Are you a young family, a single student, or you live by yourself? Then, a small rice cooker will serve as an excellent inclusion to your kitchen! Why? The reason is that despite being affordable kitchen appliances, they will make your life a walk in the park! You can have perfectly cooked rice any time you want! In light of all this, we have reviewed the best small rice cookers to assist you in making your investment worthwhile!
Rice cookers serve as great kitchen appliances to make your rice or other meals without having to fret over scorching or water overflowing. They operate on the set-and-forget mentality, with the most common appliances having a capacity of at least 1.8 liters or some having even more. However, these are known for working well with larger households.
What if you’re a student who has limited space? Or a small family with only 2 or 3 members? Or you live by yourself in a cramped condo? Then this set of the best small rice cookers will come in handy, regardless of your space situation.
We have reviewed the 12 best small rice cookers in detail to assist you in choosing the one that perfectly suits you! You should be sure of getting flawlessly cooked rice each time you get to cook with any of these rice cookers!
Why Do You Need a Rice Cooker?
This is the central question that arises even before you decide on the best small rice cooker to purchase. Why? There are several reasons why you should consider making this addition to your kitchen counter.
A rice cooker cooks rice perfectly every time as compared to the traditional rice cooking on the stove. On the stove, you are likely to burn the rice, mess with the texture, and even make it mushy!
On the rice cooker, however, everything is precisely controlled. All you have to do is measure rice, measure water, and put them inside the cooking pot. Then, press the start button, and you’re good to go!
For most basic rice cookers, there’s an incorporated built-in thermostat that helps regulate the cooking pot temperature. Once cooking commences, and the thermostat gets to the pre-set temperature, the thermostat cuts off electric supply hence shutting off the rice cooker.
With most rice cookers nowadays, the unit will automatically switch itself to the renowned keep-warm mode until your next serving time. There is heat reduction in the process; therefore, your rice won’t burn.
Do you make a lot of rice and want to save and time and effort in the process? Then, these are enough reasons why you should consider getting a rice cooker. Even the smallest of all is suited for the job!
For most, if not all, rice cookers, there is increased meal versatility, which means you can also prepare a whole lot of other meals rather than just rice, so it’s more of a multitasker!
Types of Rice Cookers
Rice cooker types vary, and the classification is pretty much broad. There are simple plastic rice cookers, which are only $10 and work with only white rice in the microwave. Then, there are higher-end versions that attract several hundreds of dollars and have sophisticated working technologies. Some of the higher-end versions are programmable and feature several adjustable modes depending on what you’re cooking. Here, we feature the three most common types of rice cookers which include:
Just from the name, you can already guess that traditional rice cooking units are the most common and renowned type of rice cookers. They contain essential components for cooking rice; cooking pot, heating plate, external plate, and most often, there’s an included steam tray. Their operation is simple as well. They only depend on the heating element and an in-built timer to get the job done.
Other characteristic control functions of conventional rice cookers include a keep-warm service, auto-shutoff, and delay timer(s). Their capacities range from a minimum of 3 cups to a maximum of up to 60 cups. The latter is majorly for commercial purposes uses for caterers and restaurants.
Conventional rice cookers have several benefits, including but not limited to:
- Easy operation
- They come in a wide range of options
- Fast rice cooking capabilities
- Easy cleanup
You have probably already guessed how these rice cookers function, right? Yes, your guess is correct! Just from the name, these rice cookers employ smart cooking technologies to cook your rice, some even being Alexa compatible!
They use the renowned “fuzzy logic” technology to sense what precisely is needed to cook the rice superbly, and they exactly do that! In case you mess with the quantities you feed into the rice cooker, there’s a likelihood that you may still end up getting high-quality, fluffy rice! Smart enough, right?
Some even adjust the temperatures accordingly, depending on the surrounding environment. If it’s more than hot on a specific day, then the rice cooker will adjust the temperatures accordingly.
Do you cook rice more often? Are you always specific about how you want your rice? Then smart rice cookers are your best shot at it! They are renowned for making excellent rice that’s superior to other rice cookers. This hence makes them attract a higher price tag of over several hundreds of dollars as compared to the conventional cookers.
Besides costing more, smart rice cookers have a learning curve. You need to familiarize yourself with the operation and the multi-functional settings that they come with. They are a far cry when compared to the one-button rice cookers that most users prefer.
Smart rice cookers are also known for their slow cooking than conventional rice cookers. However, with their delay timer(s), you can pre-set them early enough before your actual mealtime. After cooking, they will automatically switch to the keep-warm setting for a specified amount of hours before eating it.
The benefits of these smart rice cookers include:
- Suitable for several rice varieties
- Makes high-quality fluffy rice
Most rice cookers are versatile, which means not only can they be used to prepare rice, but also so much more! They serve as other kitchen appliances other than just the basic rice cooker. A majority of rice cookers come with the steamer combination. Others have the crock pots (slow cookers) and pressure cookers combination as well.
The kitchen counter space is precious, especially where space is limited. So, if you have the option of going for a rice cooker that cooks more than just rice, then go for it with the combo rice cookers!
However, these rice cookers won’t make as perfect rice as that of smart models and are also more sophisticated to use than conventional rice cookers.
The benefits of the combo type of rice cookers include:
- Value for your money
- Meal versatility
- Economizes on counter space
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Small Rice Cooker
Just from the product name, you will be able to know right away the cooking capacity of your rice cooker. Sizes will range from a minimum of 3 cups, all the way to a maximum of 20 or even more! The number indicates the number of uncooked ingredients your cooker can comfortably hold and not the number of cups of cooked rice that the rice cooker can fit. This means for a 3-cup rice cooker, expect two cups of water and a single cup of uncooked rice.
For a small rice cooker, knowing the amount of rice you can cook at one go from a rice cooker before getting one is important. Choose a rice cooker that best satisfies your needs, whether It’s frequently cooking or the number of people you intend to serve.
