10 best rice cookers for making perfectly fluffy grains

February 23, 2024
10-best-rice-cookers-for-making-perfectly-fluffy-grains
10 best rice cookers for making perfectly fluffy grains

Getting your head around cooking rice, its many varieties and the water ratios can be tricky. This is why a rice cooker is a valuable piece of kitchen equipment. Rice cookers are designed to consistently produce fluffy rice with very little intervention, except a good rinse of the rice before you start.

Rice cookers come in all shapes and sizes, from the most straightforward, affordable microwave models to all-singing, dancing multi-cookers. We tested an extensive range and the results were surprising.

For a simple recipe to use in your rice cooker, try our Japanese rice/gohan recipe. In certain rice cookers, this sausage & fennel risotto can be made after the sausages and fennel are fried. There’s also a vegetarian mushroom risotto that would work well. If you want to meal prep, use your rice cooker to make bases for easy rice salad boxes.

So, which is the best rice cooker for you? Read on to discover our top buys. For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find 200+ round-ups of everything from the best food processors and best slow cookers, to the best coffee machines. Latest additions to this guide were tested and reviewed by expert, Judy Yorke.

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Best rice cookers at a glance

  • Best for versatility: Yum Asia Panda Mini Advanced Fuzzy Logic Ceramic Rice Cooker, £94.90
  • Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers: Sage the Fast Slow Go rice cooker, £169.95
  • Best microwave rice cooker: Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine microwave rice cooker, £30.42
  • Best all-rounder rice cooker: Bamboo IH ceramic rice cooker YUM-IH15, £199.90
  • Best large rice cooker: Nutribullet EveryGrain cooker, £59.99
  • Best large-capacity rice cooker : Gastroback Design Rice Cooker, £79.99
  • Best rice cooker for families: Cosori 5.5L rice cooker, £119.99
  • Best rice cooker for intelligent cooking: Lakeland two-portion mini electric rice cooker, £34.99
  • Best value rice cooker: Reishunger basic rice cooker, £52.99
  • Best rice cooker for one person: VonShef Mini electric rice cooker, £29.99

Best rice cookers 2024

Yum Asia Panda Mini Advanced Fuzzy Logic ceramic rice cooker

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Best for versatility

Pros:

  • Lots of uses
  • Great instructions
  • Perfectly cooked rice
  • Countdown timer at the end

Cons:

  • Quick-cook took longer than anticipated

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 350W

Capacity: 3.5 cup / 0.6 litres uncooked rice

There’s a lot to like about this rice cooker. For a start, it’s highly versatile. There are settings for long grain, short grain, brown rice and a quick cook but that’s not all . It will also slow cook, steam, make porridge and even bake you a cake. (We made a vegan chocolate cake).

You can also adjust the cooking time with the hour/ minute buttons. Although there was a bit too much plastic packaging and polystyrene for our liking, initial impressions were good. You get a rice spatula, a soup ladle, a measuring cup and a steam basket along with both a quick-start guide (always a big help) and a big instruction book.

We found it very intuitive to use with clear buttons. The outside barely got hot and the machine, which has feet, was very stable. Most importantly, cooking results were spot on. Read our full Yum Asia Panda Mini rice cooker review.

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Sage the Fast Slow Go rice cooker

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Best rice cooker for top-end multi-cookers

Pros:

  • Good-looking
  • Digital touchscreen
  • Wide number of functions
  • Great for risotto

Cons:

  • Tiny lights on the digital interface

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 1100W

The Sage the Fast Slow Go multi-cooker is a super-stylish, with a brushed stainless steel outer so good looking, you’ll want to keep it on your worktop. Apart from making tender, fluffy rice, it has many valuable functions, including making excellent risottos. The instructions are well-written, so you can have the Sage up and running in no time. It’s one of the most expensive cookers on our test, but is an investment in its quality and versatility – it will replace several machines in the kitchen, making cooking and time far more efficient. Read our full Sage the Fast Slow Go review.

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Joseph Joseph M-Cuisine microwave rice cooker

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Best microwave rice cooker

Pros:

  • Speed of cooking
  • Quality of cooked rice
  • Price

Cons:

  • Microwave condensation

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: N/A

The Joseph Joseph microwave rice cooker is a neat, stylish and efficient cooker that makes from one to six portions of fluffy rice. It’s perfect for anyone who wants an easy to use rice cooker. Plus, it makes porridge. The two-litre cooker is made of durable plastic, with a bright orange rice paddle that neatly doubles up as a handle and lock, plus an inner pot that doubles as a colander for washing the rice. Additionally, with all the parts of this cooker being dishwasher-safe, cleaning it is a doddle. Read our full review of the Joseph Joseph 45002 M-Cuisine microwave rice cooker.

