Cooking rice perfectly, neither too firm nor too sticky, can be an obstacle course if you have a small kitchen or if you tend to forget your pots on the stove. However, everything is played in a few minutes to go from the perfect accompaniment of your curries to this white monster, bland and pasty.
And why not get rid of that chore by investing in a rice cooker (or ricecooker), electric or microwave? These ingenious tools cook your rice without requiring special attention, except when dosing the water and rice, and can be cleaned with a single swipe of the sponge. No more scorched casseroles and crunchy rice: our selection is here to help you find the perfect rice cooker for you and your family!
In this article
The essentials about rice cookers
- Rice cookers (or ricecooker for English speakers) are cooking devices that allow to obtain a soft and cooked rice to point without required supervision on the part of the user.
- There are two types of rice cookers : electric and microwave. The first is autonomous (has its own heating system) while the second is a container designed to cook rice in the microwave without drying it out. They exist in different sizes to satisfy small appetites as well as large family tables.
- Electric rice cookers offer more and more features and accessories that allow a more varied use of the device. Legumes, small steamed dishes and soft desserts are now at your fingertips!
- Whether electric or microwave oven, rice cookers are very affordable and easy to maintain kitchen accessories. Their non-stick coating allows it to quickly remove traces of starch whether you choose to clean with a sponge or in the dishwasher.
The best rice cookers in 2021
- Russell Hobbs
- Téfal Classic 2
- Joseph Joseph M kitchen
1. Russell Hobbs: The Best Rice Cooker for Large Families
- Sleek brushed steel design
- Large capacity
- Accessories supplied with the cooker
- Power cord too short
- Water splashes in cooking mode
- Keep warm mode is too powerful
Russell Hobbs is the UK budget home appliance specialist . The brand stands out in particular thanks to its ranges of products with very different styles that fit as much into a retro and colorful kitchen as a modern and refined living space.
The rice cooker offered by Russell Hobbs comes in the form of a brushed steel casserole dish with a glass lid , convenient for monitoring the cooking of food. On the front, a switch allows you to choose between Cooking or Keeping warm mode . It should be noted that the appliance automatically switches from the first mode to the second mode at the end of the rice cooking cycle. Two indicator lights clearly indicate the selected mode. Inside, there is a 1.8L cooking tank, which can cook up to 10 portions of rice according to the manufacturer: the ideal capacity for a family meal. A steamer basket can be superimposed on the tank, to cook vegetables, meat or fish while retaining their vitamins.The bowl is removable and covered with a non-stick coating for easy cleaning. However, it is important to note that neither the latter nor the steamer basket are dishwasher safe.
With a power of 700W , this elegant rice cooker is supplied with a measuring cup and a plastic spatula , to facilitate the service without risking damaging the interior of the tank. However, be careful with the use! The Keep warm function seems a little too strong and tends to overcook the rice or even dry it out. In addition, be careful not to add more water than necessary for cooking your food, at the risk of water splashes escaping through the valve hole normally reserved for steam.
2. Téfal Classic 2: The best French brand rice cooker
- Sober and elegant design
- Possibility to buy spare parts
- French made
- Very difficult to read markings on the tank
- Fragile steam basket
- Keep warm function a little too powerful
Acquired by the SEB group, the Téfal brand continues to produce small household appliances in France, equipped with the famous non-stick coating which has made its success with the most demanding cooks.
The Classic 2 rice cooker is similar to a rather compact pressure cooker , black in color, with a glass lid pierced to allow excess steam to escape. A single switch allows you to choose between the two functions, Cooking and Keeping warm . Note that the rice cooker automatically switches to Keep Warm mode at the end of the rice cooking. The indicator light changes color depending on the device mode , and allows you to check at a glance whether the rice is ready to eat or not. The tank of the device has a capacity of 3L , which allows, according to the manufacturer, to satisfy the appetite of 4 to 6 people in a single operation. She iscovered with a graduated non-stick coating, to facilitate the dosing of water and rice , and is removable, for quick cleaning. This rice cooker can also be used to steam food, thanks to the plastic basket provided for this purpose. Some users note, however, that the latter is a bit small in terms of capacity and regret that it is plastic and in fact, a bit fragile.
