Kitchn Love Letters

The $25 Rice Cooker I Use to Make Perfect, Fluffy Rice Every Time

published Jul 5, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

To be clear, I am typically quite picky when it comes to kitchen gadgets. My apartment is way too small for me to hold onto most tools, especially those that take up a lot of space. Stand mixers, air fryers, and food processors are all tools that I’ve bid adieu to in the name of storage. However, every now and then a gadget comes along that sweeps me off my feet. Earlier this year, it was the Tofuture Tofu Press that proved its worth by saving me from pressing tofu, one of my least-favorite cooking tasks. Now, I’ve stumbled across yet another gadget that’s earned a spot in my kitchen after proving to be an everyday essential: the Dash Mini Rice Cooker.

As someone always on a budget and living in close quarters, I’m a massive fan of Dash. They focus on creating compact, affordable kitchen appliances and tools that also happen to look downright adorable (just check out their fun exclusive line at Walmart, Rise by Dash!). In the past, we’ve covered several Dash items including the budget-friendly stand mixer, tiny waffle maker, and all-in-one measuring set, all of which are easy to use and perfect for anyone tight on storage and budget. The Dash rice cooker checks all of these boxes and more because I can finally make fluffy rice any time I want!

When I first opened the rice cooker, I immediately fell in love with the size. It includes a base, removable nonstick pot, lid, measuring cup, and rice paddle. The pot can hold up to 2 cups of your grain of choice, making it the ideal size for anyone cooking for one or two. One of the main reasons I rarely cook rice is that I don’t want to put in so much effort to make a single or double portion. And I also don’t want to have an abundance leftover because I’d rather have freshly made rice over reheated rice. This mini rice cooker completely solves that issue as I can choose to make anywhere from a quarter to a cup of uncooked rice.

What I especially love about this mini appliance is the “set it and leave it” capability. All I have to do is measure out my rice and water, combine in the pot, and then turn the machine on with its simple switch. It takes about 30 minutes to make a half cup of dry rice, but instead of having to keep an eye on a lit stove, I can just let this little machine do its job on my counter. I hadn’t even anticipated how much of a plus it would be during the summer when I’m always trying to avoid turning my stove on and heating up the kitchen.

Of course, the most important aspect is that this little machine really does a great job turning out perfectly cooked rice every time. I can honestly say that I’d never made rice as soft as I did the first time using this cooker. Before, I’d always get impatient and take it off the heat before the liquid had absorbed, resulting in slightly undercooked rice. Now, I get pillowy-soft rice every time, which is perfect as a fuss-free side or using as a base for stir-fry. And once it’s time to clean up, I like that the pot is removable so all I have to do is give it a quick wipe. 

Overall, I’m surprised by how well this $25 rice cooker works and how much of a difference it’s made when it comes to weeknight dinners. If you want to get one of your own, it’s available in a range of pretty colors on Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, and Wayfair depending on your shopping preference. It’s definitely earned a spot in my kitchen, and I’m sure it will quickly become a favorite tool of yours, too!