Korean BBQ Essentials: Best Large Rice Cooker

//Korean BBQ Essentials: Best Large Rice Cooker

Last updated: Aug 26, 2018 @ 11:50 pm

After 5 hours of research on four top rated rice cookers, we are happy to conclude that the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker is the best large (6+ cups uncooked rice) sized rice cooker available online! With a high quality build, multi-functionality, and reasonable price, Hamilton earns the prize for best large rice cooker. Come check out how we determined the best! 

Editor’s Pick:

Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker

Capacity: 7 cups uncooked 
Price: $39.49
Dimensions: 9.3 x 10.2 x 10 in

No matter what meal you’re preparing, the Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker lets you cook a variety of foods effortlessly.  Its settings include 3 rice/grain options– white rice, quick rice and whole grain – allowing you to cook everything from a 10-minute batch of white rice to farro, quinoa, and other whole grains. Not only can you prepare rice, you can also steam/heat vegetables with the “Steam Cook” and “Heat/Simmer” settings. Making a whole meal in this rice cooker simply takes you placing some ingredients in a bowl and pushing a couple buttons– the future is here y’all. It can cook rice and whole grains perfectly, while simultaneously preparing your choice of vegetables, seafood, or poultry in an integrated basket. The 2-in-1 steamer basket can also be used to rinse grains before cooking, preventing unwanted clumping and resulting in a fresher taste (and one less dish to wash). Clean up is a snap with the dishwasher safe nonstick cooking pot. Its compact size makes for easy storage. Cooking healthy, delicious meals doesn’t get any simpler than that.

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#1 Contender:

Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker, Slow Cooker, Food Steamer, SS Exterior

Capacity: 10 cups uncooked 
Price: $39.90
Dimensions: 10.8 x 11.2 x 10.8 in

The Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker sits at a close 2nd, and is actually “Amazon’s Choice” for large rice cookers. Aroma’s rice cooker has a slightly lower average rating than Hamilton’s; however, Aroma is the #1 rice cooker brand in the US. Its high rating stem from its easy-to-use, programmable controls with automatic “Keep-Warm” function and multi-functional settings for other ingredients. In addition, if you purchase the Aroma rice cooker through Amazon, it comes with a steam tray, rice measuring cup, and a serving spatula. Despite the fact that Aroma has a slightly lower average than the Hamilton rice cooker, Aroma is the most reviewed.
A common complaint with this rice cooker is that it does not preserve your cooked rice well. If you’re looking for a rice cooker where you can leave your rice in for the whole week, this one may not be the one for you. You’d probably be better off getting a smaller rice cooker and going with smaller batches of fresh rice. However, if you have plans to eat your all your rice within one sitting, or storing the remainder in the fridge, Aroma is an excellent option. Another common complaint is that this rice cooker does not age well. Its non-stick coating aids in clean-up, however, after repeated washes the nonstick coating peels off. This results in rice sticking to the bottom of the pan, making cleanup a hassle. If you’re interested in the Aroma rice cooker, make sure to weigh out all the pros and cons!

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#1 Contender Wannabe:

Tatung Multi-Functional Rice Cooker

Capacity: 11 cups uncooked
Price: $126.56
Dimensions: 12.3 x 12.3 x 11.7 in

At 3rd place is the Tatung Multi-Functional Rice Cooker, with its simple design and settings. Unlike the previous rice cookers mentioned, Tatung only has two settings for you to choose from “Cook” or “Warm”. However, it can still be utilized to cook any grain of rice and to steam vegetables and fish on a steamer tray. While it may lack variety in the settings, Tatung’s durability  and build quality is what makes this rice cooker so special. Its stainless steel exterior and interior last years, and results in fluffy rice that will not burn and stick to the edges of the pot. As mentioned earlier, Tatung has the ability to steam vegetables and fish as well, however, you do have to purchase the steamer tray separately.
Tatung is the most expensive rice cooker on this list, so if you’re not interested in a simple rice cooker with 2 functions, you should resort to the Hamilton or Aroma rice cooker. If you’re looking for a high-quality rice cooker with extremely simple functions, Tatung is the best choice for you.

