The Best Rice Cookers for Easier Meal Prep
No matter your skill level, cooking rice can be a challenge. A quality rice cooker eliminates the effort and guesswork and can be an efficient way to prep properly cooked grains in advance—no more babysitting the stove and still getting starchy, undercooked mush or crunchy, half-done grains.
We spoke to James Beard Award-winning chef Ming Tsai about the importance of rice cookers and how to shop for one. "I've always used rice cookers in all of my restaurants," he said. "Why? Because you push a button and have quality rice in 30 to 40 minutes." Because different types of rice require different cooking styles, Tsai recommends evaluating your needs before purchasing a cooker. "The key is to choose based on what type of rice you are cooking, and always make sure it has a 'keep-warm' function," he said.
We assessed each product's cooking capacity, functionality, and versatility, for a comprehensive list for all types of household needs. We also considered how easy each product is to store and clean.
Whether you're looking for a small tool for tight spaces or a professional-level device to really dive into a variety of grains, this list of the best rice cookers has something for everyone.
- Best Overall: Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker, Professional Version
- Best Professional Pick: Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
- Best Value: Black + Decker Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
- Best for Small Portions: Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker
- Best for Large Portions: Aroma Housewares 60-Cup Commercial Rice Cooker
- Best with Induction Heating: Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
- Best Multi-Purpose: Instant Pot Duo
- Best for Brown Rice: Cuckoo CR-0655F Rice Cooker
Best Overall: Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker, Professional Version
Best Professional Pick: Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Best Value: Black + Decker Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Best for Small Portions: Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker
Best for Large Portions: Aroma Housewares 60-Cup Commercial Rice Cooker
Best with Induction Heating: Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
Best Multipurpose: Instant Pot Duo
Best for Brown Rice: Cuckoo CR-0655F Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are an easy and efficient way to take the guesswork out of making rice. Though there are many options out there, Aroma's Professional Rice Cooker (view at Amazon) combines the functionality of a professional machine with the affordability of a simple gadget. This cooker is streamlined, versatile, and programmable for easy meal prep.
Katie Macdonald is a Food Editor who has covered everything from chefs' must-have classics to the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets for Food & Wine since 2019. She previously wrote for Food52, Popular Mechanics, and Men's Health. For this piece, our editors used their own culinary knowledge and performed market research, analyzed competitor recommendations, and consulted experts.