THE 5 BEST Rice Cookers
September 2020
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No. PRODUCT MANUFACTURER PRICE RATINGS POPULARITY LINK
1. Russell Hobbs £19.99
7.6
2. KitchenCraft £8.14
(from 692 reviews)
5.9
3. sq professional £11.80
(from 51 reviews)
5.8
4. LLOYTRON £33.96
(from 148 reviews)
5.6
5. Tefal £34.93
(from 173 reviews)
5.4

Your Buying Guide to Rice Cookers

For Asians, rice is a staple food that is consumed on a daily basis.  And the way it is cooked makes sure that its consistency is good and that it is delicious.  Gone were the days when rice is cooked on a stove as there are a lot of electric rice cookers available to buy online or in an appliance store.

And so, we would be discussing the different types of rice cookers, what other buyers are saying, what to look out for as well as some of the most popular brands.

Types of Rice Cookers

Standard Rice Cooker

Many people are surprised to learn that electric rice cookers have been available for purchase since way back in 1955. That is when the first ones were distributed for sale by the Toshiba Company in Japan. Since that time there have been millions of them sold all over the world. Today’s standard rice cookers have not changed a whole lot from that first version that entered the marketplace.

Most of the rice cookers in this article except for the last one work off of a combination of direct heating and thermal convection. This is done based on the fact that a thermal sensor in the rice cooker can detect when all the water in it has been absorbed or evaporated; once this happens the sensor then shuts off the cooking cycle. Rice cookers are a pretty simple device that does a consistent job of making quality cooked rice.

Here are some of the main characteristics of standard rice cookers:

  • Simple to operate; just add rice, water and press a button
  • They sense when the cooking is done and switch to warming mode
  • Easy cleanup with a non-stick cooking pan
  • They come in all different sizes
  • Detachable power cord

A standard rice cooker is not the best rice cooker in the marketplace but they do a nice job of cooking rice every time you use them. There are very inexpensive options to purchase as well.

Improved Rice Cooker

What we are terming as ‘improved rice cookers’ are basically standard rice cookers that you can do a few more things with. They add a little variety to your rice cooking choices. They usually will have settings to cook one or two different types of rice’s such as brown rice. Some even have steam adding features to fluff rice that has been sitting for a while. Most also have warming and extended warming heat functions also. They will most likely have some sort of digital countdown timer built into the unit too.

Here are some of the main characteristics of improved rice cookers:

  • Simple to operate; just add rice, water and press a button
  • They sense when the cooking is done and switch to warming mode
  • Easy cleanup with a non-stick cooking pan
  • They come in all different sizes
  • They usually have settings for brown rice, adding steam and warming
  • Most will feature countdown and delay timers with digital readouts
  • Detachable power cord

The main thing these will do is give you a few more of choices when it comes to cooking your rice. The quality of rice they make is usually a slight improvement over standard rice makers, and they are still on the inexpensive side.

Multifunction Rice Cooker

These rice cookers basically expand upon what was started with improved rice cookers. They also can not only cook other varieties of rice than white but they can also cook sushi rice and rice porridge. They are very versatile in the different rice cooking settings they have to say the least.

They accomplish all of these rice cooking tasks by having expanded control technology. Many also feature digital displays with built in count down timers and delay settings also. Some will also have such characteristics as extended warming times and reheat cycles. Those with detachable lids and retractable power cords can double as serving bowls for the rice once it’s cooked.

Here are some of the main characteristics of improved rice cookers:

  • Simple to operate; just add rice, water and press a button
  • They sense when the cooking is done and switch to warming mode
  • Easy cleanup with a non-stick cooking pan
  • They come in all different sizes
  • Micro computer technology
  • Retractable power cord.
  • Can make white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, sushi, porridge and more
  • LCD control panel with Timer functions
  • Detachable lid

The people who buy these rice cookers generally like more control over the way their rice is cooked or like to cook several different varieties of rice. They tend to produce a slightly higher quality of cooked rice. They also allow the user to cook other varieties of rice without having to constantly monitor them. That alone will justify the price for many people who buy multi-function rice cookers. They have a mid-high price tag and the sales of these types of rice cookers continue to grow each year.

Induction Heat Rice Cooker

These style rice cookers are definitely the best rice cooker in the marketplace. Call them state of the art for rice making if you will. They not only have multiple rice cooking settings but they can do a whole host of other cooking tasks too. They may not look like much bit in reality they are a high tech piece of cooking apparatus. Along with that they are also the highest priced rice cookers by far.

How does an induction rice cooker work? It was mentioned that a regular rice cooker works by transferring heat to the inner pot through thermal induction; this tends to produce a lower and less consistent heat. An induction rice cooker produces a magnetic field that when it contacts the cooking pot it super heats it quickly; this is a higher more constant heat so it makes better rice on a consistent basis.

The drawbacks with induction heating rice cookers are they use more energy and are they are more expensive as mentioned before.

Here is a summary of what induction rice cookers give you:

  • Higher and more consistent heat than regular rice cookers
  • They produce flawless rice every time
  • Most induction rice cookers also have setting for jasmine rice, brown rice, sushi rice and more
  • Digital/Multi-function control pads
  • Warming and extended warming features

Despite their drawbacks induction rice cookers always seem to get very favorable rice cooker reviews from those that own them. They have become extremely popular, and if you buy one, you will truly own the best rice cooker in the marketplace. To say these are incredible rice cooking products is a very big understatement.

What Other Buyers Are Saying

When you buy a rice cooker, choose one, which fits your needs and preferences as well as your budget.  There are a lot of rice cookers available so, you can spend as much time as you need in canvassing the perfect one for you. 

Here are some feedback that customers have left for a popular rice cooker on Amazon:

I have just tried this rice cooker, I've got an amazing basmati rice with vegetables ready in 20 min! Really easy to handle, 2 switches only.  It is a bit wide so it takes a bit of space but the exterior doesn't get hot so you can touch it while cooking.

Had two of these now and both items have shorted out due to an electrical fault. Visible burn marks as shown in the pictures. Same issues as other users have described. Amazon customer service amazing as always.

The rice once cooked, the bottom layer is very hard. Also during cooking time the water spitting out and I have wipe off the cooker all the time after use.

What to Look Out for

When you buy a rice cooker,  be sure to get one that fits your needs and it's within your budget.  There are those that offer simple cooking of rice and there are those that have more features like having your rice warmed up before you and your family eat.  Also, check for where to get after-sales service so, you would know where to have the rice cooker repaired in case it breaks down.

Most Popular Brands

Tefal - is a popular brand in the US that manufactures electric rice cookers, which can automatically cook and warm rice.  Also, it's easy to clean and its parts can be put in your dishwasher for cleaning.

Lloytron -  is a popular brand on Amazon UK that makes rice cookers, which are simple electric cookers and keep rice warm.

SQ Professional - is a brand that manufactures rice cookers, which can cook and keep rice warm with LED indicators.  Also, it has a glass vented lid and  a non-stick bowl that lets you see it cook rice in action and it's easy to clean.