"The Best Rice Cooker"

"Read why this rice cooker is rated as one of the best"

Many people find it difficult to cook rice well.  The main aim of cooking rice  is to get fluffy, separated rice grains, but all too often I found that my endeavours wound up with the result being a stodgy, tasteless mess.  The market has now been flooded with packets of ‘instant’ rice and even frozen rice.  And while these products may be easy to cook and labor saving, they are also quite costly. Plus there are often additives in the contents of the packets that I prefer not to feed my family.

Uncooked rice on the other hand is very inexpensive and it is a healthy food that opens up a world of different dishes to your family's dining experience.  So if you are one of the many people that  have problems cooking nice rice, then treat yourself to a Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and believe me you’ll wonder why you waited so long. And its not just a rice cooker, so read on to find out why I like this product.

What's So Good About the Zojirushi Rice Cooker?

This rice cooker is computerized to guarantee that you get perfect results every time.  It combines this micro computer with an induction heating and warming system. So that means no more soggy rice and once the rice is cooked I can keep it warm until I'm ready to serve it.

What is induction heating?

This is created by placing a magnetic material into a magnetic field.  It sounds very high-tech and it is!  There are coils inside the bottom of the Zojirushi rice cooker which form the magnetic field.  The magnetic material is the inner cooking pan.  This pan has a non-stick aluminum inner coating but a stainless steel casing.  When the inner pan is placed inside the rice cooker and the unit is switched on, it creates a magnetic field which gives off instant, evenly distributed heat.

This technology allows the inner cooking pan to be the source of heat.  Because the heat is instantly controllable, the micro computer can vary the heat from high to the tiniest adjustments.  This means that you get perfectly cooked rice…every time you cook it!

What sort of rice will the Zojirushi Rice Cooker, cook?

There are so many types of rice available nowadays, giving the home cook lots of choices when cooking recipes from different cultures. Each rice has its own particular features and I like to experiment to see how the different textures work with a particular dish. And the Zojirushi allows you to cook each type of rice to perfection.

  • Plain white rice (you can choose it to cook the rice regular, softer or harder)
  • Quick cook rice
  • Brown rice
  • Sweet rice (pudding rice)
  • Mixed rice
  • Sushi
  • Porridge

  • Gaba brown rice

What is Gaba Brown Rice?

This isn’t a new variety of rice.  The ‘GABA’ refers to gamma-aminobutyric acid.  This is an amino acid which is found in brown rice.  It is one of the reasons why brown rice is such a healthy food.  GABA is thought to bring down blood pressure, help to improve kidney function and it also relieves stress.

It has been discovered that by soaking brown rice at a certain heat prior to cooking, the GABA is not only activated but increased.

The Zojirushi rice cooker allows you to soak brown rice for two hours at a constant temperature of 104°F before cooking commences – so you get even healthier rice!

Rice is so difficult because you have to serve it straight away…

That is generally so, but not with the Zojirushi rice cooker!  Once the rice has been cooked, the 'Keep Warm' mode kicks in automatically.  This means that the rice is kept at the perfect temperature for serving, without overcooking it.  As I said before - Perfect rice, when you want it!

Does the Keep Warm function use a lot of energy?

No not at all – due to the inner cooking pan being ‘vacuum insulated’.  This means that the air between the stainless steel inner pan and the aluminum base is removed.  This creates a vacuum which lets the heat go quickly to the rice and not be lost outside.  This insulation also keeps the rice warm with the minimum of energy.

The spherical shape of the thick, black inner cooking pan also means that it heats up fast, which is also energy saving.

Perfect timing

The Zojirushi rice cooker is such a help if you are working and want to have a meal ready for when you get home.  You can pre-set the cooker to finish the cooking just when you want it ready.  So set it before you go out in the morning and it’s taken care of, all you need to do is plate up.  So even mid week entertaining becomes hassle free. The LCD control is clear and easy to read.

You can even choose which melody you would like the timer to play when the rice is ready.

Rice is so sticky – isn’t clean up a nightmare?

No – because with the Zojirushi Rice Cooker the rice doesn't become sticky and the cooker has a clever inner lid, which covers the inside of the outer lid.  This inner lid is detachable for easy clean up.  Zojirushi recommend that you clean this inner lid  after each use of the cooker.

The cooker also has an easy-to-clean clear coated stainless steel exterior.

What if I need to cook a lot of rice – aren’t these cookers small?

Not at all. The Zojirushi rice cooker is available in 5½ cup and 10-cup sizes so just choose the model that will best suit your requirements.

Cook the rice…not your hands!

The inner cooking pan has ‘stay-cool’ handles.  This makes it comfortable and safe to quickly and easily take the pan out of the rice cooker.

How big is the Zojirushi Rice Cooker?

If you need to measure cupboard or worktop space, the cooker measures 10 x 14 x 8 inches and weighs 11 pounds.

Do I need any special tools for it?

No you don't require any special tools as the Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a spatula, a spatula holder and a cup for measuring rice.

How much does it cost?

This cooker retails at $362 but you really shouldn't pay any more than $290.00.

What do people think of it?

Here are a few pro and con comments from Amazon reviewers.


  • The cooker is almost foolproof and cooks rice perfectly – even at high altitudes which Zojirushi warn may be a problem.  Apparently, it’s not an issue!
  • The multiple settings cover most kinds of rice and the GABA function makes the best brown rice ever.
  • The Zojirushi rice cooker is very easy to operate.  Just choose the menu setting, measure out the rice in the cup provided, rinse the rice and then add it to the bowl.  Add water up to the fill mark on the bowl.  Hit the cook button and walk away.
  • The cooker has a lithium battery backup, which means that the cooker will remember the last setting used…even if you unplug it.  If you tend to cook the same rice over and over, this feature is a real bonus.
  • The cooker also remembers the last time setting, so if you regularly eat at the same time, this is a great help too.
  • The Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a comprehensive manual.


  • The cup that comes with the cooker is 6.2 oz which is ¾ cup.  The water levels marked on the pan are based on this cup so don’t lose the cup!
  • The cooker is expensive but if you buy a Zojirushi Lunch Jar system you can take a variety of rice, fried rice and soups etc to work for lunch which will save you money.  The lunch jar keeps the rice warm and moist, so you don't have to microwave it.
  • The timer works on the 24 hour system so 5.30 pm would be 17.30.  This can take some getting used to if you’re not familiar with it.

Making the choice

The majority of reviewers are delighted with their Zojirushi rice cooker and compare it very favorably to other cookers they have owned previously.

So, if you are interested in turning out perfect rice every single time then the Zojirushi Rice Cooker may just be your salvation, why not take a look at the comments from other satisfied Zojirushi rice cooker owners here  - Happy rice cooking!