Whats The Best Small Rice Cooker?

If your household is anything like mine then you’ve probably learned to live with chaos. Kids running round, cleaning to be done, pets to look after and dont even get me started about my husband :). I’m amazed that I have any time to do anything other than work and look after my people so, naturally, I make use of every trick in the book to buy me some free time.

And, one of the best time saving devices I have is my rice cooker; it literally buys me some time while preparing tasty, nutritious food.

We all have busy schedules and demanding lifestyles and, sad to say, we often don’t have enough time to cook rice – and thats a real shame because, as I’ve mentioned many times, its very nutritious and good for you. However, its an unavoidable fact that the traditional method of boiling the rice in a pot means you often have to wait hours for a meal to be served.

And who has time for that?

Similarly, although its cheaper than it used to be it’s still not economical to eat out every day, nor is it an ideal choice for our health. There is still nothing that can replace the benefits of home-cooking, especially when it comes to both feeling healthier and saving money!

So, when you take these factors into account the humble rice cooker does seem like a good, sensible investment.

TL;DR – Heres My Best Small Rice Cooker Pick

Sale
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
  • Easy-to-use single switch control
  • See-through glass lid with stay cool knob
  • Stay cool handles for easy transport
  • Durable nonstick inner cooking pan
  • Every Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a plastic measuring cup. This cup has a capacity of 6-ounces, or about 3/4 of a U.S. measuring cup. The capacity of the rice cooker is counted in these 6-ounce cups of uncooked short grain white rice. One 6-ounce cup of raw rice makes about 2 to 3, 6-ounce cups of cooked rice

Whats The Problem With Rice Cookers?

With a rice cooker, we can cook healthy meals quickly and conveniently without worrying about spending too much time in the kitchen or being late for work (or bed!). Most rice cookers are very simple to operate these days. Thanks to advances in technology, such as fuzzy logic, you simply need to put the ingredients in, program a few simple settings and then let the device do its thing. That leaves you free to go and do something more interesting instead. Then, after a while, simply serve the food and enjoy! No hassle, no mess and no effort. Sounds great right?

But, there’s a problem!

You see, buying a bulky rice cooker, especially if you only have a small kitchen may not be the best solution to your cooking woes, especially if you live alone and don’t necessarily have to cook big meals every day. But, the great thing is that there are many good small rice cookers that are great for busy people, folks with small kitchens or simply if storage space is at a premium.

So, no matter what your needs or circumstances are, with my help you can find the right small rice cooker to suit your needs.

My Top Picks

Best Quality
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups (uncooked), Stainless Black
Most Versatile
Cuckoo CR-0655F 6 Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 11 Menu Options, Nonstick Inner Pot, Red/White
Best Value
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NG), White
Ease of Use
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups (uncooked), Stainless Black
Cuckoo CR-0655F 6 Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 11 Menu Options, Nonstick Inner Pot, Red/White
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NG), White
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
$149.95
$85.70
$19.99
$109.98
-
Best Quality
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups (uncooked), Stainless Black
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups (uncooked), Stainless Black
$149.95
-
Most Versatile
Cuckoo CR-0655F 6 Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 11 Menu Options, Nonstick Inner Pot, Red/White
Cuckoo CR-0655F 6 Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 11 Menu Options, Nonstick Inner Pot, Red/White
$85.70
Best Value
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NG), White
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NG), White
$19.99
Ease of Use
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
$109.98

So, why buy a small rice cooker?


Since rice cookers come in lots of different shapes and sizes, its all too easy to spend a lot of time deciding which one is right for you. But, in this article I am going to narrow in and only concentrate on small rice cookers. I will be explaining the advantages, the disadvantages and I will also show you which one I think you should buy. Ready to dive in? Good, lets get started.

So, what are the advantages of using a small rice cooker over a large one?

1. They Are Budget Friendly


Compared with larger rice cookers, small rice cookers are often more economical to use which is great if you are on a tight budget. But even though they are usually cheaper than their larger counterparts, you can rest assured that they can still perform the basic functions required for cooking and, in some cases, even out-preform their larger, more expensive rivals.

