Best Rice Cookers & Food Steamers

Updated

Steaming is one of the easiest and healthier ways to make meals and with the right rice cookers food steamers, you can do this anytime you want. These small appliances are also easy to use. You can preprogram them to steam or cook rice in a matter of minutes. They are also available in a variety of sizes to suit different families. These appliances are very convenient to use as well. You just need to put in your ingredients, set the timer, and let them do the rest. Some cookers come with a few recipes that you can try out with your family.

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Our Picks

Updated
1
Aroma Rice Cooker

Aroma Rice Cooker

Rice for your favorite dishes will be ready in a snap with this portable rice maker that is available in white or stainless steel to match the rest of your kitchen décor with ease. Two sizes, 6 cups or 14 cups, makes it easy to tailor the product for your specific needs.

The inner pot’s number markings make it simple to measure out the amount of water you need. All you have to do is measure the amount of rice with the included measuring cup, plug it in, and flip the switch to cook.

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Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Electric Heating Rice Cooker

Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Electric Heating Rice Cooker

Cook your sticky rice and keep it warm with this adorable egg-shaped 6 cup rice maker. The red and white finish houses the aluminum cooking pot insert stylishly. It is portable with keep warm and nonstick features, including a locking lid.

Make your own baby food with the baby food programmable setting or your own muesli with the porridge/cereal feature. It also steams veggies and auto cleans. Most parts are dishwasher safe including the steaming tray, measuring cup, scooper, and paddle.

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3
Zojirushi 6 Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer, Stainless Brown, Made in Japan

Zojirushi 6 Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer, Stainless Brown, Made in Japan

The brushed stainless brown finish of this induction heating pressure cooker makes it stylish and functional addition to your kitchen. The programmable white rice, brown rice, and porridge settings let you set-and-forget so you can get on with the rest of your tasks while your meal cooks.

Available in 5.5 cup or 10 cup sizes, the locking lid is removable for easy serving and cleaning. It will keep your rice warm in its nonstick cooking pot. With the dedicated measuring cups, spatula, and spatula holder you have everything you need to serve your favorite cuisine.

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4
Aroma 14-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer Set

Aroma 14-Cup Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer Set

Enjoy healthier home cooking with this rice and vegetable steamer set. Cook up to 7 cups of uncooked rice this 14 cup steamer which is available in red or white and includes an auto shut off feature so your food never burns.

The durable nonstick surface is made of full grade aluminum with a non-stick coating that is PFOA free. At under 5 lbs., it is portable enough to take anywhere and uses just 500 watts to cook. The removable lid and pot make clean up easy.

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5
Classic Cuisine 6.3 Qt. Food Steamer

Classic Cuisine 6.3 Qt. Food Steamer

Watch as your fish and veggies steam to perfection in this 6.3 qt food cooker. Perfect for camping or compact kitchens, the cooking pot, inserts, and removable lid are all dishwasher safe for a quick and easy cleanup.

The plastic unit includes a cooking guide, clear water gauge, and onboard timer for a user-friendly kitchen gadget that is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

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6
Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, Beige, Made in Japan

Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, Beige, Made in Japan

This versatile electric steamer offers multiple preset programs so you can enjoy a variety of healthy dishes from fluffy rice to tender vegetables.

Available in 2 sizes, 5.5 cups, or 10 cups, the delay timer allows you to set ingredients inside to cook overnight and enjoy hot food as soon as you wake up. It also features warming and reheating functions for quick and easy midweek meals.

The plastic enclosed nonstick cooking surface and removable lid are both hand washable. The cooker includes a spatula, steaming basket, and measuring cup so you don’t have to purchase separate accessories.

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7
Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker

Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker

For perfect rice every time, choose this outstanding induction heating cooking system. The induction system heats the entire cooking surface for faster and more consistent steaming.

Available two different sizes, it is finished in gray stainless steel to match your modern kitchen appliances. The user-friendly LCD display allows you to programs including a delayed start, keep warm function, and porridge/cereal program. The auto shut off and nonstick cooking surface make for a safe and convenient appliance to take the stress out of meal preparation.

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8
Cuckoo Electronics 1.5-Quart Electric Rice Cooker

Cuckoo Electronics 1.5-Quart Electric Rice Cooker

The small profile of this sleek black rice maker is perfect for kitchen counters with limited space. The 3-language voice navigation comes with English, Korean, and Chinese instructions to ensure straightforward efficiency as you cook.

The aluminum cooking insert and removable lid are hand washable, and the unit also features a self-cleaning program for easy maintenance.

The overall weight is 18 lbs. making it very sturdy and dependable. The unit is fully programmable for a range of dishes and features a heat-resistant handle and lockable lid for enhanced safety for your family.

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9
Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker

Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker

Add to the convenience of your modern kitchen with this induction heating stainless steel pressure cooker and its nonstick inner pot.

Requiring 120 volts of electricity to cook up to 6 cups or 3.2 quarts, this portable unit weighs only 13 lbs. making it easy to store when not in use, or to take RV camping.

