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Types Of Rice Cookers: A Complete User Guide

Who doesn't love rice? It goes well with any food, especially your favorite Asian dishes. It's become a staple in every household across different parts of the globe.

Types of Rice Cookers

But cooking rice is a tricky procedure other people have yet to master. Nonetheless, it's a fast and fun process everyone should try to learn.

What better way to learn how to cook rice than knowing which type of rice cooker you should use? Today, we'll help you find the most awesome rice cooker you need for your home.

What Are the Different Types of Rice Cookers?

What Are the Different Types of Rice Cookers
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

Rice cookers function the same way. You end up with a fresh bowl of steaming and soft hot rice that can get you salivating for your next meal.

Based on our first-hand experience, there's something about having perfectly cooked rice that can complete our meal.

And the best way to achieve this is to have the right rice cooker for the job. Let's go through the different types of rice cookers and find which of them is for you.

1. Basic Rice Cooker

As its name suggests, a basic rice cooker is a straightforward kitchen appliance that cooks rice. It's one of the best kitchen appliances without any thrills.

However, remember that basic rice cookers have no fancy features. If at all, it can only warm and cook rice as you expect it to. It has a reliable heating element, so you're sure it cooks rice evenly at all times.

The inner pot is commonly made of stainless steel, which makes it a highly affordable option. Indeed, you can cook high-quality rice without it getting compromised.

2. Digital Rice Cooker

Digital rice cookers are just like your basic rice cooker. The only difference is that digital rice cookers sport an easy-to-use interface thanks to their digital settings.

Drawing from our experience, setting your desired temperature and cooking time is very easy. You can set your rice cooker however you want your rice to end up.

What we love about digital rice cookers are their flexible cooking options. You can cook other foods, such as steaming vegetables or rice cakes.

3. Electric Rice Cooker

Electric rice cookers are perfect for anyone with limited home storage space. They usually come compact and cook up to two cups of rice or more.

The beauty of electric rice cookers is they're incredibly easy to operate. They're a plug-and-play appliance that can serve you delicious rice!

You can have cooked rice waiting for you when you get home. It can keep the rice warm until you've turned it off.

4. Gas Rice Cooker

Gas rice cookers are your traditional kitchen appliance. It can produce high heat results, which could be good or bad for cooking rice.

For us, gas rice cookers are perfect if you want to heat any leftover rice or cook porridge. It's also perfect for cooking white rice, but you must learn how to temper the heat.

Once you've mastered this art, you can cook great rice with your gas cooker. You can even explore other grains, like when you cook quinoa, brown rice, and white rice.

5. Induction Rice Cooker

Induction rice cookers work differently than your usual rice cooker. Instead of boiling water to cook rice, it uses a different heating element.

We're always amazed at how perfectly induction rice cookers can make rice. All the grains manage to be fully cooked and soft, despite not being boiled like the traditional process.

You don't have to worry about uncooked rice when using this appliance. Instead, you can expect warm and fluffy rice each time!

6. Multi-Functional Rice Cooker

We love multi-functional rice cookers. It makes perfectly cooked rice, and you can enjoy a wide range of functions from it.

One of the beauties of this rice cooker is exploring different cooking types, like steamed fish and vegetables. Sometimes, you can even use the rice cooker as a slow cooker.

However, multi-functional rice cookers tend to be pricier than others. But considering all the bonus features, functionalities, and other dishes you get, it's pretty worth it.

7. Smart Rice Cooker

You can find almost any "smart" appliance, including your rice cooker. We've tested different rice cookers during our time, and smart rice cookers were a lot of fun to use.

This type of rice cooker has built-in features that can adjust how your rice is cooked for the best results. You hardly have to do anything else.

Some are programmed to release excess moisture or set to an automatic keep warm setting. There are also others where you can link the rice cooker to your phone!

How Does a Rice Cooker Work?
© Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt

How Does a Rice Cooker Work?

Rice cookers are so easy to use, although there might be a learning curve for those who want to try their luck with gas cookers.

But regardless of what type of rice cooker you use, it can provide a wide range of functions, such as cooking rice and preparing food.

Through the years, we've found multi-functional rice cookers handy in the kitchen. We can cook rice, steam vegetables, or use the appliance as a slow cooker.

And the best part is that it won't compromise the quality of your rice and other foods!

Cooks Rice

At its core, a rice cooker cooks rice. You'll have the same results whether you want to end up with sushi rice or just your regular cup of rice.

But through the years, rice cookers have evolved. It has changed how people cook their rice at home.

