Microwave rice cookers are perfect alternatives to conventional pots when cooking rice. They are capable of preparing servings enough for an entire family in a matter of 15 minutes or less, which is a lot faster than traditional rice cookers that need boiling and steaming for at least 30-45 minutes.
Microwavable rice cookers are not standalone cookers. Instead, they are plastic containers that are placed inside microwave ovens with around 1000-1200 watts of power. It is important that they are made with good material and have the right features so that you can safely and conveniently cook with them. Read on for the top-placers in the market today.
Sistema Microwave Collection Rice Cooker
This 2.75-quart rice cooker from the Sistema Microwave Collection is made of virgin plastic, ensuring that the rice will never stick to the pot’s interior. It’s not among the pots with large capacities, but the size is enough to serve one average household in one cooking.
The lid has steam vents to aid in convection while cooking and its exterior has cool-to-touch tabs for easily taking the pot out of the microwave. The material has zero phthalates and BPA, so no chemicals will be released to your food even when heated to really high temperatures.
The pot’s material helps the rice become fluffy and light, and always easy to take out. Besides rice, it can also cook polenta or other dishes with vegetables without requiring much effort.
This model is safe for both the fridge and the freezer, so you can just store the leftovers and easily warm them again the following day. Lastly, cleanup is a breeze because of the non-stick plastic. You can wash the pot and lid on the sink without scrubbing, or just put them on the dishwasher’s top rack. However, note that oil or butter should not be used when microwaving in this pot since it can cause the plastic to deform or melt.
Joseph Joseph 45002 M-Cuisine Microwave Rice Cooker
This rice cooker from Joseph Joseph can cook rice in a matter of 5-10 minutes, which is less than half the time it takes with conventional pot boiling. It comes as a complete set of a 2.2-quart cooking pot, measuring cup, colander, and paddle, which are all made of BPA-free plastic. Cleaning the whole set is easy and dishwasher safe as well.
The pot has an excellent design where the lid can be sealed securely by twisting the paddle on top of it. This means the interior of your microwave is safe from stains and splatters. It also has a central vent that can be opened fully or partially to let the steam out.
The combination of the inner black plastic pot and the sealable lid creates an environment similar to pressure cookers. This feature allows you to cook other grains and light soups with meat and vegetables.
Similar with other plastic microwave cookers, it is not recommended to cook with oil or butter on the Joseph Joseph pot. This may cause some deformation or melting to the plastic base.
Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker Plus
With a 3-quart capacity, the Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker can handle larger servings for a bigger group of people. The set comes with the black base pot, white lid, and white boil-over guard.
Its non-stick plastic does not release unwanted chemicals even under very high temperatures. The pot itself is thick and designed to be sturdy, so it can handle a variety of dishes other than rice. It can cook vegetables, stews, soups, and even meat. Cooking pudding takes about 3 hours on a regular steamer, but the Pampered Chef cooker can do the same in just 10-15 minutes.
The boil-over guard prevents liquid from spilling out and coming into contact with the exterior surface. It has a black and shiny finish, making it resistant to stains inside and out. Cleaning up is easy too, as you can either wash it by hand or put it on the dishwasher.
This cooker is capable of producing fluffy steamy rice. Just note that it may take some practice in getting the amount of water right for cooking rice in such a large container.
Tupperware Microwave Rice Cooker Large
The 3.1-quart purple cooker from Tupperware can handle really large servings. Up to 12 cups of grain can be cooked in one go. The large cover handles can be folded down and bed locked to the base pot, providing you a strong and comfortable grip when handling it when it is full of steaming rice. It also cooks vegetables and soups excellently.
What makes it unique is the dual lid design, which traps the foam created when boiling and channels it through the recesses of the lid. This recirculates the water back to the base and improves the circulation of heat. This significantly reduces cooking time. It also ensures that the evenly-cooked rice is moist and fluffy but not mushy. Note that while the double-lid helps in preventing spillage, the cover is not liquid-tight so it is not recommended to overfill the cooker.
Like the Sistema cooker, Tupperware’s pot is safe for the fridge and freezer. You can simply reheat leftovers in the microwave the next day. It is dishwasher safe too. Like the other cookers on this list, it is free from harmful BPA and phthalates.
Upon analyzing all features, the Pampered Chef Micro-Cooker clearly wins in the contest of capacity, durability, and versatility. It has a large volume at 3 quarts, and it is one of the most affordable among other products in the same size.
The material and design also allow for maximum versatility. It doesn’t just cook rice. You can heat soup, cook side dishes, steam vegetables, and even poach chicken with it. Besides acting as a vent for steam, the holes on the lid can be used for draining water before serving the food. Lastly, the combination of the lid and the overflow guard is simply a masterpiece in design. It turns the pot into a semi-pressure cooker, and prevents spillage for easy clean-up.