The 6 Best Rice Cookers for 2023, Tested and Reviewed

These time-savers make moist, fluffy rice every time without scorching and are easy to clean.

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Best Rice Cookers for 2023

Food & Wine / Marcus Millan

If you prefer cooking rice in a rice cooker instead of on a stovetop, you understand the importance of the machine. The best rice cooker will make fluffy rice, prevent scorching, retain moisture during the warm cycle, and be easy to clean. Most of all, it will save you time by allowing you to cook your rice ahead of time. While this may seem like a simple order, you'd be surprised how many super fancy machines with all the latest technology struggle with these essential tasks. As much as we love Zojirushi rice cookers, there might be another equally great option for you, depending on your kitchen needs. 

We spoke with James Beard Award-winning chef Ming Tsai and other professionals about the importance of rice cookers and how to shop for one. "I've always used rice cookers in all of my restaurants," said Tsai. "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.

No matter how large your household is or your comfort level with these appliances, you're bound to find the right tool among the top-rated rice cookers we tested.

Best Overall

Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Rice and Grain Cooker

Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker


  • We liked how the display includes how much time is left in the cook cycle, and it yielded perfectly fluffy rice.

  • The instructions note the inner pot might show cosmetic changes if put into the dishwasher.

The Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker is a simple and affordable stainless steel cooker for any household. We loved how the display panel is clearly labeled and has excellent features like telling you how much time remains in the cook cycle, allowing you to plan meals better. Its eight presets, such as slow cook, sauté, and steam, make this an affordable workhorse that goes beyond just making rice. You can delay the start time if you need it to begin cooking while you are out. The machine also has a "quick rice" function when time is limited, and it’s super easy to clean. The clear directions made it easy for us to learn how to cook quinoa in the machine. The results of the moisture content and texture were consistent across all grains, making it the most versatile and reliable tool we tried.

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Uncooked capacity: 4 cups
  • Dimensions: 9.3"W x 8.6"D x 8.5"H
  • What's included: Serving spatula, rice measuring cup, and a steamer basket.
Aroma Housewares 8-Cup Rice Cooker

Food & Wine / Katie Akin

Best Overall Runner-Up

Tiger JBV-A10U Rice Cooker

Tiger JBV-A10U Rice Cooker


  • Every batch of rice in our tests consistently came out soft and fluffy. 

  • There was some clumping in the bowl, but it was easy to fluff and break up.

Tiger Multi-Functional Rice Cooker cooked each type of rice to a light and fluffy texture without any gumminess. The rice cooker is hand-wash only, but we found it incredibly easy to clean with a sponge. The cooker comes with detailed instructions, which were helpful when measuring out the correct ratio of liquid to grains. We especially like the handle on the top of the rice cooker that makes it incredibly easy to move in and out of storage. While there are no smart capabilities, it switches to the warming mode automatically after cooking. The presets are simple, with functions for white rice, brown rice, steaming, and warming. When the cook cycle is complete, there is no timer or alert, but the light switches from red to orange. We were especially impressed with the keep warm function, which works so well that the texture was no different on our jasmine rice from when it first finished cooking. 

Price at time of publish: $99

  • Uncooked capacity: 5.5 cups
  • Dimensions: 13.9” W x 10.6” D x 8.4” H
  • Accessories included: Nonstick spatula, measuring cup, and cookbook.
Tiger JBV-A10U Rice Cooker

Food & Wine / Katherine Polcari

Best Compact/small portions

Muji Rice Cooker

Muji Rice Cooker


  • The rice cooker is compact, making it suitable for smaller kitchens since it has a smaller footprint. 

  • There was some clumping, but the grains were distinct and not gummy.

The Muji Rice Cooker is not only a joy to behold due to its design, but it also makes excellent rice and grains. The alert beep can be hard to hear from another room, but the cooker automatically switches to the “Keep Warm” setting as soon as it’s done. So even if you miss the beep, the rice will still be hot and perfectly cooked. The compact design takes up little space on the countertop and is incredibly lightweight. Another of our favorite space-saving features is the retractable power cord which makes its overall footprint even tidier. One of the most helpful design features is the spatula rest built into the lid. The lid is super easy to unlock and clicks automatically when you push it close. To open, you click a push button on the top of the cover. While the settings are limited, the timer function is handy, and we like how the machine automatically switches to keep warm when the rice is finished cooking. 

