This Editor-Favorite Appliance Is the Secret To Perfectly Fluffy Rice — and It’s 30% Off Right Now

updated Jan 20, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Bed Bath and Beyond

No matter what cuisine or culture you point to, you’re almost guaranteed to find rice somewhere on the menu. Its versatility is unmatched, whether you want to make a base to complement a saucy stir fry, sushi, crispy arancini, spicy biryani, or paella. But despite how simple making rice may appear, it’s one of the trickiest foods to master. Even if you follow the instructions on the package to a tee, it’s way too easy to wind up with mushy, undercooked, or even scorched rice. Luckily, that’s what rice cookers are for, in fact, that’s their sole purpose! In our quest to find the best rice cookers, Zojirushi’s 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer captured the top spot, so when we noticed it was over $70 off on Amazon, we knew you’d want to hear about it!

We’re not the only ones who love this rice cooker. The Zojirushi was also named Wirecutter’s number one rice cooker, an honor it earned after Wirecutter staffers spent over 150 hours researching rice cookers and consulting with experts in Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisines. All told, they cooked around 275 pounds of rice, so theirs is an opinion we trust. 

When Kitchn Lifestyle Director Lisa Friedman dug into the research to find out what separated the Zojirushi from other rice cookers, she learned that it came down to its ability to cook beautiful rice, even under irregular conditions. She said, “Not only did it make the best white rice of any cooker they tested, but it also performed the best even when they were careless with their rice-to-water ratios.”

That’s due, in part, to a sensor that allows the Zojirushi to detect conditions, react, and make precise adjustments to time or temperature to account for things like ambient temperature and water to rice ratio errors. (Fun fact: this is known as “fuzzy logic”, hence the Zojirushi’s model name.) It’s also what lets the machine modify cooking to help you customize your rice’s texture, say, if you want to make sticky or hard rice. 

The Zojirushi can prepare up to 5.5 cups of uncooked rice, and has a menu with options to make rice in a variety of preparations, including: white rice (regular/sushi, softer or harder), mixed rice, porridge, sweet rice, semi-brown rice, brown rice, rinse-free, and quick-cooking rice. Automatic settings like keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat, allow you to make rice ahead if you’ve got your hands full cooking other elements of a meal.

Two measuring cups and a rice paddle are included to help you use the Zojirushi, and the inside of the cooker is marked with fill lines, so you know just how much water to add to prepare each rice variety. Since rice is, by nature, very starchy, many rice cookers are a pain to clean, but the reviewers note that the Zojurishi’s removable lid is very helpful in this regard.

If you’re hesitant to buy an appliance that seems like a one-trick-pony, rest assured, your rice cooker can make much more than rice, including porridge, oatmeal, and even quinoa.  At just under $180, the Zojirushi is still not exactly cheap, but if you’ve been waiting for the right time to invest in a rice cooker, this is it

Buy: Zojirushi 5.5-Cup Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker, $179.49 (normally $256)