Here we have test results for 14 rice cookers priced between $13 and $139.
CHOICE tests for:
- how well the rice cooker performs
- how easy it is to use
Do I need a rice cooker?
A rice cooker can make it easier to achieve perfect rice every time than preparing it on the cooktop or in the microwave, especially for large amounts of rice. You just put the right amount of rice and liquid (water or stock) into the non-stick bowl, put it onto the heating element in the cooker, close the lid, switch it on and, voilà, you end up with rice cooked to perfection.
How they work
Inside the cooker, the heating element gently heats up the contents of the bowl and gradually brings the liquid to a boil. When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, the cooker switches to a warming function, where it'll continue to cook for 10-15 minutes before it's ready to serve. You can also keep the rice warm for up to 4-5 hours.
To see how much you have to spend to get a rice cooker you can rely on, we bought 14 widely available models priced at up to $139. Some even come with steaming options and one or two are multifunction cookers.
Brands and models tested
- Breville BRC200 Set & Serve
Breville BRC460 The Rice Box
Sunbeam Rice Perfect 10 RC4750
Sunbeam Rice Perfect 5 RC2350
Sunbeam Rice Perfect Deluxe 7 RC5600
Tefal 3-in-1 Rice Cooker
How we test
CHOICE tester Fiona Mair cooks both jasmine and brown rice according the manufacturers’ instructions and assessed the quality of the cooked product. High-quality cooked rice should be firm, separate and perfectly cooked - neither crunchy in the centre nor mushy on the outside. She also checked for browning of the rice at the bottom of the bowl.
She also assessed how easy the appliances are to use, which includes assembly, cleaning, emptying and operating the controls.
For more reviews of kitchen appliances like this, visit our Kitchen section - also see our oven and cooktop reviews.