Best Rice Cooker 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

There are some dedicated rice cookers out there, and some which will do every job you could possibly want from slow cooking to making bread and steaming vegetables. Whichever is best for you will depend on a lot of factors, from the space you have available to what you already own and how much you need to cook.

Here are our top picks of the best rice cookers available, and the reasons why we rate them.

The Best Rice Cookers – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
CleverChef by Drew&Cole 17 in 1 Multi Cooker
  • Power: 860W
  • Capacity: 5L
  • Dimensions: 31 x 24 x 23 cm
  • Features: 17 settings, keep warm, delay start
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Crock-Pot Saute Rice Cooker
  • Power: 900W
  • Capacity: 2.2L
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Features: Keep warm, removable pot
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Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker
  • Capacity: 2L
  • Dimensions: 22 (length of paddle) × 18 × 14 cm
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Best Electric Rice Cooker

CleverChef by Drew&Cole 17 in 1 Multi Cooker

Rice cookers do what the name suggests. A few can also steam vegetables or will let you add stock/risotto rice. Overall though, they aren’t quite slow cookers.

This model, however, is a 17 in 1 wonder machine. You have your rice setting but also your steam, stew, soup, roast, poach, bread rise, bake, fish, sauté/brown, pasta, slow cook and yoghurt options, plus a fully customizable DIY function. There is also the ability to slow cook casseroles and stews.

A keep warm option keeps you on track, so everything is ready when you are, and the delay start timer is the perfect way to plan ahead. The non-stick inner pot is simple to wipe clean and is also suitable for dishwasher use.

There is a recipe book included so you can get the most of the appliance, and the generous 5L capacity will allow you to cook huge batches of rice for large families or a great amount of casserole to feed everyone.

Quick touch controls are simple to use, and the intuitive layout is pretty self-explanatory. Whether you want to be healthy and start cooking in a better way, or you’re so busy that you don’t want to spend up to an hour watching a pot of rice, so it doesn’t come out like little bullets, it is ideal.

We like

  • Range of abilities
  • Easy to control
  • Perfect for families

We dislike

  • Price - but worth what you get

Final Verdict

Perfect rice, and the ability to get very creative in the kitchen with little effort. For the extra cash, if you’re tempted to splash out, it will be well worth it

+ Specifications

  • Power: 860W
  • Capacity: 5L
  • Dimensions: 31 x 24 x 23 cm
  • Features: 17 settings, keep warm, delay start

+ Downloads

CleverChef by Drew&Cole 17 in 1 Multi Cooker User Manual

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Crock-Pot Saute Rice Cooker

Crock Pot, a brand more associated with slow cookers, has released a model dedicated to rice preparation.

It is ideal for larger families or those who like to entertain, thanks to the 2.2L capacity which can prepare around 24 cups of rice, which is enough for 6-7 people if the meal is rice-based. It will also cook paella, rice and oat-based dishes.

The pot is removable, so you can take your risotto or jambalaya straight to the table without needing to transfer – just let everyone dig in. When you need to store it away, the power cord is removable, so this can be kept safe and won’t get in the way.

It feels very strong and well-built, so if you hate the fact that a lot of small appliances have a short shelf life these days, this is a great model. We have no doubt it will last at least five years, so there is a great chance you will get your money’s worth.

We like

  • Removable bowl
  • Dishwasher safe bowl
  • Strong and easy to set up

We dislike

  • Rice needs stirring frequently

Final Verdict

One of the more pricey, but also one of the more reliable we tested. Definitely worth the extra if you are a bit of a rice fanatic

+ Specifications

  • Power: 900W
  • Capacity: 2.2L
  • Dimensions: N/A
  • Features: Keep warm, removable pot

+ Downloads

Crock-Pot Saute Rice Cooker User Manual

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Russell Hobbs RU-23570

Featuring a huge five-litre capacity, this is the ideal cooker for big servings. If your family gets through heaps of rice, then it won’t only look stylish in your kitchen but will save you a lot of hassle.

Up to 14 cups can be made at any one time, so you’ll never go short. When you’re done, just wipe down with a cloth and wash all internal bits by hand.

With the purchase comes an additional basket that can be used for steam cooking, as well as a spatula and measuring cup. This will keep you in check when you’re monitoring the rice, plus allowing you to cook vegetables and other steamed food all using just one appliance.

