Rice is the number one food in all cultures of the world. This simple, yet so versatile ingredient of many delicious meals is sometimes just an additional dish but it can be the main dish as well if prepared properly. However, preparing soft, but not sticky or mash-like rice is not easy at all. The result depends on the amount of water and a precise cooking time.
This is why you need the help of a high-quality rice cooker to get the things done, especially with the busy and tight schedule none of us can escape. A modern, simple, small, but convenient rice cooker is the one and the only appliance you need in your kitchen if you want to prepare different types of rice meals.
Our unbiased overview of the best small rice cooker models
Many people think that getting a rice cooker is an overrated investment. Don’t forget that good rice cooker does a lot more than boiling and steaming rice. There are wonderful small devices which prepare the whole dishes for you! Interested? Keep on reading.
Our experts made a thorough and exciting market research and came up with an exclusive best small rice cooker buying guide. The guide covers different small models compared on the basis of available modes of preparing rice, capacity, size of the device, and warranty. To read the thorough descriptions of the rice cookers mentioned here, please visit the full product reviews.
- 1 Best Small Rice Cooker : Our Top Picks
- 1.1 Best of the best – Versatile flavor master! Zojirushi NS-ZCC105 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
- 1.2 Best for simultaneous food preparation – Rice cooker and food steamer! Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer and Slow Cooker
- 1.3 Best high-end brand – Innovative and elegant device! ZojirushiNP-NVC18 Induction Heating Pressure Rice cooker
- 1.4 Best capacity – Your super-spacious rice cooking companion! Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker
- 1.5 Best budget device – Affordable and convenient microwave rice cooker! Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
- 1.6 Best user-friendly rice cooker – Convenient and easy to use! Panasonic SR-DF 101 Rice Cooker
- 1.7 Best for simplicity – High-quality Mini Device! Hamilton Beach 37508 Rice cooker
- 2 Best Small Rice Cookers Comparison Table
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions when buying the best small rice cooker:
- 4 Maintenance guide for a small rice cooker
Best Small Rice Cooker : Our Top Picks
Best of the best – Versatile flavor master! Zojirushi NS-ZCC105 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
This beautiful rice cooker from the Japanese brand Zojirushi has shown the highest performance and excellent cooking ability. It is a fully computerized, small rice cooker with a warmer option. Its versatility and state-of-the-art features launched it to the very top of our best small rice cooker list.
- Detachable parts
- Easy to clean insides
- Clear LCD setting panels
- Foldable handle
- Easy carrying and transportation
- Neuro-Fuzzy Logic technology
- Wall mountable
- Keep warm button
- Reheating cycle option
- Delay Timer
- Retractable Cord
- Stainless-steel interior
- Comes with a spatula, holder and 2 measuring cups.
- Suitable for up to two persons only.
- Regular, quick, sushi, soft, hard, mixed, sweet, rinse-free, porridge, semi-brown, and brown cooking modes
- It is a one-liter volume device
- 5 raw rice cup capacity
- The dimension is 13 x 8.12 x10.12 inches
- 1-year limited warranty.
With the Neuro-fuzzy rice cooker, you will never experience the problem of eating mushy rice. This exceptional rice cooker automatically adjusts the cooking parameters just right to provide perfectly cooked, delicious rice, each time.
Best for simultaneous food preparation – Rice cooker and food steamer! Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer and Slow Cooker
This rice cooker is the best choice if you are looking for a device which can cook two meals simultaneously. Its innovative to cook synchronization option allows preparing a potato and vegetable meal in the slow cooker and rice at the same time! This is definitely the most energy and time-saving rice cooker on the market.
- Non-stick inner coating
- 5 cooking modes
- Easy to use
- The automatic Cooking Logic system
- Prevents mixing flavors from different meals
- Automatic keep warm feature
- Easy to clean
- Detachable inner parts
- Trusted brand
- Fluffy rice
- Can be shipped only within the USA and selected countries outside of the USA
- Doesn’t have a timer
- A rather small cup capacity.
- 5 cooking modes (slow cooking, brown rice, plain rice, synchrony, steamer)
- 5-cup capacity
- 9 x 10.6 x 8.4-inch dimensions
- 1-year limited warranty.
This mid-price range device provides an excellent value for the money. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker is an affordable, yet high-quality, a versatile product whose strongest competitive difference is the slow cooker feature.
