Put your hand up if you often crave sushi. Now put your hand up if you know how to make sushi at home. We bet that just about all of your hands shot up for the first question, but only a select few were able to rightfully have their hand up for the second.
Rice cookers are a fantastic start to being able to make excellent sushi at home. Not only will you feel accomplished and wow your friends and family, but you’ll be able to save yourself a bundle by avoiding trips to the local take-away sushi restaurant.
However, not all rice cookers are the same, and you may be surprised to discover that certain ones are better for making the sticky, short-grained rice used for sushi. We have reviewed some of the top rice cookers for sushi on the market, so you can take away the guesswork and start cooking perfect rice every single time.
Benefits of Rice Cookers for Sushi: Sticky & Oishi Rice
The word sushi translates to ‘sour-tasting’. Vinegary rice is the staple ingredient in sushi, so it is essential that its perfect. To ensure flawless, no-fail sushi rice, you need to get yourself the right rice cooker.
A rice cooker for sushi isn’t just any cheap rice cooker. It will be higher in price because it is specialized for the short-grained, glutenous rice used for sushi. Some Western households might think that all rice is the same, but this would either shock chefs in Asia or make them laugh at the comment’s ludicrousness. Check out a few of the top benefits of owning a rice cooker for sushi.
Perfect Rice – A rice cooker for sushi is designed to put out perfect rice every single time. As long as you have measured your rice and liquids correctly, you can ensure that your rice won’t burn or be too hard or too soft.
Different grains – It’s hard to believe, but there are over 40,000 different types of cultivated rice. Take that potato! By the way – there are over 200 potato varieties, so rice wins for sure. A rice cooker for sushi will generally have different settings for the different types of long, short, and medium-grained rice and will be able to cook each appropriately.
Time-saving – Rice cookers, even the high-end ones for sushi, are not limited to cooking rice. You can set the timer to have your breakfast ready and waiting for you as you wake the following morning. Many Japanese rice cookers make incredible oats or porridges, which can save you precious minutes every morning.
Healthy eating – Some rice cookers can steam, sauté, or be used as a slow cooker. Some can even steam foods while cooking rice or a soup underneath. Healthy cooking is more straightforward when it saves you time.
Money-saving – Going out to grab sushi gets expensive, especially if you are footing the bill for a family. By making your own, you will not only enjoy a fun family activity but save a bundle in the process.
Detailed Reviews of the Best Rice Cookers for Sushi
The Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker wins our award as the ‘Best All Arounder” due to its versatility. It is also priced far less than an Instapot but can do many of the same tasks, including sautéing, steaming, cooking rice, and acting as a slow cooker.
If you tend to feed the neighborhood, have teenage boys, or just like making your life simpler, then the Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker will make a fantastic addition to your kitchen arsenal. It can make up to twenty cups of cooked rice at a go, which we have to say is A LOT of rice. It can replace your slow cooker and your rice cooker with one sleek and functional appliance.
For those looking for convenience, this appliance is a surefire winner. You can use the delay timer for up to 15-hours, and steam veggies at the top while simultaneously cooking rice or a soup below.
However, if you are ultimately looking for a rice cooker for sushi, then the Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker isn’t the best. The “keep warm” function tends to singe rice, or the condensation drips down and makes the rice gummy. Often the rice comes out a bit dry, which isn’t a deal-breaker for sushi but isn’t what you are looking for with a nightly meal.
|Huge 20-cup capacity||The lid is not easily removable for cleaning|
|Can sauté and simmer for one-pot meals||The “Keep Warm” setting does not work well|
|Can cook rice, sauté, steam or be used as a slow cooker|
|Includes a removable steamer tray|
|Audible beep when done|
If you have limited cupboard space in your kitchen, then the Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker will be a fantastic addition.
This multipurpose appliance is excellent for slow cooking, making soup, steaming veggies and proteins, and making various grains. Yes, it can also make a whole lot of rice, but it isn’t the best rice cooker for sushi on our list; however, there is no doubt that it’s the most versatile.
While the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer might seem futuristic to the Western market, this rice cooker would be considered a classic in Japan. It has likely cooked tens of millions of meals over the course of the last decade or so. Even the best sushi chefs swear by their Zojirushi brand rice cooker.
The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 uses fuzzy logic to ensure you get a perfect bowl of rice every time. If, like us, you are wondering what fuzzy logic is and why we need it in a rice cooker, then fear not, as our curiosity also got the better of us.
Fuzzy logic isn’t a new concept, as it has been around since the mid-1960s. It entails feeding back information to the computer to make an informed decision based on several parameters rather than strict rules. As such, your rice cooker will be able to compensate for the weather, altitude, and type of rice being cooked instead of only relying on time.
