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Best Mini Rice Cooker: Buyer’s Guide and Product Recommendations

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If you have a small family, or you live alone, using a smaller rice cooker can come in handy and can save you plenty of time in the kitchen. These compact appliances are also a more affordable option compared to full-sized models, which can cost well over one hundred dollars. So, if you’re on a tight budget and need a reliable appliance that you can use several times a week to prepare hot homecooked meals, the best mini rice cooker can be a great option.

These smaller rice cookers work the same as their larger counterparts, however, you won’t find many of the same extra features, such as a variety of cooking programs, but even the most basic models work well to get the job done.

If you’re someone who regularly eats rice or other types of grains during the week, then you’ll come to rely on this smart little appliance often.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that will list the models on my best-of list. Each model comes with its own pros and cons, but every one of them ranked high in terms of power, durability, and reliability.

Mini Rice Cookers Comparison Chart

ProductCapacitySteam TrayWattsRating
Dash DRCM200BK
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2 cupsYes200
DCIGNA 1.2L
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4 cupsYes200
AmazonBasics Rice Cooker
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4 cupsNo200
WHITE TIGER Cooker
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4 cupsNo200
WHITE TIGER 2L Mini Cooker
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8 cupsYes400

Since there are so many models on the market these days, finding the right one can be a hassle and one that will take plenty of research on your part. So, I’ve decided to step in and review many of the best-selling models on the market to help you narrow down your search and find a cooker that has what it takes to withstand frequent use and turn out fluffy jasmine rice, well-cooked brown rice, and any other type of grain-based dish you can think of.

Below, I’ve included summaries for the leading models on the market, so you can get a glimpse of some of the top features they have to offer and how they rated.

Dash DRCM200BK Mini Rice Cooker Steamer

Our Rating: (5/5)

The Dash rice cooker is impressively versatile for a model of this size and comes complete with a steamer tray, a keep-warm function, and offers two hundred watts of power. It can cook more than rice, so you can learn how to make sweet rice, brown rice, or try out your favorite pasta recipes. Since it features a compact, lightweight design, this model is also very portable, so you can take it with you if you go camping, traveling, or RV’ing. Its smaller size also makes it a great option for homes that are tight on counter space or cupboard space. This model comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty and comes with some great accessories including online recipe database access, a recipe book, a measuring cup, rice paddle, and a nonstick cooking pot.

Pros

  • Includes steam tray
  • Set it and forget it functions
  • Keep warm feature
  • Compact
  • Digital interface

Cons

  • Two cup cooking capacity

Conclusion

This small, compact cooker comes with a steam tray, can make up to two cups of your favorite grains, and includes a keep warm feature that will keep your food hot and ready to serve around the clock. Its smaller cooking capacity can be a drawback for some, but if you’re only cooking for one or two people, then this model is the perfect fit.

DCIGNA 1.2L Mini Rice Cooker


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This latest model from DCIGNA features a four-cup cooking capacity, so it’s perfect if you’re looking for a model that can handle cooking for two to three people. It comes with a steam tray, so you can steam fish, veggies, and poultry. This model can also prepare stews, pasta, quinoa, soups, and rice. The stay warm feature will keep your rice warm around the clock, so you can enjoy rice any time. Considering its lightweight design, this model is also highly portable, so you can take it with you when you travel, camp, or hit the road in your RV. It’s also perfect for dorm use, studio apartments, or homes that are tight on space. This model comes with some nice extras including a measuring cup, removable pot, rice paddle, and steaming tray.

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Cooks up to four cups
  • Low maintenance
  • Reasonable price
  • Steam tray included

Cons

  • A poor choice if you need a model that can cook for more than three people
  • Stay warm feature only works for three hours

Conclusion

Considering the size, the fact that this model is so versatile and capable of cooking many of the same dishes you would normally prepare in a full-sized model, this cooker’s performance is nothing short of impressive. This versatile appliance will come in handy during the week when you’re short on time but dying for a hot, homecooked meal.