Best high-end brand – Innovative and elegant device! ZojirushiNP-NVC18 Induction Heating Pressure Rice cooker
If you are looking for a luxurious rice cooker by a high-end brand, we recommend another model from Zojirushi. This device will prepare rice beyond your expectations. The NP-NVC18 induction heating pressure system ensures an even heat distribution and prevents heat loss. This guarantees fluffy rice, every time.
- Double cooking system
- Induction cooking option
- Pressure cooking option
- Good for all kinds of grains
- Extra settings for fluffier rice
- Good capacity
- Stainless steel inner pot
- Non-stick cooking
- Easy to clean
- Detachable lid
- Keep warm option
- Reheat option
- Made in Japan
- Steam reduction setting
- Easy to use
- LCD control panel
- Delay Timer
- Smart device.
- It is very expensive.
- 7 cooking modes
- 8-liter capacity (10 cups)
- 5 by 11.1 by 10.1 inches
- One-year limited warranty.
This product is the most expensive one reviewed in this guide, but it will guarantee delicious meals every time. It is perfect for preparing white rice, brown rice, sushi, mixed, GAB, and quick cooking modes.
Aroma rice cooker is a digital device perfect for preparing different kinds of rice dishes, as well as food steaming and slow cooking. Its universal versatility is suitable for any kitchen and family. Its strongest asset is its excellent design which allows preparing up to 20 cups of rice at once! It is important to emphasize that its dimensions do not significantly exceed those of other rice cookers shown here.
- Has a time delay of up to 15 hours
- Automatically starts the keep warm mode when the food is ready
- Good for all types of grains, stews, soups, and even beans
- Comes with accessories
- Includes measuring cups, a recipe book, a user manual, and a serving spatula
- Interior is brushed with a surgical grade 304 stainless steel finish
- The lid is BPA-free
- Easy to clean
- #1 rice cooker brand in the USA
- Specialized functions
- Comes with a steam tray
- Quick rice function
- Slow cooker feature
- Sauté feature
- Aluminum core.
- The lid is attached and not removable
- Made in China.
- 6 cooking modes
- 20 cup capacity
- The dimensions measure83 by 11.22 by 10.83 inches
- One-year warranty.
The Aroma rice cooker has a slow cooker, food steamer, keep warm, brown rice, white rice, and quick rice options. It is also good for other kinds of grains, including quinoa. This is a very simple to use, but this multifunctional rice cooker will become the irreplaceable device in your kitchen.
Best budget device – Affordable and convenient microwave rice cooker! Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
It is said that you don’t need many appliances in your kitchen if you have a microwave. Therefore, if you have or plan to buy one and you need a rice cooker, the Sistema microwave collection is your best bargain on the market. This cheap, small rice cooker will fit well into your microwave and, yet, it will accommodate the amazing 11 cups of raw rice!
- Easy to clean
- Very affordable
- Designed for microwave
- Great for polenta, rice, and couscous
- Made out of 100 percent pure, safe plastics
- Doesn’t get hot in the microwave
- Suitable for the fridge and freezer
- Steamer, rice cooker, and warmer option
- Comes with a non-stick rice spoon.
- Suitable only for the microwave.
- 5 modes
- About 2.6-liter volume, i.e. 11 cups
- The dimension is 8.5 by 7.67 by 6.33 inches
- Malfunctioning piece replacement warranty.
Sistema developed easy-to-close lock-in system with clips. Another important engineering solution is hidden on the lid. It has steam-release vents which allow steaming and heating up different kinds of food.
Best user-friendly rice cooker – Convenient and easy to use! Panasonic SR-DF 101 Rice Cooker
If portable, user-friendly, and the reliable rice cooker is your goal, then Panasonic has what you need. SR-DF 101 model provides consistent results, fluffy rice that won’t get sticky, and an enjoyable user experience. With a computer microchip fitted in, the Panasonic SR-DF 101 will conveniently cook delicious rice for your family, every time.
- Smart controls
- Easy to use buttons
- Cooks all grains, porridge, soups, oats, and steams vegetables
- Auto shut buttons
- 12-hour keep warm after cooking option
- Comes with accessories
- Comes with a detachable power cord for storage
- Non-stick interior inner surface for easy cleaning
- Micro-computer Fuzzy logic control system
- Precise cooking
- Consistent results
- Convenient cooking option icons
- Trusted brand.
- The warranty is available only for the USA
- The warranty does not cover glass and plastic parts
- Small cup capacity.
