There are many different ways to cook rice. You can cook rice on a stove, in the oven, or in the microwave. Every method creates a different texture and taste.
If you are hoping to make shiny, appealing rice with flexible and elastic texture and taste, other than paying a lot more for high-quality rice, your best choice can be a rice cooker.
A good-quality rice cooker has a variety of practical functions. A rice cooker not only saves you time and energy but can also produce delicious tasting rice. Rice cookers are also convenient to use.
Today we will introduce some of the best-selling multi-function rice cookers in North America, which will help you make a satisfactory choice.
The Top Brands Of Rice Cookers
The top-selling rice cooker brands in North America mainly include:
1. Instant Pot
Instant Pot was originally a Canadian brand, but was acquired by the United States and quickly became very popular.
It has five versions, including LUX, DUO, DUO PLUS, SMART and ULTRA.
These smart rice cookers have a variety of cooking appliance functions. They are truly one-pot multi-purpose, acting as pressure cookers, rice cookers, slow cookers, yogurt machines, and steamers.
Zojirushi is a Japanese brand. It is well-known for manufacturing traditional and smart rice cookers. Whether it is quality, durability, or customer service, they are favored by many people. However, the price is usually on the higher side.
If your budget is not too tight, Zojirushi products are a very trustworthy investment.
Aroma is another very popular and trustworthy local American brand.
It mainly produces standard rice cookers that are known to be sturdy, durable, powerful, and affordable.
Its programmable multi-purpose pot is also very popular. Although it does not have as many functions as Zojirushi, it is also capable of various cooking tasks.
The Tiger brand, which is also made in Japan, is also a very popular model of the rice cooker.
Tiger started out as a sealing technology, famous for food “taste”. The rice “pressure-regulating and stretching” function is remarkable. It is said to be able to pull out the best sweetness of rice.
How To Choose A Rice Cooker
If you want to buy a good rice cooker, you can’t just look at the price. In addition to the reliability of the brand, you also need to consider some important functions that the rice cooker should have.
1. Is the capacity sufficient?
Before you buy, one question to consider is: how big a pot do you need?
According to the raw rice capacity, the common rice cookers’ specifications in the United States are mainly 4 cup, 5.5 cup, 6 cup, 8 cup, and more.
- A 4 cup rice cooker is suitable for families of two to three people.
- A 5-6 cup rice cooker is the choice of most people and can meet the needs of a family of four.
- Large-capacity rice cookers of 8 cup and above are more suitable for large families, restaurants, and canteens.
2. The heat preservation function:
This is a very important and practical function. Even if you do not plan to start your meal immediately, this function can ensure that the food stays hot and fresh for a long time after it is cooked.
3. Does it have multi-function?
A good rice cooker is not only for rice making, but also for other foods such as vegetables, fish and meat.
These functions can save you a lot of time, space, and energy. If you have a rice cooker with a steamer, you can also steam other foods while cooking.
4. The inner pot of the rice cooker:
The inner pot is the part directly in contact with the rice, and its quality directly affects the taste of the rice.
An ideal rice cooker inner pot should have the following features:
- Even and fast heat conduction, wear-resistance, non-sticky, easy to clean, and the inner coating material should be safe and non-toxic.
5. Other factors that need to be considered:
The shape, color, power consumption, and other factors of the rice cooker are also key factors that determine whether you buy it or not.
Some rice cookers also have a delayed cooking function, which may be useful for people who don’t have a lot of time to cook.
For example, you can set the cooking time before going to work in the morning and the meal will be ready after you get off work.
More high-end models usually have smart controls, which allows you to be able to monitor the cooking progress through an app.
These are good additional functions, but they are not completely necessary. You can choose according to your own personal preference.
The Best Rice Cookers On The Market
According to their different characteristics, we have screened out the 5 most popular multi-function rice cookers on the market.
