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In America, rice is rarely eaten. However, in the Asian household, its eaten daily. We all have some sort of rice cooker. Rarely is it ever cooked on the stove top. They take away all the guess work and you get perfect rice each time. There are a few different type of rice cooker. The Best Small Rice Cooker uses induction heating for fast and even cooking. However, cheaper models such as those with the glass lids are good alternative.
Why get a Small Rice Cooker
Rice cooker should be used according to the size of your family. Most people will just get the biggest rice cooker possible. However, if you do that, larger rice cooker wont perform as well. The sensor that detects moisture and heat are not able to work as efficiently. As such, a ten cup rice cooker should be used to only cook 5-10 cup of rice. Small Rice Cooker should only be used to cook 1-3 cup of rice. Although it might be possible to cook less rice in the bigger model, results are subpar.
How do Rice Cooker Work
At the base of the rice cooker, there will be a heating pad. That heating pad will heat the water and cook the rice. As it cooks, the water is absorbed into the rice. The rate of absorption will affect the taste and texture of it. Once the moisture is driven off, the thermostat will signal the rice cooker to shut off.
Some models of rice cooker will have sensor to make micro adjustment in temperature to give it the ideal cooking environment. Generally the faster the rice gets cooked, the better. However, on average rice will be cooked in around half an hour.
How to Use
To use a Rice Cooker, start off by washing the rice. Drain and repeat until the water runs clear. Some rice such as Japanese Rice requires a pre soak of 30 minutes to an hour. More advance rice cooker will have this programmed in. Drain the water one more time and measure the appropriate quantity of water. Japanese Rice Cooker will usually have a water indicator line in the rice bowl. Fill the water to the appropriate level.
Select cook and wait for it to be done. When its done, fluff up the rice and let it rest for 10-15 minutes to drive off the excess moisture.
Which Brand of Small Rice Cooker is the Best
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Small Rice Cooker on the market. There are a few different models on the market, choose one that best suits your need.
Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer (Best Overall)
Zojirushi 3 cup induction cooker is one of the most advance rice cooker in the states. It uses magnets to quickly heat up and cook rice. There are many pre defined settings for cooking rice, but for simple long grain, a quick cook is all that you need. The downside to this model is the hefty price that it ask. However, if you truly want the Best Small Rice Cooker, Zojirushi is the way to go.
Aroma Housewares 2-8-Cups (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Grain Cooker and Food Steamer (Best Buy)
While Zojirushi is nice, its also expensive. For a more affordable option that cooks quality rice, Aroma is a good option. Like Zojirushi, there are different setting for different rice. This model is also more versatile, they have a range of 2-8 cups. However, it does take up a lot more room than other small rice cooker.
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) (Best Affordable Small Japanese Model)
This is one of Zojirushi oldest and most used model. The price is in range for most household and this design is simple yet effective. Instead of a latch like most other model, all it has is a glass top. It will make a mess if you dont wash the rice enough so be forewarned. To use this rice cooker, just measure rice and water then hit cook. Plus theres a certain charm to how this looks.
Dash DRCM200GBPK04 Mini Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot (Smallest Rice Cooker)
For those who live in a small room, this rice cooker by Dash is small and compact. It cooks 2 cups of rice, just enough for a family of 2. They have a wide variety of color, one of my favorite being pink. The rice cooked is fluffy yet firm. While it might not have the bell and whistle of the more expensive model, it cooks rice just fine.
Small and Compact Rice cookers are great if you have a small family or just dont have space. They are designed for and cook better than the larger models. I personally think the induction models by Zojirushi is the best. However, cheaper alternative by Aroma will work just as well. If you truly want the smallest of small, go for Dash. They have fun colors and can cook 2 cups of rice.
Looking for accessories? Check out our article on the Best Rice Paddle.