Quick Cook & Slow Cook Functions
These two functions decide when you will be getting your rice ready. The quick cook function slashes cooking time, at times, even to 50%! Yes, you heard that right! This means that if you’re in a hurry, you will have your rice perfectly cooked in no time! The slow cook function, on the other hand, takes a somewhat longer time for your rice to get done. If you have time to spare or want to start preparing your meals rather early, then this function comes in handy.
Some of the small rice cookers incorporate both functions, while others have only the quick capacity. Depending on your needs, choose a rice cooker with the function that suits you accordingly.
The control settings of your cooking unit are all that determines the quality of the rice that you will get, which means the control settings should be a breeze to use. You don’t want to end up with poorly cooked rice because you failed to understand the control settings. Most small rice cookers are basic, employing a one-touch operation. Higher-end models have digital LCD controls that require a learning curve to master. However, with only a couple of look-ups at the manual, you should be good to go.
Ability to Keep Warm
A keep-warm function is a convenient tool when it comes to rice cooking. While most small rice cookers have this feature incorporated, some still don’t employ this technology. Always lookout for a small rice cooker with this function to limit you the hassle of ever having to monitor your rice while cooking.
Once your rice is done, the rice cooker will automatically switch to the keep-warm function setting until when you’re ready to have your meal. This gives you more time even to prepare other side dishes. Regardless of how many hours your rice stays in this mode, you still end up with freshly cooked, warm, and fluffy rice.
Most high-end small rice cooker models are induction compatible, which means instead of the basic heating element, the unit uses the heat generated by a magnetic field. An electric current is usually created inside the cooking pot as a result of magnetic induction, which heats and cooks the food. Why choose this? There are a couple of advantages to this method, which include:
- Uniform cooking
- Accurate temperature sensing which allows for precise temperature adjustments
- Instant temperature change once temperature adjustments are made
For a rice cooker with the traditional heating element, the temperature change isn’t immediate, which most at times results in scorching of the rice. This isn’t the same with an induction ready rice cooker. When choosing a small rice cooker, always go for the one which is induction ready!
Stainless Steel Pots for Durability
If you want something that will last you for ages, then be sure to get a small rice cooker whose pot construction is stainless steel. Stainless steel is known to be durable hence lasts longer than your nonstick cooking pot. For most nonstick cooking pots, the nonstick layer starts to flake off after several uses, therefore, posing health risks. As such, if you want a healthy cooking experience, then a stainless steel pot is the best way to go.
The only problem with stainless steel pots, however, is that they might be a little bit difficult to clean and, if not oiled before cooking, food will tend to stick on the bottom.
Dishwasher Safe for Easy Cleanup
We all hate the hustle that comes with cleaning already-used utensils and kitchenware, as well. Don’t we? If you’re after easy cleanup after every cooking, then choose a small rice cooker whose removable parts are marked dishwasher safe that will save you significant time on cleaning time and is convenient. Want cleaning to be a cinch? Then, go for a small rice cooking unit witha non-stick cooking pot, detachable lid, and accessories, which are all marked dishwasher safe.
Best Small Rice Cookers Reviews
1. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
Why We Like It:The operation of the Cuisinart CRC-400 is pretty much straightforward. The versatility is also impressive, and cannot be overlooked! Besides, cleanup is also a breeze.
The Cuisinart CRC-400 is a small, square, and multi-functional 4-cup rice cooker. This unit can comfortably cook a maximum of 7 cups of freshly cooked rice. The multi-functionality is in the ability to steam other foods while your rice cooks, all at the same time!
Featuring stainless steel construction, preparing your perfect meal with this rice cooking unit from Cuisinart will forever be a piece of cake! Moreover, with the chrome-plated handles, it means your touch stays cool, in addition to an overall aesthetic appeal.
- Keep-warm Function. This function ensures your food stays warm after cooking is done, until your mealtime. The cooker automatically switches to this mode after your food cooks. An LED will illuminate to show you that you’re in this mode. Helpful! Right?
- Traditional lever control. You can already guess what the lever does! Yes! A lever is all it takes to power on the Cuisinart CRC-400. The conventional lever control tags along with two settings: the cook setting and the warm setting. You already know what the warm mode does, right? For the cook setting, a different colored LED illuminates while on the cook mode. The lever control makes your whole cooking process a breeze!
- Versatile. What if you had a rice cooker that not only cooks rice? The CRC-400 is precisely that! Besides cooking fluffy rice, this small and compact rice cooker also cooks oatmeal, couscous, polenta, and even shrimp! You can also steam veggies, thin meat cuts, boil eggs, and so much more! If you’re the versatile cook, you will love the CRC-400!
- Steam vent. We all hate food splattering while cooking. Cuisinart had that mind when making the CRC-400! This rice cooker comes with an engineered steam vent that helps minimize splattering while you prepare your rice or any other food.
- Easy to clean. Cleaning is a piece of cake with this rice cooker. The cooking pot is nonstick and dishwasher safe, meaning you won’t struggle to get it clean after cooking. Moreover, all the other removable parts that come with the cooker are also dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning!
- Accessories. As for the Cuisinart CRC-400, ordering it means you get accessories that come in handy in your food preparation. You get a rice spoon, measuring cup, and an instruction/recipe booklet to try out the included recipes.
What Customers Are Saying:
The users of the CRC-400 acknowledged the fact that the unit perfectly works as described. You have to follow the instructions in the booklet, and that’s it! You end up with excellent fluffy rice with no mess at all.
The see-through glass lid was also noted to be of help while cooking. It allowed for easy monitoring of the progress when the food cooked.
On the downside, some of the users complained about the rice boiling over and spilling, thus creating a starchy mess. However, one of the workable solutions included putting the lid directly on top and the steamer in its position as well, even when you’re not using the steamer.
The CRC-400 features among the best small rice cookers around. We would highly recommend it to anyone in search of a small and compact rice cooker with durable stainless steel construction. After you get to learn the rice-to-water ratio, then everything else is a piece of cake! Follow the detailed instructions, and you will always be getting moist, fluffy rice every time!
