Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker
Exploring cuisines from other countries is a passion of mine especially when we talk about the Middle East. The mysticism, the culture, the ways of preparation, the raw fish, the rice… I adore it.
Sometimes, preparing fine-texture rice can be a nightmare for me, making me stand next to the stove for a long time.
Too much water, too long or short cooking, preparation, and post-cooking activities…
It took some time to master this.
And, to be honest, I’ve got myself some help.
I was researching ways how to improve my rice cooking skills and realized that there is a solution to both of my problems. And its name is an electric stainless steel rice cooker.
What is Stainless Steel Rice Cooker? Is it only a rice cooker?
According to its name, it is a simple electric pan in which you can boil rice. If you ask me, the stainless steel rice cooker is so much more than a single-minded appliance.
For sure, it is a great device when you want to have perfect rice, but it can also be used for boiled vegetables, meat, or even eggs.
There are so many things you can make in your stainless steel rice cooker. I have tried boiled eggs, like using the egg cooker (or steamed if you prefer), and they come out just as you like them (soft, medium, or hard, depending on steaming duration).
Or if eggs are not your first choice, you can always use it to make nice vegetable frittatas with added spices. If you are more of a fan of cereals or oatmeal, using this bad boy, they can be prepared in no time.
Is it improving your cooking skills or saving your time?
I cannot say that stainless steel rice cooker has improved my skills, but I can say that my meals are prepared in similar quality and that speed of preparation is much better, so it leaves me time to do other things.
What’s so good about it?
Well, for the beginning, I can cook rice and steam, for example, vegetables or even pieces of meat at the same time, so I don’t have to pay attention to the separate pans (e.g., Red Copper fry pan, Copper Chef square pan, Gotham Steel pots, and pans)at the same time.
The second good thing is that using the electric stainless steel rice cooker, most of the time, is care-free, meaning that the only thing you have to do is put your food inside, turn it on, and that’s it.
When the food is finished, it will just switch to “warm” mode and keep food at the appropriate temperature until it is served.
Last but not least is that I can do some other things while the meal is prepared, such as reading my favorite book, watching TV or spending more time with my boys.
Is there a health aspect connected with stainless steel rice cookers?
The way of preparing rice and all other food is directly linked with our health.
Eating an appropriate amount of vegetables every day can significantly reduce the risk of obesity, cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes due to the nutrients contained in this type of food.
If an inappropriate cooking method is used, we can reduce the concentration of vitamins up to 50% and the concentration of minerals up to 15%.
There is even a significant difference in the quality of boiled and steamed food. According to Consumer Report, steaming is much better than boiling.
Things to Look For
Stainless steel rice cookers can be quite different today and with different specifications. What I find usable to know is the following:
Most of the rice cookers are made from stainless steel, but some of them also have a non-stick coating, which has proven to be better when it comes to cleaning.
2. Accessories and features
Not so many accessories are available, but I think that the most important one is the steaming pan. It will allow you to cook additional food on top while boiling your rice. As other accessories are concerned, most of the rice cookers are coming with plastic or bamboo spatula and rice measuring cup.
The important thing to consider is whether the rice cooker lid has a steaming hole since it will prevent the water from over-boiling, especially when you are using the rice cooker to its maximum capacity.
There are stainless steel rice cookers of various capacities on the market. Select one depending on your needs but always having in mind that some of the manufacturers are stating how much uncooked/cooked rice can fit in one pan separately. Try to avoid using maximum capacity because it will make your water boil over the edge.
My Story on Testing Five Different Stainless Steel Rice Cookers
I have spent two months in Uzbekistan a while ago, and believe me, those people are doing wonders with cooked rice, vegetables, and dried fruits. So far, I’ve used a standard stainless steel pot to cook rice.
I’ve had scheduled guests coming over from my hubby’s family and I wanted to surprise them with something new, exotic and delicious.
For this occasion, I’ve organized an “Uzbek” day when we are preparing their national meal, called plov.
