If you live alone or have a small family, a small kitchen, or you just travel a lot – a mini rice cooker can simplify your life and help you make that perfect, fluffy rice for 1-3 people – fast and effortlessly – while saving you a lot of space.
Cleaning is a breeze, and operation is easy – just add water, add rice, close the lid, and boom, you’ve got a hot, steaming pot of rice in no time.
Small rice cookers can cook brown rice, sushi rice, white rice, and a lot more. Some models come with a steamer that you can use to make dumplings and steamed vegetables.
The only question is:
How do you choose the best small rice cooker for your specific needs?
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- Top Pick
- How to Choose a Small Rice Cooker
- What Can You Cook in a Small Rice Cooker?
- The 8 Best Small (Mini) Rice Cookers
- 1. Dash 2-cup Rice Cooker Best Compact Countertop
- 2. Aroma 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot
- 3. Zojirushi 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker Best Japanese
- 4. Panasonic 1.5-cup Rice Cooker Smallest Rice Cooker
- 5. White Tiger 1.0 L Mini Rice Cooker Most Accesories
- 6. BLACK + DECKER 3-Cup Rice Cooker Best Cheap Rice Cooker
- 7. TLOG Mini Rice Cooker Best for Brown Rice & for Travel
- 8. Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker High End
- How to Use a Rice Cooker
- What is the Smallest Rice Cooker?
- Rice Cooker FAQ
Our 2023 top pick is the Aroma Stainless Steel Rice Cooker (3-cup), mainly because it has the healthiest inner pot that won’t leach chemicals into your food. Here are more reasons:
- It has a glass lid that allows you to watch the cooking process (though it’s not necessary)
- It’s super simple to use with the one-button operation and has a keep-warm option
- It’s dishwasher-safe and easy to clean
- It’s reasonably priced
Our top pick for travel (and for making brown rice) is the TLOG compact and lightweight 2-cup rice cooker, which comes with a large and stay-cool handle you can use to carry it around, and a special program for brown rice.
How to Choose a Small Rice Cooker
Here are some of the most important features we looked for:
1. Cup Capacity
How many cups of rice can the small rice cooker handle?
Most small rice cookers have 1.5 – 4 cups of rice capacity. Choosing the size depends on your needs. For example, a 1.5 cups rice cooker is most recommended for travel. 4-cup capacity is better for home use.
2. Variety of Uses
Some rice cookers can do much more than just cook rice. Some can be used to steam food, and cook oats and grains. If you only need to cook rice, you can purchase a lower-cost rice cooker and save some money.
3. Inner pot
Make sure the rice cooker’s inner pot is made from non-toxic materials. Stainless steel and ceramic are best, but many models include a nonstick inner pot that is toxin-free.
And now, here are the best mini rice cookers of 2023:
See our top 5 choices in a short comparison table first, or jump to our mini rice cooker reviews!
|Mini Rice Cooker||Bottom Line||Rice Cups|
|Dash Mini Rice Cooker||Best Compact Countertop||2 cups|
Nonstick cooking bowl
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|TLOG 2-Cup Rice Cooker||Best for Travel||2 cups||✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|Aroma Mini Rice Cooker||🥇 Stainless Steel Inner Pot||3 cups|
With glass lid
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|Zojirushi 3-cup Rice Cooker||Best Japanese||3 cups|
Nonstick inner pot
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
|White Tiger||Most accessories||3 cups|
Nonstick inner pot
|✅ Check Price on Amazon|
What Can You Cook in a Small Rice Cooker?
Mini rice cookers are small and lightweight electric pots made for 1-2 people and work in a similar way to a slow cooker – cooking food over a period of time through moist heat, trapping the flavors in the pot.
Rice cookers can cook more than just rice:
In a Mini Rice Cooker, you can cook steamed vegetables, all grains, eggs (boiled/Frittatas), oatmeal, pancakes, steamed meats, pasta, beans, soups, stews, and chillis. You can use it at home, on the road, in the office, or anywhere you want.
The 8 Best Small (Mini) Rice Cookers
Here are our top choices:
1. Dash 2-cup Rice Cooker Best Compact Countertop
- Size – 6.3” * 6.3” * 8.5″
- Weight – 2.4 pounds
This popular 2-cup rice cooker is more than just a rice cooker, and can be used to steam vegetables, make soup, stew, pasta, oatmeal, and more – for 1-2 people.
The Dash’s small size and weight and ease of use make it perfect for travel, small apartments, or college dorm life.
It comes with a rice paddle and a measuring cup, a recipe book, and is made with PFOA-free nonstick coating.
