There’s a lot to appreciate about a more advanced model like the NP-HCC10. It has 9 programmed cooking settings for several different types of rice. Keep in mind, Zojirushi is a Japanese company, and these settings are oriented around cooking rice varieties found there. “White rice” on a Zojirushi refers to short-grain white rice (hakumai in Japanese). Some long grain white rice like basmati will work on the regular setting, but Jasmine rice has its own setting on this machine. Like the “white rice” setting, “sushi rice” is also for short or medium grain white rice, but specifically it’s for making slightly drier and stickier rice to compensate for the vinegar you add when making sushi rice. For cooking other grains, like quinoa, or oatmeal, Zojirushi offers appropriate setting recommendations.
Capacity: 5.5 cups (uncooked rice)
Dimensions: (W x D x H) 10 x 14 x 8 inches
Weight: 9 lbs.
Features: Micom technology, induction heating, delay cook, automatic keep warm function,
Menu settings: white rice (regular, softer or harder), jasmine white rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge/congee, sweet rice, brown rice, GABA brown rice and quick cooking, rice paddle and measuring cup, nonstick pot.
Top tested rice cooker (budget pick): Tiger JBV-A10U
The Good: Sub-$100 price tag
The Bad: No bells, no whistles (literally)
The Zojirushi makes flawless rice, but it’s expensive. The Tiger, on the other hand, is one of the most affordable micom rice cookers on the market, and while it doesn’t have as many advanced capabilities, it still cooks great rice.
Taste testers picked the rice cooked in the Tiger over several pricier models. A comparative “rice quality” test will only get you so far though—once you hit a certain level of quality it can be tricky to parse just how much better one grain of rice is than another. That’s why a machine’s functionality plays a big role in choosing a winner here. This machine has four settings: plain , brown, synchro, and slow cook/steam. The latter two are specifically designed for cooking more than just rice. Synchro is a setting calibrated for cooking foods in the accompanying basket in addition to rice beneath it, and the steam/slow cook allows you to make recipes you might cook in a traditional slow-cooker.
Its biggest shortcoming is that it lacks any audible alarm to let you know when the cooking cycle is finished. Certainly not the end of the world, but it would be helpful, especially since this model doesn’t provide a countdown either.
Who needs this rice cooker?
The Tiger JBV-A10U is a good rice cooker for people on a budget, home cooks who have never owned a rice cooker before, get overwhelmed by an appliance with too many cooking functions, or people who are short on storage space and want their kitchen appliances to multi-task. The simple functions on this machine make it very approachable and easy-to-use, and the steam and slow-cooker settings helps the Tiger justify the counter space it takes up.
Capacity: 5.5 cups uncooked rice / 1.0 liter
Dimensions: (W x D x H) 10.6×13.9×8.4
Weight: 5.7 lbs
Features: 12-hour keep warm setting, additional cooking/steaming basket, nonstick cooking pot, rice paddle and measuring cup.
Menu settings: Plain rice, brown rice, synchro cooking, slow-cook/steam,
The Pros’ Pick: Zojirushi NYC-36
The Good: Makes so, so much rice
The Bad: Better for restaurants than for homes