Cooking the perfect rice is often difficult, especially if you are using the traditional stovetop and pot method. Hard, crunchy under-cooked rice or rice that is burned to the bottom of the pot are a couple of the most common issues using this old school method.
So, what is the better method for cooking perfect rice? You might find using one of the small rice cookers available helps eliminates these issues and gives you rice that is a perfect texture and taste.
- 0.1 When Do You Need a Small Rice Cooker?
- 0.2 Things to Consider Before Buying a Small Rice Cooker
- 0.3 Top 6 Best Small Rice Cookers for 2019
- 0.3.1 1. Aroma Housewares 2-8 cup Rice Cooker – Best Overall
- 0.3.2 2. Instapot Duo Mini 3 Quart Cooker – Best Premium Product
- 0.3.3 3. Dash Mini Rice Cooker – Best Budget Friendly
- 0.3.4 4. Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker – Simple and Easy to Use
- 0.3.5 5. Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker – Simple and Easy to Use
- 0.3.6 6. Dsigna 1.2L Mini Rice Cooker – Perfect for an Individual
- 1 Conclusion
When Do You Need a Small Rice Cooker?
Well, the answer to this question could be as simple as how often you eat rice. Still, there may be other factors that would make using a small rice cooker a better choice, so let investigate some of these possible reasons.
You could need the convenience of a small rice cooker when you have guests for dinner. Using a small rice cooker could allow you to use a burner on your stovetop for cooking other foods instead of rice. This may help you to ensure your guests aren’t waiting on rice to finish cooking to enjoy the meal you have prepared.
Using a small rice cooker may save you time as well, some of the rice cookers can reduce the cooking time of rice drastically, and this can help you to plate a dinner more successfully.
Then again, your home may not have a traditional stovetop available for cooking and having a small rice cooker will allow you to enjoy rice with your meals. Having a small rice cooker in a small, ill-equipped kitchen may save the day, so to speak.
Traditional boiling and simmering of a pot of rice on the stovetop may also heat up the kitchen, and in a hot climate, this may not be acceptable and cause you to forgo making rice with a meal. There is also no need to attend the rice while it cooks in a small rice cooker, you simply set it and forget it until the timer signals it’s complete.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Small Rice Cooker
Here are a few things you may want to ask yourself before you purchase any small rice cooker.
- Do You cook enough rice to need a rice cooker? I mean if you practice a low-carb diet, you don’t need a rice cooker.
- What size of a rice cooker do you need? Think about this for a moment as it may save you feeling buyer’s remorse after you have bought a rice cooker. Do You feed more than one or two people regularly?
- What is your budget for a rice cooker?
- Would you be better off buying a multi-use cooker type as opposed to a unit that is limited to rice cooking?
- Is the unit you are looking to purchase a non-stick type? Cleanup can be a definite game-changer when it comes to cleaning up rice.
- Are the controls and the instructions easy to understand? No one wants to feel frustrated when trying to use a small appliance.
- Does the rice cooker produce hot steam or get untouchably hot while in use? This can make a cooker unusable for some as children or space may factor in on the cookers use.
Top 6 Best Small Rice Cookers for 2019
Here is what I consider the top choices for small rice cookers available.
|Model||Our Choice||Our Rating|
|Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD||Best Overall||4.6|
|Instant Pot Duo Mini 3||Best Premium Product||4.9|
|Dash Mini Rice Cooker||Best Budget Friendly||4.5|
|Zojirushi NHS-06||Simple and Easy to Use||4.2|
|Cuisinart CRC-400||Larger Capacity||4.3|
|DCIGNA Mini Rice Cooker||Perfect for an Individual||4.5|
1. Aroma Housewares 2-8 cup Rice Cooker – Best Overall
This small rice cooker is more than just a rice cooker, and that’s why it takes the top spot on my list.
If you live in a small home or have inadequate kitchen counter space having a unit that can perform multiple functions could be extremely important. Of course, that is if the unit functions well and the other functions that it provides are of use to you.
This small rice cooker is also a steamer and a slow cooker allowing you to prepare an entire meal, including rice at the same time. The ability to sauté and then simmer feature is programmable and allows for additional cooking methods. You can use this cooker as a stand-alone rice cooker, and it can provide 2-8 cups of cooked rice.
Additional features allow you to prepare soups, or steam vegetables and even to make a cake. This unit is versatile to fit into your lifestyle while allowing you to set the timer and walk away; the rice cooker feature will sense when the water is gone and reset the cooking temperature to low. The ability to sauté or bake in this small appliance may improve the overall functionality of your kitchen.
- This small rice cooker can cook more than just rice allowing for full meal preparation, including rice.
- This unit offers a set it and forget it feature and will automatically switch to a low setting.
- This unit has a non-stick removable inner pot, and steamer basket provided.
- You also receive the rice cup and spatula for no guess measuring.
- This unit allows for a larger rice cooking capacity than some other models.
- Offers a setting for flash cooking rice to cut the cooking time in half.
- Has push button settings for different types of rice.
- This unit has a 2-year warranty.
- There were complaints that the unit failed after several months of use.
- You are required to cook the rice in the supplied cup only.
- The lid is made of plastic, and some complained it cracked with use.
2. Instapot Duo Mini 3 Quart Cooker – Best Premium Product
Although this cooker can readily make rice, this unit is more of a multi-functioning pressure cooker than a true rice cooker. For this reason and the fact that for some it may be out of budget for a rice cooker, it falls in at number six on my list.
