Best rice cooker for sticky rice | Top 4 for evenly cooked glutinous rice

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 2, 2022

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Do you love to cook Asian rice dishes at home?

One of the most popular dishes in Asian cuisine is sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice. This delicious dish can be made with a variety of ingredients, but it’s always cooked to perfection in a rice cooker.

Best rice cooker for sticky rice | Top 4 for evenly cooked glutinous rice

Not all rice cookers are created equal when it comes to making sticky rice. An induction rice cooker like the Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH is the best choice because it cooks the rice evenly and you don’t end up with burnt sticky rice in the pot.

If you’re looking for the best rice cooker for making sticky rice, I’ve got you covered.

In this article, I’ll review the top cookers on the market and help you choose the right one for your kitchen.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sticky rice and how to choose the best rice cooker for perfect results every time.

Best rice cooker for sticky rice Images
Best rice cooker for sticky rice overall: Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction Best rice cooker for sticky rice overall- Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction

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Best budget rice cooker for sticky rice: Hamilton Beach Digital Best budget rice cooker for sticky rice- Hamilton Beach Digital

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Best high tech rice cooker for sticky rice: CUCKOO CRP-HS0657FW Best high tech rice cooker for sticky rice- CUCKOO CRP-HS0657FW

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Best value rice cooker for sticky rice: Tiger JAX-T10U-K Best value rice cooker for sticky rice- Tiger JAX-T10U-K

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Why you need a good rice cooker for sticky rice

Unlike other types of rice, sticky rice requires extra care and attention when cooking.

This is because it contains a higher amount of starch than other varieties, which can make it difficult to cook evenly without getting clumpy or undercooked.

To cook perfect sticky rice every time, you need a good quality rice cooker that can handle the challenges of this type of rice.

Keep reading to learn about the best cookers on the market for making sticky rice.

Buying guide

When it comes to buying a rice cooker, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

Size and capacity

Think about how much sticky rice do you want to be able to make at once? Choose a cooker with a capacity that suits your needs.

Rice cookers come in different sizes. You usually calculate size by the number of uncooked rice cups or cooked rice cups it can cook at once.

If you usually make small amounts of sticky rice, a smaller cooker with 3-4 cups of capacity should be enough.

If you want to cook larger batches or entertain frequently, look for a cooker with at least 5 cups of capacity.

Some Japanese rice cookers also tell you how many liters of rice you can cook at once.

Functionality

Some rice cookers are designed specifically for cooking sticky rice and offer specialized functions to help you get perfect results.

These include options like a “jasmine” function for cooking authentic-tasting jasmine rice or a “porridge” function that helps create extra smooth porridge without any clumps.

But for sticky rice, you need a “glutinous rice” option.

I’ve also researched which rice cookers are best for cooking basmati rice and listed them here

Fuzzy logic

Japanese rice cookers often have a special feature called fuzzy logic (a mathematical algorithm) which helps the cooker adjust the cooking time and temperature automatically for perfect results.

This is especially useful if you’re new to cooking sticky rice and want to take the guesswork out of the process.

Speed

When you’re scrambling to get dinner on the table, having a rice cooker on hand can be a lifesaver. It cooks rice quickly and correctly every time.

Rice takes an average of an hour and a half from start to finish. Because not all rice cookers are efficient, it’s critical to pay attention to how fast it cooks the rice.

In general, most rice cookers cook rice in about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the brand and model.

This is a good speed to be on the lookout for. To avoid wasting time, you don’t want to wait too long for the rice to cook all the way through.

If the rice cooker has a special sticky rice setting, it will take about 20-25 minutes to cook the rice depending on the model.

Induction heating

Another feature to consider is induction heating. Induction heating uses electromagnetic energy to heat the pot directly, rather than using a heating element that surrounds the pot.

This type of heating is more efficient and cooks rice evenly without hotspots. As a result, it’s considered the best type of heating for cooking sticky rice.

These models, on the other hand, can be more expensive, with a price tag of at least $200.

Cooking bowl

Most rice cookers have a stainless steel bowl and nonstick coating. The coating helps prevent sticking and clumping, and the stainless steel is safe for use in the dishwasher, so cleanup will be easier.

