Rice cookers were invented to make cooking rice that extra bit easier and more convenient. Zojirushi, a designer and manufacturer from Japan, one of the world's leading makers of rice cookers. As the market has grown, so has its range of rice cookers. There is a now a huge variety of rice cookers and we're here to help you choose the best Zojirushi rice cooker to suit your needs.
In this article, we have reviewed 6 different Zojirushi rice cookers that are currently available to purchase online, with some in the higher price bracket and others as budget pick options. Our Editor’s Choice for the best Zojirushi rice cooker is the Zojirushi NP-NVC10. This rice cooker has an unrivalled range of cooking options and has some of Zojirushi’s latest design features to guarantee strong and reliable performance. Do check out the product reviews for further details on all products.
Top 6 Zojirushi Rice Cookers Review 2020
This review article begins with a comparison table of all the reviewed products each containing a rating and nomination. This is followed by 6 in-depth product reviews which include a product description, pros/cons and key features. The buying guide then outlines all the factors you should consider when purchasing the best Zojirushi rice cooker. Factors we consider important include capacity, dimensions, type and power. There is also a brief FAQ section to answer some of your most common questions. In the final section, we rank our top three Zojirushi rice cookers.
Zojirushi NP-NVC18 – Editor’s Choice
- Capacity: 5.5 cups/1 lt
- Dimensions: 10-1/8 x 15-3/8 x 8-5/8 inches
- Power: 1240 W
- Type: induction pressure
More features: platinum infused nonstick inner pot, automatic pressure level selection, automatic warming up option, detachable and washable inner lid, Fuzzy logic technology
The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is one of Zojirushi’s premium range induction pressure rice cookers that can deliver many different types of rice easily and efficiently. Containing a platinum infused non-stick inner pot, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 overcomes one of the common issues of cheaper rice cookers or alternative rice-making options, by ensuring that not one single grain of rice will be stuck to the bottom.
One of the best features of the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is the multi-menu cooking options. Ranging from white rice, mixed, sushi rice, porridge, brown as well as fast cooking options. No matter what kind of rice you want to make, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 will cater to your needs.
Also, to have broad cooking options, what justifies the premium price is the quality of the price produced. Access to umami settings allows the rice to be soaked and steamed for longer periods to ensure a more thorough cooking process which ultimately improves the quality of the rice produced. If you prefer less steam, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 also has a steam-reduce setting which reduces the steam amount by up to 50%.
The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 has a capacity of 5.5 cups ensuring it can be used for cooking large portions of rice. The inclusion of a colored LCD control panel also makes the cooking process that little bit easier. One of the controls allows for automatic warming up which can be very helpful as it can keep the rice at an optimal temperature for serving.
- Multiple rice cooking options
- Steam / non-steam settings
- Automatic heat control
- Inner pot can rust
- Premium price
- Capacity: 10 cups/1.8 lt
- Dimensions: 11-1/8 x 16 x 10-3/4 inches
- Power: 820 W
- Type: electric
More features: Fuzzy logic technology, slow cook function, delay timer, automatic warming up option, detachable and washable inner lid, LCD control panel, automatic cooking temperature and time settings
The Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 is an affordably priced rice cooker that is primarily designed to make large quantities of rice for events and parties. With a capacity of 10 cups, this machine far exceeds more expensive rice cookers in terms of maximum quantity.
Despite being available at a cheaper price, the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 still maintains some of Zojirushi’s trademark features. These include access to the computerized Fuzzy Logic technology as well as the Umami settings which allow the rice to be soaked and steamed to enhance the flavor. One of the reasons the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 is cheaper is because the machine uses only electricity to power the rice cooking. Electric-only machines are known to give a less holistic cooking performance compared to induction pressure.
The Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 contains a washable inner lid to ensure the machine can be easily maintained. The automatic cooking temperature also ensures the rice can be kept at the perfect temperature for serving. Despite having a large rice making capacity, with dimensions of the 11-1/8 x 16 x 10-3/4 inches, the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 will not clog up too much space in your kitchen.
The LCD control panel of the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 is very easy to read and you have access to the temperature and time settings which can be manually altered if necessary. For such an affordable price, the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 offers a solid rice cooker that can cook large quantities of rice.
