Is rice one of your staple food or do you often crave for rice dishes? Even if you can cook perfect rice on the stove, it is a lot more convenient to cook rice in a rice cooker. Nowadays rice cooker technology is so advanced that you can have any kind of rice – brown, long grain, short grain, basmati, jasmine or plain old white rice – perfectly cooked every single time with the best small rice cooker.
I have been eating rice every day since I got my first rice cooker in college, and it is so time-saving for me so I want to share my reviews of best small rice cooker with you all so that you can find your pick. I also included a guide on how to choose a rice cooker for those who are buying a rice cooker for the first time.
5 Best Small Rice Cooker Reviews
Here are the small rice cookers from various brands! ‘Best Small rice cooker‘ might mean anything from 1 cup to 4 cup, since everyone has different definitions…Well, I just compile all here for you to choose.
1. Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom 3 Cup Rice Cooker
Zojirushi can accommodate up to 3 cups of rice, which makes it appropriate for single or small size families. A few reviewers conveyed that they like this cooker as it enables them to cook the amount of rice in accordance with their preferences. With the delicate stainless steel housing, it has a sleek outer appearance that will fit well with any kind of kitchen upholstery. It also saves the countertop space with its optimum size of 11 ½ by 9 by 7 ¼ inches as well as its built-in retractable electrical cord which is perfect for those who need best small rice cooker for small size family.
NS-LAC05 Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer offers a variety of functions such as White, Sushi, Porridge, Brown and Quick Cooking. The users have revealed that it works well with various kinds of rice. For instance, long grain brown, medium grain brown, and the like. This rice cooker is equipped with Micro-computerized Fuzzy Logic Technology, which enables even heat distribution and good control of the temperature during the rice cooking process. The assortments of reviews have shown that this rice cooker has fulfilled the users’ needs with utmost satisfactions.
A great deal of reviewers has pointed out that the Keep Warm and Timer functions are particularly useful in easing their rice cooking tasks. The Timer will start the rice cooking process automatically, while the Keep Warm feature will maintain the ideal temperature of the rice and preserve its freshness until it is ready to be served. Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker has extra-large colored LCD display for easy setting selections. It also comes with nonstick inner cooking pan and detachable inner lid that will simplify the cleaning processes. A one-year limited warranty and a wide range of rice cooking accessories are given away with the purchase of this rice cooker.
In my opinion, I think Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker is a modern, compact and handy rice cooker that suitable for small to medium size family.
2. Sanyo ECJ E35S
Sanyo ECJ E35S rice cooker comes with the thickest non-stick inner pot of all the ECJ series, as thick as 5 mm. The inner pot will not move around when you scoop the rice as it is heavier than the Zojirushi, one reviewer pointed out.
Being the advanced micro-computerized rice cooker it is, the Sanyo ECJ E35S cooks perfect rice every time. Go on and try it with all kinds of rice like sushi, basmati, jasmine, brown, brown sushi; and other stuff such as porridge, baby food, risotto, oatmeal, cut Scottish oatmeal, wheat berry pilaf, and barley soup.
Sanyo rice cookers are widely known for their ease of cleaning. Most reviewers expressed their delight in finding that cleaning the Sanyo ECJ E35S rice cooker is a breeze. The titanium non-stick coating will prevent stubborn stains.
One inconvenient thing about this rice cooker is that it doesn’t come with a place to put the rice paddle, but I’ve found that soaking the rice paddle in a mug of water beside the rice cooker is just as well and will make cleaning it easier too. The timer also shows 00:00 instead of noon, so you’d have to get used to it.
For a rice cooker with advanced logic controls and as many functions as the Zojirushi models, Sanyo ECJ E35S is more reasonably priced for best small rice cooker, so I would willingly put up with the minor inconveniences.
3. Sanyo 3.5-Cup Micro-Computerized Rice Cooker with Bread-Baking Function
I highly recommend this rice cooker for those of you who’re staying away from home sweet home, who’d enjoy a good wholesome meal but wouldn’t like to splash a lot of money over cooking appliances; the Sanyo 3.5 cup Rice Cooker with Bread Baking Function is just the thing for you.
Sanyo 3.5 cup Rice Cooker with Bread Baking Function is just what the name tells you. It cooks superb rice with fuzzy logic technology and bakes bread from dough. You can think of it as a combination of rice cooker and oven, with a small footprint of just 11 by 9 by 8 inches.
I like the idea of getting nice warm bread without getting the whole kitchen heat up as well. If you make the dough from scratch, try making it with cinnamon, currants, chocolate or coffee. Otherwise, just buy frozen bread dough or pizza dough to bake in this incredible best small rice cooker.
The titanium coated 5mm extra thick non stick inner pot is a great feature that adds quality and taste to the rice this rice cooker makes. Sanyo 3.5 cup Rice Cooker with Bread Baking Function is much more durable with this feature, and easy to clean too. Scrubbing? Never again!
The timer is another awesome thing. You don’t have to worry that the Sanyo 3.5 cup Rice Cooker with Bread Baking Function cooks rice over a longer time than using the stove. Just prepare your dinner before you go out and set the timer to have the rice ready by the time you come home. There is even a pre-soak option for better tasting rice. The keep warm function and reheat function will serve you well if you come home late.
