Rice Cooker For Quinoa: Which Cookers Have Quinoa Settings?

Is it possible to cook quinoa in an electric rice cooker? We have searched for and discovered examples of rice cookers with a quinoa setting for cooking quinoa. Keep reading to find out which electric rice cookers are capable of cooking quinoa.

What is quinoa?

Quinoa is not the name of a compact crossover SUV from Nissan. Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) is a plant grown for its edible seeds in South American countries near the Andes. The plant is grown organically and is still non-GMO. It has been grown and used as a food source for thousands of years. The seeds are harvested and the bitter outer layer is removed. You have a choice of three different colors: red, white or black.

Quinoa seeds are gluten-free and provides dietary fiber, B-vitamins and various minerals. It provides the nine essential amino acids which cannot be made by the human body and which must be absorbed from food. Quinoa also contains bioflavonoids, such as quercetin, which are strong antioxidants.

Quinoa seeds are washed and cooked in the same way as rice. This makes quinoa easy to cook in a rice cooker.

Cooked quinoa on rice spatula
Quinoa can be cooked with a rice cooker.

How do you cook quinoa?

The most important thing to know is the quinoa to water ratio. You may use a ratio of one cup of uncooked quinoa to two cups of water (or broth). Another important tip is to rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under running water to remove a bitter coating from the surface of the seeds.

Put the rinsed seeds, liquid and a little salt into a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat, put on the lid and let it simmer until it is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. This takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir the cooked quinoa with a fork to make it fluffier.

The above cooking method closely resembles the way rice is cooked. So, how do you cook quinoa in a rice cooker?

Cooking Quinoa In The Rice Cooker

You follow the same basic method to cook quinoa in a rice cooker. Remember to rinse it first with cold water before adding it to the inner cooking pot with the liquid and salt. You can cook quinoa with a cheap analog rice cooker, or you may use a digital rice cooker with a quinoa menu setting.

Zojirushi Rice Cooker For Quinoa

Zojirushi NL-BAC05 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Zojirushi NL-BAC05

The NL-BAC05 is a new addition to Zojirushi’s microcomputer rice cooker range. Its control panel has an LCD screen and menu button for choosing one of the cooking functions, which are:

  • White/Sushi
  • Quick
  • Brown Rice
  • Long Grain White Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Cake

The lid of the Zojirushi NL-BAC05 has a removable steam vent and detachable inner lid for easy cleaning. The power cord of the rice cooker is also detachable.

Its nonstick cooking pan is 2.5 millimeters thick and has a 3-cup/0.5 liter capacity. The Zojirushi NL-BAC05 can cook as little as half-a-cup of rice, quinoa or oatmeal.

Mostly, we are interested in its quinoa setting. The rice cooker cooks quinoa quite well, but it might take almost 45 minutes to cook one cup of quinoa. Still, the quinoa does taste good, probably due to the long cooking time of the quinoa setting. The Zojirushi NL-BAC05 can cook all types of quinoa without boiling over due to the steam vent in its lid (buy it on Amazon).

Panasonic Rice Cooker For Quinoa

Panasonic SR-ZC075K 4 Cup Uncooked Rice Cooker Black
Panasonic SR-ZC075K

We have chosen the Panasonic SR-ZC075K because it has a quinoa setting. Its microcomputer offers multiple menu selections such as white rice, brown rice, quick cook, slow cook, oatmeal, quinoa, cake and yogurt.

The keep warm function keeps food warm and ready to serve for up to 12 hours. The nonstick inner pot and inner lid can be removed for easy washing with a sponge and dishwashing liquid. Accessories include a rice measuring cup and rice scoop.

The Panasonic SR-ZC075K has a 4-cup uncooked rice capacity, which makes it a good appliance for one person or a small family. It has a few menu options: specifically, an option for cooking quinoa (view price on Amazon).

Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker For Quinoa

Hamilton Beach 37548 Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker
Hamilton Beach 37548

The Hamilton Beach 37548 rice cooker can cook more than just white rice. You can use the hot cereals setting to cook oatmeal porridge, cream of wheat and grits. Steam vegetables, poultry or seafood in the included steamer basket with the steam cook setting. Cook pasta, beans or soup with the heat/simmer setting.

The Hamilton Beach 37548 also has a whole grain setting for cooking whole grains, brown rice or quinoa. It cooks quinoa thoroughly, but might overcook the bottom layer by a small margin.

This Hamilton Beach rice cooker has a 7-cup uncooked capacity, which means it has enough space to cook lots of quinoa for a large family (more details at Amazon).

Aroma Rice Cooker For Quinoa

Aroma ARC-5000 Digital Rice Cooker
Aroma ARC-5000

The Aroma ARC-5000 is a reasonably priced rice cooker with a quinoa setting. It can make up to 20 cups of cooked rice in its nonstick inner cooking pot. It also has a steam tray and steam setting for steaming vegetables or meat.

The quinoa setting works well for cooking quinoa. However, the 15-hour delay timer only seems to work with the rice settings. Therefore, you will not be able to use the delay timer when cooking with the oatmeal or quinoa setting. This might be an annoying disadvantage for some people.

The ARC-5000 rice cooker is shipped with a steam tray, rice measuring cup and spatula.

The Aroma ARC-5000 has a large 20-cup cooked capacity for making lots of quinoa. You may read more about it at Amazon.


We would probably keep things cheap and cheerful and buy one of the affordable rice cookers with a quinoa setting: either the Hamilton Beach 37548 or the Aroma ARC-5000. However, these appliances might be too large for single persons or couples, which might prefer to buy either the Zojirushi NL-BAC05 or the Panasonic SR-ZC075K.

Thank you for reading our review of rice cookers with a quinoa setting for cooking nutritious, high-protein, gluten-free quinoa!