2. Panasonic SR-3NAL Automatic Rice Cooker
Why We Like It. The Panasonic SR-3NAL is a piece of cake when it comes to its usage. Cleaning is also a breeze with this unit.
This 3-cup rice cooker from Panasonic has found a liking among the users due to its small and compact footprint. For singles or couples and even students, the Panasonic SR-3NAL offers perfect convenience. The 1.5 cup capacity of uncooked rice produces a maximum cooked rice capacity of 3 cups, the least size on our list!
Theunit is also easy to operate and takes away the hustle of having to prepare several different meals separately. If you’re the busy type, then this small rice cooker is the best for you! Sit back and let the one-step cooking function do the magic for you!
One-step automatic cooking. Just push the on button, and that’s all it takes to make your favorite rice dish. A single on-switch and the Panasonic SR-3NAL prepares a wide range of rice types up to a maximum of three cups. The one-step automatic feature ensures you get fresh-cooked, fluffy, and delicious rice in a single step!
Auto-shutoff. After your rice cooks, this unit does the necessary. The cooker will shut off automatically, saving you the trouble of having to monitor the progress of your food carefully. Moreover, the cooking time LED indicator light illuminates every time your food is ready.
Easy cleaning. Thanks to the durable aluminum nonstick coated cooking pot, cleaning has been made hassle-free. In addition to easy cleaning, the cooking pot also ensures even heat distribution so that you end up with fully cooked rice.
Great construction. The Panasonic SR-3NAL features a smart, silver durable construction. Besides, the glass lid is tempered as well, with a stay-cool white plastic knob that ensures you don’t get any hot burns whatsoever. The glass lid is also transparent, making your food monitoring convenient and secure!
Versatile. From the conventional rice cooking capabilities, the Panasonic SR-3NAL is also handy when it comes to preparing oatmeal and heating soups and stews. Mac n cheese fan? Then this unit will get it done for you!
Operation instructions are also multi-lingual, meaning regardless of where you are, you can still be comfortable using this unit. However, a rice measuring cup is the only accessory that comes with this rice cooker.
What Customers Are Saying:
Users have shown a liking for this small rice cooker, stating how perfect it cooks white rice, oatmeal, and brown rice! Most found the controls easy to use, and the cleaning was also a breeze. Others even preferred the Panasonic SR-3NAL to most high-end smart rice cookers as you get everything done just with a single press of a button!
On the downside, there was only one primary concern that was raised among the users. The rice in contact with the surface of the pot tends to dry up if you don’t switch the unit off on time after the rice is cooked.
The absence of a keep-warm feature was also a minor concern.
If you are searching for a budget-friendly and simple to use rice cooking unit, then we highly recommend the Panasonic SR-3NAL. It’s basic enough for any home cook! Be sure to use the right water-to-rice ratios to avoid any overflows.
3. Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker ARC-753SG
Why We Like It. The cooking pot is not made of a nonstick material hence non-toxic. It’s affordable as well.
Featuring surgical grade 204 stainless steel construction all through, the Aroma ARC-753SG Simply Stainless Rice Cooker is built to last. The cooking pot is also made of stainless steel, meaning there is no non-stick Teflon coating to get you worried.
This small and compact rice cooker can yield a 6-cup maximum capacityofcooked rice. Just by pressing a button, you end up with restaurant-quality rice! For all your one-pot meals, this rice cooker got you as well!
- Keep-warm function. The Aroma ARC-753SG automatically switches to its keep-warm function setting once your rice is done the cooking. The yellow glowing LED will light up to indicate the rice cooker has shifted to the warm position to keep your rice warm.
- One-touch operation. Using this rice cooker is convenient, courtesy of its one-touch operation. The single switch at the front is all it takes to get things running. Push down the switch, and the red light LED will illuminate to show you that it’s functioning. Just set-and-forget!
- Versatile. Want to make something else that’s not rice? Then this rice cooker ensures you get just that! The versatility enables you to prepare other grains, such as quinoa, as well. Moreover, you can also steam veggies with this unit and even make a fluffy cake! Surprised? Yes, cake! A whole new lot of meal versatility, right?
- Useful accessories. The accessories that come with the ARC-753SG include a rice measuring cup, bamboo serving spatula, and of course, the stainless steel cooking pot. A recipe booklet is also part of the unit, with tips for making other meals. The tempered glass lid is transparent enough with a plastic handle, which helps you monitor how your food cooks. The plastic handle prevents any hot burns. There’s also the incorporation of a steam tray, which is, however, sold separately.
- Hassle-free cleaning. While the cooking pot features stainless steel construction, cleaning it may be cumbersome, mainly when rice sticks at the bottom surface. However, it’s dishwasher-safe, so worry less about washing it by hand. All the other removable accessories are also dishwasher safe as well, ensuring hassle-free cleaning. However, if rice does stick, soaking the pot in the sink before cleaning will ensure easy cleaning.
What Customers Are Saying
Most of the reviews suggested satisfactory results, especially with the stainless steel cooking pot. The fact that the cooking pot has no Teflon coating made the users love it.
Another upside was that here’s no tendency of rice to sputter and bubble out through the cover lid vent. It cooked rice and oatmeal perfectly!
While there were concerns about rice sticking to the surface, a pat of oil or butter to the surface before cooking proved helpful. Moreover, unplugging the unit immediately after serving also prevented this.
Some of the users didn’t love the fact that the cooker doesn’t turn itself off unless you unplug it from the supply after using it. Care has to be taken when doing this for the cooker to get extremely hot!
The Aroma ARC-753SG earns our recommendation as one of the best small rice cookers for its simplicity to use and compactness. For one or two people with limited space, then we highly recommend this rice cooker as a favorite. It exactly does what it’s supposed to do!
