The Best Rice Cooker in Australia: Breville, Zojirushi, Tefal

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Rice cookers can be the best way to quickly and conveniently cook perfect rice for the whole family. They can take a bit of hassle out of preparing evening meals and can keep dishes warm until you are ready to eat. However, with so many varied options on the market, it’s easy to get confused about which products are great and which are not so great.

In this article, we take a look at some of the best rice cookers on the market in Australia. After our rice cooker reviews, we list the key things you’ll want to watch out for when choosing one to ensure you get the best product for your needs.


1. Breville The Rice Box Rice Cooker (Top Pick)


Breville The Rice Box Cooker, White BRC460WHT

The Breville Rice Box Cooker is designed to help you cook different types of rice perfectly, creating a delicious meal for the whole family time and time again. You can also use this cooker to steam vegetables, seafood and poultry.

The main feature of the Rice Box is that it contains a special component that keeps condensation away, something that can cause textural inconsistency. Instead, the cooking environment is cleverly controlled, creating perfect rice every time. 

Organised homeowners will love that there’s a handy timer in the product which enables you to have cooked rice at an exact time to suit you. You can also trust that if the rice is cooked quicker it will not continue to overcook. This is because the device senses when rice is cooked and switches the environment to ‘keep warm’ when this happens. For busy families, this kind of technology is really handy. 


What We Like:

  • Consistent rice cooking from top to bottom
  • Handy timer
  • Senses when rice is cooked
  • Able to make 10 cups of rice

What We Don’t Like:

  • Simple compared to more elaborate devices
  • Quite bulky for slimmer kitchen countertops

2. Zojirushi 5 Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker


If you’re looking for a smart and easy cooking device, Zojirushi rice cooker could be a great choice for you. The technology it is made with enables the device to make small adjustments to the cooking environment to ensure fluffy, moist rice every use. 

Customers who love to make a variety of dishes will value the various types of rice settings on the Neuro Fuzzy, enabling you to cook all kinds of rice well. The easy to use LCD panel also has keep-warm and reheating programmes so you can eat as and when you want to.

The Neuro Fuzzy is ideal if you’re serious about your rice, and want to be able to cook a wide range of varieties such as sticky sushi rice, risotto, brown rice and jasmine rice.

The 5 cup capacity is especially perfect for the family as it creates a massive 10 cups of cooked rice. 

For easy maintenance, the Zojirushi has a handy detachable inner lid that you can wash. The item also comes with a spatula, spatula holder and 2 measuring cups (1 rinse measuring cup, 1 dry) so you’re ready to start cooking straight away, all you need is the rice. 


What We Like:

  • Advanced Fuzzy Logic technology means perfect white rice
  • Smart automatic cooking adjustments
  • Various rice cooking and steaming settings
  • Comes with handy accessories
  • Easy to clean 

What We Don’t Like:

  • Quite bulky for the counterto
  • Additional settings may be more complex than required


3. Tefal RK1038 Classic Rice Cooker


TEFAL RK1038 Classic Rice Cooker, Black

The Tefal classic rice cooker has a unique one-click automatic cooking design that customers will love. With just one click the rice cooks and steams from top to bottom and then remains warm until you’re ready to feast. The design is very simple, which is ideal for a family who doesn’t want lots of settings and options in their device. The RK1038 is also compact and ideal for making rice on smaller kitchen countertops. 

Busy homeowners will love that the parts of the appliance that need cleaning, such as the inner lid, are removable and easy to wash and dry.  This classic rice cooker comes with a steam basket, measuring cup and rice spoon. This is a compact, easy to use option that allows you to cook two dishes at the same time.


What We Like:

  • One click to start cooking process
  • Comes with accessories
  • Easy to clean
  • Compact
  • Glass lid for easy viewing

What We Don’t Like:

  • Lacks in more elaborate cooking options
  • Makes less rice than larger versions

4. Panasonic 10 Cup Rice Cooker


One of the few big-name brands boasting fuzzy logic technology, this Panasonic rice cooker is easy to use and delivers perfect rice, every time. 

Some users might find the cook time slower than usual. This can be frustrating if you’re trying to whip up a quick meal, but if you’re organised with your meal prep, this is one of the best rice cookers on the market.

With a simple and straightforward design, this appliance is a pleasure to use. It features one-touch controls along with a range of cooking modes. Whether you want white rice, brown rice, porridge or soup, you can do it all in this impressive rice cooker. Once the cooking process is complete, it automatically switches to Keep Warm mode, maintaining your rice at the perfect temperature until you’re ready to serve.