Dash Small Rice Cooker Pros
- Great design – 5 colors to choose from
- Comes with recipes
- nontoxic coating
- Lowest price mini cooker on this list
- Cool-touch handles
- Pot is removable
- Can only make 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
✅ Available on Amazon ($24)
2. Aroma 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot
- Size: 10 x 8 x 8 inches
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Uses – rice, steaming, pasta, omelets, oatmeal, chili, soup, and more.
This budget-friendly small rice cooker only requires one push of a button to make up to 6 cups of cooked rice – inside a toxin-free, surgical-grade 304 stainless steel cooking bowl, and a tempered glass lid.
(👉 We always search for PTFE-Free cookware and kitchen appliances, to avoid the dangers of Teflon chemicals)
When you buy it on Amazon, it comes with a rice Measuring Cup and a serving spatula.
Aroma Mini Rice Cooker Pros
- Cooks rice within 15-20 minutes
- No need to monitor – automatically switches to warming mode when cooking is done
- Made of toxin-free materials and is dishwasher safe
- No fuzzy logic
- If left too long in the “warm” mode – rice may stick to the bottom
✅Available on Amazon ($33)
3. Zojirushi 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker Best Japanese
- Size – 7.50 x 9.10 x 7.50 inches
- Weight – 3.1 pounds
This 3-cup Japanese (made in Japan) rice cooker is one of the highest-rated ones on Amazon and comes with a detachable power cord, which makes it very convenient to use when traveling.
When you order from Amazon, you’ll also get a Spatula, Measuring Cup and Steaming Tray.
All in all, a good return for your money.
- Highly portable rice cooker
- The glass lid allows you to monitor the cooking
- Rice is done in 15-20 minutes – very fast
- Fit for travel and easy packing
- You won’t burn your hands, thanks to the stay-cool handles and knob
- Comes with free tech support on Amazon
- Doesn’t come with a steamer tray
✅ Available on Amazon ($46)
4. Panasonic 1.5-cup Rice Cooker Smallest Rice Cooker
- Size – 5.91 x 7.68 x 7.09 inches
- Weight – 1.5 pounds
This single-serving rice cooker comes from the well-known Panasonic brand and has high user reviews on Amazon. It only weighs 1.5 pounds and automatically cooks rice in one push of a button.
The Panasonic mini rice cooker pot is nonstick coated aluminum and cleans easily, even if you just made a mac n’ cheese meal, and the lid is made of glass with a plastic white knob.
Accessories included: a measuring cup
👉 Panasonic Mini Rice Cooker Pros
- Lightweight and good for travel
- Automatically cooks and shuts off
- Can make enough rice for 4 people
- Easy to operate
- You’ll need to steer the food once the cooking is done to the food at the bottom from becoming crunchy
✅ Available on Amazon ($25)
5. White Tiger 1.0 L Mini Rice Cooker Most Accesories
- Size – 6.50 x 6.30 x 8.10 inches
- Weight – 2.55 pounds
The White Tiger 3-cup super-popular rice cooker (for 1-2 people) perfectly cooks a variety of rice – basmati, jasmine, brown rice, red rice white rice – evenly. Users report no burning or undercooked food, and many mention how easy it is to clean.
This one cooks really fast, and the fact that it is smaller gets your rice done in just 15 minutes!
It comes with a rice paddle, rice spoon, measuring cup, and a removable pot with PFOA-free nonstick coating.
White Tiger Mini Rice Cooker Pros
- Great for travel
- Very easy to use and clean
- Keep warm function keeps the food warm
- 24-hour customer service & 1-year warranty
- The silicone gasket is thin. It does not seem durable.
✅ Available on Amazon ($48)
6. BLACK + DECKER 3-Cup Rice Cooker Best Cheap Rice Cooker
- Size – 8 x 8 x 6 inches
- Weight – 2.43 lbs
The 3-cup mini rice cooker by the well-known BLACK + DECKER brand is a refreshing surprise that proves that a low price does not necessarily mean a bad product.
This model is the lowest-cost small rice cooker you’ll find on the market and is simple to use with only 2 buttons – cook and heat.
After the cooking is done for you (make sure to rinse the rice first!), the heat function will keep it warm for you until you are ready to eat.
The inner pot is nonstick, and you get a nonstick measuring cup and spoon too – to avoid scratching the pot. The parts are dishwasher safe, and the design is durable and long-lasting, according to consumer testimonials.
For a price of 8 cups of coffee, this is probably the best cheap mini rice cooker in 2023.