We did find that if it was left on ‘keep warm’ for a bit too long, it tended to start sticking and going a little dry in the middle. A lot of steam is also released outside of the lid of the cooker so you may have to turn the cooker hood on.

To get the water amount right for the rice is a bit tricky because too little and it burns, too much and it goes very stodgy. But once it is right, the rice looks and tastes good. The price isn’t too high but just depends if you can be bothered with the hassle.

We like

  • Stylish
  • Auto switch off

We dislike

  • Takes a lot of practice

Final Verdict

Not the most perfect results, but still a handy multi-use appliance with a stylish design

+ Specifications

  • Power: 1000W
  • Capacity: 5L
  • Dimensions: 33.8 x 26.5 x 22.7 cm
  • Features: Auto switch off, keep warm

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs RU-23570 User Manual

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Judge Mini Rice Cooker

It is all well and good talking about rice cookers, but not everyone has space to both place these appliances when in use or store them away in between uses. Thankfully, you don’t have to miss out just because of space restrictions.

Working at high temperature and low pressure, it makes the ideal amount for two servings. Instructions resulted in perfect rice, which was very welcomed. The instructions of many other rice cookers leave room for improvement.

Because of the smaller dimensions, it is ideal for popping away in the cupboard in between uses. Other reviewers have said that they also find it ideal for travelling, so if you spend a lot of time in hotels with work or you go away in the caravan often, you can still have the perfect rice serving.

Don’t just leave it to stand after being made, though. Best to give it a stir first as it will stick if left to sit. It won’t turn off automatically so needs a close eye kept on it. Apart from that though, you don’t want much more from a small, unobtrusive cooker.

We like

  • Perfect for small servings
  • Not complicated to use

We dislike

  • No automatic switch off

Final Verdict

Compact, easy use, and perfect for smaller households or individuals

+ Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Dimensions: 17 x 17 x 20 cm
  • Features: Small, power light

Lloytron Kitchen Perfected Automatic Non Stick

A brilliant little rice cooker for the price, this Lloytron appliance is perfect preparing one or two portions at a time.

Once the rice is done, it automatically switches to ‘keep warm’ mode, so you don’t have to rush to get everything ready. When we tested this, the rice seemed to come out even better so is worth the little wait. This setting can be ticking over for five hours. So, even if you’re nipping out and want it ready for when you get back, it has your back.

The toughened glass lid is both strong and easy to see through. The handle also has a comfortable rubber grip to make lifting it on and off easy. A non-stick coating makes cleaning simple enough. But if there was any sticking, we found soaking it in water for ten minutes did the job alone.

Because of the capacity, it is brilliant for a small household. Rice can be just like pasta where you’re cooking for one and end up making a hundred servings. However this cooker makes it easy to control your portions. It is perfect for four if rice is a side dish, or if it is the main base of your meal then it is perfect for two.

We would recommend using a bit more water than it states in the instructions for fluffier results. There is a little bit of spitting at the side of the lid if full, but they’re issues easily worked around. It isn’t the prettiest but does the job.

We like

  • Keep warm
  • Basic to use

We dislike

  • Design

Final Verdict

Simple to use, good results and easy to clean - all at a great price

+ Specifications

  • Power: 350W
  • Capacity: 0.8L
  • Dimensions: 22 x 22.5 x 21.5 cm
  • Features: Keep warm mode

+ Downloads

Lloytron Kitchen Perfected Automatic Non Stick

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TEFAL RK1568UK CoolTouch Rice Cooker

700W of cooking power and two heat settings make this an effective rice cooker which is pretty perfect.

Simply fill with your water and rice, and the next time you lift the lid, your rice will be perfectly prepared. An insulated wall body will keep it cool to the touch, and a keep warm function will keep everything ticking over until you are ready for it without ruining the taste or texture. There is little worse than your rice being ready long before your curry.

It comes with a spoon, measuring cup and steam basket, so you’re ready to go straight away. We liked the clear lid so you can see the rice cooking away, and the lid handle is very easy to grip and hold, so it lowers the risk of injuries or burns in the kitchen.

Taking 15-20 minutes to make perfect rice, it looks great in the kitchen, and it is easy to clean as well. There aren’t any fancy features, such as a timer or even a stand for the spoon, but the price means it is one of those items you can purchase without worrying about this too much.