This product is lightweight and has a compact design, making it easy to move and store, an important consideration in any modern kitchen. It also has a removable inner pan with non-stick surfaces to make cleaning up a breeze. What’s more, the power cord can be completely removed for tidy storage.

What makes this product really stand out from the competition is the inclusion of a micro-computer and fuzzy logic technology. Put simply, this means the rice cooker can automatically adjust temperature and cooking time during the cooking process in order to deliver more precise results. Say goodbye to burnt, overcooked, or uncooked rice.

The Panasonic rice cooker comes with a measuring cup, rice scoop and steamer basket. Making rice will be the easiest part of the meal with this exceptional kitchen appliance in your arsenal.


What We Like:

  • Easy to use
  • Advanced Fuzzy Logic technology 
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Non-stick pan
  • Steamer basket included

What We Don’t Like:

  • Takes longer to cook than other machines

5. Cuckoo 10 Cup Rice Cooker


The cute design of the Cuckoo 10 cup rice cooker might be enough to tempt any homeowner who loves an attractive gadget for the kitchen. Luckily, the Cuckoo 10 cup isn’t all aesthetics and has plenty of features for you to enjoy. 

There are a massive 11 rice cooking settings and 10 cup rice capacity enabling you to make plenty of delicious food for all the family, and more. The English, Chinese or Korean voice settings are a particularly unique feature, adding to a friendly cooking environment in the kitchen as you whip up a storm. 

Busy home cooks will love that the number 1 selling rice cooker in Korea cooks rice extremely quickly, helping you to grab a perfectly cooked rice-based bite in a flash. 


What We Like:

  • A range of rice and grain cooking options
  • Very quick at cooking rice
  • Attractive design
  • Large cooking capacity

What We Don’t Like:

  • Elaborate options which may not suit simpler cooking needs
  • Item is quite bulky for smaller countertops

6. Philips Daily Collection Grain Master Rice Cooker

Philips Daily Collection Grain Master Rice Cooker with 24-Hour Preset Timer and Free Recipe Booklet, 4L Capacity, White, HD4514/72

Appliance leader Phillips offers Australia a rice cooker with a multitude of features, best suited for customers looking for a device that does it all. 

If you love to be organised you will appreciate the 24 hour preset option (delay timer), 12 hours keep warm setting and 8 different cooking options. In combination with the fragrant retention valve which maintains the natural rice fragrance, and the smart cooking adjustments you’re guaranteed perfectly cooked fluffy bowls of rice every time. 

Customers who appreciate good value will appreciate the high quality crystal pot which is anti-scratch and easy to clean. The free recipe booklet you get with the Grain Master is also handy, helping you switch recipes you’re bored of and instead, get started cooking delicious food as soon as your cooker gets delivered. 


What We Like:

  • Lots of settings
  • Smart cooking adjustments
  • Free recipe booklet
  • 24 hour preset delay timer option

What We Don’t Like:

  • Small steam vent resulting in steam spray on the product lid
  • No steamer basket

7. Breville The Multi Grains Rice Cooker

Breville The Multi Grains Rice Cooker, Silver BRC550SIL

If you’re looking for a great value, versatile rice cooker, you should definitely check out the Multi Grains Rice Cooker from Breville.

Bridging the gap between rice cookers and multi cookers, this appliance is marketed as an “advanced grain cooker”. This means it’s perfect for rice, but also for quinoa, oats, lentils, and even stir free risotto. It also features a saute/sear setting for perfect cooking of vegetables.

The brushed stainless steel housing looks great and will fit in well with other modern kitchen appliances, while the non-stick cooking bowl makes clean-up hassle free.


What We Like:

  • Suitable for a wide range of grains including quinoa, lentils, stir-free risotto and porridge
  • Non-stick cooking bowl
  • Large 10 cup capacity
  • Glass lid lets you keep an eye on progress
  • 1 year replacement warranty

What We Don’t Like:

  • Some users have found this product doesn’t last as long as hoped

Rice Cooker Buyer’s Guide


Buying a rice cooker is a great idea if you want to cook tasty rice dishes regularly at home. It isn’t a small purchase though, with some models costing hundreds of dollars, so it pays to do your research.

Should you pay more for specific functions? Does physical size matter? Is induction better? Do you need to cook a certain amount to feed a large family? These questions and more need answering before you commit to a handy kitchen gadget like a grain cooker. 