Other materials you may find include ceramic or Teflon-coated bowls. These can also work well for sticky rice, but they’re generally not as durable as stainless steel ones.

Keep warm feature

Nearly all rice cookers have a ‘keep warm’ setting which keeps your rice warm after it’s cooked. This is important if you want to save time.

You can also use this feature to keep rice warm while you’re cooking other dishes. This way, everything will be ready to serve at the same time.

The keep-warm setting is usually automatic, but some cookers have a manual switch that you need to turn on.

The average length of time that the rice stays warm is 12-24 hours, depending on the model. This means you can have delicious rice long after it’s done cooking.

Other features to consider include a digital timer that gives you control over how long it cooks and temperature settings for different types of rice.

These all make cooking sticky rice easier by automating the steps required, so you can get perfect results every time.

Be sure to check out this Colorful Filipino Sapin-Sapin sticky-rice cake recipe!

The best rice cookers for making sticky rice reviewed

Now we know what to look for in a proper rice cooker for sticky rice. Let’s dive into the reviews for my favorite cookers and see what makes them so good.

Best rice cooker for sticky rice overall: Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction

Best rice cooker for sticky rice overall- Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH Induction on table

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  • induction
  • size: 5 cups uncooked rice or 10 cups cooked or 1.8 L
  • cooking bowl: non-stick stainless steel
  • fuzzy logic: no
  • sticky rice setting: yes

An induction rice cooker like the Zojirushi NP-HCC18HX is the best for cooking sticky rice because it cooks the rice evenly without hotspots or clumping which is the biggest issue when making sticky rice.

Also, this rice cooker has a dedicated sweet rice setting (another term for sticky rice) so there’s no guesswork involved when cooking. You can get the perfect sticky textured rice each time.

This Japanese rice cooker offers a combination of the best features in one package.

This model comes with induction heating technology, which provides fast and even cooking without hotspots or sticking.

Additionally, it offers controls for automatic adjustment of time and temperature and comes equipped with numerous functions like jasmine rice, porridge, quick-cooking, brown rice, and more so it’s very versatile no matter what type of rice you cook.

The rice cooker is quite large and can make 10 cups of rice at once – perfect for a family-sized meal.

Also, the cooking bowl is made of durable stainless steel material with a nonstick coating so the “sticky” rice won’t end up stuck to the edges and the bowl won’t burn the grains.

Additionally, the design of this rice cooker is great because there are no gaps under the cooking pot so you won’t get any fallen rice or leftovers, and thus it’s easier to clean.

Users who’ve bought this rice cooker are saying that they never end up with burnt or crusty sticky rice and that’s almost unheard of with cheaper rice cookers.

This is probably because of the induction heat technology which prevents uneven cooking.

This Zojirushi induction model is often compared to the Cuckoo induction rice cooker and their cooking performance is almost identical.

I’ll review the Cuckoo a bit later on too since it has more high-tech features.

The only downside is that this rice cooker is quite pricey but it can cook any rice perfectly so it saves you the hassle of using cheap rice cookers that mess up the grains.

Zojirushi is one of Japan’s most popular rice cooker brands and is known for making high-quality, durable, and long-lasting products.

Check the latest prices here

Best budget rice cooker for sticky rice: Hamilton Beach Digital

Best budget rice cooker for sticky rice- Hamilton Beach Digital

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  • size: 4 uncooked rice cups or 8 cups cooked
  • cooking bowl: non-stick stainless steel
  • fuzzy logic: no
  • sticky rice setting: no

You don’t necessarily need to have a special sticky rice setting or use induction heating to make sticky rice. The Hamilton Beach budget-friendly rice cooker proves that!

This model has a 4-cup capacity (which is enough for around 2-3 people) and can cook 8 cups of cooked rice.

It comes with a measuring cup, serving spatula, and steaming basket so you have everything you need to make healthy meals.

What’s great about this rice cooker is that it’s quite good for making sticky rice even though it lacks that specific setting.

Perhaps you won’t end up with the perfectly cooked rice on the first attempt, but using the white rice setting, you can make

It is a programmable rice cooker with a basic digital display which makes it easy to choose your cooking program.

One potential issue is that it has cheaper plastic and rubber seal parts which can get moldy if you don’t wash and dry them properly.