I know that my number one pick was also a multi-cooker, but the units’ primary function is for rice cooking and has several one-touch rice cooking options. The Instapot brand products are best known as pressure cookers or slow cookers with the rice cooking ability.
Now with all of that said this unit does an excellent job of cooking rice to perfection as well as allowing for you to cook an entire meal that includes rice.
- This smaller design of Instapot may be what you need in a small or ill-equipped kitchen as it can perform so many other cooking methods.
- Instapot units offer the ability of one-touch cooking for many food varieties.
- There is no steam escaping from this unit that may cause burns.
- The Instapot features a keep-warm and auto-shutoff feature.
- Instapot offers a 1-year from date of purchase warranty.
- For use as a rice cooker, this unit may be a bit pricey.
- There is only one option for a one-touch control for cooking rice, and this may not be suitable for some varieties of rice.
- Complaints that the unit stops working after just a short period of time.
- May be more difficult to use than some other small rice cookers.
3. Dash Mini Rice Cooker – Best Budget Friendly
A true small rice cooker allowing for only a 2-cup capacity. However, this mini rice cooker also is a small steamer and can be used for making soup or oatmeal, and you never have to worry about unwanted leftovers. This little rice cooker seems the perfect size for one or two and can help you maintain portion control and serving size.
This unit offers features found in some larger units like the keep warm function that can help eliminate overcooked foods. The one-touch set it and forget it controls help provide you with no-fuss cooking options, and the non-stick pot provides fast and easy cleanup.
- Available in multiple colors so you can choose a mini cooker that suits your décor or personality.
- This unit can also be used to steam foods.
- Offering a compact design, this unit is good for small kitchen spaces and can easily be stored.
- This unit is affordable on most budgets.
- The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty on this mini cooker.
- This unit offers only a 2-cup maximum capacity and may not be what you need.
- Some complaints about the water fill line being misplaced, causing mushy rice.
- The unit is extremely hot during use and could burn anyone touching it, use caution around children.
- Some complained it had an odd odor when in use.
4. Zojirushi 3-Cup Rice Cooker – Simple and Easy to Use
This is an easy to use small rice cooker with no fancy features or special cooking methods, and it is designed to cook only rice. This unit offers a simple one switch control function no matter the amount of rice being cooked at one time. The unit doesn’t have a warming feature and is only able to turn the heating unit off when the water is fully absorbed.
It does offer a see-through lid and stay-cool knob and handles to help reduce the chance of burns when moving the unit or removing the cooked rice.
- This unit offers an auto shut off feature.
- You can easily store this small appliance in a cabinet when it is not in use.
- This small rice cooker has a non-stick inner surface.
- This small rice cooker has a 1-year warranty
- Can produce abundant steam from the vent hole, causing a mess.
- You must use the supplied measuring cup and instructions to get the best rice.
- The steamer tray and warming settings are not offered on this unit but are offered on their larger capacity rice cookers.
5. Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker – Simple and Easy to Use
A solid name in kitchen appliances is linked to this small rice cooker. A small rice cooker that can produce up to 7 cups of cooked rice and that may make this unit a better option for those that have dinner guests.
This small rice cooker also offers a different exterior look to others as it is square and stainless steel; this is true to the Cuisinart style of small appliances. You can also use this unit for steaming foods and cleanup is easier with the removable non-stick pot.
- This unit stainless steel exterior helps combat stains.
- Having a slightly larger rice capacity may make this a better option if you are feeding more than just yourself.
- This small rice cooker offers a stay warm feature and one-touch control.
- The measuring cup and spatula are included.
- Offers a 3-year warranty.
- You must use the supplied cup for measuring, or the rice may not turn out well.
- There seem to be some issues with boiling over, and this may be related to the use of the steamer basket placement.
- There are complaints that the unit switches itself into the warm mode before the rice is fully cooked.
6. Dsigna 1.2L Mini Rice Cooker – Perfect for an Individual
This small unit is listed as a mini rice cooker/ lunch box. Offering a handle and compact design, this unit can go with you and cook your meal anywhere. This little unit has an auto-warm feature and can also steam veggies and be used to make pasta and warm cereals like oatmeal.
Offering you the ability to cook and transport lunch or dinner for two with little or no mess. This little rice cooker has an easy to clean non-stick coating and removable pot. Using this rice cooker can cut reduce the time it takes to cook rice, and you can set it and forget it without the worry of overcooking or burning.
- Unique look to the exterior.
- The compact design makes this unit a good choice for travel or dorm-room use.
- This unit can be used for cooking food other than rice.
- Has one-touch easy to use control function for making perfect rice.
- This unit has an indicator light that makes it easy to tell which mode the cooker is in.
- This unit doesn’t offer an auto-off feature and will remain in the auto-warm setting until you unplug the unit.
- This unit only offers a 30-day warranty.
- The small capacity may not suit everyone’s needs.
There seem to be an endless number of small rice cookers available on the market and choosing the one that’s best for you may seem impossible. The above review hits on many key factors and available options to help you feel better informed when selecting a small rice cooker for yourself.
As you can see, there are many options and styles available and asking yourself the above questions may help narrow the field for you.
Important factors include the longevity of the unit, price, and warranty, so be sure to keep these things in mind when selecting your rice cooker. You never want to purchase a small appliance and then realize you made a mistake as the return shipping is almost always going to become your responsibility.
Finding the perfect small rice cooker is possible; it just takes a bit of research and understanding your needs. After you have found the best small rice cooker for your needs cooking rice will never be the same, and you should never find yourself scrapping burnt rice from the bottom of again.