A 3 cup rice cooker is perfect for your cooking needs if you are single, have a family with two children or have limited kitchen space.
Though you may consider a 3-cup rice cooker small, you should know the fact that you can cook meals in less than 30 minutes.
With a small counter footprint, diverse models of rice cookers allow you to cook white and brown rice, but also soups, stew, pasta and even cakes. Meals made from such rice cookers are good for 2-3 persons per cooking batch.
With a 3-cup capacity, these rice cookers prepare anywhere from 1 to 3 cups. 3 cups represent the number of cups of dry and uncooked rice and not the amount of rice you will end up with after cooking.
You probably know that 3 cups of uncooked rice will yield approximately 6 cups of cooked rice because of the fact that rice expands while cooking. But this also depends on the type of rice.
Another important aspect refers to the fact that a Japanese cup is 6oz which is different from the traditional 8oz of an American cup. However, consider the fact that the small measuring cup included with most rice cookers holds this 6oz amount.
In case you are interested in 3-cup rice cookers, here you have our recommendation of 10 best 3-cup rice cookers characterized by induction heating pressure, Micom and conventional technologies. Just consider all this information before making a decision about purchasing a rice cooker.
1. 3 Cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cookers
A 3-cup induction heating pressure rice cooker is the cutting edge in heating technology.
Using induction heating principles to heat the entire inner cooking pan, in effect making the cooking pan itself the heating element, such a rice cooker will allow you to make finer temperature adjustments.
1.1 Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 3 Cup Induction Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 3 Cup Induction Rice Cooker has a 3-cup capacity which means that it cooks as little as 1/2 cup of rice and is ideal for singles and smaller families.
Menu settings include: white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free and quick cooking. And accessories include rice spatula, spatula holder and rice measuring cups.
Its black thick spherical inner cooking pan and heating system provide even heating for perfectly cooked rice. This cooker is great for white rice too, especially dry basmati rice.
It cooks better-tasting rice, has a pre-set timer which you can use every night for your steel-cut oatmeal before you go to bed.
And, you have also a keep warming function which is very useful.
With this rice cooker, rice comes out absolutely perfect every time: it can be set on a timer, can keep it warm indefinitely, and has specific proof instructions for various kinds of rice.
Available in stainless and stainless dark brown colors, this rice cooker has the inner layer made of aluminum with nonstick coating (PTFE) and the outer layer of stainless steel.
There is an inner lid which can be washed under running water. The outer lid can be cleaned with a damp cloth as it does not get dirty, only steamy.
Once rice cooker purchase, you get one year warranty on all electrical components. But the product is high quality, built in Japan, first class workmanship and materials.
It is also super easy to clean because of the starches of the rice, just kind of form a thin film on the bowl, after which you just wipe it off with a paper towel or something.
And the cord is detachable, but not retractable and is very thick, firm, and almost entirely inflexible.
2. Cuckoo CRP-EHSS0309FG 3 cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker
Or you can try Cuckoo CRP-EHSS0309FG 3 cup Smart Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker, another induction heating programmable pressure cooker.
This time you have to deal with a full stainless steel interior and stainless steel ventilation pipe system, so you can rest assured that this rice cooker was made with you and your health in mind.
Consider its unique body structure that complements its premium inner build quality with voice navigation for all three languages (English, Chinese, Korean), a blue LED screen with touch selection menu, and 3-cup X-wall STAINLESS inner pot, double layer cover packing.
In case you never used either a rice pressure cooker or a pressure cooker of any kind before, just do not get alarmed when the Cuckoo hisses through cooking: this is absolutely normal with a pressure cooker, also at the end of cooking when the steam release.
The Cuckoo EHSS0309F is a fantastic rice cooker that is built to last. As a tip, just be ready to read the owner’s manual for the first few weeks and make sure to buy a cheap rice washing bowl; the inner cooking pot is not good for washing rice.
It is extremely efficient as it takes less time compared to regular pressure rice cooker, even less time compared to the non-pressure type. The machine works really well and cooks brown rice in 45 minutes, or you can make Gaba rice over 12 hours or more.
It is reasonably quiet, and easy to clean. And this 3-cup model is more than enough for 1 – 2 persons.
Some differences between these two rice cookers may refer to the standard price – not discounted – (Cuckoo CRP-EHSS0309FG 3 cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker is more expensive – check price – than Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 3 Cup Induction Rice Cooker – check price).
Cuckoo model offers a variety of menu settings (more exactly 12 cooking options), while Zojirushi rice cooker only 9 options.