4. BLACK+DECKER RC503
In terms of affordability, the RC503 rice cooker unit from Black and Decker tops our reviews list. The quality is outstanding, making it one of the sought-after models and is budget-friendly.
The design and construction of the RC503 were made to last. Besides, you not only cook rice with this unit but also a variety of other grains, veggies, and meat! A maximum of 20 minutes is enough to cook three cups of rice with the RC503!
- Automatic keep-warm. When your cooking is done, the rice cooker automatically switches itself to the keep-warm function. This means your rice will always stay ready for serving! Besides, using it is a no brainer! Technically, you won’t have to do anything! The set of LED indicator lights will let you know when the unit has switched from cooking to the keep-warm function.
- Useful accessories. Despite its small and compact size, the unit has a food steaming basket. The use? The steaming basket lets you steam your favorite foods above the rice, which is cooking, all at the same time. This means you get healthier meals with steamed veggies, fish, and more! There’s also an included plastic spoon and a rice measuring cup. The cup ensures you get the water-to-rice ratio right. The plastic spoon ensures you don’t damage your nonstick pot and helps you serve your food as well.
- Easy cleaning. Cleaning is a piece of cake with this unit. The cooking pot is nonstick and is easily removable for cleaning. Just toss it in the dishwasher! Moreover, all the other removable parts, including the tempered glass lid are also dishwasher safe as well.
- Steam vent. The transparent glass lid of the RC-503 comes with a steam vent, which helps prevent the rice from splattering and boiling over. The cooker is, therefore, able to let off steam at the right rate with the incorporated steam vent.
- Versatile. Rice isn’t the only thing this unit can prepare! Quinoa, oatmeal, soups, stews, etc. are all products this unit comfortably makes. Enjoy a wide range of meal versatility with this unit! The unit’s transparent glass lid with a built-in holder also enhances the versatility of the unit. You can easily monitor whatever you’re cooking.
What Customers Are Saying:
Most of the reviewers agreed that this unit from Black and Decker is among the most affordable units with a nonstick cooking pot! It makes cooking rice much more manageable and saves on time as well, as noted by a majority of the users. You have to read the instruction manual for all your rice, making tips and voila!
The fact that it’s versatile and easy to clean was also a notable positive among the users.
A notable concern was the rice being too wet with an overflow from the steam vent. However, adding less water than the recommended surprisingly helped solve this, as noted by one of the users.
The other downside was the limited lifespan of the unit as it kept burning off after using it for a couple of months. A couple of users noted this.
On a budget and want a small rice cooking unit that will do the job for you? Then we recommend the RC503 from Black and Decker. Besides, if you find it hard to do anything by yourself, then this is also the perfect choice. Let the RC-503 do everything for you! For this unit, however, you should avoid touching the small metallic ring inside the cooker while it’s on. Unless you want to have a missing layer of skin on your fingers, then do!
5. Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup Rice Cooker
Why We Like It: The Panasonic SR-G06FG offers hassle-free cleaning and simplicity in its operation. Cooking with its automatic one-step and shutoff is a piece of cake!
The SR-G06FG from Panasonic is a foolproof, automatic rice cooking unit that is suitable for singles, small families, and couples. It’s one of the best small rice cookers that beats out a lot more of the high-end rice cooker models.
The unit precisely offers what you’re just looking for; a sizeable amount of well-cooked and fluffy white rice in under half an hour as well us hassle-free cleanup! Moreover, it’s compact enough if you have limited space on your kitchen counter.
- One-button automatic operation. For precision cooking, you have to switch on the button and let the rice cooker do everything for you. It’s as simple as that and makes the whole process of preparing rice easy and hassle-free.
- Auto-shutoff. After your rice is done the cooking, then the rice cooker automatically shuts itself off, for excellent results. With this model, however, there’s no keep-warm function. As such, after cooking, the rice cooker will automatically shut off instead of switching to the keep-warm function setting.
- Easy to clean. If you are an ardent rice lover, then you will be using this unit more often. As such, you want a rice cooker unit that’s easy to clean. The Panasonic SR-G06FG is all about that! The inner nonstick cooking pan is easily removable hence allows for easy cleaning, as there’s no rice sticking on the surfaces. The see-through tempered glass is also easy to clean as well.
- Useful accessories. An included rice spatula and measuring cup are the only accessories that come with the Panasonic SR-G06FG. A multilingual operating instruction manual is also included with this unit for a wholesome cooking experience.
- Other features. Other salient features of this unit include indicator cooking light, stay-cool lid, and a side handle for easy transportation. The lid is transparent for easy monitoring of the food being cooked. There are also secure and sturdy feet to raise the cooker above the kitchen counter.
What Customers Are Saying:
The Panasonic SR-G06FG is one of the best-selling small rice cookers, and the great reviews from users back those sentiments. Most users found one-touch operation useful. They found it easy to make perfect rice without having to watch over it while it’s cooking.
Most of the reviews also indicated a liking for the compact and small size as it could fit even in the tiniest of places, including dorm rooms. Moreover, the users found it useful in making one-pot meals as well. Easy cleanup was also an upside among the majority of the users.
The only downside among users was the rice getting a little bit burnt at the bottom after the cooker automatically shuts itself off. While sitting in there afterward, the rice also got burnt, which, however, could be solved by getting the rice out once the auto-shutoff clicks.
The lack of a steam basket for simultaneous vegetable steaming was also a noted concern.
For a fast, reliable, affordable, and easy to clean rice cooker, then we highly recommend the Panasonic SR-G06FG. The one-step automatic operation simplifies everything! With this model, however, it is recommended to clean the rice in a separate pan and not the included pan before cooking. Moreover, the model doesn’t work well brown rice; hence, if you’re a brown rice lover, then you should opt for another model.
6. Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
Why We Like It: The Zojirushi NHS-06 is easy to use, even for beginners. Moreover, it’s less bulky and easy to clean.
Need the basics of rice cooking? Then the Zojirushi NHS-06 is your best shot at it. While the Zojirushi is renowned for its high-tech, computerized cookers, the NHS-06 is one of their most basic rice cookers.