To help you make the best choice when you pick a rice cooker, take a look at this handy buying guide: 

Rice For One Or For The Whole Family?

Some rice cookers are designed to make rice for one or two people. Some are designed so that rice is cooked for the whole family. 

Of course, you might prefer to make extra for yourself for meals for a couple of days, but in that case, you must opt for a version that safely reheats. 

Understanding your capacity needs ensures you choose a product that effectively feeds everyone in your household.

Generally speaking, most people use 1/2 a cup of uncooked rice per person. This should yield about 1.5 – 2 cups of rice per person. A rice cooker with a 5 cup capacity usually indicates that it can take 5 cups of uncooked rice, producing up to 10 cups of cooked rice.

How much water you use will depend on the type of rice. For white rice varieties, you would generally need 1 – 1.5 cups of water per cup of uncooked rice. Keep in mind that if you have washed the rice it will already have liquid in it so less additional water will be required. Most rice cookers will have markings inside the bowl to assist with measuring.

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Capacity

One of the best things about a rice cooker is that it does not take up a huge amount of space. A rice cooker is generally the same size as a large capacity bowl and can easily be stored in a cupboard when not in use.

The capacity is the number of cups of rice it can cook. Think about how many cups of rice you will be cooking on a regular basis when you want to buy the best rice cooker for your home.

Buying a large capacity rice cooker that can produce up to 20 cups of cooked rice because of the occasional dinner party is not a good idea as if you cook considerably less rice more regularly you may damage the cooker, reduce its life span and it won’t be able to cook the rice as well as it should.

  • Small Capacity – a 3 cup rice cooker is often the smallest rice cooker available. Generally, a rice cooker of this size can make enough rice for up to 4 people.
  • Medium Capacity – a 5 cup rice cooker is the next size up and is a popular option in family homes.
  • Large Capacity – for households, the largest capacity rice cooker is 10 cups. A 10 cup rice cooker can produce roughly 20 cups of cooked rice.

Fancy Rice Or Basic Rice?

Some rice cookers literally just cook rice really well. Others will cook all different types of rice and even porridge and quinoa. Buy the best rice cooker for the dishes you love to make.

If you want to make lots of different rice dishes then it makes sense to invest in a fancier cooker. However, if you just want a product that cooks rice well, opt for high-quality no-frills designs that only do the one job, but they do it well. 

Another consideration is investing in a pressure cooker. A good quality pressure cooker will slow cook, pressure cook, and operate as a rice cooker, meaning you can operate with a few less appliances in your kitchen.

Heating Element

Different rice cookers offer different cooking methods. A traditional rice cooker uses one heating element that heats the rice from the bottom of the cooker. This cooks rice well but produces a crust on top of the cooked rice, something many people don’t like. Other rice cookers have heating elements on the bottom and along the sides of the rice cooker so that there is no crust on the top of the rice. This helps the rice cook evenly and some have a hinged lid to help keep heat in during cooking too.

You can also get micro-computerized rice cookers now that uses a computer to operate and cook the rice at varying temperatures. These are best for cooking a wide variety of dishes rather than just white rice and allow you to preset the cooking timer to control when you want the rice to be ready. A micro-computerized rice cooker uses “fuzzy logic” (more on that below) to produce fluffy, better tasting rice. One of these cookers can also often be used as a steamer, a slow cooker and to cook rice porridge too.

Induction Heating

Some rice cookers use induction heating to make cooking rice even more precise. These options heat from an alternating electric current that passes through copper coils. This creates a magnetic field that generates heat for cooking rice (heat is only generated if the rice cooker’s pan is magnetic). This is different from other rice cookers that use electrical plates to heat the pan.

The best rice cooker heating method is arguably induction heating as it is more precise, gives more temperature control and results in instantaneous temperature changes within the cooker. This makes induction heating a more appealing option for serious cooks but they do tend to be slightly more expensive too.

Easy To Operate

When choosing a rice cooker, take a look at the controls and functions. Most of the best rice cookers have one-touch operation to make it easy to use. Some offer a couple of cooking modes including quick cook, steaming, slow cooking and a keep warm setting. There may also be a delay start function so you can time it perfectly so the rice is ready when it is time to eat.

Other features that make a rice cooker easier to use include:

  • Large handles for lifting and moving the cooker around safely
  • A removable power cord that allows you to use the rice cooker to serve food or store it away more easily
  • Well labelled controls

Inner Pot

The cooking pot, or inner pot, should be removable, non-stick and ideally, dishwasher safe or at least easy cleaning. Look for durability and an inner pot that has a quality non-stick coating that won’t peel. Aluminium and stainless steel are the most popular materials used for the inner pot.

