Which Hamilton Beach rice cooker is best?
If rice is a staple of your diet, a rice cooker is a must, as it makes the task much easier. Hamilton Beach produces several high-quality rice cookers that let you prepare rice perfectly without a fuss, and some are designed to tackle other tasks as well.
The best machine for anyone who also wants something that can slow-cook and steam foods is the Hamilton Beach Advanced Multifunction Rice Cooker.
What to know before you buy a Hamilton Beach rice cooker
Every Hamilton Beach rice cooker comes with the same basic controls and settings, such as:
- On/Off: This lets you start or turn off the machine. When you press “On,” most machines start cooking immediately.
- Cook: Some rice cookers have this setting instead of “On/Off.” It functions the same way as the “On” button.
- Warm: This setting lets you keep the rice warm until you’re ready to serve it.
In general, basic machines can cook more than just rice. They can also cook grains, oatmeal and steamed vegetables.
Most basic machines also come with a timer you can use to delay the cooking process by several hours. These are helpful for people who want the rice to start cooking at a specific time, such as when they finish work for the day or before they come back from errands.
Advanced settings and controls
More advanced Hamilton Beach rice cookers have all the same functions as basic models. But they also usually have pre-programmed digital buttons you can press such as:
- Slow cook
- Hot cereal
- White rice
- Brown rice
Depending on the setting, you can use one machine to cook in multiple ways. For example, you could:
- Steam vegetables such as zucchini, onions, broccoli and bell peppers
- Prepare pancakes
- Bake pizza
- Slow-cook chili, jambalaya or other soups
- Prepare grains, oatmeal and other hot cereals
- Bake cake or other desserts
Rice cookers with special settings for rice are also convenient if your household enjoys preparing different types of rice. Being able to tailor the cook setting helps ensure you never overcook or undercook your grains.
Most complex machines also use special technology called “fuzzy logic.” This lets the rice cooker automatically adjust the temperature and cooking time based on the chosen setting. Not only does it prevent the rice from being cooked unevenly, it can also keep it from getting caked onto the bottom of the container holding it.
Some Hamilton Beach rice cookers are considered “all-in-ones.” These take the basic elements of a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer and a saute pan and put them together. With one of these, you can cook nearly anything you want.
What to look for in a quality Hamilton Beach rice cooker
From 1 1/2-quart rice cookers to machines that can hold up to 20 cups of rice at once, Hamilton Beach has something for every household. Keep in mind that most machines have a different capacity for cooked versus uncooked cups of rice. When preparing foods that expand, such as rice, go by the cooked capacity.
Most Hamilton Beach rice cookers have a consistent design that includes:
- Inner pan: This goes inside the machine and is where you put the food. Some consist of aluminum, which often has a nonstick surface. Others are stainless steel, which is generally durable and resistant to odors.
- Heating plate: Below the inner pan is the heating plate. This is what is used to heat and cook the food. Typically, you can remove the inner cooking pan to see this. However, you shouldn’t need to do anything with it unless something spills on it.
- Outer shell or body: The outer shell houses the inner pan and heating plate. It also has a display menu and any digital or manual buttons.
- Lid: Most machines have a lid that’s either solid or transparent for you to peer inside and watch the food cook. Some lids have a vent or hole that lets steam escape.
What sets Hamilton Beach rice cookers apart from other brands is the extra features and accessories they come with. Some tools can be purchased separately, while others come with the machine. Common tools include:
- Rice paddle to easily get cooked rice without worrying about scratching the sides of the cooking pan.
- Rice rinser that you can use to remove excess starch from the grains before cooking and decrease the chance of rice getting stuck together.
- Steamer basket for preparing vegetables without needing a separate device.
Having these accessories can make the prep work, cooking and serving more convenient.
How much you can expect to spend on a Hamilton Beach rice cooker
An entry-level or midrange Hamilton Beach rice cooker costs $25-$50. Higher-tier models average $50-$100.
Hamilton Beach rice cooker FAQ
How can you prepare cake in a Hamilton Beach rice cooker?
A. When baking cake from a box, combine all the ingredients as instructed on the box. If you’re using a nonstick container, pour the mixture directly into it. If it’s not nonstick, grease it first. Then, turn the machine on. If it has a “Bake” setting, use that. Otherwise, use the standard setting for cooking rice and monitor the cake as it bakes.
How do I prevent rice from getting stuck in the cooker?
A. Rice often gets stuck or partly burnt at the bottom of the inner pan. To prevent this, rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking it, especially when using long-grain rice. Alternatively, lightly coat the container’s base with butter or cooking spray. Finally, make sure to use the correct ratio of rice to water. This is generally 2 cups of water per 1 cup of uncooked rice.
Why is my rice hard in the rice cooker?
A. This problem usually happens when you don’t use enough water or when you remove the lid while the rice is still cooking. Avoid taking off the lid until the machine indicates it’s done, either with a beep or by switching to “Heat” or “Off.”
What’s the best Hamilton Beach rice cooker to buy?
Top Hamilton Beach rice cooker
What you need to know: This is a great multi-functional rice cooker capable of cooking nearly anything evenly.
What you’ll love: This stainless steel machine has a 16-cup capacity and uses “fuzzy logic” technology to automatically adjust the internal cooking settings and temperature. It has a nonstick inner pot and a digital display with adjustable timers and a cooking progress indicator. It can cook grains, hot cereal and different types of rice. It can also slow-cook and steam dishes.
What you should consider: It takes a while to cook larger batches of rice.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Hamilton Beach rice cooker for the money
What you need to know: This large rice cooker is perfect for anyone who wants something straightforward and simple to prepare rice or oatmeal.
What you’ll love: It can hold 30 cups of cooked rice or 15 cups of uncooked rice. It automatically switches from a cook cycle to a warm cycle once the rice is done. Plus, it comes with a steaming basket, a rice paddle, a measuring cup and a removable divider for steaming two types of vegetables at once.
What you should consider: The machine is big and won’t fit into small spaces.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This pre-programmed machine is versatile enough to prepare nearly any dish you can cook in a rice cooker.
What you’ll love: It has a 4 1/2-quart capacity, glass-top lid, stainless steel exterior and a nonstick pot. There are two options available, one with 12 settings and one with 14.
What you should consider: With so many pre-programmable buttons, it can be overwhelming to use at first.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.