I bet that you’ve seen a lot of rice cookers in your lifetime, but most of them were too bulky. Yeah, they didn’t feel bulky at that time as you never saw a small rice cooker, or maybe because you thought that rice cookers are supposed to be of that size.
Rice cookers are usually bulky, I agree. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get small rice cookers that are compact and portable enough to be carried around. If you look for these, you’ll find quite a few models.
Point of information, you can’t expect to carry a rice cooker on a picnic or camping trip if there won’t be any power outlet near you. There isn’t any rice cooker that comes with a battery as most of these require quite a lot of power draw to cook properly.
However, that doesn’t mean that portability can’t benefit you. If a rice cooker is compact, you can place that anywhere in your home without wasting extra space. Then again, small rice cookers require a lot lesser power draw than the bigger ones. So, if you don’t want to spend the extra cash paying your electricity bills, you should opt for the smaller rice cookers, and this is the smarter choice.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best rice cooker for one person. However, before that, we’ll talk about how a rice cooker functions, and we’ll also leave you some tips that may prove useful in the long run. So, let’s get started!
How Does a Rice Cooker Function?
Rice cookers were designed and developed for cooking rice mainly. However, over time, these kitchen appliances have evolved a great deal, and now there are a lot of rice cookers that can be used to cook other meals such as oatmeal, egg, chicken, pasta, etc.
To understand what makes a rice cooker great, you need to know how a rice cooker performs first. A standard rice cooker comes with a heating coil at the bottom. Now, there are two types of ways that rice cookers function.
If it’s a traditional rice cooker, the heat will be provided to the pot directly from the bottom. Although this technology is being used for a long time now, it has some drawbacks. The main drawback of this design is that the bottom layer of the rice gets crusty, which is unpleasant to many people, including me.
Then again, there’s a new type of rice cooker known as the jar-o-mat. Unlike the traditional rice cookers, these rice cookers heat up the cooking pot from all directions. This means, other than only the bottom part, the walls, and in some cases, even the lid of the rice cooker provides heat to the cooking medium. Due to this revamped design, rice gets cooked evenly, and you won’t find any crust at the bottom of the rice cooker.
Then again, the standard rice cookers aren’t programmable, and they offer only a cooking mode and a warmer. On the other hand, if you get yourself a programmable rice cooker, you’ll be able to use a lot of different cooking modes. Although these rice cookers will be pretty expensive, they are worth getting.
Most of the programmable rice cookers come with ‘Fuzzy Logic’ technology. This is actually an advanced AI integration that allows the rice cooker to observe the parameters inside the cooking medium through heat and pressure sensors. After collecting data, the integrated microcomputers set the temperature and cooking time as per need. This allows the programmable rice cookers to cook different types of food perfectly.
However, the programmable rice cookers also come at a much higher price point. If you’re tight on budget, there’s a higher chance that you won’t be able to get these. If this is the case, you better get one of the cheaper options out there.
How to Pick the Right Rice Cooker for One Person?
The marketplaces are littered with thousands of rice cooker models, and this is one of the greatest reasons why getting the right rice cooker for one person can get very challenging. However, to ease this process for you, we decided to share our opinion on this matter. Here, we’ll leave some of the factors that you need to consider when you’re buying a rice cooker for one person. Please go through this before you choose one for yourself.
This the first thing you need to consider. As you’re looking for a rice cooker for one person, it’s safe to assume that that person won’t eat more than 2 cups of uncooked rice for one meal.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should get a rice cooker that can cook 2 cups of uncooked rice. It’s always better to keep a bit of headroom. So, we suggest you get a rice cooker that offers a 3-cup cooking capacity. However, if you go over that, you may end up wasting your money. A 3-cup rice cooker will be perfect for you.
A lot of people avoid reading the wattage and the voltage of the rice cookers, thinking that they won’t understand any of it. Truth be told, there’s nothing to understand here, but you need to cross-check.