1.Instant Pot Duo Mini Rice Cooker — Has the most functions
2.Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD — Cost-effective
3.Zojirushi NS-TSC — Robust and durable
4.Zojirushi NS-ZCC10— Perfect cooking
5.Tiger JNP — Easiest to use
Below is a comparison table of these rice cookers:
|1||Instant Pot||stainless steel||6-cup|
|3||Zojirushi NS-TSC||stainless steel||5.5-cup|
|4||Zojirushi NS-ZCC10||stainless steel||5.5-cup|
1. Instant Pot Duo Mini Rice Cooker — Has the most functions
If you want to choose a practical, cheap and easy-to-use rice cooker, then you should choose the Instant Pot Duo series.
This rice cooker uses the latest third-generation microprocessor technology. This cooker can easily adjust the temperature and pressure, while using the internal control system to adjust the heat, thereby improving the quality and taste of food.
It has three main capacities, including 3 Quart, 6 Quart, and 8 Quart. You can select one according to your needs:
- 3 Quart for a family with four people
- 6 Quart is suitable for a family with 5 to 6 people
- 8 Quart for a larger family
Its biggest feature is the multi-purpose ability it provides, all in one pot. You can replace 7 different kinds of kitchen appliances with it. The features include a rice cooker, pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, frying pan, yogurt machine and heater.
Its intelligence is reflected in 11 built-in programs. The most common uses are cooking rice, porridge, soup, stew, frying, steaming, yogurt, slow cooking, heating and keeping food warm.
This Instant Pot rice cooker is very easy to use. You simply put the ingredients in, press the button and wait to eat. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it is a lazy version of cooking in the kitchen.
- One-pot with multi-purpose and multi-functional use. Can replace many different kitchen appliances which saves a lot of space.
- There is no need to defrost frozen food in advance. Food can be defrosted and cooked in one go, saving you a lot of time.
- The bottom of the inner pot is thicker, resulting in your food being heated more evenly.
- With 10 kinds of safety prevention, it is easy and safe to use.
- The cooking speed is increased by 2-3 times. This can save you time and energy, while retaining more food nutrition.
- The inner pot is made of stainless steel, with no chemical coating. It is durable and easy to clean and there is no need to worry about the coating peeling off.
There are no major problems, but here are a few complaints from customer feedback:
- Some customers feel that the buzzer after cooking is not loud enough.
- Some people also reported that the silicone sealing ring in the lid is not easy to remove and clean.
- For people who only need a simple rice cooker, this multifunctional cooker is a bit too complicated.
- The power cord is relatively short.
2. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD — Cost-effective
Aroma Housewares rice cooker is the most popular one among American domestic brands. Although it does not have as many functions as Instant Pot, the simple functions are very practical and the price is inexpensive.
This rice cooker can cook up to 4-cups of rice (raw rice), suitable for a small family of two to three people.
The main functions include rice cooking, porridge cooking, steaming, slow stewing, frying, heat preservation and delayed cooking. These functions can meet the needs of most people.
While cooking rice, you can also use the cooker to make various steamed foods, such as steamed meat, steamed fish, steamed tofu meatballs, among others. Doesn’t this save a lot of time and space?
- Automatically optimizes the cooking temperature, increasing the flavor and taste of the food.
- Very simple to use.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Saves kitchen counter space.
- The cooking speed is fast and can save 50% of the time.
- The alarm buzzer after cooking is too loud.
- Some customers have reported that long heat preservation will make the rice hard.
- It’s best for cooking white rice, but sometimes brown rice can be undercooked.
3. Zojirushi NS-TSC — Robust and durable
This Zojirushi rice cooker looks beautiful, sturdy and durable. It also has all the preset functions you might need.
There are two options for raw rice capacity:
- 5.5 cup is suitable for a family of four, and
- 10 cup is suitable for a large family of 7 or more people.
You can cook a variety of rice, including white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, rice porridge, and others. This cooker comes with a steamer, which can be used to steam any food. The operation is also very simple. You only have to press a few buttons then just wait and eat.
The intelligent internal control system can automatically adjust according to ingredients and moisture. There are two timing options allowing you to cook according to your own preferences and schedule.
