Rice is a staple food in many countries. And when we talk about rice, there are thousands of rice varieties. From long grain to short, sticky rice, there are around 40000 rice types. And if you love rice, now you can eat a different variety each day of the year. It’s time to make a place for the best small rice cooker in your kitchen.
Small rice cookers are best for household use. They are compact and perfect for single or two-person use. Also, a small inner rice cooking pot cooks the grain quicker as compared to large pots. Therefore, you’ll not have to wait longer for a fresh batch of cooked grain with the best electric rice cooker.
One of the biggest advantages of a rice cooker is the perfect cooking of grains. Here, you do not need to stand in front of gas as long as the rice cooks. You can simply set the electric cooker and do the rest of your chores only to come back and see a pot full of fluffy rice. This and many other benefits of rice cookers make them a must-have kitchen appliance.
Best Compact and Small Rice Cookers
If you haven’t used one such appliance before and are still feeling skeptical about buying one then you’ve come to the right page. Below listed are the best small rice cookers to buy followed by a buyer’s guide that will help you understand the different functions of the electric appliance better. Also, you will get to know the right size rice cooker for you and much more. So let us begin with reviews and help you cook soft, fluffy rice at home easily.
1) Aroma Housewares Mi 3-Cup Digital Cool Touch Mini Rice Cooker, White
Practical design and ease of use make Aroma Housewares 3-cup rice cooker among the best sellers on Amazon. The plain white exterior of the product might not be your first choice but its features are worth investing in. After all, you’re paying to cook your rice good and which Aroma Housewares MRC-903D does wonderfully.
The front panel of Aroma Mi 3-cup small rice cooker comprises 3 simple buttons. These buttons are warm, brown rice, and white rice. So all you need to do is toss 1.5 cups of uncooked rice into the chamber, close the lid and push the levers down. Then select the right cooking mode and let the mini automatic rice cooker cook fluffy grains for you.
The best thing about Aroma rice cooker is it switches to keep warm mode as soon as the cooking cycle finishes. This keeps the food at optimal serving temperature for up to 12 hours. Therefore, you can program the appliance before you leave for work to enjoy a warm, fluffy meal when you come back.
2) Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot
Living alone in a dorm or apartment doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy a warm meal. All you need is a good little appliance like a Dash rice cooker steamer that is both compact and versatile. This personal rice cooker is straightforwards to use as it comprises of only a single lever. All you need to do is, fill the pot with the right amount of grain, add water, and press the lever down.
Once the cooking cycle is over, it automatically turns to keep warm mode. This function helps to keep the grains warm without overcooking or drying them. However, there are a few complaints of buyers about the high temperature of keep warm mode hardening the grain on the bottom surface. So it is better not to keep the keep warm mode of this mini cooker on for more than 30 minutes.
Apart from rice, you can use this personal rice cooker to make soups, stews, grains, and even mac&cheese. Sound strange but it’s true. Thanks to its PFOA-free nonstick coated cooking pot that prevents sticking of food. Also, you can pop the pot, lid, and accessories into the dishwasher for effortless cleaning. But it is better to at least hand wash the pot for longer life of nonstick.
3) Black+Decker Uncooked Rice Cooker, 3-cup, White
Small families do not require large bulky units that take forever to cook a small portion of food. And if you’re a family of 3 then Black+Decker’s electric rice cooker is simply perfect. This compact yet powerful appliance is ideal for cooking up to 3 cups of rice in one go. Also, you can use the same pot to cook 1 cup of rice just for yourself.
Clear and bold markings on the cooking pot ease adding water. Once the water is added, measure the right amount of rice grain in the included measuring cup. A general thumb rule is to fill the pot with 2 cups of water for cooking 1 cup of rice but check the recipe book(included) for more details. It will help get perfect fluff on each grain every time.