This small, compact, and round rice cooker has a maximum cooked rice capacity of 6 cups. The operation of this unit is simple as well, and when you’re done cooking, the button pops up to let you know.
With top of the art cooking features, you can enjoy a wholesome cooking experience that comes with the Zojirushi NHS-06!
- Single switch control. The NHS-06’s single switch control means you get everything up and running just with a single switch of a button. The switch is easy to use, making your cooking operation a breeze. Just push the ON switch button to turn it on.
- Keep-warm function. Once your cooking is done, the switch and the ON LED light will turn off. The rice cooker will then switch automatically to the keep-warm setting mode. This helps keep your rice fresh for hours, until mealtime.
- Useful accessories. For the NH-06, the accessories include; rice measuring cup, rice spatula, and a stainless steel steaming tray. The steaming tray comes in handy in ensuring you steam your favorite veggies or even fish when the rice continues to cook below.
There’s also an included instruction manual to kick-start your cooking experience.
- Hassle-free cooking. The unit’s see-through glass lid ensures you can monitor the progress of what you are cooking and/or steaming. Besides, the lid has a stay-cool knob that prevents you from getting burnt once you lift the lid. The NHS-06 also features stay-cool handles construction for easy transportation.
What Customers Are Saying:
Reviews prove that the Zojirushi NHS-06 is a workhorse and reliable, producing savory years for even decades! Yes, decades! Most users have stayed with the rice cooker for more than ten years!
The unit is simple, straight-forward, and entirely does the job as noted by a majority of the users. Besides, the detachable power cord facilitates easy storage and replacement.
The only downside with the NHS-06 is sputtering, especially when making brown rice. This is because of the foam that brown rice makes when it’s cooking. However, ensuring the lid seats properly and is covered with a tea or kitchen towel has been found to solve this problem, as noted by one of the users who experienced this problem.
The NH6-06 is a robust, durable, and simple to use cooker that you can rely on. This, therefore, earns it a spot among our recommendations. With this rice cooker, preparing rice will be a no brainer! If you’re not up to the task of making large rice quantities, then you will enjoy the simplicity of this rice cooker. It will make an excellent addition to your kitchen!
7. Aroma Housewares Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Why We Like It: Simple one-touch operation. Besides, the steam tray offers a larger capacity than a majority of small rice cookers.
Strictly on a budget and don’t want to dig deeper into your pockets for a rice cooker? Then the Aroma Housewares pot-style is among the budget-friendly rice cooking units you can think of. The unit features a functional and aesthetically pleasing design with a tempered glass lid. Moreover, Aroma offers a range of three different colors to choose from for this rice cooker.
On matters control, the Aroma ARC-743-1NG has a simple, one-touch control for efficient cooking. Besides, the 6-cup cooked rice capacity is enough if you’re preparing for a small group of people. The unit is also small and compact enough if you are limited on space.
- Multi-functional. The Aroma ARC-743-1NG is built for multi-functional use. When you feel like you’ve had enough of rice, then you can as well try out other meal options. You can cook other whole-grain cereals and steam vegies and meats with this cooker as well. On top of it all, you can even prepare a fluffy cake! Yes, you heard it right! Cake! The meal versatility of the ARC-743-1NG is unmatched!
- User-friendly. Like the rest of Aroma Housewares rice cookers, the ARC-743-1NG also features the set it and forget it mentality. With the one-touch operation, the unit automatically switches to the keep-warm function setting once cooking is done. This gives you the freedom to work or multi-tasking without having to worry while you cook.
- Steam vent. The tempered glass lid of the ARC-743-1NG has a steam vent. The purpose of the vent is to release excess moisture in steam form, just before the rice is fully cooked. Besides, the tempered glass lid is transparent, meaning you have monitoring control over the food that’s cooking below.
- Useful accessories. The accessories of this unit include an aluminum steam tray for steaming veggies and meat cuts with the rice cooking underneath, a plastic rice spatula, and a rice measuring cup. Moreover, the cooking pot on the inside is non-stick and dishwasher safe for hassle-free cleaning. The glass lid, steamer basket, and the spatula are all dishwasher safe as well, making cleanup a cinch!
What Customers Are Saying:
Following the instructions, as noted by most of the reviewers meant you end up with freshly cooked fluffy white rice. The reviewers also upvoted the fact that the cooker was able to cook brown rice as well as perfectly.
You have to set a timer and immediately unplug it from the supply when the cooking time elapses and you won’t be having any problems with this rice cooker.
On the downside, a section of the users complained about the steamer vent spitting out water throughout cooking, which left starch stains on the cabinets or countertops. Another notable concern was the rice cooker scorching the rice at the pot’s bottom, even before it finished cooking. Rinsing the rice thoroughly before cooking was seen to have a hand in minimizing these two concerns.
For singles or a small family, we recommend the ARC-743-1NG as a decent choice. The one-touch operation simplifies everything for you. Just flip the switch, and you’re good to go! The ARC-743-1NG, however, lacks an “OFF” button. You need to shut off the rice cooker from the mains supply after cooking is done to prevent your food from burning.
8. Oster 6-cup Rice Cooker with Steamer
Why We Like It: This Oster rice cooker is a breeze to clean. Besides, an operation is simple, and it perfectly gets the job done.
The Oster 6-cup rice cooker with steamer lets you prepare personalized meals and side dishes in no time. The 6-cup capacity makes it ideal for small families and singles as well. The operation of this unit is a breeze, and the controls are straightforward.
The design of this Oster rice cooker is also modest, with the outer cooking shell coming in either a red or black finish. Besides,there is a tempered glass lid with a steam vent to prevent splattering. It’s also transparent enough to help you monitor your cooking progress.
It isn’t sleek enough, however, to match up to the high-end stainless steel rice cookers. One-click is all it takes to start this rice cooker from Oster.
