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Slow Cooker vs. Rice Cooker

Slow cookers and rice cookers both can cook meals while you're away at work, ensuring that you come home to a warm dinner at the end of a long day. They can save you time even when you're home, slowly heating all kinds of dishes to perfection without needing your attention to monitor the cooking process. Both rice cookers and slow cookers can heat up a meal on their own over time. Consider which features you'll use most to find the right appliance for your kitchen.

Slow Cooker

Rice Cooker

Size range

Small to large Small to medium

Cook time

All day A few hours or less

Types of food

Roasts, stews, soups, chickenRice, veggies and other grains

Cook Modes

High, low and warm Cook, keep warm

Slow Cooker

Advantages of a slow cooker

  • Handles More Recipes - Slow cookers can cook all kinds of different dishes and tenderize certain cuts of meats. Prepare chilis, stews, pulled pork and plenty of other recipes in slow cookers.
  • Available in Various Sizes - Two-cup capacity slow cookers can adequately serve one to two people and eight-quart models will be able to feed your entire family or a large gathering.
  • Hands-Off Cooking - Set up a meal before leaving for work and come home to a warm, fully cooked dinner.

Limitations of a slow cooker

  • Lengthy Cook Time - It generally takes several hours, or sometimes longer, to cook your meal.
  • Hot Spots - Some slow cookers can develop hot spots that will cook the meal faster in some areas than the rest of the dish.

Rice Cooker

Advantages of rice cookers

  • Warming Feature - Many rice cookers have a warming feature to keep your rice heated after the cooking process completes, so you can enjoy a fresh-tasting, warm meal at the end of the day.
  • Quick Cook Time - Depending on the type and amount of rice you use, it will take from 15 minutes to approximately an hour.
  • Steamer Attachments - Some models come with steamer buckets for steaming veggies.

Limitations of rice cookers

  • Limited to Certain Ingredients - Rice cookers are typically meant for various types of rice and other types of grains. You'll mostly be limited to rice, grains (such as quinoa or couscous), porridge, oatmeal and some vegetables.
  • Drying Out - Although the warming feature can keep your dish's temperature stable, it can dry out your food and give it an unpleasant consistency if left on for long periods of time.