The first thing you need to look at is the voltage. Now, not all regions provide electricity for the same voltage. If you use something of a different voltage that doesn’t support the electricity of your region, you may end up damaging that product. In this way, a lot of rice cookers get damaged very early, leaving the owners to question what’s wrong.
The next thing that you need to consider is the wattage mentioned on the packaging of the rice cooker. The higher the wattage, the higher your electricity bill will be. You don’t want to end up paying more, so you should avoid a rice cooker that comes with too high wattage.
The accessories will make your cooking experience much easier, so you should get a rice cooker that offers important accessories. Most rice cookers will provide a measuring cup and a rice paddle. While the measuring cup will allow you to measure the rice and water perfectly so you can maintain a perfect ratio, the rice paddle will allow you to sift the rice and scoop it to your plate.
However, some rice cookers offer more than these two only. However, if you get the advanced or premium rice cookers, you’ll also get a rice strainer and a steam tray. Now, these are very important for cooking rice. Why?
The rice strainer will allow you to rinse the rice properly. While a lot of people avoid this step, it’s very important to rinse your rice before you put it in the rice cooker for cooking. If not rinsed properly, the rice will get mushy and sticky. Then again, if rice isn’t rinsed, it won’t get fluffy after cooking. If you get a strainer, this process will become very easy.
Then again, the steam rack is very important. When you’re buying a rice cooker, try to get one that offers a steam rack. With the steam rack, you’ll be able to steam meat, fish, and vegetables. Without the steam rack, you’ll end up burning these.
Although you can buy a steam rack from Amazon, later on, there are a lot of problems related to that. Even if you get a steam rack of the exact measurements, often, it’s seen that the steam rack doesn’t fit in due to some subtle differences. Then again, the quality of the aftermarket steam racks is questionable unless you get a good one.
So, you should look for a rice cooker that offers some of the required accessories, at least.
The durability of the rice cooker is very important. Yes, it’s highly unlikely that someone will drop the rice cooker, but we’re not referring to that sort of durability here. If you want to get the best out of your rice cooker, you need one that’ll last for a long time. If the rice cooker doesn’t last long, it’s not a good investment at all. So, you should really look into this. We highly recommend you buy rice cookers made of stainless steel.
The brand actually matters a lot when you’re buying a rice cooker. There are a lot of rice cooker brands that have been manufacturing amazing rice cookers for years now. You can take a rice cooker from Japanese brands such as Panasonic or Zojirushi any time, and you can rest assured that you got an amazing rice cooker. Although these are Japanese brands, the rice cookers aren’t made in Japan any longer. Even then, these rice cookers are made to last, as the company’s reputation is at stake here.
Although most rice cookers come with a permanent cable, there are some moduler rice cookers as well. You can remove the cables from these rice cookers, which will allow you to store them easily. Then again, there are some rice cooker models that offer retractable cables. In our opinion, these are the best.
With these rice cookers, you won’t have to take any hassle for managing the cables, and then again, as the cables aren’t completely removed, there’s no chance of losing the cables. So, we would recommend you to pick one of these up if cable management seems like a hassle to you.
Best Rice Cooker for One Person: The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB (B01EVHWNVG):
The rice cooker for one person that we picked is the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB. The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is truly one of a kind rice cooker. It’s small, it’s well-built, and it’s versatile. Today, we’ll talk about everything there is to know about this rice cooker.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker is far from being cheap. However, it offers amazing value for money, and it’s completely worth buying. The first thing that we noticed about this rice cooker is how versatile it is.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker offers tons of different modes for cooking different types of dishes. It’s nothing like the standard ‘One-click’ rice cookers that you see on the market. Yes, it still comes with the ‘Warm’ mode feature, which is great. However, there’s no simple ‘Cook’ button.
Instead, you’ll get a lot of function buttons that will allow you to cook different types of rice. With the ‘Menu’ button, you can access the program menu of this rice cooker. From this menu, you can select different modes from white rice, mixed rice, brown rice, Gaba brown, long-grain white rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and even sushi!