Multi-Purpose

Some rice cookers are multi-purpose meaning they can be used to steam vegetables or meat while cooking the rice as well. This can be the best option if you are cooking for many people or want to make various dishes within one appliance. In addition to cooking rice, steaming food and the keep warm function you may also be able to simmer soups or cook pulses in a multi-purpose rice cooker.

Other Foods You Can Cook In A Rice Cooker:

A rice cooker is able to handle all rice types including white rice, brown rice, basmati rice and black rice. In addition to the rice, you can cook a range of other dishes that may include:

  • Grains – quinoa, barley, bulgur, millet, buckwheat etc.
  • Oatmeal – steel cut oatmeal
  • Dried beans
  • Soup
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Apple sauce
  • Rice pudding

You get the idea… These are just a few of many dishes you can prepare in a digital rice cooker so don’t think you’re limited to just white/ brown rice.

Easy Maintenance 

Who doesn’t like easy cleaning when it comes to kitchen gadgets? 

Look for features like a removable lid, handle or bowl, easy-clean non-stick components and wipeable sections. This will let you know that you don’t have more work than the appliance is worth when it comes to keeping it in great shape. Keep an eye out for dishwasher safe components too.

The aim is for making rice to become a pleasure, not a chore!

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Durability

When looking for the best rice cooker, consider the durability as these appliances should be able to last many years of use. The material of the pot plays a role in how durable it is. Most of the best cookers are either aluminium or stainless steel and the inner bowl should have a non-stick coating. Check if the components are dishwasher safe as otherwise putting them in the dishwasher could damage them.

You can help your rice cooker last longer by:

  • Not washing rice inside the inner pot – use another bowl to wash the rice and this can help keep the pot and the coating in top condition for longer.
  • Using the provided spoon/ spatula – this one is simple but will also help prevent scratching and damaging the bowl when you scoop rice out. You shouldn’t use metal or wooden spoons to do this.
  • Dry the outside of the pot before use – putting the rice into the cooker when the outside of the pot is wet can damage the heating elements and impact the cooking time and temperature of the rice. Simply wipe the outside of the pot before placing it into the rice cooker.
  • Don’t use the cooking mode to re-heat rice that’s already cooked – this is not a good idea as if the cooker does not have a specific reheat function it hasn’t been programmed to handle the large amount of rice and small amount of water reheating requires. Instead, use a timer to delay start the cooker so it can cook and keep rice warm for when you are going to eat it. If the rice is already cooked it is best to simply reheat it in the microwave.
  • Soak brown rice before cooking – if your rice cooker doesn’t have a brown rice function soak it first so the rice cooks properly.
  • Use a soft sponge to clean the inner pot – the pot should be easy to clean so some warm water and a soft soapy sponge should do the trick for quick and easy cleaning. If the pot has rice cooked onto the bottom of it then leave it to soak rather than scrubbing it hard.

Accessories

Many of the best rice cookers come with a few accessories to make it easy to cook the best rice. Check the rice cooker comes with a measuring cup, an inner non-stick bowl and a tight-fitting lid. The cooking pot may also come with a steamer and a serving spatula or spoon but this will depend on the model you choose.

A measuring cup for rice is different from a standard measuring cup so when you make rice it is best to use the included measuring cup so you don’t need to worry about overfilling the cooker or making mistakes with the measurements.

Timings To Suit You

If you are extremely organised or you like to plan your meals, rice cookers with preset options, multiple timing options, quick cook, reheat and warm mode options are useful.

The more that you can make your gadget work around your schedule, the easier your life will be. 

Unsealed Lid Vs Sealed Lid

A rice cooker with an unsealed lid is easier to use than one with a sealed lid and they are easy to clean and usually cost less. With an unsealed lid you can also keep an eye on the rice as it is cooking without lifting the lid. However, these lids may rattle and if you are cooking the max amount of rice it may splash starchy water on the worktop during cooking.

A sealed lid helps to stop any rattling and prevents water from splattering onto the counter space. These lids are more fiddly to clean as there is usually a removable inner lid, an outer lid and a steam vent that needs to be cleaned. The steam vent needs to be cleaned as the starchy water of the rice can leave residue on the inside of the lid. Make sure the cooker lid has had time to cool down before cleaning it.