Speaking of the recipe book, Black+Decker small rice cooker contains more than cooking simple rice in the booklet. You can find easy-to-make, mouthwatering recipes for Japanese cheesecake, soups, stews, etc. In short, this one-pot can replace many cooking utensils from your kitchen. And the best part is easy cleaning. Simply throw the basket and lid into the dishwasher to clean while you enjoy a freshly-made warm meal.
4) IMUSA USA GAU-00011 Electric Nonstick Rice Cooker 3-Cup
Make delicious rice in minutes with Imusa USA electric nonstick rice cooker. This little yet powerful unit is energy-efficient which makes to take while camping, hiking, or RV use. The compact footprint takes hardly any countertop space. The small size also eases transportation and storage of the appliance. Besides, it hardly weighs 3 pounds, making it convenient to pack in your hiking or trekking bag.
If you’re new to using such an appliance, then a transparent lid could be a great help. And one such design of Imusa USA 3-cup mini rice cooker is perfect for beginners. A see-through lid lets you monitor the cooking process closely. Also, you can easily check whether the rice inside is done or not simply by having a peep.
Just like a majority of mini electric rice cookers, Imusa USA also features a one-touch cooking operation. The front panel comprises a single lever that switches from ‘cook’ to ‘keep warm’. There are no other switches, meaning, you have to set the unit either to cook cycle or keep warm mode after plugging.
5) Aroma Housewares 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Grain Cooker
Be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, now you can make fresh, warm meals at home easily with Aroma digital rice grain cooker and steamer. In fact, plan your meal in advance with Aroma’s 15-hour delay timer. Program the timer while you leave for work and enjoy hot soup or lazy risotto when you come back home. This single feature makes the appliance perfect for working parents and individuals who feel lazy to cook after work.
Instead of a single lever or an on/off button, you get multiple cooking options. These one-touch buttons include white rice, brown rice, keep warm, steam, delay timer, flash rice, and on/off. It is a kind of electric instant pot with more rice cooking settings. Besides, its impressive capacity yields from 2-cup to 8 cups of cooked rice in one go. So from personal use to cooking a healthy one-pot meal for the family, this appliance is simply perfect.
The upgraded cooking pot is strong and reliable than nonstick and stainless steel inner pots. It is made with 8x bonded granite nonstick which is far more durable than ceramic and other traditional pots. Also, the material is completely safe to cook food and toxic-free. Besides, you can worry-free toss it inside the dishwasher for mess-free cleanup.
6) Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Small Rice Cooker
Japan was the inventor of the rice cooker. And if you take your rice meal seriously then what could be better than owning a small Japanese rice cooker made in Japan? The Zojirushi NHS-06 is perfect for cooking the fluffiest grains every time. Thanks to its innovative technology combined with thoughtful design, making rice at home is a breeze with Zojirushi rice cooker.
There are no tricky settings or buttons to set. In fact, there is only a single switch control which is all you need for cooking rice. Just add rice, fill the water, and press the lever down. Let the machine prepare rice meal for while you finish up making the rest recipe. However, on the downside, the smallest Zojirushi rice cooker(3-cup) does not feature keep warm setting. There is only a cooking function.
Monitor the doneness of your grains through its see-through glass lid. The tempered glass lid with a centrally placed knob on the top is made with stay-cool material. Therefore, allowing you to lift and serve hot food without any burns. Speaking of serving, this small Japanese rice cooker also comes with a rice paddle that eases serving as well as protects the inner nonstick cavity.
7) Hamilton Beach Mini Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
Making rice at home is now a breeze with Hamilton Beach mini rice cooker and food steamer. This 2-in-1 unit is perfect for personal and small family use. It might not be the best-looking product in the market but it is definitely worth buying, especially if you love rice.
Simple and straightforward controls of Hamilton Beach rice cooker are perfect for bachelors. You only need to add the right amount of grains and water, close the lid, and press the lever down. It will take the machine 10-15 minutes to make a fresh batch of fluffy rice. To prevent the chances of undercooking or overcooking the rice, Hamilton Beach 37508 comes with a measuring cup and rice paddle. Use these accessories to make each grain perfect every time.