Cuckoo rice cooker is made of 304 Stainless Steel [3PLY Clad (STS 430 + AL + STS 304 + Coating) Sheet] with Non-Stick, while all we know about Zojirushi model is that it has an inner layer made of aluminum with a nonstick coating (PTFE) and an outer layer of stainless steel.
Included accessories are available only for Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 3 Cup Induction Rice Cooker.
2. 3 Cup Micom/Fuzzy Logic Rice Cookers
In case you are not familiar with this technology, you should know that you will recognize micom or microcomputerized rice cookers by their digital face.
They are equipped with a computer chip in order to be able to adjust cooking length and temperatures according to the thermal sensor’s calculations.
These appliances are great for white rice, but also flawless brown rice, sushi rice, and as a bonus, porridge and soaking and steaming time before and after cooking rice is automatically programmed.
2.1. Zojirushi NS-VGC05 3 Cup Micom Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-VGC05 3 Cup Micom Rice Cooker is a 3-cup rice cooker and warmer with micro-computerized Fuzzy logic technology that measures 10-7/8 by 8-3/4 by 7-7/8 inches and comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
It can cook as little as 1/2-cup of rice and also bakes cakes.
With its compact size makes, this rice cooker is perfect for homes with minimal kitchen space such as apartments and dorm rooms. It cooks rice so perfectly and automatically switches to “warm” mode when it is finished, so your rice stays fresh longer.
Definitely, the timer mode is great: you can add rice and water before you go to work, set the time you want it to be done and when you get home there is fresh, hot rice waiting for you. It is super easy to clean and small enough so it does not take up very much space when you are not using it.
This is the most adorable rice cooker. It is very well-constructed, good quality materials, and simple to use.
Also, it plays a little song when it starts cooking, but you can change how it signals that the rice is done the cooking. The pre-measured cups and lines in the pot allow for very simple use and rice comes out perfectly every time!
It takes a while to get used to the controls, but it is just right for a family of four. The only downside is that the cord does not retract into the cooker, but probably keeps the machine simple; you have to remove the cord and put it away.
Have a look at Tiger JAY-A55U-CU 3-Cup Microcomputer Rice Cooker! Its sleek, stainless steel and beige finish evenly blend with any modern-age kitchen.
Now, about the inner pan: it is a high quality 2.5-mm thick inner pan with far-infrared ray coating that will heat the rice and cook entirely.
It works fine as it is easy to operate, very easy to clean and rice turns out fine in the smaller portions you need.
It is a high-quality product (material and finish) and the menu is easy to understand and follow. Take into consideration this rice cooker as one of the greatest options for a couple or 3 people family who eat rice frequently.
It has two timers, and it memorizes each timer mode and time you want it to complete which makes things easier!
And it also cooks nice rice and porridge! There is a beep sound when rice is finished and it has an LED screen that shows countdown, and then it goes to keep warm mode when done.
Some people complained about magnetic power connection but this is better as you can quickly remove the unit from power plug and put it on the table.
And you may consider that it takes longer to cook rice, but just plan ahead and start the rice a little earlier and you will be fine!
3. Cuckoo CR-0351FR Electric Heating Rice Cooker (Red)
Or maybe you want to purchase Cuckoo CR-0351FR Electric Heating Rice Cooker (Red) with its non-stick inner pot coating (2.5T), Turbo Cooking function (12 min) and steam cap/ detachable dew dish.
Certainly, a big plus is that there is no pool of water nastily sitting in the rim: this really does cook a lovely pot of rice. It cooks 1-3 cups of rice within 20 minutes, and it cooks different types of rice very well.
There is no steam basket included. If you need a steam function, all you have to do is to tier vegetables, leaving room for circulation, and add some water to the bottom or even, use a third-party steaming basket.
It has a separate cooking setting for brown rice; times are different for water and how much you are cooking.
And it cooks quinoa perfectly. For cooking quinoa, you may consider the same amount of water and cook time as in the case of brown or mixed rice.
You will certainly like how it looks on the counter, and the size. If you are only cooking for 1-3 people, having something small and easy to clean such as this rice cooker is a big plus.
And just in case you want to make sure, all Cuckoo Rice Cookers including this model are manufactured to be used in the U.S.
If you are interested in their different characteristics, you may take into consideration the fact that Cuckoo CR-0351FR Electric Heating Rice Cooker (Red) is the cheapest (the prize on Amazon is this) and Zojirushi NS-VGC05 3 Cup Micom Rice Cooker the most expensive with this price at Amazon).
Tiger JAY-A55U-CU 3-Cup Microcomputer Rice Cooker only costs this price at Amazon.