We will say that the minimum you can cook in it is around five portions-worth though, so it isn’t for anyone who lives by themselves or in a couple.

We like

  • Price
  • Nice design
  • Keep warm function

We dislike

  • Minimum serving is too large

Final Verdict

On the large side, but if you’re after a cooker which can serve the whole family then it’ll see you through

+ Specifications

  • Power: 700W
  • Capacity: 1.8L
  • Dimensions: 23.5 x 31 x 31.5 cm
  • Features: Power indicator, auto shut-off, removable bowl

+ Downloads

TEFAL RK1568UK CoolTouch Rice Cooker User Manual

Download

Breville ITP181 Rice Cooker and Steamer

With a removable bowl that can be taken straight to the table and a steamer tray which can prepare fish and vegetables, this is a solid choice for a rice cooker which can help you out with other meals too.

It is ideal for around 3+ people as it prepares around six cups of rice. The fact that it can be used to steam as well is incredibly handy, especially for anyone who is short on space. It switches from cooking to keep warm mode automatically, so you can give yourself an extra ten minutes finishing the vacuuming.

We found it gives better results when used for larger batches that keeping the portions small, but it still did enough rice for two people with a little more monitoring. The coating is incredibly effective, however, with very little sticking and it is easy to clean even the more stubborn burnt on areas off with a little soaking.

It comes in at a great price, and we think it would make a brilliant first-time rice cooker. If you have never used one before, you don’t want something that takes too much effort or is complicated to use. This one is a perfect introduction from a trusted brand.

A lot of other models’ lids tend to rattle a little with the mixture of the pressure and the water, but we can safely say the lid of this model is heavy and down enough to not.

We like

  • Price
  • Non-stick coating is effective
  • Auto keep warm

We dislike

  • Not for small batches

Final Verdict

We didn’t expect much for the cost, but it pleasantly surprised us. Not the most advanced but just as effective as the rest

+ Specifications

  • Power: 700W
  • Capacity: 1.8L
  • Dimensions: 29.6 cm x 29.4 cm x 25.4 cm
  • Features: Keep warm

+ Downloads

Breville ITP181 Rice Cooker and Steamer User Manual

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Cookworks 1.5L Rice Cooker

A fabulous price for a fabulous rice cooker – it cooks precisely, and with little effort on your behalf.

Just fill with water or the grains, and you’re good to go. The cool touch body keeps fingers safe, and the toughened glass lid won’t crack yet allows you to check on the progress. And, if it is ready before your other ingredients, just hit the keep warm button.

This can keep everything warm for up to 12 hours so if you need to prepare ahead, or maybe you’ve cooked too much and want to take the rest to work the next morning, it will still be perfect without getting burnt or stuck.

An on/off button is in place for extra safety which we love, as it can never be turned on accidentally. Plus, you can add vegetables to the rice to make perfect fried rice for your Saturday night fakeaway.

It isn’t good for individual servings as you have to fill the tub up to the minimum level. But it is good with frequent use, so if you make rice with pretty much every meal then you’re on your way to a winner. Just follow the measures and you are set.

We like

  • Price
  • Black design will fit into any kitchen
  • Generous keep warm function

We dislike

  • A lot of steam comes out of vent

Final Verdict

A top-rated rice cooker which will suit all families and busy homes, with use and with budget

+ Specifications

  • Power: 500W
  • Capacity: 1.5L
  • Dimensions: 26.5 x 26.5 x 22 cm
  • Features: Keep warm

+ Downloads

Cookworks 1.5L Rice Cooker

Download

Best Microwave Rice Cooker

Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker

Joseph Joseph has made some intuitive products over the years, and this rice cooker is one which can be set apart from the other microwaveable items on the market.

You don’t just get the cooking chamber, but also a lid, colander, measuring cup and a multi-purpose rice paddle that simultaneously locks the lid closed for cooking. The paddle also sticks over the edge of the circumference, acting as two handles which keep cool to safely lift it out of the microwave.

Just measure into the colander, rinse with water and add to the pot. Top up with water and secure the lid using the paddle. There is a handy information sheet which guides you on water amounts depending on the type of rice.

The rice was cooked to perfection, even though we worked out that using a little less water than recommended was best. It is a bit more expensive than some of the other microwaveable options available, but it is ahead of the game, so if you want a trustworthy item then it is worth the extra.