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On The Bubble:

Presto Digital Stainless Steel Rice Cooker/Steamer

Capacity: 8 cups uncooked
Price: $34.90
Dimensions: 10.8 x 11.4 x 10 in

The last large rice cooker on the list is the Presto Digital Rice Cooker. Presto’s reviews highlight how consistent it is when it comes to cooking perfect rice. For $34.90 you get the Presto rice cooker, steaming basket, rice paddle, and handy measuring scoop–a true bang for your buck. In addition, this rice cooker is extremely easy for customers to use. There are only three setting options-“Warm/Cancel” , “Cook/Steam”, and “Brown Rice”- making it even easier for customers to prepare a meal.
Unfortunately, the pretty price of $34.90 comes with some complaints. The largest complaints about the Presto rice cooker is the build quality — the exterior is made out of stainless steel, and its inner pot is an Aluminium pot with a nonstick coating. The inner pot is not as nonstick as expected and, “burns rice at the bottom making clean up extremely difficult” according to accumulated yelp reviews. Another thing to keep in mind is that the steam basket that comes with this large cooker is made of plastic. Therefore, you may want to purchase a separate metal steam basket to avoid any fear of plastic chemicals leeching onto your food.
Despite these negative reviews, the Presto rice cooker has a 4.2/5 starts on Amazon with 107 reviews.

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Why a Rice Cooker?:

Jinwoo, best described why rice cookers are a staple in any Korean American household, and should be in yours as well:

There’s something incessantly infuriating about cooking rice. Late into my time in culinary school our chefs would still be pleasantly surprised when a bowl of perfectly cooked rice was placed in front of them. Cooking rice is so simple, why is it a surprise when someone cooks it right? To me that’s where rice’s enigmatic nature lies, all we’re trying to do is steam these tiny grains, force water inside to transform the little rocks into light, fluffy pearls of goodness. But when getting that perfect texture between half cooked garbage and a soupy mess can be determined by a minute too few or too many, an inch of water too low or too high, it becomes a surprisingly delicate process for your average home cook. Some people eschew the headache and just resign themselves to burning the bottom half inch of rice and dealing with the clean up later, I personally prefer the blanket method that my Ukrainian neighbor taught me years ago. Essentially, prep the rice as you normally would (wash the grains in a pot), pour water to about a centimeter above the rice, place on heat covered. As soon as the lid starts doing a little dance (aka the water’s boiling) take the pot off the heat and wrap in one or two blankets and let steam for about 45 minutes. You will have perfect rice, no burnt edges, no issues with doneness, fluffy grains of goodness every time.

I digress, most people that came over gave me some perturbed looks when I got out the pot of rice to eat, and honestly your blankets will smell like rice; I didn’t mind the warmed up blanket though for my post meal nap :). Plus, I’m not very confident that the steam + blankets would be enough to get through brown rice’s superior casing. All of this is to say… if you eat rice on the reg, get yourself a rice cooker. The peace of mind that pressing a switch and knowing your rice will be cooked perfectly, the convenience of being able to leave the leftovers in the pot and have it warm and ready when you want to go back for more, the reassurance that you are not alone in this vast swirling void of a universe (some rice cookers talk to you!) are all more than enough reason to join the Rice Cooker World.

My cousin’s wife told me once that the only chore she and her sister were responsible for was to make sure that there was always some cooked rice waiting in the rice cooker (this was when they were about six or seven). The only time their father yelled at them was when he came home from work and found an empty pot sans rice. Forget the socio-cultural history (if that’s not a word you heard it here first), forget the versatility (it’s not just for rice!), forget the K-Drama reenactments (… right?), whether it be white, brown, basmati, jasmine, short grain, whatever, a rice cooker deserves a spot on your counter. Don’t tell me about how little counter space you got.