Other Features To Consider

  • See-through lid – a glass lid lets you keep an eye on the rice while it is cooking. Not all rice cookers come with a glass lid, some have a stainless steel lid. Lifting the lid impacts the cooking time and is not recommended on a rice cooker so being able to look without touching the lid is a great feature.
  • Automatic switch off – most rice cookers have this feature and they will either switch off or switch to the keep warm function when the rice is ready. This allows you to make perfect rice without needing to keep an eye on the cooker.
  • Keep Warm – for many, a keep warm function is a key feature of a rice cooker. This makes sure the rice will keep warm while you prepare the rest of the meal. Many rice cookers with a keep warm function will automatically switch to this mode when the rice is cooked and can keep the rice warm for a few hours (the length of time it will keep rice warm depends on the model you choose). For best results, you shouldn’t keep the rice warm using the feature for longer than 5 hours.
  • Multigrain Option – a rice cooker that has a multigrain option can mean two things. It may be referring to the rice you can cook (meaning it can cook other rice such as brown rice) or it may mean that is can handle other grains too. Check in the product specifications so you know exactly what the multigrain feature can handle.
  • Reheat function – there are a couple of cookers that have a reheat function designed to reheat cold rice. This function will essentially use the keep warm function to slowly bring the rice up to a good temperature. You usually need to add a small amount of water when using the reheat function so double check the instructions.
  • Warranty – Many rice cookers come with a 2 year warranty but this varies depending on the brand you choose. A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance that should last many years of use so a warranty is essential. Check what warranty and after sales support is offered before purchasing.

A rice cooker is a perfect addition to your kitchen, but it pays to choose the right version for your needs. With our tips above, and some careful consideration, you’ll hopefully end up with a rice cooker that provides you with the amount and type of perfectly cooked fluffy rice you want, exactly when you want it. 


The low-down on Fuzzy Logic


If you’ve been wondering why there seems to be such a large price difference between entry-level and high-end rice cookers, the answer is most likely Fuzzy Logic.

This logic is used where decision making is required but where information may be imprecise. Therefore, the decisions required aren’t always black and white.

Fuzzy logic is all around us. It’s used in a wide range of processes in order to enable more advanced and precise decision making. From Microwave ovens to cement mixers, fuzzy logic is used to deliver a better outcome when decision making is involved.

First proposed by UC Berkeley professor Lotfi Zadeh in 1965, fuzzy logic is designed for situations that are vague or lack certainty.

In rice cookers, fuzzy logic allows the appliance to operate more like a computer program, making independent judgement calls throughout the cooking process. They process data through computer chips, and then adjust cooking time and temperature in order to deliver precise results.

Traditional rice cookers, on the other hand, simply apply a set amount of heat for a set amount of time. Not only does this technology eliminate the chance of overcooked or uncooked rice, it consistently delivers fluffy rice with the perfect texture to bring out the flavours from your meal.


Looking For More Rice Cooker Inspiration?


Check out these easy rice cooker recipes:


Rice cooker FAQs


How does a rice cooker work?

A basic rice cooker consists of a heating element, cooking bowl, and thermostat. Rice and water is placed inside the cooking bowl and the appliance applies heat to use a combination of boiling and steaming to cook the rice. Once the water has been absorbed, the temperature inside the container will rise. This change in temperature triggers the thermostat, at which point the rice cooker will switch into “keep warm” mode.

Why are Japanese rice cookers more expensive?

Japanese rice cookers tend to employ more advanced technology, sensors, and features, meaning they can cook a wider range of types of rice and provide the cook with more control over the cooking process. A common feature of Japanese rice cookers (such as the Zojirushi Neuro reviewed in this article) is fuzzy logic, which employs mathematical algorithms to make adjustments to the cooking time and temperature so you get perfect rice every time.

Can you cook rice in a pressure cooker?

Most pressure cookers have the ability to cook rice, however, be sure to check the features of your specific appliance.

How do you make sticky rice?

Sticky rice gets its unique texture from the amount of starch that is present. To make sticky rice, first soak the uncooked rice in water for a minimum of 30 minutes. Do not rinse the rice beforehand. After soaking you can proceed with your regular cooking method, but try using slightly more water than normal, and be sure to leave it the pot covered for at least 10 minutes once it has finished cooking. For best results use glutinous rice (or sweet rice), which is commonly used as sushi rice. However, you can achieve sticky rice using risotto rice or another short-grained rice using the method above.




This article was written by Jennifer Blair

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