BLACK + DECKER Small Rice Cooker Pros
- Very affordable price
- Durable design, simple to use
- Comes with a measuring cup, spoon, and steamer
- 2-year warranty
- No advanced features
- The inner pot is not made of stainless steel
✅ Available on Amazon ($21) and at Walmart ($23)
7. TLOG Mini Rice Cooker Best for Brown Rice & for Travel
- Size – 8 x 7 x 9 inches
- Weight – 2 lbs
The first thing that jumps into our minds when we see the TLOG mini rice cooker is the large and comfortable handle that allows you to easily carry it with you for travel, work, college, and camping. Plus, it only weighs 2 pounds!
The handle stays cool if you want to carry it when the lid is still hot. However, its measuring cup is small, so this one can actually cook only 1 standard cup of rice.
The TLOG rice cooker is very versatile – it can also serve as a vegetable steamer, oatmeal maker, yogurt maker, spaghetti maker, and soup pot, and it has a special program for making brown rice.
The power cord is removable, which makes it easy to pack, and the user-friendly buttons (with pre-set programs) and LED indicator light make it easy to operate in dark places as well.
The inner pot is made from non-toxic materials, and so are the added accessories – a measuring cup, spoon, steam tray (stainless steel), and a clamp for the steam tray.
- Perfect for travel and camping and lightweight
- User-friendly panel and LED indicator light
- Auto keep heat
- Helpful accessories
- 12-hour pre-set to plan your cooking timing
- Dishwasher safe
- Can only cook one standard cup of uncooked rice
- Pricier than average
- The lid gets very hot, do not touch it with bare hands
✅ Available on Amazon ($55)
8. Cuisinart 4-Cup Rice Cooker High End
- Size: 10.7 x 10.1 x 9.9 in
- Weight: 7.4 ounces
- Uses – white & brown rice, steaming vegetables, steaming chicken, and more.
This stylish, cube-shaped stainless steel rice cooker makes 4-7 cooked rice cups (3-4 uncooked), but can also be used to steam vegetables and chicken, and automatically keeps the food warm when the cooking is done.
Cuisinart Mini Rice Cooker Pros
- Extremely lightweight
- Chrome-plated handles stay cool
- Dishwasher safe
- Has indicator lights to show cooking/warming
- chrome-plated handles stay cool to the touch.
- No splatter – steam vent prevents splattering
- Filling up to maximum capacity may cause overflow and a mess, so make sure to keep it under 4 cups.
- You may need to add more water for brown rice, which means you’ll have to reduce the amount of rice itself to prevent overflow
✅Available on Amazon ($60)
How to Use a Rice Cooker
Japanese rice cookers are so simple. You just cook water and rice – any kind of rice – with as much water as needed – and press ON. 20-30 minutes later, the rice is perfectly cooked. At this point, the rice cooker switches to WARM, and the rice awaits at a steamy serving temperature until you are ready to eat it.
So, here are the basic steps:
1. Measure the rice, then rinse it. This is optional but it will give you fluffier and more separated grains.
2. Put the rice in the cooker, measure the water, and add it to the cooker. You’ll need the same amount of water as you’d use for stovetop cooking. Also, you can refer to the manual and take into account the type of rice.
3. Close the lid and switch the cooker to ON or COOK. Listen and look. When the rice is cooked, the light will change on the cooker display. Some cookers will beep or signal you in a different way.
That’s it, rice is cooked and stays warm and steamy until you are ready to enjoy it.
Pretty cool, huh?
What is the Smallest Rice Cooker?
The smallest rice cooker can cook only 1.5 cups of uncooked rice, which makes 3 cups of cooked rice – best for 1-2 people. This size is perfect for personal use and travel/camping. We recommend the Panasonic 1.5 cups mini rice cooker.
Rice Cooker FAQ
How Long Does It Take to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker?
It takes about 20-25 minutes to cook more than 3 cups. The minimum time is 15 minutes. The smaller the quantity, the less time it will require to cook.
Can You Cook Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker?
Yes, you can cook Basmati rice and all types of rice in mini rice cookers. However, you’ll need to know how much water each type of rice needs to cook perfectly.
What Else Can You Cook in a Rice Cooker?
A good rice cooker is surprisingly versatile and can be used to prepare all kinds of foods, including pizza, chili, ribs, other grains (barley/quinoa), and breakfasts such as pancaked or oatmeal.
Above were some of the best mini rice cookers of 2023. Although some features were common, such as ‘keep-warm’ and ‘one-touch on/off system’, every product had different capacities and a different method to ensure even distribution of heat.
The KM Team
I wish someone would come up with an ultimate mini rice cooker cookbook. all the ones I see for mini rice cookers have only 100 or less recipes but the coobooks for large rice cookers have well over 200 recipes. trying to figure out measurements for a mini cooker from those cookbooks would be a pain