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Best Rice Cooker: 5 Top Fluffy Rice Makers for 2020

Best Rice Cooker:
5 Top Fluffy Rice Makers for 2020

Rice is the ultimate blank canvas for any home chef. Whether you want to make a simple and quick dish or something complex from an international cuisine, rice can round out any meal.

Although this humble grain seems simple, cooking it correctly can be a challenge. It’s not uncommon to burn rice at the bottom of the pot, undercook it, or be left with overcooked and soggy rice.

While you perfect the main course of your dish, find the best rice cooker give you perfectly cooked rice every time at the push of a button.

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2-line Summary

The best rice cooker for you will have the right capacity, light indicators, keep warm features, and come with a measuring cup and non-scratch accessories. Also check for multi-use features for flexible cooking options.

Our top choice is the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10, because of its user-friendly features and variety of cooking options. If you’re looking for a budget option, we recommend the Proctor Silex 37534NR.

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NameCooking TypeCapacity (uncooked)Cook Time (White Rice)
1. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10
Editor’s Choice 2019
Fuzzy Logic (Microm)5.5 Cups~ 40 minutesCHECK PRICE
Editor's Choice
2. Instant Pot DUO60Fuzzy Logic (Microm)4 Cups~4 minutesCHECK PRICE
3. Hamilton Beach 37548Simple Electronic4 Cups~ 35 MinutesCHECK PRICE
4. Zojirushi NP-HCC10XHInduction Heating5.5 Cups~40 minutesCHECK PRICE
5. Proctor Silex 37534NRSimple Electronic3-4 Cups~ 20 minutesCHECK PRICE

 

Buying Guide Summary for the Best Rice Cooker

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Types: When looking for a rice cooker – you’ve got three main choices: fuzzy logic cookers, induction cookers, and simple rice cookers.

Induction cookers are the best since they can fine-tune the temperature to cook rice more evenly. Fuzzy logic cookers are great as well since they do their best to adjust their cooking temperature based on microchip sensors. Simple rice cookers also get the job done with a heated plate at the bottom of the rice cooker. With simple rice cookers, there’s no ability to adjust temperature or timing.

Capacity and Versatility: The two most important specs to consider are rice cooker capacity and its ability to cook other items. Some rice cookers are best suited for only rice, while others can prepare a range of things – from soups to stews to steamed vegetables.

Here’s a rice cooker checklist for your shopping decision:

  1. Type of Rice Cooker (Fuzzy Logic, Induction, Simple, Microwave)
  2. Cooking Capacity
  3. Easy Cleaning (Non-Stick & Dishwasher Safe)
  4. Multi-Use (Steaming Basket, Can Cook Hot Cereals, etc.)
  5. Light Indicators and Delay Settings
  6. Cooking Accessories (Non-Scratch Spoons, Ladles, and Measuring Cup)

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Overall Best Rice Cooker: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10

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The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 checks all the boxes for a great rice cooker. It’s got a variety of pre-set options and a medium-sized capacity that makes it great for meal prepping or large family dinners. Extra features like its retractable cord and included accessories make it a nice ‘starter’ option for a rice cooker.


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Pros

  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Big Capacity (5.5 Cup uncooked)
  • Keep Warm, Extended Keep Warm, and Reheat abilities
  • LCD Clock and Timer
  • Some Multi-Use
  • Includes two measuring cups, non-stick rice spoon/scooper, rice spoon holder, and recipes
  • Removable Lid for Easy Cleaning

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Cons

  • Relatively Slow at Cooking, Especially for Brown Rice
  • Not good for steaming

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User-Friendly Features

This Neuro Fuzzy model automatically switches to keep warm once your rice is ready. It also has an extended keep warm and reheating cycle. Its large LCD clock and timer makes it easy to read from a distance.

It also has a built-in retractable power cord, making it hassle-free to move your cooker from the kitchen counter to the dining table. The fuzzy logic allows you to be a little loose with your water to rice ratio because this cooker can adjust cook time and temperature to make sure your rice is tasty.

