Because some people prefer their cooked rice at slightly different levels of moisture, I focused on the problems in each rice cooker's yield, be it inconsistency in cooking, any uncooked rice, kernels that weren't cooked through or ones that had lost their distinction and become mushy. Almost every device recommended allowing the rice to steam for an additional 15 minutes after the cook completed, and I allowed that time for each one. We delete comments that violate our policy, which we encourage you to read. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. If you like rice, but it's not a staple of your diet, I wouldn't recommend buying a rice cooker. Thermal Cutoffs. But if you pick any of my top three, whether for the price, the pot size (big families can eat a lot of rice) or simply because you want the best rice you can get every time, you should be fully satisfied. But with so many options on the market, ranging from $20 to $200 or more, how do you know which is the best rice cooker to buy? ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Zojirushi NS-WAC10-WD 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer. The 12 rice cookers I tested fell into three loose categories: small, affordable devices, midrange multicookers and specialized, high-end rice cookers. I fluffed and tasted rice from each cooker at the 15-minute mark (which, in addition to the cook time, ranged from 28 to 56 minutes), and then again after about an hour on the "warm" setting. When it came to the midrange multicookers, I found the cooking time to be slow and the results consistently a little off: an 8-cup Aroma rice cooker and food steamer, Instant Pot's Zest cooker and a 5-cup Panasonic all got me excited with the various functions available on their interfaces, but all three produced overcooked, slightly mushy rice, possibly due to the slow cooking. The $170 Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker not only produces perfect rice in fairly large quantities, but it also allows you to personalize your rice, if you prefer it dryer or moister, along with well-calibrated settings for brown rice and other grains. Finally, the higher-end, specialized rice cookers from Tiger and Zojirushi were both impressive, as I noted above. Each small rice cooker I tested, like the $20 Imusa 3-cup and the $17 Black & Decker 3-cup mini rice cooker -- along with my favorite of the bunch from Oster -- offered decent, small servings of white rice. The $30 8-cup Hamilton Beach rice cooker seems like a good deal for the size, but its rice was inconsistent, with severely undercooked sections. If you're looking for the best rice, regardless of price, Zojirushi is my recommendation. It's larger than the Oster, which makes it better for families, and it's the fastest rice cooker I tested, finishing a cup of white rice in a mere 13 minutes. No, the rice isn't perfect -- brown rice in particular comes out just slightly too chewy -- but it's head and shoulders better than other cookers under $100. I tested 12 of the most popular options around, covering the gamut between affordable and luxury rice cookers, and I'll update this list periodically. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. That said, if you eat a lot of rice, a cooker can really streamline that cooking process and prep, allowing you to focus on the other elements of the meal. CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. David Priest/CNET. As the weather gets colder, rice becomes a standby in my house: It's warm, comforting and a perfect dish to fill out a holiday meal or a quick, tasty lunch. Okay, maybe you're the Goldilocks consumer who doesn't need the super expensive Zojirushi, but who can afford to spend a little more than 25 bucks on your rice cooker. That said, raw speed is less important in many cases than a device's ability to keep rice warm and perfectly fluffy for extended periods of time, and Zojirushi is an unmatched rice maker in that regard. Plus, if you have leftovers, you can always make rice pudding. I tested 12 rice cookers side by side, cooking one measuring cup of white rice and one measuring cup of brown rice in each, following the individual directions and using each device's standard settings for both. One down side of the Tiger was the fact that it really is only built to cook white rice; its directions don't even include instructions on anything else. It's also simpler than the Zojirushi, boasting a single-switch interface, but still excellent in its output. The Internal Circuit Issues. Over time, rice cooker technology has evolved to include... Common Rice Cooker Problems. Enter the rice cooker, a clever little countertop appliance that whips up perfectly fluffy rice without any work, aside from scooping rice and water into a bowl. