Best Rice Cookers in 2020: Zojirushi vs Tiger vs Cuckoo

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

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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.

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.

Some cooks, however, prefer cooking rice in a pot on the stove. 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 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.

However, for those leading busy lives and wanting convenience, a set-and-forget electric rice cooker is satisfying as you are free to prepare other parts of the meal or simply enjoy other activities — while confidently cooking perfect rice.

How do electric rice cookers work?

Pushing the start button on the outside of the main body of the rice cooker starts the cooking process. It triggers the heating element to heat the water you’ve added to the inner pot so that the rice grains (or other grains in the inner pot) absorb the water. The unit retains a stable temperature until cooking is complete. Once all the water is taken up by the grains, the thermometer senses a temperature increase and this signals the cooker to either switch-off or enter a ‘keep warm’ mode.

As I’ve mentioned, 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

Your choice will most likely depend on your budget, family size (i.e., 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 – Zojirushi vs Tiger vs Cuckoo

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.

NP-NVC10***5 star**5.5 cups*Brown/GABAMade in Japan$350–$500# 
NP-GBC054 star**3 cups*Brown/GABAMade in Japan$192–$280# 
NS-TSC10***3 star**5.5 cups*Brown riceMade in China$135–$190# 
NS-ZCC10***3 star**5.5 cups*Brown rice Made in Japan$115–$190#
NS-LGC053 star**3 cups*Brown/GABAMade in China$120–$195#
These all have a delay timer, keep warm, and quick-cooking settings.
*** 10 cup also available
**Brand’s own star rating for deliciousness
*uncooked rice
#Guide only. Price range taken from across 5 leading online stores.

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.

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

Tiger electric rice cookers

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 rice cooker is the best?


Comparison chart – Tiger rice cookers

JAX-T10U-K*** 5.5 cups*Brown riceMade in Japan$130–$200# 
JBV-A10U***5.5 cups*Brown riceMade in China$70–$100# 
JNP-S10U-HU***5.5 cups*Simple on/off switchMade in Japan$120–$190# 
All have keep warm and synchro-cooking settings.
*** 10 cup also available
*uncooked rice
#Guide only. Price range is taken from across 5 leading online stores.

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
NP-NVC10 – 10+
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K – 8
JBV-A10U – 2
JNP-S10U-HU – Simple on/off switch
CUCKOO
CR-0632F – 16
CR-0655F – 16
CRP-P0609S – 8+
MultifunctionZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06 ✘
NS-LGC05 ✘
NP-NVC10: 3 pressure levels
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K ✔ + steamer, slow cooker
JBV-A10U ✔ + steamer, slow cooker
JNP-S10U-HU ✘
CUCKOO
CR-0632F ✔ + slow cooker
CR-0655F ✔ + baby food
CRP-P0609S ✔ + pressure cooker, fermenting, bread making
Quick-rice SettingZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06 ✘
NS-LGC05 ✔
NP-NVC10 ✔
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K ✔
JBV-A10U ✘
JNP-S10U-HU ✘
CUCKOO
CR-0632F ✔
CR-0655F: ✔ Turbo setting
CRP-P0609S: ✔ Turbo setting
Keep-warm SettingZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06 ✔
NS-LGC05 ✔
NP-NVC10 ✔
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K ✔
JBV-A10U ✔
JNP-S10U-HU ✔
CUCKOO
CR-0632F ✔
CR-0655F ✔
CRP-P0609S ✔
Delay TimerZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06 ✘
NS-LGC05 ✔ (x2)
NP-NVC10 ✔
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K
JBV-A10U ✘
JNP-S10U-HU ✘
CUCKOO
CR-0632F
CR-0655F
CRP-P0609S
Cook 2 Meals SimultaneouslyZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06 ✘
NS-LGC05 ✘
NP-NVC10 ✘
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K ✔
JBV-A10U ✔
JNP-S10U-HU ✘
CUCKOO
CR-0632F ✘
CR-0655F ✘
CRP-P0609S ✘
Inner PotZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06: nonstick pan
NS-LGC05: nonstick metal pan
NP-NVC10: Platinum infused nonstick metal
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K: nonstick metal pan
JBV-A10U: nonstick metal pan
JNP-S10U-HU: nonstick metal pan
CUCKOO
CR-0632F: nonstick metal pan
CR-0655F: nonstick metal pan
CRP-P0609S: nonstick metal pan
CleaningZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06: nonstick pot
NS-LGC05: Removable inner lid
NP-NVC10: Removable s/steel inner lid
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K: removable lid/steam cap
JBV-A10U: removable inner steam cap
JNP-S10U-HU: nonstick pot
CUCKOO
CR-0632F: removable inner lid
CR-0655F: auto steam cleaning
CRP-P0609S: auto steam cleaning
Bench SpaceZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06: 10-1/8 W x 8-7/8 L x 8-7/8″
NS-LGC05XB: 9-1/8″W x 11-7/8″L x 7-1/2″
NP-NVC10: 10-1/8″ x 15-3/8″ x 8-5/8″
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K: 10.1″ W x 13.7″ L x 8.2″
JBV-A10U: W10.6 x D13.9 x H8.4
JNP-S10U-HU: W9.1 x D8.7 x H8.8
CUCKOO
CR-0632F: unspecified
CR-0655F: 13 x 9.4 x 8.6″
CRP-P0609S: 14.2 x 11.6 x 10.1″
Where MadeZOJIRUSHI
NHS-06: Thailand
NS-LGC05: China
NP-NVC10: Japan
TIGER
JAX-T10U-K: Japan
JBV-A10U: China
JNP-S10U-HU: Japan
CUCKOO
CR-0632F: South Korea
CR-0655F: South Korea
CRP-P0609S: South Korea

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.

Sources

Tejal Ras: How To Make Rice |

Crystal Hodge

Hi, This is Crystal Hodge, a believer in healthy eating starting with the cooking. I'm an outdoor-loving mom and I love helping people make informed choices about healthy cookware. I'm a wholesome living wannabe. All I wanna do is: Live. Love. Cook. Healthily!

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