Rice cookers and slow cookers are countertop devices that cook food without the use of the hob or oven. Although rice cookers and slow cookers are both electronic, they serve two different, non-overlapping purposes.
Rice cookers take longer to cook rice than cooking it on hob. It usually takes about 30 minutes in a rice cooker. Rice cookers cook relatively quickly, whereas slow cookers require preparation. Slow cookers cook over several hours. Interestingly some rice cookers have a setting that allows you to keep rice warm for 12 hours, enabling you to plan ahead and have rice ready for you later in the day.
Some rice cookers cook through boiling the water and other models use steam. Slow cookers heat food by simmering.
Rice cookers come in a traditional round shape, much like a saucepan. Slow cookers also come in a circular shape; larger units are also available in oval shapes, which are appropriate for cooking whole poultry and larger cuts of meats.