Hamilton Beach vs Aroma Rice Cooker – Best Affordable Rice Cookers

Hamilton Beach vs Aroma ARC Rice Cooker

We’ve already reviewed some higher end rice cookers for those who demand excellence and perfection from their rice cookers.

But what if you’re on a budget and just want something to get the job done quickly without breaking the bank. Well both Aroma and Hamilton Beach offer solid rice cookers at affordable prices (less than $40).

But given that the rice cookers are remarkably similar, we’ll take a closer look at each one to let you know which one might be best for you.

Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker

hamilton beach rice cooker

Hamilton beach is a well known brand here in the US and they have been making quality cookware for many years.

Today we’re going to take a look at their most popular rice cooker line to date: the Hamilton Beach 37518 Rice Cooker. This is a very affordable rice cooker that has many of the same features as higher end rice cooker models. And it’s really fast.

It can make a variety of rices: from white rice to brown, rice, short or long grain, grits, cream, quinoa and more. It is also a versatile device allowing you to make more than just rice as it has the ability to steam, heat, and simmer food as well.

Design:

The Hamilton Beach rice cooker has a stainless steel design and black design. Its actually fairly compact and wont take up too much counter space, even for the larger capacity models.

Capacity:

There are different models with different capacities ranging from 2 as many as 14 cups of uncooked rice. We’ll focus on the 4 cup model, which translates to 8 cups of cooked rice.

Hamilton beach rice cooker display

Features:

  • -It has a programmable 6 button navigation menu with digital LED display
  • -Timer to delay cooking up to 15 hours.
  • -Keep warm setting automatically switches on once finished cooking.
  • -Non stick plastic container acts as a sieve when initially washing rice and a steam basket when in use.
  • -Notification beep once finished cooking.
  • -Speed: Cooks rice noticeably faster than the Zojirushi rice cookers we’ve reviewed.

Why You Should Get it:

  • -Speed: It’s a very fast non pressure cooker, making Japanese rice in about 32 minutes, ~10 minutes faster than the Zojirushi and Cuckoo rice cookers.
  • -It can also make brown rice, has a timed delay and a keep warm setting.

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • -The Japanese rice is good but the Zojirushi, Tiger, and Cuckoo still outperformed it when it came to making tender, fluffy, and well separated rice of different varieties such as long grain white rice or overpuffed brown rice.
  • -Has more plastic parts and a thin metal interior pot so there may be issues with the cooker’s durability over the long run.

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8 Cup Rice Cooker and Steamer

aroma rice cooker

The Aroma ARC Rice Cooker is an excellent and affordable option with over 10,000 Amazon reviews giving it an average 4 star rating.

This is also a very affordable and versatile rice cooker that offers up the ability to make white rice, brown rice, soups, roasts, quinoa, chili, oatmeal and more.

Like the Hamilton Beach rice cooker, it also has a steamer insert allowing you to cook meats and vegetables above the rice that is cooking in the unit below.

Design:

The Hamilton Beach rice cooker has a stainless steel design and black design as well, a stay-cool touch control panel, and a non-removable hinged lid that locks in moisture and steam to produce fluffier rice.

Capacity:

There are different models available with varying cup sizes ranging from 4 to as many as 20 cups.

aroma rice cooker accessories

Features:

  • -It has an easy to read button navigation menu with digital LED display
  • -Timer to delay cooking up to 15 hours as well.
  • -The cooker pot is comprised of a glazed non ceramic pot, which is different than most non stick inner pots. Not necessarily better though because rice tends to get stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  • -Keep warm setting automatically switches on once finished cooking.
  • -Non stick plastic container acts as a sieve when initially washing rice and a steam basket when in use.
  • -Notification beep once finished cooking.
  • -Speed: Cooks rice in about 30 minutes or less.

Why You Should Get it:

  • -It’s also a very affordable rice cooker given its features: ie the ability to make all kinds of rice and good at once.
  • -Good value given its relatively low price point.

Why You Shouldn’t:

  • -Reviews from other media publications and on Amazon said the rice was ok, but not nearly as well cooked as the rice from other cookers like Cuckoo, Zojirushi and Tiger.
  • -The lid isn’t removable for easy cleaning.
  • -There are some harsh reviews on Amazon. Complaints that the Aroma leaks steam and spits hot water.
  • -Inner pot isnt non-stick. ie its ceramic.
  • -Durability issues: Apparently, this rice cooker won’t last you any more than 1 year.

Our Take: Most rice cookers under $50 don’t have the capability to cook anything more than white rice. They also don’t have timer functions or the ability to cook large capacities of rice. These rice cookers claim to have both. However, the Aroma was given the coveted Amazon’s choice seal and has over 10,000 reviews and is slightly less expensive overall so it’s clearly the people’s choice. See the Aroma here.