The Classic 2 rice cooker operates on the mains and has a power of 500W . The lid, the pan and the steamer basket can be put in the dishwasher without risk. The object is guaranteed for one year. Little more interesting to extend the life of your rice cooker: spare parts and additional accessories can be purchased on the manufacturer's website .
3. Tristar: The best rice cooker for couples
- Perfect capacity for a person or a couple
- Ease of use
- Suitable for small kitchens
- Fragile non-stick coating
- Questionable longevity
- Not recommended for daily use
A subsidiary of the Dutch group Smartwares, Tristar specializes in household appliances accessible to all budgets. The rice cooker offered in this selection represents the spirit of the brand: easy-to-use objects to meet specific and basic needs .
The Tristar rice cooker is particularly recommended for small kitchens , where every square inch counts. The simple design of the device, in plastic and white metal, topped with a pierced glass lid, leaves no doubt as to its intended use: it is a rice cooker in everything there is. more basic. A small switch on the side turns the object on. Two indicator lights indicate when it switches from Cooking mode to Keep warm mode , without leaving the possibility of choosing between the two options. Its compact and removable tank has a capacity of 0.6L. The graduations on the inside facilitate the dosage of the ingredients and thus allow to cook enough rice for a couple or a greedy student. The non-stick coating prevents the risk of burns, and makes cleaning chore a breeze, for a while though. Indeed, some users have noticed that this coating deteriorates quickly , despite the precautions taken to avoid scratches. Washing in the dishwasher rather than cleaning with a sponge can slow down the wear on the tub.
With a power of 300W , this rice cooker comes with a measuring cup and a plastic spatula for serving . Practical and unpretentious, it certainly doesn't clutter up the kitchen and is recommended for occasional use.
4. Cuisinart: The most versatile rice cooker
- Sleek and practical design
- Stainless steel and non-plastic steam basket
- Retractable power cord
- Smaller capacity than advertised
- Lid not waterproof
- Questionable price-performance ratio
Cuisinart is a benchmark brand in the field of American household appliances. As its name suggests, the company specializes in all objects related to the culinary arts and counts, among its many references, elegant versatile rice cookers.
At first glance, we appreciate the manufacturer's efforts in terms of design: a square shape, easy to store in a corner, a retractable power cord for additional space saving, all wrapped in a brushed steel shell for the robust side. The Cuisinart rice cooker consists of a removable 0.8L bowl with a non-stick Teflon coating, a stainless steel steamer basket stackable above the appliance and a non-waterproof glass lid although handy for monitoring the cooking of food. This rice cooker has two buttons, one controlling its activation and the other allowing to choose the program ( Cooking or Keep warm). An indicator light indicates which program is in use. The cooking vat is graduated for precise dosage of food. However, some may be disappointed with its capacity: barely 0.8L. Hard to believe that such a capacity could be enough to prepare rice for 6 to 8 people. The same goes for the steamer basket. Many users find it sufficient to cook amounts for 3 to 4 people depending on the foods chosen. The maintenance of this rice cooker remains, moreover, quite simple: the removable parts are compatible with cleaning in the dishwasher and a damp sponge is sufficient to erase any traces on the electrical unit.
With a power of 450W , the Cuisinart rice cooker comes with a measuring cup and a plastic spatula in addition to the items mentioned. Spare parts can be purchased on the manufacturer's website to extend the life of the device. However, performance remains a little below expectations, especially given the price of the rice cooker. To reserve therefore to make a nice gift.
5. Senya: The best rice cooker for making sushi
- Original and pleasant design
- Kit to make sushi provided
- French made
- Non-stick coating of the fragile tank
- No steam basket
- Questionable price-performance ratio
A small brand from the north of France, Senya offers small household appliances with a colorful design to cover all everyday needs.
