I know that we live in the world of rice cookers and I absolutely love those appliances and all that they can do for us but there’s something wonderful about looking for the best pots for cooking rice.
While a rice cooker, and I reviewed many in my articles looking for the best rice cooker for brown rice or the best ceramic rice cooker or the best Korean rice cooker and other similar articles, can be wonderful and it can prepare the perfect rice, there are also plenty of reasons not to want one.
Some people might not want a rice cooker because it means yet another appliance that has to go on the countertop in an already full kitchen of toasters, blenders, stand mixers, countertop ovens, juicers, etc.
Other people might not want one because they can prepare wonderful, delicious, perfect rice every time. They just need to find the best pots for cooking rice to do so.
Others will prefer spending money on a piece of cookware that has multiple purposes than on an appliance that cooks a variety of rice grains.
As I’ve mentioned, there are a variety of reasons for preferring a pot for cooking rice. So let’s jump straight to our reviews and then maybe we’ll talk more about what cooking this grain actually entails.
However, you should know that whether you’re using a pot or you’re using an electric appliance, there’s always one thing you should do in most cases: properly wash the rice.
The very popular exception to rice washing is when we’re making risotto. You never wash that one. Check out my reviews for the best pans for risotto because those can also totally be used for cooking rice and so many other dishes.
Table of Contents
Best Pots for Cooking Rice Reviews
My top recommendation is the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid. We get to choose from a variety of sizes, affordable prices, top quality, and a pot with a lid that can cook most of the dishes we want. It’s also one of the best pots for cooking chili.
Next, we get the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker that offers amazing versatility. We get two pieces of cookware: a deep skillet and a shallow skillet/griddle for a very affordable price.
In the same price range we’ll find the Cuisinart Stainless Steel, 5.5 Quart Sauté Pan & Cover. If you don’t like the idea of cast iron or cooking in a Dutch oven, this stainless steel sauté pan might be what you’re looking for as one of the best pots for cooking rice.
My last two recommendations are Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic and Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker. These two are certainly special and totally different from the pots some of you might expect. But they’re not the cheapest choices. Or the biggest. And these two can’t be used to cook a wide variety of dishes.
1. Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid: One of the Best Pots for Cooking Rice
What I love tremendously about Dutch ovens is just how versatile they are.
I know Le Creuset is basically the most famous manufacturer of Dutch ovens but my preference will always be Lodge, whether we’re looking for cast iron or enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.
Cast iron Dutch ovens also make fantastic options as some of the best pots for cooking rice and I’m going to review one in just a moment.
However, I want to first recommend an enameled model because some people might find it easier to handle.
The enameled ones don’t need to be seasoned and cooking in them is very easy.
If you are concerned about seasoning cast iron and you’re just not a fan in general, an enameled model will be perfect.
Basically, the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid is the much cheaper alternative to Le Creuset and I love it.
This Lodge is incredibly popular, very affordable, and overall an awesome choice. If you prefer plain cast iron with no enamel coating, then just check out my next recommendation.
When it comes to choosing the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid there is another choice we need to make.
We need to decide which size would be best for our household. I love that we have so many sizes to choose from because everyone cooks foods for a different number of members.
The smallest one is the 1.5 quart. It’s certainly perfect if you only plan on cooking 1 cup of rice. Mostly, such a small size is better for side dishes, some sauces or warming soup. I don’t exactly recommend spending money on the 1.5 quart when, for a bit more, we could buy the 4.5 quart one.
Next, we have the 3 quart one that is great for 2 people who don’t like having any leftovers. I guess we could cook 2 cups or 2.5 cups of rice.
The 4.5 quart one is next. This is the stage where the good sizes start. It’s a good size for a family of 4 if you don’t like having any leftovers.
Where my favorites are is in the next two sizes.
The 6 quart is the most popular and I believe that this is the right size for most of us. The price is fantastic, the size is perfect for people with bigger families or who enjoy cooking bigger batches of food in a single pot, it’s just really great.
Last, we get the 7.5 quart Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid. The price is a bit higher but still quite affordable when we consider that a Le Creuset in the same size will maybe cost around $400. The price difference is huge.
