Whether you are a young family or a single student, small rice cookers are one of those kitchen appliances that you will definitely not regret buying. The main reason is that they are very affordable, but most importantly, they make life so much easier.
With a small rice cooker, you can basically have well-cooked rice every time you want. It also gives you the opportunity to explore many different types of cooking and at the same time allow you to attend to other activities while it handles all the cooking.
In light of this and in a bid to help you make the most out of your investment, I’ve prepared this comprehensive article covering the best small rice cookers you can find in the market, ranked them, and included a brief overview of what really makes each cooker stand out. If you are planning to get one of these amazing appliances, then you might want to check the list below.
Table of Contents
- List of Top 10 Best Small Rice Cookers in 2021
- #10. Tiger JNP-0720-FL Rice Cooker
- #9. Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker
- #8. Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
- #7. Oster CKSTRCMS65 Rice Cooker
- #6. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
- #5. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
- #4. Panasonic 10 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker with Fuzzy Logic
- #3. Hamilton Beach (37518) Rice Cooker
- #2. Black+Decker RC503 Rice Cooker
- #1. Aroma ARC-753SG Rice Cooker
List of Top 10 Best Small Rice Cookers in 2021
We have prepared this comprehensive article covering the best small rice cookers you can find in the market, ranked them, and included a brief overview of what really makes each cooker stand out.
#10. Tiger JNP-0720-FL Rice Cooker
Tiger is a top Japanese brand when it comes to kitchen appliances and they make some of the best rice cookers out there. This model is basically one of the largest units on our list. It’s also the only other unit here aside from the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT that’s priced above $100.
The price might seem a little bit higher but every little detail of this unit even down to the design is carefully thought out and the build quality is good. The cooker is solid and looks like it can last a decade. It does not have the fuzzy logic technology but it will not dry the rice out or leave patches of uncooked rice. It takes just the right amount of time to cook the rice to perfection.
This cooker does not overcook the rice. When it’s ready the unit switches to the keep-warm mode on its own and the mode stays on for up to 12 hours. So, you can cook your rice at lunchtime, and will still stay warm and fresh during supper.
Like I mentioned earlier, the JNP-0720-FL is one of the models on this list that offer more capacity despite being a small rice cooker. It can handle up to four cups of uncooked rice which translates to 8 cups of cooked rice. That’s enough to feed four people and that’s a big plus for a small-sized rice cooker.
As for cleaning, the assembly of the unit makes it fairly easy. The lid and inner port can easily be removed to allow all parts to be cleaned. Even the steam vent is detachable from the lid and can be taken further apart for cleaning. The steam overflow unit is as well detachable.
The fact that the power cord is retractable makes it easy to store it away when it’s not in use. On the other hand, the control panel has only one button, so operating it is a matter of pressing a button.
#9. Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker
The Zojirushi is another popular Japanese brand and among its extensive line of rice cookers, the NHS-06 model stands out as one of their most affordable options. To start off, the heating system of the cooker is pretty much straightforward. The heating plate is built in the bottom of the external vessel and heats the inner pot to cook the rice. There is a thermostat at the bottom and this is a thoughtful addition because it means you won’t end up with burned rice.
Once the rice is cooked the thermostat shuts down the heat and the cooker automatically switches to keep warm mode. Very few small-sized rice cookers feature a steamer but the NHS-06 model does and that’s an added bonus for a lot of people.
The steamer is just the right size for steaming veggies. It’s also large enough to accommodate other foodstuffs. You can stream almost anything from fruits to fish and even chicken. The control panel is as well straightforward. It’s a no-brainer cooker. It has a single switch control, everything else is done automatically. The transparent glass lid is another nice touch to the functionality of the cooker. You get to keep an eye on the rice as it is cooking.
With a capacity of three cups of uncooked rice, the NHS-06 can comfortably feed two to three people at one go. Rice doesn’t stick to the pot, it’s a nonstick surface so cleaning it won’t be too much of a hassle.
The bottom line is that the NHS-06 is a strong and durable cooker, one that you can certainly rely on to produce nicely cooked rice every time. It might be a bit messy but does get the job done plus it comes with a detachable power cord.
