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Best rice cookers in 2022, tested by our editors | CNN Underscored


If you eat quite a lot of rice otherwise you’re simply uninterested in making it on the stovetop, a great rice cooker could make better-quality rice than you may on the range, all whilst you’re busy cooking different components of your meal. It can end up completely cooked rice and porridges of any sort — all you want to do is measure precisely. But with completely different manufacturers and applied sciences it may be onerous to know which rice cookers are value your hard-earned cash.

To discover the perfect rice cooker for you and your kitchen, we spent weeks testing 18 completely different rice cookers from fashionable manufacturers reminiscent of Zojirushi, Tiger, Cuckoo and extra. After dozens of check cooks and consuming method an excessive amount of rice (a phrase we by no means thought we’d write), two rice cookers stood out among the many relaxation.

Best total rice cooker

The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy persistently had the perfect leads to all of our cooking checks. It cooked completely fluffy rice each time and has helpful options that make it a should for individuals who prepare dinner and eat rice recurrently.

Budget decide

The Cuckoo CR-0655F cooked rice that was scrumptious and a giant improve from stovetop rice, although not on the identical stage because the Neuro Fuzzy. It additionally has related options reminiscent of “Quick Cook” and “Keep Warm,” and it prices significantly lower than the Zojirushi, making it the proper rice cooker for individuals who wish to spend much less.

Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker was the clear winner in our testing. Whether we cooked sushi rice, brown rice or basmati rice, the rice got here out fluffy and scrumptious each single time. It was the highest-quality prepare dinner we acquired out of all of the rice cookers we examined, tied with the Tiger JKT-D10U, which cooked equally scrumptious rice however prices about $80 extra.

The rice from the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy was top-notch, and the machine has loads of options that make cooking rice a simple and nice expertise. The Zojirushi’s microprocessor (“Micom” for “microcomputer” within the firm’s nomenclature) makes use of software program (“fuzzy logic”) to find out how a lot water and rice is within the cooker so it makes the proper pot each time — even in case you aren’t excellent in your measurements.

That means in case you unintentionally add an excessive amount of or too little water to your rice, the Zojirushi will make up to your mistake and alter its cooking course of to provide scrumptious rice. We examined this ourselves by including an additional cup of water in a single prepare dinner and a cup fewer in one other. This would usually lead to a totally ruined batch of rice, however with the Neuro Fuzzy it was nonetheless edible and really not that dangerous.

From left to right: 2 cups of rice with 1 cup of water, 2 cups of rice with 2 cups of water, 2 cups of rice with 3 cups of water

It’s straightforward to prepare dinner rice within the Zojirushi, and fortunately it’s a breeze to scrub as effectively. Most cookers we examined had between two and three removable components that may simply be hand-washed. The Neuro Fuzzy has two components — the interior pan and the interior lid — that may be eliminated and washed in mere minutes (like most pots in rice cookers, it might’t be thrown within the dishwasher).

The Zojirushi is all about ease of use, whether or not that’s within the type of its forgiving software program, easy-to-clean components or the Neuro Fuzzy’s helpful “Keep Warm” and “Extended Keep Warm” options. These robotically activate after cooking and can retailer your rice on the excellent temperature (about 140 levels Fahrenheit, heat sufficient to inhibit bacterial development that can cause food poisoning) so you may scoop up leftover rice to eat hours after its completed cooking. The regular Keep Warm will final for 12 hours, after which the Extended Keep Warm will activate for a further eight hours.

The Zojirushi additionally has a “Quick Cook” operate, which introduced its regular prepare dinner time for sushi rice from 42 minutes all the way down to 31 minutes. The high quality of the rice isn’t pretty much as good as the complete 42-minute cycle, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a lot better than any stovetop rice we’ve eaten.

Features like Keep Warm and Quick Cook are featured in lots of the different rice cookers we examined (together with our different winner), so whereas they’re good to have, they aren’t what pushed the Zojirushi excessive. Our picks actually got here all the way down to the standard of rice, and in that space, the Zojirushi simply couldn’t be beat. So if you would like a rice cooker that’s easy to make use of however most significantly makes an incredible pot of rice each single time, the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy is the one for you. If you wish to study extra about our favourite rice cooker, try our full, in-depth review here.

