Rice can be the main attraction in multiple dishes for lunch and dinner. When making rice for your family and friends, at parties or simply for yourself, you’ll want to have the best stainless steel rice cooker at hand for long-lasting and durable performance. Each meal will come out healthier, tastier, and better than the last.
As the best stainless steel rice cooker for this list, the Instant Pot LUX Mini 3 Qt 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker comes out the clear winner. This rice cooker prepares your rice at restaurant quality standards. This versatile machine withholds the flavor and nutrition of your rice and more, ensuring you don’t lose any of the tasty benefits from your food.
It’s easy to use with its digital screen and touch button controls. This stylish cooker and steamer come with accessories to last, namely a non-stick inner pot, steamer tray, rice measuring cup, and a plastic spatula for your rice. This abundant deal is hard to not appreciate.
Rice cookers, when chosen skillfully, can be so much more than rice cookers. You can have multiple appliances placed into one great versatile piece. You can have a steamer and more inserted into your machine for better performance.
Most cookers nowadays are mostly, if not entirely, independent when they make your rice. This is thanks to the microprocessors you can find in the unit nowadays. These microprocessors can help keep an eye on the temperature, volume, and weight of the rice, timing of the rice, and then adjust all of these factors to get the best rice done each time.
Even as this is so, there’s more to a cooker than a pretty picture and promising technology.
Why Choose Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an attractive option for rice cookers as it is a reliable material that is safe and easy to use. It doesn’t conduct heat as quickly as other materials, and is non-reactive to acidic foods.
Overall, stainless steel is easier to clean than other materials and proves to be durable and rust-resistant in its performance. It is also chip, stain, and scratch resistant adding to its durability. The most durable stainless steel to look for is food grade 304 stainless steel.
With the right coating, stainless steel rice cookers present no risk of leaching harmful chemicals. The best models will come as dishwasher safe.
Types of Rice Cookers
- Microwave rice cookers
Microwave rice cookers are specially engineered plastic containers designed for preparing rice in the microwave. The perks of cooking rice this way is that you can get it ready in about half the time that it would otherwise take to prepare rice. This method also caters perfectly cooked rice every time as it is a foolproof technique.
Microwave rice cookers are not only restricted to preparing rice but can also be used to cooking polenta, quinoa, and couscous. Some models also feature a steamer basket that allows for steaming pasta, vegetables and other foods.
- Conventional rice cookers
These types of cookers are the most popular models. They come with the basic elements of a heat plate, cooking pot, external pot, and steam tray included. Despite the multiple components, these cookers have a simple cooking mechanism using the heat plate and timer to prepare the rice. Most contemporary models feature an automatic shut off mechanism, delay, as well as keep warm operations. You can get these models in small to large sizes.
- Micom rice cookers
This is a more technologically-advanced and somewhat pricier version of the rice cooker. It comes with a microchip which can essentially set the cooking time plus temperature with the help of thermal sensors.
Some Micom models also feature an induction heat element where the element generates a magnetic range to transmit heat. This function yields even heat inside the unit for uniform cooking all over. One step up from this technology are Micom models featuring pressurized induction heating. These cookers can increase cooking temperatures with the help of pressurized heating. This mechanism can alter the structure and texture of grains and the starch content in rice. Given this technology, such models are toward the pricier end of the range.
Cooking Components in a Rice Cooker
- Capacity determines how much rice you can cook in your utensils. You should get a model based on your family size with the 3-cup rice cooker being the smallest. This caters well to rice served for 1-3 individuals. The next size up is the 5-cup cooker which suits a family of five while the large size can cook up to 10 cups of rice per use.
- Steaming tray makes steaming jobs easier and lends versatility to your utensils. Many models have a perforated tray sitting atop the rice pan where you can steam as the rice cooks.
- Timers allow you to pre-set your rice cookers. Some models may even do so to start the cooker 23 hours in advance. This can be a handy feature on busy days when you come home to a hot, steaming rice dinner.
- Texture setting is another feature that gives you the choice to select different rice textures for your meal. You can choose from soft, regular or firm.
- The Reheat Cycle feature lets you warm the rice back to the correct temperature. If rice gets cold, simply warm it up and the Reheat Cycle will maintain it at the set temperature until you are ready to eat.
- The automatic Keep Warm function is a sensor in the cooker which can keep rice warm up for 12 hours.
- Automatic Switch Off is the feature that turns the cooker off as soon as the rice is cooked.
- Accessories to look for that should accompany your rice cooker include a measuring cup and spatula. Measuring cups are accessorized to work with the model of the cooker you choose and help you measure the correct rice to water ratio. Spatulas included with rice cookers help get out all the rice without scratching the bowl’s interior.
Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker on the market 2019
1. BLACK+DECKER RC506 6-Cup Cooked/3-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
While using the BLACK+DECKER 6-cup rice cooker, you only have to wait 20-30 minutes for your rice to be ready for dinner. The rice maintains a soft texture with all the delicious flavor kept neatly inside. With a keep-warm function, your rice can wait for when you’re ready to have dinner.
This cooker can not only cook, but steam your food as well. Steaming your food makes for a healthier option over frying or baking it to perfection. With the included steaming basket, this is possible for your cooker.
This unit has a non-stick bowl and tempered glass lid that are both dishwashers safe for an easy clean. The bowl is removable so the whole unit doesn’t have to go into the dishwasher.
Rice isn’t the only thing this unit can prepare. You can also make soups, stews, and oatmeal.
On the body of this unit are lights to indicate whether the rice is cooking or being kept warm.
Included with this purchase is a steaming basket, a measuring cup for your rice and a plastic serving spoon to prevent any scratches over the non-stick surface of the bowl. The tempered glass lid allows you to see inside of the unit to check on your rice or steamed foods. The lid is propped gently over handles for easy replacement and removal.
The handle is a cool-touch plastic that allows you to pick the lid off during any moment in the process. Finally, over the lid there’s a steam vent for a steady release of steam, keeping the temperature steady and the lid see-through.
A couple of problems can possibly happen with this unit. For one, the rice on the bottom can become crusty which is an inconvenience. Even with extra water, the rice on the bottom will still find a way to crust. With added water, this machine begins to spew water out of the steam vent which can create a sticky, smelly mess.
- Steamer as well as cooker
- Quick preparation time
- Dishwasher safe
- Rice on the bottom tends to stick
- Water can spew out from the top
2. Aroma Housewares 6-Cup Pot-Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Aroma brings forth a product for minimal daily use with a 6-cup capacity. This Aroma product is one of three listed here, and they all share some striking qualities that make them great options as appliances for your kitchen.
For starters, this is not only a cooker for rice, but a steamer as well! This cooker can make rice, soup, and jambalaya. With the steamer, you can steam your vegetables and meats together for a healthy, tasteful meal with your rice. These two functions can work at the same time to save you time. Don’t be fooled though, even while they work at the same time they withhold the performance and quality standard of restaurant-level dining.
This Aroma model is one of many in the ‘set it and forget it’ project. With this project, the machine is entirely independent after you set the one-touch operations. You can go do anything else while your competent appliance manages the rice. Once the rice is done, this machine immediately goes into a keep-warm mode so you don’t have to worry about monitoring the rice.
This rice cooker can cook any type of rice and does so perfectly so long as there are 2-6 cups of rice inside at the time. The steamer is located above the cooking chamber. This model comes with a tempered glass lid you can see right through with ease. This allows you to keep an eye on your steamed foods or rice while passing by. This lid can go over either the steam or cook chamber. While they’re both in use, the lid will be above the steam chamber.
This cooker is pot-styled for a thorough cook each time. It has a non-stick inner pot, an aluminum steam tray, a rice measuring cup, and a rice spatula.
An issue with this cooker is that it leaves quite the mess when you use it. The cooker spews out water while it’s left alone. If you leave it alone for too long, the automatic keep-warm feature can burn your rice. The water and the burning create bad messes around the kitchen and they can create a smell.
- Steamer as well as cooker
- Quality level cooking standard
- Independent machine
- Spews foul-smelling water
- Automatic keep-warm option when left on for too long can burn rice
3. Aroma Housewares 20 Cup Cooked Digital Rice Cooker
Our next Aroma product on this list, the Aroma 20 Cup Cooked Digital Rice Cooker is a great appliance for your kitchen when you have a large family waiting each day for an exceptional meal.
For starters, this has the largest volume compared to others, while still providing a promising balanced result. Rice isn’t the only thing you can prepare with this cooker. You can steam meat, veggies, cook soups, or even prepare a cake!
This two functions of steaming and cooking can work at the same time without losing any potential quality. This cooker comes with the additional options of slow cooking and STS (sauté-then-simmer) to create family favorites every time.
This cooker works best when there are 4-20 cups of rice inside to be prepared. This Aroma model is very user-friendly with a digital pad on the front with all your push-button options laid in front of you. Once the rice is finished, this appliance goes into keep-warm automatically so you don’t have to hover nearby and constantly turn the rice.
Aroma loves to provide users with accessories. With this purchase, you get an additional non-stick inner pot, rice measuring cup, and spatula.
The functions provided with this machine are automatic and listed; keep-warm, white rice, brown rice, steam, flash rice, and slow cook.
