What are the best rice cookers for sushi? Well, it of course depends on your personal needs, preferences and lifestyle. And don’t forget your budget! Below are a few of the best rice cookers in various categories ranging from easy-to-use to budget.
The best rice cookers for cooking rice at home are simple to use, easy to clean and of course produce the perfect bowl of rice. My top picks are listed below, some I’ve used myself and others have great ratings, so I added them to the list.
When choosing kitchen appliances, consider how often you will use it, for what uses and what storage you have available. If you don’t eat rice very often, perhaps a small or budget rice cooker is best. Consider your budget and lifestyle when choosing.
Best Overall Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker
This Zojirushi rice cooker is the best overall rice cooker for multiple reasons. It has a 4.7 rating on Amazon with over 6,439 ratings and you can usually snap it on sale. It has a beautiful stainless steel exterior and a removable inner lid so it’s easy cleaning.
It has various settings ranging from basic white rice to steel cut oatmeal, so it’s quite versatile. It cooks rice evenly and creates a beautiful, fluffy final product. Plus, it plays a cute tune when your rice is ready, what’s not to love!
- Brand: Zojirushi
- Dimensions: 11.8″D x 9.1″W x 7.5″H
- Capacity: 3 cups
- Settings: White Rice/Mixed, Quick, Sushi, Brown, Gaba Brown, Long Grain White, Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Price (2023): $194.50
Best Budget Rice Cooker: IMUSA USA GAU-00013 Electric Nonstick Rice Cooker
This is one of the best rice cookers for sushi if you’re on a budget. It’s super simple to use and has 11,572 ratings with an average 4.6 star rating. It comes in a neutral white exterior which will look good in any style of kitchen, plus it comes in three sizes, 3-cup, 5-cup and 8-cup.
The inner pot is easy to remove and clean separately, plus the rice cooker is super easy to operate. Simply add your washed rice and water to the inner chamber and flick the button down to turn it on. It will slow cooking the rice once it’s done and switch to the warm setting.
- Brand: Imusa
- Dimensions: 12.2″D x 9.8″W x 8.9″H
- Capacity: 8 cups
- Settings: One Setting
- Price (2023): $27.99
Best Expensive Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NL-GAC10 BM Umami Micom Rice Cooker
This is another Zojirushi rice cooker that is quite expensive, but worth the money if you have the funds. It has 171 ratings on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 stars. This rice cooker is actually the one I use in my kitchen and I haven’t had any complaints so far.
It has a wide variety of settings ranging from basic white rice to congee. It also has a “Quick” setting if you are in a rush. I admittedly use this selection quite a bit. Another feature I love on this product is the “Steam” feature which you can use to steam vegetables.
Another version in the same price range that uses induction heating to cook the rice has 3,891 ratings and a 4.8 star rating. Check that out here: Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker
- Brand: Zojirushi
- Dimensions: 9.1″D x 9.1″W x 9.1″H
- Capacity: 5.5 cups
- Settings: White, Umami, Quick, Mixed, Sushi/Sweet, Gaba Brown, Steam, Jasmine, Quick Jasmine, Porridge, Congee
- Price (2023): $336
Best Stylish Rice Cooker: CUCKOO CR-0675F Micom Rice Cooker
This rice cooker is not only effective at creating delicious fluffy rice, it’s also quite beautiful to look at with its all-white “clean” exterior. You can also purchase the all-black version if that’s more of your style.
It has several settings to cook white rice, multigrain rice, brown rice and porridge. It also has a quick start button to simplify things as much as possible. The inner pot is also non-toxic and non-stick if that’s something you are interested in.
- Brand: Cuckoo
- Dimensions: 14.9″D x 10.2″W x 11.34″H
- Capacity: 6 cups
- Settings: White, Multigrain, Gaba Brown, Porridge
- Price (2023): $109.99
Best Dorm-Friendly Rice Cooker: Zojirushi NHS-06 Rice Cooker
This is one of the best rice cookers for sushi if you’re in a small space or dorm room. It may be small in size, but it cooks the perfect bowl of rice and has a decent capacity. Its white exterior is also quite stylish and matches a variety of aesthetics.
It has a glass top, so you can peek in on the rice while it’s cooking to see if it’s almost done or just admire the dancing starch bubbles. The rice cooker is simple to function with a basic press of a switch. Once it’s done cooking, a warm function will automatically turn on to keep your rice hot.
- Brand: Zojirushi
- Dimensions: 7.5″D x 9.1″W x 7.5″H
- Capacity: 3 cups
- Settings: One Setting
- Price (2023): $59.50
Best All-in-One Rice Cooker: Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker
If you are looking for an all-in-one rice cooker, this is a great option. It not only cooks a delicious bowl of rice, it functions as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a yogurt maker and a stew pot. That being said, it is large in size so make sure you have the space.
