Rice – fluffy, delicious, versatile – it’s one of our favorite side dishes that goes with pretty much any food. Pair it with roast chicken or pork, use it as a bed for stir-fry or beef stew, or even eat it plain as a quick snack. While it’s easy to love rice, it’s not always so easy to prepare it, especially on the stovetop. A microwave rice cooker is a great way to prepare rice if you don’t like making it on a stovetop, and especially if you don’t even have a stovetop!
These brilliant gadgets produce perfectly cooked rice in your microwave. Easy to use, just measure the rice, add water, and the microwave does the rest. The special design allows the steam to circulate throughout the device for evenly cooked rice. Microwave rice cookers come in a variety of models and sizes, and some can also be used to cook other grains such as quinoa, couscous and pasta.
We feature five microwave rice cookers you can buy online. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
Top Pick Best Versatile: Prep Solutions by Progressive Microwaveable Rice and Pasta Cooker
You’ve just moved into your first apartment and you love it. Your kitchen is small, equipped with only a small fridge, two-burner stovetop and a microwave. With only two burners, you’re limited to what you can make on the stovetop, but that doesn’t stop you from wanting to cook healthy meals. If you’re looking to expand ways to cook rice and pasta without a stovetop, then this convenient microwave rice and pasta cooker set may be just the thing.
This 17-piece BPA-free set is designed specifically for cooking and reheating rice in the microwave. The easy-lock lid secures tightly to prevent spills and messes and with a 12-cup capacity, you can make up to eight cups of rice, enough to host a dinner for friends or to give you a few days of leftovers.
What’s so cool about this set is that it’s not only good for cooking rice – the extra accessories allow you to expand your repertoire and prepare a wide range of meals. With the pasta insert, you can make spaghetti or other shaped pasta noodles and the vegetable steamer insert is perfect for turning out delicious and crispy veggies.
Forget about juggling heavy pots and pans filled with water. With this microwave rice cooker, which also includes a pasta measurer, six measuring cups, four measuring spoons, a rice paddle and a locking lid, you’ve got everything you need to make easy delicious meals in the microwave every night of the week.
- 17-piece set
- Cooks rice, pasta and vegetables
- 12-cup capacity makes eight cups of rice
- Made from high-heat propylene
- Top rack dishwasher safe
- Measures 10.75 inches x 6.5 x 9 inches
- The wattage of your microwave may alter recommended cooking times
Top Pick Best Basic: Home-X Microwave Rice Cooker
If you’re new to the art of making rice on the stovetop, getting the water-to-rice ratio can feel a bit intimidating. And if you’ve already tried it a few times with less than perfect results, it doesn’t mean you need to strike rice from your meals. For an easy way to make delicious, fluffy rice, we recommend this microwave rice cooker from Home-X.
What’s interesting about this rice cooker is the pressure chamber that steams rice like a classic rice cooker, giving you tender rice every time. No more worries about over or undercooked rice.
Easy to use, simply add rice and water to the container according to the directions, cover with the inner and outer lids and microwave for about 15 minutes. The inner lid pressure chamber lets steam escape slowly to ensure even cooking and fluffy results. The built-in steam release vents in the lid provide splatter-free heating and cooking and the easy locking clips secure the lid down tight.
With a 10-cup capacity, you’ll have plenty of leftovers if you’re on your own or enough for a family of four. Use the included rice paddle for serving and when you’re done, place the rice cooker on the top rack of the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
Measuring approximately 7.5 inches in diameter x 6 inches high, the container will fit easily into your microwave and is also fridge and freezer safe. With this microwave rice cooker, you just may never want to go back to making rice in a pot on the stovetop again.
- BPA free
- 10-cup capacity
- Built-in steam release vents
- Easy locking clips
- Top-rack dishwasher safe
- Container gets very hot, handle with oven mitts
Top Pick Best Overall: Joseph Joseph 45002 M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker
You like simplicity. Nothing too complicated, not even the recipes you follow. The same for your small kitchen appliances – simple is best. If you’re looking for a super convenient microwave rice cooker that provides all the tools necessary to measure, wash, cook and serve fluffy rice and grains, then this model from Joseph Joseph may be for you.
This model has an interesting design with a unique inner colander that is part of the cooking process and a spoon that is not only used to fluff and serve the rice, but is integral to locking the lid securely during the cooking process. When in place, the spoon, which also doubles as a carry handle when the cooker is not in use, helps defuse the steam from shooting upward inside the microwave. The hole for the steam on the cover is aligned directly under the spoon, redirecting the pressure of the steam sideways to help keep the inside of the microwave nice and clean.