Cooking Options

With the press of a button, you can choose from a range of pre-set options. These include white rice (including regular, sushi, and choosing between softer or harder), as well as mixed, porridge, sweet, semi-brown, brown rice, rinse-free, and quick cooking.

CHECK PRICE

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Best Simple Electric Rice Cooker: Instant Pot DUO60

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The Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker is a simple but effective rice cooker. It cooks rice quickly and is a great option for dorm rooms or anyone on a tight budget. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other models – it can still be used to cook other grains and cereals, as well as steam vegetables.


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Pros

  • Comes in Four Capacity Sizes
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • Pressure Function Cooks Faster
  • Easy Cleaning: Many Components Dishwasher Safe
  • Mid-Range Price Point
  • Removable Cord
  • Very Multi-Use: Can Cook Variety of Things

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Cons

  • Some people say that Instant Pot doesn’t honor their warranty

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Multi-Use to the Max

This Instant Pot DUO says it can do it all. This appliance claims it can replace your pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer – and even yogurt maker. Its pressure cooking ability gives it the “Instant” name, since it works to cook food faster. You can alter the pressure level as well.

The Duo comes with fourteen pre-set program settings: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurization, and Pressure Cook.

Versatile Accessories & Features

The Duo comes with a stainless-steel steam rack, rice paddle, measuring cup, soup spoon, condensation collector, and recipe booklet. The cooking pot, lid, and steam rack are all dishwasher safe, making for easy cleaning.

It has the option for up to 24-hour delay start. This option is great if you want something ready first thing in the morning or warmed up before you get home. The Keep-Warm feature maintains the temperature of the food until you’re ready to serve.

The removable cord makes it easy to transfer your Instant Pot from the kitchen to the table and helps it be less bulky when in storage. Finally, the Instant Pot comes with a cookbook so you can get inspired on how to take full advantage of its cooking ability.

CHECK PRICE

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Best Simple Electric Rice Cooker: Hamilton Beach 37548

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The Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker is a simple but effective rice cooker. It cooks rice quickly and is a great option for dorm rooms or anyone on a tight budget. Although it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of other models – it can still be used to cook other grains and cereals, as well as steam vegetables.


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Pros

  • Four Cup Capacity (uncooked)
  • Some Multi-Use
  • Pre-Programmed Settings
  • LED Screen with Timer
  • Delay Start & Keep Warm Setting
  • Non-Stick Pot, Dishwasher Safe

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Cons

  • Difficult cleaning as lid doesn’t detach
  • Lid opens from left to right, making it less safe if you open with your left hand (steam)

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Great Functionality

Like most things, you’d expect that a lower price means fewer features. However, this Hamilton Beach model punches above its weight given the simplicity of the product.

This model comes with four pre-set options for white rice, whole grains, hot cereal, and steam. It can cook rice, whole grains, cereal and steam veggies, seafood, and meat. It. The countdown time will tell you the remaining time and sets to an automatic keep warm function if you’re not ready to eat.

Space Saving Features

Rinsing rice before cooking helps prevent clumping and gummy rice. The steam basket that’s included in this cooker can double as a convenient place to rinse your rice. Because you can cook your veggies over the rice, it saves you pots, pans, and time. At just 8.2 x 9.7 x 9.9 inches – this cooker doesn’t take up valuable counter space.

CHECK PRICE

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Best Induction Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH

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The Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker is a great option for rice enthusiasts who want perfectly cooked rice. This professional-grade appliance specializes in rice and isn’t designed for other uses. However, the rice that this model yields is some of the best – thanks to its precise induction heating system.