In case you are looking for a rice cooker with a variety of menu settings, Zojirushi NS-VGC05 3 Cup Micom Rice Cooker is the best option with its white/mixed/sushi, porridge, cake, rinse-free and quick cooking features.
However, Tiger JAY-A55U-CU 3-Cup Microcomputer Rice Cooker provides 2 timers able to memorize each timer mode and time you want it to complete.
On the other hand, Cuckoo CR-0351FR Electric Heating Rice Cooker (Red) is a perfect investment for those who have less time: functions such as Auto Steam Cleaning System and Turbo Cooking (12 Min) makes cooking rice a real pleasure.
3. 3 Cup Conventional Rice Cookers
A 3-cup convention rice cooker is a great option for beginners who start to discover the variety of rice dishes.
To cook rice, you need to add rice, water, and push a button. Designed to make perfect white rice, they can be considered for making brown and sushi rice with just a few adjustments.
With their functions to heat, boil, and turn themselves off, they double as convenient steamers.
Tiger JNP-S55U-HU 3-Cup Conventional Rice Cooker is extremely easy to operate as there is only one button and just push down the lever to cook.
The red light shows that it is cooking, the warm button just keeps the rice warm up to a couple days.
You may consider that it is a bit pricey for a rice cooker, you are getting a durable product from a trusted brand that will last you a long time.
This product is a made in Japan version which is far superior to the ones made in China or US. Be careful when purchasing and double check where it is made.
For short grain sushi rice, you need 1-1/4 cups rice to 2 cups of water, no oil, no seasoning, with about 15 minutes of pre-soaking before cooking.
Then, you press the button and 15 minutes later, you get perfect rice that you can keep hot for as long as you could possibly want.
It may be expensive, but if you eat a lot of rice, it is worth every penny.
Another important aspect is that it turns itself off (to the warm setting) when the grain is cooked.
The only trick is keeping the lid closed for the appropriate number of minutes after cooking so that the grain can steam properly.
The simple approach is to not worry about it and just give yourself plenty of time to let the rice steam (10-15 minutes is always adequate).
With this rice cooker, the cooker keeps the rice warm and fresh all day and does not get crispy or soggy.
For cooking rice, the manual says you need to soak the rice first, but that depends on grain varieties.
If you are using jasmine long grain white rice, soaking is not necessary, but you do need to wash the rice by rubbing it together in water a few times.
2. Panasonic SR-G06FG Rice Cooker
Or take your time to learn how to use Panasonic SR-G06FG: it is just what you need for simply cooking rice for two, with no fancy settings.
A measuring cup comes included, as well as a rice scoop, and a steaming basket for steaming seafood or fresh vegetables while simultaneously cooking rice.
You can make wild, black, red, and brown rices, and this appliance works like a dream on the full spectrum of grain types.
Just follow instructions for your type of rice (or any grain type: quinoa, wheat berries, spelt, whatever), add the grain and liquid to the rice cooker, turn on, and forget about it, perfect every time.
It could not be easier to use this device as all you have to do is to wash the rice, put it into the non-stick, removable bowl, add 150% water by volume, let it sit for 20 minutes, and push the little lever down.
Once you have done this, the lever pops up and the cooking light goes off when it is done. It is easy and fast to remove the rice with the little rice paddle that comes with it.
The paddle and bowl are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. And being compact, it does not take up a lot of room in the cupboard which is great if you are limited on cupboard space.
Be aware that once the auto-shutoff clicks, the rice is already a little burnt at the bottom or becomes that way while sitting there afterwards.
However, you can usually prevent it by getting the rice out right when it clicks.
3. Oster CKSTRCMS65 3-Cup Rice Cooker
Give a try to Oster CKSTRCMS65 3-Cup Rice Cooker: it is not a top of the line model if you are looking for professional quality you are in the wrong place. But for a general purpose rice cooker for personal use, this thing is perfect: it cooks perfect rice every time.
It is designed with two settings on the front switch, one for warming and one for cooking. There is no off switch and when you plug the cooker into a power outlet, it immediately begins warming, and the light turns on. So, you have to press the lever down to start actually cooking.
When cooking, you will see that it is as easy as working a toaster. All that is required is put the appropriate rice and water ratio, put the lid on it, plug it in, and press a button.
It has not an alarm for when it is finished but there is an auto switch to a keep warm setting that will be activated after it is done.
Forget that this is called a rice cooker: it is a cooker and you can make diverse dishes such as herbed polenta, vegetable frittatas, beans and rice, steam your fresh salmon, steel cut oatmeal, creamy grits with rosemary bacon, couscous, cheese grits.
