Rice cookers come in all sizes and in this article we will focus on small rice cookers. These cookers are for one to three cups of rice. Small rice cookers are convenient because you can transport them for a healthy home cooked meal at work, on vacation, or wherever you go. A small rice cooker enables you to cook enough food without having too much leftover. Smaller rice cookers are extremely popular in Japan. Although these rice cookers are small, they are still powerful and deliver the perfect rice for your meal, whether it is white or brown rice.
There are even mini rice cookers that accommodate one cup of rice for a single person. Many of these rice cookers not only cook your rice, but can be used to warm up side dishes as well as things like soup or chili, and still have the same capabilities as larger rice cookers.
Top 3 Best Small Rice Cookers
There are many small cookers on the market today. Let’s look at three of the top small rice cookers:
1. Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker
This rice cooker makes three cups of uncooked rice which is equivalent to six cups of cooked rice. It has cooking functions for brown rice, sweet rice, porridge, white rice, mixed rice and quick cooking rice. It has an automatic keep warm function which comes on when the rice is finished cooking. There is even an extended keep warm function. There is a delay timer with two settings and a reheating cycle. The microcomputer and fuzzy logic technology in this cooker enable you to put your rice in, select the appropriate settings and let the cooker do the rest.
You just program the large easy to read LCD control panel, and the cooker will adjust the cooking time and temperature as needed according to what you are cooking. It takes up very little counter space and is perfect for singles, couples and small families. The retractable power cord makes it easy to store, travel with or leave on the counter. It has an interchangeable beep signal and melody that alerts you when the rice is done. The removable inner lid is washable, and the stainless steel exterior makes cleanup easy. Accessories that come with the NS-LAC05XT are a non-stick rice spatula, spatula and measuring cup. The cooker measures 9-1/8 by 11-7/8 by 7-1/2 and uses 450 watts.
2. Zojirushi NP-GBC05 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
This is another small cooker made by Zojirushi which also cooks up to 3 cups of uncooked rice. This cooker uses induction heating which ensures that your food will cook evenly all over. It uses 700 watts, and measures 11-13/16 by 9 by 7-1/2 inches. The detachable cord and carrying handle make it perfect for transporting or storing. Multiple cooking menu options include brown rice, GABA brown, sushi, porridge, rinse-free, and white/mixed rice. GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid.
This is a non-essential amino acid that helps the brain function by blocking stress related messages from reaching the central nervous system. Brown rice is germinated when you soak it for about 20 hours prior to cooking. The germination takes place during the sprouting and is considered very healthy.
The LCD control panel is easy to use and has a clock and timer, reset, and cooking button to start cooking. Accessories included with the cooker are a non-stick rice spatula, spatula holder, and a measuring cup. This rice cooker is good for singles and small families. The inner lid is detachable and can be washed with warm soapy water. The exterior is made of clear-coated stainless steel and matches most kitchen décor.
3. Panasonic SR-3NA Automatic 1.5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
This is a small rice cooker that makes 1½ cups of uncooked rice which is equivalent to approximately 3 cups of cooked rice. It is good for singles and couples. It measures 8 1/4″ (W) x 6 5/16″ (D) x 6 5/16″ (H), weighs about 2.2 pounds and uses 200 watts. It is very simple to use – one-step automatic cooking – just press the switch. Indicator lights will let you know the status of your cooking. You can use it for things like Spanish rice, sticky rice, or wild rice. You can even make desserts like creamy rice pudding.
The Panasonic SR-3NA Automatic 1.5 cup is not recommended for brown rice. It is also recommended that you wash your rice first in a separate pan before putting it into the cooker. The inner pot is non-stick and easy to clean, and the tempered glass lid makes it easy for you to check the progress of your rice without lifting the lid. Accessories include a measuring cup and rice scoop. Also included is a multi-lingual operating manual written in English and Chinese. This product carries a one-year warranty, plus an additional one-year warranty from Good Housekeeping for a total of two years.