Unlike other leading rice cooker brands, Hamilton Beach comes with a rinser/steam basket. Rinsing rice before adding them to the inner pot reduces the chances of an overflow. And if not to rinse grains, you can use the basket to steam vegetables. The seamless fit of the basket ensures proper steaming of vegetables, eggs, shrimps, etc, every time.
8) Zojirushi NS-LHC05 Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, Stainless Dark Brown
You can’t go wrong with Zojirushi rice cookers. Zojirushi is a Japanese rice cooker brand that is serving fluffy rice to America and several other countries. Though these cookers are expensive, they are on the wishlist of many people. And if budget is not a big concern for you, go for Zojirushi Micom rice cooker and warmer.
This smart appliance features a micro computerized fuzzy logic technology that is designed to make the fluffiest grain. No matter whether you add white Jasmine or brown rice, you’ll get the desired results every time. Speaking of different types of rice, Zojirushi NS-LHC05 offers multiple cooking functions with special settings for GABA brown rice, jasmine white rice, and porridge and quick cooking.
Also, there are individual water level markings for sushi, brown, and white rice that help achieve perfect results. These high contrast markings ease filling water level up to the mark. Also, the Zojirushi 3-cup electric rice cooker comes with a measuring cup that is slightly bigger than the American standard. For best results, fill the entire cup with grains, level it, and then add to the inner pot.
9) WHITE TIGER Portable 1.0L Mini Rice Cooker with Removable Non-stick Pot
Cook fluffiest rice without spending more bucks with White Tiger portable rice cooker. The quick cooking feature of the unit makes it worth every single penny. Unlike other cheap rice cookers, which take forever to make a single cup of rice, the case is different from this model. It only takes 15 minutes for this electric cooker to make fluffy rice.
Thanks to its high-strength heat dissipation material that passes heat evenly across the chamber. Also, the heat-proof coating prevents burns while the nonstick coating of the cooking pot ensures less sticking and burning. Do not worry about the infusion of toxic chemicals into your food as the removable pot is made from PFOA-free material.
The design of the White Tiger travel rice cooker is upgraded with a keep warm mode, plus, indicator light. This function will not overheat or overcook the food. It will keep the already cooked food at an ideal serving temperature that is ready to go from the inner pot to the dining plate. You can use the included paddle for serving hot food.
10) Amazon Basics – Mini Rice Cooker with Accessories
Easy to understand and operate, AmazonBasic has a perfect mini rice cooker to offer you. This powerful little unit comes within your budget and cooks fluffy grain each and every time. It can cook up to 4 cups of rice in one turn which is enough to feed a small family. And all it requires for the fluff is the perfect amount of water is to rice ratio. Which is easy to maintain by using the included plastic measuring cup and marking inside.
Still, left to cook the rest of the meal and the rice is already done? Do not worry as the machine will shift to keep warm mode automatically once the cycle is over. This keeps all the grains warm inside, at a perfect serving temperature without drying or browning the bottom layer. Also, the nonstick coating of the cooking pot prevents sticking of food onto the surface that later eases cleaning.
Which Small Rice Cooker Is Best For You?
It is obvious from the very beginning that you are not here for a large rice cooker. But even in smaller sizes, you get a couple of options. The most common small size is 3-cup that serves a single person perfectly or you can make a combined meal for two.
Then there are a bit larger sizes that can yield up to 6 or 8 cups of rice. These sizes are perfect for a family of 4 or 5 depending upon members consuming rice.
If you do not want your grains to overcook or undercook then it is best to go for a fuzzy logic cooker. This system is nothing but a computer chip designed to cook grains at the right temperature and adjusts time accordingly. As a result, you do not have to go through the hassle of setting time or temp. Simply press a button and let the machine cook fluffy rice for you.