All of these different cooking modes are crafted to extract the best possible flavor out of the specific type of rice. Then again, you can also select the time setting of the rice cooker, which offers a greater level of flexibility. Finally, there’s the timer button. This button will allow the user to delay the start time of the cooking.
With this rice cooker, you can cook a lot of different varieties of rice. So, you’ll be able to bring changes to your menu pretty quickly. Then again, as you’ll be able to cook different types of exotic dishes, you’ll be able to surprise your guests with the press of a few buttons! However, as the rice cooker is for one person only, you’ll need to cook a few times if you have to cook for guests.
Another amazing fact about this rice cooker is that it doesn’t heat the cooking pot from the bottom only. Then again, unlike the standard rice cookers, there isn’t a single heat-conducting coil, but there are three!
With the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker, you’ll get a heat conduction coil at the bottom, one at the top, and finally, one at the side. These coils will be heating up your rice cooker from all directions, which in turn will get you a perfectly cooked dish. Due to this system, you’ll get rice that’s evenly cooked, and you won’t find any crust on your rice.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker offers a measuring cup of a 180ml or a 6oz. Capacity. This is considered to be the standard capacity for a measuring cup. The point being is, the rice cooker can cook up to 3 cups of rice. This means that the effective cooking capacity of the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker is 440ml. This is enough for one person. In fact, if you cook to the full, you may have some leftovers for the next meal as well.
As expected, you’ll get some bonus perks from Zojirushi. The rice cooker alerts you when the cooking is done, but this feature is common in most rice cookers. What’s different about this rice cooker is that you can customize that alert tone. You can select from a beeping alarm, a ‘Twinkle, twinkle little star’ jingle, and you can also set it to silent mode.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker also features ‘Fuzzy Logic.’ To those of you who skipped the previous section, ‘Fuzzy Logic’ is actually the integrated artificial intelligence that allows the users to cook a perfect bowl of rice every time.
Due to this feature, the rice cooker can determine the temperature and the pressure inside the cooking pot. Through this, it can calculate how much rice and water you’ve provided to the rice cooker. Based on that information, the rice cooker will fine-tune the temperature settings and the cooking time, so you get a perfectly cooked dish every time. Again, the ‘Fuzzy Logic’ feature also allows the user to cook a variety of food items in the rice cooker. This is definitely one of the best features of this rice cooker, and it’s one of the best features that you can get from any rice cooker at this time!
If you miss the meal somehow, don’t worry! The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker features a ‘warm’ mode that can keep the food warm for a considerable period. The rice cooker will switch to the warm mode once it finishes cooking your dish.
However, the warm mode doesn’t stay activated for an infinite amount of time, as it’s very impractical. Then again, the warm mode will increase your electricity bills if it’s turned on for a long time by accident. Even then, you shouldn’t worry. The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker comes with a reheat option. With this option, you can heat up the cooked food after a long time.
Product Design and Quality:
We had no question in our mind about the build quality of the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker. Zojirushi is a very old brand in this line, and they’ve been making the best rice cookers for years now. If you look at the reviews of other people even, you’ll see that most of them are crowded with the Zojirushi rice cookers.
There’s a good reason for that as well. We have a lot of customers and readers who are using Zojirushi rice cookers for years now, and none of them complained about having one. Although there were one or two incidents where the owner had to claim a warranty, it’s understandable as not all the products can be good.
In fact, we have a reader who’s using a Zojirushi rice cooker for 24 years now, and the rice cooker is still working just fine! Truth be told, he had to repair it twice in its lifetime, but it’s surprising that a rice cooker can last for such a long time!
Then again, if you look at the rice cooker, you’ll see that this has been made for convenience. Washing a rice cooker is one of the toughest things to do. However, it’s very important to do so as well, as the inner walls and the inner lid of the rice cooker gets splattered with food all the time. If you let them stick for too long, those might get infested.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker solves the problem by adding a removable inner lid. With every cooking, you can remove the lid easily, and you can clean it up before another use.
