Cooking rice so that it’s fluffy, evenly textured and cooked throughout without being clumped or burnt on the edges can be challenging. A rice cooker can turn out perfectly rice every single time.
Moreover, it will free up time so you can focus on other activities, while keeping your rice warm for several hours at a time.
These cookers are perfect for dorm rooms, small apartments, travel or for those who only need a small amount of rice at a time.
ZOJIRUSHI NHS-06 3-CUP
Zojirushi is world-famous for making great great rice cookers so it’s no surprise that the NHS is first on our list and may be their most affordable rice cooker to date.
This particular model is a smaller rice cooker at just over 7 inches tall with a diameter of only 9 inches, with a different design than most Zojirushi. It has a 3 cup, good for feeding a couple of people at once.
The materials are all high quality, as they feature a stainless steel steaming tray, a non stick cooking pan, measuring cup,serving spatula, and a transparent glass lid, and handles that remain cool so as not to burn you.
This cooker isn’t as fancy as higher end models as it only features a one button operation (on/off). It automatically shuts down and switches to keep warm (up to 5 hours) once your rice has finished cooking, which is certainly convenient.
It offers a steamer as well that is perfect for steaming vegetables or cooking protein so you can have a complete meal all at once.
This basic cooker should get the job done and is perfect for those on a budget, or for those who don’t have a lot of room to devote to kitchen appliances.
This is a small yet pretty powerful rice cooker from another heavyweight in the rice cooker market, Aroma.
It has a sleek all white color exterior, a removable non stick cooking pot, and is small enough to fit on the smallest kitchen countertops. Matter of fact, it’s small enough to travel with as well since it has a lightweight handle that’s perfect for carrying.
It has a capacity of 3 (cooked) cups, which is perfect for a quick meal for 1-2 people. Even better, it has the ability to cook a wide variety of food, be it standard sushi white rice, brown rice, or soup with a touch of a button.
PANASONIC SR-3NAL 1.5-CUP AUTOMATIC
This rice cooker is an Amazon’s choice and is ideal for those who want a small device that can offer a quick meal, while only using 200 watts of power to do it.
As for design, it provides the standard measuring cup, an aluminum non stick coated pan, one button cooking, and a glass lid for easy monitoring.
It has a capacity of 3 cups of cooked rice, which should be good for dinner for two.
It does a good job of evenly cooking your rice, but the knock on is that it doesn’t have any keep warm settings so be sure to eat your rice while it’s still warm.
Tiger Corp 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker
Tiger is a Japanese brand and another heavyweight in the cookware industry that has been making excellent cookware for decades. This is one of our top rated cookers
The performance excellent as it is equipped with cooking logic that monitors and controls the temperature settings, a feature usually only found in higher end rice cookers.
It has one touch programmable settings for cooking white or brown rice. And it has the ability to cook different types of food simultaneously as it offers an upper tray that’s perfect for cooking protein or vegetables.
It even has a slow cooker mode. 10 cooking settings in all and will automatically switch to keep warm once done cooking your rice.
As for design, it has a white exterior body, a cooking plate, measuring cup, spatula, and a non stick inner coated pan which should make cleanup afterwards a breeze.
It offers 5.5 cups, enough to feed the whole family, so it has the largest capacity of the rice cooker models we’ve discussed so far. This is a great value that has been an Amazon’s choice for quite awhile now as it offers a lot of bang for the buck. You can read our full review of the Tiger Micom rice cooker here.
OSTER CKSTRCMS65 3-Cup Rice Cooker
We’ve taken an in-depth look at many different Oster rice cookers and they are all affordable, but this particular model may be the most affordable yet.
It is a 3 cup rice cooker (6 cups cooked) so it offers the most capacity of all the cookers we’ve discussed so far, and more importantly, despite its simple heating technology, it does a good job of cooking your rice thanks to its aluminum bowl that distributes heat evenly throughout the bowl.