- 5 cooking modes
- Can accommodate 5 cups of raw rice
- The dimensions are 10.2 by 13.9 by 7.8 inches
- Limited warranty for the USA.
This is an excellent rice cooker that will fit into any home or dorm. It comes with the basic accessories to help you prepare amazing food, including a steaming basket, a rice paddle, and a measuring cup. It is perfect for preparing white and brown rice, porridge, soups, and steaming vegetables. It has the quick cook and keep-warm function as well.
Best for simplicity – High-quality Mini Device! Hamilton Beach 37508 Rice cooker
This is one of the best small rice cooker models on a budget that enables very simple operation and excellent versatility. Its features can actually be compared to some much bigger, well-known brand models. Let’s take a look at its pros and cons.
- Very affordable
- Comes with a steam/rinse basket
- Non-stick interior
- Easy to clean
- One-touch button operation
- Automatically switches off when the rice is done
- Excellent for different grains and soups
- Comes with a ladle and a measuring cup
- Removable cooking pot
- Elegant design
- The cooking pot is dishwasher-safe
- Steamer is dishwasher-safe
- Removable lid liner
- Good for whole grains as well
- Convenient carrying handle.
- Limited warranty available only in the US and Canada.
- 5 cooking modes
- Eight-cup capacity
- The dimensions measure 8.07 by 9.61 by 8.07 inches
- Limited warranty.
This is a small, portable, compact-size rice cooker suitable for an average home. It comes with useful accessories that can be used for cooking other dishes as well. This rice cooker can also be used to steam vegetables, fish, or seafood.
Best Small Rice Cookers Comparison Table
|BRAND||PRODUCT NAME||MODES||CAPACITY||SIZE||WARRANTY||PRICE RANGE||RATING|
|Zojirushi||Zojirushi NS-ZCC105 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker||11||5.5 cups||13 x 8.12 x10.12 inches||1-year limited warranty||$$$$$$||4.6|
|Tiger Corporation||Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W Rice Cooker||5||5.5 cups||13.9 x 10.6 x 8.4-inch||1-year limited warranty||$$$$$||4.4|
|Zojirushi||Zojirushi NP-NVC18 Induction Heating Pressure Rice cooker||7||10 cups||16.5 by 11.1 by 10.1 inches||1-year limited warranty||$$$$$$$||4.3|
|Aroma Housewares||Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker||6||20 cups||10.83 by 11.22 by 10.83 inches||1-year warranty||$$$||4.3|
|Sistema||Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker||5||11 cups||8.5 by 7.67 by 6.33 inches||Malfunctioning piece replacement warranty||$||4.1|
|Panasonic||Panasonic SR-DF 101 Rice Cooker||5||5 cups||10.2 by 13.9 by 7.8 inches||limited warranty for the USA||$$$$||4|
|Hamilton Beach||Hamilton Beach 37508 Rice cooke||5||8 cups||8.07 by 9.61 by 8.07 inches||limited warranty||$$||4|
Buying Guide for the best small Rice Cooker
The key task of a good rice cooker is providing delicious, fluffy, individually separated, flavorful short, medium or long grain rice, every time, without burning it. If you buy a good device, we definitely assure you that when you try your rice cooker for the first time, you will never go back to preparing rice by the conventional method again.
There are certainly plenty of features important for the best small rice cooker model, but our experts have identified the four crucial ones. Those include modes, capacity, size, and warranty. Making your decision based on these guidelines will definitely get you a high-quality rice cooker that will satisfy your needs.
As there are different types of rice in the market, a good rice cooker must offer several rice preparation modes. It must be suitable for the long and short grain, white and brown rice, as well as enables cooking at different temperatures and time periods. A good rice cooker should have the sensor which detects when the rice is ready and prevents creating the unpleasant rice mash.
Additionally, different modes sometimes require special accessories. A good cooker should be accompanied by a rice spoon, a steamer, and a measuring cup.
The bigger family, the bigger rice cooker. It is as simple as that. Rice cooker sizes range significantly from extra small to very large. The capacity ranges from as low as 2 cups to as much as 20 cups of rice. Don’t forget that manufacturers sometimes point out the number of uncooked rice cups in the product title, so make sure you double-check its capacity.
Mini rice cookers’ sizes also vary. They can be as small as 8.5 x 7.5. x 6.5. inches, or as large as 16 x 11 x 10 inches. Decide which size you want based on the required rice capacity and your free kitchen space.