The Senya rice cooker comes in the form of a red and black rectangular bento box with a handle for easy transport and storage . The functions offered by the device are simple and sufficient to perfectly prepare your sushi rice (or your basmati rice!): A single switch allows you to choose between Cooking mode and Keep warm mode . Please note that the Keep warm mode is automatically activated at the end of the cooking cycle. The inner bowl, with a capacity of 1L, is removable and covered with a thin non-stick filmto prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. However, if the intention was good, this film is very fragile according to users. Fortunately, the cooking tub is dishwasher safe, which can reduce the risk of scratches. The manufacturer provides many accessories for using the device, serving rice and even making sushi, such as a measuring cup, various spatulas and maki molds. One can however note the absence of steam basket among these accessories, which limits the uses of this rice cooker.
With a power of 300W , this rice cooker will satisfy small families. Interesting option: it is possible to buy spare parts on the brand's website , a little more important for sustainable development and ecology. Attention that makes you forget the purchase price a little high for an object after all quite basic.
6. Oster: The best rice cooker for small solo meals
- Small and practical
- Steam basket provided
- Easy to use
- Small capacity
- No timer
- No indication of dishwasher compatibility
Well known to American households, the Oster brand offers a rice cooker that will make the daily life of singles and sparrows' appetites easier!
This rice cooker is sure to catch the eye with its cherry red color. It consists of a removable tank with a capacity of 0.6L graduated and covered with a non-stick coating, an aluminum steamer basket and a glass lid . A single switch is used to turn on the appliance and to choose between the traditional Cooking or Keeping warm modes . Indicator lights confirm your choice. Once the rice and water are properly dosed, you can go about your business. The Oster rice cooker automatically switches to Keep Warm mode after the cooking program is finished. Despite the efficiency and the relative robustness of the rice cooker (according to users) we can regretthe absence of accessories supplied with the latter: neither graduated glass nor service spatula are provided in the package . Furthermore, the manufacturer does not specify whether it is possible to clean the tub or the cover in the dishwasher. An almost flawless therefore for a little basic kitchen!
7. Sistema: The best inexpensive microwave rice cooker
- Large capacity
- Double lid for more efficiency
- Easy to use
- Fragile cover fasteners
- Too large for some microwaves
- Beware of the risk of burns
If you are looking for plastic boxes to store your food at a low price, the Sistema brand should be familiar to you.
In addition to its storage solutions, Sistema offers a large microwave rice cooker with a capacity of 2.6L , perfect to treat a family of 4 to 6 people in no time at all. In a bright red color, this generously sized rice cooker (45 * 35 * 25cm) does not go unnoticed in the cupboards. Take care that it can enter your oven with its lids without difficulty. Speaking of lids, there are two of them, one flat and drilled, the other with closing flaps . The combination of the two provides enough steam to cook the rice and release excess water, if necessary.
All the parts of this rice cooker are suitable for microwave use, freezer storage and dishwasher washing . They made in New Zealand, in a plastic guaranteed to be BPA free and phthalate free . It comes with a spatula to facilitate the service of the rice or cereals that you have chosen to cook with. Would this rice cooker do a flawless one? Almost. According to users, the fasteners of the lid have some weaknesses and we regret the lack of handles to catch the dish without burning yourself out of the oven. Handle with care!
8. Joseph Joseph M cuisine: The best microwave rice cooker for small spaces
- Modern and original design
- Suitable for 4 to 6 people
- Lid not suitable for microwave cooking
- Unclear user manual
Known and awarded for its contemporary design products, the English brand Joseph Joseph takes great pride in equipping your home with useful and beautiful objects at the same time.
The M-Cuisine range aims to get rid of the chore of cooking by offering a wide range of gadjets to cook all kinds of food in the microwave. Among these, there is a gray plastic rice cooker with a very sleek look, with a capacity of 2L (bowl dimensions 22 * 13 * 18cm), perfect for large tables. This microwave oven ricecooker consists of an opaque bowl, in which is inserted a steamer basket with handle, which can act as a rice colander if needed , and a pierced lid, which lets out the excess of steam. Each element fits perfectly into each other, to limit the clutter in the cupboards. The plastic is tough enough to withstand the heat of a 900W microwave oven and be washed in the dishwasher.
The Joseph Joseph rice cooker comes with a measuring glass, and a spatula for serving the rice which fits into the notches of the bowl to act as an additional transport handle. Praised by its users, it is however recommended to take precautions by removing the lid of this rice cooker once the cooking is finished, to avoid burning your fingers with the steam.
