More versatile than a regular rice cooker but less useful than a multi one, the Cosori 5l is a niche option
- Large capacity
- Multiple cooking modes and settings
- Produces well-cooked rice
- No pressure cooker ability
- Relatively expensive
- Rice programs can take a long time
Rice cookers are generally accepted as being a straightforward upgrade to boil-in-the-bag or tinkering with hob-cooked rice. Sturdy, capacious and able to produce well-cooked rice simply and effectively, the Cosori 5l Rice Cooker can help take some of the hassle out of midweek meals, especially if you often find yourself cooking for larger groups.
Beyond rice cooking, the Cosori 5l throws in a handful of extra cooking modes, for slow cooking, baking, soups and so on, and a few clever design touches like its Quick Rice mode and Delayed Start setting.
In the course of our review, however, the Cosori did prove to be slower than other rice cookers we’ve tested, less versatile than more fully fledged multi cookers and therefore relatively pricey when weighed against its rivals. A niche option, the Cosori 5l Rice Cooker may be worth picking up depending on your kitchen setup and whether or not you can snag it at a discount.
Cosori 5l Rice Cooker review: What do you get for the money?
The Cosori 5l Rice Cooker has a black and silver hard-plastic exterior, measuring 27 x 31 x 23.5cm (WDH) and weighing 4.5kg. The appliance’s various settings and modes can be controlled and adjusted via a simple touchscreen, which is located on the front. When first unboxing you’ll find a few peripherals inside including the main cooking pot, a steaming basket, plastic soup ladle, rice paddle and a measuring cup. Being slightly longer than it is wide, the rice cooker is suitably shaped for slotting onto countertops where space is tight and its touchscreen proved responsive and easy to use.
Like many higher-end rice cookers, the Cosori boasts a “fuzzy-logic” chip, which is a smart cooking technology that helps the appliance automatically adjust things like temperature, cooking time and rate of temperature increase, as it cooks.
The Cosori also has a range of rice cooking presets, including specific options for white rice, brown rice and both short and long varieties; a quick rice setting; and settings for grains like quinoa and porridge. Outside of rice cooking, it adds some versatility with six separate cooking modes: Steam, Slow Cook, Soup, Sauté, Cake and Jam/Sauce. Finally, it adds the bonus Keep Warm and Delay functions.
The Cosori 5l Rice Cooker might seem expensive, but it can regularly be snapped for about a third less when discounted. As for other options from our best rice cooker roundup, those looking to save money or countertop space may also want to consider the budget-friendly Russell Hobbs Rice Cooker and Steamer or the compact Lakeland Mini Multi Cooker .
Looking for a range of cooking modes? The Yum Asia Bamboo Induction produces consistently great results on a variety of rices and grains and can steam, slow cook and bake cakes to boot, although it’s even more expensive than the Cosori. If you’re set on picking up an appliance with pressure cooking capabilities, the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus and Tefal Turbo Cuisine Multi Pressure Cooker are two multi-talented cookers that effortlessly whip up perfectly cooked rice.
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Cosori 5l Rice Cooker review: What’s good about it?
On first inspection, the Cosori Rice Cooker looks neatly put together and feels sturdily built. The included ladle, rice paddle and basket were particularly solid and usable compared to the flimsy peripherals that often come with similar multi cookers. Starting the Cosori up, its touchscreen control panel stands out as bright, readable and responsive.
Using this touchscreen, you can access a generous range of settings and modes. Between the Long and Short Grain settings, Brown and White rice functions and water level markings, the Cosori makes it simple to tackle everything from classic basmati to jasmine, sushi and brown rice. Topping things off, it also has settings for quinoa, porridge and mixed grains, which will be useful for anyone seeking some healthy variety.