The programmable features include rice or bread baking and you can keep the contents warm after it shuts off automatically to serve your dishes right out of the inner pot.

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10
Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker

Cuckoo Electronics 6-Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker

This sleek red induction pressure cooker offers a faster way to prepare your favorite meals and side dishes. The nonstick, stainless steel inner pot and the removable lid make serving easy while the automatic shut off feature keeps cooking worry-free.

The 3.2-quart capacity yields up to 6 cups of food, and the programmable LCD screen offers a turbo feature to you can enjoy piping hot food in minutes.

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Best Rice Cookers & Food Steamers

Buying Guide

Rice cookers and food steamers are popular because they offer a healthy and convenient way to cook. Steam-cooking preserves the original nutrients and retains colors, fibers, and other natural elements of foods. Rice cookers and food steamers are also energy-saving since they cook fast and well with the help of multiple heat-supply knobs.

With so many benefits, there are many varieties, designs, and features of these mainstream cooking appliances available in the market. From this multitude of choices, which one is right for you? Find out in this informative article that covers the latest types and features, and why would they be your ideal choice of a rice cooker and food steamer.

For your convenience and to save time, we have divided this article into two categories - rice cookers and food steamers.

Check out any restaurant menu or home-cooked recipes, and you would come across infinite rice varieties. This is because rice blends with all types of culinary cultures, it makes a healthy diet, and it is a staple of various regional diets.

There would be very many rice cookers in the market. Don't get confused, read below to find out the types of rice cookers and their features, and make an informed decision.

Digital

It's the age of digital transformation. So, transform your rice-cooking with this type. Its main features are:

  • Multiple heat settings
  • Steams as well as boils rice
  • Soaking and cooking time options
  • Keep warm function
  • White or brown rice options
  • Auto shutdown
  • Delay timer
  • Gas or electric cooking option

Many upscale smart rice cookers also offer multiple menus - soups, cakes, porridge… you can use it for many types of cooking.

You will want a digital rice cooker if you are super-busy, yet you want precision rice-cooking. For example, you can program this cooker while going to work, so when you return home, fresh, warm, and just-rightly cooked rice would be ready. Digital cookers are also good for people who want a single appliance for multiple uses. They come at a good price, though.

Removable inner compartment

There are two main problems with conventional rice cookers. They are single-piece cookers, so their cleaning is a major bother every time you cook in them.

Additionally, you have to take great care not to wet or damage its control panel, or else it will invite major electronic repair or replacement. Worse, you may have to buy a new one if the damage is major. A rice cooker with a removable inner bowl solves these problems.

The bonus benefit is, the cooking bowl will also double up as a serving bowl. So you don't have to wash two bowls. Choose this one if you want great rice at lesser pain, and of course, lesser risk of damaging it.

Portable

  • You don't want to compromise on your love for rice while traveling?

  • You want a safe, hygienic, and easy-to-digest dish while on explorations and expeditions?

  • You want a no-fuss, single-ingredient recipe cooked within minutes while on road trips?

  • You want fresh and warm food even hours after cooking while on a picnic?

For these and many more options, a portable rick cooker is you best solution. You can get many options of functions, cooking capacity, designs, and portability, so carrying these light-weight cookers will not be a problem. Just cook your type of rice and eat, wherever you are. Rice cookers are truly anytime-anywhere solutions.

Microwave-friendly

This one is, in fact, a multi-tasking cooker. Although meant for rice-cooking, you could also utilize it for other microwave recipes. Thus, this affordable rice cooker is also cost-effective.

However, do look for these two features in the microwave-friendly rice cooker check out:

  • It must have the microwave-safety symbol. You will see three wavy lines on its body, which imply that the plastic used in the body is safe for cooking human food.

  • Ensure that the lid is very tight-fitting, almost air-tight, so that the cooking is done efficiently.

Microwave rice cookers are for you if you are looking for affordability, multi-purpose usage, and ease of cooking. Provided, the above two safeguards are present in the model.

Non-stick

There are three pain-points with ordinary rice cookers with sticky inner walls and bottom:

  • Rice is often overcooked if you are not vigilant

  • Cooked rice tends to stick on its walls and base if the cooker is not immediately washed after cooking. So annoying, isn't it?

  • You have to scrub an ordinary cooker heavily to ensure thorough hygienic cleaning

By choosing a non-stick rice cooker, you will avoid all these shortcomings. You will cook-and-clean in a breeze, and savor the perfectly cooked rice like a delicacy. You will also save on time and energy because heat transmission in these cookers is rapid.

Before you choose a non-stick rice cooker, be very sure that the non-stick coating does NOT contain perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). It is an out-of-use carcinogenic substance and should be avoided.

Also avoid cheap models, since their coating will wear off in a short time.

You can choose non-stick rice cookers if you want faster, bother-free cooking while retaining its taste and nutrition.

Dishwasher-friendly

An amazing thing about rice recipes is that they can be savored for dinner as well as breakfast. However, both dinner and breakfast times are the busiest of hours for working people. This is especially true for couples, live-in partners, and nuclear families.