This option also comes with the 15-hour delay timer for a more flexible timetable when preparing your meal and doing other chores around or out of the house.
This model Aroma cooker has a locking lid, anti-skid pods for a sturdier grip over the surface, and a cool-touch body. This model, in particular, works best on large amounts of rice, yet still manages to be a robust, easy to store appliance.
This appliance is backed with a one-year full warranty so you can be confident in your purchase.
Issues with this cooker are that it tends to spew out water when you place a greater quantity of rice inside. This creates a mess and brings the rice too close to the metal lid which can turn the rice red. Just as well, some rice cookers under this name come with flimsy plastic bottoms which won’t sustain the heat of cooking larger rice servings.
- 20-cups of rice volume
- Multiple automatic options
- Lock-lid, anti-skid pods, and cool-touch body
- Water bubbles out when there’s too much rice
- Flimsy bottom material
4. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD
This Aroma model is wildly popular for many reasons, starting with its dual function capability. You can both steam and cook at the same time with this machine in hand for a quicker job done. While doing so, neither quality nor energy is wasted away, creating the perfect nutritious and flavor-filled meal with each use.
This cooker also privileges you with the options of slow cook and sauté-then-simmer for a greater variety of styles. This gives you a great opportunity to try out and see which style of cooking works best for you and your family for the most tasteful dinner.
This cooker can hold up to eight cups of rice to cook, working efficiently with any number between 2-8 cups.
Included with this purchase of the Aroma Cooker are a few accessories to make your job easier. All the more reason to love this cooker. Inside there is a non-stick pot and steamer tray. For accessories to use otherwise, you have a rice measuring cup and a plastic spatula to use with your cooker.
This cooker comes with pre-set automatic functions for white and brown rice as well as a keep-warm option. The controls are programmable and digital, proving them more than easy to use.
The steamer on this cooker can professionally steam meats and vegetables alike to perfect condition.
This cooker is compact, robust and skillfully designed to take up little space in storage while still requiring no assembly when you need to use it.
The Aroma 8-cup digital cooker holds a large capacity and cooks as well as steams, to perfection with each use.
A continuous and confusing complaint that loops around this product is that the cooker claims it has completed its job when all it has done is turned the water lukewarm. This is the only repeated complaint that does not, unfortunately, come with a solution. This complaint isn’t actually one in many, it’s an uncommon statement that happens very few times.
- 8-cup capacity
- Accessories provided with primary purchase
- Easy-to-use digital display and push buttons
- Steamer as well as cooker
- Mistakes lukewarm water for cooked rice on cycle
5. Instant Pot LUX Mini 3 Qt 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker (Our Top Recommended)
The Instant Pot LUx is easy to fall in love with if you want small servings for a small group of people. This appliance combines three separate appliances and puts them all into one. You can cook with your cooker as well as slow cook, steam, and warm with additional options such as sauté.
The speed of this machine is almost instant which helps when you’re running a busy schedule. The touch button control makes using this appliance easier.
This unit has the ability to delay start for up to 24 hours. It can keep your rice warm for up to 10 hours. The sauté and slow cook option have three different temperatures each to choose from.
The stainless steel used in the interior is safe of any chemicals and quality grade material. This material distributes the heat evenly along the bottom. Inside of the cooking chamber, the flavor is entrapped in the food along with the nutrients and scent.
As an independent piece, this cooker monitors and adjusts to keep a consistent temperature for your rice. It monitors time and duration, whilst even keeping in mind the volume of the food cooking. Each dish will come out as nicely as the one before.
This piece has 10 smart built-in options to make your experience with this piece more convenient and versatile. This unit is highly fool-proof ensuring you don’t mess up your dinner plans.
The complaints around this cooker aren’t based on the performance of the cooker. The cooker itself works more than adequately which is a factor that really makes it one of the best cookers to buy.
The issues arise around the life of the cooker. Sometimes, these cookers can be extremely short-lived. They either stop working entirely or malfunctions arise that stop it from working entirely. Other than this, in the time period prior to the malfunctions, the machine is a great tool that helps in preparing most dishes.
- Functions as 6 different appliances
- 10 smart built-in options
- Independent microprocessor that heavily monitors the performance of the cooker
- Short-lived lifespan
The best cooker indefinitely has to be the Instant Pot LUX Mini. This piece is the most efficient with the least inconveniences compared to the others.
This can also perform as a steamer which is a much healthier option for your meats and vegetables. This model comes with multiple automatic options partnered with an easy to navigate digital pad with push buttons. All together, they make for a highly user-friendly product.
When it comes to getting the most out of your purchase, this is the best deal. With a decent amount of space, efficient quality and a dual performance, the Instant Pot is the cooker for the win.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari food blog. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.