You can steam food as well with the provided steaming basket, and both your rice and steamed food are visible for easy monitoring thanks to the tempered glass.
It has a standard keep warm settings and, bottom line, you won’t find a cheaper cooker than this Oster rice cooker.
Tiger JNP-0720-FL Rice Cooker
Another solid cooker from Tiger is the JNP-0720. Wasn’t sure whether to include this model as it carries the highest price point on this list at just over $100 and it’s certainly not a small cooker.
That said, it is indeed smaller than most cookers and it has good capacity for its size at 8 cups of (cooked) rice.
As shown in the picture, it has a one button operation (so no pre programmable settings) and an indicator light to denote cooking vs keep warm, for up to 12 hours, which rivals the keep warm settings of more expensive rice cookers.
As for performance, it doesn’t have any cooking logic like the Tiger Micom, but it still does a good job of cooking rice evenly and consistently, while ensuring it doesn’t burn.
Still, despite it being a popular choice with nearly 1K reviews averaging 4.4 stars on Amazon, you’re still probably better off going with the Tiger Micom model mentioned above.
Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
Not sure you’re going to see any rice cooker with this design. It’s certainly unique and an eye catcher with its cube shape design.
The exterior is made with stainless steel, and it comes with a steaming basket and nonstick aluminum bowl. The control panel only has one button to toggle between cooking and keep warm.
It has a 4 cup capacity (uncooked), which should be enough for 2-3 people at once. Be sure to stay under this limit as some users have reported that it boils over if you try to fill it up too high.
Performance: It does a good job of cooking rice, and cooking it pretty fast as well in about 20 minutes. It can make brown rice as well but be sure to adjust your water levels accordingly as it doesn’t have a one touch setting on the control panel.
In other words, there’s no built-in cooking logic that is usually found in higher end rice cookers and therefore the rice cooking is certainly not the greatest.
Instant Pot LUX Mini 3 Qt
This is a 6-in-1 cooker. Rice cooker, slow cooker, warmer, sauté, pressure cooker and steamer. Talk about versatility in a single unit.
And it’s pretty compact so it fits nicely on any kitchen countertop, RV, camp facility or travel gear.
Design: It comes with all the standard equipment one would expect: a rice paddle and stainless steel steam tray.
Capacity: It can hold up to six cups of uncooked rice and has an official stated capacity of 3 quarts.
Performance: There are s great deal of cooking options that are perfect for slow cooking stew, pressure cooking rice or other foods, sautéing food, and keeping them warm for 10 hours when done cooking.
Bottom line, this is a very popular and well reviewed Amazons choice cooker and no other cooker offers the versatility that the Instant Pot Lux Mini provides at this price point.
Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker
We’ve covered the Hamilton Beach cooker in great detail here, but in summary, this is a durable an cooker with a 4 cup (uncooked) capacity that should be enough to feed a small family.
It too offers the ability to steam food in its provided steam basked, and has the ability to cook different types of rice at the touch of a button as well. The pre-programmed cooking settings are what separates it from most other rice cookers at this price point.
This is a solid choice and you can learn more about the Hamilton Beach Rice cooker here or see it on Amazon below.
This is an efficient rice cooker that only uses 310 watts. As for exterior design, it has a transparent glass lid to help you monitor the rice while it’s cooking, a silver finished exterior, and stay cool side handles. It comes with a standard measuring cup, spatula, and has a non-stick aluminum coated removable rice pan.
The indicator light lets you know when the device is in cooking or keep warm mode and it will automatically shut off once done cooking.
The downside is that unlike aforementioned cookers, it does one thing and one thing only – cook white rice. It’s not even suitable for cooking brown rice.
It also has a relatively short keep warm setting at only 30 minutes, after which your rice will turn cold. That said, it does its one job very well and cooks rice evenly and consistently thanks to its inverter technology so it should be a good fit for many users, as evidenced it 4.5 star rating on Amazon.