This rice cooker is better for shorter grained rice, excellent for sushi rice, and fantastic for brown or wild rice. It can also make porridge oats, bulgar wheat, and other grains and steam your proteins and vegetables. The only real letdown for the Zojirushi NS-ZCC210 is that it is a pain to keep clean.
It is best to remove the lid and clean the unit every time to avoid mold build-up in the crevice. However, this is a small inconvenience for an excellent rice cooker.
|Wall mountable||It is expensive|
|5 ½ cup capacity||The non-stick coating wears over time|
|Automatic keep-warm cycle||Difficult to clean|
|Programmable delay timer||Slow cooking|
|Retractable cord||The battery for the clock is not replaceable|
|Audible indicator when done|
If you are after the best rice cooker for making sushi, then the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer wins, without a doubt.
It’s a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for, which is a fantastic rice cooker that will ensure perfectly executed rice every time. If you make rice on an almost daily basis, then it is undoubtedly worth investing in this Japanese model.
When using a rice cooker, it is best to fill the machine to capacity. In other words, purchasing a 20-cup rice cooker when you generally only make five cups at a time is a no-no. Your rice won’t cook properly, and the machine will needlessly take up a lot of space.
The MOOSUM Rice Cooker MO-RCB01US makes just under four cups of rice at a time. Granted, the company touts it as being a 5-cup rice cooker; however, this is five of their cups, not the international measure. Regardless, this machine makes the perfect amount of rice for a couple or small family. If cooking for a crowd, you can always run the appliance twice, which is quick to do.
If you are after a basic rice cooker that is incredibly easy to use, then the MOOSUM Rice Cooker MO-RCB01US fits the bill. It can be used for making various types of rice, including sushi rice; however, keep in mind that there is only one setting.
As such, you will need to experiment a bit to get the correct ratios of water and rice for brown, long-grain, or sushi rice.
The MOOSUM Rice Cooker MO-RCB01US can also be used to steam veggies and proteins with the included steamer tray or cook pasta, soups, and other dishes. This machine doesn’t have any bells and whistles; it’s a basic rice cooker for sushi, but it gets the job done at an affordable price.
|Small footprint||It does not have different settings|
|Includes a steamer||The inner pot is not dishwasher safe|
|Very easy to use||Rice can stick to the bottom when on warming mode|
|Straightforward to clean|
|Ideal size for couples or small families|
If you are looking for a rice cooker for sushi that won’t break the bank, and tend to cook for two or three people, then the MOOSUM Rice Cooker MO-RCB01US is a winner.
This no-frills machine will get the job done. However, the warming function does not work well long-term, so don’t expect to leave your rice warming in the machine for longer than a few minutes.
Does your family eat a lot of rice? If so, then you know why it is worth investing in a quality rice cooker from Japan. These models might be more expensive, but they are likely to last you decades of consistent use.
It’s hard to find a fault in the Zojirushi NS-RPC10HM Rice Cooker and Warmer. Sure, it’s expensive compared to other non-Japanese rice cookers, but you get what you pay for. Don’t be fooled by the simplistic features of this machine. This only means that it is dummy-proof and will have you making perfectly cooked rice time and time again.
Zojirushi says that this machine is best used for short or medium-grain white rice only; however, we know plenty of families that make long grain or brown rice in their machine just fine as well. The triple cooking method transfers heat from the bottom, top, and sides to ensure an ideal cooking environment. The warming feature works very well without scorching rice like many other cheaper rice cooker models tend to do.
|An excellent brand that is known for quality and durability||Expensive|
|Incredibly easy to use|
|The inner lid is detachable for ease of cleaning|
|The power cord is detachable|
If you can justify the price, you will never regret purchasing the Zojirushi NS-RPC10HM Rice Cooker and Warmer. It’s effortless to use, easy to keep clean, and makes perfect rice every time. There is a reason that Zojirushi is infamous in the realms of rice cookers, and this model doesn’t fail to deliver the goods.
We can’t think of any other kitchen appliance as cute as the Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker. At the phenomenal price, we want to get it in each of the five fun colors and buy one for everyone on our Christmas list this year.
The Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker is incredibly affordable, so you’ll be hard-pressed to compare it to some of the appliances on our list that are up to ten times the price. However, no other model can compare to the Dash Mini Rice Cooker for its small footprint. And did we mention just how cute it is?
Making rice in a 20-cup rice cooker isn’t conducive for everyone. This Dash model can cook up to 2-cups of perfect rice at a time, which is ideal for single people or couples. It is also perfect for making small amounts of sushi rice or cooking pasta or soups.
