Once I was requested to assist consider the perfect rice cookers available on the market, I jumped on the likelihood. As a Korean American and lover of all rice varieties, I felt like I had a reasonably strong understanding of not solely what good rice cooker-made-rice ought to style like, however what differentiates good rice from nice rice.
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I’ve a deep allegiance to rice cookers. Proper up there with the coffee maker, it’s the solely different gadget that will get constant and fixed use in my residence. Rising up, my household predominantly relied on Japanese rice cookers, particularly Zojirushi, earlier than shifting on to Korean manufacturers like Cuckoo. A strong rice cooker has all the time been an indispensable assist in my kitchen: able to create good, heat rice with a push of a button, so all that’s left to do is pull collectively a couple of sides for dinner.
At residence, in the case of Japanese- or Korean-style quick grain white rice, I do are likely to cook dinner it in a rice cooker 99 % of the time. Different rice varieties, together with American long-grain rice, jasmine, basmati (and their brown counterparts), will normally get cooked in a pot on the stovetop, although I can even often cook dinner them in a rice cooker as an alternative, relying on my temper. For that reason, when evaluating the perfect rice cooker contenders, I caught to short-grain white sushi rice and short-grain brown rice as my management grains.
Just a few extra notes on my methodology and experimentation:
- I used 2 cups every of raw rice: short-grain white and short-grain brown rice varieties in every of the rice cookers.
- I rinsed the rice thrice for brown, 5 instances for white.
- I crammed the water as much as the really useful line, as outlined on every of the rice cooker insert bowls. (My common technique is way much less exact.) No separate measuring cup was used.
- When there was an possibility for warming, I let any remnant rice sit for at the very least a couple of hours and as much as in a single day.
- In choosing the right rice cookers, I initially checked out dozens of opinions and scores on-line earlier than narrowing it all the way down to rice cookers whose main operate is to cook dinner rice. With so many multicookers (together with the Immediate Pot and quite a lot of sluggish cooker and stress cooker fashions) that even have this functionality, this was a straightforward approach to whittle down the enjoying discipline.
The fast conclusion? There are a whole lot of nice rice cookers on the market! With so many choices to swimsuit each want and finances (and take the guesswork out of the cooking course of), you might be certain to seek out the proper one for you and your family.
Beneath, the perfect rice cookers to return from my analysis:
Greatest Total: Zojirushi Induction Heating Strain Rice Cooker & Hotter 1.zero Liter, Stainless Brown NP-NVC10
Greatest Splurge (and Sturdy Runner-Up): Panasonic IH Digital Rice Cooker/Hotter, 1.0L mannequin, SR-HZ106
Greatest for a Vary of Rice (Together with Japanese, Sushi, Korean Rice, and Porridge): Cuckoo CRP-P0609S 6 cup Electrical Heating Strain Rice Cooker & Hotter
Greatest for Small Areas: Zojirushi NL-BAC05SB Micom Rice Cooker & Hotter
Greatest for Finances-Minded: Hamilton Seaside Rice Cooker & Meals Steamer
Best Overall: Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer 1.0 Liter, Stainless Brown NP-NVC10
I’m going to start out off sturdy with this strong Zojirushi rice cooker, a Japanese rice cooker which additionally boasts stress and induction heating capabilities to make sure completely fluffy rice every time. The NP-NVC10 options the identical “fuzzy logic know-how” featured in lots of rice cookers that assist make changes to create optimum cooked rice, a number of cooking capabilities, a nonstick internal pan and a removable stainless-steel internal lid. There’s additionally a security characteristic that forestalls the lid from opening when the Zojirushi rice cooker is on.
Execs: Feels strong; easy-to-navigate keypad; good-looking on the counter; good rice, particularly brown rice; reminder beep.