The dishwasher-friendly rick cooker is designed with the convenience of these people in mind. You can put it in the dishwasher, and it will take care of the safe, hygienic cleaning of this rice cooker.

Buy one if you are a busy-body, or if you love rice but hare cleaning rice cookers. 

Induction

Domestic electrical supply has found many innovative uses, and one of them is cooking. Rather than using natural or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), you can use induction plates and stoves to cook. They get their name from the principle of induction heating, which occurs when electricity is firstly used to heat a copper coil. Its heat is then transferred to the ferromagnetic cooking top and then, to the cooking pot or cooker.

The benefits of induction rice cooker are:

  • Rapid cooking, since induction heat is intense and fast
  • Precise temperature control
  • Richer, more "fluffy" cooked rice
  • Delicious and nutritious

The induction rice cooker can be your primary rice cooker or a spare one, just in case your digital or other types of rice cooker conks off. You can even carry it with you on your road trips and use it as a plug-and-cook rice pot.

So, that's all about rice cookers. Before we go to the food steamer section, a word on rice cooker designs and varieties. Since the category is very popular, there are enough brands, designs, and varieties to confuse you. In a line, you will be spoilt for choices. However, remain focused on your preferences and requirements. Don't make an impulsive purchase. This appliance has to serve your purpose and also last long.

Food steamers are the basic variants of rice cookers. While you can cook, bake, and cake in rice cookers, you can only cook in food steamers. That said, you have the freedom of steaming rice, veggies, and even meat in them.

  • Cooks fast and easy
  • No need for physical presence
  • Retains the nutrients
  • Low-fat - It steams out the fat from meat, seafood, and other items
  • Retains moisture content, hence food is juicier and fresher
  • No oil, no calories - you don't need oil as a cooking medium
  • Preserves vitamins and minerals
  • Keeps the natural taste intact
  • Energy-efficient - cooks fast, hence uses less energy
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Electric vs. Gas

If you are looking for a food steamer, firstly decide whether you want a gas or electric variant, based on your preferred energy source. If you are buying the steamer exclusively for kitchen use, go for a gas-based model. But if you want to use it in the kitchen as well as for outdoor use such as camping and road trips, select an electric steamer.

Also, please keep in mind that energy mode is not the only smart criterion for selection between these two types. Consider the overall performance, features, maintenance and upkeep, and durability criteria before selecting between electric or gas steamer.

Now, let's check out the main types of steamers.

Pressure Steamers

These appliances work on the same principle of pressure-cooking, whereby steam trapped inside a locked cooking vessel creates high condensing temperature and pressure, and thus cooks food in the vessel.

Benefits of a pressure steamer are:

  • Cooks rapidly and without supervision
  • High pressure softens tough meats and seafood
  • Available in various capacities, so good for families and social cooking

The downside of pressure steamers is that you will know the results only after the vessel is depressurized.

Pressure steamers will suit your needs if you typically cook for a family of four or more, or if you frequently need to cook larger quantities for guests.

Pressure-free steamers

This is a counter-innovation to pressure steamers that allows you to cook at atmospheric air pressure. This appliance has two compartments - boiler and cooking zone. The boiler releases steam in the cooking zone where food to be cooked is placed in a single or multiple pots or trays. Consistent release of steam cooks the food through heat convection. Benefits of pressure-free cooking are:

  • Possible to cook single or multiple dishes in a single operation
  • No taste or flavor transfer from one food to the other
  • Hard foods made tender
  • You can open the appliance during cooking time to check progress and cooking quality
  • Domestic as well as community cooking possible, with different capacities
  • Efficient cooking through an electronic control panel
  • Programmed cooking possible

Pressure-free steamers are mostly meant for families and institutional cooking, not for singles or couples. Combine the above features and choose or don't choose this type, depending on what type of domestic setup you live in.

Also note, pressure-free steamers are less efficient at higher altitudes and lower temperatures since steam loses its "steam." You wouldn't want one if you are living in the Alps! Or, Alaska.

Pressure-free with steam circulation

This model is an improvised pressure-free steamer. It has the added feature of a fan that throws steam in the cooking zone in a regulated manner. Hence, cooking is uniform. The rest remains the same.

Important checkpoints

Before you make your final choice of food steamer, do check for these points:

  • Insulation. Your food steamer will work more efficiently and will consume less energy if the insulation is good.

  • Steamer capacity. It is very important to select the right capacity of the steamer, depending upon your food quantity requirement. Remember, like washing machines, steamers work most efficiently when fully loaded. Hence, don't purchase over-sized or under-sized steamers.

  • Water quality. Please check whether your steamer is compatible with the type of water you would be using. Some steamers work poorly with hard water.

  • Cleaning method. Your steamer will work more efficiently if it is well-maintained. So, opt for an upkeep-friendly model that requires minimum maintenance.

Rice cookers and food steamers prepare healthy food that is good in taste and nutrition and good for health. You will get less-fat, calorie-free, and oil-free food from these appliances, which tastes naturally delicious. Choose the one you need or choose both for increased versatility.