Greatest rice cookers for 2020: Oster, Tiger and extra

Rice was one of many first dishes I discovered to prepare dinner as an grownup. I spent hours perfecting my rice cooking method, studying how lengthy to soak the rice, which grain lengths I most well-liked, methods to make sticky rice or extra al dente cooked rice. Then I had youngsters, and all my time spent studying to make the most effective rice attainable disappeared. Enter the rice cooker, a intelligent little countertop equipment that relieves you of all of the difficult timing concerned in perfecting your personal cooked rice. Since shopping for it, I’ve used my rice cooker virtually each day, whether or not to whip up a batch of rice for the kiddos’ lunch or to make the right base for a mixture of kimchi and backyard veggies.

The good thing about an electrical rice cooker is that it delivers excellent rice with little cooking time — no less than, in principle. However with so many choices available on the market, starting from $20 to $200 or extra, how have you learnt which is the most effective rice cooker to purchase? I examined 12 of the preferred choices round, overlaying the gamut between inexpensive and luxurious rice cookers, and I am going to replace this periodically. Listed here are those it’s best to at the moment contemplate for cooking amazingly scrumptious rice.

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The proper white rice is nearly a paradox: It is moist, however not mushy; it is toothsome, however not chewy. That excellent fluffy rice is hard to seize, so the standard output for this Oster rice cooker’s $25 price ticket is type of loopy. 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 below $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 quicker, too.

For those who love rice and eat it often, however do not wish to break the financial institution, the Oster is a improbable countertop choice.

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For rice cooker elitists, Zojirushi is a family title, and the fame is earned. The $183 Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker not solely produces excellent rice in pretty giant portions, but it surely additionally lets you personalize your rice, should you want it dryer or moister, together with well-calibrated settings for brown rice and different grains.

This Zojirushi rice cooker has just a few 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 illustration, takes over 40 minutes to prepare dinner). That stated, uncooked velocity is much less vital in lots of instances than a tool’s skill to maintain rice heat and completely fluffy for prolonged intervals of time, and Zojirushi is an unmatched rice maker in that regard.

For those who’re searching for the most effective rice, no matter value, Zojirushi is my advice.

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Okay, possibly you are the Goldilocks client who does not want the tremendous costly Zojirushi, however who can afford to spend a bit greater than 25 bucks in your rice cooker. The $123 Tiger stainless-steel rice cooker could be 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 easier than the Zojirushi, boasting a single-switch interface, however nonetheless wonderful in its output. The Tiger and Zojirushi simply produced the most effective rice out of the gadgets I examined, with the Tiger providing a barely extra toothsome chunk than the Zojirushi, which can simply come right down to desire for most individuals.

One down facet of the Tiger was the truth that it actually is just constructed to prepare dinner white rice; its instructions do not even embrace directions on the rest. However after I threw in a cup of brown rice and only a smidge extra water than the usual measurement for white rice, the top outcome was spectacular — solely a bit dryer than the Zojirushi’s.

How we examined for the most effective rice cooker

I examined 12 rice cookers facet by facet, cooking one measuring cup of white rice and one measuring cup of brown rice in every, following the person instructions and utilizing every system’s customary settings for each. Nearly each system advisable permitting the rice to steam for a further 15 minutes after the prepare dinner accomplished, and I allowed that point for each.

I fluffed and tasted rice from every cooker on the 15-minute mark (which, along with the prepare 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 individuals want their cooked rice at barely completely different ranges of moisture, I targeted on the issues in every rice cooker’s yield, be it inconsistency in cooking, any raw rice, kernels that weren’t cooked by way of or ones that had misplaced their distinction and change into mushy.


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The remainder of the sphere

The 12 rice cookers I examined fell into three free classes: small, inexpensive gadgets, 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 — provided respectable, small servings of white rice. The Imusa and the Black & Decker each struggled a bit extra with brown rice and combined rice, although.

The $30 8-cup Hamilton Seashore rice cooker looks as if a great deal for the dimensions, however its rice was inconsistent, with severely undercooked sections. Zojirushi’s 3-cup choice additionally upset with rice that was too moist and barely damaged down, dropping 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 vital cleanup.


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

Lastly, the higher-end, specialised rice cookers from Tiger and Zojirushi have been each spectacular, as I famous above. It is clear these gadgets are rigorously calibrated, and Zojirushi even gives a bit 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 now we have barely completely different preferences.

Which rice cooker is correct for you?

For those who like rice, but it surely’s not a staple of your weight loss program, I would not advocate shopping for a rice cooker. Cooking rice is not troublesome, and you will get nice outcomes with good method in a pot of boiling water. That stated, should you eat a variety of rice, a cooker can actually streamline that cooking course of and prep, permitting you to deal with the opposite components of the meal.

I used to be stunned by the vary of efficiency throughout the gadgets I examined, and admittedly upset in a few of them. However should you choose any of my prime three, whether or not for the worth, the pot dimension (huge households can eat a variety of rice) or just since you need the most effective rice you will get each time, try to be absolutely glad.

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