Most small rice cookers on my list have the same features as larger rice cookers such as cooking utensils, measuring cups, keep warm mode and more – but almost always at a much lower price than their big counterparts.

2. They Are Easy to Use


Small rice cookers may not have all the bells and whistles that are usually found in larger and heavier rice cookers but that doesn’t mean they dont, ultimately, do the same job. Most rice cookers have simple controls and one-touch settings that allow you to quickly and easily prepare perfect dishes every time. Fewer features means less confusion and on most of the models I have listed, you simple need to select the time and off you go. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

3. They Create Less Waste

Families with more than 4 or 5 people can definitely benefit from larger rice cookers like the Hamilton Beach or Zojirushi brands. But, for students living in an apartment, people who live on their own or elderly people who dont eat as much, owning large, bulky kitchen appliances probably isn’t necessary . Equally, many people just don’t want high-spec, complicated rice cookers with functions that they never fully use.

So, it makes sense that if you only prepare as much food as you need and you dont ruin it by playing about with hundreds of complicated settings then you will waste far less food.

What to look for when buying a small rice cooker


As with any consumer product, you should take your time to weigh up the pros and cons of buying a small rice cooker. However, as far as I am concerned, these are the most important features you should be looking for:

The Capacity


Normally, small rice cookers are those which have a capacity of 6 cups of uncooked rice and 3 cups of cooked rice. This amount is sufficient to feed up to 4 to 5 people. Some small rice cookers have a larger capacity, ranging from 4 cups to 6 cups. Although the cups are small, some cups can only hold up to 15 cups of uncooked rice and 3 cups of cooked rice. A student living alone and a family of four will have different needs and require different rice cooker capacities.

Therefore, you first need to understand the amount of rice produced in a single cooking cycle. A normal meal usually requires 1-2 cups of rice so, my suggestion is that you buy a smaller rice cooker that can handle up to 3 cups of cooked rice. That way you will have the capacity for most meals with a little bit spare.


Ease of Use


Since small rice cookers are meant to produce smaller amounts of rice (no kidding!) they also tend to be simpler and, most of them at least, don’t have the complex functions and cooking programs. That means, of course, that they are simple to use so are great for people who dont want loads of fuss or who even those of us who find the bewlidering array of buttons and displays on some top end cooker just too confusing.

Rice with turkey meat cooked in instant pot



Most small rice cookers can be operated with a simple switch and a rotary temperature dial, while others have a digital display and simple easy-to-use navigation.

Most models are easy to clean at they tend to be made from stainless steel and, as I have said, dont have delicate buttons or LED displays to worry about. Of course, you cant just throw them into the dishwasher so its important to get one with a removable inner pot if possible or, at the very least one made from hard wearing materials if you want easy cleaning with a long life. For more cleaning tips please take some tiem to check out my article on how to clean a rice cooker!

Versatility


Nowadays, most rice cookers are not just used for cooking rice. Most of the models on the market today can double as slow cookers, steamers and even soup cookers. The good news is that even a small rice cooker can normally be used for a range of different cooking tasks and can handle a range of different types of rice.

I would advise you to try and find one with some accessories such as the measuring cup, stirring spoon and even a separate steam basket for steaming veggies etc.

The keyword here is multifunctional – by selecting a rice cooker that is multifunctional you wil lbe able to cook a range of different dishes and grains such as quinoa, pasta and of course the different grains of rice simply by selecting the right program.

Even the most basic small rice cookers will normally feature some kind of presets for the different types of dish and its even possible to find models which have keep warm, delay timers and even induction cooking features at a relatively low price.