Then again, a lot of small rice cookers can’t handle high-temperature cooking. The pressure builds up quickly in these types of cooking, and there’s a great chance that the lid will burst once you unclasp it. However, the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker fixes this problem quite well. There’s a steam vent cap on the rice cooker, and you can remove this anytime. Once you remove this cap, the steam can ventilate much faster, which in turn eliminates pressure build-up inside the rice cooker.
So, if you’ll be cooking something at a high temperature, you should remove the steam vent cap to avoid any accident.
Then again, the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker comes with a fold-down handle. With this handle, you’ll be able to carry the rice cooker around your house easily. Although we can’t see why anyone would want to carry a rice cooker around the house, it’s a feature, so it’s got to be good.
Another amazing feature of the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker is that the power cable is completely retractable. If you want, you can retract the power cable and store the rice cooker on a shelf. This helps the user keep the space clean, and it also makes cable management much easier.
Finally, let’s talk about the electrical ratings of the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker. The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB model has a rating of 120V and 450 watts. The 120V voltage support makes it suitable for most regions. To see whether it’s suitable for your region or not, you should cross-check.
Then again, the 450 watts power rating means that the rice cooker won’t cost you too much electricity bill. Overall, the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is quite balanced, and the wattage is perfect for its size and capacity.
- Programmable, offers a lot of cooking modes
- Can cook a variety of food items
- Comes with the ‘Fuzzy logic’ feature that ensures perfect cooking
- Comes with triple heaters at the bottom, the lid, and the sides
- Very small and compact design can cook only 3 cups of rice
- Removable steam vent for avoiding pressure build-up
- Interchangeable alert sound
- 120V and 450-watt electric rating
- Retractable power cord
- Removable inner lid
- Fold-down handle
- Premium and durable build quality
- LCD display
- Costlier than any other 3-cup rice cooker out there
Although the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker costs a lot, it’s undeniably the best rice cooker for one person that you can get right now. So, if you’re someone who’s willing to spend the premium for getting this rice cooker, you should get this one.
Then again, the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker offers value for money. You won’t be paying for something that charges a heavy premium only. The features and the design of this rice cooker make it one of a kind. We highly recommend you get the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What’s the ‘Fuzzy Logic’ Feature?
You’ll find a fuzzy logic feature in the Zojirushi rice cookers. This is essentially an AI-driven algorithm that allows the rice cooker to assess the situation inside the cooking pot and take appropriate measures for making sure that the dish is cooked perfectly. The rice cooker collects the necessary data through the heat and the pressure sensors, and the data is processed in the micom.
What’s a Micom?
Micom is short of a microcomputer. A microcomputer is a processing unit that can be found in many rice cookers nowadays. Due to the Micoms, the rice cookers can cook dishes to perfection.
Should You Get a Traditional Rice Cooker?
You can get advanced rice cookers for a very low price now, so you shouldn’t settle for the traditional rice cookers. By advanced rice cookers, I don’t mean the programmable ones, but I’m referring to the jar-o-mat rice cookers.
Unlike the traditional rice cookers, the jar-o-mat rice cookers can heat the cooking pot from all different directions. This prevents any crust build-up, and it also makes sure that the food is cooked evenly across the cooking pot.
Can You Cook Brown Rice in the Same Process as White Rice?
No, if you want to bring the good nutrients and health benefits out of brown rice, you need to cook them in a special process. You need to soap the rice at 104-degree water for 2 hours straight before you proceed to cook it. Doing so will activate the nutrients, which will increase its quantity by 1.5times. It will also offer health benefits. Activated brown rice or GABA rice can relieve stress, improve kidney functions, and lowers blood pressure.
Hopefully, this buyer’s guide was helpful to you. If you think that the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB rice cooker will exceed your budget, you can follow our buyer’s guide to get a more affordable product for yourself. However, we highly recommend you get the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB, as it’s the best that the market can offer right now.