Therefore, I recommend doing a deep clean after each cooking session and it’s best to store the cooker in a dry place.

Most people compare the Hamilton Beach rice cooker to the aroma housewares rice cooker and although they’re similar, I prefer the Hamilton Beach for sticky rice dishes because it has a non-stick stainless steel cooking bowl which is better for sticky rice.

Some users report that the Aroma pot does stick and can ruin the perfect rice.

The Hamilton Beach rice cooker is like an instant pot with a nice stainless steel exterior.

All in all, if you’re looking for an affordable and versatile rice cooker for sticky rice, this Hamilton Beach model might be perfect for you.

Check the latest prices here

Zojirushi induction rice cooker vs budget Hamilton Beach rice cooker

If you’re on a budget, the Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker is a great option.

This affordable model has a 4-cup capacity and comes with all the basic accessories you need to make delicious meals, including a steaming basket and measuring cup.

But, it doesn’t use induction heating technology like the Zojirushi, so you’re not guaranteed the perfect rice each time.

Also, the Hamilton Beach rice cooker has a cheaper stainless steel pot with many plastic components. You’ll need to be careful when washing and drying these parts, or they could get moldy.

Despite the drawbacks, if you’re looking for an affordable option that’s good for making sticky rice, then the Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker is a great choice even though it lacks a dedicated “sticky rice” program.

But, if you want the best rice cooker for sticky rice, with a special “sweet rice” program, the Zojirushi induction cooker is the top choice.

Although this cooker is much more expensive, it’s worth the investment if you enjoy cooking sticky rice often.

There are many rice cookers like the Zojirushi but it’s the best one if your main goal is to prepare sticky rice. It’s quite large and the rice always cooks evenly so there are no burnt bits.

Use your new sticky rice cooker to make delicious Japanese rice balls like onigiri and ohagi

Best high tech rice cooker for sticky rice: CUCKOO CRP-HS0657FW

Best high tech rice cooker for sticky rice- CUCKOO CRP-HS0657FW on table

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  • induction
  • size: 6 uncooked rice cups or 12 cups cooked
  • cooking bowl: non-stick stainless steel
  • fuzzy logic: yes
  • sticky rice setting: yes

The CUCKOO CRP-HS0657FW is a high-tech rice cooker that uses induction heating to cook the rice evenly. Since it uses pressure to cook, it can also cook the rice faster than other rice cookers.

Not only is the Cuckoo induction pressure rice cooker full of modern features but it also cooks the rice very fast.

For example, it only takes 20 minutes to cook regular white rice and it saves energy while doing so. For glutinous rice, it will take about 25.

This model also has a dedicated sweet rice setting so you can get the perfect texture and flavor each time. Unlike cheaper rice cookers that have aluminum pots, this stainless steel one ensures the rice doesn’t stick.

Plus, the pot is quite durable and won’t crack or break.

As well, everyone is raving about how truly nonstick the cooking pot is compared to the cheaper Cuckoo rice cooker models.

This CUCKOO induction model is very similar to the Zojirushi one reviewed above. They both use induction heating to cook the rice evenly without hotspots or clumping.

However, the CUCKOO also has a few more high-tech features like voice navigation.

It also has a smart cooking algorithm that balances the heat with controlled steam for sticky rice that actually turns out like it’s supposed to.

The biggest downside of this cooker is that it’s louder than a regular rice cooker and it can be quite annoying.

But if you’re looking for an easy-to-clean rice cooker that makes life simpler, this Cuckoo induction cooker is an excellent choice.

Most of the components are removable and washable so it’s easy to clean and hygienic.

Check the latest prices here

Best value rice cooker for sticky rice: Tiger JAX-T10U-K

Best value rice cooker for sticky rice- Tiger JAX-T10U-K on table

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  • size: 5.5 cups uncooked or 11 cups cooked
  • cooking bowl: non-stick ceramic coating
  • fuzzy logic: yes
  • sticky rice setting: yes

If you’re looking for a rice cooker that does it all, the Tiger Micom Rice cooker is the one. It can cook all types of rice grains, including sticky rice and other foods.

