Which Zojirushi rice cookers are best?
Rice cookers seem like a single-use kitchen appliance, but that doesn’t necessarily make them an indulgence. They remove the guesswork that comes with making stovetop rice and practically ensures perfect rice. Rice cookers are an incredibly useful kitchen appliance for those who make rice regularly and for steaming and preparing a multitude of other grains. Zojirushi is one of the most trusted brands in Japan, manufacturing rice cookers and other high-quality kitchen appliances. A top pick for the best Zojirushi rice cooker is the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. This is a MICOM-controlled rice cooker with several different settings for great rice in any style.
What to know before you buy a Zojirushi rice cooker
Rice cookers usually come in several different sizes. Zojirushi rice cookers typically come in at least 5.5 cups and 10 cup capacities. Those cooking for larger amounts of people or meal prepping may want to consider a larger capacity rice cooker, while those with space concerns
Many rice cookers aren’t limited to just rice. They can also prepare a variety of other grains, from oatmeal to ancient grains and everything in between. These are usually higher end rice cookers with more bells and whistles. These additional functions can also include dedicated congee or porridge settings and steaming options for other foods beyond grains.
What to look for in a quality Zojirushi rice cooker
Some Zojirushi rice cookers use microcomputer technology–or MICOM, for short–to adjust cooking time and temperature to the rice. These microchips usually work in conjunction with either induction or fuzzy logic cooking to adjust the cooking process to conditions inside the rice cooker.
Fuzzy logic is slightly more common than induction cooking and usually a little more affordable, as it’s a less precise process. It’s still far superior to traditional rice cookers, however, which only adjust temperature and time.
Induction cooking is a slightly more precise process than fuzzy logic. If you plan on using your rice cooker for many more grains and need absolute precision, this might be a good option.
Some rice cookers contain a pressure cooking component. This doesn’t generally make the cooking time much shorter, but it can help achieve the correct texture for brown rice, sushi rice, and other difficult-to-gauge rice and grains.
You can use most rice cookers for steaming, but some are built for it explicitly. Rice cookers with lids that don’t seal while cooking are usually ideal for this. Different foods may have different cooking times and leave a residue that can be challenging to clean on a sealed rice cooker. These will often include a built-in steaming basket of some kind. Simpler rice cookers without high-tech features may be best for steaming other foods.
How much you can expect to spend on Zojirushi rice cooker
Zojirushi rice cookers are high quality, name-brand rice cookers and don’t come cheap. Those with more features and larger capacities will cost more. The cheapest models can be found for as little as $40-$50, while more expensive and complex models can cost up to $500.
Zojirushi rice cooker FAQ
How far in advance can I prepare my rice?
A. Most Zojirushi rice cookers come with a keep-warm function, so rice prepared earlier can be eaten later. Higher-end models may also come with a built-in timer, so the rice can be prepared in advance and then begin cooking on its own at a predetermined time.
What else can I cook in a rice cooker?
A. You can effectively cook any other grain in a rice cooker. It may involve a little more guesswork than making standard white or brown rice, but nearly any kind of cooking is feasible. Look up rice cooker recipes for inspiration, and consider using a lower-end model that lacks computer technology for more involved rice cooker cooking.
What are the best Zojirushi rice cookers to buy?
Top Zojirushi rice cooker
Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
What you need to know: One of the most highly rated Zojirushi models, this rice cooker uses “fuzzy logic” microcomputer technology to adjust to different rice types and textures, rather than merely using conventional temperature settings.
What you’ll love: It has tons of settings for different styles and types of rice, as well as highly advanced heating and warming capabilities for perfect rice every time. It also has other convenient features, like a retractable power cord and stay-cool handles for easy removal.
What you should consider: It’s expensive, and some users found it less durable than other models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top Zojirushi rice cooker for the money
What you need to know: This is one of the more affordable Zojirushi models, with a simple on/off switch and an easily removable lid.
What you’ll love: It’s easy to keep clean, affordable and straightforward without many bells and whistles.
What you should consider: The lid is vented for moisture release, so the rice can quickly become dry if left on the keep warm setting.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker
What you need to know: This fuzzy logic rice cooker uses induction heating for super-precise temperature control, with a massive number of settings and options.
What you’ll love: It includes an “artificial intelligence” element and learns from past cooking time-flow to adjust future cooking to match your style. It has three different pressure levels for different types and textures of rice.
What you should consider: Some found it a little challenging to maintain and didn’t find that the pressure cooking feature made a difference in the quality of the rice.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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