Best Rice Cookers in 2020: Zojirushi vs Tiger vs Cuckoo

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Which is the better rice cooker brand? Let’s look at Tiger vs Zojirushi vs Cuckoo — three popular brands of rice cookers today.

Looking at cooked rice in an electric rice cooker, available Zojirushi vs Tiger vs Cuckoo brands

Electric rice cookers vs a pot on the stove

Rice compliments that healthy meal you’ve made in your slow cooker, pot on the stovetop, or dish in the oven. It also extends the meal, which has an economical advantage.

Basically what rice needs to cook is simply heat and water. You just need to get the right water to rice ratio and those cooking times, for that perfect rice.

Cooking rice on the stove

Cooking rice in a pot on the stove is preferred by some cooks who have perfected this art or just don’t see the advantage of a separate appliance for cooking rice.

The advantage is that you can adjust the cooking and rest times. You can’t do this with an electric rice cooker once it is running (but you vary the amount of water you add next time, e.g., for sticky rice).

Cooking rice with electric rice cookers

The thing to love about electric rice cookers is that there’s virtually no thinking involved to get that perfectly cooked rice. You just add the required amount of rice and water and ‘push the button’.

Measuring cups come with the cooker, so you easily know the right amount of ingredients to add to the unit. After you add these you simply set and forget.

For those leading busy lives and wanting convenience, a set-and-forget electric rice cooker is magic as you can prepare other parts of the meal or simply enjoy other activities — while confidently cooking perfect rice.

How do electric rice cookers work?

Electric rice cookers start working with a simple push of a button, which triggers the heating of the water and rice that’s been added to the inner pot. Modern sophisticated units reach and retain the right temperature for the cooking process selected from the menu options and automatically switch-off or enter a ‘keep warm’ mode once all the water has been absorbed by the grains (signaled by an inbuilt thermometer that senses a temperature increase).

As I’ve mentioned above and in my article on why a rice cooker burns rice, electric rice cookers have four parts to them. These are the main body, an inner pot, a heating plate or element at the base, and a thermal sensing device with a spring-loaded thermometer.

These are the basics. You’ll find more advanced technologies of induction heating and pressure cooking in some top-of-the-line rice cooker models.

Best rice cookers – What to know

There are plenty of electric rice cookers on the market to choose from. So much so that it can be overwhelming when it comes to selecting the one that’s right for you. They can vary in price from tens to hundreds of dollars, depending on the brand, capacity, the functions they perform, and the extras.

Typical extras that come with electric rice cookers include the following…

  • Measuring cup (some include a rinse-free measuring cup)
  • Rice paddle or spatula and holder (some include non-stick rice spatulas)
  • Steaming basket
  • Instructions with recipes

If you’re just wanting a simple straight-forward rice cooker, consider the Zojirushi NHS-06. Although you won’t have the special grain settings, it comes at a much lower price.

At the end of the day your choice will likely depend on your budget, family size (i.e., the quantity of rice you need to cook), preference for simplicity vs multiple settings ( e.g., oatmeal, UNAMI, or brown-rice settings), and whether you want added features, such as melody notifications and ‘convenience’ designs.

When looking at model numbers, a “P” in the series generally indicates the unit has pressure cooking technology.

Another thing you may want to consider is the bench space and storage area needed for the electric rice cooker. The more sophisticated ones are larger than the conventional rice cookers.

Three leading brands and major competitors in this market are Zojirushi, Tiger, and Cuckoo. I compare and review these three here as a guide to helping you make a sound choice.

Some best sellers – Cuckoo vs Zojirushi vs Tiger

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Which is the best brand of rice cookers?

Fuzzy logic or computerization is in all the brands, Zojirushi, Tiger, and Cuckoo. Which brand of rice cooker is the best?

Zojirushi and Tiger are Japanese multinational manufacturers of electronics including rice cookers. Both have subsidiaries in the US. Cuckoo is a South Korean multinational manufacturing company, founded in 1978, with products sold in the US since 2002.

Let’s explore their electric rice cookers…

Zojirushi electric rice cookers

Zojirushi offers the Micom rice cookers. Micom is short for the microcomputer. What’s good about this feature is that it auto-adjusts the cooking temperature and time. The newer models feature pressure induction heating technology that allows precise heating control and other advantages.

