Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: February 22, 2021
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Rice cookers add an excellent convenience factor to any kitchen. Many go beyond cooking rice and can prepare different kinds of foods. But when it comes to making sushi, you want to get a rice cooker that specializes in making this somewhat tricky type of rice. Given the much higher percentage of starch in sushi rice, you want your rice cooker equipped with settings to expertly handle this feature.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the six best sushi rice cookers in the current market. These cookers offer excellent and even heating all around to ensure that you neither overcook the rice, nor end up with undercooked rice. Our star product in this category is the Zojirushi NP-NVC18 sushi rice cooker that features fuzzy logic technology to give you perfectly cooked rice every time. This smart device is engineered to handle multiple rice types and is worth the investment.
Our other recommendations all consider rice cooker essentials like dimensions, weight, capacity, warranty and power consumption to help you find a product that will fit your sushi rice cooking requisites and needs. We have compiled a list of different-sized devices, so whether you cook for two or twenty, you can find a rice cooker that will do the job for you. Continue below to take a look at our comparison table to get acquainted with our recommendations and read our product descriptions for each model. We conclude with a sushi rice cooker buying guide that will help you pinpoint exactly what you are looking for.
The Zojirushi NP-NVC18 rice cooker is quite a fancy piece of rice-cooking hardware from one of the most popular brands in the field. Boasting the most intelligent rice cooking fuzzy logic technology ever made, this cooker promises to perfectly automate your sushi rice cooking experience for consistently tasty results every time.
The NP-NVC18 is a multi-cooking rice cooker with a variety of pre-set programmable cooking options and functions for every type of rice including: white, brown, mixed, sweet rice, porridge, and of course, sushi rice. It also includes an extended soaking and steaming time preset for adding extra flavor for umami.
There is also a setting for reducing steam down to 50% of the regular, and a “scorch” setting that toasts the bottom rice slightly for a nice golden crispy texture.
This rice cooker uses a superior induction heating technology, making the cooking temperature more flexible yet precise than ever. Paired along with the cooker’s fuzzy logic AI technology, you get a device that will produce the best possible cooking results. With a platinum-infused nonstick inner cooking pot, your sushi rice will cook as evenly as it does accurately.
An LCD display provides ease of navigation and use through the many available features, which includes the many cooking modes and an extended keep warm mode, a reheat function, and a delay timer.
Of course, with plenty of enhanced features, this cooker is going to come pricier than people would like, though they do make the cooking process much easier and more convenient.
The Korean brand Cuckoo has made a name for itself with its quality rice cookers that users are slowly coming to know and trust. The Cuckoo CRP-P0609S is one of their more premium quality models, equipped to take on any rice cooking job which, of course, includes sushi rice.
This rice cooker uses an electric heating plate and pressure to heat up rice, as is traditional with these devices. You can also enjoy the benefits of select pressure cooking recipes, as this device includes a multi cook function for a variety of breads, soup, porridge, and even fermenting cheese or yogurt. All this versatility is available with pre-set multi cook functions in this cooker.
The nonstick coated inner aluminum pot is both durable and easy to clean. It conducts heat easily and responds quickly to changes in temperature for good accuracy. The stainless-steel inner lid is also detachable so you can clean it easily by hand.
Maintenance is actually quite simple-just the touch of a button and the rice cooker helps clean itself with high-power steam.
Cooking timers are totally automated with the Cuckoo intelligent cooking algorithm that makes sure to cook properly for the type of food you’re preparing.
The only main technical issue with this cooker is that the lid opening is quite sudden and could pose a safety risk if not noted with care.
What we liked:
Very versatile and easy to use multi-function cooker
If you’re looking to make sushi for a setting with greater demand like a restaurant, you’ll need a competent device that can keep up with the high upkeep. Designed for the commercial environment, the Hamilton Beach Commercial 37590 is sure to make consistently perfect restaurant quality sushi rice for as many people as you need.
First off, this rice cooker can take in a lot of rice at a time with its extra-large capacity of 45 uncooked cups of rice at a time, meaning it can yield about an impressive 90 cups of cooked rice per batch. This should be more than enough for any size restaurant or catering business. For any leftover rice, the cooker has a keep warm function for up to 8 hours, properly preserving the rice’s freshness and texture.