This powerful, two hundred watt rice cooker offers a higher than average cooking capacity for a model of this size, which will be a huge plus for small families. It also comes equipped with a steam tray, further adding to this model’s versatile.

Amazon Basics – Mini Rice Cooker


Our Rating: (4/5)

This compact model by Amazon Basics can make up to four cups of cooked rice per batch, features a durable inner pot with a nonstick coating, so you won’t have to worry about the rice sticking to the sides of the pot, and offers one-touch operation, which makes it very beginner-friendly. The included nonstick pot can double as a serving bowl, so you’ll have less mess to clean up.

The stay warm feature will automatically kick in once the rice has finished cooking to perfection and will keep the rice hot and ready to serve for up to six hours. This model comes with a rice paddle and a measuring cup, both of which are great extras and the perfect rice cooking accessories.

Pros

  • Stay warm feature
  • Nonstick inner pot
  • Four cup cooking capacity
  • Low price

Cons

  • Does not include a steam tray
  • Limited functionality

Conclusion

The biggest drawback is obviously the lack of a steam tray, although this model does come equipped with many of the same features you’d find on a full-sized model. This compact model features a lightweight design, a nonstick pot, stay warm feature, and one-touch controls that make it very intuitive and beginner-friendly. Because of its smaller, lightweight design, this cooker is also highly portable, so you can rely on it when you’re on your annual summer vacation, camping, or when you’re traveling across the country in your RV. It’s also available at a reasonable price and will be a great buy for smaller families.

WHITE TIGER Portable Rice Cooker

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This model offers a four-cup cooking capacity, a stay warm feature, and can cook yogurt, rice, soups, stews, and offers a short fifteen minute cooking time that all buyers can appreciate. It’s perfect for small families and allows you to cook a wider range of foods compared to other models in this price range. This model provides a fast cooking time of fifteen minutes, so you can prepare dinner within a matter of minutes. this model can cook up oatmeal, stews, soups, dessert, yogurt, and pasta, so you can whip up a hearty stew, or your favorite one-pot dish.

Pros

  • Multi-cooker capabilities
  • Lightweight design
  • PFOA-free nonstick inner pot
  • Low price

Cons

  • No steam tray

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a model that’s easy to use and can cook up your favorite foods much faster than a traditional model, then you’ll love what this rice cooker has to offer. This multi-cooker is very versatile, so you can use it to prepare cakes, yogurt, oatmeal, rice, stews, and more. Compact, lightweight, and beginner-friendly, this model is a steal for the price, highly portable, and features the type of beginner-friendly controls that most buyers will appreciate.

WHITE TIGER 2L Portable Mini Rice Cooker

Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This cooker comes with intelligent timing technology, a large digital LED control panel, a fast cooking time of just fifteen minutes, and stay-cool handles that are perfect for homes with small children. It also comes with a steaming tray, so you can steam veggies, poultry, and fresh fish. The large eight-cup cooking capacity makes this model a great buy if you’re looking for a mini cooker that can prepare food for up to four people.

Considering this model comes loaded with many of the important features that you would normally expect to find on a traditional sized model, you’ll be impressed with what this rice cooker can do, how it works, and what types of recipes you can try out for some of your favorite rice-based dishes and more. This model is reasonably priced and a great buy for the busy family on a budget.

Pros

  • Steam tray
  • Digital controls
  • Stay warm feature
  • LED control panel
  • Versatile

Cons

  • The price
  • Pot can be difficult to clean

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a powerful rice cooker that can handle cooking up some of your favorite dishes in a fraction of the time it would take on the stove or if you used a full-sized model. This smaller appliance means you’ll cut down on waste, which is a big deal if you’re only cooking for one to two people and don’t want to toss out the rice at the end of a meal. If you’re looking for a mini cooker that has a moderate cooking capacity, then your search is over. Versatile, equipped with digital controls, a stay warm feature, and smart technology, you’ll find yourself relying on this model to prepare dinner, several times a week.

