Rice Cookers: Ratings of Sources
Cook's Illustrated ranks five rice cookers on quality of the taste, texture and consistency of the cooked rice; ease of use; and cleanup. It picks one overall winner and two other recommended models. Two other models are not recommended.
FineCooking.com tests five top-of-the-line fuzzy-logic rice cookers. Testers cooked long-grain white rice and brown rice. They evaluated the entire pot of rice for evenness in consistency and texture. The Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Steamer was their top pick.
Tim Barribeau rounds up a team of friends and expert Japanese chefs to test five rice cookers at a variety of price points for this in-depth article. They focus on cooking time, consistency of temperature during warming cycles, and a blind taste-test of white rice. Their top pick is the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Deluxe Rice Cooker/Steamer, but they also highly recommend the Zojirushi NS-TSC10.
John Quain and other testers focus on three popular fuzzy logic rice cookers for side-by-side tests of several varieties of rice. Results were based on the opinions of five taste-testers, clarity of instruction manuals, and ease of cleaning. The Zojirushi NS-YAC10 Umami Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer comes out on top.
Biba personally tests a low-end, mid-range, and high-end rice cooker: the Black & Decker RC3303, the Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Rice Cooker/Steamer, and the Zojirushi NP-NVC10. White rice from all the models tastes virtually the same, Biba says, but the Zojirushi turns out the best brown rice.
Amazon.com has hundreds of consumer reviews of virtually every rice cooker sold. Owners rate products on a five-star scale, and some reviews are very detailed. Some people even come back and update their reviews after using the product for a while. There are often tips on how to get the best use out of a product, as well as listings of pros and cons. This is the best source by far for real-world and long-term product usage.
Wayfair.com has fewer reviews than some other retail websites, but there are still several for rice cookers. Products are rated on a five-star scale and reviews can be quite detailed, though most are short. The reviewers' day-to-day experiences give insight on how the product works in the long run and can give good insight into whether it would work in your kitchen and for your lifestyle.
Viewpoints.com has hundreds of reviews on rice cookers and steamers. Owners rate rice cookers on performance, ease of use, ease of cleaning, durability and design using a 5-star scale. Some reviews are lengthy and give advice, based on the reviewer's personal experience. Viewpoints.com posts a score calculated on a 100-point scale.
Walmart.com has hundreds of rice cookers listed on its website with a number of reviews from consumers. Products are rated on a five-star scale and reviews can be quite short or long. The reviewers' day-to-day experiences give insight into how the product works in the long run and whether it would work in your kitchen and for your lifestyle.
This thorough, non-comparative review looks at the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 from several angles: cooking methods, ease of use, and range of features. It does not appear to involve first-hand testing, but does offer a balanced pros and cons section. Chidester recommends the model "if money is no object" but says buyers should be very discerning about their rice.
Shapiro writes from personal experience about the benefits of cooking with the Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18. Although his cooking experience includes working in professional kitchens, he says he cannot cook rice with the precision and competency of the Zojirushi Rice Cooker. There are no other rice cookers mentioned.