Which mini rice cooker is best?
Rice is a dietary staple for more than 3.5 billion people across the globe. And it’s no wonder: this versatile grain is relatively high in protein and contains other valuable nutrients. But cooking rice can be challenging. Many people give up after too many batches of burned, clumpy rice. A mini rice cooker can help you produce perfect rice every time. The best mini rice cooker — the Dash Mini Rice Cooker — is a simple machine that makes cooking rice easy.
What to know before you buy a mini rice cooker
Rice cookers can come in different sizes, but there are a few special considerations when you shop for a mini rice cooker.
“Mini” means different things to different people. Some mini rice cookers will produce just 2 or 3 cups of cooked rice. Keep in mind that rice expands as it cooks, so you’ll end up with more cups of rice than you put in. Pick your mini rice cooker based on how many cups of cooked rice you want to end up with.
Are you a person who prefers your appliances with all the bells and whistles, or does simple but effective work for you? Look for a mini rice cooker that suits your style.
Ease of use
Your mini rice cooker might come with a single switch to operate, or it might have a digital display with multiple cook settings and programmable choices.
Whether you opt for a one-touch mini rice cooker or something more complex, the best mini rice cookers are foolproof and user-friendly.
What to look for in a quality mini rice cooker
Nonstick inner pan
A nonstick inner pan makes cleaning your rice cooker fast and easy. When rice cooks it can be sticky and difficult to remove, but a nonstick inner pan makes cleanup much easier, even when you hand wash.
Most mini rice cookers come with basic accessories like a measuring cup and rice paddle. The larger versions of mini rice cookers may feature a steamer basket, too. This allows you to cook rice and steam vegetables at the same time.
While mini rice cookers specialize in perfectly cooking their namesake grain, some of the best models can be used to cook other grains and foods. These include oatmeal, quinoa, meat and vegetables.
Even though you want a mini rice cooker that cooks perfect rice, it’s great to have a more versatile kitchen appliance that can perform other functions, too.
Keep warm function
Some mini rice cookers come with additional features. One of the best is a “keep warm” function that holds your rice at the perfect temperature until it’s time to serve.
If you use this function, make sure to seal the steam vent in the lid. This keeps each grain perfectly moist and fluffy.
How much you can expect to spend on a mini rice cooker
Mini rice cookers can be purchased at a wide variety of prices. Expect to spend $25-$100 for a high-quality model.
Mini rice cooker FAQ
Why should you get a mini rice cooker?
A. Cooking rice in a mini rice cooker cuts the cooking time of rice in half, and it does that without worrying about over- or undercooking your rice. The nonstick inner pot means that cleanup is easy, too.
Rice is a nutritious staple food that is featured in a variety of cuisines. Getting a mini rice cooker can help you expand your kitchen repertoire to include other dishes you may have been too intimidated to try.
Finally, a mini rice cooker allows you to cook small amounts of rice quickly. This is perfect for busy households of just one or two people.
How do you care for a mini rice cooker?
A. Most mini rice cooker inner pots and utensils are dishwasher safe, but to prolong their use hand washing is recommended. Use hot, soapy water and rinse completely.
If rice water spatters on the cord or the outside of the mini rice cooker, simply wipe it off with a wet cloth or paper towel.
What can you cook in a mini rice cooker?
A. Mini rice cookers may specialize in rice, but many home cooks are improvising delicious dishes every day. Consider using your mini rice cooker for:
- Steel-cut oats
- Rice pilaf
- Rice pudding
- Poached pears
Some adventurous cooks have even used a rice cooker for cooking ribs and pizza.
What’s the best mini rice cooker to buy?
Top mini rice cooker
What you need to know: This mini rice cooker can still cook a larger enough batch of rice for a family of four.
What you’ll love: The simplicity of this rice cooker is what makes it so appealing. It cooks just 2 cups of rice with a simple one-touch button (plus a keep warm function). It includes a measuring cup and rice scoop along with a recipe book and access to a recipe database.
What you should consider: The power cord is not detachable, which some users did not prefer.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top mini rice cooker for the money
What you need to know: This compact rice cooker is extra portable for quick, individual meals on the go.
What you’ll love: This mini rice cooker makes up to 3 cups of fluffy, perfect rice every time. It features easy digital controls and comes with a recipe booklet.
What you should consider: Rice water can bubble up and out of the top. For larger batches, place the mini rice cooker on a kitchen towel.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This travel rice cooker creates a complete meal for one.
What you’ll love: This rice cooker produces up to 1 ½ cups of cooked rice. It includes a cover, food tray (for steaming vegetables), nonstick inner pot, rice paddle and measuring cup.
What you should consider: This mini rice cooker takes longer than other choices. White rice takes around 35 minutes, and brown rice can take up to 90 minutes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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