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Article updated on May 29, 2024 at 8:00 AM PDT

Best Rice Cookers of 2024

We tested six models, and here are the rice cookers you should buy to make perfect pots of brown and basmati.

Our Experts

Written by 
David Watsky
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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or tinkering with a toaster. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
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What to consider

Size

Choose the right size for the amount of people you're typically cooking for.

Settings

If you cook a range of rice types, you may want to splurge on a cooker with more settings.

Cost and value

We dig a souped-up rice cooker but for simple jobs, a $30 model will suffice.

Our Picks

$107 at Amazon
Tiger 5 1/2-cup Electric Rice Cooker
Best rice cooker overall
Tiger 10-cup Electric Rice Cooker
View details
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$25 at Target
Oster DiamondForce 6-cup Rice Cooker
Best rice cooker for the price
Oster DiamondForce 6-cup Rice Cooker
View details
View details
$220 at Amazon
Zojirushi 5 1/2-cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Best rice cooker for custom rice
Zojirushi 5 1/2-cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
View details
View details

What's the best rice cooker for 2024?

While cooking rice on the stove is fairly easy, rice cookers can produce perfectly cooked rice every time with just the push of a button, freeing you up to take care of other things in the kitchen. Most rice cookers can also act as a slow cooker of sorts, and some even include steamer baskets for making side dishes and veggies. With quite a few popular models on the market, we set out to test (and taste test) as many as we could to find the best rice cooker, which ended up being the Tiger 10-cup Electric Rice Cooker.

At $107, the Tiger is on the pricey side of the rice cooker spectrum. For a more budget-friendly buy, reach for Oster's simple 6-cup model. It won't cost you more than $33 and turns out consistent batches of tender rice with the push of one button.

Picking a rice cooker for your needs can be a tricky process. The perfect rice cooker will let you leave your entire rice-cooking routine to it, freeing you up to do other things. A good rice cooker will whip up perfectly fluffy rice out of any grain or strain of the stuff without any guesswork. They're available in just about any size, from tiny 2-cup mini rice cookers up to massive machines that can make enough rice for a small army.

To find the best rice cookers for 2024, I even put a few of the most popular models to the ultimate test. I also have suggestions below on how to decide on the best model for you.

Best rice cookers for 2024

$107 at Amazon

Best rice cooker overall

Tiger 10-cup Electric Rice Cooker

This Micom rice cooker combines speed, precision, ease of use and budget-friendliness to capture the top spot in the rice cooker kitchen appliance showdown. It's also the largest rice cooker on this list and makes up to 10 cups at a time.

The Tiger cooked white rice well, if not just slightly al dente, in just 21 minutes and about half the time of some of the other, bigger machines. It also made the best brown rice of any of the cookers I tested in roughly 50 minutes.

This model clocks in at $107 and has excellent performance in both cooking tests. It also has very simple controls and just four settings: white rice, brown rice, slow cook/steam and a synchronized cook setting that allows you to cook two things simultaneously. This rice cooker comes with an instruction manual, recipe book, rice measuring cup and rice paddle.

$25 at Target

Best rice cooker for the price

Oster DiamondForce 6-cup Rice Cooker

This budget-friendly rice cooker took the top spot in our original round of rice cooker testing. In a retest, the Oster DiamondForce remains the clear pick for an easy rice cooker under $50.

Perfect white rice is almost a paradox: It's moist, but not mushy; toothsome, but not chewy. That perfect fluffy rice is tough to capture, so the quality output for this Oster rice cooker's price tag is wholly impressive. No, the rice isn't perfect; brown rice in particular came out just slightly underdone and a little chewy. This basic rice cooker is head and shoulders above other small cookers under $50. It has a tempered glass lid with a vent and comes with a steamer basket and won't crowd the counter.

The Oster is fast and can also be used as a grain cooker. The small rice cooker whipped up a cup of white rice in under 20 minutes and brown rice in 25 minutes. It also didn't have any of the spillage or mess of some of the other basic budget rice cooker options, so cleanup was easier, too.

If you love rice and want to eat great rice regularly, but don't want to break the bank, the Oster is a fantastic option. 

$220 at Amazon

Best rice cooker for custom rice

Zojirushi 5 1/2-cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer

Zojirushi is a household name for rice cooker elitists, and this Japanese rice cooker brand's reputation is earned. The Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker not only produces perfect rice in fairly large quantities, but it also allows you to personalize your rice, if you prefer it dryer or moister, along with well-calibrated settings for brown rice, sushi rice, porridge and other grains.

This Zojirushi rice cooker has a few downsides: Its price tag is intimidating, it takes up a significant amount of space and it takes its time to make rice (a cup of white rice, for instance, takes over 40 minutes to cook). The raw speed of a rice-cooking kitchen appliance is less important in many cases than a device's ability to keep rice warm and perfectly fluffy for extended periods, and Zojirushi is an unmatched rice maker in that regard.

If you're looking for the best custom rice, regardless of price, Zojirushi is our recommendation for a rice cooker.

How we test rice cookers

I tested 12 rice cookers side by side, cooking 1 cup of white rice and 1 cup of brown rice in each, following the individual directions and using each device's standard settings for both. Almost every device recommended allowing the rice to steam for an additional 15 minutes after the cook completed and I allowed that time for each one.

I both fluffed and tasted rice from each cooker at the 15-minute mark (which, in addition to the cooking time, ranged from 28 to 56 minutes), and then again after about an hour on the "warm" setting.

