It’s a Friday night, and you’re craving sushi. You start gathering the ingredients, just in time to prepare a delicious dinner.
But then you remember all the times you tried to make sticky rice and failed.
Trust me; I know exactly how you feel. I’ve been there. But before you grab the take-out menu, read this article. There’s still hope for us!
I’ve spent time studying and reviewing some of the best sushi rice cookers on the market to help you cook restaurant-quality rice at home.
Continue reading below to learn the answers to your questions and see how some of the most popular sushi rice cookers measure up. Find out the pros and cons of each sushi rice cooker, as well as tips for best use.
First let’s take a quick look at all the rice cookers for sushi I’m reviewing in this article:
- Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker (Best Overall Sushi Rice Cooker)
- Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker (Runner Up Best Overall Rice Cooker for Sushi)
- Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Grain Cooker (Best Budget Rice Cooker)
- Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer (Best Small Sushi Rice Cooker)
- Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker (Best Pressure Rice Cooker)
- Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Rice Cooker (Best Induction Rice Cooker)
- Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure (Most Versatile Rice Cooker)
- Toshiba TRCS01 Cooker (A Good Rice Cooker for Accessories)
- IMUSA USA GAU-00011 Electric Nonstick Rice Cooker (Best Simple Rice Cooker)
A Beginner’s Guide to Sushi Rice
Sushi is delicious and only involves a few ingredients, yet making perfect rice can sometimes be challenging. A rice cooker is an excellent solution, specifically designed to cook rice that often comes with a sushi cooking function.
What’s Special About Sushi Rice?
Rice plays an essential role in sushi. I like to think of it as the glue (which makes sense because it’s sticky)! Its sticky nature is what makes sushi rice so unique. Ideally, for sushi, you should use Japanese short or medium grain rice, seasoned with vinegar, salt, and sugar.
You can vary it a bit, but not too much. For example, long-grain rice won’t work, but it doesn’t have to come from Japan!
What Makes Rice Sticky?
Even if you’ve only ever eaten one sushi dish, you’ll know how important it is for the rice to be sticky! You don’t want your lovely creation falling apart as your guests lift it to their mouths.
Rice stickiness depends on the ratio of the ingredients amylose and amylopectin. These substances are both found in starchy foods. The lower the amylose, the stickier your rice will be.
Yet I’m sure you aren’t going to be sitting there measuring molecules in your rice, so how do you get it sticky?
Firstly, use the right rice (see below).
You also need to add the right amount of water (check your recipe, or see my recipe below) and cook sushi rice at the proper moisture level. Too wet and it won’t stick, too dry, and it will taste disgusting (and still not stick).
You do this by controlling the temperature and time (again per recipe). Or, if you can’t be bothered, make sure you get a cooker with a sushi cooking setting that will cook rice for you.
What Type of Rice do you need for Sushi?
All rice is not created equal. It comes in various types (jasmine, wild, basmati, brown, white) and lengths (short, medium, and long grains).
Sushi often uses short-grain or medium-grain, white, Japanese-style rice, as it has the right amount of amylose and amylopectin to make it sticky.
Of course, you can experiment, but my advice is to start with short to medium-grain white rice. Feel free to experiment once you’ve mastered it the usual way,
How to Cook Sushi Rice
Here’s a quick sushi rice recipe. You’ll need:
- 2 Cups uncooked white rice
- 2.5 cups of water,
- 1/2 a cup of vinegar (ideally rice vinegar)
- 2 table spoons of vegetable oil (I recommend extra virgin olive oil),
- 2 table spoons of white sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Rinse the rice and combine with water in a rice cooker. Some cookers have a dedicated sushi water level to help.
- Boil the water, then lower the heat. (Some sushi rice cookers will do this automatically)
- Cover and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water and softened.
- Heat the other ingredients separately.
- Cook on medium heat until you notice that the sugar has dissolved.
- Add to the rice.
- Stir and serve!
