooker, there is an internal cooking pan which can often be extracted to be cleaned. This is where the rice and water are placed when being cooked. The pan sits on a heating plate which covers the lower part of the interior of the rice cooker. Under this plate there is a sensor which detects when the plate becomes too hot, or when it has been hot for a certain length of time.

How a rice cooker works

Rice is traditionally cooked in pans of water, which involves bringing cold water to the boil, and then simmering the water until it is absorbed by the rice. Most cooks also allow the rice to rest for a little while before they serve it. A rice cooker is designed to help with all of these things. When you want to use the rice cooker, you put water into the pan, and then serve out as many cups of rice as your recipe requires.

The pan is then placed into the body of the rice cooker. This causes the sensor to detect that the pan is on the plate, making it warm up the plate. If you are using a basic function cooker, then the cooker will come on when the pan is placed on the heating plate, and switch off once a certain period has passed. More complicated cookers allow you to set particular functions, such as cycling which will allow you to cook different types of rice, and other cereals such as porridge, without having to restart the pan.

How you can use your rice cooker

The type of rice cooker that you select for your kitchen will depend upon how you intend to use it. Larger rice cookers are ideal for catering services, and for larger families, but single people and couples may want to choose a smaller rice cooker which only produces 3 or 4 cups of rice.

If you buy a cooker with more functions, then you may also cook other types of cereals in the pan, such as oats or barley. You may use your rice cooker to produce a stew, rather like a pressure cooker, which will allow you to cook the vegetables and meat together with cereals or rice. If you have a cooker which includes steaming panniers, then you may also be able to cook a meat and vegetable dish while heating up the rice below. This makes it easier to make an entire meal just using the rice cooker.

Particular types of rice cookers

In recent years, a new type of rice cooker has been developed which uses a much more accurate electronic computer in order to produce better rice and prevent over-cooking or under-cooking. Known as Fuzzy Logic, these rice cookers have programs which allow them to make choices between a series of circumstances, so for example the cooker will be able to calculate if rice needs to be cooked less due to warmer weather, or for longer due to very cold weather.

Fuzzy logic cookers can also help you if you should make an error in calculating the weight of the rice or the amount of water, ensuring that you get the cooking process right every time. Fuzzy Logic cookers can also allow you greater flexibility in your cooking choices, so that you might be able to select different ‘keep rice warm’ options, or choose quick-cooking methods if you want your rice dish in a hurry. They may also be able to help with specialist rice, including some rice cookers that offer textured settings, allowing you to choose between very soft rice, or more al dente rice, depending upon the requirements of your dish.

⇢ RICE COOKERS: HOW-TO GUIDE


If you have never owned a rice cooker before, or used them at work, then you may be one of the many millions of people who don’t know how to use a rice cooker. People who have used these cookers all their life are surprised when they meet people who have never used one and don’t know how, but the fact is that the process of cooking rice in one of these devices is seen as so easy that everyone must know. For those who didn’t learn it at their mother’s knee, a simple guide to using a rice cooker can help you to feel confident about using this equipment in your kitchen.

Step 1: Measuring the rice

The method of measuring out rice into a rice cooker will involve using the small cup provided with your device. This is known as a ‘cup’, and sizes can vary, depending upon where the product was made. There can be as much as 50ml difference between cup sizes, so as a first step, measure out one portion of uncooked rice into the pot, and then pour it into a jug. Alternatively, just measure out 250ml of rice into the jug, and transfer that to the cooker. This will usually make around one and a half cups of cooked rice, so you need to have enough space between the top of your rice layer and the top of the cooker to allow your rice to expand.

Almost everyone will recommend that you try to rinse out your rice before you put it into the cooker. Rice is traditionally coated with dust or similar fine powders to prevent it sticking together into a clump, and so rinsing was used to clean off this dust. In rice-cooker use, however, rinsing will help you to moisten the rice before it is boiled, helping to speed up the process and remove the modern equivalent of dust, which is an edible anti-caking agent.

Step 2: Add water

You need to add enough water to the inside of the rice cooker to ensure that all of the rice expands, and that you don’t run out of water during cooking. Most users of rice cookers will tell you that excessive water will increase the amount of time it takes for your rice to cook, so be careful about the amount of water you use. Most experienced cooks recommend that you put in the same amount of water as there is rice, so for example 3 cups of rice would need 3 cups of water. However, if you are only cooking a little bit of rice, such as 1 cup, then you may need to increase this to 1.5 cups of water.

Step 3: Add spice and flavourings

Rice can be pretty bland, so if you want to get the best from your rice dish, you should add some spices or flavourings to the rice cooker in order to give the rice some taste. Adding the flavourings to the water means that the rice will absorb spices along with the water. You may choose salt, or oil, but you may also add cardamom, turmeric, bay leaves or other spices to create the flavour you want.

Step 4: Set up the rice cooker

Most modern rice cookers come with a variety of functions which will allow you to choose how your rice is cooked. Select the settings you would like to ensure that your rice will be cooked to perfection, and then start the cooker going. During this period, don’t lift the lid to check on the rice, since there will be steam inside the cooker, and don’t leave the cooker running after the rice is cooked, unless you wish to keep it warm while you are making the rest of the meal.

Step 5: Other things you can cook with your device

If you have a rice cooker, then you may be surprised to find out that there are a host of other things that you can do with the cooker, as well as simply cooking rice. If you have a steamer, then you can add vegetables to the cooker, or you can simply put the vegetables straight into the cooker and boil as usual. With your steamer, you can also cook meat such as salmon or chicken, and you can also cook chicken directly in the pan. Some experienced users will even fry eggs in the cooker, but most rice cookers are used for simple boiling of carbs, including noodles, pasta and potatoes. Being able to do more with a rice cooker than basic rice is one reason many people in the West are now choosing to have one of these devices in their kitchen, rather than a traditional pressure cooker or soup maker.