The only gripe we have with this rice cooker for sushi is that it has no on/off button, so you need to physically unplug the machine when it is through cooking or if you want to turn off the warming function. This is a relatively minor complaint, though, and wouldn’t stop us from buying a Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker for our RV, apartment, and anywhere else we can think of. You’ll be certain to get a lot of compliments not only on your food but also on how sweet this machine looks.
|Available in five cute colors||There is no on/off button|
|Ideal for single people or portion control|
|Includes a recipe book|
|Very easy to clean|
The Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker is a steal at the price. It also works amazingly well and is ideal for small kitchens or single people who don’t want to cook mountains of rice every time. The hardest decision you’re going to have is which of the five fun colors to choose for yourself, so our suggestion is to get them all. You can then give the other four away as gifts once you finally choose. Even with buying them all, you’ll still save yourself a bundle compared to other rice cookers for sushi.
Best Rice Cookers for Sushi: Sticky & Oishi Rice: A Quick Buyer’s Guide
Before deciding which rice cooker for sushi is best for your household, it will be best to consider the following points. Have a look below and see which items are essential to you.
Volume – We mentioned earlier that ideally, a rice cooker is always working at maximum capacity. Think about how much rice you generally cook at one time and buy the appropriate size. If you need more rice for guests every so often, it isn’t difficult or time-consuming to run your machine twice.
Brand – Like any product, certain brands are known for quality, durability, and longevity. These also tend to come with a higher price tag like the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Price – There’s no doubt that Japanese rice cookers tend to be more expensive. If you make rice daily and have a large family, then splurging on a quality Japanese rice cooker is a no-brainer. However, if you only cook rice occasionally and live on your own, then the Dash DRCM200GBAQ04 Mini Rice Cooker is a winner at an unbelievably low price.
Cleaning – Rice cookers heat and steam your rice which can be the ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria if you aren’t careful. Look for a machine that is easy to clean, including the lid.
How it heats – Cheaper, basic rice cookers will have an electric heating coil at the bottom. These tend to burn rice even on a ‘keep warm’ setting. More expensive induction models will offer consistent heat throughout the cooking process. The Zojirushi NS-RPC10HM Rice Cooker and Warmer
Settings – If you tend to cook different types of rice or different foods in your rice cooker, then you will want a machine that has specific settings for the various options.
Features – Check for an audible alarm when cooking is complete or a delay timer so that you can have food ready for when you wake up or get home from work. Other models may have a quick cook setting, removable cord, or a digital clock.
Extras – Some rice cookers include plastic spatulas, a measuring cup, storage bag, or other freebies.
Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?
A Japanese rice cooker’s expense comes down to its quality, ease of use, and durability. Japanese rice cookers are designed to be used daily, and many homes have them working nonstop. If you wonder if the extra expense of a Japanese rice cooker is ‘worth it’, you either haven’t used one or don’t cook that much rice.
Japanese rice cookers are more high-tech than the $20 throw-away appliance that you might be comparing it to. With a Japanese rice cooker, temperatures can be regulated, delay timers might be included, and specific settings are present for various rice types. We have heard about countless families that use quality brands like Zojirushi continuously for over a decade.
Is a Japanese rice cooker worth it?
There is no cook more qualified than yourself to answer the question of whether purchasing a Japanese rice cooker is worth it. It would be best to consider how much rice your family eats and what types of rice you cook.
Your budget is obviously also a consideration as Japanese rice cookers are more expensive than the cheap plug-and-play ones. However, Japanese rice cookers are also built to last so that you might be forking out a lot more upfront, but you’ll likely get much more usage out of it. You will also make perfect rice every time, so no more burnt or mushy stovetop rice mishaps.
What is the difference between a normal rice cooker and a Japanese rice cooker?
A normal rice cooker works best for making long grain rice like basmati or jasmine rice. These cheaper types of rice cookers will heat up and cook your rice the same way every time. They cannot make variances for the type of rice, amount being cooked, the weather or altitude, etc. Ordinary rice cookers are generally cheaper, but they are also far less durable in comparison to Japanese rice cookers.
A Japanese rice cooker is specially designed for cooking short-grained rice that is more commonly used in Asian cuisine. These rice cookers are computerized to make allowances for different types of rice like brown, wild or long-grain. Some use fuzzy logic to amend the cooking process based on the current environment. This means that you’ll always have a perfect pot of rice for your meal.
You might still be wavering about whether purchasing a rice cooker for sushi is a good investment.
We ask you to think back to when you stepped up from cooking rice on the stovetop to owning your first rice cooker. At the time, it may have seemed an extravagance, but we are confident you would have noticed the difference right away and changed your mind. Now amp that up tenfold, and you’ll understand why owning a rice cooker for sushi is a fantastic addition to your cooking repertoire.