- One-touch control. The one-touch control operation of the Oster 6-cup rice cooker complements its small and compact size. The controls are as easy as pie, as it only takes one click to start the cooker. Power on LED indicator will then show you the unit is powered and running!
- Versatile. This unit from Oster doesn’t only prepare rice! Yes! You can steam fish, poultry, or veggies with its large steamer tray (1-liter) to accompany your main meal. All this can be done simultaneously with the rice cooking underneath. Moreover, the rice cooker also perfectly makes fondue, noodles, soup, and so much more! A whole new lot of meal versatility!
- Keep-warm feature. Done cooking and don’t feel like having the meal immediately? Then worry less, for the keep-warm feature has been built with you in mind. The setting is automatic, and once the rice is fully cooked, it switches automatically to keep-warm function that will keep your food just at the ideal serving temperature until your preferred meal time.
- Auto-shutoff. This feature has been put in place to prevent your food from burning once the cooking is complete. Unlike most small rice cookers that require you to unplug from the mains supply, this one is different. The rice cooker automatically switches itself off, saving you the trouble!
- Easy cleanup. Cleanup is a no brainer with the Oster rice cooker. The nonstick cooking pot and steaming tray are all easily removable for cleanups. Besides, the two are dishwasher safe, meaning you don’t have to fret about cleaning at the end of each cooking cycle. All the other accessories are dishwasher safe, as well. These include the rice ladle, tempered glass lid, and the rice measuring cup.
What Customers Are Saying:
This Oster rice cooker makes a perfect pot of rice as complemented by most users. You have to keenly follow the instructions and rinse the rice with water several times to get rid of the starchy mess that the unit is known to make.
Other reviewers were happy with the rice cooker’s ability to make soups, quick pasta and potatoes as well. The steamer of this unit also works perfectly in steaming frozen vegetables and meat cuts, poultry, and fish as well.
Just like other pot-style rice cookers, the water spitting through the steam vent is a notable concern by most users. This leaves a starchy mess on your cabinets and countertops. Laying down a nice layer of paper towels underneath the rice cooker is a sure way to minimize the mess, however. Staying below the 6-cup maximum capacity of this rice cooker also helps reduce the mess.
Concerns about the nonstick cooking pot scaling hence causing the rice to start sticking, was also a downside from some of the users.
This pot-style, 6-cup rice cooker from Oster is a useful rice cooking unit that is an improvement from the traditional pot rice cooker. While it still doesn’t match up to the same performance as higher-end rice cookers, it’s still suitable for its primary function – cook rice. This makes it earn a recommendation from us, as one of the best small rice cookers.
However, the fact that you have to stir the rice every 15 minutes, as indicated in the instructions manual is inconvenient. It overrides the justification of a rice cooker’s trouble-free functionality.
9. Tiger JNP-0720-FL Rice Cooker
Why We Like It: The prolonged 12-hour keep-warm function gives you ample time for meal schedule. Furthermore, the easy-peasy cleanup also has our liking.
The Tiger JNP-0720-FL is one of the models on our list that clocks the over $100 mark. This is because it’s among the largest rice cooker units on our list, churning out 8cups of cooked rice from 4 cups of uncooked rice. That’s enough to feed four people, and it’s also a big win for a small-sized rice cooker.
Every detail of this unit from the design to the build is well thought of, justifying the price tag. Control and operation are also comfortable as well. Operation is just a matter of pushing a button, and the rice cooker does it all for you. There’s no ill-defined logic technology that’ll make you scratch your head. It flawlessly cooks your rice to perfection.
- Keep-warm function. The Tiger JNP-0720-FL perfectly cooks your rice, with no chance of overcooking. When your rice is ready, the unit automatically adjusts to the keep-warm mode. The unit has a maximum stay time of up to 12 hours in this mode! This means rice cooked at lunchtime can be served at dinner time, while it’s still warm and fresh.
- Steam vent. This rice cooker unit comes with a steam vent that serves to prevent splattering while cooking. Besides, the steam vent is also detachable from the lid and can be further disassembled for easy cleaning.
- Easy cleaning. Assembly of the Tiger JNP-0720-FL makes it reasonably easy to clean. The inner non-stick cooking pot and the lid as well can be removed easily for cleaning, as well as allowing all other parts to be cleaned. Moreover, the steam vent is also detachable from the lid for easy cleanup. The steam overflow component is removable as well for hassle-free cleaning.
- Large capacity. As mentioned earlier on, the Tiger JNP-0720-FL is among the models that offer a higher rice capacity despite its small and compact size. It can handle a maximum of 8 cups of cooked rice!
- Other Features. The Tiger JNP-0720-FL also features rice spatula and measuring cup among its accessories. Also, the power cord is retractable for easy store-away when not in use
What Customers Are Saying:
Most users agree that the build quality of the Tiger JNP-0720-FL is of much better quality. Moreover, the rice that this unit makes is much more flavorful, and the texture is amazingly different, as well.
You have to fill and forget, notes some of the reviews. The construction is of good quality as well and makes excellent rice quality than most conventional methods. The drain and steam system work perfectly, as well.
The only concern raised by most reviewers was the existence of counterfeit brands masquerading as the real Tiger JNP-0720-FL. This meant the lifespan was short-lived as the cooker isn’t the legit brand from Tiger. However, users noted that purchasing only the models starting with JNP was ideal, as they are legally and legitimately made in Japan by Tiger.
The Tiger JNP-0720 is an excellent recommendation from us if you want a basic rice cooker with a keep-warm function and a large capacity. It’s a simple rice cooker that will satisfy all your basic cooking needs. Despite its price tag, it’s worth every penny.While there are no multi-functional cooking features with this unit, you can still cook about any variety of rice from white and brown rice to short and long grain rice. You can also cook quinoa or oatmeal with this rice cooker from Tiger.
10. Instant Pot LUX-MINI Electric Pressure Cooker
Why We Like It: The 6-in-1 kitchen appliance functionalities. It’s also budget-friendly for a small rice cooker with six different kitchen appliances in 1 unit.