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Pros

  • Induction Heating System
  • LED Screen with Clock, Timer, and Pre-set Functions
  • Detachable Lid for Easy Cleaning
  • Large Capacity (5.5 Cups Uncooked)
  • Sleek Stainless-Steel Color
  • GABA Brown Rice Setting
  • Pressure Cooks

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Cons

  • Price is on higher end
  • Not Multi-Use (Intended for Just Rice)

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Induction Heating

Induction heating improves rice cookers in three ways: the temperature-sensing methods can be precisely adjusted, the heat distribution is more even, and the temperature in the cooking pan can be quickly changed and controlled. All these great benefits come with the Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker.

If you really care about perfect texture and cooking, this rice cooker outperforms others on this list. Although it can’t cook a range of things – there’s something to be said for doing one thing and doing it very well.

GABA Brown Rice Setting

This rice cooker also has a unique feature – GABA Brown Rice Setting. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid. This compound is said to help lower blood pressure, decrease chronic pain, and relieve stress. Using the GABA Brown Rice setting activates the GABA by soaking it for two hours at 104°F before cooking.

The reason this model can germinate brown rice is because of its induction heating feature. The induction ability lets the cooker maintain the precise temperature needed to make GABA brown rice.

CHECK PRICE

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Best Budget-Friendly Rice Cooker: Proctor Silex 37534NR

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If you rather skip the frills of LED screens, delay timers, and other extras – choose the Proctor Silex 37534NR Rice Cooker. This little workhorse will cook white rice without fuss or frills.

At this great price and lightweight size – you can have a reliable, inexpensive kitchen buddy for short-term travel, dorm rooms, or small apartments. Due to its smaller capacity, it’s an ideal option if you are living alone or with only one other person.


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Pros

  • Least expensive Rice Cooker on Our List
  • Four cup capacity (uncooked)
  • Automatic Keep Warm Function
  • Non-Stick Cooking Pot
  • Pot, Lid, and Accessories are Dishwasher Safe

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Cons

  • Some reviews say it’s closer to a three cup (uncooked) capacity
  • Need to be precise with water to rice ratio

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Simple Yet Versatile

Just because this cooker doesn’t have pre-set buttons doesn’t mean it can’t cook a range of foods. This Proctor cooker can cook white rice as well as other grains like quinoa, barley, sorghum, buckwheat, and more. Turn it on in the morning for healthy and hearty oatmeal or other hot cereal.

This cooker also has a steam basket, meaning you can enjoy freshly steamed vegetables or fish with your rice. Since there’s no timer or settings, the glass lid can help you monitor when your food is ready.

Handy Accessories & Features

This Proctor model includes a steam basket, measuring cup and rice paddle. The automatic keep warm function means you don’t need to run over to your rice right when it’s finished. The cooking pot and all its accessories are dishwasher safe, making the cleaning step a breeze.

CHECK PRICE

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Buying Guide for the Best Rice Cooker

There are a few things you’ll want to consider when choosing the right rice cooker for your needs – the type, and certain specs that come with your cooker.

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Types of Rice Cookers

Fuzzy Logic (Microprocessors): Fuzzy logic rice cookers are built with microprocessor computer chips (“micoms”) that allow them to adjust cooking time and temperature based on what it ‘senses.’ It lets the cooker make judgment calls on how to adjust its settings to ensure your final product is as delicious as possible.

Induction Heating: While simple rice cookers apply heat directly from an electrical plate at the bottom of the cooking pan, induction-heating rice uses heat from the alternating electric current. This allows for more precise temperatures and more even heat distribution. This feature usually comes at an increased price, but if you’re a rice aficionado – this is worth the investment.

Simple Electric Rice Cookers: These rice cookers heat the rice from the bottom up and don’t allow for adjustments in cooking time. They’re usually more affordable than other options and still produce great rice. With these, it’s more important to carefully measure the water vs. rice ratio – but they get the job done.

Microwave Rice Cookers: These rice cookers are a convenient option and make use of an appliance you likely already have. However, they can involve a bit of a learning curve and have unreliable results. Many reviews cite burning rice (or even the rice pot!) on the first few tries. For these reasons, we decided not to review this category of rice cooker.

