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

29 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:

      If you need troubleshooting assistance, our Customer Service Team is always happy to help or answer any questions you may have:

  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:

  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:

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