Best Automatic Rice Cookers: for fragrant, light and fluffy rice every time

Not one for boiling and straining your rice in a saucepan on the stove or having the patience to learn the exact time and heat to apply. Overcook it and it burns, undercook it and you will have hard centred rice. With one of these automatic rice cookers, you will get fragrant, light and fluffy rice every time.

To prepare your rice, measure the amount you wish to cook using the cup provided. Pour it into the cooker and fill it up with water, up to the mark based on number of cups. As a general rule, one cup of uncooked rice yields two cups of cooked fluffy rice. Next, use the rice cook programme, timer or simply push the cook lever to start cooking, depending on the type of rice cooker. It is that easy.

These rice cookers are not just for rice, you can cook brown rice, grains, quinoa, couscous, porridge, oatmeal and more. Just make sure you use the right amount of water or program.

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Rice Cooker

A must have if rice is a staple in your daily diet, these automatic rice cookers will serve you for years to come. It will cook fragrant, light and fluffy as well as delicious rice every time. No need to watch or stir, just set it and go.

As a family, we take rice with our meals quite frequently for lunch and dinner. Our rice cooker has a big 10-cup capacity. Planning ahead, we usually cook three cups of rice in the morning. This is enough for lunch and dinner for three. That’s six meals taken with meat and vegetables for a balanced diet.

Our unit comes with multi-function programmes for cooking congee, sushi, soup, mixed rice and even bake bread and cake. But we really only use it to cook rice. This brings us to the two different types of rice cookers, those that only cook rice (the simple type) and multi-function pot cookers that steams, saute and pressure cook.

These days, even basic rice cookers come with steaming rack or basket that lets you prepare a one pot meal. You can cook vegetables, fish, meat, dumplings, eggs and more at the same time.

Top 10 Best Automatic Rice Cookers

If you are in the market for a new rice cooker or looking to replace an old one, here are some of the best rice cookers currently on the market. To make it easier to choose based on size of family or number of meals to prepare, the cup capacities are clearly marked. One cup uncooked rice is enough for two regular adults.

1. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup uncooked Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

  • Type: multi-program with timer
  • Capacity: 5.5-cup uncooked. 10-cup option available.
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Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 1.0 liter

One of the biggest names in rice cooker is Zojirushi. The NS-ZCC10 has the same 5 and a half cup capacity or 1.0 liter as the the rice cooker in our list which also happens to be from Zojirushi. It is so good that it garners two top spots. A bigger ten cup model is also available in the form of Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 with 1.8 liter capacity for 10 cups of rice. The rice cooker features all modern conveniences with its onboard fuzzy logic chip.

It has automatic keep warm function with extended and reheat cycles as well as multiple cook programs and timer, all controlled via soft touch buttons with LCD interface. Choose from white rice, sushi, softer, harder, porridge, mixed rice, semi brow or brown rice as well as dessert. The inner pan is non-stick coated and has a spherical bottom for more even heating.

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Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 10-Cup

2. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup uncooked Micom Rice Cooker

  • Type: multi-program with timer
  • Capacity: 5.5-cup uncooked. 10-cup option available
  • With steam basket
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Zojirushi NS-TSC10

This second five and a half cup cooker (1.0 liter) rice cooker from Zojirushi spots a more modern look. Like the ZCC10, the TSC10 also has a bigger, higher capacity model in the shape of Zojirushi NS-TSC18 10 cups 1.8 liter. Apart from the look and colour, the units are not very different from the ZCC series. The TSC has a more conventional inner cooking pan vs spherical type, allowing for a steaming basket insert. This allows the rice cooker to double up as a steamer to cook an extra dish with the steam menu.

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Zojirushi NS-TSC10 and 18

Cook programs with onboard micro computerised fuzzy logic system offers automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheat function for rice and other types of grains or meals. Choose from White/Sushi, Mixed, Porridge, Sweet, Brown, Cake, Steam and Quick Cooking from the menu using easy to read LCD display and soft touch buttons complete with Delay timer, Clock and Timer functions. Lastly, it also has interchangeable melody and beeps to signal that the rice is ready plus a built-in retractable power cord to quickly tidy up when done.

3. Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked (10 cup uncooked) Digital Rice Cooker

  • Type: multi-program with delay timer
  • Capacity: 10-cup uncooked (20 cups cooked)
  • With steam basket and slow cooker function
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Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB

Aroma Housewares offer two digital rice cooker, a basic model with limited programs and a professional plus model. Even with the basic model, as listed here, you get a rice cooker with slow cooker and steamer functions. It comes with a built-in steamer function so you can prepare rice or soup and a second dish like fish, meat or vegetable using the provided steamer basket that sits hanging on the top half of the cooking pan.

The big 10 cup rice or 20 cup cooked capacity lets you prepare enough rice for up to 20 people. What is really impressive is, for the price, it comes with a user friendly interface with soft touch buttons and digital display with delay timer, modern conveniences from a ‘basic’ rice cooker. Included with the rice cooker are rice spatula, measuring cup and steamer basket.

If you like this Aroma Housewares unit, consider the more expensive Professional Plus model.

4. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Rice Cooker

  • Type: multi-program (4 one press program)
  • Capacity: 5.5-cup uncooked. 10-cup option available.
  • With food steamer and slow cooker functions

This Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W rice cooker may not have a digital display panel or a timer but it is still a very capable rice cooker. Four quick set buttons allow you to access the cook programs. They are synchrony-cooking (a bit more about this later), plain rice, brown rice and slow cooking or steaming.

The synchrony-cooking program lets you cook the main dish and rice at the same time. Pretty neat for a small unit. Use the cookbook to make the most of synchronous cooking. Once the program is finished, the keep warm function automatically kicks in. Finally, a bigger 10-cup version is also available if you like to keep things simple, not worry about having to work a timer and yet be able to prepare for more people.

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Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W

5. Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer 8 Cups Cooked (4-Cup Uncooked)

  • Type: multi-program (4 one press programs)
  • Capacity: 4-cup uncooked. 8-cup option available
  • With Steam & Rinse Basket
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Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker 4 cup uncooked

This rice cooker from Hamilton may look like a multi cooker or pressure cooker but it is simply a programmable rice cooker. It comes with a smaller 4 cup rice uncooked capacity which makes up to 8 cups of cooked rice or whole grains. There are four programs available to choose from; white rice, whole grain, hot cereal or steam function.

It is supplied with a spatula, measuring cup and steam basket. The latter lets you steam seafood, vegetable or minced meal simultaneously while it cooks the rice. That same basket can also be used to wash and rinse your rice. Lastly, the cooker also supports a countdown timer and will automatically turns to keep warm after cooking.

6. Zojirushi NHS-06 (3-Cup uncooked) Rice Cooker

  • Type: Simple
  • Capacity: 3-cup uncooked
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Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Uncooked

Here is the first 3-cup rice cooker on our list. The Zojirushi NHS-06 together with offerings from Aroma Housewares, Black and Decker and Aroma Simply are the smallest 3-cup rice cookers listed here. For the individual, couple or small family, a 3-cup rice cooker is all you need. Like I mentioned before, between the three of us, me, my wife and daughter, we take 3 cups of rice for two meals, lunch and dinner.

On top of that, this is also a simple rice cooker, one that just works. No bells of whistles, just your straight forward press-to-cook with keep warm function function at the end. This is not to say that simple rice cookers are in any way bad. I grew up with one of these and that it served the family for years with no nasty surprises.