Check out more rice cooker recipes here:
What to Look For in Sushi Rice Cookers
The best rice cooker for sushi will depend on your own individual needs, but I like to consider the following things:
- Fuzzy Logic
- Types of Inner Pots
What is Fuzzy Logic?
You may have come across the words “fuzzy logic” and chuckled to yourself. I certainly did when I was conducting my rice cooker research.
It turns out that this concept refers to mathematical programming that allows machines to work more like humans. Devices with this technology can make practical decisions and react to scenarios beyond a bog-standard “chip”. Check out this video which explains how fuzzy logic can apply to boiling an egg:
What does this mean for sushi rice cookers? A fuzzy logic rice cooker will be a bit better, and a bit closer to a chef, when it comes to cooking rice. Things like cooking temperature will be set more intelligently and dynamically. Translation: better rice with less effort on your part.
Types of Inner Pots
The type of pot used is also something you should consider before going all-in on a sushi rice maker. Your final decision should come down to what kind of cooking you will be doing, the pot’s durability, and the safety risks. The two most common types of inner pots are non-stick and stainless steel cooking pots.
Manufacturers previously coated non-stick pans with Teflon, a chemical that prevents food from sticking. These types of cookware released dangerous fumes when heated over 500°F (260°C), and can damage easily.
Some non-stick cookware still uses this chemical, even those that are seemingly safe such as granite or ceramic.
- Easy to clean
- Prevents sticking
- Reduces the amount of oil needed during cooking
- Cheaper option
- Potential safety issues with chemical coatings
- Less durability (easy to scratch)
- Unable to withstand higher cooking temperatures
- Harder to brown, sear, or deglaze
Beware, if a product contains “PTFE” that is another name for Teflon (which is trademarked). Ideally a nonstick coating should say PTFE-free to be safe.
Stainless Steel Pots
You’ll notice how much stainless steel the professionals use if you’ve ever watched a cooking show. There’s a reason for it! However, they also come with a few cons.
- Extremely durable
- Safe and uncoated
- Able to withstand higher heat
- Able to brown, sear, and deglaze foods
- Not so easy to clean (especially when there’s burnt or sticky food)
- Requires preheating and more butter/oil to prevent sticking
- Requires more attention and maintenance before and after cooking
Here’s a quick tip: sometimes you can buy a spare inner pan for your sushi cooker. If you have one in stainless steel and one in nonstick you’ll have the best of both worlds: Nonstick for when you are in a hurry and stainless steel when you have the time to do it properly.
I’ve also found that not all “stainless steel rice cookers” have a stainless steel inner pot, so if this is important, check the material.
Rice Cooker Capacity
Ask yourself how many will your rice cooker feed? Most rice cookers for sushi offer a range of sizes, from around three cups to over twenty.
Note that capacity usually is for uncooked ingredients. Rice expands as it cooks. One cup of uncooked rice should equal about two to three cups of rice when cooked (though this depends on how much water you add). Not sure how much water to add? Find out by visiting this helpful article.
The typical rule of thumb is ½ a cup (90g) of cooked rice per person, though this depends on what else you are cooking and if you have any hungry teenagers!
What else can your rice cooker make? Do you want it to cook a variety of other foods? Many rice cookers for sushi can also cook things like quinoa, pancakes, vegetables, soup, and even pizza! Check out more tasty meals you can make in a rice cooker.
Higher quality often comes at a higher price. If you know you’ll be cooking rice almost every night, then you might want to invest in a fancier rice cooker. If you are only using it occasionally, then you may want to go cheaper.
Does the rice cooker stay warm?
No one cooks rice on its own, and inevitably, there’ll be times when the rice is ready but the sauce, or accompanying food, isn’t
If you want to avoid cold rice, one option is to consider an appliance that is both a rice cooker and warmer.
Best Rice Cookers for Sushi: Round-Up
Finding the best rice cooker for sushi depends on your particular needs and preferences. Do you favor versatility over quality? Are you okay with spending a little more for a cooker that has a specific sushi rice setting?
