people's choice

The Best Rice Cookers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Photo: Courtesy of the retailer.

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

And while we’ve written before about all sorts of cooking devices — including a high-tech Japanese precision cooker, a rice cooker used by sushi chefs, and the best slow cookers — here, we’ve rounded up the best rice cookers as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.

Best-rated rice cooker

Instant Pot 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker

The cult-y Instant Pot pressure cooker is more than just a rice cooker, but thousands of reviewers say that, in addition to its many other features, it also excels in cooking rice. “I like this better for rice than a rice cooker,” writes one purchaser, adding, “It’s also great for making beans from dried beans. Versatile and easy to use. Stainless steel insert has no teflon, which is great.” One reviewer says, “I bought this for one reason: rice. I am notorious for messing up rice. I have even messed up the microwave rice — how that is done, I have no idea.” As one fan of the Instant Pot as a rice cooker writes, “I got this to replace my rice cooker and figured the other functions would be nice too. It is a FANTASTIC rice cooker. The rice comes out PERFECT. Something about the pressure cooking makes the rice come out the ideal consistency.”

Best-rated (less expensive) rice cooker

Seventy percent of reviewers give this Joseph Joseph microwave rice cooker five stars, and many rave about the convenience of microwave cooking rice. “This little gadget is amazing,” says one purchaser who admits to being “skeptical at first because it just seemed too easy to properly produce a decent pot of rice.” After using this rice cooker, however, they became a quick convert to the microwave rice-cooking method: “It WAS super easy and it made a perfectly cooked, fluffy pot of rice. I highly recommend it. Saves so much time and NO pots and pans!” Plenty of other reviewers praise this rice cooker’s simple and straightforward operation. “Seriously the easiest thing to use,” one customer writes, explaining, “I used the max which is 2 cups of dry rice. Filled the water exactly how they directed and in 17 minutes I had perfect white rice. No joke. As soon as it was done I added veggies and chicken and I was done for dinner and some left over for lunch the next day.” Additionally, many reviewers love the smart design featuring a built-in strainer basket and a spoon that locks into the lid. As one happy purchaser puts it, “You don’t realize you need one until you have one. Then you can’t live without one.”

Best small rice cooker

If you’re looking for a rice cooker with a small footprint, reviewers say this one is a great choice. As one puts it, “This works great. It’s easy to clean and small enough to leave out on the counter all the time.” Another purchaser adds, “It’s very compact if storage or counter space is tight, and it cooks rice well. It’s easy to transport, too.” Seven reviewers even describe it as “cute,” with perhaps the most enamored writing, “Cutest little rice maker! Makes nice fluffy rice. Love this little R2-D2-looking device.”

Best rice cooker for small families

Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot

Seventy percent of reviewers give this mini rice cooker five stars, and many say it’s just the right size for one to two people. “I very much recommend for a single gal living on her own who doesn’t have a lot of time to cook,” one reviewer writes. Another says, “It is perfect for a family of two with no leftovers, so we enjoy freshly cooked rice.” At first, one reviewer even thought this two-cup cooker was too small but realized that it “makes SO much rice, way more than I thought could fit in the tiny bowl.” They add, “It is super easy you just push the bottom and it cooks and then when it’s finished it goes to keep warm setting. The rice taste perfect and it’s super easy to clean. Great for cooking rice for a family of three.” It also makes more than rice. One even “used it to make stews, soups, deserts, cake (yes cake) and bread.” More than 15 percent of reviewers also say this is easy to clean, as well. One chalks it up to “the Teflon non-stick bowl” which they say cleans like a dream.”

Best three-cup rice cooker

Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

Reviewers who don’t need to make large quantities of rice enjoy the simplicity of this three-cup rice cooker from Zojirushi. One purchaser reports favoring this more pared down model over a “fancy” larger one: “I love this rice cooker. It’s simple, straightforward, and does the job of making rice. We were given one of those fancy rice cookers with ten different buttons, which I now only use to make porridge. We don’t want to wait 45 minutes for our rice.” Another reviewer says, “I got this thing because it seemed like the least complicated rice cooker out there. Really, I just needed to cook rice without becoming distracted and burning it to the bottom of the pan. Love this thing. Cooks rice with the push of a button and I can seriously go watch Real Housewives and not worry about setting the kitchen on fire. Rice comes out like rice.” Many also appreciate the smaller, 3-cup yield size because, as one reviewer explains, “With larger rice cookers, I always end up making more than I need.”

Best rice cooker for brown rice

While you can cook a bunch of different grains in this rice cooker, more than 10 percent of reviewers particularly like it for brown rice. “I was looking for a rice cooker that cooks perfect brown rice and was even willing to [pay] big bucks for one,” says one reviewer. “When my sister told me about this Aroma rice cooker with brown rice option for less than $50, I thought she was kidding— so glad she wasn’t and I found this Aroma rice cooker on Amazon. Now my husband and I already enjoying our perfectly cooked brown rice.” Another says, “The brown rice setting works very nicely and as long as I don’t add too much water the consistency is neither ‘mushy’ nor ‘dry’.” One says to get that consistency just right, “It takes about a third more water for brown rice than it does for white.” Brown rice aside, this machine can steam an entire meal. “I have also used the steamer basket for carrots and other veggies while the rice was cooking and love it — saves an extra pot and the veggies are always nicely done,” one writes, adding, “I’ve also steamed fish while the rice was cooking and that, too came out beautifully.” No matter what’s cooking though, reviewers appreciate that the rice cooker and its accompanying scooper are made of non-stick material. One says, “The cooker also comes with a rice paddle/scooper and miracle of miracles, the rice doesn’t stick to it so it’s really easy to serve the rice.”

Best digital rice cooker with steamer