There are a good number of program settings on this cooker for any type of rice: white or brown, long or short grains. Not only can it make large amounts of any kind of rice, it can also work as a cooker for grits, oatmeal, porridge, and even macaroni and cheese.
There is a heat/simmer function that keeps the proper temperature and preventing over or under cooking. The double-walled insulation ensures both even cooking and external safety. The lid heats up so the cooking is evened out further, which is especially useful for larger batches of rice.
The SR-AFG186 rice cooker from Panasonic is a premium quality product that plans on providing you the best authentic Japanese-style rice cooking experience available. With top-of-the-line features like heating and many programmed cooking presets, this rice cooker will be a space-saving, convenient, worthwhile addition to your kitchen.
With industry-leading quality induction heating, you can cook and heat your rice with the tightest of accuracy. The induction cooking occurs in 2 layers, heating a stainless-steel/binchotan magnetic inner pan, allowing for the most even cooking possible.
Equipped with 13 pre-set cooking programs, you can make any variety of rice: there are options for white, quinoa, porridge, sticky rice, brown rice, as well as steaming and cooking which opens the doors to cooking porridge, soups, vegetables, and more. A “taste catcher” is included for enhancing that savory umami flavor.
The rice cooker includes the standard automatic shutoff feature to prevent overcooking, and the induction cookers cooldown as quickly as they heat up. The handy keep warm setting automatically activates and can keep your stuff at an ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours.
The exterior is sleek and minimal, with flat touch buttons for navigation that all help for making an easy cleanup.
This cooker is definitely pricey, but it comes with plenty of other accessories that add value its purchase.
Though this is an induction cooker, cook times can be longer than expected. Time planning beforehand is recommended.
If you want a rice cooker that really takes you back to the basics, the Tiger JP-1800-FL is the best-valued electric rice cooker that will do the job just right without all those fancy bells and whistles.
This reliable model has been used and favored for decades, with its perfect combination of classic quality and traditional cooking methods. It’s a conventional electric rice cooker, with a heating pad and different capacities varying from 3 to 10 cups. With how well it’s known, it’s also super easy and familiar to use.
This cooker makes rice quickly and perfectly. It has a simple one-touch function that switches your device to cook, and the cooker does the rest. With the auto shutoff and keep warm, you can have your rice at a perfect serving temperature for up to 12 hours.
This cooker is capable of cooking any sort of rice – it all depends on which type of rice you’re making, and the water to rice ratio you fill accordingly.
Some other features included in this Japan-made rice cooker include an easy-to-clean nonstick inner pan, a retractable power cord for convenient storage, and a removable steam vent to keep the rice from getting too moist.
Some customers find that the bottom rice is prone to slight burning, and a little more water than usual is recommended to rectify this. It may take a bit of figuring out to get the perfect amount of water for cooking.
What we liked:
12-hour keep warm function
Easy-to-use one touch functionality
Retractable power cord
Reliable quality, Japan-made
What could be better:
Rice prone to getting dry, more water than usual is needed.
The Aroma Housewares MTC-8010 professional rice cooker is a handy, compact multi cooking device that can prepare you a good amount of sushi rice in the best quality possible.
This handy multicooker makes the cooking bit less of a chore for you. Capable of preparing a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 20 cups of cooked rice at a time, you can be prepared for any number of people in your household. This machine can cook any variety of rice, and prepare a versatile number of other meals: with the 12 pre-set functions you can make rice along with steamed vegetables, soup, tarts, cakes, fermented yogurt and more.
The MTC-8010 uses induction technology paired with a conductive heavy copper that helps heat up your food from all sides for more even results. With a 2mm thick titanium honeycomb inner pot, you get evenly distributed heat.
A sauté-then-simmer technology provides high sauté heat followed by simmering for liquids. You can also steam meat and vegetables while rice is cooking using the steam tray for quick and convenient multitasking.
The controls are easy to use and navigate through with a digital display so you can see the set timer and other information, like the batch size.
This Aroma rice cooker comes with every accessory you need for making rice including the measuring cup, rice spatula, a bamboo spatula, and a soup ladle.