What is a Good Rice Cooker?

A large sized rice cooker is a staple for families. These larger sized rice cookers have versatile settings that most small and medium rice cookers do not have. Embrace the additional features of a large rice cooker by preparing vegetables or other ingredients in an integrated basket to prepare a whole meal with ease. Our definition of a large rice cooker is 6+ uncooked cups of rice, which is enough for you to share a meal with your family and leave leftovers for future family meals.

The main elements we’ll be looking at are pretty simple:

Efficacy: none of this matters if the rice doesn’t get cooked. I’m assuming off the bat that this will be an easy win for most rice cookers, even the most basic ones should be able to produce well cooked rice… right? We’ll get as granular as we can here so we get some variation but the down and dirty of it is how well does this product cook rice.

Convenience: There would be no point to getting a rice cooker unless it beats a normal pot. This will encapsulate overall maintenance, cleaning, and whether it has any features that make your dinner plans just a little easier (warming features, pressure cooking for faster cook times, etc).

Versatility: This is not exactly a deal breaker to me, just being able to cook your standard white rice is good enough for my needs. However, it is nice to have some options in life, whether it be brown rice, other grains/starches (quinoa, lentils, barley, etc), a steamer tray for some simultaneous cooking, or even whether it can function as a standard pressure cooker.

Durability: nobody likes buying something and having that slow realization that you got a lemon… unless you’re actually buying lemons. I can’t imagine ever moving the rice cooker off of the counter, but you’ll probably have to move it around a little bit within its lifetime and you don’t want it to fall apart whenever you do. Regardless of the workload you should be confident in the hardware you’ve purchased.

So that’s what we’ll be boiling each down to… I’m not big on puns, promise. I’ll provide as much technical characteristics as possible but they won’t tie into the overall evaluation of the product.

Why You Should Trust Us:

In the same vein as our Korean BBQ Grill post this flies somewhat in the face of our conventional methodology. As we don’t have the capacity to go out and test all of these rice cookers ourselves we opted to do the next best thing. We applied similar methods as we have for our Best Restaurants posts: relying on the power of the customer base, researching with integrity (we do not have any ties to the companies making these rice cookers), and being self aware enough to know that we are not smart enough to put forward our own opinion. We are simply relaying all of our research in as consumable of a format as we can; hopefully in the near future I can fulfill my lifelong dream of having a hundred rice cookers in my place, all singing their songs of warmth, happiness, and the cooked rice way.

How We Chose What to Test:

We decided to make this as easy as possible. We wanted to look at large sized rice cookers that everyone in the US would have access to buy and that had a good amount of data that we could peruse through. We chose Amazon for its near ubiquitous use for online shopping, went straight for “rice cookers”, sorted by customer ratings, and went down the list looking for any that claimed six cups of uncooked rice or more. We settled on anything above six cups (the cutoff for our medium rice cookers post) and anything above six cups of uncooked rice (twelve cups cooked) as that is the standard payload for when you’re cooking for a crowd.

On Its Way:

First thing, of course, is to build out the stable of reviewed large sized rice cookers. We’ll be going down our list as quickly as we can but if you have any rice cookers you are curious about hit us up and let us know. We are continuing our great journey into the hardware side of the culinary world, come along and help us see it through!

Wrapping It Up:

It was great seeing how many large sized rice cookers there are out on the market that do a great job of what they’re supposed to do… cook rice. But like any piece of hardware durability seems to be a consistent and major issue for these babies. Also, I know we’ve harped on this a bunch in our Korean BBQ Grill post, but these companies really need to come out with some palatable names for their babies. Writing about something that is a jumbled bunch of letters and numbers drives me up the wall. Regardless, it’s reassuring to know that the well being of our rice eating brethren lie in good hands. May your rice be always hot, fluffy, and perfect.

By |2018-08-26T23:50:17+00:00May 24th, 2018|Reviews|0 Comments

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