#8. Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
The Panasonic 5-cup is the smallest cooker on our list. However, despite its compact size, this Panasonic cooker is more than capable of delivering evenly cooked rice. Like the CKSTRCMS65 above, this cooker has impressive heating technology. The heating pad sits just below the cooking pan which is made of aluminum.
The choice of aluminum is quite thoughtful because it heats up faster than most other metals and has less thermal waste. The heat is fairly distributed throughout the pan allowing the rice to cook evenly. Aside from the heating system, the automation function is another thing I liked about this cooker as it works almost precisely. It seems to allow the rice to cook for just the right amount of time before automatically shutting off and the end results are excellent.
Operating the cooker won’t pose any challenge. It has a simple design with only one-switch for turning it on once everything is set and you are ready to cook. While your rice is cooking you can easily view and monitor its status through the lid as it’s made of see-through tempered glass. Cleaning this cooker won’t be a problem either. The parts easily come off and the inner pan has a nonstick coating. You get to remove the food easily from the pan and clean it plus the lid is glass so cleaning it is equally easy.
Overall, the Panasonic SR-3NA is well made and looks durable despite its inexpensive price. It may not have complex functionalities but it does an impressive job when it comes to preparing small amounts of perfectly cooked rice.
#7. Oster CKSTRCMS65 Rice Cooker
The Oster CKSTRCMS65 is the only rice cooker on our list that actually looks very similar to a regular pot. However, what sets it apart from the rest is not its looks but it’s the fact that it’s one of the cheapest rice cookers out there yet it’s able to deliver well-cooked rice every time.
The KSTRCMS65 uses simple heating technology with the heating pad placed at the bottom. Once the bowl with rice is inserted in the frame, heat is transferred from the heated pad to the bowl. The heat transfer is faster and evenly spreads out to other parts of the bowl. No patch of the rice is left uncooked as the aluminum bowl ensures even cooking.
Other than cooking rice, you may also use the cooker as a steamer. It has a steaming basket that comes in handy when you want to steam some vegetables and fruits while cooking the rice. This is perhaps the best part about the Oster CKSTRCMS65 rice cooker. You can steam your veggies above while the rice cooks in the pot below. The lid of the cooker is made of tempered glass, so you get to see the rice cooking should you want to monitor the process. Like the top two rice cookers below, this Oster CKSTRCMS65 is capable of keeping your food warm until you are ready to eat it.
It can handle up to 3 cups of uncooked rice which equates to 6 cups once cooked. This capacity is not enough for a large family but will surely fit a single person, couple or a small family, Cleaning is a breeze. The pot and other parts of the cooker contain nonstick coating while the lid is made of glass, so the cleaning process is quite easy.
Generally, whether it’s short grain or long grain rice, this cooker will cook it nicely. If you are on a tight budget but want a cooker with decent quality and functionality, then the Oster CKSTRCMS65 rice cooker is an option I would highly recommend.
#6. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
Although it’s a bit smaller than most other models by Zojirushi, this NS-LAC05XT cooker comes equipped with everything you will find in a high-end model. This is indeed the second best model on our list and perhaps the most well-designed cooker with its black exterior and attractive silver. If you are after quality with some little beauty in the mix, then this is your cooker.
The NS-LAC05XT is small enough to suit one person but also big enough to cater to up to three people. It takes a maximum of 3 cups of uncooked rice hence can yield around 6 cups of cooked rice with is just the right size for small families, couples, and singles. It’s small, slightly squared profile makes it ideal for small kitchens as you can easily tuck it away in a cupboard or keep it on a countertop without taking much space.
When it comes to performance, the NS-LAC05XT doesn’t disappoint. The rice comes out perfectly every time you cook it. Instead of boiling over or causing scorching, the NS-LAC05XT utilizes fuzzy logic technology which constantly adjusts the heat of the cooker based on the proportion of the ingredients inside the pot.
Even when you miscalculate the amounts of ingredients a bit, the cooker auto-adjusts itself such that the heat distribution is efficient. Thus, the quality doesn’t differ. The cooker ensures that the rice placed inside is properly presoaked and cooked.
