Zojirushi Blog

Tips to Cook Rice Perfectly

Cook Rice Perfectly in a Zojirushi Rice CookerAt Zojirushi, we test enormous amounts of rice every year to perfect our rice cooking technology. Cooking rice is a true art, and even a couple of minutes over or under can make a huge difference in your rice’s taste and quality. Today, we’ll be diving into the fundamentals of how to cook rice perfectly in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Let’s dive in!

The Basics

Simply put, rice is prepared by boiling or steaming the rice grains in water over an extended period of time. Think of a rice cooker as essentially a precise rice steamer that helps your rice absorb water evenly throughout. Here are a few steps to keep in mind every time you cook your rice:

  1. First, choose what kind of rice you will be cooking. This will help you select the best cooking setting and the water to rice ratio, so your rice is not undercooked or overcooked. Long-grain rice tends to remain separate after cooking, while short and medium-grain rice will tend to stick together more.
  2. Make use of your Zojirushi rice measuring cup. When we are in a hurry, it might seem easier to just eyeball your rice instead of using the rice measuring cup, but this will always make for poorly cooked rice. Measuring the rice is crucial when cooking rice in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Always use the rice measuring cup included since it’s designed to work in conjunction with the water measuring lines in the cooking pan to produce delicious rice. Fill the rice measuring cup to overflow and then level it off.
  3. Wash your rice to remove excess starch, which prevents your rice from becoming gummy. Sometimes, open bags of rice can even be exposed to dust as well, so it’s important to take this step to prepare a clean dish. Because dry rice will start to absorb moisture the moment it comes in contact with water, it’s essential to work quickly when washing so it doesn’t absorb too much starchy water. We recommend washing your rice by rinsing it 3 to 4 times while making 30 circular motions in your pot. Or watch our rice rinsing tutorial!
  4. Zojirushi Video - How to Rinse Rice
  5. Use the right amount of water. Rice comes in all shapes and sizes that require different amounts of water when cooking. Here at Zojirushi, we want to make sure that every batch of rice is cooked to perfection. The cooking pans come with water measuring lines corresponding to each of the settings included in the rice cookers. We recommend always following the water measuring lines for perfectly cooked rice. If you are cooking other grains like wild rice, check out our “Know your Rice” page that has all the information you need to cook other grains in your Zojirushi rice cooker.

With Zojirushi rice cookers, cooking rice is as easy as pressing a button. Our Micom rice cookers are preprogrammed to soak the rice, cook, and steam it so you can enjoy the tastiest rice every single time.

Conventional Rice Cookers

For our friends who use Zojirushi’s conventional rice cookers, don’t fret. You can also have perfectly cooked rice; just follow these two important steps.

  1. Soak your rice. For the best tasting rice, always soak the rice before cooking. By allowing the rice to absorb some of the water before cooking, the texture of the rice will be improved, and you will enjoy more flavorful rice. Before switching the rice cooker to cook, soak white rice for 15 to 30 minutes and brown rice for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Let it steam. Our journey to perfectly cooked rice is not quite over once the switch goes to “Keep Warm.” Let the rice steam for about 10 minutes before opening the lid allowing the rice to finish cooking. Once the 10 minutes have elapsed, fluff the rice and enjoy!

Helpful Rice Cooking Tips

Rice is beautiful and delicious!

  • Once your rice is cooked, always fluff your rice to allow excess steam to escape, preventing excess accumulation of moisture inside.
  • Get the best out of the automatic keep warm feature in your Zojirushi rice cooker. Don’t keep rice over the recommended time (12 hours on most Micom rice cookers). This will ensure that you always enjoy fresh and tasty rice.
  • Refrigerated rice is excellent for making fried rice! Here are some of our fried rice recipes for some inspiration.

Did you learn anything new about how to cook rice perfectly today? Let us know on social media by tagging your photos on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! #Zojirushi #ZoFan

39 thoughts on “Tips to Cook Rice Perfectly

  1. This was perfect timing. Great tutorial. Now, how about the same tutorial for oats.
    I have an older model zojirushi. It gets almost daily use.

  2. Hello, Thanks for the very helpful article! I just got a Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom and am very excited to use it. One question – You recommend soaking the rice for 30minutes in this article but in the manual for my Zojirushi, it says soaking rice is not required and in the FAQ section of this website is says “Micom rice cookers are pre-programmed to soak the rice before cooking”. So should I skip the soaking for my model of Zojirushi? Thanks so much again!