Cuckoo CR-0655F Rice Cooker

The Cuckoo CR-0655F Rice Cooker made rice that was scrumptious and of the same high quality as different rice cookers we examined that have been double its worth, although not on the identical stage because the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy or Tiger JKT-D10U. If you don’t want the perfect of the perfect, this Cuckoo rice cooker supplies the proper steadiness of worth, ease of use and high quality rice.

In our rice checks, the Cuckoo CR-0655F made much better rice than the funds choices and different mid-tier cookers we examined. Its closest opponents have been the Tiger JAX-T10U-K and the Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker. The Tiger and the CR-0655F had related performances, particularly within the rice checks, however the Tiger JAX-T10U-Ok costs more than twice as much. On the opposite hand, the Hamilton Beach is barely $60, nevertheless it couldn’t fairly compete with the standard of the Cuckoo; nonetheless, if you wish to save much more cash, it’s a great purchase.

The Cuckoo’s rice was a bit stickier and gummier than what we made utilizing the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy, nevertheless it was nonetheless fluffy and had a pleasant consistency. The Cuckoo additionally had a shorter prepare dinner time than lots of the different rice cookers at simply 34 minutes. Its Quick Cook operate didn’t minimize a lot day without work the method, nonetheless, and nonetheless took 32 minutes.

The CR-0655F has the usual options you’ll discover in most high quality rice cookers like a Keep Warm mode and Quick Cook, together with completely different presets for several types of cooks like brown rice and porridge. However, this Cuckoo has one characteristic that we didn’t see on another rice cooker: Auto Clean. If you don’t wish to scrub the nonstick pot after you make rice (which isn’t all that arduous, to be honest), you may put some water within the pot and activate Auto Clean, which makes use of steam to loosen up any particles. It does take 25 minutes, so it’s a slower course of than simply washing it within the sink, nevertheless it requires much less labor, which is likely to be interesting to some.

Cuckoo CR-0655F Rice Cooker

The one characteristic the Cuckoo rice cooker doesn’t have that we’d love is a deal with. Most different rice cookers we examined had one, which makes them loads simpler to absorb and out of storage. But apart from that small element, there actually isn’t a lot to not like in regards to the CR-0655F. It’s easy to make use of, it cooks scrumptious rice and its purple coloring seems cute on the counter. If you’re searching for a great however not nice rice cooker for lower than $100, the Cuckoo CR-0655F is unquestionably the one to purchase.

Rice cookers can range loads in worth; you’ll find one at your native Target or Walmart for $25 or spend upward of $700 on Zojirushi’s latest model. To assist you determine what you need out of your rice cooker, we’re breaking down the fundamentals.

With the costlier cookers, you’re paying for extra superior cooking technology, bigger capability, further stress cooking options and extra elaborate digital controls.

At essentially the most fundamental stage, a rice cooker will simply be somewhat pot with a lid that’s positioned on a heating aspect to prepare dinner rice — the identical course of as what you’d do on the stovetop, simply in its personal equipment and on a timer. These cookers don’t usually make rice any higher than you’ll over a burner, however they do are typically small so it can save you house.

We counsel stepping as much as a minimum of the subsequent stage, the marginally costlier rice cookers which have a lid that locks in place and seals, so much less steam is launched through the cooking course of, that means a higher-quality prepare dinner. The Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer is a good instance of a machine like this, and there are different fashionable choices from manufacturers like Aroma, Tiger and Zojirushi which can be constructed equally. Normally this stage of rice cooker introduces extra modes for particular kinds of rice like brown rice and capabilities like Quick Cook and Keep Warm.

Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

The subsequent stage introduces digital controls and laptop chips to assist excellent the cooking course of. Like the “Micom” (Zojirushi’s abbreviation for “microcomputer”) within the Neuro Fuzzy, these laptop chips assist choose the ratio of water and rice to regulate the prepare dinner and produce the absolute best rice no matter sort or recipe. These rice cookers can range loads in worth relying on different options.

