The Top 6 Small Rice Cookers (for Travel/Personal Use)

If you live alone, got a small family, or travel a lot, a mini rice cooker can simplify your life and help you make that perfect, fluffy rice for 1-2 people – fast and effortlessly – while saving you a lot of space.

best mini rice cooker reviews

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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 steam vegetables.

The only question is:

How do you choose the best small rice cooker for your specific needs?

How to Choose a Mini Rice Cooker

Here are some of the 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 nontoxic 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 2021:

See our short comparison table first, or jump to our mini rice cookers reviews!

 Bottom LineRice Cups

Cuisinart CRC-400
cuisinart small rice cooker review
Best for Home3 cups
Nonstick inner pot
Check Price on Amazon
Aroma Mini Rice Cooker
Best Rice Cooker
with Stainless Steel Inner Pot
3 cups
Stainless steel inner pot
Check Price on Amazon
Zojirushi 3-cup Rice Cooker
Best for Travel3 cups
Nonstick inner pot
Check Price on Amazon
Dash Mini Rice Cooker
Best Compact Countertop2 cups
Nonstich cooking bowl
Check Price on Amazon
Panasonic Mini Rice Cooker
Smallest rice Cooker1.5 cups
Nonstick inner pot
Check Price on Amazon
White Tiger
Most accessories3 cups
Nonstick inner pot
Check Price on Amazon

What Can You Cook in a Small Rice Cooker?

what can you cook in a 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. You can cook steamed vegetables, all grains, eggs (boiled/Frittatas), oatmeal, pancakes, steamed meats, pasta, beans, soups, stews, and chillis.

You can use them at home, on the road, in the office, or anywhere – in minimum space, mess, and effort.

The Top 6 Small Rice Cookers (+Reviews)

1. Cuisinart CRC-400 Rice Cooker Best With a Steamer

small rice cooker with steamer
Cuisinart CRC-400 – view on Amazon
  • 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 (2-3 uncooked), but can also be used to steam vegetables and chicken, and automatically keeps the food warm when the cooking is done.

The Cuisinart has a convenient control panel and comes with a stainless-steel steaming basket, non-stick cooking bowl, glass lid, paddle, and measuring cup.

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

Price –  Check today’s price on Amazon


  • 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
Want to HEAT/COOK your lunch on the go?
Check out the top 6 portable food warmers – for your car/office/travel

2. Aroma 3-Cup Mini Rice Cooker  Best Stainless Steel Rice Cooker

aroma 3 cup mini rice cooker and steamer
Aroma 3 cup mini rice cooker & steamer – best price on Amazon
  • Size: 11.10 x 10.40 x 8.10 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 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.

(👉 See the 5 best PFOA & PTFE-free cookware brands – of 2021)

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

PriceCheck today’s price on Amazon


  • No fuzzy logic
  • If left too long on the “warm” mode – rice may stick to the bottom

👉 Consider the digital model as well, which comes with a digital controller:

aroma digital 3 cup mini rice cooker
Aroma digital mini rice cooker (3-cup) – view on Amazon

3. Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Small Rice Cooker Best for Travel

best rice cooker for travel
Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup Rice Cooker – view on Amazon
  • 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.

This portable rice cooker is very easy to use with single switch control, a see-through lid, and stay-cool knob and handles. The nonstick inner pot keeps the food warm after the cooking is done, and it comes with a special measuring cup.

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.

Zojirushi Pros

  • 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

PriceCheck today’s price on Amazon


  • Doesn’t come with a steamer tray

4. Dash 2-cup Rice Cooker & Steamer Best Compact Countertop

Dash 2 cup mini rice cooker
Dash 2-cup mini rice cooker – view on Amazon
  • 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.

Anything you put inside the Dash rice cooker – with water – will be cooked perfectly in less than 20 minutes and will keep warm once it’s done, and the colorful design will add to any kitchen decor.

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

Price – Check today’s price on Amazon


  • Can only make 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
Mini Rice Cooker Recipes
See our 9 favorite mini rice cooker recipes (vegetarian/chicken/Indian)!

5.  Panasonic sr-3nal 1.5-cup automatic rice cooker Smallest Rice Cooker

smallest rice cooker
Panasonic mini rice cooker (1.5 cups uncooked) – view on Amazon
  • Size – 5.91 x 7.68 x 7.09 inches
  • Weight – 1.5 pounds

This one 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: 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

Price – Check today’s price on Amazon


  • You’ll need to steer the food once the cooking is done to the food at the bottom from becoming crunchy

6. White Tiger 1.0L Mini Rice Cooker Most Accesories

white tiger smallest mini rice cooker
White Tiger small rice cooker – view on Amazon
  • Size – 6.50 x 6.30 x 8.10 inches
  • Weight – 2.55 pounds

The White Tiger 3-cup super-popular rice cooker perfectly cooks a variety of rice – basmati, jasmine, brown, red rice white rice – evenly. Users report no burning or undercooked food – for 1-2 people.

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

PriceCheck today’s price on Amazon


  • The silicone gasket is thin. It does not seem durable.

Mini Rice Cooker FAQ

What is the smallest rice cooker?

The smallest rice cooker can cook only 1.5 cups of uncooked rice. This size is perfect for personal use and travel/camping.

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.

What can you cook in a rice cooker?

Most rice cookers can also be used as vegetable streamers, and you can also make pasta, potatoes, chicken, and seafood in them, and even cake and cookies!

Can you cook basmati rice in a rice cooker?

Yes, you can cook 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.


Above were some of the best mini rice cookers of 2021. Although some features were common like ‘keep-warm’ and ‘one-touch on/off system’, every product had different capacities and a different method to ensure even distribution of heat.

our top choice for 2021 is the Dash mini rice cooker which has versatile uses, cooks under 20 minutes, and is a good fit for travel and camping as well.

The KM Team

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