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Bamboo IH ceramic rice cooker YUM-IH15

Best all-rounder rice cooker

Pros:

  • Responsive touchpad
  • Six programmes
  • Fuzzy logic microchip
  • Induction heater
  • Simple to use
  • Customisable default timings
  • Fluffy separate grains

Cons:

  • Rice on crust setting becomes quite hard

Star rating: 5/5

Wattage: 1110W

Capacity: 8 cups

The Bamboo matches its price tag in the quality of its build, attractive design and the fluffy, flavourful rice it produces. Settings include a ‘GABA’ option that’s designed to germinate brown rice, and ‘Yumami’ function for white rice that uses phased temperatures to release sugars for a sweeter flavour. Non-rice programmes include slow cooking, porridge making, steaming and cake baking. Read our full Bamboo IH ceramic rice cooker review.

Available from:

Nutribullet EveryGrain cooker

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Best large rice maker

Pros:

  • Versatile
  • Family-sized
  • Lots of functions
  • Great instructions
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Large footprint

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 600W

Capacity: 10 rice cups/1500g

First impressions are of a very sturdy machine that sits solidly on your worktop. This one will take up a bit of space, especially in the cupboard, if you don’t plan to keep it out. This has a number of pre-set functions including white rice, oats and brown rice and it’s very easy to operate.

The Nutribullet EveryGrain comes with a useful measuring and cook time guide, telling you rice to liquid ratios, plus extra cooking notes on some grains. There’s a clear and easy-to-use instruction book, too.

We set this to work pretty much immediately out of the box and it cooked our rice to perfection, keeping it piping hot for more than an hour afterwards. This has a timer once there are 10 minutes to go, which counts down. Once it switches to keep-warm, the timer counts up, so you can see how long it is since the cooking programme finished.

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Gastroback Design Rice Cooker

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Best large-capacity rice cooker

Pros:

  • Large
  • Quick
  • Easy to use
  • Good green credentials
  • Instruction manual is online

Cons:

  • No timer
  • No different programmes
  • Instruction video in German

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 450W

Capacity: 3 litre

Easy and straightforward to use, this scored extra points for speed too. Impressions out of the box are of a solid, quality machine, which you would expect at this price point. There’s a little plastic but plenty of cardboard packaging too. There is no instruction booklet – instead there is a QR code on the box that takes you to the website, where there’s a product video and a link to download the manual.

It’s very east to get this up and running, with clear measurements on the inside showing you how much water to add. Most impressive of all were the cooking times – the Gastroback Design Rice Cooker is a very quick machine. The keep-warm function was highly effective and the bowl washed very easily.

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Cosori 5-litre rice cooker and steamer

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Best rice cooker for families

Pros:

  • Good looking
  • Varied functionality
  • Fluffy, soft rice
  • Runs quietly
  • Comes with multiple accessories

Cons:

  • Large footprint
  • Confusing measurements in manual
  • Lots of non-recyclable packaging

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 970W

New for 2023, this 5-litre rice cooker comes with multiple functions that easily justify a permanent spot on the counter. Among them are specific presets for rice and grains, slow-cooking, sauté, steam, jam/sauce and cake, plus keep-warm and delay-start settings. A rice paddle, ladle, measuring cup, and 3-litre steam basket are also included.

The manual and quick-start guide are both clearly written. Although some of the units in the cooking chart are overly complicated (for example, to cook long-grain white rice, it advises adding 1 and 3/16 cups of water), we had no issues navigating the controls.

It hummed quietly while it was cooking, beeping for around 15 seconds when the rice was done. We cooked short-grain white rice first for around half an hour, and the texture was good – light, fluffy and soft. Our brown rice was similar, but with a little more bite.

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Lakeland two-portion mini electric rice cooker

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Best rice cooker for intelligent cooking

Pros:

  • Neat size and sturdy build
  • Delay function for morning porridge
  • Three-year guarantee
  • Clear instructions

Cons:

  • Longer cooking times than similar models

Star rating: 4.5/5

Wattage: 250W

Capacity: 500ml

The Lakeland two-portion rice cooker is small, sturdy and uses intelligent cooking, which requires little intervention to produce great rice. Plus, using the delay timer, it will also make two bowls of porridge while you sleep. The cooker has a small footprint, so it’s great when space is tight. We especially love the look and feel of this sturdily built little cooker, and the included three-year guarantee. Cooking white and brown rice takes slightly longer than similar models, but it’s worth waiting. Read our full review of the Lakeland two-portion mini electric rice cooker.

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Reishunger basic rice cooker

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Best value rice cooker

Pros:

  • Effective
  • Quick
  • Well priced
  • Keep-warm function

Cons:

  • Markings hard to see
  • No timer
  • No extra functions

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 500W

Capacity: 6 cups

This is a straightforward machine – it cooks your rice with no bells or whistles, then keeps it warm for up to eight hours. After putting the rice in (using the supplied measuring cup), add water and press the button. Once done, it switches to the keep-warm function. There’s also a steamer insert for cooking extras like vegetables.

