With our increasing reliance on time-saving devices, the microwave has stepped out of the shadows to take center stage in the kitchen. With all this attention, the way we cook has changed completely, even for simple foods like rice.

Microwave rice cookers are great for ensuring fluffy, light, and perfectly cooked rice every time. They take all of the hassle out of preparing this staple dish and remove the mess of boiling pans and steam in the kitchen. They are safer too, as there’ll be no pots of boiling water to spill. This article puts microwave rice cookers under the spotlight to help you determine what model is best for you.

  • Cooks rice, pasta, and couscous
  • Steam release vent on the lid
  • Cool to the touch straight from the microwave
  • 100 percent virgin plastic with no BPA
  • Dishwasher and fridge/freezer safe
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 7.7 x 6.3
  • Weight: 10.9 ounces

  • Cooks rice in minutes
  • 5 cup capacity
  • Dishwasher safe
  • BPA free plastic
  • Simple to use and easy clean
  • Dimensions: 5.8 x 6.8 x 8.8
  • Weight: 14.4 oz

  • 10 cup capacity
  • Locks in juices
  • Heats meals in minutes
  • Versatile and multi-functional
  • Great for pasta, vegetables, casseroles, and stews
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 8.5 x 8.2
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs.

  • 4 piece set includes the lid, bowl, paddle and measuring cup
  • BPA free material
  • 6 cup capacity
  • Lockable lid for safety
  • Dishwasher safe and easy clean
  • Dimensions: 9 x 6.5 x 7
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces

  • 2 cup capacity
  • Chibikuro-Kun model
  • Versatile use includes vegetables, stews, and pasta
  • Comes with lid, paddle and measuring cup
  • Dishwasher safe and easy to clean
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.3 x 5.5
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces

  • Complete set: 2-Liter pot, colander, rice paddle, and measuring cup
  • Paddle acts as a serving spoon and a rice fluffer
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Food-grade and BPA free materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.3 x 7.1
  • Weight: 1.18 lbs.

This Sistema rice cooker has a steam lid to help release built-up pressure during cooking. It also has a unique cool touch feature so you can reduce the likelihood of burned fingers.

It holds 2.6-liters of rice, so enough to feed an average family, and it’s easy to clean because it’s top rack dishwasher safe and freezer safe. You can also cook pasta and vegetables in this rice cooker, so it’s versatile too.


  • Large capacity: 2.6-Liters
  • BPA free plastic
  • Cool to touch from microwave
  • Freezer safe


  • Instructions for cooking can be misleading
  • Steam escapes into the microwave leaving water puddles

NoPro has produced a rice cooker that’s not only versatile but effective at cooking fluffy and light rice. Because of the sturdy construction, the rice cooker is relatively cool to the touch right after cooking, which means you won’t scald yourself every time you pull it out of the microwave.

The lid has two sturdy clips to lock it in place, so nothing will disturb the rice as it cooks. It has an 5-cup capacity, which is big enough for most families, and it’s dishwasher safe and easy to clean. This rice cooker is presented in plain white with a red lid and will be an asset to any kitchen.


  • BPA free material
  • 5-cup capacity
  • Cooks rice and pasta too
  • Cooks rice in minutes


  • Plain looking design
  • Gives the rice a plastic taste

This Chef Buddy pressure cooker has a 10-cup capacity, which is excellent when preparing meals for more substantial groups of people.

It doubles as a pressure cooker too, so Chef Buddy claim it’s faster still at cooking staple foods like pasta, vegetables, and even stews. It works by locking in the juices to give you flavorsome dishes in less cooking time.


  • Versatile features for multiple dishes
  • Good sized capacity at 10 cups
  • Traps in juices for better flavors
  • Pressure cooker plus the microwave means faster cook times


  • Feels like cheap quality materials
  • Too much steam escapes for it to be a pressure cooker
  • Poor lid seals

This Prep Solutions rice cooker has a 6-cup capacity and comes as a set. It includes a paddle that can be used to fluff the rice before serving; a lid that seals to keep in the steam; a measuring pot for exact water to rice ratios; and a serving bowl. It’s made from BPA-free materials and is dishwasher safe as well as being easy to clean.


  • 4 piece set with paddle, bowl, measuring cup and lid
  • Handles 6 cups of rice easily
  • Bright green lid and paddle
  • Lockable safety lid keeps in the steam


  • Locking clips break easily
  • Excessively leaks steam into your microwave

This traditional Japanese style rice cooker only handles 2 cups of rice at a time, which is ideal if you live on your own or are cooking for only two.

