Product Review: Zojirushi Rice Cooker

Wednesday Jun 3 | BY |
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In a previous article I talked about a kitchen gadget that I use on a regular basis: the Instant Pot, which is an automatic pressure cooker that I use to cook beans, soups, vegetables, etc. Now I’m going to talk about my second favorite piece of equipment, besides my blender, which is the Zojirushi Rice Cooker.

I love this machine. In fact, it’s something I absolutely need, and not just to cook rice, as I’ll talk about in a moment. I introduced my mom to this machine and she also loves it, mainly because of the program feature where you can set the machine to cook things for you in advance.

I’ve had a regular rice cooker before.

What’s different about a Japanese rice cooker? First of all, it’s Japanese, so it’s better 🙂

It simply makes the best rice you’ve ever tasted at home. Sometimes you go to a restaurant and you wonder, “how can they make the rice so fluffy?” They do it using either a pretty advanced stovetop method or they use a Japanese rice cooker.

Japanese rice cookers are the best. Every type of rice that I’ve tried to cook with this came out great. It makes the best brown rice ever. It makes the best jasmine rice with the grains that detach completely. The only way I can make decent sushi rice is with this machine.

It also cooks oatmeal perfectly, especially steel-cut oats. It cooks other grains perfectly. It is the best way to cook quinoa without hassle. Simply, everyone who has used this machine raves about how great it is.

You definitely want to get one of the models that includes the brown rice setting.

Also, you should know that it takes more time to cook rice, or any other grain, in this than in a regular rice cooker. That’s because the machine takes more time to soak the grains and then cook it properly, raising the temperature gradually so it cooks perfectly. It takes a little bit of extra time, but it is worth it.

I also love the program feature, as I mentioned. This allows you to set a time for your grains to be cooked in advance. The main way that I use it is to program oatmeal to be cooked in the morning; that way, before you go to bed you place your oatmeal and water in the machine, you set the time and when you get up it’s ready. You can also do the same for rice or any other grains.

How to Use the Zojirushi

This is what I found over time works best over several years of using it.

  • White Rice: Rinse the rice several times (4-5 times is best), until the water is not clouded anymore. Cook on the “white rice” setting and at the recommended water levels.
  • Quinoa: cook with the setting “quick cooking” with 2 times the water or broth (broth is better for taste).
  • Brown rice: rinse once and cook on the “brown rice” setting at the recommended water levels.
  • Oatmeal: cook under the “Porridge” setting with 2 1/2 times the water, or 3 times if you prefer (I like a thicker porridge).
  • Sushi Rice (This is for 3 Japanese cups): Use sushi rice. Rinse as you would white rice. Cook on the “sushi” setting at the recommended water levels. Transfer the rice to another bowl and immediately add the following mixture made in advance: (4 Tbs. rice vinegar, 3 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp. salt or half that amount).

An important note: a Japanese cup is smaller than an American cup. A Japanese cup is roughly 3/4 of a regular cup. So, when you’re buying a five cup rice cooker, it is five dry Japanese cups. What I’ve found with this machine is that unless you’re cooking for a big family, the smaller model is probably all you need (three Japanese cups). I never cook more than three cups, even for two people. However, if you have a family to feed, I think the five cup model will be enough.

Why spend two or three times what a regular rice cooker costs for a Japanese rice cooker? Who should get one?

If you like good rice, if you like hassle-free cooking of oatmeal and grains (like quinoa), it simply makes the best cooked grains you’ve ever had. I think that it’s one of those products that nobody regrets buying as long as they’re using it. If you already like to cook rice, I believe you will love this product as much as I do. The best place to get it is on Amazon. 

Frederic Patenaude

Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


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  1. Kym says:

    Thanks for the review, Frederic. The bowl seems to have a non-stick coating but I’m sure you wouldn’t recommend anything covered with Teflon. I looked on the Amazon page but couldn’t find any specifics. Could you please explain why you think this is safe? Thank you.

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