We suppose this stage of rice cooker is sufficient to fulfill nearly everybody’s rice cooking wants, due to their potential to prepare dinner deliciously fluffy rice. Throughout our testing, we tried some fancier machines that use induction heating, however discovered that the standard of rice didn’t enhance a lot. We examined three rice cookers with induction heating, however we thought the Neuro Fuzzy cooked pretty much as good if not higher rice than all of them. But in case you do wish to make investments extra in a rice cooker, induction heating produces greater temperatures, which might theoretically result in fluffier rice.

The actual top-of-the-line rice cookers are induction items as effectively however are additionally absolutely sealed to allow them to operate like stress cookers, supposedly creating the proper setting for rice. We didn’t check any rice cookers with each certainly one of these options on this spherical as a result of they are typically extraordinarily costly — just like the $700 top-of-the-line Zojirushi.

We did check a few pressure cookers just like the Instant Pot to pit them towards conventional rice cookers, however each batch of rice we made in them got here out extraordinarily gummy and moist; the standard simply wasn’t on par with many of the different rice cookers we tried.

We examined 18 rice cookers by cooking 2 cups of the Nishiki medium grain rice on the plain/white rice setting. We in contrast the style and consistency of every rice towards related fashions and narrowed the pool all the way down to a smaller group of finalists. We then cooked one other batch of white rice, a batch of Lundberg long grain basmati rice and a batch of Lundberg short grain brown rice. We in contrast the prepare dinner of those batches towards each other and weighed different components reminiscent of further options, ease of cleansing, dimension, design and extra.

Performance

  • Sushi/medium grain rice: We cooked 2 cups of Nishiki medium grain rice on the cooker’s plain/white rice setting. We then tasted and straight in contrast the flavour and consistency of the rice with different rice cookers. We appeared out for burnt bottoms, wetness, fluffiness and total style. We eradicated rice cookers that made the worst rice.
  • Brown rice: After narrowing down the pool, we cooked 2 cups of Lundberg brief grain brown rice on the cooker’s brown rice setting. We then tasted and straight in contrast the flavour and consistency of the rice with different rice cookers.
  • Basmati rice: After narrowing down the pool, we cooked 2 cups of Lundberg lengthy grain basmati rice on the cooker’s brown rice setting. We then tasted and straight in contrast the flavour and consistency of the rice with different rice cookers.
  • Different modes: We counted what number of completely different modes every rice cooker had, reminiscent of settings for brown rice, porridge and extra.
  • Other settings: We counted what number of further options and settings every rice cooker had, reminiscent of Keep Warm, a timer and Auto Clean.
  • Ease of cleansing: We eliminated all washable components from every rice cooker and cleaned them, judging how onerous or straightforward it was and the way lengthy it took.

Design/construct high quality assessments

  • Capacity/sizes: We counted what number of dimension choices can be found for every rice cooker.
  • Footprint: We researched every rice cooker’s dimensions.
  • Weight: We weighed every rice cooker on a kitchen scale.
  • Cord size: We measured every rice cooker’s twine with a measuring tape.
  • General design/look: We judged how every rice cooker appeared and any further design selections.

Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer

The Hamilton Beach rice cooker was nearly certainly one of our picks, nevertheless it simply couldn’t beat out the Cuckoo CR-0655F. If the Cuckoo remains to be a bit too costly for you, we’d undoubtedly suggest going for the $60 Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker. It’s acquired the identical options as costlier machines like Quick Cook and Keep Warm, and it cooked rice higher than another rice cooker in its worth vary — apart from the Cuckoo CR-0655F. The rice high quality is unquestionably a step down from the CR-0655F, nevertheless it’s nonetheless stable and can do the job for individuals who eat rice solely each every now and then.

The Tiger JKT-D10U made rice simply as scrumptious because the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy. It was a high performer in all of our rice checks, however because it’s costlier than the Neuro Fuzzy at around $300, we predict the Zojirushi is the higher purchase. However, in case you are a loyal Tiger fan and also you’re searching for top-notch rice, you may’t go improper with the JKT-D10U.

Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker & Warmer NP-GBC05

This Zojirushi rice cooker additionally cooked scrumptious rice, nevertheless it wasn’t fairly on the identical stage because the Neuro Fuzzy or the Tiger JKT-D10U. It does have induction heating, so if you would like a rice cooker with that know-how it is a good choice. However, this cooker is barely accessible in a 3-cup dimension, so in case you’re making rice for greater than two to 3 individuals without delay it is likely to be too small to your wants.

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer NS-TSC10A

This Zojirushi cooker has a pc chip in it similar to the Neuro Fuzzy, nevertheless it didn’t make the identical high quality of rice. It’s a stable rice cooker, however we predict the Neuro Fuzzy outshines it in practically each method. For $30 extra, we predict our greatest total decide is the best way to go.

This rice cooker had a really stable efficiency. It cooked tasty rice and had loads of helpful options. It was in rivalry for our runner-up spot, however the Cuckoo CR-0655F had related qualities for simply $80. It’s costlier than our decide, however you undoubtedly gained’t be upset in case you select this Tiger machine.

The Tiger JBV-A10U simply didn’t prepare dinner rice in addition to many of the different rice cookers. We suppose your cash is best spent on the Cuckoo CR-0655F, which is across the identical worth as this one.

The Panasonic rice cooker options induction heating, however we didn’t suppose it made a greater pot of rice than the Neuro Fuzzy. In reality, we thought the Panasonic’s rice was on par with a few of the mid-tier cookers we examined, which is why we don’t suppose it’s definitely worth the $500 price ticket.

This Aroma rice cooker was nearly our funds decide, because it made a stable pot of rice and has nice options like fast prepare dinner and hold heat. However, we had points with the steam vent once we cooked rice. The steam that got here out would pool on the highest of the lid and spill over onto the counter, making a moist, sticky mess.

This rice cooker has a easy lid that doesn’t lure in a lot warmth, resulting in a mushier rice. Most rice cookers we examined with this characteristic didn’t make superb rice, and the Zojirushi was no exception. We did prefer it higher than the opposite easy choices, so if you would like a tiny rice cooker and don’t thoughts mediocre rice it may very well be a great buy; nonetheless, we predict you’re higher off spending the additional $10 for the Hamilton Beach.

This huge, 10-cup rice cooker took up tons of counter house and didn’t prepare dinner superb rice. The backside of the rice was burnt and it didn’t style fairly as fluffy because the rice from the Hamilton Beach machine. Unless you’re cooking for a big household and want the 10-cup capability (the Hamilton Beach can prepare dinner 7 cups), we don’t suppose this rice cooker is value your cash.

The Oster DiamondForce made some fairly mediocre rice. It’s low-cost, however we predict spending the additional cash on the Hamilton Beach and even the Zojirushi NHS-06 is effectively value it.

Similar to the Oster DiamondForce, we actually don’t suppose this rice cooker is value shopping for. If you spend the additional cash on the Hamilton Beach, you’ll get a lot better rice and a greater cooking expertise too.

This tiny, 2-cup rice cooker is cute, nevertheless it didn’t prepare dinner superb rice. It may very well be a great reward for somebody residing in a small house or a university dorm, however we nonetheless suppose the Hamilton Beach or Zojirushi NHS-06 are higher choices.

Aroma Housewares 8-Cup/2-Quart Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker & Food Steamer

The rice from this Aroma had a burnt backside and didn’t come out very effectively in any respect. The Professional Version is unquestionably a greater choice than this one for about $10 extra, however we nonetheless suggest the Hamilton Beach over each Aroma machines.

We needed to see if a stress cooker might make rice on the identical stage as a devoted rice cooker, however sadly the outcomes have been underwhelming. The rice from the Instant Pot Duo Plus was gummier and mushier than many of the conventional rice cookers we tried. If you wish to consolidate kitchen home equipment, the Instant Pot is a great pick, however in case you’re simply searching for a rice cooker we don’t suppose it might compete.

This stress cooker from Cuckoo had related outcomes because the Instant Pot. The rice we cooked was mushy and didn’t style superb in any respect. The machine has tons of different capabilities, so it is likely to be value a glance in case you’re out there for a pressure cooker, nevertheless it isn’t definitely worth the cash in case you simply need a rice cooker.



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