This little rice cooker cooks only 3.5 cups so it might be suitable for one to three persons depending on your appetite. Sanyo 3-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker With Bread Baking Function does not come with steamer tray, so if you prefer steamed dishes over warm bread, get the Sanyo ECJ-E35S instead.
4. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Small Rice Cooker
The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is a 5 1/2-cup rice cooker and warmer that uses Micro Computerized Fuzzy Logic Technology. This technology makes the appliance intuitively adjust cooking temperature and time based on the type or rice you are cooking. Unlike traditional rice cookers that basically turn on and off, the NS-TSC10 comes with multiple cooking functions that will allow you to cook grains in different ways.
The unit comes with a steaming basket so you can steam vegetables, dumplings and fish. You can also bake cake in the same cooker using the cake menu settings. It’s a plus that the coated stainless steel exterior and detachable inner lid are easy to clean.
In an effort to provide you with a fair review, I did a research about the product’s advantages as well as some nagging concerns brought up by real users. Weigh the pros and cons so you can decide if the NS-TSC10 is worth buying. I also suggest reading other rice cooker reviews so you’ll have more options.
Overall, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is a great rice cooker that is load with advance features you cannot find in conventional rice cookers. It’s a little pricey but the fact that most users were happy to spend that amount of money on a rice cooker makes it easy for me to recommend it to others.
5. Panasonic SR-G06G Rice Cooker Review
Don’t you just love Panasonic product, this Panasonic SR-G06FG rice cooker is one simple basic rice cooker that cook rice quickly and do a good job with standard white and brown rice.
This model is design for single and couple who don’t eat rice daily but need to cook rice fast and nicely when needed. And best of all, it’s very cheap! Just perfect rice cooker for student, couple and newlyweds. This is definitely the best basic rice cooker for it’s class.
This rice cooker remind me of my first rice cooker when I’m still a college student and have to share food sometime with my doom roommate, even though this Panasonic rice cooker really look much better then my old china make no-brand rice cooker, but it’s still fit my low budget.
Anyway, if you have tight budget and need to serve 2-3 people in cooking, get this Panasonic SR-G06G rice cooker model at the best price in Amazon .
How To Choose The Best Small Rice Cooker
You need to ascertain 2 things when choosing a rice cooker :
- Type of Rice Cooker
Always buy a rice cooker that fits your household size unless you have a known number of regular guests who will eat with you. This is because a rice cooker works best if you fill the pot halfway. If it’s too small you will get messy boiling starch around the rim and even boil-overs for some types of rice cookers. If it’s too big unless it’s a nonstick fuzzy logic rice cooker you will get all your rice stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Check out my size guide below. Rice cookers are available in many sizes in between 3 to 10 cups, and are usually labeled according to uncooked cups of rice but may sometimes be labeled according to cooked cups of rice. Remember that rice expands to double the size when it is cooked, so a 5-cup (uncooked) rice cooker is twice the size of a 5-cup (cooked) rice cooker.
One person eats about 1/2 to 1 cup of uncooked rice (1 to 2 cups of cooked rice) per meal, so if you are cooking rice for one meal and:
- 1 – 2 persons, you need a 3-cup rice cooker
- 3 – 4 persons, you need a 4-cup to 6-cup rice cooker
- 5 – 6 persons, you need a 7-cup to 8-cup rice cooker
- 7 – 8 persons, you need a 10-cup rice cooker
- more than 8 persons, you need a 16-cup rice cooker
Type Of Rice Cooker
There are two main types of rice cooker – on/off rice cooker and fuzzy logic rice cooker.
- On/Off Rice Cooker
This is the simplest electric rice cooker with only one button or switch. Just press down the switch to start cooking and it will turn to keep warm mode when the rice is cooked. This is the least expensive type of rice cooker that can be found, sometimes as low as $20. It doesn’t have advanced technology so you will need to measure rice and water correctly to cook good and tasty rice. This type of rice cooker can be used to steam food with an included steamer but doesn’t have other functions. Pick this type if you will mainly use the rice cooker to cook white or brown rice, and steam food like veggies and fish.
- Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
A fuzzy logic rice cooker is one that always cook fluffy and soft rice even if you haven’t got the measurements exactly right. This is also the rice cooker for you if you want extra functions like steaming and cooking soup, porridge, brown or mixed rice. The even more advanced type of fuzzy logic rice cooker may have a timer, induction heating, rice texture setting and cake making. Pick this type if you want to use the rice cooker for cooking many types of rice and need more cooking functions, or if you need a timer to preset your cooking time.
Rice Cooker Qualities
There is no such thing as the single best rice cooker for everyone, but all of us want a rice cooker that has a few similar qualities, and they are:
- Cooks delicious rice with the least effort
- Easy to keep clean (non stick pot is the easiest, also check for removable or easy-to-clean lids)
- Safe to use (get a stainless steel pot if you think non stick is hazardous but be prepared to lose some rice to the bottom of the pot)
Top Rice Cooker Brands
Here are my rice cooker reviews according to brands:
- Aroma Rice Cooker
- Black & Decker Rice Cooker
- Cuisinart Rice Cooker
- Panasonic Rice Cooker
- Rival Rice Cooker
- Sanyo Rice Cooker
- Zojirushi Rice Cooker