Rice Cooker for College Student

Hope you are enjoying the summer. For those of you who have a new college student, it might be time for you to plan ahead logistically before sending your kid off to school.

Personally I haven’t experienced that yet, but I can just imagine the long shopping list for bedding, clothes, even furniture and appliances. If your kid is going to share a dorm or a house with others, it might be worth it to buy a rice cooker for him or her to learn to cook easy and healthy recipes.



As you might know there are thousands of rice cookers on the market from the conventional one-button type to the most advanced fuzzy logic and induction heating technology with very elaborated menu settings. For your purpose, I suggest to keep a few things in mind:

1. Simple to Use and Easy to Clean

Most of us have been there and done that being the freshmen in college. There is so much to learn between classes, school environment, extra-curriculum activities, parties. Who has time to cook in the dorm?

A traditional electric rice cooker with an “on” and “off” button is all that you need to get for your kid. There is not much to it other than to measure rice or other ingredients and add water.

Most of the rice cookers have either stainless steel or non-stick inner cooking pot that’s removable for easy cleaning.

2. Capacity

No need to buy a giant rice cooker unless your kid is going to be cooking for the whole gang. 3 cups of uncooked rice would be more than enough. This will yield about 6 cups of cooked rice. Please note that the measuring cup with the rice cooker is smaller, for sure with the Asian brands. It’s about 6 oz instead of 8 oz in the U.S. Also there is a difference in how Aisan rice cooker manufacturers market the capacity size in uncooked rice vs. the cooked rice for the American brands.

3. Compact in Size

It’s going to be quite crowded with everyone’s stuff in the dorm. So space is going to be at premium. Keep the compact size in mind when shopping.  Plus, he or she may move around from dorm to dorm. It needs to be light-weight and portable. Oftentimes, capacity and dimensions go hand in hand.

4. Multi-Functional

I would choose a rice cooker with a steamer tray. That way, he or she can cook up an entire meal in one pot to save time, effort and money. Many rice cookers come with a steamer where meats/seafood/vegetables can be steamed while the rice is being cooked.

5. Energy Efficient

Choose a rice cooker that’s more energy-efficient for the simple consideration for others sharing the room. You don’t want to trip the electric box with a 5000 watts appliance. I’d keep the watts down below 1000.

6. Price

We all know by now how much it costs parents to pay for college. Every little saving we can manage will help with the greater cause. I suggest to keep the budget below $50. For the most part, you can get a simple rice cooker around $25 or so.

7. Easy Recipes for College Students

Last, but not the least, get a good cookbook such as The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman so they can learn to cook some easy and healthy meals in the rice cooker.

I am attaching a table below with a few rice cookers that fit into the criteria I’ve outlined above with 4.0 or above rating. I wrote in-depth reviews on some of them. If you care to learn more, just click on the hyperlinked model # in the table.

3 Aroma Rice Cookers and How Are They Different?

I’d like to mention that there are three Aroma rice cookers. You may wonder what the differences are. The ARC-733-1G model is an early generation of one-pot style rice cooker. The ARC-743 are the newer models. The only difference is that ARC-743 series have non-stick inner cooking pot and all accessories are dishwasher safe. In fact, in Aroma Houseware’s website, the ARC-743 ones are $3 more expensive than the ARC-733. But on Amazon, it’s the opposite. So why not pay for the cheaper price to get more features? Feel free to click on the price range for each rice cooker to check out the current price.

Model #PriceRatingCapacity (in uncooked rice unless noted)ColorFeature
Aroma ARC-743-1NGB$15-204.56 cups cooked riceblackrice cooker w/steamer, nonstick inner cooking pot and all accessories are dishwasher safe
Aroma ARC-743-1NGR$15-204.56 cups cooked riceredrice cooker w/steamer, nonstick inner cooking pot and all accessories are dishwasher safe
Aroma-ARC-7331G$20-254.06 cups cooked ricewhiterice cooker w/steamer
Black & Decker RC3203$15-204.53 cups cooked ricewhitedishwasher-safe nonstick inner cooking pot
Panasonic SR-G06G$30-354.03.3 cupswhiterice cooker w/steamer
Sanyo EC-503$20-254.03 cupswhiterice cooker w/steamer
Zojirushi NHS-06$40-454.03 cupswhitecook rice and keep warm up to 5 hours
Rice Cooker for College Student

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