It can be overwhelming looking at all of your options, but there’s no need to stress! I’ve done the work for you.
I’ve reviewed the following products to help you find the best rice cooker for making sushi rice. Read on to find out all of my top picks.
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker (Best Overall Sushi Rice Cooker)
This smart Zojirush NS rice cooker and warmer is available in capacities of 5 ½ cups and 10 cups of uncooked rice. (ie. around 11 and 20 cups of cooked rice.)
Users can cook an assortment of dishes in both machines, such as sushi rice, mixed rice, porridge, sweet rice, and brown rice. There is also a quick-cooking option for the more impatient cooks.
This is among the best rice cookers for sticky rice.
It has a detachable and washable lid for easy cleaning and comes with a non-stick inner pot, two measuring cups, a spoon, and a spoon holder.
To be honest the different functions that the Zojirushi NS has make it ideal for beginners and experts. Beginners will simply set it to sushi rice and not have to think too much about it. Experts have a finer control available.
Zojirushi isn’t the cheapest rice cooker but it’s one of the best.
- Has a specific setting for sushi rice
- 1-year limited warranty – you want to be covered in case it breaks!
- Features neuro fuzzy logic and delay timer
- Can cook multiple foods and has an automatic keep warm setting
- Cooled handles for quick removal and serving – this comes in handy when you’re in a rush at dinner time or are serving guests at home!
- Non-stick pot can scratch if using metal utensils
- Reports it can dry out rice
- Long cooking time even with quick rice function enabled
- Limits to the extended keep warm function – don’t leave rice more than 12 hours
I’ve also found the larger version of this rice cooker (10 cups cooked rice) on Bed Bath and Beyond.
Aroma Housewares ARC-5000SB Digital Rice Cooker (Runner-Up Best Overall Rice Cooker)
The Aroma Housewares earns the title of runner-up! This model is a multi-purpose, digital rice cooker available in basic and professional versions, including 10 cups and 20 cups (uncooked) sizes. It also features over a dozen cooking settings for families of all sizes and tastes.
The built-in steamer allows you to cook two meals at once and offers slow-cook, sauté-then-simmer (STS), and automatic warming options.
Aroma sushi rice cooker accessories include a non-stick inner cooking pan, measuring cup, steam tray, and spatula. This particular cooker also features a 15-hour delay timer for effortless cooking.
- Basic model that’s easy to use
- Versatile cooking functions such as slow-cook and STS
- Has a specific setting for sushi rice
- Simple to clean
- Delay timer for on-the-go families
- Sometimes overflows while cooking – don’t fill to limit
- Non-stick material on inner pot prone to damage – treat with care
- Plastic base melts if overheated
- Reports of damage from dishwasher
Aroma Housewares Digital Cool-Touch Rice Grain Cooker (Best Budget Rice Cooker)
This Aroma sushi rice cooker comes in a professional version and two more basic versions, perfect for those on a budget but still want a quality, versatile cooker. Each version holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice, includes a built-in steamer, and can cook white and brown rice and other foods such as chili, soup, oatmeal, quinoa, and vegetables.
The professional version of this rice cooker features eight different functions, while the basic version only has six. Nevertheless, both products are capable of cooking rice quickly with the flash function.
Each cooker also includes a non-stick inner pot, steam tray, rice measuring cup, and spatula for convenient serving. This rice cooker gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
- Removable steam tray
- User-friendly controls
- Convenient delay timer
- Flash rice function cuts preparation time in half
- Variety of functions for a low price
- No specific setting for sushi rice
- Reports of plastic hook for the lid breaking
- Limited steaming capacity
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer (Best Small Sushi Rice Cooker)
Zojirushi is known for its quality rice cookers, and you can’t go far wrong with one. That’s why I’ve included another 2 Zojirushi cookers later in this review!
