1. Aroma Simply Stainless 3-Cup Rice Cooker – $30
This device has a stainless steel pot that is suitable for 3 cups of uncooked and 6 cups of cooked rice. It also has a glass cover and plastic handles on the sides. It is simple to operate it, as you simply have to put the rice and water in the pot, and then push the handle to turn it on.
When the rice is finished, it switches to “warm” mode and does just that, keeps the rice warm. It stays like this for as long as it has power. Remember that this is a cooker, and not a steamer. The steamer option is sold separately.
You also get a serving spatula and a rice measuring cup. You are able to wash the pot and cover in the dishwasher. Rice sticks to the pot a little bit, as there is no non-stick layer. Olive oil should be fine for this.
2. Cuisinart – CRC – 400 – Cooker, Non Stick – $60
This rice cooker can steam whatever you put inside it. There is a stainless steel pot, a glass lid, a paddle, and a measuring cup. It is square in shape, and this is the biggest difference when compared to others. Unlike number one, it comes with a steaming tray great for steaming meat and vegetables while the rice is cooking.
It is simple and straightforward to use. Simply pour water and rice inside and turn it on. When the rice is finished, it turns to warm up mode. Its lid has a small steam vent hole, so no spilled condensed water will be there. All of the removable parts can be washed in the dishwasher.
The cooker has chrome-plated handles, and two-colored LED illuminate lights on the front side. Each color signals if the food is cooking or warming. It can cook a mixture of rice and various mushrooms, paired with white goat cheese in a steaming tray together with bacon. What else do you need?
3. Stainless Steel Rice Cooker ME81 – $70
This one is a bit bigger than the rest, and can hold 12 cups of cooked rice, enough for two families. It has a steaming tray, a spatula and a rice measuring cup. The lid is made of glass. One downside is the lack of a steaming hole, problematic if you need maximum capacity. Power options are the usual, “cooking” and “warming.”
One very interesting thing with this cooker is that the steaming tray is like a separate pot, with its own handles. Nothing contains Teflon or non-stick materials. This rice cooker does a great job at preparing brown rice with vegetables and pieces of meat.
4. Zojirushi NHS-10 6-Cup Rice Cooker – $67
Another stainless steel rice cooker of a regular size, perfect for a family of four people. It can store 6 cups of uncooked rice and has a stainless steel pot, a steaming tray, a glass lid with a small steaming hole, and durable handles on the side that always stay cool. It works like all the others, and has the same cooking and keep warm modes that switch automatically.
It also has a non-stick inner cooking pan, meaning it is probably made from aluminum, not a good solution because aluminum is not the best or equal heat conductor. The removable power cord for easy storing is one of the best things about it. It can also be used for vegetables and to steam salmon.
5. Oyama CFS-F12W Stainless Steel Rice Cooker – $70
This is a 7-cup stainless steel rice cooker is solid and rather interesting from the first look. There is a stainless steel bowl, which has a triple-layered bottom for a uniform heating. This means you will not burn the rice. There is an aluminum-coated steaming tray as well.
One very interesting feature is the three-dimensional heating, bottom, side, and lid. This keeps the rice warm during extended periods when you are done cooking, even 24 hours instead of the usual 12.
When tested with rice with curry and frozen slices of trout with pepper, it produced a perfect healthy meal.