7. Proctor Silex Rice Cooker & Food Steamer 8 Cups Cooked (4 Cups Uncooked)

  • Type: Simple
  • Capacity: 4-cup uncooked (8 cups cooked)
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Proctor Silex Rice Cooker 4-cup uncooked

, White (37534NR) 4.4s1018

Another simple cooker, this time from Proctor Silex. The 37534NR has a non-stick cooking pan and a see through glass lid. Like the Zojirushi before, it has a simple press to cook button with keep warm function at the end. The way to cancel the keep warm is to unplug it. There is not much else to say apart from it being a reliable rice cooker for those who just wants their riced cooked and not having to fuss with too many features. It does have a slight advantage over the Zojirushi in that it has a bigger 4-cup capacity.

8. Aroma Housewares 6-Cup cooked (3-Cup uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

  • Type: Simple
  • Capacity: 3-cup uncooked (6 cups cooked)
  • Steamer Stack included
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Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Cooked

Back to a small 3-cup sized cookers, here is an entry from Aroma Housewares. This rice cooker is again a simple unit with an exception. That, this Aroma Housewares rice cooker comes complete with a food steamer stack. Being a simple rice cooker means it has a single level for press-to-cook and keep warm function when ready. The steam tray can be used to steam minced meat, eggs, vegetables and seafood while the rice cooks underneath.

To use it without the steamer, simply put the tempered glass lid directly on the cooking pan. Apart from the steam tray, a measuring cup and rice spatula are included. Our advice for simple rice cookers with steamer is to make sure that any meat or fish that you place in the steamer is cooked thoroughly. If need be, put it on a heat proof dish unless you do not mind the juices mixing with your rice. Cut up big pieces of meat, fish or vegetables to facilitate cooking. The ARC-743-1NG is available in three colours; white, black or bright fire engine red and is easily one of the most affordable rice cooker in the market.

9. BLACK+DECKER RC506 6-Cup Cooked 3-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

  • Type: Simple
  • Capacity: 3-cup uncooked (6 cups cooked)
  • Steaming Basket included
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BLACK+DECKER RC506 6-Cup Cooked

This Black and Decker rice cooker is one of two featured here in our line-up. The RC506 is smaller of the two with 3-cup uncooked rice capacity. When ready, it will yield up to 6 cups of cooked rice. As it is a simple rice cooker, there is nothing to tinker with, just your straight forward press to start lever. The non stick pot is removable as is dishwasher proof although to make the coating last, we recommend hand washing it with non-abrasive sponge and warm soapy water. Used together, the steaming basket lets you prepare a healthy meal with vegetables, fish or meat all in one pot. Finally, the one thing that we find useful with simple rice cookers is the see through tempered glass lid, it lets you check on the food without having to open it.

10. Aroma Housewares Simply Stainless Rice Cooker 3-Cup Uncooked

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Aroma Simply Stainless 3 cup uncooked rice cooker

Not one for non-stick coated cooking pan, the unique selling point for this Aroma Housewares unit is that it comes with a food-grade 304 stainless steel pot. The advantage this has over non-stick pan is that it will not scratch and peel. But it also means that you will have to put up with some rice sticking to the pan, nothing an overnight soak can’t take care of. This is once again a simple rice cooker with a single lever. Push the lever down to start cooking when ready and it will automatically flip to keep warm mode when ready. Lastly, included with the rice cooker are spatula and measuring cup. It is worth noting that a bigger 14-cup model is also available, that is if you are looking for a stainless steel pan in a rice cooker.

BONUS: BLACK+DECKER RC516 16-Cup Cooked 8-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker and Food Steamer

  • Type: Simple
  • Capacity: 8-cup uncooked (16 cups cooked)
  • Steam basket included
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Cooking for a big family or planning to entertain, this bigger rick cooker from Black and Decker got you covered. It looks very similar to the RC506 or 6 cup cooked version above. In fact, Black and Decker does a range of rice cookers with the same design. With sizes ranging from 3-cup, 6-cup, 14-cup and 16-cup here to a whooping 28-cup.

As you would expect from simple rice cookers, it has a press-to-cook level with keep warm function. The removable pan has a non-stick coating and the accompanying steaming basket lets you steam and cook at the same time. Remember, If this is not big enough, check out the 28 cup cooked option.