And for this dish (and some other food like vegetables and meat), we should use five rice cookers. What a perfect occasion for testing!
After some research, I’ve picked five of the popular models on the market and brought them to my kitchen, ready for the big day.
Although I do not like to cook some meals for the first time in front of a wide audience or use new appliances before I test it for myself only, I made an exception. With the aid of several sisters and aunts, we tested the five stainless steel rice cookers and made a big pile of plov for our men.
Here’s how they performed:
Most Recommended Stainless Steel Rice Cookers: Detailed Reviews 2022
The first device I have tried in my kitchen was Aroma Simply Stainless 3-Cup Rice Cooker. It has a stainless steel pot, suitable for 3-cup uncooked and 6 cups cooked rice. It has a glass cover and plastic handles. The operation is quite simple. Put the rice and water in the pot and push the handle to turn the cooker on.
As soon as your rice is finished, it will automatically switch to “warm” mode to keep it warm. It will stay in this mode as long as have it is connected to the power source. Another important thing to know is that this is a cooker, not a steamer. There is a steamer option, but it is sold separately.
The serving spatula and rice measuring cup are included in the package. As far as cleaning is concerned, you can wash the pot and cover in your dishwasher. But what I have noticed is that rice does stick to the pot.
It does not have any non-stick layer, but you can avoid this by putting just a few drops of olive oil before water and rice. During my test, I was boiling rice and small pieces of sausages. Could not try steaming since the steaming tray is not available.
Things I liked
- Simple to use
- Stainless steel pot
- Cheapest from all tested cookers
Things I didn’t like
- You have to plug it out from the wall to switch it off completely
- It’s a cooker only, and it does not have a steamer option included
- Rice sometimes sticks to the pot
- When cooking brown rice, the pot is too small for 3-cups since brown rice needs more water
- Not sure if I have noticed this, but it seems that this surface is not stainless steel. I have noticed a few flakes of the surface coming off after just a few uses during the day.
Related: Best Rice Storage Container
This rice cooker steams whatever you place inside. It features a stainless steel pot, glass lid and comes with a paddle and a measuring cup. It has a square shape, which makes it a bit different from others at least by design. The excellent thing about this cooker is that it has a steaming tray, so you can steam meat or vegetables while cooking rice.
The operation is quite simple and straightforward, just put the water and rice inside and turn it on. After the rice is finished, it will automatically switch to warm-up mode. The lid has a steam vent hole, so you do not have to worry about spilled condensed water. All removable parts are dishwasher safe so you can clean them easily.
This cooker also has two chrome-plated, very convenient handles, in case you want to move it around during cooking or after. On the front side, it has two-colored LED illuminated lights and each color is signaling in which phase your food is – cooking or warming.
In this cooker, I have tried cooking a mixture of rice and various mushrooms. In the last few minutes of cooking, I have placed white goat cheese in a steaming tray together with bacon. Very, very close to perfection!
Things I liked
- Very nice design
- Includes steaming tray for steaming other types of food while cooking rice
- Steam vent hole on top of the lid
- Non-stick layer inside the pot
Things I didn’t like
- It happened a few times that the cooker went from cooking to warm mode before the rice was finished
- If you use it on the maximum capacity of rice, the steam hole is not sufficient enough, and there is a chance that it will boil over
- No turn-off switch
The first thing I have noticed with this device is that is big. It can accommodate up to 12 cups of cooked rice, which is more than enough for almost two families. As the one before, it also comes with a steaming tray, a spatula, and the rice measuring cup. The glass lid enables you to see what is happening inside.
The downside of this glass lid is that it doesn’t feature a steaming hole, which can be problematic if you use it with almost maximum capacity. Usual power options are present like “cooking” and “warming.”
What is especially interesting with this rice cooker is that the steaming tray looks like a separate pot, and it has its own handles, which I find fantastic. The manufacturer is stating that any of the materials do not contain Teflon or non-stick materials, so your food will never be in contact with chemicals.