    • Hi Hansel, the NS-TSC10 is a Micom rice cooker that is preprogrammed to automatically soak your rice for you. The rice should only be soaked if you have a conventional or more basic rice cooker. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi David! No, you don’t need to presoak your rice before cooking with the micom rice cookers. All you have to do is make sure that measure the rice and water as recommended and start cooking. The cooking settings already include soaking time so you don’t have to. Hope this helps!

  3. How do I cook my rice so it is not sticky? I rinse the white rice well. I’ve tried Jasmine and other long and medium grain rices and even after it’s refrigerated overnight or spread out on a pan to cool and then cooked or stored overnight it is clumped and sticky. I’ve tried using a bit less water and tried the quick cook option, too without success. What am I doing wrong? Thank you.

    • Hi Diane, rice will usually clump when it cools or is refrigerated. Usually once the rice is added to a hot skillet with oil for frying, it will start to un-clump itself as it’s heated and fried. Now, if the rice is not loose or is excessively sticky and clumpy right after it’s cooked, that can be caused by too much starch left if not rinsed thoroughly. Or if too much water was used. If your rice cooker has water measuring lines for long grain grain, then we suggest following them when cooking. However, if your doesn’t, then please follow the instructions found in our guide for cooking other grain including long grain rice here: https://www.zojirushi.com/grains/

      If you need troubleshooting assistance, our Customer Service Team is always happy to help or answer any questions you may have: https://www.zojirushi.com/app/customer_service/entry

  4. I have the model NP-GBC05 rice cooker. Would you give me the amount of rice and water to cook brown basmati rice? Do I use the brown setting? Is the Brown setting only for brown short grained rice?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Jen, we have not tested brown basmati, or any brown long grain rice. Based on what we hear back from our customers, they will use the recommended rice to water ratio for white basmati rice (1 cup of rice to 1-1/2 cups of water all measured with the rice measuring cup included with the rice cooker) and use the brown rice settings. If they feel it’s too soft they will switch to the white rice setting. Please find all the water to rice ratios of grains that have been tested by us here: https://www.zojirushi.com/grains/npgbc05.html

  5. How do I know how much cooking time is left on my rice? I just got my NS-ZCC10 and it only shows the current time so I have no idea how long it’s going to take. Also what settings do I use for parboiled white rice and parboiled brown rice. Thank you!

    • Hi Dagmar, the rice cooker can take approximately 50 minutes to cook white rice. This time will adjust depending on the amount of rice, water, and the environment’s temperature in order to cook rice to perfection. It will give you a countdown once it gets down to 5 minutes before it finishes cooking. For approximate cooking times you can always refer to page 12 of the manual. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

    • Hi Amanda, we haven’t tested arborio rice in our rice cookers. It typically is used for risotto, which you need to constantly stir while cooking, and the rice cookers aren’t designed to be able to do this technique. It is a short grain rice which the pan already has water measurements for but if cooked like normal rice, it will not turn out like risotto. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  6. I have the Fuzzy, when I use the menu button to select a preset, I can’t select WHITE, the closest I can select is the next one down REG/SUSHI. Is that the same? Was also wondering why it comes with two different measuring cups. A green one and clear one?

    • Hi Dan, the settings under the WHITE label are meant to used with white rice and you can choose any among them. The REG/SUSHI is the regular white rice setting or should be used if you are making sushi rice. The clear cup is your regular rice measuring cup that you will use all the time for all types of rice and grains. The green cup is specifically used for a rinse free rice that has been specially milled. Because of this process it makes it more slippery and measures a little different than regular rice. I hope this answers your questions! Please let us know if you have any more.

  7. Is there a water-to-rice ratio chart that uses dry weight of rice and the weight of water in grams? It would be nice to not have to eyeball lines on the given measuring cup or inside the bowl. It would also allow us to use fractions like 1.33 cups of rice to more accurately make the amount we might prefer to cook. I tend to do all of my cooking with my kitchen scale and it’s so much easier and more repeatable than eyeballing things.

    • Good morning, unfortunately it’s not a straight one-to-one when it comes to the water measure lines. They are adjusted based on the amount cooked, so it may be a lower ratio of water-to-rice when cooking 10 cups of rice, compared to when cooking 1 cup of rice. We apologize for the inconvenience but hope you find the measuring cup and water measure lines useful nonetheless!

  8. My NS-ZCC10 rice cooker skips over the white rice option when scrolling through the menu. What is the best way to cook white rice without the white rice menu option?