Some buyers have noted that the exterior of this rice cooker is a bit bulky, and you should keep that potential in mind when making this purchase.
What we liked:
Can produce a wide range of batch sizes
Multi cooking functions
Even induction cooking
Comes with plenty of accessories
What could be better:
Bulky, can take up a lot of counter space.
Things to Consider
Rice cookers are a fairly simple appliance that could easily go overlooked in the kitchen. In order to make the best sushi rice possible, there are plenty of tips, features, and specifications to consider that will make your life easier and your sushi tastier. The following buying guide will help you answer some questions with the basics and give you tips on what to look for.
Do you need a special rice cooker for sushi rice?
Rice cookers are becoming much more advanced as of late which make cooking any kind of rice easier to do from the comfort of your own home. Home rice cookers can now cater to more specific recipes, including sushi. Many ordinary rice cookers today are capable of this variety, there’s no need for any special device for preparing sushi rice.
How to cook sushi rice in a cooker
Here is a great tutorial to cook perfect sushi rice in a cooker every time:
Features to consider while buying the best sushi rice cooker
In order to make the most of your rice cooker for preparing sushi, there are some more specific things to look for to find out which cooker is best for the job.
If you want a surefire device, you’ll have to look for rice cookers from generally well-liked names in the rice cooking game. Getting a rice cooker from a lesser-known brand is really a hit-or-miss situation and you should look further into customer and professional reviews if you’re considering these brands.
Of course, some of the best rice cookers in the market are produced by Japanese manufacturers. Names like Tiger and Zojirushi are definitely familiar as they’re the most popular brands for rice cookers in Japan.
You can look elsewhere for high quality products as well. Panasonic, Aroma, Hamilton Beach and Cuckoo are all reputable names that have created some pretty great rice cookers recently.
The variety in rice cooker capacities varies plenty, from 3 uncooked cups to well over 50. It all depends on your use for the cooker, be it at home or in a restaurant. It’s that simple: the larger the capacity, the more people you can feed.
Keep in mind that rice cooker descriptions often state their capacities for both uncooked and cooked rice. As uncooked rice expands and gets fluffier, it yields a larger volume of cooked rice as a result. You’ll have to look at how many cups of cooked rice your cooker can contain so you’ll never make too little, and look at the uncooked capacity so you’ll never overfill the pot.
Be sure to look into the size of your kitchen and the amount of people you’ll be providing to. Once you know how much you need and how much space you can afford to have, you can find a model accordingly.
Multi-purpose cookers can be great. With a great variety of operations comes great versatility in one convenient, compact device. Some advanced rice cookers work as pressure cookers and steam vegetables, prepare soups, cook meat along with rice and even ferment yogurt.
There are individual programmed settings for rice types as well, which customize the temperature and timings for each type of rice, including sushi rice.
Rice cooking type
Rice cookers can vary in the methods of heating, and each has their own set of advantages. The best type of cooker is the one based on your preference, and sometimes on the type of rice you plan to make.
Your standard electric rice cooker will use a heated plate at the bottom along with a combination of convection and pressure. The heater heats the inner bowl and water inside, and that water becomes steam that builds up and carries that heat for the whole cooking process.
Gas rice cookers do the same thing, but the source of heat is open flame instead. Gas cookers cook much faster but require more maintenance. They cook rice while giving it a more genuine taste that can be more easily noticed in sushi.
Induction cookers are a newer rice cooking technology, which use an alternating electric current, magnetism, and friction to create heat, rather than power a heating plate beneath your pot. These types of cookers are quicker and more accurate in responding, using instant adjustments in temperature. If the inner pan is a conductor, then your rice will cook more evenly from all sides.
Of course, you should be looking for a rice cooker that can do the job and stay within your budget.
The number of features will often determine the price You can find decent rice cookers as low as $60, but they won’t have the features you’re looking for like those of a $350 rice cooker. It all depends on the features you’re looking for and how willing you are to keep them for the price.
Controls and ease of use
The easiest and most common cookers to operate are those with a one-touch operation, like the JNP-1800-FL from Tiger. Just add rice, water and flip the switch to let the cooker do the rest for you. These are pretty manual, and are especially handy if you plan on making one type of rice over again.