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. The Imusa and the Black & Decker both struggled a little more with brown rice and mixed rice, though. It`s worth a try to use a Zojirushi rice cooker once, and you won`t go back to the old recipes … Best Black Friday 2020 deals: Big savings on TVs, headphones, Apple Watch, Roku, Fitbit, Chromebooks, more, Amazon Black Friday 2020 deals: $100 Amazfit GTS, $130 Fitbit Versa 2, $65 Echo Show 8, more, Wanna buy a PS5 by Black Friday? Subscribe to the CNET Now newsletter for our editors' picks of the most important stories of the day. What's more, the Oster is quick, whipping up a cup of white rice in 15 minutes and brown rice in 33 minutes. Cuisinart's 4-cup and Black and Decker's 7-cup rice cookers were some of my least favorite because they were both so messy. The Tiger and Zojirushi easily produced the best rice out of the devices I tested, with the Tiger offering a slightly more toothsome bite than the Zojirushi, which may just come down to preference for most people. As we are talking about rice cookers, they are usually electronic appliances, which means thermal... 3. Most of the time the causes for improperly cooked rice are … But when I threw in a cup of brown rice and just a smidge more water than the standard measurement for white rice, the end result was impressive -- only a little dryer than the Zojirushi's. That perfect fluffy rice is tough to capture, so the quality output for this Oster rice cooker's $20 price tag is kind of crazy. User-friendly LCD control panel; multi-menu cooking functions. Menu settings include: white/mixed; sushi; porridge; sweet; brown; rinse-free and quick cooking. For rice cooker elitists, Zojirushi is a household name, and the reputation is earned. Cooking rice isn't difficult, and you can get great results with good technique in a pot of boiling water. Troubleshoot Zojirushi Rice Cooker Not Working 1. In the majority of cases, electronic appliances stop working when there are internal... 2. Whether you're looking for a perfect gift for the holiday or a great bargain for Black Friday, you can't go wrong with a quality rice cooker. Zojirushi's 3-cup option also disappointed with rice that was too wet and slightly broken down, losing the distinction of well-cooked white rice. It also didn't give any of the spillage or mess of other cookers, so cleanup was faster, too. It's clear these devices are carefully calibrated, and Zojirushi even offers a little bit of personalization as to how you want your white rice cooked, which was a welcome addition for my wife and me, as we have slightly different preferences. Make perfectly fluffy rice quick with these clever countertop appliances. The problem is, rice is tough to perfect. Up to 5 1/2 cup capacity rice cooker and warmer with Fuzzy Logic technology. I was surprised by the range of performance across the devices I tested, and frankly disappointed in some of them. The benefit of an electric rice cooker is that it delivers perfect rice with little cooking time -- at least, in theory. For rice cooker elitists, Zojirushi is a household name, and the reputation is earned. The perfect white rice is almost a paradox: It's moist, but not mushy; it's toothsome, but not chewy. Here are the ones you should consider for cooking amazingly delicious rice. © 2020 CNET, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. Check here for restocks at Amazon, Walmart, GameStop and Target, Discuss: Best rice cookers for 2020: Oster, Tiger, Zojirushi and more, Zojirushi 5 1/2-cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer, an 8-cup Aroma rice cooker and food steamer, How to start cooking healthy meals at home, 5 mistakes you're probably making with your slow cooker, This smart pressure cooker might be the Instant Pot killer, The best toaster oven is the one you'll hate the least, The best food processors of 2020: Braun, Cuisinart and more compared, 7 ways to use your Instant Pot for meal prep. This Zojirushi rice cooker has a few downsides: Its price tag is intimidating, it takes up a significant amount of space and it takes its time making rice (a cup of white rice, for instance, takes over 40 minutes to cook). If you love rice and eat it regularly, but don't want to break the bank, the Oster is a fantastic countertop option. The $130 Tiger stainless steel rice cooker might be best for you. (2020 Update) Zojirushi Rice Cooker Troubleshooting Tips Rice Cooker Technology Has Improved Over The Years.