9. Tupperware: Tupperware's best microwave rice cooker
- Pop color
- Generous capacity
- Handles for easy handling
- Supplied without additional accessories
- Lid not waterproof
For those who don't feel like spending their afternoons trying out products at a neighbor's meeting, the famous Tupperware brand has all of their products for sale online.
Among the storage boxes and other colorful kitchen accessories, you will find this purple rice cooker for microwave oven, with a capacity of 3L , which has kept relatively discreet proportions (23 * 27 * 15cm) so as not to eat all the space in your closets. This rice cooker consists of a graduated bowl to facilitate the dosages of water and rice (or other cereals to be cooked), a first white cover pierced to produce steam, and a second purple cover to trap the steam and cook the rice inside the bowl. Guaranteed without bisphenol A or polycarbonate , the plastic of this product is resistant enough to store in a refrigerator or wash in the dishwasher. However, it is important to keep in mind that the lids are not waterproof. It is therefore not recommended to use this rice cooker to transport a picnic salad for example.
Despite the robustness of the product and its efficiency, we can regret the somewhat high price for a microwave rice cooker, as well as the absence of accessories such as a measuring cup (for more precision) or a spatula. on duty. This Tupperware ricecooker is still a good investment in the long term, and helps the most demanding cooks on a daily basis!
Buying guide: everything you need to know about rice cookers before buying one
What is a rice cooker?
An essential element for some families or a gadget that helps out in the event of a pan not available, the rice cooker is permanently installed in most kitchens. There are two types of rice cookers:
- Autonomous electric rice cookers, composed of a metal bowl, a heating system with adjustable thermostat or not depending on the model, and a cover;
- Rice cookers for microwave ovens , which consist of a plastic or silicone container with a double cover (one perforated and the other generally not). This combination of lids helps evacuate excess water vapor created during cooking.
Whether electric or microwave, a rice cooker allows you to obtain perfectly cooked rice, neither hard nor sticky by absorption. After adding the required amount of water to the rice, it is heated to a boil. During this process, water is gradually absorbed by the rice. The excess water not absorbed by the rice evaporates under the effect of heat. Thus, the rice grains do not turn into tasteless porridge even if the cooking time is exceeded.
Frequency of use
It may seem obvious, but the intended use of the rice cooker will help you determine what type of equipment to choose . If you are a heavy user of rice or plan to make different cooking recipes with your rice cooker, you will probably go for an electric cooker.
If, on the contrary, you occasionally consume rice or already own a microwave oven, opting for a microwave rice cooker is the best investment. You will not only save money but also space in your kitchen cupboards.
Pay attention to the capacity!
Before any purchase, take the time to check the capacity of your rice cooker to avoid unpleasant surprises. The manufacturers have adapted to their market and offer rice cookers designed to feed large tables as well as for a couple of lovers or a single person who is adept at batch cooking.
Whether electric or microwave oven, a rice cooker with a capacity of less than 1L will suffice for a couple's meal or 2 or 3 individual servings. A 1L to 2L rice cooker will be more suitable for families up to 6 people, depending on the appetites of each. Rice cookers with a capacity greater than 2L will satisfy many households.
Compatible with your kitchen
Even if several French brands have started to offer rice cookers or other pressure cookers with similar functions, many rice cookers are still products imported from abroad. As such, it is important to check two criteria that can guarantee your safety and that of your home's electrical network. First, make sure that the device has safety certificates on the materials of the rice cookers , especially if you choose a microwave rice cooker. Indeed, plastic compounds known for their effects on the human endocrine system (such as bisphenol A) are still used in some countries for the manufacture of food containers.
In the case of electric rice cookers, it is recommended to choose a product certified at least to the CE standard to guarantee the manufacturing quality of the product and to avoid the risk of short circuits when connecting the appliance to the mains. Finally, as with any imported electrical appliance, do not forget to check the compatibility of the electrical outlet with those present in your kitchen to save the purchase of an adapter.
No cleaning chore
The second most important criterion in choosing a rice cooker is its ease of cleaning . Nothing is more frustrating than owning a kitchen accessory so tedious to clean that the very thought of the drudgery puts you off using it.