Fancier and pricier electric rice cookers will have more functions for you to navigate, and the ease of use will vary depending on the design quality. These are often touch/button controls that let you choose your preset cooking mode, delay start or set timers according to the rice you want to serve. This way with plenty of presets you won’t have to do guesswork when learning to cook a new type of rice.
Newer, very advanced models like the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 will even have “fuzzy logic” technology that figure out the temperature and timings themselves to give you the best possible cooked rice every time. The interface would also include a display and presets to choose from using button controls.
Cooking times really depend on the individual cooker and the type of rice. For sushi rice, the timing ranges from 45 minutes to an hour.
The warranty will vary based on the brand, and should be considered. The average warranty for rice cookers is 2 years, which is ideal, but the bare minimum acceptable warranty should be 1-year limited, which includes some products on our list.
The main thing to worry about with the rice cooker’s exterior design (besides looks, of course) is the insulating capabilities. In a tight kitchen space, especially with children, you don’t want a potential burn from accidentally touching a cooker that’s in use. Look for a rice cooker that would be cooler to the touch outside, or cools down quickly.
Accessories are always helpful to have included with you. Accessories that almost always come standard with rice cookers are a rice spatula and often two measuring cups specially made for portioning rice. Sometimes higher value cookers have a spatula holder or a steaming basket, or both, which are useful storage and great multitasking tools, respectively.
Easy to clean
To make them easier to clean, you will almost always find the inner pots of rice cookers have nonstick coating. Ideally, the inner pot and lid should be removeable to clean by hand. This helps maintain cleanliness where the food may stick. Other metals like stainless steel, though more durable, are somewhat trickier to clean.
Sushi rice recipe and tips
While your rice cooker is great for cooking your rice perfectly down to the grain, there are some things you’ll need to do to set the device up for success in making the perfect sushi rice.
Always rinse your rice. This goes without saying for cooking almost any type of rice. A thorough rinse gets rid of any pesticide residue and gives the rice a more consistent texture. The rice will also foam less when cooking and produces less bubbles. Rinse with cold water until the water becomes clear to get rid of that extra starch.
Soak rice beforehand. If you leave your sushi rice unsoaked before cooking, the grains will expand too fast, ruining the texture and making them mushy. The water to rice ratio measurements should be done using the measuring guides in your inner pot, or using the special rice measuring cup. For traditional short-grain white rice, the ideal water to rice ratio is 3:2.
Let your rice settle after cooking. You should let the rice settle for about 10 minutes to let the excess moisture steam out and let it finish cooking overall without letting it get too dry. After that, the rice should be left to cool down for added tastiness.
To find some great tasting yet easy sushi rice recipes check this video:
For sushi you can ideally use white short grain Japanese rice, or japonica. If not, you can use medium-grain California rice. Both of these have been called “sushi rice” because they’re starchy enough to stick to one another, unlike long-grain rice which is much drier.
Soak the inner pot (and sometimes inner lid) in warm water and gentle dish soap to get rid of any residual rice. Harsh detergents can discolor the pot. Don’t use abrasives like powder detergent or steel wool as they can ruin the nonstick coating on the pot. Wipe other components like the heating plate and the exterior with a damp cloth. Anything left over can become an issue if left for too long.
Sticky rice can be made in a rice cooker, and you have to take some measures to make sure it goes right. For example, cleaning and soaking rice are the most important to ensure your rice gets the right texture. After cooking, letting it set also makes it tastier.
The Zojirushi NP-NVC18 is our favorite pick overall. There’s a reason it’s claimed to be the most intelligent rice cooker on the market. With that fuzzy logic technology, there’s a quality to the rice prepared that goes unmatched, no matter what type of grain you’re using. It’s the best option to fully automate your sushi rice cooking experience.
Next in line would be the Cuckoo CRP-P0609S rice cooker. It also uses a very precise intelligent cooking algorithm that’ll give you consistently accurate results every time for any type of rice you put into it. You just put the rice and water in and the cooker works like a robot to do the rest for you.
For a more traditional approach to sushi rice making, the best sushi rice cooker we can recommend is the reliable JNP series rice cooker from Tiger. These cookers have been around for plenty of time to earn their place as a household standard and favorite.