In terms of design, the instant Pot LUX-MINI is similar to other Instant Pot’s multi-cookers. The design is squat and cylindrical and features a sturdy black and silver lid. There are two handles on the side for an overall low profile.
The outside of the Instant Pot features stainless steel construction and a control panel on the front. There’s also an LED display on the front for displaying cooking times. On the inside, the removable inner pot has a stainless steel lining and has a maximum volume of 3 quarts that translates up toa 12-cup maximum capacity of cooked rice! This is the largest capacity on our review list!
- One-touch controls. The LUX-MINI features 14 button controls and a display screen. Everything gets done just by the touch of a button.
- 3rd Generation Technology. The LUX-MINI features a built-in microprocessor for consistent results. The microprocessor monitors the temperature, pressure, adjusts heat duration and intensity, and keeps time as well. All these ensure you end up with healthy and savory dishes from this mini rice cooker.
- Alexa compatible. We are a smart generation, and the LUX-MINI know exactly that! This is the only electric cooker in our list, which is Alexa compatible and comes with a free app. Alexa guides your cooking for precision. The app comes with over 300+ recipes, has a favorite recipe list, getting started videos, a personalized list of your groceries, and so much more!
- High-Pressure settings. The LUX-MINI comes with high-pressure settings, which helps save on the cooking time by up to 70%. The setup lets you cook food fast, and as a result saving on the energy as well. The high-pressure setting can run up to 240 minutes! This translates to a whole four hours!
- Adjustable temperature settings. The temperature settings can be adjusted to less, normal, and more. Besides, there are three temperature settings in “Sautéing Mode” for simmering and three temperature settings in “Slow Cook Mode” for greater flexibility while cooking. Besides, there’s an included up to 24-hour delay timer and a keep-warm setting for a maximum of up to 10 hours.
- Versatile. The LUX-MINI is a 6-in-1 kitchen appliance. This is because of the many features it encompasses in one rice cooker. Besides a rice cooker, it can also serve as a pressure cooker, sauté, steamer, and a slow cooker! This is more than versatile for one kitchen appliance!
- Other Features. For the accessories, the LUX-MINI isn’t limited either. The unit features a stainless steel steam rack, stainless steel cooking pot, rice paddle, measuring cup, soup spoon, recipe booklet manual, and a timetable! Cleaning of these accessories is a cinch, as the steam rack, cooking pot, and the lid are all dishwasher safe!
What Customers Are Saying:
Most users cited this Instant Pot rice cooker as a winner due to its so many functionalities. A majority even recommended the purchase if you’re still on the fence about the rice cooker.
The several appliances in one unit was also a talking point for most of the users, saying how it provided meal versatility. Everything cooks almost instantly with the LUX-MINI!
A drawback noted among users was the fact that after a couple of months of usage, the unit failed to seal hence not building the required pressure. A lot of time (close to 30 minutes) was also required to make the necessary pressure.
Another concern was with the cookbook, which failed to highlight major cooking points in the recipes. Temperature setpoints, for instance, was a major missing point in several of the recipes.
The LUX-MINI is a convenient mini cooker, especially if you are a busy home cook. The 6-in-1 multi-functional use with its several pre-programmed settings is what makes it earn our recommendation among the best small rice cookers. Why not do yourself a favor and experience a whole new lot of meal versatility? This is a mini version of the Instant Pot; hence, it wouldn’t be efficient for a large group of people. However, if you love the convenience of several appliances in one and trying to host several people, then give the bigger versions a go at it!
11. Tiger JAX-S10U-WY Micom Rice Cooker
Why We Like It: Easy to operate with no learning curve. Moreover, it not only makes rice but so much more!
If you have a keen eye on aesthetics, then you should give the Tiger JAX-S10U-WY Micom rice cooker a go at it. This rice cooker has a white and grey construction, which provides it with a clean and aesthetic appeal ideal for your kitchen.
The 5.5 uncooked rice capacity is complemented by other salient features to help you end up with 10 cups of savory and fluffy rice. One-touch operation is all it takes to turn on the Tiger JAX-S10U-WY.
- Synchronized cooking. This rice cooking unit combines steaming and slow cooking into one. With the synchronizing cooking setting, this means you get better control of your rice cooker. The setting allows you to steam or cook your main dish, while the rice cooks below that save you on cooking time!
- Four cooking functions. This rice cooker from Tiger offers four cooking function settings to choose from. There is synchro-cooking, slow cooking, plain rice, and brown rice cooking functions. Moreover, with the keep-warm feature, your food will always remain warm even after cooking, until your next mealtime. The keep-warm function has a maximum uptime of up to 12 hours! The cooker also has two pre-set delay timers of up to 24 hours! Just set it, and you’re good to go.
- Useful Accessories. The accessories the JAX-S10U-WY tags along include a Tacook plate, steam vent cap, inner nonstick cooking pan, rice spatula, lid, spoon, and a rice measuring cup. The Tacook plate is what is used alongside the synchro-cooking function. Place whatever you’re steaming in the plate and put it above the rice to cook them both concurrently.
The inner lid and steam cup can be easily removed for washing.
- Ten predefined settings. The versatility that comes with this rice cooking unit from Tiger cannot be overlooked! Ten different settings ensure you get the best out of this rice cooker. There is porridge setting, multigrain, slow cook (up to 3 hours), synchro-cooking, steam, and quick-cooking, just but to mention a few of them. The quick function setting reduces the cooking time of plain white rice by almost 50%! If you’re in a hurry, then this will work well for you.
What Customers Are Saying:
What sets this Tiger cooker apart is the multiple cooking modes that it offers. Moreover, most users agreed to the fact that the rice always remained fresh and tasty, even after staying in the keep-warm mode for several hours.
Some of the users had problems with the rice cooker’s Tacook Plate. A few noted the plate kept on filling with water for no apparent reason. A notable cause was due to its misuse, and Tiger recommended only to use it with their included recipe book.