Take the case of rice cookers which can allegedly remove starch from the rice, perfect for those on a keto diet. Some would even prefer using an aroma rice cooker over your standard one.

Prepare Other Foods

Rice cookers have evolved so much that other rice cookers let you enjoy different cooking styles. It's similar to having the best small crock pot where you can do many things.

Gone are the days when you'd be limited to making sushi rice or steamed vegetables.

Today, you can even leave your favorite foods to cook in a rice cooker with relative ease. You can also set your rice cooker to a long cook time to double it as a slow cooker.

You might even be surprised that you can sauté some vegetables in the pan. All you need is olive oil and some herbs for your base.

A rice cooker may even come with various accessories like a measuring cup and steamer basket, which can affect how you use this kitchen appliance.

How to Choose the Best Rice Cooker?

In our many years of testing and reviewing the best rice cookers, we know how challenging the job is. There are different types of rice cookers, and knowing where to begin is no easy task.

This being the case, we've devised a plan to help you find the perfect rice cooker that can get your money's worth.


Rice cookers are generally powerful, especially electric ones. At the end of the day, it depends on how much power you need and how much rice you'll cook.

An electric rice cooker is generally more powerful than a standard rice cooker. It can evenly heat your rice cooker even if you cook in large quantities.

You'd also want to ensure that the inner pan of your rice cooker is capable of high heat without ending up with burnt rice. 

Unfortunately, not all rice cookers have this feature, which could be troublesome.

Amount of Rice

A good rice cooker may vary in size, depending on how much rice you need to cook. For us, the bigger the rice cooker, the better!

If you're only cooking rice for yourself and a friend, smaller rice cookers are enough, regardless of the rice grains you're cooking. You might be surprised that even smaller rice cookers have a steam basket.

But if you're cooking up a feast and want to feed a hungry crowd, cooking in a large rice cooker would be the best. You can cook enough rice without spending too much time.

Cooking and Warming Capabilities

Most rice cookers have a cooking and warming mode. These two are the usual features of rice cookers, so you don't have to worry about doing a separate search for them.

Never underestimate the power of this simple feature. If you always want a hot steaming bowl of rice, this feature will be a lifesaver.

You can leave your rice to cook and return with a fresh rice bowl.

Ability to Cook Other Grain Types

Keep in mind that certain rice cookers work better with certain types of grains.

Take, for example, the case of white rice, which works well in just about any rice cooker. The same goes when you plan to cook brown rice, although it requires a different cooking time and procedure.

Luckily, some advanced rice cookers already have presets for different types of grains. You can ensure you get the best flavor and aroma from your rice.

What Features to Look For in the Best Rice Cooker?

If you're after value for money, we recommend looking for a rice cooker that comes with an impressive set of features. You'll get a bang for your buck and end up with delicious cooked rice all the time!

Let's go through the different features you need to look for.

Automatic Shut-Off Feature

An automatic shut-off feature is one of the simplest features you can look for in a good rice cooker. 

No matter how simple this feature is, it plays an important role in keeping things convenient in the kitchen.

As its name suggests, the rice cooker automatically shuts off once the rice cooks. It automatically sets the rice cooker to warming mode, giving you a hot and fresh cup of rice.

This is perfect for people who are always on the go without worrying about unnecessary procedures when making rice.

Dishwasher Safe

A dishwasher-safe rice cooker saves you much time after a tiring cooking day. Just remove the contents of your rice cooker with a rice paddle, and pop it inside your dishwasher!

That's one less thing you have to worry about. Just be sure to keep in mind which parts are dishwasher-safe or not.

Usually, it's the removable interior that's always dishwasher-safe. To be sure, always check the product information.

Programmable Settings

A rice cooker with pre-programmable settings? Now that sounds like a dream. You can set your rice cooker to your desired temperature and cooking time.

You can cook your rice and leave it when you're in a rush. You hardly have to do anything but set your cooker to your desired settings, regardless of using a six-cup rice cooker.

Perfecting the settings may be challenging initially, and you might not have the best-cooked rice.

But explore the different settings, and you'll find your favorite presets to cook in, in no time. You'll be able to make the most out of your six-cup rice cooker!

Removable Interior

Some rice cookers typically have an inner pan. We will discuss each type to know what works best for you.

Ceramic Pan

Ceramic pots are great heat conductors. You can expect an even distribution of heat, making sure you don't find spots of burnt or uncooked rice in your pot.

However, keep in mind that ceramic pans are heavier than your usual inner pots. They also break easily, so you won't be able to use them like you can't use a cracked crock pot.

