How to Buy a Rice Cooker for Less

buy rice cookers for less
"Supper by Appliance" by lynn.gardner is licensed under CC

For anyone who makes rice often, or just wants to make it occasionally without hassle, a rice cooker is a very helpful appliance.

Imagine a rice cooker that you can depend on to make any kind of rice (white, brown, jasmine, more) flawlessly. A rice cooker that will turn off when the rice is done, so you don’t have to worry about burning it. A rice cooker that will keep your rice warm after it turns off, so it will be ready to serve when your are ready to eat. Question is what rice cooker is right for you?

From simple budget models to those that offer every conceivable rice-cooking option, these rice cookers are great choices:

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Buying a Rice Cooker

Types of Rice Cookers

There are three types of rice cookers ranging from your basic hassle-free gets the job done conventional model to holy cow the only thing this all-in-one rice cooking appliance doesn’t do is the laundry. Let’s briefly explore all three rice cooker types.

What are Conventional Rice Cookers?

Conventional rice cookers are so simple you only need to add your ingredients, press the button, and cook. Of course, there are conventional cookers that offer more settings, although most tend to be minimalist. Conventional rice cookers are also very affordable without being cheap. Basic models start at around $10 and range upwards to $100.

ProsAffordable. Easy to use. Quickly cooks rice.
ConsLimited features. Just cooks rice.

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What are Smart Rice Cookers?

Smart rice cookers technology to sense exactly what’s needed to cook the rice perfectly. That means it is hard for you to screw it up. As such, they cost more than other rice cookers. You can find some models under $100, but most start at over $100 and go up to into the hundreds. Smart rice cookers also come with a lot of bells and whistles that can be difficult to figure out. The final product tho is often very tasty.

ProsMakes great rice. Cooks a wide variety of rice. Keeps rice warm until served.
ConsCan be pricey. Cooks rice a little slower. It can be complicated to use.

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What is an All-In-One Rice Cooker?

Many all-in-one are a combination of rice cooker and steamer. You can also find models that act as slow cookers, crock pots and pressure cookers. With counter space, a premium i kitchens, all-in-one rice cookers with multiple uses may be a good choice for you.

ProsCook rice and variety of other foods. Replaces numerous appliances.
ConsComplicated to use. May not make rice as well as smart rice cookers

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How to Buy a Rice Cooker Tips

Here are a few key items to consider when buying a rice cooker.


Most of the rice cookers will show the number of cups you can make in the product name. You’ll find rice cooker sizes spanning from three to twenty cups. More often than not, the sizes listed aren’t the number of cooked cups of rice that is made, rather the number of uncooked ingredients you can fit in the cooker. In other words, if you buy a 6-cup rice cooker, you can expect to get two cups of uncooked rice and four cups of water into the cooker.


If you cook rice every once in a while, aren’t fancy with the rice you make, then a $12-$20 rice cooker may be all you need. If you are a rice lover, and the food is very important to you, then splurging on an expensive $100+ rice cooker is your calling. More many people a good, dependable, all-in-one rice cooker that is also a steamer and pressure cooker for around $70 is the best buy.

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The only real way to get a feel for how likely a rice cooker is to last before you buy it is to see what other customers have to say. Read the rice cookers reviews. And don’t be surprised if the basic rice cooker does the job and has rave reviews like the more expensive all-in-one rice cookers.

Ease of Use

Usually the simpler the rice cookers design, the less you have to figure out. But don’t fear the models with some bells and whistles. The how to use instructions that come with your rice cooker will help you be comfortable with cooking no-fuss rice in no time. Bonus, most rice cookers, at any price range, are a lot easier to clean than a pot on a stove.

How do rice cookers know how long to cook the rice? Turns out there is a simple, yet brilliant trick behind it, and this video about rice cookers explains it.

Whether you want fluffy long-grain or wild brown rice, from simple budget models to those that offer many rice-cooking options, there is a rice cooker that will help you make a hassle-free meal.

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