There’s no doubt that a rice cooker can make great tasting rice in minutes, while keeping it warm for hours, days even.
But sometimes you only need a few cups or rice for one time use. Or perhaps you want a rice cooker that’s portable and won’t take up a lot of space. That’s where a small / mini rice cooker comes in handy.
There are plenty of options available and we have a comprehensive list of small rice cookers here but first let’s tell you some of the reasons why it may be best to consider a smaller rice cooker.
Advantages of the Best mini electric rice cooker:
Look, we may not all be great cooks but with a rice cooker, we can sure pretend to be. Cooking rice so that it’s evenly cooked, well separated, fluffy and flavorful is not as easy as it sounds but a rice cooker makes it a breeze.
Good rice cookers have cooking logic to help adjust the time and temperature depending on the food or type of rice being cooked as well so you dont have to worry about getting the water to rice ratios just right. The rice cooker will take care of it for you.
1. Multi-functional cooking appliance:
A good mini rice cooker will have the ability to cook various types of rice: jasmine rice, white rice, long grain rice or brown rice.
Moreover, rice cookers can be used to prepare other types of food as well, such as porridge, soup or oatmeal.
Many cookers also come with an upper tray that’s perfect for steaming vegetables or protein as well, giving you a quick and easy complete meal in as little as 30 minutes.
2. Space Saver / Small size:
Mini rice cookers are relatively small in size and you can use them for your own personal use or a small family. If you have a small living space or perhaps just limited kitchen countertop space, then a mini rice cooker may be your best option.
This is in line with the space saving previously mentioned. A mini rice cooker can be take with you on travel, camping trips, or college dorm rooms. Who doesn’t like perfectly cooked rice on the go?
3. Easy Clean Up – Non-stick inner cooking pan:
Non-stick inner cooking pans are essential for rice cookers. The last thing you want to do is deal with messy cleanup after rice is stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Every rice cooker we review is dishwasher safe and made from non stick coating to facilitate cleanup. That said, some may be better than others.
4. Keeping warm functions:
This is another advantage that a mini electric cooker, or really any sized cooker should offer. Most rice cookers will automatically switch to the keep warm settings after your rice has been cooked.
The difference is in how long the rice cooker will keep your rice warm , flavorful and great tasting. Higher end cookers will do a better job and go for days, while more economical options may only keep your food warm for an hour or two.
The capacity of every cooking appliance is generally determined with the measuring cup.
Rice cooker cup sizes are a bit different than standard US cup sizes – they’re about 3/4 the size.
So when a cooker lists a 3 cup capacity. They’re most likely referring to the measuring cup (provided with every rice cooker) size. And they are referring to the uncooked cup size.
To get the amount of cooked rice, simply double the number. So a 3 cup rice cooker will produce 6 cups of cooked rice.
Generally speaking, smaller rice cookers will have a lower cup capacity usually in the 2-4 cup range.
Almost every brand has one or two models in this capacity range from Aroma, Zojirushi, Panasonic, to Cuckoo and Tiger
These cookers are cheap. Excuse me, affordable. They will definitely be light on your pocket as many of them can be purchased for as low as $30, while more performant cookers may go up to $100, but certainly nowhere near the $200-$400 price tags that come with more advanced rice cookers.
Another important option to choose small cookers is the warranty point. Be sure to read the details but generally speaking, we only review established brands that offer support and a minimum 1 year warranty should anything fo wrong with your cooker.
In closing, you should be aware that you can certainly find a number of rice cookers that are designed to take up as little space as possible, while providing enough for 2-4 people.
Pay attention to the cup size, cooking options, design, and the price. Keep in mind that although you can find a wide variety of options under $60, some cookers simply cook rice better than others and will last longer so it may be worthwhile to spend the extra $20.
We’ve reviewed some great options no matter the budget so take a look at some of our Aroma, Tiger, Zojirushi and Oster rice cookers.