The Best Cheap Rice Cooker For Budget-Conscious Buyers

Which is the cheapest, but also best, electric rice cooker that you can buy online? You do not need to spend a lot of money just to cook a lot of rice. You may read our buying guide to find out which cheap rice cookers we choose as the best for less.

Cheap 3-Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker

Aroma Housewares ARC-743-1NG
The Aroma ARC-743-1NG is a cheap 3-cup rice cooker.

Our choice for a cheap electric rice cooker with a 3-cup uncooked rice capacity is the Aroma ARC-743. You can usually buy it online for less than $25. However, it not only has to be cheap, but it also needs to perform well. Otherwise, you might end up with a cheap appliance that stops working after a few months. The Aroma ARC-743 rice cooker seems to work well (read our ARC-743 review).

This little rice cooker can cook 1 to 3 cups of dry white rice, but only 2 cups of uncooked brown rice. Brown rice requires more water, and the maximum amount of water that you may add is 3 rice measuring cups. The cup that is included with most rice cookers has a 180mL capacity, which is equal to three-quarters of a standard US cup. White rice takes about 20 to 30 minutes to cook. Brown rice needs more time: between 30 and 40 minutes.

The Aroma ARC-743 is an electric analog rice cooker, which makes it very easy to use. It has only one button and two indicator lights. Push the cook switch to start cooking. The cooker switches into keep warm mode automatically once all the water has cooked away and the rice is done. You have to unplug the rice cooker to turn it off.

A rice measuring cup, steaming tray and serving spatula is included with the rice cooker. It is easy to soak and clean the cooking pot, tempered glass lid and accessories. However, do not use harsh, abrasive products that might damage the nonstick coating.

The biggest problem with this rice cooker is that steam tends to bubble and spit out of the steam vent hole in the tempered glass lid. It is therefore very important to rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking it. You should also place the rice cooker where there are no overhead kitchen cabinets that might be damaged by escaping steam.

The steaming tray can be used for steaming vegetables or meat while a maximum of 2 cups of uncooked rice is cooking in the pot below. Meat and vegetables may also be steamed without cooking rice. You add the amount of water that is suggested by the steaming tables in the ARC-743 instruction manual into the cooking pot. Cook the meat or vegetables until it is fully cooked and then turn off the rice cooker. Soup or stew can also be cooked in the rice cooker.

The Aroma ARC-743 might be cheap, but it is highly recommended. It is easy to use and easy to clean. You can read customer reviews and check current pricing on Amazon.

Cheap Stainless Steel Pot Rice Cooker

Aroma ARC-753SG rice cooker with glass lid and stainless steel pot
Aroma Simply Stainless rice cooker with a stainless steel pot and glass lid.

There is only one choice for an affordable rice cooker with a stainless steel inner pot. It is the Aroma Simply Stainless electric rice cooker. The most common sizes available are a 3-cup and 7-cup uncooked rice cooker. It is an analog rice cooker with a single switch for one-touch operation.

The Aroma Simply Stainless rice cooker has a stainless steel cooking pot with a tempered glass lid. A rice measuring cup and serving spatula are included. However, it is shipped without a steamer tray. You have to buy the steam basket separately.

The Aroma Simply Stainless rice cooker suffers from the same problem as other rice cookers with a glass lid. The steam that escapes from the vent hole might cause a watery mess on the kitchen counter.

The biggest reason why people buy the Aroma Simply Stainless rice cooker is the stainless steel inner pot. It does not have a nonstick coating. However, this means that rice tends to stick to the bottom of the stainless steel pot. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to clean if you let it soak in warm water before washing it (check price on Amazon).

Cheap Micom Rice Cooker

Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker
Tiger JBV-A10U is an affordable 5.5-cup micom rice cooker.

A micom rice cooker has a microcomputer chip which actively controls the cooking process. It adjusts the temperature and cooking time according to its own fuzzy logic reasoning. Micro computerized rice cookers are much more expensive than simple analog rice cookers. However, the Tiger JBV-A series micom rice cookers offer good value at an affordable price.

There are two size options in the series. The JBV-A10U has a maximum white rice capacity of 5.5 cups. The JBV-A18U has a 10-cup uncooked rice capacity (read our review of the JBV-A series).

The control panel of the Tiger JBV-A rice cooker is easy to understand. It has four buttons for plain milled rice, brown rice, synchro-cooking, slow cooking or steaming food. The included steamer tray is useful for steaming a small amount of food. The nonstick coated inner cooking pan is easy to clean, but be careful not to scratch it. The rice cooker is shipped with a nonstick spatula, steaming plate, rice cup and cook book.

The Tiger JBV-A micom rice cooker is the best option for a cheap micom rice cooker. It makes great rice when you consider its price (buy it on Amazon).

Cheap Asian Style Rice Cooker

Comfee MB-FS5077 Asian Style Rice Cooker
Comfee MB-FS5077: cook rice and food in comfort.

The Comfee MB-FS5077 is an affordable Japanese style digital rice cooker and multi cooker. It has a removable steam valve and a nonstick inner pot. The maximum capacity of this rice cooker is 10 cups of uncooked rice (measured with the included rice cup).

This Asian style rice cooker has a digital control panel with an LCD. It can cook white rice and brown rice. Furthermore, it can cook quinoa, oatmeal and pasta. In addition, you can use it to make soup, stew, yogurt and cake. You can also steam vegetables in the included steamer tray.

A 24-hour delay timer lets you plan your meals in advance for breakfast or dinner. The automatic keep warm function keeps the rice warm for up to 12 hours. If you want a rice cooker with an extended keep warm function, then you should look at a more expensive Zojirushi micom rice cooker such as the NS-TSC10 that has both an extended keep warm and reheating cycle.

The Comfee MB-FS5077 is never going to make the perfect bowl of rice, yet it gets close enough when you consider its cheap price. Also, it can make much more than just rice. You can have oatmeal for breakfast and cook soup or stew for dinner. If you want an Asian style rice cooker with a retail price under $100, then the Comfee MB-FS5077 is a possible choice (check price on Amazon).


The examples we chose for this cheap rice cooker buying guide are by no means the only brand names and model numbers that are available. However, we think they are a good place to start. We might add or replace some of our choices in the future, but for now it is enough.