Another negative concerned the top gasket, which doesn’t come out easily, thus making it difficult to clean.
Searching for a rice cooking unit that can effortlessly cook different meals apart? Then we highly recommend the Tiger JAX-S10U-WY model. It has the capability of cooking more than just rice at one go, thanks to its Tacook plate! There’s also no learning curve with this rice unit as well, as learning how to use it is quick and effortless. However, be sure to follow the instruction manual for your recipes.
12. Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom Rice Cooker
Why We Like It: The clear-coated stainless steel accent on the exterior is durable, cleans easily, and matches most kitchen decors. We also love the fact that the unit operation is a cinch and provides for meal versatility in addition to multi-functional settings.
The NS-LACO5XT from Zojirushi is one of the best-selling microcomputer (Micom) rice cooker and warmer in the market. From easy to use LCD controls to the 6 oz. rice measuring cup, you have it all when you get your hands on this rice cooker.
The 6-cup capacity of cooked rice makes it ideal for singles or a handful of people. Despite its compact size, this unit can prepare a whole lot of other meals other than just rice. This hence makes it a gem worth having!
- Versatile. Despite yielding perfectly cooked fluffy rice, there’s more to the Zojirushi LAC05XT micom rice cooker. The rice cooker also prepares other grains, including steel-cut oatmeal. The oatmeal is prepared using the porridge setting on the unit. Moreover, there’s a mixed rice mode whose purpose is to cook rice alongside fish, chicken, or even vegetables. Versatile, right?
- Useful Functionalities. Just as with most Zojirushi rice cookers, the LAC05XT features a whole lot of useful functionalities. First is the keep warm function, which the rice cooker will switch to automatically once cooking is over to keep it ready until mealtime.
There’s also the reheating cycle and delay timer with two settings for flexible meal scheduling.
- Cooking Functions. The NS-LAC05XT features several cooking functions. There are brown rice, mixed rice, white rice, sushi rice, sweet, quick, and porridge cooking functions. All these cooking functions make this rice cooker from Zojirushi versatile when it comes to different meal preparation.
- Microcomputer controller. There’s an indistinct logic microchip that has control over the critical set points. The controller adjusts cooking time, temperature, and moisture so that you end up with rice that has an excellent texture. Moreover, the microchip perfectly regulates the moisture content preventing your rice from drying out and facilitates reheating as well.
- Other Features. The inner nonstick cooking pot usefulness cannot be overlooked, as well. It features measuring lines for precise control of your cooking ingredients. Also, the pot ensures uniform heating for superb cooking. The pot is also easily removable for simple cleanup. Accessories. There’s a nonstick rice spatula with its holder, a built-in retractable power cord, and a rice measuring cup.
What Customers Are Saying:
Reviewers note how this rice cooker from Zojirushi is just perfect. It does everything right as compared to other rice cookers. Also, it’s small and compact enough for cabinet storage; a majority of the users agree.
With this unit, users love the fact that cleaning is a breeze. The detachable inner lid comes out with the gasket allowing for hassle-free cleaning.
Meal versatility was also liked in most of the reviews. Most users prepared steel-cut oats and other whole grains without any hitches whatsoever!
However, on the downside, two significant problems were cutting across several users. A majority of the users raised complaints about the cooking time being slightly too long. Moreover, a majority raised issues related to the instruction(s) manual being challenging to understand as a result of the translation.
A few reviewers raised concerns about the cord failing to retract after several uses, as well. More only pulling resulted in the cord extending longer and longer until no slack was left.
The Zojirushi LAC05XT earns a spot in our recommended best small rice cooker, mainly because of its micro-computer cooking technology. The Micom enhances precision cooking by adjusting cooking times and cooking temperatures. This means you end up with well-cooked and fluffy rice every time.
If you’ve been looking for a higher-end rice cooker but only tend to cook for just one or two, then look no further than the Zojirushi LAC05XT. Despite its price tag of over $200, it’s still worth every penny!
Conclusion: Which Small Rice Cooker Model is Right for You?
For every rice cooker that we reviewed, you can agree that they are all built to exceptional quality. Moreover, most are affordable and have the capability of cooking several types of rice exceptionally every single time. What you prefer and what you need are what will determine which rice cooking unit is perfect for you.
Of our 12 best small rice cookers, there’s one that stood out among the rest! The Instant Pot LUX-MINI Electric Pressure Cooker. The LUX-MINI has the largest cooking capacity in our list, being able to churn out up to 12 cups of cooked rice despite its small and compact size! Besides, it features 3rd generation technology settings and is Alexa compatible; the only one on our list. The price tag is friendly, as well being under $100. So, if you’re after a high-end rice cooker in a small and compact footprint, then check out the LUX-MINI.
For higher-priced versions still featuring the micro-computer 3rd generation technology, you can opt for the Tiger JAX-S10U-WY or the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT. They are highly-priced than the LUX-MINI, both attracting over $100, with Zojirushi being the most expensive, even overall on our list.
However, the Tiger JAX S10U-WY has a 10-cup capacity of cooked rice, while the Zojirushi NS-LaC05XT has a 6-cup capacity of cooked rice. If you’re keen on the size and not price, then the Tiger would prove useful.
The JNP-0720-FL is also among the high-end small rice cookers but doesn’t feature 3rd generation micro-computer technology. If you’re not after the technology, then it might just be what you need! Its 8-cup capacity of cooked rice is also ahead of the curve!
On affordability, the BLACK+DECKER RC503 carries the day. It’s basic enough to do the job that is best suited for; cook the rice!
The rest of the rice cooking units are still of excellent quality and build, and have an average maximum cooked rice capacity of up to 6 cups. However, the Panasonic SR-3NAL has the least rice cooking capacity. Its cooked rice capacity is a maximum of only 3 cups.
In the end, picking the one that suits you best is all that matters! Roll with any of our 12 best small rice cookers. We guarantee no disappointment!