It looks pretty, with ebony black styling, and the Japanese name of Chibikuro-Kun evokes images of the Far East. In reality, this microwave rice cooker does everything the others do: It steams vegetables and pasta and even cooks casseroles, stews, and curries too. All in all, it’s cute and compact.


  • Traditional styling and name
  • Compact, so easy to store and clean
  • Comes with lid, paddle and measuring cup
  • Dishwasher safe


  • Not large enough for a family to use
  • Bottom burns and disfigures during cooking
  • Strange smells during cooking
  • Instructions are in Japanese

It might not have the catchiest name in the world, but this BPA-free food-grade rice cooker has a 2-liter pot and a roughly 3- to 4-cup capacity. It comes with a paddle to both fluff the rice and to act as a locking device for the lid as well as a colander and a measuring cup for adding the perfect amount of water.

It’s dishwasher safe, easy to clean and, with the lift-out colander, even easy to serve.


  • Comes as a set with accessories
  • BPA free and dishwasher safe
  • 2-liter bowl capacity
  • Great for pasta and vegetables


  • Spoon gets hot on the lid
  • Works better with lower powered microwaves
  • Lid spills water and starch on the handle

Choosing the Best Microwave Rice Cooker

Selecting the best microwave rice cooker is all about capacity. If you have a family and want mealtimes to be spent together, then buying a rice cooker that can accommodate your crowd is crucial. A smaller rice cooker will be a better option if you live on your own or with a roommate or significant other.

Another thing to consider is the cooking times. Some microwave rice cookers take over twenty minutes to produce perfect fluffy rice because they employ water-saving features. It’s fine if the reason you want a rice cooker is to save on water usage, but what’s the point of investing in a rice cooker if it takes just as long as the traditional stovetop method? Some other important considerations include:


Look for a lockable lid, and try to get a microwave rice cooker with a steam vent on the cover. We also loved the option of the cool touch straight after cooking, especially as steamed rice is very hot when it comes out of the microwave. Multi-functional rice cookers are also a great: think vegetable, pastas, and one pot cooking, like stews. The Chef Buddy Microwave Pressure Cooker is very versatile, allowing for the juices to get locked in during cooking and offering hot meals in minutes.


Most Microwave rice cookers look the same, however the Japanese Chibikuro-Kun rice cooker that stands out in terms of design. It’s based on a traditional aesthetic in charcoal black, and although made from high-heat plastic it looks like a little Japanese pot.

Clever Technology

Rice cookers are designed to take the guesswork and stress out of cooking the perfect rice. They’re also designed to be healthier because they steam rather than boil. Where microwave rice cookers come into their own is in the time it takes to cook the rice and their ease-of-use. Some have dual purposes, enabling you to steam vegetables and pasta; others even act like mini pressure cookers as they are designed to speed up the cooking process even more.

Product Warranty

Check with each manufacturer when looking at their warranties. Most ask that you contact them directly, while others post their warranty details on their websites. Nordic Ware excels beyond its competition by issuing a 5-year warranty on their rice cooker. The other stand out manufacturer, Joseph Joseph, offers a 2-year guarantee on their model.

Brand Reliability

Time and again, brands like Nordic Ware come out on top for value and reliability, but as a general rule of thumb you should look at the reviews and speak to friends and family. You can also get a flavor for the brands to seek and to avoid from the comments on the many sites that sell these products. We use the rule of thumb that if their Amazon reviews above four stars are less than 75 percent, then it’s probably best to keep shopping.


Can I cook other things in my rice cooker?

Yes you can. Most rice cookers allow you to cook pasta, rice, vegetables and some stews.

Are the plastic models BPA free?

They are. Food-grade plastics have to conform to certain standards, so all rice cookers are BPA free.

How long does it take to cook the rice?

It depends on the amount of rice your cooking, but usually it takes roughly the same time as the pan method without the hassle.

Final Thoughts

Microwave rice cookers, like microwave popcorn poppers and bacon cooks, are about changing the way you think about cooking. They take some getting used to, and we’re not afraid to say that trial and error is key here. Embrace accessories, embrace technology, and embrace different cooking methods!

Among these options we’ve shared, our favorite is the Sistema Collection Rice Cooker. This is a top seller on Amazon. It isn’t the most significant capacity bowl, so some of the other rice cookers may suit your needs better, but it still offers a 2.6-liter bowl (roughly 6 cups of rice), so it should still be adequate for most purposes. Couple that with the steam vent on the lid, and the cool touch exterior, this microwave rice cooker is the one to beat.

Further Reading