Because some folks prefer their cooked rice at slightly different levels of moisture, I focused on the problems in each rice cooker's yield, be it inconsistency in cooking, any uncooked rice, kernels that weren't cooked through or ones that had lost their distinction and become mushy.

I also kept track of how long it took for each machine to make white and brown rice because when you're busy or running late, cooking rice dish speed can be the most important factor of all.

Rice in a cooker

The Tiger cooked excellent white rice faster than the rest of the field and made the best brown rice of any cooker we tested. 

David Watsky/CNET
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The rest of the field: Other rice cookers we tested

The rice cookers I tested fell into three loose categories: small, affordable devices, midrange multicookers and specialized, high-end rice cookers.

Each mini rice cooker I tested, including the Imusa 3-cup, the Dash mini 2-cup rice cooker, and the Black & Decker 3-cup rice cooker offered decent, small servings of white rice, although the Dash took a painfully long 35 minutes just to cook just 1 cup of white. All of them struggled with brown rice and mixed rice.

The slightly larger 6-cup Oster (our budget pick) and the Zojirushi rice makers performed nearly identically, making perfect pots of white rice in 19 and 20 minutes respectively and very good brown rice -- albeit perhaps just slightly underdone -- in a lightning-fast 22 minutes. I would gleefully recommend either one as a solid space-saving rice cooker option. While the Zojirushi does seem slightly more solidly built, it's more than double the price of the Oster, which gives the Oster our final nod.

oster-z.webp

The simpler Oster and Zojirushi rice makers performed nearly identically in our testing.

David Watsky/CNET

The $50 8-cup Hamilton Beach rice cooker (Update: Currently Unavailable) seems like a good deal for the size, but its rice was inconsistent, with severely undercooked, dry rice sections. Zojirushi's 3-cup option also disappointed with rice that was too wet and slightly broken down, losing the distinction of well-cooked white rice.

Cuisinart's 4-cup and Black and Decker's 7-cup rice cookers were some of our least favorites because they were both so messy. Cuisinart's boiled each time I used this conventional rice cooker and Black and Decker's larger model leaked onto the counter, necessitating significant cleanup.

When it came to the midrange multicookers, I found the cooking time to be slow and the results were consistently a little off. An 8-cup Aroma rice cooker and food steamer, Instant Pot's Zest cooker and a 5-cup Panasonic got us excited with the various functions available on their interfaces, but all three produced overcooked, slightly mushy rice, possibly due to the slow cooking. I also tested Cusinart's larger Rice Plus Multi-Cooker and while it can hold a lot of rice and produced decent batches of white and brown, cooking rice took longer than any other machine to do so at well over an hour and a half for brown rice.

If you find yourself cooking loads of different types of grains, one of these may be a viable option since they have so many niche settings. For rice, there are better options available. You might also find you get more value with a true multicooker that includes a pressure cooker function. I'd direct you to CNET's list of best Instant Pots for 2024 for a bit more on that.

Multiple rice cookers lined up on a table

Somehow I didn't blow a fuse. 

David Watsky/CNET

Finally, the higher-end, specialized rice cookers from Tiger (Update: Out of Stock) and Zojirushi were both impressive, as noted above. It's clear these devices are carefully calibrated; Zojirushi even offers a little bit of personalization as to how you want your white rice cooked, which is ideal if you've got folks with different rice texture preferences living under the same roof.

The Tiger is less than half the price of its counterpart and cooked rice extremely well; faster than any others. It may not have all the bells and whistles of the Zojirushi, which nabs our top pick for custom rice, but it's our top overall choice for the best rice cooker in 2024.

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Factors to consider when buying a rice cooker

Rice cooker size

If you eat a lot of rice, a cooker can streamline that cooking process and prep, allowing you to focus on the other elements of the meal, but choosing the right size is key. Standard rice cookers have about 5 or 6 cups of capacity and that's plenty to feed two or three people at once. If you have a larger group or like to do heavy meal prep for the week, consider a larger model that can cook 10 cups of rice or more in one go.

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Various rice settings

If you only eat one or two types of white rice, there's no need to spring for a fancy model with loads of niche settings. That said, if you like to mix in brown rice, porridge, sushi rice and ancient grains, a rice cooker with more precise cook settings will net better results.

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Cost and value

You can spend well over $200 for a premium rice cooker. These pricey models often feature a slew of the precise settings mentioned above. For cooking basic white rice, you need not spend more than $25 or $30 for a reliable machine.

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Rice cooker FAQs

Is a rice cooker worth it?

If you love rice but have trouble cooking it, then a rice cooker may be worth the investment. Rice can be made in a standard pot but it takes precise measuring of water and rice and meticulous attention to cooking time and how much the water is simmering to get it just right. Plus, some excellent rice cookers cost as little as $30 and take up no more space in the cupboard than a small saucepan.

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How to clean an electric rice cooker?

Cleaning a rice cooker is simple. The main cooking container and lid are typically the only components that get dirty and can almost always be hand-washed in the sink or run through the dishwasher. The main body of the rice cooker may experience some dripping and smudging but can easily be wiped down with a sponge and warm water. 

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Are rice cookers safe?

Using a rice cooker is safer than cooking it on an open stovetop. Because they are self-contained and use electric heating elements, there's less risk of fire than with a gas-powered or even an electric stovetop. A quality rice cooker knows when the rice is done (water is gone) and shuts itself off automatically. Conversely, making rice on a stove requires consistent attention. Leaving rice in a pot for too long after it's finished cooking will cause it to burn and can even lead to kitchen fires. 

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