Preset programs are common with digital rice cookers. And these settings are generally for cooking a different variety of grains like Jasmine white and brown rice. Here, you need to simply add the water, grains, and select the right button. The machine will automatically increase/decrease time according to the contents inside.
Cook and Warm Functions
The 2 most common functions you’ll find in an electric rice cooker are cook and warm. The cook means the start of the cooking cycle while the warm function keeps the grain at a servable temperature without overcooking or drying them. Check out these two modes as they are basic and important for such appliances.
Easy To Clean
Cleaning of rice cooker is important after every use for hygiene. And thankfully, many leading brands provide a dishwasher-safe inner pot and accessories. Even if your model is handwash only, do clean the pot and lid after every use. It hardly takes 5 minutes to get the pot, lid, and accessories clean.
What is smallest size rice cooker?
The smallest size cooker size so is 1.2 cups. Such a small capacity unit will only cook food for a single adult. The quantity might not be filling enough for healthy adults. But on the brighter side, the smallest size is highly portable and lightweight. Thus, you can carry it anywhere and make your own fresh batch of food in minutes. The 1.2 cup rice cooker is famous with parents as the size is perfect to make a fresh batch for their growing kid.
How to Cook Rice in a Small Rice Cooker
Learning how to cook rice in a small electric cooker is the easiest of all. Thanks to simple and straightforward designs of these small appliances make it extremely convenient for people to cook the grain at home. If you’re new to using the appliance then follow the below steps and your rice will come out just fluffy, the way we all love.
- Take out rice grains and measure them using the provided measuring cup for the best result.
- Now you can either pour the grains into the inner pot or rinse them. Rinsing rice before cooking is better, especially white varieties, as it removes starchy coating that can spoil the grain faster.
- Pour water into the pan. A general rule is to add twice the water to grain quantity. For example, if you added 1 cup of uncooked rice to the pot then you need to add 2 cups of water. This will give you 3 cups of cooked plain rice. Refer to the manual for better water measurements.
- Close the lid and press the cooking function.
- Wait for 15-20 minutes and you’re all good to enjoy fresh, warm, and fluffy rice.
How long does it take a small rice cooker to actually cook the rice?
The time to cook rice in an electric cooker depends upon the model. But I do need to say that it only takes a couple of minutes to fully cook the grains. Have a look at an average time below to get a better idea of size and cooking time. (The below time is for plain white rice).
- 1 Cup: 10-15 minutes
- 2 Cups: 20-25 minutes
- 3 Cups: 30-35 minutes
- 4 Cups: 40-45 minutes
However, it takes a bit longer to cook brown rice in an electric cooker or stovetop due to the outer layer of bran. Take a look at the below measurements and cooking time for brown rice.
- 1 Cup: 25-28 minutes
- 2 Cups: 34-38 minutes
- 3 Cups: 44-50 minutes
How much water should you add to a compact rice cooker?
Adding the right amount of water is important as it determines how well the grains will be cooked. Too much water will result in a soggy texture while too little water can dry up grains as well as brown the bottom layer.
Follow the 1.5:1 ratio to cook the grain. This means you need to add 1.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of plain white or long-grain rice.
The water requirement doubles for brown varieties. Therefore, you’ll need to add 2-1/2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of brown rice.
In a nutshell, the water requirements are slightly different for different varieties of grain.
If you want some home ground flour then read this: Best Wheat Mill Grinder For Home
Rice cookers are no less than bliss for people who cannot think of food without rice. And not to sat but these machines have really eased the way we cook grains. A good electric rice cooker eliminates the fear of overcooking or undercooking grain which is important as no one loves to eat such food.
Besides, you can cook more than grains in your mini rice cooker. The nonstick pot is perfect for making soups, stews, lazy risotto, one-pot meals, etc.
Also, some models come with a steamer basket to steam vegetables and other food easily. And now that you have got a list of the best small rice cookers do let us know which model caught your eye?