In the case of a microwave rice cooker, opt for a model that is dishwasher safe , if you have one. You can clean it at the same time as your plates and cutlery, without having to think twice.
For electric rice cookers , make sure that the bowl is removable and provided with a non-stick coating before any purchase . You will not only save cleaning time, but you will also extend the life of your rice cooker, avoiding unwanted water splashes on the electronic components of the device. A glass cover is also easier to maintain in the long run than a plastic cover.
Features and accessories: the useful and the futile
Whatever your requirements, basic or advanced, you will necessarily find the product adapted to your needs and uses. The accessories supplied with your rice cooker can help you choose between two models with similar qualities.
In the case of an electric rice cooker, choose a model that will allow you to vary your uses . The minimum union would be to have a Cooking mode and a Keep warm mode to benefit from fresh rice at any time of the day. Adding a steamer basket is very interesting for cooking a healthy and complete meal while limiting the number of items to be cleaned at the end of the meal. The most advanced models offer different programs depending on the rice to be cooked, automatic switching on at the chosen time, cooking timing, etc. These options turn a simple rice cooker into a real cooking aid.
In terms of accessories, the measuring cup is a must for optimal use of your rice cooker. A plastic spatula is also useful for serving rice without the risk of damaging the non-stick wall of the appliance. Some brands also offer accessories for shaping maki and sushi, or additional bowls and lids to extend the life of the product. It's up to you to decide if these accessories are gagdet or essential according to your way of cooking or the size of your cupboards!
FAQ: we answer your questions about rice cookers
✋🏼 What is a rice cooker and how does it work?
A rice cooker allows you to get perfectly cooked rice without having to constantly watch a pot . There are two types of rice cookers, electric or for microwave ovens.
An electric rice cooker comes in the form of an electric casserole dish, equipped with two thermostats. The first ensures that the water is constantly boiling to cook the rice. The second works as a safety device: the device switches off automatically as soon as there is no more water in the tank. In fact, the rice stays soft, without burning or sticking.
Rice cookers for microwave ovens are containers made of silicone or plastic, equipped with two lids. Under the action of the microwave oven, the water vapor produced remains trapped inside the container and thus cooks the rice.
🛒 Why buy a rice cooker?
Rice cookers make it possible to obtain perfectly cooked rice without supervision. It saves attention and time during cleaning . Some rice cookers have a steamer basket or features that make them the ideal partner for making balanced meals, from starter to dessert. Finally, for the most economical and those who want to control their diet, it allows you to cook the right amount of rice thanks to the graduations integrated in the tanks. No more waste!
🧽 How to clean a rice cooker?
Rice cookers are generally easy to maintain . However, it is important to take some precautions, especially with electric rice cookers. Clean them with a sponge and a non-abrasive household product so as not to damage the non-stick coating of the bowl. If the bowl is removable, dry it thoroughly before replacing it. Moisture can damage the heater.
Rice cookers for microwave ovens are even easier to maintain: unless otherwise indicated by the manufacturer, you can put them in the dishwasher without problems! Otherwise, a simple sponge and washing up liquid can easily get rid of rice starch residue.
🍚 Electric rice cooker or microwave rice cooker?
It all depends on the size of your kitchen, your household appliances and how often you plan to use your rice cooker . As its name suggests, the microwave rice cooker requires a pre-requisite to have a microwave oven to be able to be used. Its minimum size is perfect for occasional use.
If you plan to use your rice cooker more intensively (for making legumes or trying other recipes), if rice is the staple of your diet, or if you are a rice purist and are looking for the perfect consistency, investing in an electric rice cooker may be a smart choice. Manufacturers have even adapted to their market and offer mini-size rice cookers to adapt to kitchenettes.
👨🍳 Rice cooker or Cookeo?
Although more and more versatile, thanks to the additional accessories delivered with or "hacks" of uses, the cooking possibilities offered by a rice cooker remain limited, compared to those offered by a Cookeo. These are two different household appliances.
However, some mid-range and top-of-the-range rice cookers offer more flexibility of use, in particular thanks to the existence of several cooking programs and the possibility of more precisely controlling the cooking time of the food inside the cooker.
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