If you want to cook the best sushi rice you need a good rice cooker.
Can’t I Just Use The Stove And a Pan?
The short answer to that question is yes. The problem is that sushi rice is hard enough to make without making it even harder by not having the right tools. In your quest to become at least a competent sushi maker or even better, a very proficient once-or-twice-a-week semi-pro, you will want to shorten the learning curve as much as you can while still not leaving any steps out.
As I stated in this article, it can take an apprentice sushi chef two years to learn how to make the perfect sushi rice. With that in mind you don’t want to make one of the hardest parts of making your own sushi any harder. So with that said let’s just agree that you should invest in the best sushi rice cooker. There are a lot of brands out there so let’s take a quick look at a few.
Where To Start?
There are a lot of brands on the market and you don’t need to spend a fortune to get one that should do the trick. Zojirushi is a brand that you will see quite a lot and for good reason, they make good stuff. To spare you the techie stuff, lets just say that they put a lot of thought into their rice cookers and the proof is in the pudding, I mean rice.
Aroma is another brand that is a bit cheaper depending on the model, it will run you approx. $50-$100 and this is one of the rice cookers I have used for a long time. Cuckoo also makes some nice rice cookers at a price point between Zojirushi and Aroma. Another choice that is also worth mentioning is the Instant Pot.
In the fall of 2019 I had a cousin stay for a few days after a family reunion. He is a long time fireman and he likes to cook. He kept talking about how they loved their Instant Pot at the firehouse. Being the generous soul that he is, two days after he left I came home to an amazon package on the porch, you guessed it.
That was a nice gift and we are just now learning how to properly use it. I have made some amazing sushi rice with the Instant Pot and I have also made some goo. I think that it was more user error than anything. I have yet to perfect the process with the Instant Pot, but I will tell you, when I do it right, the rice comes out amazing. As you start to make your own sushi rice you will come to appreciate when you get the rice “just right.” It is so much easier to work with.
As with any of these rice cookers there is a learning curve to using them correctly so please read all the instructions. The bottom line is, spend as much as you can afford to and you will be able to make great sushi rice. The most important thing once you get the best sushi rice cooker you can afford, is to learn how to use it properly. This may take a little time. I’m not going to go into how to make the perfect sushi rice in this article, but you will find that one on this site as well as a video showing some of the more important steps.
Use It To Make Other Stuff
The nice thing about your new sushi rice cooker is that it can be used for so many other things, after all you can’t have sushi every night, or can you? Anyway, there are a lot of things that your new toy can help you make. For instance, the Zojirushi rice maker has a cake setting, yes you read that right. It can also steam vegetables.
An added bonus to the Instant Pot is that it is a pressure cooker and you can make all kinds of wonderful dishes with it. It comes with a recipe book filled with great ideas. One that caught my eye but I have not tried yet (and my cousin continues to ask why not) is the cheesy buffalo chicken dip recipe. (my cholesterol just bumped 10 points) There is also a setting for soups, broth, stews, and with it being a pressure cooker it gets the job done a lot quicker.
My wife and I also like to cook beans in the Instant Pot because you don’t have to soak them overnight and they come out fantastic.
We started out talking about which is the best sushi rice cooker and kind of ended up taking a little detour, but that’s OK. As you mull over your decision you basically need to ask yourself a few questions: How much can I afford to spend? How good of sushi rice do I want to be able to make? How often do I think that I will use the rice cooker to make other things?
I am confident that you will come up with the right answer for you.
In my case I find myself using my Instant Pot about 2 times a week. Once to make sushi rice of course and then usually to make a brown or wild type of rice to go along with another dinner. I still have yet to really crack the code on my Instant Pot, but I am going to continue to work with it until I can use all of its fun features.
Take your time and narrow it down to two, then look over the reviews for both of them and make an informed decision. I know that you will get a sushi rice cooker that will work great and you will be well on your way to making amazing sushi at home!