Rice is a staple food on all of my camping and backpacking trips. It gives a lot of energy, it’s really filling, it’s lightweight, and it’s versatile enough to not get too boring.
But when choosing a rice cooker for camping, there’s no clear best answer. It depends a lot on how you camp, what type of rice you’re cooking, and what cooking methods are available to you.
The best rice cooker for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is obviously going to be a lot different than the best rice cooker for car camping with a generator in the Southwest.
If you’re undecided on the right cooking method for the type of camping you’re planning, check out my deep dive on how to cook rice while camping.
Otherwise, continue on to see my list of the 7 best rice cookers for car camping, backpacking, and everything in between.
1. Lodge Deep Camp Dutch Oven (Best For Car Camping With A Campfire)
A cast iron Dutch oven is one of the first things I load into my trunk whenever I go car camping. A 10 QT Lodge Dutch Oven is my go-to.
It’s perfect for placing directly in a campfire or on (sturdy) camp grills to steam regular rice, boil water for instant rice, or stir fry pre cooked rice. And at ten quarts, you can easily make a large enough batch to feed the entire family.
Plus, it’s versatile enough that it can be used to roast, stew, simmer, or fry, all with a single piece of cookware.
As long as weight and size are no concern, it’s hard to pass up on a Lodge Dutch Oven for car camping — especially when you’re cooking directly in a campfire.
2. Keith Titanium Ti6300 Rice Cooker (Most Versatile For Car Camping)
The Keith Titanium Ti6300 Multifunctional Cooker is a lighter weight, easier-to-use camping rice cooker that can be used over any campfire, camp stove, or electric burner.
It uses a clever two-pot design that makes cooking amazing rice almost impossible to mess up.
Simply fill the outer pot with water, toss your rice in the inner pot, and let it work its magic. Vapor from the outer pot evenly steams rice in the inner pot, even with the often inconsistent heat from most backcountry cooking methods.
It’s a fail-proof way to cook perfect rice every time, no matter the heat source. And unlike a cast iron Dutch oven, it’s light enough to be used on less-sturdy backpacking stoves and campfire tripods as well.
The Cooker has won both 2016/2017 ISPO Winner Award and 2015 Asia Outdoor Industry Silver Award. It can be heated over a flame as well as on a gas or electric cooktop. Hot steam vaporized from the bottom of the outer pot enters inner pot and heats through every piece of the rice evenly, cooking tender, soft rice full of aroma every time in the backcountry. It comes with a custom made mesh storage sack.
3. Logos Hangou Rice Cooker (Best For Backpacking)
If you want something more portable, the Logos Hangou Rice Cooker is the perfect solution for cooking rice while solo or duo backpacking.
It’s essentially just a military surplus mess kit, but it’s small, lightweight, and makes some killer rice without much effort.
I typically use mine to boil water for instant rice on the trail for a quick easy meal. But with a little more attention, it works great for cooking regular rice over a small fire or backpacking stove as well.
Paired up with my favorite backpacking stove, the MSR Pocketrocket Deluxe, you’ll be ready to make some awesome rice whenever and wherever your adventure takes you.
Ultralight (2.9 ounces) backpacking stove with built-in push-start lighting and a pressure regulator for great performance across a range of temperatures.
Fueled by high-performance isobutane-propane fuel canister (not included).
4. Stainless Steel Nalgene Bottle (Best For Ultralight Backpacking)
Whenever I’m planning a longer thru-hike, I’m on the lookout for creative ways to minimize the weight of my gear and how much space it takes up in my pack.
Using the same piece of equipment for as many different purposes as possible is always a big win.
Cookware has always been a big pain point for me because it tends to be so bulky while also being quite necessary — at least until I learned this awesome Nalgene hack.
Because Stainless Steel Nalgene Bottles are non-insulated, they can be used to boil water.
Made from single wall surgical grade 316 (18/10) stainless steel and featuring the same size threads as the regular Nalgene widemouth this is the perfect bottle for those wanting the lifetime warranty and durability of a Nalgene without the plastic.
Comes with a rope pack loop lid attachment.
Simply boil one cup of water for each cup of uncooked instant rice, add the instant rice to the bottle, give a quick stir, cover, wait about five minutes, and fluff with a fork — a quick, easy, lightweight hot meal without having to carry a single extra piece of gear.
Stainless steel Nalgenes also work great for cooking noodles, just in case the rice gets a little boring.
5. Mini Rice Cooker (Best For Car Camping With A Generator)
If you’re car camping with a generator, it opens up many more options. Everything from electric burners to rice makers to electric pots are on the table.
If you’re just looking for something compact and convenient that makes great rice for a couple of people, my Octavo Mini Rice Cooker hasn’t let me down yet.
It couldn’t be much easier to use, just add water, pour in your rice, close the lid, and hit the on button for perfect rice in about half an hour.
The ceramic non-stick coating makes for super easy cleanup as well.
This stylish and minimalist rice cooker is designed for 1-2 people, seamlessly blending into any kitchen decor while saving valuable counter and storage space. Features 8-hour delay start options, an automatic keep-warm mode that lasts for up to 12 hours and is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
6. Instant Pot (Most Versatile For Car Camping With A Generator)
While a mini rice cooker is perfect for just my partner and I, if we’re bringing the kids, we need something a bit bigger and much more versatile.
An Instant Pot cooks perfect rice just as easily as a rice cooker, but can make about five times as much.
Not to mention, it steams, sautés, slow cooks, and pressure cooks, to keep those pickier eaters in the family happy.
7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer. Cook for up to 6 people – perfect for growing families, or meal prepping and batch cooking for singles.
7. Teuopioe Car Powered Rice Cooker (The Easiest For Lazy Car Camping)
A car-powered rice cooker, like this one by Teuopioe, plugs right into your car’s auxiliary power outlet (or cigarette lighter) and can cook up to 3 liters of perfect rice in one go.
It’s perfect for those last minute adventures or lazy car camping where you just don’t feel like putting any effort into cooking.
It works just as well as any other rice cooker, but doesn’t require a generator to run. It doesn’t get much easier than that.