Not sure if you’re looking to bake cakes in a rice cooker, but check out the swag of possible menu settings you might find on a Zojirushi rice cooker:

  • UMAMI Setting
  • GABA Brown Setting
  • Long Grain White Setting
  • Jasmine Setting
  • Quinoa Setting
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal Setting
  • Cake Setting
  • Slow Cook Setting
  • Sushi Rice Setting
  • Porridge Setting
  • Mixed Setting
  • Steam Setting

In their rice cookers, Zojirushi’s design offers convenience. For easy cleaning, their units include an inner pot with a nonstick interior. So you can easily read control setting, they offer an ‘Easy-Read’ high contrast water measurement markings (white on black). Other convenience advantages include a delay timer to schedule cooking and a ‘melody’ notification.

In most models, you have a choice of 5.5 (1 liter) or 10 cups (1.8 liters) of uncooked-rice capacity.

Zojirushi rice cooker comparison

Use the following to quickly compare Zojirushi rice cookers by the brand’s own star rating, the number of cups, brown rice cooking, where made, and the expected price range of five popular models.

Zojirushi rice cooker comparison
Zojirushi rice cooker comparison

Jojirushi 5-star rating rice cooker

Zojirushi rates the NP-NVC10 model, made in Japan, as their 5-star electric rice cooker. Its high ranking stems from taste testing and is attributed to the platinum infused nonstick inner cooking pan that the company claims improves water quality and absorption to give you ‘sweeter’ tasting rice. This model features pressure induction heating (helps with getting the precise temperature) technology, which places it in that high-end price bracket for rice cookers.

Check out real owner reviews and price at Amazon — See details.

Zojirushi conventional rice cooker

Looking for a conventional rice cooker with a simple on/off switch? Then consider the NHS-06, which comes in either 6 or 10 cup capacity models.

This model is made in Thailand. It’s fairly compact if you are short on space as it takes up 0.62 square feet, relatively less bench space than the others.

It has a nonstick pot for easy cleaning and a keep warm setting but no special settings for quick rice, delay starting, or other such functions.

But it is an economical buy…and simple to use.

Check out the real owner reviews and price at Amazon — See details.

Tiger rice cooker review

A worthy design feature of the Tiger electric cookers is tacook – a synchronized cooking feature where you can cook two meals at once.

There are 4-in-1 functions where you can choose rice cooking, synchro-cooking, slow cooking, or steaming. Most models have an automatic warm where once cooking is completed, the automatic keep-warm function kicks in.

You’ll also find an induction heating system in some models.

Other design advantages include a removable upper lid and a non-stick inner pot.

Which Tiger Brand rice cooker is the best?

The chart below shows how 3 popular Tiger units compare in terms of cup size, if it is a brown rice cooker, where made, and expected price range. This includes the tiger JAX-T10U, JBV-A10U, and the JNP-S10U-HU.

tiger rice cookers compared in table
Tiger rice cooker designs compared

Tiger JAX-T10U review

The Tiger JAX-T10U-K has eight grain-settings, with one of these settings making it an ideal brown rice cooker. Not only is it a rice cooker, but a steamer and has quick-rice and keep warm settings.

A delay timer and being able to cook two meals at the same time are some of its features that provide huge advantages of convenience for busy people.

It has a nonstick inner metal pot (which being nonstick you’ll need to take care to avoid scratching the nonstick surface) – so use non-metal utensils rather than metal spoons and definitely avoid sharp knives.

For cleaning, you can remove the lid and steam cap, which is useful. 

At 10.1 by 13.7 inches, it takes up just under one square foot of bench space. So. it’s relatively compact.

It is also Japanese made. Check it out here at Amazon.

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU

If you are worried about bench space, the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU rice cooker takes up just over half a square foot of bench space. It covers the least bench space of all the units covered in this Tiger vs Cuckoo vs Zojirushi review.

Cuckoo electric rice cookers

With Cuckoo rice cookers you’ll find features such as twin pressure, which offers you a choice of using pressure or non-pressure cooking (CRP models).

You’ll find full stainless detachable covers and stainless steel pots in the Cuckoo range of electric rice cookers. They have a simple on/off switch at the base. The energy ‘eye’ sensor senses darkness and switches to an energy saver mode.

A convenience design in these is the automatic steam cleaning to thoroughly and automatically clean the cooker. As well, the Xwall coating makes it dishwasher safe.

The units have a water drainage system to collect and separate water created during cooking.

Cuckoo rice cookers have safety systems incorporated to control heat, pressure, and the functioning of the unit so you can feel confident in using the product.

