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Types of Rice Cookers

Whether it's being used in Thai, Japanese, or Chinese dishes, rice has been an essential part of Asian cuisine for thousands of years. In fact, it continues to be one of the most widely consumed food staples in the world! Since it can be difficult to cook this finicky grain to a desirable consistency, it’s important that you have the right tools at your disposal. For the best, most efficient results in any restaurant, this means buying a rice cooker and possibly some accessories. This guide aims to explain the mysteries surrounding rice cookers (like how does a rice cup measurement differ from a standard cup measurement?) as well as help you make the most of the rice cooker in your kitchen.


Rice Cooker: Small electric kitchen appliance for cooking rice, which has an inner pan and an external pot
Rice Warmer: Small electric kitchen appliance, which holds pre-cooked rice at the optimum serving temperature without overcooking it
Rice Cooker/Warmer: Small electric kitchen appliance, which cooks rice and holds it at the optimum serving temperature
Sushi Rice Container: Unheated storage container used to keep seasoned, cooked sushi rice at the right consistency for the preparation of sushi
Rice Cup: Chinese cup measurement used when determining the capacity of a rice cooker or warmer; equal to 6 oz. or 180 mL (about ¾ of a standard 240 mL U.S. cup), this measuring cup generally comes included when you purchase a rice cooker
Raw Rice Capacity: The maximum amount of uncooked rice a unit can hold; also, the capacity (per cup) that defines a rice cooker
Tasty rice
Cooked Rice Capacity: The maximum amount of cooked rice a unit can hold, which is usually about 2 times the raw rice capacity; also, the capacity (per cup) that defines a rice warmer
Rice Ladle: A serving utensil designed specifically for serving rice
Rice Napkin: A reusable napkin often made of nylon or polyester that holds rice while it cooks; it allows for easy cleanup as well as water drainage to keep rice fluffed up

Quick Tips for Tasty Rice

Tasty rice

Rice cookers are relatively simple kitchen appliances, but they can make your life much easier if rice is something you need to produce consistently and quickly. Follow the tips in the video and text below for perfect rice every time!

Rinse your rice before cooking. Before cooking most types of rice in a rice cooker, the rice needs to be rinsed thoroughly. Rinsing the rice beforehand will not only give it a more consistent texture and eliminate any pesticides that may be present, but it will also create less foam inside the cooker and keep it from bubbling over. Please note that while rinsing your rice is generally the rule, it’s important to read the packaging. Some rice comes enriched with water-soluble vitamins and minerals such as iron or thiamin that will dissolve if it is washed prior to cooking.

Use the correct water to rice ratio. The standard ratio of water to rice (in a U.S. standard cup measurement) is 1 1/2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice, or in the case of unwashed rice, 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice. Getting this ratio correct depends on how you measure both the rice and the water. Typically, rice is measured using a dry cup and water is measured by volume, but in the case of rice cookers, you should use the same measuring cup to measure both rice and water. Keep in mind that the measuring cup that comes with your rice cooker is a rice cup (see glossary), not a standard U.S. cup, which means that unless your recipe calls specifically for rice cups, you will need to adjust your measurements accordingly. Still unsure about the correct water to rice ratio? Check out the chart below for more specific information!

Type of Rice Water : Rice Ratio (in standard U.S. cup measurements)
White, long grain
1 3/4 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
White, medium grain
1 1/2 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
White, short grain
1 1/2 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
Brown, long grain
2 1/4 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
2 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
Indian-style (basmati, jasmine)
1 1/2 cups of water : 1 cup of rice
1 cup of water : 1 cup of rice if the rice was rinsed prior to cooking
2 cups of water : 1 cup of quinoa

Getting the Most Out of Your Rice Cooker

How to Use a Rice Cooker


Enhance the flavor of your rice. It’s okay to add bay leaves or cardamom pods directly to your rice cooker to create rich, unique flavors. Many people prefer to add a bit of salt, butter, or oil to their rice as well.

Do not peek into the rice cooker. Every time you open your rice cooker, you are letting water vapor escape, which will eventually cause your rice to dry out.

Let your rice rest after cooking. Although your rice cooker may shut off and switch to warming mode, it does not mean that the rice inside is completely done and ready to eat. Letting your rice rest for at least 5-10 minutes after the cooker has shut off will not only permit the rice to finish cooking, but it will also stabilize the water level and allow excess moisture to steam out of your rice.

Do not use metal utensils to serve your rice. Although using a metal utensil won’t spoil the taste of your rice, it may ruin the inside of your rice cooker. Most types of rice cookers have a non-stick inner pan that can be scratched easily by metal utensils. So, to prolong the life of your rice cooker, it’s better to use plastic serving ware. There are even some serving utensils that are designed specifically for serving rice!

Clean up quickly between multiple batches of rice. If you’re making multiple batches of rice and need to clean your cooker quickly (or if you don’t have a dishwasher), try this little trick. After removing any large amounts of leftover rice, replace the inner pan of your rice cooker and leave your cooker in warming mode with the lid open.
This will allow the small amount of rice still stuck in the cooker to dry out. Turn off your rice cooker, and once it is completely cool, you should be able to reach in with a dry hand and run it around the surface of the pan, collecting the leftover rice and residue. Although you should still clean the pan once you’ve done this, removing the hard, dry rice is much easier than trying to scrub wet, gooey rice out of the bottom of the pan. For an even easier option, try one of our rice napkins! This reusable product allows for easy cleanup and exceptional water drainage.

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