- Automatic heat preservation, extended heat preservation and reheating.
- The non-stick coating of the inner pot is healthy and non-toxic, and does not easily fall off.
- Easy to clean.
- The beep melody can be adjusted and converted.
- The power cord is built-in and retractable.
- Even heating. The cooked rice is fluffy and delicious, even brown rice is perfect.
- Rice will not be dried out and hardened after a long time of heat preservation.
- Price. It’s a little expensive, but according to most buyers, this rice cooker is worth the price.
4. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10— Perfect cooking
This rice cooker is like a white egg, stylish and cute, and can suit your needs.
The raw rice capacity is 5.5 cups, suitable for small and medium-sized families with four people.
One of the most important functions is that it is equipped with its own trademark heating technology-Neuro Fuzzy logic technology. That means this cooker is equipped with a computer chip, that can automatically adjust the temperature, resulting in perfect rice every time. Whether you cook with white or brown rice the results will be favorable with this cooker.
- Multi-menu selection, automatic heat preservation, extended heat preservation and reheating functions.
- Long-term heat preservation will not make the rice dry and hard.
- The inner pot is coated with Dupont Teflon, which is safe, non-sticky and easy to clean.
- The inner pot is spherical and heats evenly.
- With advanced Fuzzy Logic technology, the rice cooker can “think” on its own. It fine-tunes the temperature and heating time to ensure that perfect rice can be cooked every time.
- Programmable melody or beep indicator.
- The large color LCD display, which is easy to read.
- The handle can be folded down for easy carrying and storage.
- The power cord is built-in and retractable.
- Cooking time is longer.
- It’s relatively more expensive.
5. Tiger JNP — Easiest to use
Tiger brand is also a well-known brand in Japan. Its performance and quality is trustworthy.
The shape of this rice cooker is very textured. Its shell is made of hard plastic, which looks nice and has better heat insulation.
There are five choices of raw rice capacity, including 3 cup, 4 cup, 5.5 cup, 8 cup and 10 cup. Each can be purchased according to a family’s needs.
The functions are very specific, that is, only two. They are rice cooking and heat preservation. This pot is well made, simple and easy to use.
- Perfect for white rice.
- Can keep warm for up to 12 hours.
- The inner pot has a non-stick coating and is easy to clean.
- Good sealing.
- Simple and easy to use.
- The price is a little high. (However, compared to most other rice cookers, it has better durability and can last longer.)
- The function is relatively single.
- It’s not great when cooking mixed rice.
How To Make Perfect Rice In A Rice Cooker
Making rice in a rice cooker is very simple. If you want to have a perfect taste then these steps and tips may help:
1. The steps to make perfect rice:
- Use the measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker to measure the right amount of rice.
- When rinsing the rice, do not do it more than 3 times. Otherwise, a lot of the nutrients in the rice will be rinsed away. That will also reduce the rice aroma.
- Put the rice into the inner pot of the rice cooker and add cold water. Generally speaking, the amount of water is slightly more than the amount of rice. For example, 1 cup of rice requires 1.5 cups of water, or you can insert your index finger into the rice water, touching the rice with your fingertips. Just measure beyond the first joint of the index finger.
- Soak for 20-30 minutes before cooking, so that the rice can fully absorb water. This will increase the texture and fullness of the cooked rice.
- After the rice is cooked, do not open the lid right away. Wait for 10 minutes before opening. This will make the rice tastier.
- Try not to open the lid or stir the rice during the operation. The reason is that rice will lose moisture. It’s also dangerous.
- Adding a small amount of salt or cooking oil to the pot when cooking rice will make the rice soft, loose and fragrant.
- Put a few drops of vinegar in the water. The cooked rice will be shinier and smell more appealing.
- If the rice is undercooked, you can pour some rice wine into the pot and cook it until it’s fully cooked.
Thanks for reading. Now that you have a better understanding of how to choose a multi-function rice cooker, I hope the rice cooker recommendations in this article will help you find your perfect rice cooker.