Electric Rice Cookers: Which Is The Best?

Love rice but hate the way it turns out on the stove? Electric rice cookers are the answer. These small home appliances have gotten very popular in recent years and it can be more than a little frustrating trying to figure out which one is the best. The best often means different things to different people, though. There are a lot of factors that come into play when making an informed purchase like how often will you actually use the device, does the capacity meet you or your family's personal needs, does it contain the features you need, what are your expectations for the product and, of course, for most people cost is a factor.

Standouts in Electric Rice Cookers

After researching countless cooking blogs and consumer review sites concerning electric rice cookers, two names in particular kept popping up. They are Aroma and Zojirushi. While Aroma is significantly less expensive than Zojirushi, the conventional wisdom of culinary professionals is this: if you cook a lot of rice multiple times a week, spring for the Zojirushi. This brand was also recommended if you like brown rice, exotic rices, or if you prefer less-commonly prepared rice dishes such as sticky rice or rice porridge.

Aroma Electric Rice Cookers: Make perfect rice every timeAroma Electric Rice Cookers: Make perfect rice every time

Aroma 8 Cup Electric Rice Cookers

The Aroma 8 Cup (Cooked) Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer model ARC-914SBD comes up time and again for customer satisfaction with moderate-frequency rice preparers. If this is you, then this stainless steel model is probably what you're looking for. Reasonably priced at roughly $30, it's also perfect for consumers just getting into the rice-preparation craze. It can steam meat and vegetables while rice cooks below, and it's great for things like soups, jambalaya, chili, and more.

Users feel that its programmable digital controls that include automatic Keep Warm and white and brown rice settings along with a 15-hour delay timer for flexible meal planning make it easy to use. It includes a steam tray, rice measuring cup, serving spatula, and exclusive recipes and coupons for Mahatma® and Carolina® Rice. This particular electric rice cooker also happens to be a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Electric Rice CookerZojirushi NS-TSC10 Electric Rice Cooker

Zojirushi 5.5 Cup Electric Rice Cookers

While the Zojirushi brand electric rice cookers include many models, the two mentioned most frequently in connection to customer satisfaction for home use are the Zojirushi NL-AAC10 Micom Rice Cooker (Uncooked) and Warmer, 5.5 Cups and the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5.5 Cups (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer. Both come with steamer baskets, a rice measuring cup, nonstick rice spatula and spatula holder and are capable of cooking up to 10 cups (cooked) at a time.  

These high-end electric rice cookers are praised for their ability to cook flawless rice every time, regardless of your cooking prowess. The only real difference between the two is the NS-TSC10 model has a cake setting for baking cakes — how's that for versatility? They come with automatic Keep Warm, Extended Keep Warm and reheating cycles and feature an easy to read LCD control panel with clock and timer functions that include a two-setting delay timer. Both of these units are priced under $200 (separately) and come highly recommended by industry professionals.

Zojirushi NL-AAC10 Electric Rice CookerZojirushi NL-AAC10 Electric Rice Cooker

Pros & Cons of Selected Electric Rice Cookers

The pros in connection with all three of these electric rice cookers is their ease of use, perfect rice and easy cleanup. All three have received almost exclusively 5 stars with thousands of satisfied customers who have purchased one of these models. The cons were so far and few between, I really had to search for them. One user noted that it's important to follow the accompanying instruction manual for cooking and not the instructions on the rice package. Another said that the term "cup" does not mean an 8 ounce cup but rather a 6 ounce cup. Lastly, while a few people lamented that the cooking time with these units was noticeably longer than basic stove-top methods, others pointed out that the reduced heat and slower cooking time is what produced the perfectly cooked rice.

Both the Aroma brand and the Zojirushi brands are available on Amazon with manufacturer’s warranties available upon request through customer service. For larger families or cooks with increased portion demands, all three models are available in higher cup capacities such as 20 cups. So that you can learn more about these electric rice cookers and see the great reviews, I have added links to Amazon for your convenience. If you buy one from Amazon using our link, we may receive a small commission.
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