Electric rice cooker reviews…

Quick compare – Zojirushi vs Tiger vs Cuckoo brand models

#Grain SettingsZOJIRUSHI
– NHS-06 – Simple on/off switch
– NS-LGC05 – 7 settings
– NP-NVC10 – 10+
– JAX-T10U-K – 8 settings
– JBV-A10U – 2
– JNP-S10U-HU – Simple on/off switch
– CR-0632F – 16
– CR-0655F – 16
– CRP-P0609S – 8+
– NHS-06 ✘
– NS-LGC05 ✘
– NP-NVC10: 3 pressure levels
– JAX-T10U-K ✔ + steamer, slow cooker
– JBV-A10U ✔ + steamer, slow cooker
– JNP-S10U-HU ✘
– CR-0632F ✔ + slow cooker
– CR-0655F ✔ + baby food
– CRP-P0609S ✔ + pressure cooker, fermenting, bread making
Quick-rice SettingZOJIRUSHI
– NHS-06 ✘
– NS-LGC05 ✔
– NP-NVC10 ✔
– JAX-T10U-K ✔
– JBV-A10U ✘
– JNP-S10U-HU ✘
– CR-0632F ✔
– CR-0655F: ✔ Turbo setting
CRP-P0609S: ✔ Turbo setting
Keep-warm SettingZOJIRUSHI
– NHS-06 ✔
– NS-LGC05 ✔
– NP-NVC10 ✔
– JAX-T10U-K ✔
– JBV-A10U ✔
– JNP-S10U-HU ✔
– CR-0632F ✔
– CR-0655F ✔
– CRP-P0609S ✔
– NHS-06 ✘
– NS-LGC05 ✔ (x2)
– NP-NVC10 ✔
– JAX-T10U-K
– JBV-A10U ✘
– JNP-S10U-HU ✘
– CR-0632F
– CR-0655F
– CRP-P0609S
Cook 2 Meals SimultaneouslyZOJIRUSHI
– NHS-06 ✘
– NS-LGC05 ✘
– NP-NVC10 ✘
– JAX-T10U-K ✔
– JBV-A10U ✔
– JNP-S10U-HU ✘
– CR-0632F ✘
– CR-0655F ✘
– CRP-P0609S ✘
– NHS-06: nonstick pan
– NS-LGC05: nonstick metal pan
– NP-NVC10: Platinum infused nonstick metal
– JAX-T10U-K: nonstick metal pan
– JBV-A10U: nonstick metal pan
– JNP-S10U-HU: nonstick metal pan
– CR-0632F: nonstick metal pan
– CR-0655F: nonstick metal pan
– CRP-P0609S: nonstick metal pan
– NHS-06: nonstick pot
– NS-LGC05: Removable inner lid
– NP-NVC10: Removable s/steel inner lid
– JAX-T10U-K: removable lid/steam cap
– JBV-A10U: removable inner steam cap
– JNP-S10U-HU: nonstick pot
– CR-0632F: removable inner lid
– CR-0655F: auto steam cleaning
– CRP-P0609S: auto steam cleaning
– NHS-06: 10.1″W x 8.9″L (0.62 sq. ft.) ✔✔
– NS-LGC05XB: 9.1″W x 11.9″L (0.75 sq. ft.)
– NP-NVC10: 10.1″W x 15.4″L (1.08 sq. ft.)
– JAX-T10U-K: 10.1″W x 13.7″L (0.96 sq. ft.)
– JBV-A10U: 10.6″W x 13.9″L (1.02 sq. ft.)
– JNP-S10U-HU: 9.1″W x 8.7″L (0.55 sq. ft.) ✔✔✔
– CR-0632F: 9.25″W x 12.5″L (0.80 sq. ft.)
– CR-0655F: 9.4″W x 13″L (0.85 sq. ft.)
– CRP-P0609S: 11.6″W x 14.2″L (1.14 sq. ft.)
– NHS-06: Thailand
– NS-LGC05: China
– NP-NVC10: Japan
– JAX-T10U-K: Japan
– JBV-A10U: China
– JNP-S10U-HU: Japan
– CR-0632F: South Korea
– CR-0655F: South Korea
– CRP-P0609S: South Korea
* Guide only

Other features

Non essential features offered by some

Induction heating, mobile app, and voice navigation.

Things we don’t want in cooked rice…

Rice that’s squishy and clumpy, too wet, scorched on the bottom, stuck and starchy on the bottom.


Tejal Ras: How To Make Rice |

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