- Large rice quantities
- Umami settings
- No non-stick pan
- Temperamental cord connections
Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH – Most Compact Rice Cooker
- Capacity: 5.5 cups/1 lt
- Dimensions: 11 x 15-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches
- Power: 1230 W
- Type: induction pressure
More features: stainless steel coated exterior, delay timer, automatic warming up function, LCD control panel, detachable and washable inner lid, measuring cup and spatula included
The Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH is a medium-priced induction pressure rice cooker which contains a stainless steel coated exterior and has added accessories to help with the rice cooking process. This machine is a slightly older version of the Zojirushi NP-NVC10.
With an electrical rating of 1230 W, the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH is one of the most powerful rice cookers currently available to purchase. The machine can cook and warm rice and has multi-menu cooking options. With dimensions of 10 inch W x 14 inches D x 8 inches, the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH has a more compact design and will be an ideal choice for those minimal space in their kitchen.
One of the best features of the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH is the range of available healthy cooking options. These include brown rice, germinated brown rice and GABA brown rice. Having these menu options is ideal for those who are looking to incorporate healthy rice options into their own or their family’s diet. The Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH has keep-warm and extended keep-warm options to ensure the rice that is cooked can be served at the perfect temperature.
In addition, the rice cooker, purchasing the Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH also provides access to some useful cooking accessories. These include a measuring cup and spatula. The measuring cup can ensure you cook the perfect amount of rice and in doing so prevent any waste. The spatula can be used to remove the price from the cooking pan in a smooth way.
- Includes accessories
- Healthy cooking options
- Compact design
- High price for limited long-term durability
- Capacity: 3 cups/0.54 lt
- Dimensions: 9-1/8 x 11-7/8 x 7-1/2 inches
- Power: 700 W
- Type: induction
More features: stainless steel exterior, automatic warming up function, detachable and washable inner lid, delay timer, LCD control panel, detachable power cord, measuring cup and spatula included
The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT is known for being one of the best rice cookers for a small family. The reason the machine is targeted at small families is due to the compact design and the limited rice capacity which has a maximum amount of 3 cups. Although this is much less than other machines, it will ensure minimal waste and caters perfectly for small groups of people.
Despite being available to buy an affordable price, the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT maintains many of the excellent Zojirushi features that are found on more expensive rice cookers. Such features include the Induction Heating Technology which ensures a holistic cooking process to give each grain of rice equal access to heat – reducing the chances of an uneven cook. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT can also cook a variety of rice options, including white, mixed, sushi and porridge.
A great feature of the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT is the thick, spherical inner cooking pan which has a carry handle and detachable cord. The pan can be easily washed by hand and maintained for regular use. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT also features an LCD control panel in which you can access timings and temperature settings which can be manually controlled. Having manual controls allows you to cook the rice exactly to your preferred setting.
The Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT also comes with some helpful accessories to aid the cooking process. These include a rice spatula and spatula holder to help maneuver and unload the rice. The cooker also comes with a rice measuring cup to give you the perfect portion sizes. It is worth taking note that the recommended portion sizes are made based on white grain rice. They may differ slightly for other rice grains.
- Compact machine
- Induction Heating Technology
- Extra accessories
- Interior coating of pan peels off
- Limited durability
- Capacity: 10 cups/1.8 lt
- Dimensions: 11-1/8 x 14-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches
- Power: 1000 W
- Type: electric
More features: automatic keeping warm function, delay timer, Fuzzy logic technology, power cord, detachable and washable inner lid, measuring cup and spatula included
The Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 is regarded as one of the classically designed rice cookers from the Zojirushi range, known for being one of the most reliable electric rice cookers currently available to purchase. Designed with the classic white hard plastic exterior, the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 was somewhat revolutionary when it was first released.
One of the most noteworthy features of the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 is huge rice cooking capacity. At 10 cups, the machine can cater for large amounts of people. The machine uses Neuro Fuzzy Logic Technology to heat the rice and is computerized for an easy manual and automatic controls. Another great feature is that the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 can be mounted on a wall to save counter space in your kitchen – it is ideal for those with minimal kitchen space.
Although it is available at a cheaper price, the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 has many advanced features. The multiple menu options ensure the machine can cook white, porridge, sweet, sushi and brown rice. The Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 also has automatic heating options to keep the rice warm before service. The addition of an LCD clock and timer allows you to easily monitor the cooking process.
The Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 includes a variety of accessories including two measuring cups, a non-stick rice spoon and rice spoon holder. A great advantage of the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC18 is that purchasing the machine also comes with access to a recipe book. If you are new to using a rice cooker, this could be a really helpful addition to ensure you get all the best advice before using the machine.
