Not sure what size rice cooker to get? Check out our guide to find out how to choose the right size for your needs.
Rice cookers come in many shapes and have all kinds of features. But they all have one thing in common: They’re sized by capacity.
If you’re new to rice cookers, you might be wondering what capacity to get. Hey, you probably googled it to find out. It’s great that you stopped by, because this is exactly what we wrote this guide for.
How Rice Cookers Are Sized
The capacity of a rice cooker is measured in cups. The most common sizes for an appliance of this type are 2, 4, 6, and 8 cups. Although bigger appliances, like ones that hold up to 16 or even 32 cups, are also available.
Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly, though. If you buy a 2-cup rice cooker, this doesn’t mean you can cook 2 cups of rice in it. Because to cook the rice, you need to fill the pot with at least as much water. Some of the water gets soaked up by the grains during cooking. The rest turns to steam and escapes from the pot
To figure out how much rice a rice cooker can hold, divide its total capacity by two.
For example, a 2-cup rice cooker can hold 1 cup rice and 1 cup water. A 4-cup rice cooker can hold 2 cups rice and 2 cups water; a 6-cup rice cooker can hold 3 cups rice and 3 cups water, and so on, and so on.
If you’re not good with numbers, don’t worry. We did the math for you in the table below.
|Total Capacity||Rice Capacity||Water Capacity|
|2 cups||1 cup rice||1 cup water|
|3 cups||1½ cup rice||1½ cup water|
|4 cups||2 cups rice||2 cups water|
|5 cups||2½ cups rice||2½ cups water|
|6 cups||3 cups rice||3 cups water|
|7 cups||3½ cups rice||3½ cups water|
|8 cups||4 cups rice||4 cups water|
|9 cups||4½ cups rice||4½ cups water|
|10 cups||5 cups rice||5 cups water|
|12 cups||6 cups rice||6 cups water|
|16 cups||8 cups rice||8 cups water|
|18 cups||9 cups rice||9 cups water|
|20 cups||10 cups rice||10 cups water|
|24 cups||12 cups rice||12 cups water|
|28 cups||14 cups rice||14 cups water|
|30 cups||15 cups rice||15 cups water|
How Big a Rice Cooker Do You Need?
Consider how often you cook rice each day. This will help you determine how big a rice cooker you really need.
If you don’t know or you’re not quite sure, think about the number of people that live in your household. As a general rule of thumb, 1 cup of uncooked rice makes 2–3 servings of cooked rice.
This gives us the following guidelines:
- For a household of 1, get a 2-cup rice cooker.
- For a household of 2 to 3 people, get a 3 to 5-cup rice cooker.
- For a household of 4 people or more, get an 8-cup rice cooker or bigger.
And, finally, if you cook for a lot of people often, think about getting two rice cookers: a smaller one for daily use and a bigger one for large batches.
The capacity of a rice cooker is measured in cups. But keep in mind that a rice cooker with a capacity of 2 cups holds roughly 1 cup rice and 1 cup water.
To decide how big of a rice cooker you really need, consider how many people live in your household and know that 1 cup of rice yields 2 to 3 servings.