If you have lived your whole life without experiencing the joys of a stainless steel rice cooker, now is the time to give it a try. Purpose-built to cook rice, the best stainless steel rice cooker will create perfect, fluffy rice every time.
If you do not have space for a uni-tasking appliance in your kitchen, the Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Rice Cooker is an excellent choice. This rice cooker also performs six other functions and is easy to care for.
What to know before you buy a stainless steel rice cooker
Rice cookers can be found in many finishes, but stainless steel rice cookers are a classic, modern-looking appliance. However, the outside appearance is just the first factor to consider when choosing the best stainless steel rice cooker for you.
How many cups of rice will your family eat? This is the first question you need to ask yourself when choosing a stainless steel rice cooker. Some mini rice cookers will produce just one or two cups of rice, but the largest capacity cookers can feed six or more people at a time.
Single function vs. multi-use
The benefit of a single-function rice cooker is that it is built specifically to produce perfect rice. The specialization of this appliance means that it does its job very well.
However, if you lack storage or counter space, having an appliance that only performs one function is not an option. A multi-use rice cooker not only cooks rice but might also function as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a yogurt cooker and more. This type of multi-use appliance is typically more expensive than a dedicated rice cooker, but they are more flexible in what they can do.
Inner pot material
Stainless steel is the best material for the inner pot, and it is what gives stainless steel rice cookers the perfect rice every time. Additionally, stainless steel is highly durable and easy to clean.
Some rice cookers may use aluminum inner pots. Although this material is lighter and cheaper, it is more prone to dents and scratches, and it just doesn’t last as long as stainless steel.
Stainless steel rice cooker features
When you don't want to think too hard about how long to cook the rice, look for a stainless steel rice cooker that is programmable. This might include programmable texture settings, plus programs for different types of rice (such as brown rice, sushi rice or white rice).
A delayed-start button allows you to load up your rice cooker in the morning and come home to fresh rice for dinner. Check to see how long of a delayed start you can have, as some rice cookers can only delay the start for four hours.
The keep-warm feature is a lifesaver when dinner prep is interrupted and the rice is ready before the rest of the meal. Keep in mind, though, that even the keep-warm function will continue to cook the rice and may dry it out.
Removable inner pot
The inner pot of any stainless steel rice cooker that you choose should be removable. This allows for easy cleanup and is crucial, especially if rice becomes stuck on and the pot needs to be soaked.
The included accessories with your stainless steel rice pot should include a rice spoon and measuring cup. Some stainless steel rice pots will even include recipes for your rice.
Stainless steel rice cooker cost
The price range of a stainless steel rice cooker is wide and depends on what features you select. You can get a high-quality rice cooker from $40 to well over $200.
Stainless steel rice cooker FAQ
How do you make perfect rice in a rice cooker?
A. The best way to ensure perfect rice in your rice cooker is to carefully read the instruction manual before you cook your first batch. This will give you machine-specific tips for success.
In general, try the following tips for perfect rice:
- Use slightly more water when cooking brown rice.
- Do not fill your rice cooker above the maximum fill line.
- Add a pinch of salt in the water for better flavor.
- When your rice is finished cooking, let it sit for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
How do you care for a rice cooker?
A. Again, consult your user's guide for specific care instructions. Most inner pots of stainless steel rice cookers are removable and can be washed in the dishwasher. To prolong the life of your rice cooker, hand-wash the inner pot and any utensils that come with the rice cooker.
Which stainless steel rice cooker should I get?
Best of the best stainless steel rice cooker
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Rice Cooker: available at Amazon
Our take: This instant pot not only makes flawless, fluffy rice, but it also has a variety of other versatile functions in the kitchen.
What we like: It's a durable kitchen appliance with a variety of functions.The dedicated rice button eliminates the guesswork and cooks short and long grain and wild rice perfectly. It cooks up to eight servings of rice.
What we dislike: The Instant Pot does take some getting used to, and you'll need to read the instructions for operation carefully.
Best bang for your buck stainless steel rice cooker
Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker: available at Amazon
Our take: This is a budget-friendly alternative to an Instant Pot that still has a range of impressive features.
What we like: This stainless steel rice cooker makes up to 20 cups of rice at a time. It can also pressure cook and perform other functions, which makes it more useful in the kitchen. It comes with a measuring cup and rice spatula. Program this stainless steel cooker ahead of time for easy meal prep.
What we dislike: Rice tends to dry out if left in this cooker for too long.
Honorable mention stainless steel rice cooker
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker and Food Steamer: available at Amazon
Our take: This stainless steel rice cooker makes dinner easy with an added steamer basket included.
What we like: Cook up to 14 cups of rice with pre-programmed settings that can even cook beans and other grains. The included steamer basket is great for both rinsing rice and steaming vegetables. Use the delay-start option for planning ahead.
What we dislike: This model takes longer to cook and releases quite a bit of steam as it does. Set a kitchen towel underneath the rice cooker for easier cleanup.
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Suzannah Kolbeck is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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