The one-year warranty is the usual warranty type for most rice cooker models. The majority of the manufacturers provide a limited warranty. Some brands enable warranty terms only for products bought in the USA.
Frequently Asked Questions when buying the best small rice cooker:
Answer: Yes, even though these two products have some similar features, the most important difference is the fact that the rice cookers cook rice, while rice warmers heat it up or keep it warm, i.e., preserve the cooked rice to be eaten later.
As most rice cookers have the warmer option, it is smarter to buy a high-quality rice cooker and have a 2-in-1 or even 3-in-one device.
Answer: These are heated storage units designed especially for storing cooked rice before it is made into sushi. A lot of modern rice cooker models have this option.
Answer: The standard cup measurement is 250 ml.
Answer: The Fuzzy logic system is an innovative technological solution added to rice cookers that is able to detect changes in the cooking temperature and accordingly adjust it in order to ensure that your rice cooks well. Some rice cookers are equipped with this system and if your device has this feature, you can be sure that it is a high-quality one.
Answer: Aside from the fact that rice cookers save your time and energy when preparing rice, the most important reason why you should get a rice cooker is the fact that these appliances retain the nutrients and vitamins much better than other conventional cooking methods.
Furthermore, a high-quality rice cooker will provide perfectly cooked rice, each time. You will never get a rice mash or sticky rice if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Answer: No, each rice cooker offers different settings. All you have to do is choose the right setting for the type of rice grains you want to cook. Furthermore, some versatile devices provide options for different types of grains, not just rice.
Answer: Generally, no. There are excellent, small rice cookers on a budget that will perfectly satisfy your rice making needs. However, if you cook rice daily or prepare it for a large group of people every weekend, investing in a top brand rice cooker, regardless of the price, is not a bad idea.
Answer: There are many important features, such as the timer, the ease of use, the non-stick property, durability, a beeper to alert you when the rice is ready, etc. However, adjustable settings for different types of grains and meals, i.e., different cooking modes, capacity, size, and warranty are the four most important features.
Answer: Yes, you can. However, this depends on the specific model you purchased. You have to know that the rice cooker is designed to increase heat as the food cooking process goes on. Therefore, keep an eye or else other types of food might burn.
There are some special types of rice cookers with seafood steaming option, vegetable preparation feature, and even slow cooker mode. Opt for such specialized models if you want a more versatile, multifunctional device suitable for other types of food as well.
Answer: It depends on the type of grain. Also, it might vary on your cooker model. Generally, white rice will take about 15to 20 minutes. Other types may take longer.
Maintenance guide for a small rice cooker
Rice can be a chef’s nightmare as these tiny grains can be rather stubborn and “refuse” to get cooked properly. They often turn into a tasteless mash or become sticky. Sometimes, rice stays somewhat hard or cooks only partially, even under the right conditions.
This is why people choose to get a rice cooker. A high-quality device will never let you down. It will provide excellent, consistent results. However, there are some important rules for handling your rice cooker in order to prepare delicious food and prolong the life of your appliance.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
It is very important to stick to the user manual rules and guidelines even if you’ve already had a similar type of rice cooker before. Despite the fact that these kitchen appliances do look alike, each model has its own peculiarities.
Not suitable for outdoor use
All small rice cookers are designed for indoor use. They are primarily made for homes, but can also be used at work, hotels, or dormitories. Never use rice cookers outdoors.
Use your rice cooker with the original cooking accessories
As the rice cooker interior might be made from sensitive materials, make sure you always use only those cooking tools that were provided by the manufacturer.
Add enough water
Adding enough water with the help of a measuring cup is important for two reasons: meal quality and safety. If you don’t add enough water, your rice may burn. On the other hand, if you add too much water, you will get a mash. Furthermore, less water than required can damage your device.
Rinse the rice before cooking
It is very important to rinse the rice thoroughly. In this way, you remove the dirt and lower the level of starch. This prevents creating foam during the cooking process. Foam caused by lots of starch could damage your rice cooker.
Clean after each use
It is important to gently clean your device after each use. Make sure that the power cable is unplugged. Similarly, if you have more than one batch to cook, clean up after each batch to avoid burning of the next batch.
A rice cooker is an important appliance for any home. There are lots of good devices in the market today, but several models stand out. Our experts compared more than 50 different models based on modes, capacity, size, and warranty. The best of the best is the Zojirushi NS-ZCC105 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. We hope that this guide will help you choose the best small rice cooker for your kitchen and start enjoying healthy meals.