By Mike Szostech Last updated
If you’re looking for a rice cooker, consider getting one with a stainless steel inner pot. It’s the best way to keep your food away from chemical non-stick coatings while your rice is cooking.
A stainless steel inner pot is one of the safest materials for food preparation – it’s easy to clean, rugged and long-lasting, and relatively inexpensive. It’s also been around for a long time, and there are still no health concerns or health discoveries related to it.
Some might say “just wait, they’ll discover a problem with cooking with stainless steel” and perhaps that’s right – but for now it’s definitely safer than cooking in something with known issues!
Note: If you are allergic to nickel, then stainless steel may cause issues for you. The materials added to steel to make it ‘stainless’ are nickel and chromium
After 2 years of steady use, our rice cooker with the stainless inner pot looks like it’s still brand new – except for a small dent when the pot (and all the rice) was dropped on the way to the table.
Most rice cookers come with an internal pot built out of aluminum, with a non-stick coating on it. Aluminum is cheap, and non-stick is easy to clean.
However, the health concerns aren’t just something that lives in the realm of internet fear-mongering; even Health Canada recognizes the affects of these things. They mention that while the amount taken in through food is low and no definite links to Alzheimer’s disease have been proven, they mention that aluminum is most dissolved from pitted and worn pots and pans, and food that is cooked or stored in aluminum for long periods of time.
Non-stick coatings can be very helpful at aiding in quick cleanup, but Health Canada stats that nonstick coatings that are heated to temperatures higher than 350 degrees C or 650 degrees F “can give off irritating or poisonous fumes”.
When possible, why wouldn’t you choose stainless steel? The problem in Canada is that stainless steel rice cookers are much harder to find – Amazon Canada only has one brand. There are also some fancier rice cookers (think one-pot style digital cookers) that also have stainless steel internal pots, so we also list a few of those as options as well.
If you really don’t care about a stainless steel inner pot in your rice cooker, then you might want to check out our overview of the best rice cooker Canada.
Stainless Steel Inner Pot Rice Cooker Prices
Hey Canada! This section helps you compare the features of these products to help you choose the best option for you! Click on the product name to jump down to that specific review.
The prices seem to vary based on demand, but overall, the Aroma Rice Cookers are among the best priced, with the Elite Gourmet giving strong competition. All of the others cost quite a bit more, so if you don't need the extra features or fancy look, you can save some money by going with one of the white rice cookers with a glass lid and stainless steel inner pot.
How we chose the best rice cooker with stainless steel inner pot
You’re probably wondering why the title of this stainless steel rice cooker review says that there is only one option, and yet multiple products are listed here. Let me explain – there really was only one stainless rice cooker available online in Canada when this review was published.
Since the publish date, there seem to be more options with stainless steel rice cooker inserts, but still on a price comparison point, they are twice the cost of the Aroma stainless steel rice cooker pot.
Update: In mid-2020, a new option under the brand Elite Gourmet showed up. It looks to me like a copycat of the Aroma Rice Cooker, but that’s okay. Competition is never a bad thing, and will likely lead to lower prices on these stainless rice cookers.
Sure, there were other options, like ‘smart cooker’ single-pot type cookers that cook rice, and have a bunch of other features as well. But features means more expense! If you want a rice cooker with a stainless steel insert in Canada, than the Aroma is your only option.
For my family, we already have an Instant-Pot for cooking beans, chili, and rice etc, but most of the time we want pressure-cooked beans or chili (or some other strange and possibly exciting dish) so we wanted just a basic rice cooker. That’s where the search started, and the Aroma Stainless Rice Cooker is where the search ended.
Best of luck!
This is our pick for the best stainless steel inner pot rice cooker. It's the one we bought almost 3 years ago, it's still going strong, and we're happy with how it cooks the rice.
Price-wise, it's usually the cheapest rice cooker on the list too!
Our top choice for a rice cooker with a large stainless steel inner pot was this Aroma 14-cup monster. It's big enough to make enough rice for our family of 6, and it was available online in Canada - shipped straight to our door.
We've had it for almost 2 years now, and we make rice almost every other day. This rice cooker just keeps on ticking, without a hiccup. Because it has a stainless steel inner pot it does cost a little more up-front then the cheap non-stick cookers, but after this much use, it still works and looks just as good as the day we bought it (except for some scratches of course!).
Get the best price Aroma Rice Cooker Canada - 14-cup Stainless Steel Inner Pot Rice Cooker in Canada from:
Aroma 14-cup Cooked Stainless Steel Inner Pot Rice Cooker review details:
The Elite Gourmet comes in a huge 20-cup option so if you need a huge capacity, this is the best stainless steel inner pot rice cooker for you!
Pricing is usually on par with the Aroma rice cooker, but compare both as sometimes this is priced way higher.
This is the newest entry in Canada for a stainless steel rice cooker. Elite Gourmet has good reviews, and this seems like it would be a great choice. Plus, it's typically a few dollars cheaper than the Aroma version.
