There are several rice dishes in the world, and you will always find one on every restaurant menu list. This is because rice is one of the most consumed grains in the whole world. If you run either a small or big cooking business, you’ll need a commercial rice cooker to make work easy for you.
It takes a lot of practice to be able to balance between the right amount of water needed and the perfect temperature when cooking rice for a large group. But with the invention of commercial rice cookers, you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect consistency or texture for your rice.
Getting the right consistency when cooking rice in large quantities can be tricky. However, we’ve written a well-detailed review on the top 7 best commercial rice cookers and a buying guide to help you make the best choice for your restaurant.
America’s Test Kitchen Best Commercial Rice Cookers By Consumer Reports
1. Aroma Housewares ARC-1033E Commercial Rice Cooker
First on our list is a commercial-grade rice cooker that is highly efficient and of premium quality. The exterior of this model is made of durable white metal with a stainless steel pot lid giving it a sleek look on your counter.
This 8-quart rice cooker features simple dials for manual control and can cook 30 cups of dry rice. You don’t have to buy a rice paddle and extra measuring cups because they come included when you get this product.
The interior pot is nonstick, making it easy to clean, and the plastic rice spatula is used to scoop the rice from the pan without scratching the surface. This heavy-duty cooker is designed to withstand daily usage and is well suited for restaurants and commercial kitchens.
This commercial rice cooker was designed with a sensor that tells when the food is ready, and an automatic keep warm feature that gets activated immediately after the rice gets done. The removable parts make cleaning easier.
Two measuring cups and a rice paddle included
The removable parts are easy to maintain
Doesn’t keep the rice warm for long
The lightweight lid sometimes bounces up when the heat builds up.
2. Aroma Housewares ARC-1130S Commercial Rice Cooker
Aroma ARC-1130S was built for commercial use and is one of the low priced models on this list. With just a single touch, this cooker operates flawlessly and ensures your rice is well cooked and fluffy. It includes a measuring cup, an interior non-stick pan, a stainless steel lid, and a plastic rice spatula. Although this cooker is of quality, the base of the pan sometimes burns the rice, which could be a problem.
The lid fits securely and is tightly clasp to the exterior. It ensures the sticky rice water doesn’t splash all over your counter. Since the exterior is made of stainless steel and the interior is nonstick, the whole unit is easy to clean. However, the exterior stays cool to touch even after extended use.
The stainless steel lid and the nonstick pot is removable and durable. They are built to handle continuous daily use. With the capacity to hold 30 cups of uncooked rice, this commercial cooker doubles the quantity of your rice as it cooks. Also, it prepares your rice with half the time required for conventional cooking.
Heavy-duty rice cooker
The base tends to burn the rice.
3. Zojirushi NYC-36 Commercial Rice Cooker and Warmer
Next on our list is Zojirushi NYC-36 commercial rice cooker that also doubles as a warmer. This 1300 watt rice cooker is big enough to boil a maximum of 40 cups of cooked rice and a minimum of 10 cups of uncooked rice. It is an ideal choice for preparing various varieties of rice in large quantities. Your rice gets uniformly cooked and retains its freshness when you use this product.
The interior pan has an imprinted measuring line for accuracy, eliminating all guesswork. This model automatically switches to the Keep Warm mode when the rice gets done. Plus it features a side condensation collector that helps to reduce the steam stored in the cooker. This helps to prevent the rice from overcooking.
The rice cooker’s exterior is sturdily built and stays cool even after several uses. The inner lid is removable and washable. This product comes with two LED indicators that notify you of the current function of the cooker. The keep-warm features ensure that the rice remains warm and at the same time, maintain the perfect serving temperature.
Auto keep warm feature
Serves for 40 persons
It features no handle.
4. Rinnai Rice Cooker Commercial GAS RER55ASL Propane Gas
Are you tired of using an electric rice cooker due to the state of power surge in your city or you are looking for a commercial cooker that utilizes gas? Well, this is the best pick currently available on the market.
Rinnai RER55ASL has the highest cooking capacity and is the only commercial gas rice cooker on our list. This product holds up to 110 cups of cooked rice which gets done in less than 30 minutes. The exterior is made of enamel which is a good heat conductor and an aluminium inner pot. It is also suitable for preparing your rice in both small and large quantities. Although it doesn’t have a Keep Warm function, your rice stays warm for hours.
This is the only commercial rice cooker with dual certification in North America: CSA and NSF. It is powered by liquid propane and is designed with a flame failure safety mechanism that ensures the gas doesn’t leak out of the rice cooker.
This industrial cooker comes with automated features such as an auto simmer, two-stage automatic burner, and a thermostat. The detachable lid features a handle that doesn’t get hot and is safe to touch even without kitchen mittens.
Automatic two-stage burner
Approved by NSF and CSA
Stay cool lid
Aluminium cook pot
Not suitable with an electric power source
5. Winco Commercial Electric Rice Cooker & Warmer with Hinged Cover – 30 Cups
This ETL approved kitchen appliance met the functionality and sanitation requirements needed for a commercial venture. This 1500 watts commercial rice cooker works best with 120 volts of power. The cooker’s exterior is built with durable stainless steel and has a fingerprint-proof finish.
With a 30-cup uncooked rice capacity, this heavy-duty cooker has a remarkable potential to double the quantity of the rice. It prepares your rice faster, providing you with the perfect texture every time. You don’t have to scoop out the whole rice when it is done because this product keeps your food warm for up to 6 hours before serving time.
