Finest rice cookers for 2021: From Oster to Zojirushi

Finest rice cookers for 2021: From Oster to Zojirushi


It’d sound unusual, however rice is my favourite meals. It is low-cost, fluffy, comforting and the proper backdrop for any proteins I resolve to cook dinner. However there is a purpose some apprentices to sushi cooks spend years studying to make rice. It’s tough to excellent. Enter the rice cooker, a intelligent little countertop equipment that whips up completely fluffy rice with none work apart from scooping rice and water right into a bowl — and might make tons of different dishes, from ribs to rice pudding.

The good thing about an electrical rice cooker is that it delivers excellent rice with little hands-on time — at the very least, in concept. However with so many choices available on the market, starting from $20 to $200 or extra, how have you learnt which is the perfect rice cooker to purchase? I examined 12 of the most well-liked choices round to search out the perfect rice cookers, and can replace this listing infrequently.

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Excellent white rice is nearly a paradox: It is moist, however not mushy; toothsome, however not chewy. That excellent fluffy rice is hard to seize, so the standard output for this Oster rice cooker’s $20 price ticket is spectacular. No, the rice is not excellent — brown rice particularly comes out simply barely too chewy — but it surely’s head and shoulders higher than different cookers beneath $100. It has a tempered glass lid with a vent and comes with a steaming basket.

What’s extra, the Oster is fast, whipping up a cup of white rice in 15 minutes and brown rice in 33 minutes. It additionally did not give any of the spillage or mess of different cookers, so cleanup was sooner, too.

When you love rice and eat it commonly, however do not wish to break the financial institution, the Oster is a unbelievable countertop choice.

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For rice cooker elitists, Zojirushi is a family title, and the popularity is earned. The $170 Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker not solely produces excellent rice in pretty giant portions, but it surely additionally lets you personalize your rice, if you happen to desire it dryer or moister, together with well-calibrated settings for brown rice and different grains.

This Zojirushi rice cooker has a number of downsides: Its price ticket is intimidating, it takes up a big quantity of house and it takes its time making rice (a cup of white rice, as an example, takes over 40 minutes to cook dinner). That stated, uncooked velocity is much less essential in lots of circumstances than a tool’s capability to maintain rice heat and completely fluffy for prolonged intervals of time, and Zojirushi is an unmatched rice maker in that regard.

When you’re searching for the perfect rice, no matter worth, Zojirushi is my advice.

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Okay, perhaps you are the Goldilocks shopper who would not want the costly Zojirushi, however who can afford to spend just a little greater than 25 bucks in your rice cooker. The $130 Tiger stainless-steel rice cooker is perhaps greatest for you. It is bigger than the Oster, which makes it higher for households, and it is the quickest rice cooker I examined, ending a cup of white rice in a mere 13 minutes.

It is also less complicated than the Zojirushi, boasting a single-switch interface, however nonetheless wonderful in its output. The Tiger and Zojirushi simply produced the perfect rice out of the units I examined, with the Tiger providing a barely extra toothsome chew than the Zojirushi, which can simply come all the way down to choice for most individuals.

One draw back of the Tiger was the truth that it actually is simply constructed to cook dinner white rice; its instructions do not even embrace directions on anything. However once I threw in a cup of brown rice and only a smidge extra water than the usual measurement for white rice, the top end result was spectacular — solely just a little dryer than the Zojirushi’s.

How we examined to search out the perfect rice cooker

I examined 12 rice cookers aspect by aspect, cooking 1 cup of white rice and 1 cup of brown rice in every, following the person instructions and utilizing every gadget’s customary settings for each. Nearly each gadget beneficial permitting the rice to steam for an extra 15 minutes after the cook dinner accomplished, and I allowed that point for every one.

I fluffed and tasted rice from every cooker on the 15-minute mark (which, along with the cook dinner time, ranged from 28 to 56 minutes), after which once more after about an hour on the “heat” setting.

As a result of some folks desire their cooked rice at barely completely different ranges of moisture, I centered on the issues in every rice cooker’s yield, be it inconsistency in cooking, any raw rice, kernels that weren’t cooked by or ones that had misplaced their distinction and grow to be mushy.

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The remainder of the sphere

The 12 rice cookers I examined fell into three free classes: small, reasonably priced units, midrange multicookers and specialised, high-end rice cookers.

Every small rice cooker I examined, just like the $20 Imusa 3-cup and the $17 Black & Decker 3-cup mini rice cooker — together with my favourite of the bunch from Oster — supplied respectable, small servings of white rice. The Imusa and the Black & Decker each struggled just a little extra with brown rice and combined rice, although.

The $30 8-cup Hamilton Seaside rice cooker looks like a very good deal for the dimensions, however its rice was inconsistent, with severely undercooked sections. Zojirushi’s 3-cup choice additionally disillusioned with rice that was too moist and barely damaged down, shedding the excellence of well-cooked white rice.

Cuisinart’s 4-cup and Black and Decker’s 7-cup rice cookers have been a few of my least favourite as a result of they have been each so messy. Cuisinart’s boiled every time I used it and Black and Decker’s bigger mannequin leaked onto my counter, necessitating important cleanup.

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When it got here to the midrange multicookers, I discovered the cooking time to be sluggish and the outcomes persistently just a little off: an 8-cup Aroma rice cooker and meals steamer, Immediate Pot’s Zest cooker and a 5-cup Panasonic all bought me excited with the varied capabilities obtainable on their interfaces, however all three produced overcooked, barely mushy rice, presumably as a result of sluggish cooking.

Lastly, the higher-end, specialised rice cookers from Tiger and Zojirushi have been each spectacular, as I famous above. It is clear these units are rigorously calibrated, and Zojirushi even presents just a little little bit of personalization as to the way you need your white rice cooked, which was a welcome addition for my spouse and me, as we now have barely completely different preferences.

Which rice cooker is correct for you?

When you like rice, but it surely’s not a staple of your food plan, I would not suggest shopping for a rice cooker. Cooking rice is not tough, and you will get nice outcomes with good method in a pot of boiling water. That stated, if you happen to eat a whole lot of rice, a cooker can actually streamline that cooking course of and prep, permitting you to concentrate on the opposite parts of the meal.

I used to be shocked by the vary of efficiency throughout the units I examined, and albeit disillusioned in a few of them. However if you happen to choose any of my prime three, whether or not for the value, the pot dimension (large households can eat a whole lot of rice) or just since you need the perfect rice you will get each time, you ought to be totally happy.

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