In this one, I have prepared brown rice with vegetables and small pieces of meat, which were steamed and spiced with mustard (my personal variation of the plov). I was very satisfied with the final result, especially with meat, since it came out so soft.
Things I liked
- Steaming tray is quite big, and it has its own handles
- This rice cooker does not contain Teflon or other non-stick material
- The power cord is quite long and adequate
- Automatic cook-to-warm mode
Things I didn’t like
- Its size is I think too big if you are cooking mostly for a family of 3 or 4
- Glass lid should have a steaming hole, so steam can get out and prevent over-boiling
- It’s a bit heavy, but having in mind size and capacity this is almost normal
- Handles material looks inadequate, and I am wondering how they will look like after intensive use
Oyama CF-F12W is a seven-cup stainless steel rice cooker. The one that was brought to our house was bought with a steam tray. The first look gives an impression of a solid device. I have researched a bit about it and found some interesting facts.
This appliance features a stainless steel bowl, but the bowl itself has a triple-layered bottom for uniform heating, making it possible not to burn your rice. In the same package, you will also get a steaming tray, which is aluminum-coated.
The second very interesting thing is that this device features three-dimensional heating (bottom – side – lid) for keeping rice warm during extended periods after cooking. Even it is not quite clear how this works, it a good option since it enables a cooker to keep food warm up to 24 hours (instead of regular 12).
In this one, we have boiled rice with curry, and we placed frozen slices of trout with pepper. After the rice was ready, we got the perfect meal for anyone who’s watching their diet.
Things I liked
- Has detachable cord for easy storage
- Not too large capacity
- Aluminum steaming tray, coated with stainless steel for perfect cooking results
- Cooking even a small amount of rice, like just one cup, went excellent
- Warm-up time up to 24 hours
Things I didn’t like
- Latches that are holding the lid do not look reliable
- Heaviest of all rice cookers that I have tried
- Bit more expensive compared to other devices
This stainless steel rice cooker is of regular size for one four-person family. It fits up 6 cups of uncooked rice and features a stainless steel pot, steaming tray, glass lid with a steaming hole and durable stay-cool handles. The operation mode of this rice cooker is the same like on all others; it has “cooking” and “keep warm” modes, switched automatically.
This cooker has a non-stick inner cooking pan which suggests that the pan itself is made probably from aluminum, making it not a good solution since aluminum is not good and equal heat conductor. The most interesting thing with this cooker is that it has a removable power cord for easy storing.
In this one, aside from rice for the plov, I have tried to cook potatoes with vegetables and steam salmon (also check out the finest canned salmon) on top of it. While steamed food (salmon and potatoes) were quite nice and colorful, the rice got overcooked.
Things I liked
- Detachable power cord
- Stay cool handles on the device and the lid
- One family size
- Separate steaming tray
Things I didn’t like
- The manufacturer said that it is easy to clean, meaning that it has removable parts, but never stated that it is dishwasher safe
- The inner cooking pan is made from aluminum and has a non-stick coating
- The spatula is also of non-stick material
- Cleaning is a bit problematic, especially since the glass lid is not stopping all the water and heat from going out of the pot
After one big family event, dozens of emptied plates, it’s time to conclude
Picking the perfect stainless steel rice cooker was not easy.
I’ve tried to prepare various types of food in all of the five and presented them to my family.
The plov came out great from three cookers, on the other two, there was a mixture of meals.
Even though it was a close call, the Oyama CFS-F12W 7 Cup Rice Cooker won the day.
Aside from its stylish look, its size is appropriate for one family and has all the needed features to make your life easier when you are in the kitchen.
When considering a budget for a stainless steel rice cooker, this appliance is somewhere within the average.
And you should always have one thing in your mind – it’s difficult to be a chef and not to be present in the kitchen…
Related: a Handy Guide For Measuring How Many Cups In a Liter