    • Hi Bill! The NS-ZCC10 has more than one White Rice menu setting option to select from, so the left side of the screen is all for white rice. You can choose the texture you would like: Soft, Regular, Harder. Or you also have the option to use Quick Cooking. All these settings are for white rice and the very top “White Rice” is just a label for all the options below but it’s not an option where the arrow will directly land on. If you have any questions, please reach out to our customer service team: https://www.zojirushi.com/app/customer_service/entry

  9. my NL-BT05 keep cooking my rice undercook although its have been 60 minutes when i open the rice cooker there is still water inside its like the rice cooker just warm up, not cooking

    • Hi Tuan, thank you for your comment. If your rice cooker is left with water and uncooked rice, then it’s likely that the rice cooker may need to be inspected by a service center. It looks like the NL-BT05 is a Zojirushi Japan rice cooker and unfortunately we are unable to provide any service or support since we are not provided service manuals or parts for models not sold in the US and Canada. We apologize for the inconvenience.

      If you are outside of the America’s, then please reach out to Zojirushi World Wide for further assistance: https://www.zojirushi-world.com/

  10. How can i make the rice doesnt stick together (clump) i need every grain to be seperare from each other. I tried hard mode but it still clump

    • Hello Hossam, our rice cookers are able to cook short/medium grain white rice which tends to be stickier and some of our rice cookers are able to cook long grain white rice which tends to be looser. We have tested different types of rice and grains which need a different water to rice ratio than the water levels on the cooking pan. If you are cooking long grain white rice, then please visit our page for directions on how to cook long grain white rice in your rice cooker: https://www.zojirushi.com/grains/

  11. Hello, I have an older Pressure IH NP-HTC10 model rice cooker that lacks the “Umami” mode. Would soaking the rice in advance achieve the same results?

    If so, would I soak the rice for a specific amount of time and drain the water *before* adding it to the rice maker and adding the appropriate amount water to the fill line as one would normally do after rinsing, or would I simply wash/rinse and immediately add the rice to the cooker as normal and add the water to the fill line, but delay the start time so that it *soaks inside* the cooker?

    To replicate the final results of the Umami Regular setting from a newer model unit would I still select “Regular”, or would I need to change it to “Softer” or “Harder”?

    Thank you kindly for your time.

    • Hi Ty, the Umami setting is a uniquely programmed setting that will adjust the soaking and steaming in order to draw out the sugars from the rice and allow them to reattach to the surface of the rice which enhances the flavor of the rice. Unfortunately, without the setting we wouldn’t be able to provide you with instruction on how to replicate it since we haven’t conducted this type of testing. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  12. Hi,
    I have a Zojirushi NP-HBC10. I’ve lost the measuring cup so I need to use a regular cup. What is the water-to-rice ratio for short/medium grain white rice?

    Also, I’m curious as to why this information is not published anywhere. Even your webpage on Grains conspicuously omits this info. It just tells people to use the cup and markings. Why list this info for long grain rice and other grains but not short/medium rice? Is there a reason why users shouldn’t know this?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi SamNYC, the rice cup measurement is about 6 oz. or 3/4 of a regular 8 oz. cup. The measurement is based on the traditional Japanese way of measuring rice which was done with a masu or a small wooden box. You can use any vessel that can measure this amount. We don’t hide this information, it is included in the manual that you get with your rice cooker. We also readily give the answer to anyone who asks on any of our social media, blog, and if you go to our customer service team. We just recommend that for the best results, the same 6oz measurement is used when measuring the rice and use the water lines for the water. Please let us know if you have any questions!

      • Thanks for the reply but again, what is the rice to water ratio for short/medium grain rice? I want to use my own cup rather than the markings on the pot. Knowing the ratio shows me to use any cup. Thanks.

        • Hello SamNYC, for medium and short grain rice, the ratios vary depending on how much rice you are cooking. We cook tons and tons of rice in each rice cooker to fine tune the cooking flow of each setting and ensure that you get perfect and consistent results when you cook 1 cup or rice to the maximum amount in your rice cooker. This requires a lot of fine tuning and so we recommend using the measuring cup that comes included with the rice cooker (measures 6oz or 3/4 of a regular cup) and the water lines inside the cooking pan. I hope this explains the reasoning behind our recommendations.

          If you need further assistance, do not hesitate reaching out to our Customer Service Team: https://www.zojirushi.com/app/customer_service/entry

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