We like

  • Paddle acts as handle
  • Colander for rinsing
  • Lid locks in place

We dislike

  • Takes a little practice to get water amounts right

Final Verdict

They aren’t the easiest items to use, but this microwave rice cooker takes away the usual niggles and gives you a safe, great, reliable product

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 2L
  • Dimensions: 22 (length of paddle) × 18 × 14 cm

+ Downloads

Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker

Download

Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker

If you make your rice in the microwave already but are winging it a little with jugs and cling film, or you currently use the hob but want an easier life, then this little pot could be a saviour.

It is easy to set up – just unclip the lid, add the rice and water, then replace the lid along with the pressure chamber tray. This tray is what helps to retain the moisture, and the clip lock lid will save any spillages.

There is a spoon included to make it easier to stir throughout the process. Because it is made of plastic, the rice doesn’t stick, and it is easy to wash with a bit of a soak for the more stubborn bits.

It isn’t overly easy to bring out of the microwave – it is very hot, and there are no handles or safety areas to grip. Always take precautions. Having said that, it is the same as any other microwaveable item.

We were pleasantly surprised at the capacity, too. It is larger than some electric models, so you don’t have to worry you won’t have enough space.

We like

  • Price
  • Easy to clean up afterwards
  • Compact for storage

We dislike

  • More effort than an electric model

Final Verdict

If you’re low on funds, don’t want a huge new appliance or don’t make rice often, it is a great solution

+ Specifications

  • Capacity: 2.6L
  • Dimensions: 21.6 x 19.5 x 16.1 cm

+ Downloads

Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker User Manual

Download

Rice Cooker Buying Guide

Electric vs Microwave Rice Cookers

Electric rice cookers are the ones that do all the hard work for you. Just fill with rice and water, plug in and set the time or monitor it.

Microwaveable rice cookers are much much cheaper, and even though they do the same job, they require a bit more work at your end. From setting your microwave up to keeping a beady eye on the water splashing or overflowing, you’d also have to stir halfway through.

The latter is a great budget choice, especially if you don’t eat rice a lot or live on your own. The former, however, is best for larger households or those who regularly want to cook rice with no effort.

Capacity

How large you need your cooker to be depends on how much rice you will be cooking at any one time. The average cup of uncooked rice is around 6-8 ounces, which produces around 2 cups of rice depending on the type.

So, a rice cooker which will accommodate 5 cups of rice will produce roughly double this at ten cups.

A general serving of rice at the side of a meal is around ¾ cup of cooked rice. As a rule, water and rice are added at a ratio of 3:1, so a 1L model will cook around 3 cups or rice which is roughly enough for four people.

Power

Not a huge deliberation, and we found that there was not much difference in the results. If anything, those with higher power were a little quicker, but a lot of the effort in getting the perfect rice is down to you and measurements.

Bowl

All rice cookers have an internal bowl which holds the rice. Some of these are removable so you can take them straight to the table to serve. Look out for a non-stick one though mainly. If you’re a seasoned rice maker, you’ll know that using a pan causes sticking often. The same applies to cookers, so you want one which limits the likelihood of this as well as making it easy to soak and clean.

FAQs

Why Do I Need A Rice Cooker?

Cooking rice in a pan can have variable results. Boil in the bag often gives you too much or too little rice for what you need. Doing it straight in the water normally results in it being undercooked, mushy or sticking to the base of the pan.

Rice cookers are a little more specifically designed for the task at hand. They can also cook large batches, and generally be left more to their own devices.

Are Rice Cookers Messy To Use?

You may have seen reviews mentioning the fact they can spit water when in use, but there are ways around this. Always rinse your rice before putting it into a cooker, and keep an eye on it. If it starts to spit a bit, give it a stir, so all of the rice is adjusted.

Some is natural due to the pressure, so don’t let it put you off the purchase – any water will be easy to wipe away, after all.

Do I Need A Keep Warm Feature?

It isn’t essential, but most models do now include it as standard anyway.

It will allow you to be a bit more flexible when preparing the dinner and getting everything ready at the same time, without burning or drying out the rice. Many people are suspicious about reheating rice, so one which keeps it warm for up to 24 hours could see it used across two meals or the next day as leftovers.