- Recipe book included
- Classic design
- Large rice capacity
- Inner pot can scratch and flak
- Limited durability
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB – Budget Pick
- Capacity: 3 cups/0.54 lt
- Dimensions: 9-1/8 x 11-7/8 x 7-1/2 inches
- Power: 450 W
- Type: electric
More features: Fuzzy logic technology, LCD control panel, automatic keeping warm function, fold-down handle, removable steam vent cap
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is the budget pick option for those wanting to purchase a Zojirushi rice cooker. Available at a bargain price, this rice cooker still maintains many of the best features of Zojirushi rice cookers.
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB can cook a variety of different rice options. Whether it be white, brown, mixed or sushi rice, the machine is more than capable of cooking the rice to the desired texture. A great bonus of purchasing the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is the quick cook option. If you are in a rush and are not particularly fussed about the holistic cook, the quick cook option is provided for maximum convenience.
With power dimensions of 450 W, this machine is far less powerful than more expensive Zojirushi rice cookers. The reduced power may not be overly significant if you are not too bothered about cooking large quantities of rice. With a maximum capacity of 3 cups, this machine has the load to match the power outage. The inner lid of the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is detachable and can be washed to ensure the cooker can be well maintained.
If you prefer to have you rice cooked at a high temperature, the steam vent on the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB is removable, ensuring high-temperature cooking can take place without any unwanted overflows of residue. The machine uses a micro-computer to adjust cooking times and temperature, giving you that extra bit of convenience during the cooking process.
- Automatic cooking settings
- Removable steam vent
- Bargain price
- Cannot cook Jasmine rice
- Limitations to the quick cook setting
Why choose a Zojirushi rice cooker?
The following are the benefits of owning a Zojirushi rice cooker:
It has advanced induction heating technology that enables you to control the temperature precisely allowing the rice to be evenly cooked.
Zojirushi rice cookers have durable and high-quality construction to last you for many years.
These rice cookers are made with smart design with many modern utilities that are meant to ease how you use it. The main feature is the MICOM (microcomputer chip) technology that automatically controls the cooking temperature, letting you leave the rice cooker to do its job without interfering now and then.
Zojirushi rice cookers are versatile with a rich menu as they come with several menu settings that give the user healthier options.
Zojirushi rice cookers save you power by using the inverter technology that regulates heat to achieve consistent temperature throughout the cooking period.
How to use a Zojirushi rice cooker?
The following are the steps on how you can cook white rice using a Zojirushi rice cooker:
Using the measuring cup that came with the rice cooker, measure the rice accurately. Fill the cup with rice and level it off the cup and then pour the rice into an empty inner cooking pan.
Rinse the rice with water until the water clears. Gently rub the rice between your palms and then drain.
Add water to the corresponding water level for ‘WHITE RICE’, if you are cooking 2 cups, add water to water level 2 for ‘WHITE RICE’. For even cooking, ensure that the surface of the rice is level and all the grains are submerged.
Wipe any excess water on the surface of the inner cooking pan and put it in the rice cooker. Select ‘WHITE RICE’ menu setting and then press START.
Allow the rice to 'rest' for 15 minutes after cooking is done but if you are using a Micom rice cooker, you do not have to do this as it is done automatically. Use a nonstick rice spatula to fluff and serve the rice.
Simple rice cooker recipes
The following YouTube video shows simple rice recipes that you can cook using a rice cooker:
Features to consider while buying the best Zojirushi rice cooker
This section below outlines all the different factors you should consider when buying the best Zojirushi rice cooker to suit your needs. Take your time to absorb all the information.
How long do you want to be cooking rice for? Some prefer a long slow cook while others prefer shorter cooking periods. The majority of Zojirushi rice cookers such as the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB include a quick-cooking option to give you the option for a quick cook.
If you are wanting to purchase a Zojirushi cooking machine, you are generally expressing a willingness to have longer cooking times for your rice. The benefits of longer cooking time can be the potential for flavors to better embed themselves into the rice grains.
Dimensions and weight
Zojirushi rice cookers are typically quite large machines and will require a dedicated amount of kitchen space. That said, the machines can be easily moved after use as they are not very heavy. If you do not cook rice regularly, you can simply store the rice cooker elsewhere until it is needed.