Easy to use, the first step is to place the rice into the colander and rinse it a few times with water. Then the rice-filled colander goes into the large two liter/eight-cup cooking pot. Add the correct amount of water, secure the top with the serving spoon, and turn on the microwave. Depending on the wattage of your microwave, you’ll have perfect fluffy rice in less than 20 minutes.
- Interesting design
- Suitable for rice and other grains
- Rice paddle locks the lid and provides carrying handle
- Comes with an inner colander to rinse the rice
- Two-liter cooking pot
- Dishwasher safe
- More expensive than other models
- The power rating (wattage) specified on the packaging is for guidance only
- Pot gets very hot after cooking
Top Pick Quickest Method: Minute Rice Rapid Cooker
The days are so busy it all seems to rush by in the blink of an eye. You just don’t have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking fancy meals. But you’re not fond of take-out or fast-food delivery and still want to eat healthfully. If you love rice and want to include it in your meals but don’t have the time to make it in the slow, traditional way, then this microwave rice cooker may be for you.
This rapid rice cooker gives you rice in minutes using any Minute Rice blend. Perfect for a meal on the run, you don’t have to worry about rinsing or draining rice, waiting for water to boil or washing pots, pans and dishes. For perfect rice every time, simply add Minute Rice to the first fill line, add water to the top fill line, and microwave between two minutes and 30 seconds to three minutes.
Reusable for up to five years, the Minute Rice rapid cooker is durable and portable, measuring 7.5 inches x 5 inches x 2.25 inches, perfect for taking with you to the office or to school. And the heat-resistant handles make it easy and safe to remove from the microwave. This cool rice cooker brings you stovetop flavor at microwave speed, giving you fluffy, flavorful rice in a fraction of the time it would take using a pot, water and stovetop. Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice.
- Easy to use
- Makes rice in three minutes
- Works best using only Minute Rice, not long-grain or wild rice
- Not suitable for other grains
Top Pick Best Individual Portions: Donabe Microwave Rice Cooker Mug
You’re trying to reduce the amount of plastic in your house and you’re looking for an alternative way to cook rice in the microwave without using a plastic container. Glass models seem too heavy. If you’re looking for a unique way to make individual portions of rice in the microwave that doesn’t include plastic or glass, then consider this awesome mug set.
These two Japanese ceramic mugs, one white and one black, are your best bet to easily cook delicious, fluffy rice in minutes using the microwave. Simply wash 5.3 ounces of white rice and drain well. Pour the rice and ¾ of a cup of water into the mug and put on the lid. Microwave for seven minutes at 500 watts and let steam for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Each mug holds approximately two cups of cooked rice, perfect individualized servings to have with a protein or to eat as a snack. Easy to use, easy to clean, your kids will love this new way to make rice.
- Ceramic mugs contain no plastic
- Makes individual servings
- Easy to use
- Each mug makes approximately two cups of rice
- Not dishwasher safe
- Adjust cooking time depending on type of rice
- Mugs can get very hot when cooking
- More expensive than other microwave rice cookers
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for a microwave rice cooker so you will choose one that best suits your needs:
Capacity: Before choosing a microwave rice cooker, think about how much rice you plan to make at a given time. If you have a large family, or like to make large batches to have leftovers for during the week, then consider a 12-cup capacity that will yield around eight cups of cooked rice. If you are on your own or a couple, then choose a smaller model that produces between six and eight cups of rice. There are also models that make individual portions, which are great for college dorms or in the office.
Wattage and cooking instructions: The cooking instructions that come with rice cookers should be used as a guideline, since not all microwaves are created equal. They come in different sizes and with different wattage and power. To make sure you get successful results every time, note in the cooking instructions the wattage and power of the microwave, since this will have an impact on the cooking time. For example, a 500-watt microwave will take longer to cook the rice than a 1,000-watt microwave. Not taking this into consideration could result in hard dry rice, burnt rice or undercooked rice. You may have to adjust the cooking time to accommodate to your microwave.
Material: Most rice cookers are made from heat-resistant plastic, since microwaves cannot take metal containers. Many are BPA-free for a healthier alternative. If you’re not keen on plastic, then look for a model that is made from glass or ceramic.