Now that you know the types available – here are some specs you should check for when choosing the best rice cooker for you.


Rice Cooker Specs

Capacity: First and foremost, check the capacity of the rice cooker. As a rule of thumb, a typically service of rice is 60 to 90 grams. This comes out to around a cup per person when cooked.

You should aim to use at least half of the rice cooker’s capacity. If you have too little rice in a large capacity cooker, the chances of poorly cooked rice increase.

If you have a family of four, you’ll want to be sure that your rice cooker can handle around four cups of rice at a time. Even if you’re just one person – consider if you want to use your rice cooker to do meal prep for the week.

Easy Cleaning: Rice cookers are meant to make your life easier, from meal prep to cleaning up. Non-stick coatings make it easier to clean the rice cooker. These rice cookers are usually made from aluminum or stainless steel. Bonus points if the rice cooker and its accessories are dishwasher safe.

You may also want to see if you can get a rice cooker where the lid detaches, making for easier cleaning.

Multi-Use: If you’re hesitant to buy a one-function appliance – some rice cookers also function as slow-cookers, pressure cookers, and can cook grains other than rice. If you’d like these extra features, check for a rice cooker that is multi-use. More advanced rice cookers have these other grain or cooking options as buttons on their panel.

Some rice cookers also come with a steaming tray. This tray allows you to cook vegetables from the steam released from the rice. It’s a nice way to have some freshly steamed vegetables along with your rice.

Indicators & Delay Settings: Modern rice cookers should be able to give you a range of information from a quick glance. Make sure you get a rice cooker that has light indicators. These indicators will tell you if the rice is still cooking or is ready to eat.

Some will have timers on the front that show how much time remains until the rice is finished cooking. This is helpful if you’re keen on having your main meal finished at the same time as your rice.

If you already know the timing is going to be off – good rice cookers have a “keep warm” setting so that the rice stays warm and ready to eat for up to three to four hours later. Some cookers also have a delay setting so that you can rinse and prepare your rice for cooking and the rice cooker will turn on at the time you set.


Cooking Accessories

Rice cookers should come with a few standard accessories to make the appliance ready to use. Typically, the minimum accessories should be a rice paddle and a measuring cup.

The measuring cup helps you put the correct amount of rice in given the servings you want. These rice cooker cups aren’t the same size as standard measuring cups – so it’s important your cooker comes with one. The rice paddle helps you fluff the rice and prevent scratching the rice cooker when serving.

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Choosing the Best Rice Cooker – FAQ

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Question: Are there any tips and tricks to using a rice cooker?

Answer: The main three tips we have are:

  • Rinse your rice before cooking. Try to get the water nearly clear before adding the rice to the cooker.
  • Don’t open your rice cooker lid while cooking – this lets out the steam and can disrupt the result.
    Let your rice rest for several minutes once it’s done cooking. Fluff your rice to help extra moisture be released and to avoid rice clumping.

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Conclusion

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We hope that by reading this guide, you see that choosing the best rice cooker can be a real help in the kitchen. The best rice cooker for you will depend on your preferred capacity, and how many extra features and functions you expect it to have.

Overall, the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 is the best option if you’re new to rice cookers. It’s a friendly price point, the capacity is perfect for most homes, and it can handle a range of rice types and other grains.

If you’re looking for your rice cooker to handle more than just rice – the Instant Pot Duo or the Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker can pull extra weight in the kitchen.

If you’re serious about your rice and want only the most reliable and high-quality appliance, the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker will make perfect rice every time.

And finally, if you’re interested in a simple and effective rice cooker without making a big investment, the Proctor Silex 37534NR Rice Cooker checks your boxes.

Rice is one of the most delicious and versatile grains available. From Indian to Chinese to simple American style dishes – the rice cooker is an easy way to make cooking delicious and healthy meals that much easier.

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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

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