Typical dimensions of a rice cooker would be around 11-1/8 x 14-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches. The most compact rice cooker that has been reviewed in this article is the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT which is best suited for a small family.
Simple rule. If you want a rice cooker that can cook large quantities of rice, the rice cooker will be larger and heavier.
As the market for rice cookers has increased in the last decade, there has been significant growth in the range of prices that rice cookers can be bought for. The cheapest rice cookers reviewed in this article are available new for around $150.
The most expensive Zojirushi rice cookers currently available to purchase are available for around $380.
This shows how within one rice cooker manufacturer, there is a huge range in price options which can appeal to a huge variety of customers.
The volume of rice that a rice cooker can make is a very important consideration as to when you are making rice you need to have the peace of mind that the rice cooker can cater for the number of people you are expecting.
Small volume Zojirushi rice cookers such as the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB have a maximum capacity of 3 cups of rice. To put into context, this will feed between 4-6 people so is best suited to a small family or group of people.
If you are catering for large groups of people, high volume Zojirushi rice cookers such as the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 has the capacity for 10 cups of rice. This can feed approximately 20 people.
Warranty is an important consideration when purchasing any product. Unfortunately, on the products reviewed in this article none have a specified warranty period. Having done further research, it would suggest that the typical warranty period for Zojirushi rice cookers would be a one-year limited agreement.
Various online distributors may differ in the warranty periods. You read the small print and specify whether the product has a warranty before purchasing.
The advantage of purchasing a Zojirushi rice cooker is that they will have a variety of different cooking settings. Whether it be a quick cook option as seen in the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB or the Umami settings on the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 which allow for soaking and steaming of the rice, Zojirushi machines deliver a great range in settings.
Generally, more expensive Zojirushi machines will have a greater range in available settings.
Having access to some extra accessories can be a real bonus to any purchasing package. Rice cookers such as the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC10 include a rice spatula, spatula holder and measuring cups. Each of these accessories can be very important in helping you with the cooking process.
The Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC10 also has a recipe book that accompanies the purchase. This can be very helpful for those who have not used a rice cooker before.
The two main materials that are used to make the exteriors of the Zojirushi rice cookers are hard plastic or stainless steel. The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is an example of one with a stainless-steel exterior, while the Zojirushi Neuro NS-ZCC10 is made from hard plastic.
All Zojirushi rice cookers contain an LCD control panel which makes it easy for you to operate the rice cooker. These interfaces have clearly labelled buttons and have a mixture of automatic and manual controls.
Zojirushi rice cookers are either electric or induction heated. Electric rice cookers such as the Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 are operated through electricity heating a plate inside the machine.
Induction heated machines such as the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 are operated through currents created by copper coils which in turn create magnetic fields in which the rice tin is located. This type of heating is regarded as more advantageous compared to electric as the heat distribution spreads throughout the cooking pan – ensuring a better cook.
The following questions are frequently asked by owners or customers of Zojirushi rice cookers:
The Zojirushi rice cookers are manufactured by a Japanese multinational manufacturer and marketer call the Zojirushi Corporation. Its headquarters is in Osaka, Japan. The Zojirushi Corporation also manufactures and markets beverage dispensers, vacuum flasks and consumer electronics.
The following are the simple steps of cleaning a Zojirushi rice cooker:
- Remove the cooking pot and soak it in warm soapy water.
- Detach and soak the lid in warm soapy water or wipe it with a soapy rag.
- Use sandpaper to clean the hot plate component to remove any dried food.
- Wipe the exterior using a mixture of 50/50 water and white wine vinegar.
- Clean any other utensils using warm soapy water.
The water that you need to use in a Zojirushi rice cooker will depend on the amount of rice you want to cook. For example, if you want to cook 4 cups of rice, you should fill the rice cooker with water up to the corresponding water level which is 4.
Hopefully, this article has given you all the essential information you need to know about the best Zojirushi rice cookers that are currently available to purchase.
Our verdict on the top three best Zojirushi rice cookers is:
The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 finishes top of our rankings because of the vast range of menu options and the high-quality design which improves the long-term durability.
The Zojirushi Umami Micom NS-YAC18 comes second in our rankings due to its affordability, access to umami settings and the large quantities of rice it can make.
The Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH comes third in our rankings due to the compact design and the various accessories that accompany the purchase.
When looking to purchase the best Zojirushi rice cooker, you must take your time, consult online customer reviews and manufacturer websites. This will give you the best the chance of purchasing a great value product.