It’s a quiet machine, but that might be a downside for some as there is no beep to signal when it’s finished. As there’s no timer, either, there’s no indication of how long it will be till your rice is ready.

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VonShef Mini electric rice cooker

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Best rice cooker for one person

Pros:

  • Teeny tiny so takes up hardly any space
  • Easy to use
  • Good results
  • Good value
  • Reasonably quick

Cons:

  • Screw lid feels a bit retro
  • No timer

Star rating: 4/5

Wattage: 200W

Capacity: 300ml

Cheap – but also good value – small and straightforward to use, this is ideal for single- or two-person households, students and holiday homes. It is probably the most basic of all the models we tested. Rather than a switch or button to open and close the lid, you screw it into place and fix it with side clips. There’s nothing fancy like a timer either.

You simply add your rice and water, flick the switch and it cooks it, before switching automatically to keep-warm once it’s done. You can see at a glance whether it is cooking or keeping warm due to lights on the front. Results were excellent – our cup of white rice cooked in 22 minutes and one hour later it was still hot.

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Other rice cookers tried and tested

How to choose the best rice cooker

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a rice cooker:

Size 

Before looking at what’s available, know what size you need to help steer your choice. Rice cookers can be bulky, so consider the available space in your kitchen before buying.

A 500ml cooker will produce up to two portions, while the largest on test (6 litres) will make eight portions.

Glass or sealed lid? 

A glass lid is usually found on simpler, cheaper models. This means you can watch the rice cooking, which is missing on sealed models. However, as rice cooking is quite vigorous, the lids tend to spit out water and steam at the edges, which can be dangerous.

Sealed lids are often only on more expensive rice and multi-cookers and usually have a vent, making them safer and far less messy.

Single-purpose  

These machines are dedicated to cooking rice only, with a few offering vegetable steaming and porridge functions. Single-purpose rice cookers should come with instructions for cooking different rice types and usually include a measuring cup for the rice and water as well as a rice paddle. If you cook rice often and have room to store a machine, this option could be for you.

Multi-purpose  

A multi-cooker can be a tremendous space-saving machine as it rolls several functions – steaming, slow or pressure cooking and more – into one machine. Multi-cookers are more expensive, but offer greater flexibility than just cooking rice.

With many functions in one machine, it may at first seem complicated, but this tends to get easier with use. However, when the multi-cooker is used consistently to cook strong-flavoured foods like curries and stews, or for air- or deep-frying, it will eventually taint the flavour of rice. Therefore, rice purists may prefer a single-purpose cooker.

What is ‘fuzzy logic’ on a rice cooker?

Basic rice cookers use a thermal sensor to determine when the rice is done. When the contents of the pan go above a fixed temperature, the machine either turns off or switches to a keep-warm mode.

Top-of-the-range cookers use ‘fuzzy logic’ processors, which are programmed to make precise adjustments to cooking time and temperature in response to sensors in the cooker. For example, the ambient temperature in a kitchen can affect how fast a rice cooker works.

In the same way that a chef would lower the heat under a vigorously boiling pan, a fuzzy processor will lower the temperature of the rice cooker’s heating element if the rice is cooking too quickly on a hot day.

Fuzzy logic cookers often have different programmes for different types of rice. Each program will have a unique heating/soaking cycle and temperature range for optimum cooking.

Basic rice cookers are cheaper and produce good results, particularly if you tend to cook the same type of rice. Fuzzy logic cookers are better at cooking different rices, but they have a higher price tag.

How we tested rice cookers

Quality of cooked rice: each cooker was tested with white and brown rice. We looked for precise cooking that resulted in fluffy, clump-free white rice and al dente brown. Where available, we used the ‘keep-warm’ function to assess whether this was detrimental to the finished rice in any way.

Safety: we looked at how hot the cooker got while cooking, the amount of steam or spluttering from the lid and the cooker’s stability on the worktop, including non-slip feet.

Multi-cookers: rice cooking and the finished quality was our primary concern, including any specific functions for rice cooking, such as risotto. The cooker had to be easy to understand and use. We also tested the quality and ease of cleaning the inner pot, assembly of the cooker and the ease of packing it away. Weight of carrying the multi-cooker was also important to us.

Extras: useful added extras, such as measuring cups, spoons, spatulas and colanders for rinsing, were considered. We looked at the usefulness of extra functions, including delayed start and keep-warm functions.

Size: footprint and height relative to the capacity was considered. The convenience of hinged lids was weighed against the height they took up when open.

Ease of use:  we looked for cookers with intuitive interfaces, easy to press buttons and responsive touchscreens. We looked for clear instruction manuals with accurate advice on water-to-rice ratios.

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This review was last updated in February 2024. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk. 

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