6 quart and 7.5 quart are both great if we’re cooking for a big crowd.
Besides being one of the best pots for cooking rice, the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid is so much more.
It can be the perfect cookware for bread. Bread baked in a Dutch oven will rival professional bakeries.
Plus, what makes this type of pot so universally beloved is the fact that we can broil, braise, bake or roast in the oven up to 500 degrees F.
Besides my amazing chef’s knife, I couldn’t part ways with my Dutch oven.
The Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid is also compatible with all cooktops: electric, gas, induction. There are no restrictions.
The lid is also fitting well for our rice cooking and all the other dishes we plan on making.
The stainless steel knob and loop handles provide great maneuverability.
I should also mention that all Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Ovens are made in China or Vietnam for those with preferences in this area.
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2. Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker
Of course you can. Cast iron is such a fantastic material. While I love ceramic cookware, cast iron and stainless steel will always be my top picks.
If you already own a cast iron deep skillet, chances are that the skillet will be big enough for all the rice you want to cook. In that case, you don’t even have to look no more for the best pots for cooking rice. The same goes if you already own a Dutch oven.
It’s just as this article says: a cast iron deep skillet or Dutch oven is perfect for getting fluffy rice every time.
However, keep in mind that a cast iron pot stores tremendous heat so the cooking process will continue for a bit longer even after we turn off the heat. That’s the adjustment you’ll have to make if you are a complete beginner to cast iron.
The heavy base of a Dutch oven or of a deep skillet will cause the heat to evenly distribute so we’ll get evenly cooked rice that is fluffy and delicious.
While a Lodge cast iron Dutch oven with a lid is amazing, the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker is a favorite of mine.
The price is certainly one of the cheapest but if you want a bigger size, then you’ll prefer the Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid that I reviewed above.
I love the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker because we get two pieces of cookware for a really cheap price.
The first component is the deep skillet. It’s a 3.2 quart pot with two handles. It’s not incredibly big so that’s the only reason why some people might not go for this combo.
And we get a 10.25 inch shallow skillet or griddle.
One of my favorite cookbooks about bread features the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker. The bread is baked in the griddle and the deep skillet is used as a dome for the first part of the baking.
As the manufacturer states, the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker does it all.
We get a deep skillet, a fryer, a Dutch oven in one plus a lid that doubles as a shallow skillet or griddle.
It’s also great for camping. We can use it on the stove, in the oven, on the grill or over the campfire.
It comes seasoned. Then we can season it with vegetable oil, that’s all the maintenance it needs.
Wash it by hand with mild soap or none at all. And then dry immediately with a paper towel or a lint-free cloth.
Where to Buy?
3. Cuisinart Stainless Steel, 5.5 Quart Sauté Pan & Cover
If you have a saucepan, you can use it for cooking rice. The same goes if you have a deep skillet. Or a nice Dutch oven.
The idea is that we can cook rice in any pan that will have the right capacity for the amount of rice we want to cook.
Cooking rice can be done in any pot or pan that will hold water and boil. And then we need a lid or even a cover made from aluminum foil if we don’t have a lid on hand.
And that’s why I also decided to recommend the Cuisinart Stainless Steel, 5.5 Quart Sauté Pan & Cover.
It’s a fantastic choice.
It’s quite cheap, made of high quality stainless steel, the lid is also stainless steel and fits nicely, and it’s incredibly popular and highly reviewed by most buyers.
Since I think that rice can be cooked in a variety of cookware, I didn’t exactly want to go for very expensive pieces.
I could have reviewed the All-Clad D5 3-Quart Stainless-Steel Saucepan because that one is really nice, too. But it’s smaller, almost 3 times more expensive than this one from Cuisinart and I believe that a sauté pan of the right size can be more versatile than a medium saucepan.
I absolutely love the 5.5 quart because it allows us to cook a variety of dishes for a bigger family.
Of course, the entire stainless steel look coupled with that affordable price is what makes the Cuisinart Stainless Steel, 5.5 Quart Sauté Pan & Cover so incredibly popular.