Cons: Dear.Buy Now
Best Splurge (and Strong Runner-Up): Panasonic IH Electronic Rice Cooker/Warmer, 1.0L model, SR-HZ106
I discussed earlier than there’s no scarcity of nice rice cookers out available in the market proper now, and this Panasonic mannequin, which additionally depends on induction heating, drives that time residence. I used to be instantly drawn to the smooth design; it’s a serious bonus that this rice cooker matches inside our kitchen drawer with loads of clearance. The following characteristic that caught my consideration is the attractive, thick copper bowl, which is dimpled and durable, with some heft. Not like most rice cookers, the keypad is on the flat lid, and is each easy and clear to make use of. The straightforward-release lid made cleansing a breeze. As for the cooked rice? Each white and brown rice got here out superbly mushy and never sticky. Comes with a measuring cup, rice paddle and ladle. The MSRP worth of $499.95 (although you could find it for cheaper at locations like Amazon) makes this a splurge-level mannequin.
Execs: Flat exterior lid useful for drawer storage; sturdy internal bowl; lovely rice.
Cons: No elapsed time proven from the beginning; priciest of all fashions examined.Buy Now
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Best for a Range of Rice (Including Japanese/Sushi, Korean Rice, and Porridge): Cuckoo CRP-P0609S 6 cup Electric Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer
Cuckoo is without doubt one of the hottest rice cooker manufacturers in Korea, and I can see why. Cuckoo provides a variety of reasonably priced to tremendous luxe fashions, and this one falls within the extra reasonably priced finish of the corporate’s choices (however nonetheless on the pricier finish of all rice cookers available in the market). It cooks scrumptious rice, particularly Korean- and Japanese-style rice: lovely jewels of soppy, not overly sticky, rice with a terrific chew. This mannequin is a wonderful selection should you’re seeking to improve out of your current rice cooker and have an average-sized family that eats a good quantity of rice. The bowl insert has a pleasant heft, together with helper handles. This mannequin additionally boasts a full vary of rice cooking skills, together with brown rice, blended rice, porridge and nu rung ji (Korean-style scorched rice) settings.
Execs: Wonderful cooked rice high quality, particularly for Japanese and Korean rice, and sticky rice; language controls accessible in English, Korean, and Chinese language; auto steam cleansing operate; security options.
Cons: Bigger in measurement; heavy lid opens a bit too shortly.Buy Now
That is one other dependable Zojirushi mannequin with a smaller footprint, a terrific compact measurement for city kitchens. Its clear keypad makes it extraordinarily simple to make use of, although there is no such thing as a possibility for blended rice, if that’s one thing you’re in search of. The timer begins at 60 minutes for white rice, making it very handy to examine in on its progress at any level. The brown rice took nearer to 1.5 hours to cook dinner. Each cooked white and brown rice texture got here out good, totally cooked with a pleasant chew.
Execs: Compact measurement; easy-to-navigate keypad.
Cons: Restricted capabilities (no blended rice operate, for instance); extra reasonably priced than higher-end fashions.Buy Now
Best for Budget-Minded: Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer, 2 to 8 Cup Food Capacity with Steam & Rinse Basket, Stainless Steel
Boy did I like this little man. You actually can’t beat the $30 price ticket, however I used to be pleasantly shocked by its efficiency as well. The small, light-weight measurement makes this a perfect contender for small residing and/or these cooking for one. It even comes with a steamer basket (that doubles as a bowl for rinsing your rice) for cooking greens. I used to be impressed that this mannequin displayed the cook dinner time from the beginning (45 minutes for white, 60 minutes for brown). The buttons on the show are additionally clear and straightforward to make use of. As for cooking capabilities, the Hamilton Seaside rice cooker turned out completely tremendous white rice with bits of yellowed (however nonetheless edible) rice, exhibiting the place the recent zones are on the insert pot. The brown rice got here out nice, however after leaving it on the hotter operate for a couple of hours, I seen some darker spots on the underside.
Execs: Reasonably priced; compact; steamer basket included; shows time from the beginning.
Cons: Fundamental performance; thinner/lighter weight insert pot.Buy Now
Header picture by Amazon.