Growing up with rice as part of the every day meal, I took very much for granted, how rice was cooked. It was only during my stint as a post-graduate student in the UK that I came to learn that rice could be cooked in so many ways.
Most women in Asia are highly skilled at cooking rice, whether directly in a bowl or steamed in individual portions in a large wok as being a staple of the asian diet, rice was often eaten at least once a day if not more often.
In Japan, rice is even eaten at breakfast.
The ‘traditional’ British way, however, was a revelation as I watched in awe, mouth hanging open as my landlady boil rice with a significant amount of water in a saucepan and then strained the water away – it turns out that was how rice was cooked outside of Asia.
The general consensus to cooking perfect rice depends largely on the grain to water ratio. For most types of rice this is a one to one ratio. However there are some types which inherently require more water than others, basmati for example typically needs more than the american long grain while the thai fragrant rice is often sensitive to ‘over-watering’.
To this day though, I have relied on a trusty rice cooker to get my rice perfectly cooked and fluffy and if your eating rice more than 3 times a week, I would definitely recommend getting one. There’s nothing like knowing that you’ll have a pot of perfectly cooked rice without any more effort than rinsing the rice and immersing it in enough water.
Beyond the basics of simply cooking rice, the modern day rice cooker also manages to cook stews, risottos, side dishes, even complete one pot meals. We have a list of recommended cook books below.
If you’re considering getting a rice cooker, but are not sure about what size to get, our recommendation would be to get the larger capacity one even if you’re a 2 or 3- person family. The larger capacity (10 cups or more) will allow you to bulk cook for future meals while still able to cook a small amount of 2- or 3 cups of rice.
8 Best Premium Multi-function Rice Cookers
1. Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker – COMPACT
The Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is compact yet versatile, and is ideal for singles and smaller families. Its clear-coated stainless steel exterior keeps it clean and makes it durable. The microcomputer chip inside allows it to cook perfect rice every time.
- Cooking Functions: White/Mixed, Sushi, Porridge, Brown, and Quick Cooking
- Features: Inner cooking pan provides even heating for better cooking and measuring lines for precise control of ingredients. Detachable inner lid, easy-to-read LCD control panel, automatic and extended keep-warm setting, reheating cycle, delay timer with two settings and a built-in retractable power cord. Small footprint takes up minimal counter space. Accessories include measuring cup, nonstick rice spatula, and spatula holder
- Capacity: 3 cups uncooked rice makes 6 cups cooked rice (idea for small families)
- Dimensions: 7.5 inches x 11.8 inches x 9.1 inches
- Available in NS-LAC05XT Black and Stainless Steel (Silver) or NS-LAC05XA White and Stainless Steel (Champagne)
Also: Zojirushi NS-VGC05 Micom 3-Cup Electric Rice Cooker – COMPACT
2. Instant Pot IP DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker 5.5-Cup – MULTI-COOKER, SLOW COOKER, PRESSURE
We first looked at Instant Pot in our multi-cooker comparison. The Instant Pot IP DUO60 goes beyond a rice cooker. It combines the functions of a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker/porridge maker, steamer, sauté/browning, yogurt maker and warmer all in one.
- Multi-Functional Cooker: Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer & Warmer
- Features: Large, easy to use control panel with 14 built-in Smart Programs, Dual pressure, Automatic keep-warm and 3 temperatures for saute and slow cook. Include 3-ply bottom stainless steel cooking pot, stainless steel steam rack with handle & manual and recipes in English, Spanish, Chinese and French
- Capacity: 6 Quarts.
- Dimensions: 12.2 inches x 13 inches x 12.6 inches
The NS-ZCC10 is your straight forward rice cooker. None of that multi-cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker function or baking function, just an honest rice cooker. The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Warmer features advanced Fuzzy Logic technology, which allows the rice cooker to ‘think’ for itself and make fine adjustments to temperature and heating time to cook perfect rice every time.
- 5-1/2-cup computerized rice cooker and warmer with advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology
- Multi-menu selections; automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycles
- Spherical, nonstick inner pan allows for uniform heating; LCD clock and timer; retractable cord
- Includes 2 measuring cups, nonstick rice spoon/scooper, rice spoon holder, and recipes
- Measures approximately 14 by 8 by 9 inches; a bigger Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 10-Cup 1.8L version is also available.
4. Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker 5.5-Cup – MULTI-COOKER, SLOW COOKER, PRESSURE
The cheaper of the two Instant Pot in our list, a programmable multi-cooker also with pressure cooker feature, the IP-LUX60’s only difference is the lack of Yogurt Maker capability. The fermentation program (keep warm for up to 99 hours 50 minutes) is not available. Otherwise, the capacity and power are the same, at 6 Quarts and 1000Watts respectively.