When it comes to operating the NS-LAC05XT, you will have little to worry about. The LCD control panel is easy to read and has the option for cooking different types of rice. Once you select the appropriate settings, the cooker automatically handles everything for you. It adjusts the temperature and cooking time as needed based on what you are cooking.
As far as cleaning is concerned, the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT does not present any difficulties. All parts that need regular cleaning come out easily and the pot is a nonstick surface, so it just requires simple cleaning like using a soft sponge rag.
To sum it all, very few small rice cookers can compete with the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT. The unit is well made, easy to use, and performs effectively, yet comes at quite an affordable price. Like the Aroma ARC-753SG, the NS-LAC05XT also has an automatic keep warm feature and it equally keeps the rice warm after cooking.
#5. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker
I have always been a fan of the design spins Cuisinart always put on all their models and the CRC-400 rice cooker doesn’t disappoint. The outrageous cube shape combined with the brushed aluminum finish not only looks attractive but also somewhat stylish.
The whole unit is very sturdy. The outside part of the cooker is stainless steel as well as the steaming basket while the bowl is a nonstick aluminum. So nothing feels cheap, the cooker can certainly last for a long time. The control panel is easy to understand. It has only two options to cook and keeps warm both of which are controlled by one button.
In terms of cooking rice, the CRC-400 does what it’s supposed to; it excels at cooking white rice. Brown rice is not a problem to cook too but may need a little more water than that of white rice.
Actually what this Cuisinart cooker does well is to cook the rice very quickly. It only takes the rice around 20 minutes to get ready and it’s always cooked to adequate quality. On top of this, the unit is very versatile. The inbuilt tray or rather steaming basket is a nice addition in that you can steam veggies or other food while cooking rice at the same time.
The capacity of the CRC-400 is much more accommodating for a small-sized cooker. The pot can hold up to four cups of uncooked rice. The only issue is that filling it up to its maximum capacity can cause it to boil over, so you will have to keep it under four cups.
When you put the right amount of rice and water and the cooker doesn’t make a lot of mess, cleaning it is simple. All the essential parts that need cleaning are removable and dishwasher safe. However, when it constantly makes a mess, it can be a bit wearying.
Looking at this Cuisinart rice cooker, it’s pretty clear that the built quality is good, and in terms of cooking rice, it will deliver well-cooked rice each time as long as you balance the water to rice ratio right.
#4. Panasonic 10 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker with Fuzzy Logic
The Panasonic rice cooker is perhaps the most basic model on this list. It’s designed for nothing else but cooking rice. If you don’t want something that could make your life difficult when you want to make a nice bowl of rice then this might just be the right choice for you.
What I liked about this Panasonic model is that it’s quite similar to our number one pick, the Aroma ARC-753SG both in terms of design and performance. The only slight differences in the price and functionality.
It cooks rice evenly without being overcooked or undercooked. The inverter technology has been utilized in the heating system of the cooker. The system regulates the level of heat to attain consistent temperature through the entire cooking cycle. The rice is cooked at different heat levels consistently and the end result is evenly cooked rice.
The lid and aluminum pot can only keep the rice at the perfect temperature for around half an hour after that you will have to warm it again or eat cold rice.
The cooker has the capacity to cook up to 3.3 cups of uncooked rice. That’s enough rice to feed about 3 people which is perfect if you are single or a couple.
Cleaning it up is quick and easy. The inner pan is nonstick and comes out effortlessly making it very easy to clean. Generally, there is very little to worry about this cooker. It does its work like it’s supposed to and looks quite durable.
#3. Hamilton Beach (37518) Rice Cooker
Hamilton Beach is a well-established American home appliances brand. Amongst their list of high performance, products are the 37518 rice cooker. If you are searching for a reliable and inexpensive rice cooker with enough capacity to serve a small family at once, then this is a perfect choice.
It has the capacity to hold up to 4 cups of uncooked rice which makes it one of the largest rice cookers on our list. You can yield 8 cups of cooked rice with this unit which is enough to feed around four people.
The two in one steam basket offers great versatility. Not only can you prepare different types of rice but you can also steam a variety of other foods with this cooker without taking much time.