This model, the ERC-2010 is a 10-cup cooked capacity electric rice cooker. Elite Gourmet also touts it as being able to cook soups, stews, grains, and cereals.
Get the best price Elite Gourmet Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot in Canada from:
Elite Gourmet Rice Cooker with Stainless Steel Inner Pot review details:
If you go this route, you don't just end up with a stainless steel rice cooker, but also a multi-function pressure cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and slow cooker.
The problem when buying this is that for rice cooking, it's really hard to tell how much rice this can cook. The Instant Pot 3 quart says it can make 12 cooked cups of rice (which would mean 6 raw cups of rice and 12 cups of water). Technically, this 6 quart Instant Pot would then be able to make twice that much. However, since it is a pressure cooker, there are recommended max fill lines so our guess is that it will be around the same size as the Aroma 14-cup rice cooker listed.
Get the best price Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 - 6 quart stainless steel in Canada from:
Instant Pot Lux 6 quart Stainless Steel Cooker review details:
This stainless steel rice cooker is now available in black or white finishes. It's a smaller pot, rated at 6 cups, and it's often cheaper. However, right now it seems like this smaller stainless steel rice cooker actually costs more than the 14 cup so be sure to compare pricing!
This is the little brother to our top pick - the best rice cooker with stainless steel inner pot 14-cup version by Aroma. If you don't have to cook for as many people, and if you are short on storage space (think tiny home or RV cooking), then this little 6-cup stainless rice cooker is for you.
Get the best price Aroma 6-cup cooked Stainless Steel Inner Pot Rice Cooker in Canada from:
Aroma 6-cup Stainless Steel Inner Pot Rice Cooker review details:
For about twice the price of the simply rice cooker, Aroma also offers a stainless steel digital rice cooker and food steamer for sale in Canada. It has more features than the rice cooker, and it comes with an additional stainless food steamer insert, but it's getting up in price enough that it is close enough to the one-pot stainless steel pressure cookers that we recommend getting one of those instead.
Get the best price Aroma/Nutriware 14-cup digital stainless rice cooker and food steamer in Canada from:
Aroma/Nutriware 14-cup Digital Stainless Pot Rice Cooker review details:
Also available in Canada (on some sort of second-hand market basis because it's never officially listed by the company), is the Japanese made Tayama Stainless Steel Rice Cooker. However, it's also almost 3 times the cost of the Aroma rice cooker - if you don't need a stainless steel outside, the Aroma is the best bet, and has more capacity at 14 cups instead of the 10 cup capacity of the Tayama rice cooker.
Get the best price Tayama Stainless Steel Rice Cooker in Canada from:
Tayama Stainless Steel Rice Cooker review details:
Another option for a rice cooker with a stainless steel inner pot in Canada is this model from Oyama. It comes with a 1-year warranty.
This would be a great stainless rice cooker if you plan to steam vegetables at the same time as you cook rice as it comes with a stainless steel steaming tray. Another feature listed is that this has a 24-hour stay-warm feature. It uses a 3-dimensional heating system (base, sides, and lid) to keep rice warm which is why it is rated for 24 hours, although I don't know who would want to cook rice and leave it sit in the machine for 24 hours?
The stainless steel inner pot has a triple layered bottom - with aluminum in the center so that it doesn't come into contact with your food, but still allows the rice cooker to have the benefit or more uniform heat dispersion that aluminum has over stainless steel.
If you want something that is easy to clean, this rice cooker might not be the one for you as the steam lid has a textured shape that is more difficult to clean than the glass lid of some of the other rice cookers. On the flip side, however, this type of rice cooker lid keeps the handle cool where as a glass lid can be too hot to remove without a pot holder.
Only a couple customers have had bad experiences with the Oyama stainless inner pot rice cooker - some complained of issues with the rice cooker switch not clicking over to 'warm' properly, and another had the plug break, but those issues were within the 1 year warranty period. Just remember, you will have to pay for shipping the stainless steel rice cooker for warranty repairs!
Get the best price Oyama Stainless Steel Inner Pot 14-cup Rice Cooker in Canada from:
Oyama Stainless Steel Inner Pot 14-cup Rice Cooker review details:
What are the pros and cons of a stainless steel inner pot?
If you just skimmed over the section at the top of the page, you may want to go back and read about the harmful chemicals that can be released into your rice from the non-stick type of inner pot rice cookers. That’s what started us in our search for a safer inner pot.
Honestly, we haven’t found any problems with the stainless steel inner pot. Some claim that it can be harder to clean then the non-stick pots, but we disagree. Even if rice does stick, at least you can soak it.
And if you need to scrape some stuck rice off, you don’t have to worry about damaging the non-stick coating which can lead to pieces flaking off in your next batch of rice.
We tend to soak the pot from one meal to the next, and then with a scrub sponge you can make quick work of any stuck rice.