- Fully automatic 6-in-1 Multi-Functional Cooker–Pressure Cooker, Saute/Browning, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer & Warmer
- Large, easy to use control panel with ten built-in Smart Programs, automatic keep-warm, and 3 temperatures for saute/browning and slow cook
- Delay cooking time up to 24-Hours; Manual setting up to 120 minutes of cook time
5. Panasonic SR-DE103 5-Cup “Fuzzy Logic” Rice Cooker – SLOW COOKER, CAKE
The cooker’s push-button control panel promises fool-proof operation, while its “Advanced Fuzzy Logic” technology automatically adjusts the power level and cooking time as needed to ensure excellent results. Choose from four menu options for cooking rice, or select one of the additional settings (steam, slow-cook, cake, and porridge) for enhanced versatility.
- Micro-computer “Fuzzy Logic” controlled adjusts power depending on how much rice is being cooked for precise cooking and more consistent results
- Black pan with white anodizing for better tasting rice
- 12-Hour keep warm, 24-hour clock, large orange LCD read-out
- Menu includes white/brown/sticky rice, porridge, steam, slow cook, 15-minute cook and cake
- Capacity: 5 cups uncooked rice makes 10 cups cooked rice
- Dimensions: 8.25 inches x 10 inches x 13 inches
6. Breville BRC600XL The Risotto Plus Sauteing Slow 10-Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer – SLOW COOKER, SAUTE
While not a rice cooker straight out, The Risotto Plus as its name suggest is a combination cooker that makes tender slow cooked meals, stir-free risotto, and fluffy rice all in the same bowl. Rice can be fluffy when steamed, creamy in a risotto, or spicy when in a slow cooked meal. The Risotto Plus™ also has a sauté setting that allows you to caramelize all your lovely fresh ingredients.
- Capacity: 10-Cup (Uncooked), 20-Cup (Cooked)
- Risotto making function creates creamy, authentic risottos without 40 minutes of constant stirring
- Advanced multi-cooker that can make tender slow-cooked meals, stir-free risotto and quinoa all in the same cooking bowl
- Saute setting that allows you to caramelize all your lovely fresh ingredients
- Aluminum nonstick bowl with easy clean nonstick coating, removable cord for serving at the table and for easy storage
7. Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Heating System 10-Cup Rice Cooker – INDUCTION HEATING
The NP-HCC18XH is from Zojirushi new range of rice cooker that uses the superior induction heating (IH) technology that efficiently provides high heat and prepares flawless rice every time. It does not come cheap but it is the biggest and can cook almost double the amount of rice compared to other cookers found here.
- Induction rice cooker and warmer with Multi-Menu cooking functions for white rice (regular, softer or harder), jasmine white rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice and quick cooking.
- Automatic keep warm & extended keep warm keeps rice at the perfect serving temperature
- Healthy cooking options: brown rice, GABA brown rice and germinated brown rice
- Delay timer (2 settings), easy to read LCD with orange back light
- Capacity: 10 cups uncooked makes 20 cups cooked rice (1.8 Liter)
- Dimensions: 9.5 inches x 15.5 inches x 11 inches
- A smaller variety is also available Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker 5.5-Cup /1.0 L
Other Induction Heating Model:
8. Zojirushi NP-NVC18 Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker 10-Cup / 1.8 L – INDUCTION & PRESSURE
The Zojirushi NP-NVC18 is the highest in Zojirushi’s range of rice cookers. The cooker stands out from the other cookers listed here. Not only does it use the superior induction (IH) heating technology, it also uses a pressurised system that elevates cooking temperature to higher levels. Rice cooked with pressure is softer and stay softer for longer.
- Multi-menu cooking functions include settings for white, mixed, sushi/sweet rice, porridge, brown, GABA brown and quick cooking.
- Umami setting extends soaking and steaming time for better rice
- Steam-reduce setting reduces steam to 50-percent of regular setting
- Scorch setting toasts rice to a crispy golden brown, ideal for special dishes
- Easy to ready colored LCD control panel with clock and delay timer
- A smaller variety is also available Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker 5.5-Cup /1.0 L – INDUCTION & PRESSURE
BONUS: Midea MB-FS5017 10-Cup Smart Multi-cooker – MULTI-COOKER, SLOW COOKER
A relatively new name in rice cookers, the company is better known for big white appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines and fridge freezers.
- Functions: Easy-to-use, programmable digital controls with automatic Keep-Warm and 11 preset-menus (functions) include White rice, Congee, Quick rice, Brown rice (Wholegrain or Wild rice), Baby porridge, Oatmeal, Soup (Broth or more liquid based cooking), Steam, Stew (Roast or Beans, or less liquid cooking), Slow cook(up to 10h) and Reheat. There is also a slow cook function which allows you use it as a slow cooker.
- Features: 24-hour Delay Timer for flexible meal planning, 2.0 mm inner pot with non-stick coating, Includes scoop, spoon, measuring cup, steamer
- Capacity: 10 cups cooked rice
- Dimensions: 11.33 inches x 16.65 inches x 12.48 inches
As promised here are the recommended recipe books:
The Everyday Rice Cooker: Soups, Sides, Grains, Mains, and More by Dianne Phillips
The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger
Rice Cooker Meals by Neal Bertrand
My Aroma Rice Cooker Cookbook by Amy Bradshaw