You can steam poultry, vegetables, and seafood using the basket while your rice or whole grains cook below. The rice rinser/basket is a wonderful addition. You can utilize it to wash grain too.
The unit will cook your rice or whole grains effectively and with very little effort on your part. There are five programmed settings and a timer. Once you select the appropriate setting based on the kind of food you are cooking, the cooker gets down to work with the timer displaying the remaining cook time.
The best thing about this unit’s programmable feature is that you can set the cooking time yourself or let the cooker do it automatically and turn itself off when done or switch to keep warm mode. These are options you are not likely to find in many models out there. The cooking pot is dishwasher-safe plus the parts can easily be removed for cleaning including the soft plastic ring that’s on the inside of the lid.
Hamilton Beach 37518 is solid and easy to use the rice cooker. It’s quite a reliable unit and very much capable of delivering well-cooked rice consistently. This is an option I would recommend if you want a small cooker but with just enough capacity to feed a small family or a group of four people.
#2. Black+Decker RC503 Rice Cooker
The Black+DeckerRC503 is another well-designed rice cooker and perhaps a perfect choice for those looking for consistent tasty rice. Despite its compact size, the RC503 is basically a standard model rice cooker designed to make cooking rice much easier. One thing to like about this unit is its simple yet classy look and you can even tell that it’s built to withstand the test of time.
The whole unit is very sturdy designed and built using stainless steel. With proper care, it can certainly serve you for many years. Like most of the other models on this list, the Black+Decker RC503 cooker has a simple interface. It has only one button that controls two options, cook and keeps warm functions. It’s just so easy to operate.
The best part about this cooker is that it doesn’t take long at all to cook the rice. There are even some models that take an hour and a half to cook three cups of uncooked rice. This one takes twenty to thirty minutes to fully cook the rice. It’s quite convenient when you want to make a quick rice meal.
The sizing of the pot is perfect if you are cooking for one or two people. It can yield a maximum of three cups of cooked rice. As far as cleanup is concerned, the cooker won’t be much trouble to wash. The bowl has a non-stick coating and it’s dishwasher-safe.
All in all, this is a solid cooker than can reliably make a decent bowl of rice as well as other things. You can warm and prepare soups, stews and even porridge with this cooker. If you are after quality and durability, then this is an option you would want to consider.
#1. Aroma ARC-753SG Rice Cooker
The Aroma ARC-753SG is a simple well-designed rice cooker that does exactly what it’s supposed to do: It strikes a good balance between price and quality. The best part about it is the simple design which is more like that of the Panasonic SR-G06FG above. For me, the purpose of any cooker is to make cooking an easy and fun experience with no complexity at all, and this model passes that test perfectly. Operating the cooker is simple and straightforward. It has a one-touch button system. You get to control everything from just a single press of a button which has two options to cook and keeps warm.
When everything is set and you select a cook, that’s it. You just sit back as the rice prepares itself and when it’s ready, the cooker auto-switches to the keep warm mode which is another plus as far as convenience is concerned. You get to keep the meal fresh and hot until serving once it’s done the cooking. The whole system is automatic, so you won’t have to keep checking the cooking. The inner pot is made of stainless steel. It’s not a non-stick surface but it’s well made such that the rice does not get stuck on the pot while cooking. So, cleaning the pot is much easier.
This unit can prepare enough rice for up to 6 people, which makes it ideal for singles or a small-scale family and the best part is that it’s compact enough to fit easily into almost any kitchen cabinet. Perhaps the only setback is that the power cord isn’t retractable but nonetheless it’s really a high-quality unit. Overall the Aroma ARC-753SG is one small cooker you can rely on when it comes to preparing rice. It’s quite solid and well made with a very simple design. This is an option I would highly recommend. You will certainly be pleased with its performance.
Each rice cooker on this list is built to great quality but two things are certain, they are inexpensive and very capable of cooking various types of rice perfectly every single time. Therefore, your taste and needs are what will dictate which unit suits you best. Our top pick is the Aroma ARC-753SG model, but the rest are equally good as they are well worth the money. It’s a matter of picking the one that’s most appealing to you.