If you cook a lot of rice, there really is no substitute to a dedicated rice cooker.
At first glance, you might ask yourself why you need one of these appliances. How much trouble can it be to cook rice in boiling water?
Well, that might work well for regular white rice, but things get a little trickier when you’re looking to cook brown rice or sushi rice.
The other serious advantage of using a rice cooker is the way you can focus on the main course and have the base of your dish cooked in the background without lifting a finger or worrying about any spillage.
On the flipside, rice cookers take some time to get the job done.
If you’re happy with that trade-off and you’re looking for ease above all else, you can’t go wrong with the Zojirushi range.
Zojirushi: A Snapshot
Zojirushi is a Japanese multinational that produces a dazzling array of electronics.
Listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Zojirushi has branches in the US and throughout Asia. Revenue for 2018 was an incredible $765 million, so this is not some small family-run concern, although it started out that way…
Founded over a century ago in 1918, the company started trading as Ichikawa Brothers Trading Company. The name changed in 1948 becoming Kyowa Manufacturing. By 1961, the name changed again and Zojirushi as we know it started business. The immediately recognizable elephant logo was also adopted and remains in place today. ZO means elephant in Japanese, and connotes intelligence and strength.
As well as kettles, bread makers, electric boilers, and hot water dispensers, one of the company specialties come in the form of rice cookers.
The Zojirushi range gives you a huge choice. The rice cookers can be broadly categorized as follows:
- Pressure induction heating (IH)
- Pressure + IH + Micom
The Micom cookers come with fuzzy logic. This is a tiny computer chip onboard that optimizes the way different types of rice are cooked so you get perfect, consistent results every time. The robustness of an induction heating system gives you even further scope.
Some of the rice cookers in this line allow you to steam vegetables as well as cook different rice at the push of a button.
With almost all of the line, you’ll enjoy the ability to cook pretty much any type of rice with no concern for timings and stirring. Just let the tech-driven rice cooker do all the work for you.
So, today we break down the best of the huge Zojirushi range of rice cookers so you can compare them like-for-like and find the most suitable appliance for you the easy way.
For a more general look at rice cookers across a range of brands, we’d suggest you browse our guide to Japanese rice cookers.
For now, though, it’s Zojirushi time!
I. The 7 Best Zojirushi Rice Cookers
1. Our #1 Pick: Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker and Warmer
Our overall favorite from the deep bench of Zojirushi rice cookers is this all-rounder capable of cooking up 5-1/2 cups of most types of rice. Why does this unit stand out in a line-up of highly effective rice cookers, though?
The fuzzy logic system ensures that any kind of rice you throw in this unit is cooked to perfection. The best news? You won’t need to fuss around with timings as the machine does everything for you.
Menu settings give you a huge variety of rice to work with. As well as regular white and brown rice, you can also whip up sushi rice, mixed rice, and porridge.
Automatic cycles to keep your food warm, warm for an extended period, or to reheat make sure you don’t need to worry about a thing.
The capacity means you should be able to cook up enough rice for a large gathering without needing to rustle up a second batch.
You get everything you need bundled from a spoon and holder through to a recipe book to give you some inspiration.
As with most rice cookers, you should use the provided measuring cup to get accurate results every time.
This model is a perfect balance between a generous capacity and a compact footprint ideal for most kitchen counters.
2. Runner up: Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Coming in a close second when we assessed the entire Zojirushi range, this intelligent Micom cooker also has a 5-1/2-cup capacity so what differentiates this model from its stablemates?
The same fuzzy logic onboard guarantees that whatever type of rice you put in this machine is cooked to perfection. To achieve this, you’ll need to do little more than punch one of the presets.
The white rice setting ensures you get regular rice prepared in the background and ready to serve fluffy and ready to wolf down. Add some sushi seasoning to extend your repertoire.
The flow of the brown rice setting gives this rice the extra soaking required.
Use the steaming menu and the basket included to cook up healthy veg without losing any of their nutrients.
If all this isn’t enough, there’s even a cake setting so you truly are spoiled for choice.
Automatic cycles for warming, reheating, and extended warming give you a totally versatile workhorse from a brand you can trust.
As with most of the best rice cookers, you get a retractable cord that simplifies storage.
The only real gripes we could unearth about this rice cooker concern lifespan. The problem is, these complaints are tough to quantify without knowing how the machine was cared for and maintained. Look after your Zojirushi rice cooker and you should get plenty of faithful service.
3. Upgrade Pick: Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer
Next up we have something for all of you with deeper pockets and demanding tastes. This powerful Zojirushi packs an induction heating system so you’ll enjoy complete consistency even if you need to pay for the privilege.
If you’re tired of the nutritionally-weak white rice, cook healthier brown rice, germinated brown rice or GABA rice and get more nutrients onboard.
The induction heating system transforms the inner cooking pan into the source of heat. This promotes quick and even heating every time. You’ll get all types of rice cooked all the way through with the very minimum of effort.
Note that this rice cooker, like the rest of the line, runs only on 120 volts. If you live anywhere with 220 volts, you’ll need a transformer.