Also, it operates with a great absorber system that is energy efficient. The nonstick interior pot and lid locks in the steam. It comes with a year’s warranty on material and labour.
This rice cooker is well suited for large kitchens and buffets. The inner pot, lid, and exterior steel are easy to clean. The control dial is simple to interpret and easy to operate. The lid is hinged to the pot so that you won’t lose it easily.
Certified by ETL
Heavy-duty stainless steel
Easy to operate
Cooks faster than conventional cooking
No LCD screen
6. Zojirushi NH-YG18-XA IH 1 jar Commercial Rice Cooker
This commercial rice cooker has a 1.8-quart capacity and comes with multiple settings to hasten the cooking process. It functions as a rice cooker and also a warmer. Unlike the other products reviewed thus far, this is the only option with an extra-large LED screen. The display screen allows you to monitor the temp and timer as it operates. It also features a handle that offers you convenient lifting and easy storage of the cooker.
This product includes a measuring cup and a rice spatula. The intuitive dials enable you to set the rice cooker with ease. Zojirushi NH-YG18-XA utilizes an induction heating technology that ensures the interior gets evenly heated. The base, the sidewalls, and lid generate and distribute hot air with the cooker. It also employs pressure to cook the rice faster. The inner cooking pan is covered with a nonstick coating.
This commercial cooker is built with an auto keep-warm function, and an extended keep warm feature. The rice cooker automatically changes into a keep warm mode after the cooking cycle has been completed. The detachable pan and lid are washable.
Easy to store
7. Zojirushi  cook IH rice cooker commercial ZOJIRUSHI NH-GD36-XA stainless
This electric commercial rice cooker functions properly with 200volts of power. It includes a sleek stainless steel exterior, easy to interpret LCD screen, and a beeper that alerts you when the food is done. You do not have to babysit the cooker when in use, thanks to the multiple preset programs. The interior pan can hold up to 15 cups of dry rice which gets to increase in quantity when prepared. The lid locks in moisture and helps in retaining heat within the unit.
This product ensures your food maintains a ready to serve temperature by automatically changing to a keep warm mode once the cooking cycle gets completed. Also, it has a small footprint that doesn’t take too much counter space. This product is ideal for busy kitchens and restaurants.
You make the most fluffy and uniformly cooked rice all the time with its intuitive dials. It features sturdy non-skid feet that prevent the cooker from sliding off the countertop when in operation. The pan within the cooker is coated with non-stick paint, which prevents the cooked rice from sticking to the base.
Easy to read LCD
Stainless steel exterior
Nonstick cook pan
Keep warm feature
Multiple preset programs
No handle on the lid
What To Look For Before Buying A Commercial Rice Cooker
There are several rice cookers of different sizes, shapes, and prices on the market. However, instead of focusing on only your budget, be intentional about other things like the features and construction.
When you follow through with this guide, you will be able to make the best pick that will serve you the best purpose and meet your kitchen requirement. Here are the things to look out for, they include:
The size of the inner pot is different from the size of the entire rice cooker. The total amount of cups a cooker can take is often half the quantity when prepared because it doubles in size. So you have to be sure of the size of the inner pot when selecting to avoid buying a cooker that is too small or too big for your kitchen needs.
If you run a big restaurant, Rinnai RER55ASL is the best option for you on our list. Although it runs on propane gas, it has a big inner pot that can hold up to 110 cups of cooked rice.
Every commercial rice cooker had its own unique features and functions that differentiate it from the others. All the rice cookers on our list are designed with the latest modern technology and prepare your rice in less than an hour, no matter the quantity.
Some models come with extra safety functions such as an auto shut off, flame failure safety, auto keep-warm, an alarm, built-in thermal safety, and others. These features ensure your food doesn’t get overcooked or burnt. Before purchasing, make sure the cooker have the features your kitchen needs.
Both the interior and exterior of most commercial rice cookers are made from different materials. The most common materials are stainless steel, aluminium, enamel, and plastic. Some cookers’ exterior is made of plastic which is not often the best material because over time the plastic starts to melt. Others are made with stainless steel exterior and are durable, but they often get hot to touch.
A rice cooker can also be used to cook other foods, hence the added accessories. It can be used to cook stew, bake bread, and steam veggies. These extra accessories are added to make you enjoy an effortless cooking experience. They can be any of these accessories, which include a spatula, a steaming tray, an extra inner pot, a scoop, or a cup.
The cup that comes with the cooker is the standard cup for measuring your rice. It measures about 180ml and is often included to offer you precise measurement. It is advisable not to use any other cup to measure your rice.
Heating Source And Element
Commercial rice cookers run on either of these sources of heat, electricity, or gas. Electric cookers are the most popular model because they are movable and can be used anywhere. They also come with various presets that make them easy to operate. Some models use pressure cooking technology with various flexible settings.
However, gas cookers add a more smoky flavour to the rice and cooks directly under an open flame. They are not as versatile as electric rice cookers. Gas rice cookers will require extra care and maintenance when compared to an electric rice cooker that is easy to maintain.
The heating element of most rice cookers ranges from one to three. Some electric drive cookers feature triple heating elements such as the lid, the bottom, and the walls. Most gas cookers utilize just one heating element, which is from the base.
Restaurant Rice Cooker Commercial Kitchen Steamer Warmer Electric Pot
Having a rice cooker in your kitchen will help you to cook rice faster and with the perfect texture every time. It is essential kitchenware in many commercial settings. You make restaurant-quality rice when you buy any of the commercial rice cookers mentioned in our review.