Mini Rice Cooker Buyer’s Guide

Conventional rice cookers can be too big and expensive, especially if you’re only cooking for one to three people. In fact, using a larger model can be wasteful, since many don’t have very low minimum cooking capacities. If you don’t eat all of the rice you made for a particular meal, you’ll have to toss it out since rice does not reheat well. Smaller models come equipped with a lower max cooking capacity, but this also allows you to cook a smaller portion of rice per use, which is a big selling point for single people or small families. Below, you’ll find many of the common features these compact models have to offer, in addition to some of the benefits you’ll experience if you decide to go with a mini cooker.

Cooking Capacity

As I mentioned, models of this size will often come with a much smaller cooking capacity compared to traditional sized cookers. The capacity can range from three up to eight cups of cooked rice. This also means that the rice cooker will have a lower minimum cooking capacity. Most standard cookers will have a minimum capacity of three to four cups. If you’re only cooking for one to two people, then this can result in a lot of wasted food. Fortunately, these mini models have a minimum cooking capacity that ranges from one to three cups, which is perfect for smaller families.

Compact Design

If you don’t have the counter space to accommodate a full-sized model, then you’ll love the compact design that these mini cookers offer. You can leave them out on the counter daily, or you can easily fit one in even the most cramped cupboard.

Aside from their compact design, they’re also significantly lighter, compared to their full-sized counterparts, which also makes them highly portable.

Price

If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a traditional model, then you’ll be relieved to learn how inexpensive these smaller models are. These mini models are very budget-friendly, durable, and convenient to use, so even the family on a limited budget can afford a top of the line model.

Functionality

While most models won’t come with any fancy extra features, they can be used to cook stews, soups, rice, quinoa, oatmeal, barley, and mac and cheese. This adds to their versatility so you can use them more often, not just on nights when you feel like having freshly cooked rice.

Limited Features

Because of their smaller size, you won’t often find dedicated grain buttons on these smaller models. On large rice cookers, you can find buttons for brown rice, white, quinoa, oatmeal, soups, stews, and more. Because of this, you may have to do a little experimenting in terms of cooking length, especially if you’re cooking a pot of brown rice, which can take significantly longer to cook compared to white rice.

Basic Design

This appliance will feature a base, which is where the heating element is located, an inner pot, which is where you’ll place the ingredients and water, and a lid. Most models will also come with a rice spatula and a measuring cup.

Controls

These cookers typically feature a couple of basic controls including the power button, cook button, and a stay warm feature. While the controls may seem limited, they make the appliance more beginner-friendly, so cooking a batch of rice is as easy as adding the correct amount of rice and water, putting the lid on the pot, and hitting the cook button.

Stay-Warm

If you don’t want to resort to heating up your rice in the microwave, then you’ll love the reheating feature, which will keep your rice warm right after it’s finished cooking, up until the time it’s ready to serve. The length of the stay-warm feature can vary from model to model, with a range of two hours up to twelve. Most models will offer an average stay warm function of three to five hours.

Durability

Just because they’re smaller, doesn’t mean they aren’t packing some serious power. Most models are designed for daily use and come equipped with powerful heating elements, which will be a big selling point for anyone who enjoys rice or grains often during the week.

Set it and Forget it

Because these appliances have internal sensors, the rice cooker will immediately shut off once the rice is fully cooked. This means you won’t have to hang around the kitchen and wait for your rice to be done, instead, you can take care of chores around the house or sit back and relax. Some models will also come with an automatic stay warm feature which will switch the stay warm feature on automatically once the rice is cooked.

Final Thoughts

The best mini rice cookers are designed to cook up a smaller batch of rice, so they’re perfect for people who normally cook for one to four people. But despite their smaller size, many of these models come equipped with many of the features you’d normally expect to find on larger, higher-priced models, so you can enjoy one-pot meals and the type of cooking versatility that only the best models have to offer. I hope this guide will help you pinpoint which type of model will work for you and the features you’ll need to create some unique rice dishes or get really creative and try some great Filipino rice recipes or one-pot meals that your whole family will love.