As with all the finest rice cookers, your rice will be kept warm for up to 12 hours once cooked.
The transparent stainless steel interior is super-simple to clean.
While the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH certainly isn’t cheap, it’s currently up for grabs at a discount so act quickly for a relative bargain!
4. Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
Next up is another highly efficient and compact rice cooker ideal for small kitchens, RVs, and boats.
The triple heating system generates heat from all round so the bottoms, sides, and lids heat your rice consistently every time without you needing to lift a finger. This set-and-forget convenience is one of the key benefits of all rice cookers. Kiss goodbye to slaving over a pan and get on with cooking your main dish instead.
Cleaning rice cookers can be tasky and messy, but that’s never the case when you invest in a Zojirushi. Just slip the lid out for easy cleaning, dry it thoroughly and replace. That’s about the extent of the maintenance required with this machine.
The capacity of this cooker is minimal so make sure 3 cups of uncooked rice gives you enough latitude and won’t see you needing to whip up a second batch of rice.
With the usual variety of menu settings that grace all of the rice cookers made by this powerful brand, you’re spoiled for choice. From sushi rice and jasmine rice through to porridge and GABA rice, get them all cooked to perfection at the push of a button.
Make sure the space-saving dimensions don’t leave you with inadequate cooking capacity for your needs. For singles, couples, and small families, this model make a smart choice.
5. Zojirushi NL-AAC10 5-1/2-Cup Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly rice cooker that doesn’t stiff you on the performance front, the NL-AAC10 is another hard hitter from the stellar Zojirushi ensuring you can cook your rice through quickly while you get busy with the rest of the meal.
This model comes with the space for 5-1/2 cups of uncooked rice giving you all you need to cater for a large family without multiple pans on the go.
The menu settings cover all the usual suspects from white and brown rice through to GABA rice, sushi rice, and porridge.
The substantial inner cooking pan is rugged and also coated so your grains of rice shouldn’t end up glued to the sides. This lid removes so you can wash and replace it with ease. All you need to do then is keep the sides wiped down and that’s about the extent of the maintenance required with this rice cooker.
A steaming basket gives you the option of steaming up some veggies and widening your repertoire further.
Running on fuzzy logic tech, all rice will be cooked to a turn thanks to the onboard computer and this intelligent cooking system.
Easy to use despite such powerful functionality and coming in at an extremely reasonable price point, you’re in safe hands with this highly capable Zojirushi rice cooker.
6. Zojirushi NS-YAC10 Umami Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
As we edge to the end of our rice cooker reviews, it’s time for the NS-YAC10. How does this unit stand out in a crowded field?
The key selling point with this model is the umami setting. This soaks and steams rice for longer when required and is a welcome touch.
As with every great rice cooker, using this thing couldn’t be much easier. The screen displays everything you need clearly while simple buttons make for agile navigation even if you’re not a huge tech-lover.
The fuzzy logic cooking optimizes all kinds of rice so it’s cooked as it should be with no need for any user input beyond punching a button.
If you’re partial to slow cooking – and who doesn’t like the convenience of coming home to a cooked meal? – you just hit the setting and leave your stew or casserole simmering away all day.
Automatic warming keeps rice ready to serve for hours. You can extend this warming cycle, and there’s also a reheat function in place.
The detachable cord can be useful if you’re storing this rice cooker in a tight space. We would advise handling this with care as a few users have found this awkward to attach and reattach.
If you want a 5-1/2-cup rice cooker from an industry heavyweight, we can’t recommend this model strongly enough. Let us know what you think!
7. Zojirushi NS-WXC10 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
Last but certainly not least, the NS-WXC10 is another compact yet powerful rice cooker with enough capacity to cook for the whole family.
With a delayed timer (choose from 4, 6, 8, or 10 hours to suit), you have rice on-demand even if you’re still at work.
Don’t panic if you haven’t used a rice cooker before, though. This unit is a breeze to use even for total novices.
The brown rice settings lets you cook a variety of healthier foundations for your meals if you’re tired of pappy white rice. That said, once you try the fluffy white rice this cooker generates, you might rethink that!
As with all the strongest rice cookers, the inner lid slides out keeping clean-up to an absolute minimum.
The only real snag with this model is the fact it takes some time to get your rice ready. This is the case with many rice cookers, but the inbuilt advantage is that you won’t need to lift a finger as the machine does all the work.
Rugged and built to last, give this rice cooker a shot if you cook lots of brown rice and you’re looking for performance at a reasonable price point.
Well, hopefully today’s snapshot of the best Zojirushi rice cookers has shed some light on which of these models might make the best fit for your kitchen.
Make certain before anything that any rice cooker you’re considering has enough capacity for your needs. 3-cup cookers work well for singles, couples, and even small families. A 5-1/2-cup model is by far the most versatile. It won’t take up too much space on the countertop while you’ll still have ample cooking capacity for a large family. Ramp things up to a 10-cup cooker or larger if you’re cooking in bulk.
Most of these Zojirushis are broadly similar so all that counts is finding the size and functions that suit at an affordable price. That should now be much easier!
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