How to cook rice in a small rice cooker


Cooking rice with a small, convenient rice cooker on the kitchen counter top has never been easier, just follow the simple steps below:

  • Take your rice and place it in the inner pot
  • Cover the rice with water until the grains are completely submerged
  • Use your hands to gently knead the rice – please make sure the rice cooker is not switched on at this point, you don’t want to burn your hands – to clean the rice grains
  • Drain the dirty water and repeat the cleaning process until the water is no longer cloudy
  • Top up the pot with clean water to tie desired level. How much water depends on the type of rice you are cooking. For most varieties, the ratio is 1 to 1 i.e. 1 cup of water / 1 cup of rice
  • Put the pot in the induction cooker and press start
  • The cycle should end within a few minutes and you will be able to enjoy delicious and fluffy rice to your heart’s content

The Best Small Rice Cookers In more Detail

Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups (uncooked), Stainless Black
  • Multi-menu cooking functions: Special settings for white/mixed riced, sushi rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice, long grain white rice, steel cut oatmeal and quick cooking
  • Triple heater (bottom, side and lid) generate heat all around for even heating.Up to 3 cups / 0.54 liter. Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary
  • Dimensions (W x D x H):9-1/8 x 11-7/8 x 7-1/2 inches. Detachable and washable inner lid
  • Easy to store retractable cord.Interchangeable melody and beep signal
  • Removable steam vent cap allows for high-temperature cooking without messy overflows. Electrical rating : 120 Volts or 450 Watts.Micro computer automatically adjusts cooking temperature and time
Sale
Cuckoo CR-0655F 6 Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 11 Menu Options, Nonstick Inner Pot, Red/White
  • Unique 11 Menu Options: Enjoy popular menu options such as white (glutinous) rice, brown rice and porridge as well as versatile options such as steam and multi cook
  • Ideal 6 Cup Capacity: The 6-cup (12 cups cooked) rice cooker provides the perfect serving amount for small gatherings or small to medium sized families
  • Smart Micom Rice Cooker: Enjoy effortless cooking as the smart cooking algorithm is designed to automatically cook delicious rice every time!
  • Customized Rice Cooking: Whether you enjoy sticky rice, soft rice, sweet rice, or savory rice, My Mode allows you to take control of your cooking with the 16 unique rice flavor and texture options
  • Clean & Fresh: Keep your rice cooker clean and your rice tasting fresh with the removable nonstick inner pot, detachable inner lid, auto clean function, and excess water drainage dish
Aroma Housewares 6-Cup (Cooked) (3-Cup Uncooked) Pot Style Rice Cooker and Food Steamer (ARC-743-1NG), White
  • Perfectly prepares 2 to 6 cups of any variety of cooked rice
  • Steams meat and vegetables while rice cooks below
  • Simple, one-touch operation with automatic keep-warm
  • Great for soups, jambalaya, chili and so much more
  • Includes full-view tempered glass lid, steam tray, rice measuring cup and serving spatula
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)
  • Make up to 3 Cups of uncooked rice with One-step Automatic cooking and shutoff, Just press the button and ready to go,
  • See-thru glass lid for easy viewing, Non-stick coated Aluminum Pan, 310 Watts of Power Consumption
  • This model is not recommended for Brown Rice and it is recommended to clean rice before cooking in a separate pan and not in included pan
  • Accessories include: Measuring Cup and Rice Scoop, Multi-Lingual (English, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese) Operating Instruction Manual
  • Measures: 9 5/8" (W) x 7 3/4" (D) x 8 1/4" (H), 2.6 lbs, Silver
Sale
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
  • Easy-to-use single switch control
  • See-through glass lid with stay cool knob
  • Stay cool handles for easy transport
  • Durable nonstick inner cooking pan
  • Every Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a plastic measuring cup. This cup has a capacity of 6-ounces, or about 3/4 of a U.S. measuring cup. The capacity of the rice cooker is counted in these 6-ounce cups of uncooked short grain white rice. One 6-ounce cup of raw rice makes about 2 to 3, 6-ounce cups of cooked rice

Conclusion

Owning a small rice cooker makes a lot of sense for many people and, the good news is, these days even low end ones are well made, reliable and can produce great results. I’ve brought together 5 of the best small rice cookers on the market and explained which one is best for you. I hope you have found this useful and, of course, as always, I would love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Hopefully you enjoyes this no fuss recipe. If you would like to find out more great ways to use your rice cooker, I have posts covering how to cook pasta , fish or even lentils. Who knew that a rice cooker could be so versatile ?!

Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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