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For my rice tests, I cooked four portions each time, following the cooking guide in the recipe booklet and using a cup measure to add rice and water to the pot. For basmati rice, I set the Cosori to Long Grain and White Rice, added four cups of rice and four and three quarter cups of water before setting the machine going. Roughly 50 minutes later, the Cosori finished up and automatically entered Keep Warm mode. The rice inside was tender but not mushy, fluffy, with individual grains retaining their integrity and not sticking or clumping together. I repeated the process using jasmine rice. The jasmine rice used the same settings and measurements but finished up a little faster, showcasing the Cosori’s solid internal smarts.
Once again, I was pleased with the results, finding the rice produced to be soft, delicate and nicely sticky, as good jasmine rice should be. The final rice test was my attempt at brown rice, which used four cups of brown rice and five cups of water on the Short Grain and Brown Rice settings. This cook took close to an hour and 20 minutes and, while decently firm and chewy, the rice was a little overdone, at least compared to the bang-on results I got with the other rices and grains.
Taking a quick tour of the Cosori’s multi cooking abilities, I came up with mixed results. In terms of positives, the Steam function worked well on mixed vegetables, cooking some broccoli, carrot and cauliflower in about 10 minutes, while retaining their colour and snappiness.
For the soup setting, I tried the Spiced Carrot & Lentil Soup from the recipe book, frying spices, onions and garlic before adding chopped carrots, lentils, stock and coconut milk and whacking it on for 45 minutes. After a quick blend for smoothness, the soup was done and earned both the setting and recipe a thumbs up from me.
Cosori 5l Rice Cooker review: What could be better?
The Cosori is an effective rice cooker, but not a speedy one by any stretch of the imagination. With each of my rice tests taking somewhere in the region of an hour, I found the cooker hard to sync up with the times I’d want to prepare meals and have my cooking all wrapped up.
The Keep Warm function and Delayed Start setting do help with this, admittedly, allowing users to set up their cook earlier in the day, prepare it at a desired time and then keep it at 70°C for up to 24 hours.
However, what I look for in an appliance like this is less faff and mental effort, which these settings only add to. Similarly, the Quick Rice setting aims to get around the lengthy cook-time problem, but, at least when I tried it, only served to undercook my rice a little, which didn’t really solve anything.
Moving on to multi cooking, two modes which didn’t particularly impress me were the Cosori’s Sauté and Slow Cook settings. On the whole, I’ve never found a multi cooker whose sautéeing abilities fully matched that of my gas hob and pan and the Cosori is no exception.
I found the Sauté function on the Cosori ran a little hot, and with no adjustable temperature settings on any of its modes, there wasn’t much I could do about that, except stir things constantly to stop my onions and garlic from burning.
I looked up a simple beef stew recipe to test out the Cosori’s slow cooking abilities, letting it run for the recommended eight hours.
With the Cosori constantly outputting a put-put of steam throughout, I worried that the stew would be overly thickened by the end of the cook, and ended up taking it off about six hours into its cook time. While tasty and well-cooked, the variance between the suggested time in the recipe and how quickly the stew thickened up was annoying, especially considering that the point of the setting is to slowly tenderise foods over an extended period of time.
Once again, adjustable temperature settings would be helpful, and their absence is a bit of a mystery on a pricey, otherwise clever and multi-talented device like this.
Cosori 5l Rice Cooker review: Should you buy it?
There are many great things to say about the Cosori 5l Rice Cooker: it’s roomy enough to cook rice for five or more people, it’s straightforward and easy to use and, most importantly, it produces consistently well-cooked rice. The Cosori’s wide range of rice settings, extra cooking modes – including solid slow cooking, soup making and steaming abilities – and neat design touches also help justify its cost.
In a vacuum, the Cosori isn’t a bad option at all. If you’re simply looking for a capacious, capable rice cooker and don’t mind the price tag, then go for it. However, a few bugbears, like its long cook times for rice and lack of adjustable temperature settings, hold it back from earning top marks, as some of its competitors have.
Ultimately, the Cosori Rice Cooker is hard to recommend over cheaper options, like the Russell Hobbs Rice Cooker and Steamer , more capable rice cookers like the Yum Asia Bamboo Induction and more versatile multi cookers such as the Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus and Tefal Turbo Cuisine Multi Pressure Cooker .