Price at time of publish: $288

  • Uncooked capacity: 3 cups 
  • Dimensions: 8.2"W x 10"D x 7.3"H
  • Accessories included: Spatula, spatula holder, measuring cup, cooking plate, and cookbook.

Best Value

Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer



  • We love how it comes with a rinsing basket that also doubles as a steamer.

  • The beep signaling cooking is over can sometimes be hard to hear from the other room.

The Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker performed well in all our tests. We like how easy the rice cooker is to use. The lid is attached, easy to open at the push of a button, and makes a satisfying clicking sound when you shut it. We recommend reading the directions to get an accurate water ratio to rice. All of the grains we cooked, from sushi rice to sealed oats, had the desired consistency and texture. Sometimes the keep warm function would dry out a bit of the rice on the perimeter of the inner pot, but it was easy to mix in with the provided spatula and not noticeable when eating. The rice cooker has no dishwasher-safe parts, so wash it with hot soapy water to sanitize and dry it well before reassembling it. This tool would be a great gift for newlyweds, a family member who isn't tech-savvy, or someone who is looking for simple features.

Price at time of publish: $40

  • Uncooked capacity: 4 cups 
  • Dimensions: 8.2"W x 9.7"D x 9.9" H
  • Accessories included: Steam and rinse basket, measure cup, and spatula.
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker & Food Steamer

Food & Wine / Jennifer Zyman

Best Splurge

Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker & Warmer

Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker


  • The cost comes from the induction heating, which ensures everything cooks evenly. 

  • Everything needs to be hand-washed, so if you want something dishwasher-safe, this is not for you. 

Pros: The cost comes from the induction heating, which ensures everything cooks evenly. 

Cons: Everything needs to be hand-washed, so if you want something dishwasher-safe, this is not for you. 

The Zojirushi Induction Rice Cooker is the right model for someone that eats rice every day or professional cooks looking for fancier features. The rice cooker comes with many presets on its clear display panel: white or sushi, quick, mixed porridge, Sweet, Brown, cake, and steam. The display might be tricky for less savvy users, but the instructions make it easy to use. Since this rice cooker makes large quantities of rice, it isn't the best choice for someone with limited countertop space or storage. We found the rice texture kept consistent during the keep warm function, which lends further credence to the machine's temperature regulation thanks to induction heating. 

Price at time of publish: $358

  • Uncooked capacity: 5.5 cups 
  • Dimensions: 10"W x 14"D x 8"H
  • Accessories included: Steam basket, measuring cup, spatula, and spatula holder.
Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker & Warmer

Food & Wine / Elizabeth Theriot

Best Fuzzy Logic/Smart/Tech

Zojirushi NS-TSC18 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer

Zojirushi NS-TSC18 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer


  • It has a high yield capacity making this an excellent choice for larger families.

  • Its cost is prohibitive unless you are a hard-core rice cooker user who values technology. 

The Zojirushi Micom 10-cup Rice Cooker is one of our favorite Zojirushi machines for any household. It is foolproof and creates excellent rice with distinct grains that are not mushy. Even the warm function is exceptional as the rice from jasmine to basmati was just as good as fresh in our tests. The manual contains helpful diagrams and illustrations on everything from setup to how to use it. Some people might find the capacity too much for average size households, but the brand has a smaller model, which is also less expensive and perfect for a family of four. It's easy to use around the house thanks to its large carrying handle and retractable cord. No part of the cooker is dishwasher-safe, but the inner pot is genuinely nonstick and easy to wipe out. 

Price at time of publish: $195

  • Uncooked capacity: 4 cups 
  • Dimensions: 11.8"W x 9.1"D x 7.5"H
  • Accessories included: Spatula, spatula holder, and measuring cup.
Zojirushi NS-TSC18 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer

Food & Wine / Alana Al-Hatlani

Our Favorite

We use our rice cookers numerous times a week because they are a time saver and allow you to make perfect rice, grains, and other dishes. We tested many machines, but our favorite is Aroma's Professional Rice Cooker. It has the streamlined functionality of a professional device, and it's super affordable to boot. 