It is a sauté pan with a long handle and a helper handle. For this size, the two different handles are totally needed.
We get an aluminum base that is encapsulated in stainless steel.
The aluminum base if needed because it heats quickly and spreads heat evenly. The even cooking leads to an evenly cooked rice. We don’t want hot spots.
The straight high sides and the flat cooking surface is fantastic for cooking a large amount of food evenly.
Of course, the tight fitting lid is exactly what we need for our rice cooking.
It is great for classic cooking techniques like slow simmers, rolling boils and reduction of liquids.
And it is compatible with all cooktops, it’s induction-ready.
It is also dishwasher safe although I prefer washing by hand even my stainless steel cookware.
And I don’t prefer using metal utensils, whether we’re talking about non-stick or stainless steel.
Where to Buy?
4. Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic
Of course, I don’t love it as much as the Dutch ovens and sauté pan that I recommended above because this rice pot has a much more limited use due to its shape and size.
However, if you want something special to cook rice in, the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic is certainly beautiful. As long as you can afford it.
Personally, I much prefer spending the money on a Dutch oven but I can totally see the appeal of absolutely loving the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic.
If you want a pot that was specifically designed for cooking rice, you might be interested in knowing more about the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic.
The ceramic material releases far-infrared radiation. That should result in a fluffy textured rice.
Moreover, the rounded shape creates convection for each grain of rice to be cooked evenly.
It comes with two lids. The inner and outer lids generate the right level of pressure inside. And it prevents contents from boiling over.
Since the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic is designed specifically for this grain, there are reference lines inside the pot for measuring rice and water.
1 cup of rice: add water up to the bottom line
2 cups of rice: add water up to the top line
And that’s how we see that the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker is meant for cooking just 2 cups of rice. It’s definitely not big and it’s not meant for big families.
They also include a measuring cup.
Overall, the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker is small, pretty expensive but it can cook whatever type of rice you want. It’s great for brown rice too. And it can be used for a variety of other dishes, as long as you don’t want to cook in big quantities.
It is microwave, oven, direct fire, and dishwasher safe. It’s not induction compatible because it’s made of ceramic.
Where to Buy?
5. Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker
Just as the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker Ceramic is completely different from a Dutch oven, saucepan, sauté pan, deep skillet, etc. so it’s the case with the Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker.
Donabe means clay pot in Japanese. And the Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker is also made in Japan.
The Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker is quite similar to what the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker that I reviewed above offers.
The difference is that this one from Toyo Case is a bit cheaper.
It can be used to cook 1-2 cups.
This ceramic pot also comes with double lids. As I’ve mentioned, the Kinto Kakomi Rice Cooker and the Toyo Case Japanese Donabe Clay Pot Rice Cooker are incredibly similar. The latter is slightly cheaper.
We can also cook soup, hotpot, etc. Just keep in mind that the size is very small. And it’s not induction compatible because it’s made of ceramic.
It is compatible with: gas cooktop, microwave, oven.
Where to Buy?
How to cook rice
I love cookbooks so even when it comes to this subject I want to mention The Essential Rice Cookbook by Wendy Stephens.
This cookbook contains everything from cooking rice, rice-a glossary, rice products, recipes from all regions (Mediterranean and Middle East, Europe, the Americas, India, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Fusion).
The absorption method is the preferred method for most of us if we’re cooking white rice, brown rice, etc.
The absorption method is easy to do. Put the rice in your pot, stick your finger into the rice and then add enough water so it comes up to the first finger joint.
Or you can follow the 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice for both white and brown grains.
Cover your pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to boil.
Reduce the heat to low.
Cook until little steam holes appear on the surface of the rice.
Of course, taste the grains from time to time, some of you might prefer them more crunchy or others like them softer.
Remove the lid so the steam can escape.
Fluff the grains with a fork.
On the other hand, if we were to cook sticky rice, the steaming method is preferred.
Rapid boiling is preferred for arborio, parboiled rice. These types cook well in plenty of water.
All in all, looking for the best pots for cooking rice is an easy thing to accomplish if you have an idea of which size or what type of cookware would work best for your cooking needs.