This 3-cup capacity (uncooked) Zojirushi NS cooker is on the smaller side and can make as little as ½ cup if needed. Its compact size and small capacity make it an excellent option for singles, couples, or small families who only use it in small amounts.
This Japanese rice cooker and warmer offers multi-menu cooking options for steel-cut oatmeal, brown or GABA rice, and long-grain white rice, as well as settings for sushi/sticky rice.
It features a non-stick inner pot and detachable and washable lid, allowing for easy clean-up.
It uses fuzzy logic technology and includes the following accessories for your convenience: rice spatula, spatula holder, and a rice measuring cup.
Although this rice cooker is designed for you to use at high temperatures, I’d advise being careful when doing so. Customer reported issues typically stem from cooking at high heat. Either stick to medium heat or keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t overheat.
- Multipurpose cooking capabilities and settings for sushi rice
- Triple heater for balanced heating
- Includes fuzzy logic technology for improved cooking
- Foldable handle and retractable cord for easy storage
- Includes a removable steam vent cap for high-heat cooking
- Warming function
- Some customers experienced issues cooking jasmine rice
- Prone to overheating
- Problems with the inner lid melting at high temperatures
Instant Pot Duo Nova Pressure Cooker (Best Pressure Rice Cooker)
With this sushi rice Instant Pot cooker, you get seven functions in one appliance. It serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker. It’s available in four different sizes to meet any family or couple’s needs, including 3-quart, 6-quart, 8-quart, and 10-quart.
Its stainless-steel cooking pot is dishwasher-safe for quick clean-up. The LCD screen also displays a progress indicator as you’re cooking so you can track your dish until it’s done.
If you are getting a pressure cooker, make sure you know what you are getting into. Some customers complain about the steamer nozzle leaking, but in fact this is a pressure release valve and is designed to emit steam.
Remember this isn’t a dedicated rice cooker so you may find yourself missing functionality.
- Seven functions in 1 pressure rice cooker
- Cooks 70% faster than typical cookers
- Safety features including automatic closure of steam release valve
- Safe, stainless-steel inner pot – the best option for safe and healthy cooking!
- Variable sizes for different needs
- Has a rice setting but not specifically for sushi
- Pressure cooker takes time to reach the right pressure
Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer (Best Induction Rice Cooker)
This Zojirushi NP cooker can handle up to 10 cups (uncooked) and uses an induction heating system. This is a more advanced heating method that uses a magnetic field to produce an electrical current in the non-stick cooking pot, allowing for more accurate heat distribution.
You can use this Japanese rice cooker to make white rice, jasmine rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice, and germinated brown rice.
The orange LCD control panel is easy to read and features a clock, timer, and delay timing function. The cooker’s exterior is also clear coated to prevent dirt and grime.
- Triple heater with unique induction cooking technology
- Automatic warming settings
- Multi-menu cooking options
- Large LCD Display
- Detachable stainless steel inner lid
- 1-year limited warranty on parts and labor
- Some reports that the quality of rice isn’t great
- Moisture accumulates inside the lid
- Extended cooking times
The exact model of this rice cooker is hard to find, but Bed Bath & Beyond has a smaller version.
Ninja Foodi 9-in-1 Pressure (Most Versatile Rice Cooker)
You thought 7 in 1 was a lot? This 6.5-quart cooker takes it to a whole new level with nine different cooking functions, all in one convenient pot. It pressure cooks, air fries, crisps, slow-cooks, steams, sears, roasts, crisps, and broils so you can create full meals. However, it doesn’t appear to have a setting for sushi rice in particular.
With this product, you can enjoy faster pressure cooking and air fry with less fat, making for quicker and healthier meals. You get a crisping lid, pressure lid, ceramic-coated inner pot, a 4-quart non-stick crisping basket, and a stainless-steel rack. Did I mention it’s reversible too?
- Reversible rack for broiling and steaming + crisping basket
- Able to defrost and cook in one go – this saves a lot of time and effort on your part!
