We weren’t lying when we said we’d gladly recommend any Zojirushi rice cooker, and this model is as high-tech as it gets. It comes with the same nonstick cooking pot and Keep Warm function that our fave model boasts, and it can similarly cook multiple types of rice, tackle ingredients other than grains, and auto-adjust its settings. The main difference is that this rice cooker uses induction, which heats the whole pot rather than just the bottom. The result is the most evenly cooked rice you’ll ever eat: Each grain comes out fluffy, tender, and more flavorful than rice cooked in any other machine. This is the appliance for rice and grain connoisseurs, but it will set you back a few hundred dollars. 

Why do I need a rice cooker when I can use a stovetop?

The greatest advantage of making rice in an electric rice cooker versus on the stovetop is that you can press a button and walk away, unlike a needy pot that you have to babysit from start to finish. Have you ever forgotten to take a pot of rice off the flame? Yeah, us too. Rice cookers can detect when the water in the pot has been absorbed or converted to steam, at which point they either automatically shut off or keep the rice warm for a while. Some rice cookers, like our top pick, make it impossible to screw up rice even if you wanted to. 

How do you cook rice in a rice cooker?

If you’ve never used a rice cooker before, you’re probably wondering how it works. Fair enough. Rice cookers have an inner pot where you add your rice and water (typically around a 1:2 ratio of rice to water or broth). You can add seasonings if you like. After that, you close the lid, turn it on, and let the rice cooker get to work. Depending on amount of rice you’re cooking, it will be ready in 15 to 30 minutes. Once it’s done, simply fluff it up with a rice paddle and breathe in the delicious aroma of freshly cooked rice.

What can I cook in a rice cooker besides rice?

Think beyond the rice setting — you can use a rice cooker for all kinds of things. In addition to creating perfect rice, home cooks can use it to cook quinoa, couscous, risotto, polenta, slow-cook stews, and even oatmeal. If you pick a rice cooker with a steamer basket you can cook vegetables, dumplings, or fish. You can also make hard-boiled eggs and poached eggs with a rice cooker, and, believe it or not, desserts including small cakes, Chinese buns, flan, fruit compote, and fruit crisps. 

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