Factors to Consider

Ease of Use

Some rice cookers are more technologically advanced than others, and the more intelligent they are, the easier they are to use. One of the top-rated brands uses "fuzzy logic" to determine when rice is cooked to perfection, adjusting automatically for environmental conditions like hot days or rice that is cooking faster, as well as custom settings for different types of kinds of rice like brown or sushi, and even preferences on levels of rice doneness. These features can shift the price of a cooker upwards exponentially, but they also make them a foolproof unit to use.


The best rice cookers are designed to cook rice and other grains, but not anything else. Some will tout other applications, though often at the cost of not being great at those or not being great at rice. If you need an appliance that cooks rice with other features like steaming, you may opt for a multi-cooker with a rice cooking feature instead of a rice cooker. The best features to look for are different settings for different kinds of rice and grains, a good "keep warm" feature, dishwasher-safe components for easy cleanup, and a clear and easy-to-use interface.


Rice cookers for home use are available in sizes as small as three cups and as large as 12 cups or more. Determining the right size for your home is as easy as knowing the amount of rice you go through in one typical meal. The benefit of a rice cooker is fast, easy, foolproof rice anytime you want, so there is no need to make more at once than you need for that meal or that day. You can estimate the average person eating about a cup of rice as a side dish for one meal or two cups as the basis of an entrée. A three- or four-cup cooker is likely all you need if you are single or a couple. If you have a larger family or entertain a lot with rice, you will likely want something like a six- to eight-cup cooker.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How long does it take to cook rice in a rice cooker?

    "As short as 30 minutes, after you press a button, you don't have to do anything, and it's done," says chef Sawako Okochi of Shalom Japan in Williamsburg, New York, who finds a rice cooker indispensable for home cooks.

  • What do you look for in a rice cooker?

    "I recommend a brand that's not hard to use," says Okochi. "It shouldn't be too complicated to cook rice in a machine. It should come with a rice measuring cup and an insert bowl with lines for water level after you put rice, so you can pour water to the line corresponding to the number of cups of rice you put."

  • Is a rice cooker worth it?

    From the quality of the rice to the time it saves, a rice cooker is worth investing in. "In general, rice cookers can free up your burner and your hands so that you can concentrate on cooking other stuff to go with it," Okochi says.

  • How should you season rice in a rice cooker?

    "Most of the time, I don't add any seasoning, but if you want to season your rice, sea salt is most simple, and you can elaborate with dashi instead of water, soy sauce, mirin, and cooking sake for Takikomi Gohan. I'd add some protein or seaweed and start cooking. If adding green vegetables, such as green peas or asparagus, I add them blanched after the rice is cooked and fluff them together," says Okochi.

  • What else can you cook in a rice cooker?

    Rice cookers can be versatile, according to Okochi. "You can slow-cook meat such as chicken or pork or some beans. Some elaborate machines have a softer or harder texture setting, it can cook porridge, cook brown rice better with a pressure setting, and keep rice warm without drying it. Some can even cook cakes," she says.

The Tests

To test how well the rice cookers performed, we used them over a 3-week testing period. We evaluated how consistent each rice cooker is by cooking different types of rice and grains. We looked to see if the rice was scorched or dry from cooking or after an extended time using the warm function if available. We did everything you would do, so you don't have to. 

Other Rice Cookers We Tested

Strong Contenders

  • Cuckoo Pressure Rice Cooker (CRP-P1009SB) ($280 at Amazon)
  • Panasonic 5-Cup One-Touch Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker ($91 at Amazon)
  • Black + Decker Rice Cooker ($21 at Walmart)
  • Instant Pot Zest Rice Cooker ($50 at Amazon)

Our Expertise

Jennifer Zyman is a Senior Commerce Writer for Food & Wine and a former restaurant critic with a culinary school degree and over 15 years of food writing experience. Her work has appeared in Atlanta Magazine, Bon Appetit, Eater Atlanta, The Kitchn, Local Palate, National Geographic, Simply Recipes, Southern Living, and Thrillist. To write this story, she used market research, results from our in-house testing, and research conducted by Food Editor Katie Macdonald and Stacey Ballis, a freelance writer.

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