The different settings on this rice cooker make it a great product if you want to do everything in one place. Plus, the pressure cooking setting cooks food much faster than traditional methods to help you save time.
pressure cooker, different settings, slow cooker
- Brand: Instant
- Dimensions: 12.2″D x 13.38″W x 12.48″H
- Capacity: 6 quarts
- Settings: Soup/Broth, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Saute, Yogurt, Pressure Cook
- Price (2023): $99.99
Best Stove-Top Rice Cooker: Hario “Gohan Gama” Glass Lid Rice Cooker
If you want to stay away from electronic rice cookers, you can always try a stove-top rice cooker like this one. Simply add your washed rice and water and put it on the stove-top to cook. This is a great option if you don’t have access to an outlet or electricity but have a gas stove or burner.
Along with these benefits, it has a glass lid so you can check on your rice while it’s cooking, plus the lid whistles when the rice is done. While this is a more traditional way of cooking rice, the final product is just as good, if not better than rice cooked in a rice cooker.
- Brand: Hario
- Dimensions: 7.48″D x 7.5″W x 7.5″H
- Capacity: 2 cups
- Settings: None
- Price (2023): $74.25
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Rice cookers I wouldn’t recommend
Overall, I would recommend sticking with Japanese rice cookers. From my experience, they have consistently outperformed other brands and last much longer as well. There are a variety of Japanese rice cookers online as well as at Asian grocery stores.
How to properly wash your rice
To make the perfect rice, you will need to wash your rice before cooking it. You can wash your rice in a large strainer or in the inner pot that comes with the rice cooker.
To wash it this way, add the rice to your pot, then cover it in water and use your fingers to move the rice around. The water should be very cloudy. Pour most of the water out into the sink while using your hand to ensure no rice falls out. Continue this process until the water runs clear.
For the best results, you may need to repeat this process 3-6 times. The water doesn’t need to be perfectly clear, just enough to clearly see each grain of rice. The less you wash the rice, the stickier and starchier it will be.
What kind of rice should I use?
There are different types of rice that each require a different cooking process. Varieties like long-grain white rice usually don’t need as much cooking time for example. Below the varieties are listed.
- Long-grain: This is the most popular variety of rice you’ll find at the store in the United States. It’s typically cheaper and cooks faster. Jasmine rice and basmati rice are two types of rice within this category.
- Medium-grain: This variety is in between a short-grain and a long-grain rice and takes a bit longer to cook. Arborio and bomba rice are examples of medium-grain rice.
- Short-grain: This variety of rice is popular in Asian cooking. Examples include sushi rice. The end product is stickier and fluffier than long-grain rice.
- Wild rice: This kind of rice actually isn’t related to conventional rice. It’s black and much chewier than white rice. It also takes longer to cook.
- Brown rice: Brown rice can be found in long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain varieties, though all kinds take longer to cook compared to white rice.
How to prepare sushi rice
First, make sure you are using Japanese short-grain rice, sometimes labeled as “sushi rice”. You will want to use a one-to-one ratio of rice to water, making sure you wash your rice beforehand.
If your rice cooker has a sushi rice setting, use it. If not, set it to white rice or simply turn it on if there aren’t any settings.
From here, you can use a pre-made sushi seasoning or make your own. If you’re making it homemade, combine rice vinegar and sugar in a 2:1 ratio. Add a pinch of salt. You will want to simmer the combination to dissolve the sugar and salt.
Then, combine the hot rice with the vinegar mixture and fold to combine. Then you can use this fluffy rice for your homemade sushi.
Frequently Asked Questions
What water-to-rice ratio is best?
It depends on the kind of rice you are cooking. Firstly, check the bag the rice came in. They typically give you a water-to-rice ratio. You can also use the ratios listed on your rice cooker or written out in the manual.
For white rice, 1.5 cups of uncooked rice to 1 cup of water is a good place to start. For brown rice, a 2:1 ratio should be good. You can use a measuring cup or the cup provided in the rice cooker.
Too much rice or too little water will leave your rice dry and undercooked, while too little rice or too much water will leave your rice wet and mushy.
Is brown rice healthier than white rice?
It depends. Brown rice is higher in fiber and micronutrients compared to white rice. But, especially if you’re cooking fortified or enriched white rice, the differences aren’t huge. I would recommend switching it up or, if you hate brown rice, choosing other whole grains to add to your diet.
How long does rice take to cook?
Cook time for your rice depends on the rice cooker you are using. Most rice cookers have built-in timers that will alert you once your rice is ready. Some will give you an estimated time so you can plan ahead.
From what I’ve found, the best sushi rice cookers tend to take longer to cook because they go through a soaking and cooling phase. The rice turns out better this way, but
Can you use long-grain rice for sushi?
I wouldn’t recommend using long-grain rice for sushi. It’s not as sticky as short-grain rice and will likely fall apart on your sushi rolls. Medium-grain may be fine but overall Japanese short-grain rice is your best option.