This rice cooker is small, but it is the perfect size for any family where rice is an accompaniment to dinner and not a major component of the dish.
The cooking bowl and lid remove easily for cleaning. As the bowl is nonstick, this feature alone makes the Oster rice cooker preferable to the pot on the stovetop. It is the time for no more pot scrubbing!
4. IMUSA USA GAU-00011 3 Cup Rice Cooker
Meet IMUSA USA GAU-00011 3 Cup Rice Cooker, a perfect unit for today’s busy lifestyles.
For a small price, this appliance is very nice and quite functional. It is small in size, so it is great for a small family.
It is recommended that when making rice that might end up sitting the pot for a while, to put some olive oil on the bottom as the rice tends to stick if it is sitting on the “Warm” setting for too long or to add some extra water.
This holds 3-cups of uncooked white rice that will make 6-cups of cooked white rice, which is ideal for 1-2 servings.
Prepare yourself to make your favorite rice dishes, vegetables, oatmeal, and more with your IMUSA Rice & Multipurpose Cooker.
With this unit, you are going to experience the convenience of a simple use the on-off switch.
This appliance also has a warming setting that will permit you to reheat your delicious rice. It is energy efficient providing less cooking time which means reducing energy use on the stove.
This is a simple and efficient rice cooker. All the white rice you cook in it will come out perfectly.
It steams until it is done, then the unit switch goes to warm mode automatically. I would not leave it in the warm mode for a long period of time as it began to brown some on the bottom.
Such a rice cooker is mainly to make rice but is amazing at making soups too! And cleaning is so easy thanks to the removable nonstick coated pot: such a surface gets to prevent your rice and other foods from sticking.
5. Aroma ARC-743-1NG 3-Cup Rice Cooker
And last but not the least, Aroma ARC-743-1NG 3-Cup Rice Cooker is able to steam vegetables and meat even while simultaneously cooking rice.
Now, with a press of a button, you can cook fluffy, soft rice and steam food simultaneously.
Take your time to prepare everything from oatmeal and quinoa to amaranth and faro with Aroma ARC-743-1NG 3-Cup Rice Cooker and healthy whole grains could not be simpler.
And when the cooking is done, the inner cooking pot and all accessories remove for easy cleanup in the dishwasher. Among the included accessories, there are a steam tray, rice measuring cup, and serving spatula.
The product has a nice red color, and does not seem cheap at all. It is a snap to clean and as a pro tip, you should never put the wet bowl back into the base and always let it dry completely before putting it back together.
If you do so, there will be no problem with the water that can collect in the base and break the appliance, or burn on the little hot plate.
With this convenient cooker with a compact capacity, you can perfectly cook 2 to 6 cups of any variety of rice. And of course, once the rice has finished, it will automatically switch to Keep-Warm so there is no need for monitoring or stirring.
And in case you are wondering, ventilation is very good on this product: just point it away from your cabinets to prevent wood warping of course.
This is indeed a small little cooker, good for only one or two people, especially if you are cooking brown rice where the maximum amount of uncooked rice is 2 cups, resulting in 4 cups cooked.
Any of these five 3 cup conventional rice cookers may represent a great investment for any couple, small family or single person.
Designed to cook rice greatly, but also to prepare other various dishes, these rice cookers have a small and compact size and a modern design to fit any kitchen.
Some different aspect that may highlight each appliance may refer to the price, design, and dimensions.
Probably, the cheapest alternatives are Aroma ARC-743-1NG 3-Cup Rice Cooker and IMUSA USA GAU-00011 3 Cup Rice Cooker (check price at Amazon), followed by Oster CKSTRCMS65 3-Cup Rice Cooker (check price), Panasonic SR-G06FG (check price), and the most expensive rice cooker of this list is Tiger JNP-S55U-HU 3-Cup Conventional Rice Cooker with this price.
Regarding the design, you may say that Tiger JNP-S55U-HU 3-Cup Conventional Rice Cooker is beautiful (amazing colors and pictures for exterior), being a durable product from a trusted brand.
It is available in different colors and this is not the case for the rest of rice cookers. You may also consider Aroma ARC-743-1NG 3-Cup Rice Cooker with its white, black and red colors.
If you are concerned about the dimensions of your new rice cooker, the smallest models are IMUSA USA GAU-00011 3 Cup Rice Cooker, Tiger JNP-S55U-HU 3-Cup Conventional Rice Cooker and Panasonic SR-G06FG (around 9.29 x 9.29 x 7.32 in), but the other models do not exceed 10.4 x 11.1 x 8.1 in.