Also, ceramic pans tend to be pricier than other pots. This being the case, others would prefer a non-stick coating pan over this one.

Non-Stick Pan

If you don't want difficulty scooping your rice out of a rice cooker, we highly recommend non-stick inner pots. This is the least of your problems, and you'll surely get every grain!

The non-stick coating on the pans generally lasts for a long time. However, they do tend to wear down. Through time, you'll notice some of the coating peeling off.

In worse cases, you might find some coats stuck to the cooked rice. Watch out for this because ingesting the coating may be hazardous.

Once you notice the coating peeling off, consider getting a new rice cooker. If not, you might find the inner pot to be replaceable.

Stainless Steel Pan

Most rice cookers come with a stainless steel insert. They're highly durable and withstand high heat well.

Unfortunately, we did notice that cooking with stainless steel pots tends to have uneven cooking. You must ensure you temper the heat properly and set the right settings.

Thankfully, stainless steel inserts are highly affordable and accessible. You can easily replace your old inserts with new ones!

Rice Cookers Types FAQs

  • After many years of reviewing different types of cookers and studying them, we always receive a lot of questions about this handy kitchen appliance.

    We finally decided to answer some of them here, information which we’re sure will help you in your quest to find a great rice cooker.

  • Are Induction Heat Rice Cookers Safe?

    Yes, induction rice cookers are very safe to use. You don’t have to worry about it exploding on you and breaking down anytime soon!

    However, just like most appliances, you have to be careful of the wiring of your rice cooker.

    Ensure to observe the proper safety procedures, like touching any exposed wires or placing the wires in water.

  • What Is the Average Price for a Rice Cooker?

    Regardless of how much you’re willing to spend, you’ll be able to find the perfect rice cooker for you. Generally, the average price of rice cookers can range between $10 to $300.

    Basic rice cookers come with an affordable price tag since they have no fancy or complicated features. This is a good pick if you’re looking for a budget option.

    Nevertheless, there are still affordable rice cooker options that already come with advanced features. At the end of the day, the price difference boils down to its build and quality.

    You might also chance upon an expensive rice cooker with an awesome set of features you wouldn’t want to miss out on.

    Whatever you end up with, just be sure you find the most awesome rice cooker for the price, given the different features it comes with, if any.

  • What Is the Lifespan of Different Rice Cookers?

    We can’t give you a specific number regarding the lifespan of rice cookers. But generally, you can expect this kitchen appliance to last up to 5 to 10 years.

    Keep in mind, however, that this range varies depending on several factors, such as the following:

    • Maintenance – keep your rice cookers clean and follow the specified cleaning instructions. This simple solution can help you keep your rice cooker longer.
    • Quality – most rice cookers come in exceptional quality. However, find a rice cooker with durable, long-lasting materials like stainless steel.
    • Storage – believe it or not, where you store your rice cooker affects its lifespan. We always recommend storing your rice cooker in a clean and spacious cabinet.
    • Usage – the more you use your rice cooker, the closer you are to needing to replace it. This shouldn’t cause you any alarm as it’s part of the daily wear-and-tear of any appliance.
  • How Does the Rice Cooker Type Affect the Rice Cooking Process?

    The type of rice cooker you use can affect your overall cooking experience. Take the case of a basic rice cooker versus a digital one.

    Basic rice cookers are pretty straightforward to use. The challenge, however, is knowing how to balance the rice and water ratio.

    Unlike digital rice cookers, for example, you can automatically set the settings how you want. You don’t have to guess anymore how to get perfectly cooked rice each time.

    That said, make sure you find the right rice cooker that will suit your kitchen demands. This can make your job much easier, giving you a hassle-free cooking experience.

  • What Effect Does Rice Cooker Type Have On Taste?

    Contrary to what others think, rice cookers don’t affect the taste of your food. Your rice will taste the same regardless of the cooker you choose.

    The only reason why taste may be affected is when you don’t cook your rice properly, such as undercooking or overcooking it.

    Take the case of brown rice, for example, which requires a different cooking process and longer cook time to get its grain soft.

  • Types of Rice Cookers Conclusion
    © Homesthetics - Monica Hewitt


    Now that you know of the different types of rice cookers, what are you waiting for? It's time to cook yourself a warm bowl of rice.

    Remember, smaller rice cookers are perfect for only cooking one or two cups of rice. But to satisfy a hungry crowd, you'll need larger rice cookers.

    We hope you enjoyed this article! Let us know in the comments which type of rice cooker is your favorite and why!

    You can also check out the best broiler pan you might need in your kitchen.