- Able to cook multiple foods at once – helps make meals easier to make and clean up!
- Nine cooking functions for extreme versatility
- Quieter than other air fryers
- Long cooking time
- Capacity is too much for customers who need smaller amounts of food
- Large size that can be difficult to store
- Reports of cooking settings glitching
- Lids are not detachable, which makes it difficult to clean
Toshiba TRCS01 Cooker (Good Rice Cooker for Accessories)
This cooker comes from Toshiba, a well-known and trusted brand with over 140 years in the cooking industry. It can make up to 12 cups of cooked rice and uses neuro-fuzzy logic to cook and steam a range of food items such as rice, porridge, soup, and steel-cut oats.
This rice cooker has two different delay time options and a 24-hour automatic warming setting. It also comes with a non-stick inner pan, steam basket, measuring cups, spatula, a soup ladle, and a rice ladle.
- Uses fuzzy logic technology
- Multi-functional with settings for sushi rice
- Features a quick-cooking setting for on-the-go meals
- Designed for families
- Consistently cooks high-quality rice
- Rice can sometimes be too soft or too dry
- Smaller size than expected by some customers
- No automatic warming function
- The instruction manual can be confusing to some
- Longer cooking times, especially for brown rice
IMUSA USA GAU-00011 Electric Nonstick Rice Cooker (Best Simple Rice Cooker)
This simple, electric rice cooker is available in 3-cup, 5-cup, and 8-cup (uncooked) sizes and comes with a spoon and measuring cup. That translates to 6, 10, and 16 cups of cooked rice.
This sushi rice cooker is energy-efficient and a terrific quick-cooking option for beginners with busy schedules who are looking for the most basic option.
It’s one of the cheapest models listed but still ranks high for versatility, as you can use it to make a variety of rice, vegetables, and steel-cut oats. They also throw in a handy measuring cup and serving spoon.
- Removable non-stick pot for easy cleaning
- Variety of sizes convenient for couples and families
- Easy to use on and off switch and warming feature
- Cooks quickly
- Rice sticks on the pot if left on the warm setting too long
- The steam release vent in the lid sometimes spits out hot water
- Temperature doesn’t get hot enough for cooking
- Only has two settings – warm and cook
- Non-stick material could be a safety concern for some customers
You can also find this rice cooker on Bed Bath & Beyond:
Can rice cookers do sushi rice?
Yes. Rice cookers can cook almost any type of rice dish. It’s just a matter of the type of rice, the amount of water and the temperature.
Good rice cookers will help you with all of this making it easier to get that sticky sushi rice.
Cooking rice isn’t particularly hard, but the more elaborate dishes can be harder. With a rice cooker to cook the rice for you, it makes your life easier and increases your chance of perfectly cooked rice.
Yet you don’t need a rice cooker for sushi if you know what you are doing and have the time to stand over the pan.
Winner of the Best Rice Cooker for Sushi
Rice is a staple ingredient in many kitchens and is essential for sushi. If the rice doesn’t taste nice, then chances are the sushi will be just as gross. No one wants that!
After reviewing all of these candidates, I’ve selected the cooker that I believe is the best overall. The best rice cooker for sushi is the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker.
Before I explain more, check out this video by Zojirushi itself:
All the Zojirushi models are good quality, but this cooker stands out for me. It uses neuro fuzzy logic technology to achieve perfectly cooked rice while also being super user-friendly.
This machine can cook up to 10 cups, which is great for dinner parties.
It offers a variety of settings so you can make other foods.
The non-stick pot is also chemical-free for worry-free cooking.
Are you ready for better rice and sushi that satisfies even the pickiest of eaters? I recommend ditching the stovetop and splurging on a high-quality sushi rice maker like this Zojirushi NS to save time and effort in the kitchen.
If you are into Japanese cooking and are looking for a generic rice cooker, check out my Japanese Rice Cooker guide.