Since it’s made in Japan, you can expect the same great quality as from other brands like Zojirushi or Panasonic. Except, this rice cooker is cheaper and a good value buy.

Don’t worry, it has a specific glutinous rice program so your cooked rice has that sticky yet soft texture.

The Tiger JAX-T10U-K is a versatile fuzzy logic (Micom) rice cooker with a special Tacook plate.

The reason why this rice cooker is so popular is that it can cook rice and the main dish at the same time as a result of special ‘Tacook’ technology.

The ‘Tacook’ feature is a plate that goes on top of the rice while it’s cooking.

This means you can cook the rice and main dish (meat, fish, or vegetables) at the same time without any flavors mixing.

What’s more, this 5.5 cup cooker comes with a steam basket, and you can also use it as a slow cooker, so it’s really multifunctional.

it’s easily one of the most affordable rice cookers in its class considering the value it provides.

It’s hard to compile a list of the best rice cookers without the Japanese brand Tiger’s product.

These mid-priced cookers are cheaper than Zojirushi and still do a great job cooking sticky rice that doesn’t stick to the ceramic pot.

People like this rice cooker because it has a simple navigation menu and it’s easy to use.

So, if you’re looking for a mid-priced rice cooker that does almost everything, then this Tiger Micom Rice Cooker is an excellent choice.

Check the latest prices here

Best high-tech Cuckoo vs best value Tiger

It’s hard to choose between the best high-tech Cuckoo rice cooker and the best value Tiger rice cooker. Both are excellent cookers that will make perfect sticky rice.

The Cuckoo has more features and is easier to use with its voice navigation and smart cooking algorithm. However, it’s also more expensive and louder than the Tiger.

The Tiger is a great value cooker that doesn’t have as many features but it’s still very easy to use and makes delicious sticky rice. It’s also cheaper than the Cuckoo.

So, if you’re looking for the best rice cooker for sticky rice, it really depends on your budget and what features you really want.

Both of these cookers have nonstick bowls so you don’t need to worry about the sticky rice burning up and sticking to the interior of the pot.

One notable difference to be aware of is that the Cuckoo is an induction cooker whereas the Tiger isn’t. Also, the Cuckoo is just a teeny bit larger but both are suitable for family meals.

If you’re looking for a high-tech rice cooker, then the Cuckoo may be your best bet.

But if you want an affordable and reliable rice cooker without any extra bells and whistles, then the Tiger is a great choice.

How to make sticky rice in a rice cooker

The great thing about sticky rice is that it’s not that hard to make. Cooking rice is easier with a high-quality device.

Here’s how to make sticky rice in a rice cooker:

  1. Rinse sticky rice several times to remove any impurities.
  2. Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Add the rice to your rice cooker and fill with water until it reaches the “fill line”.
  4. Turn on the rice cooker and let it cook according to the instructions for sticky rice. Typically, this will involve setting it to a high temperature and letting it cook for longer than you would with regular rice.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, fluff it gently with a fork to separate the grains and give it a nice, sticky texture.
  6. Serve your sticky rice warm and enjoy!

FAQs

Is sticky rice the same as glutinous rice?

Sticky rice (Oryza sativa glutinosa) is also called sweet rice or glutinous rice and all of these terms refer to the same type of rice grain.

This type of rice is known for its soft, sticky texture and slightly sweet flavor.

It has a larger rice grain and once steamed and cooked, it becomes very shiny and almost translucent with a super sticky texture.

Does glutinous rice contain gluten?

No, the name is misleading. Glutinous rice is not known for its high gluten content.

In contrast to other root vegetables, glutinous rice only has one starch component, amylose, rather than the two.

Glutinous rice contains only a trace amount of amylose in the form of amylopectin, which is a byproduct of the fermentation process.

This type of starch is responsible for the rice’s stickiness and flavor.

Why induction rice cookers are better?

The main reason why induction rice cookers are better is that they cook rice evenly.

With regular rice cookers, there can be hotspots where the rice gets overcooked or burnt. But with induction cookers, the heat is distributed evenly so there are no hotspots.

As well, induction rice cookers often have a special “sticky rice” setting which cooks the rice at a lower temperature so it doesn’t get overcooked.

Many basic rice cookers lack a dedicated “sticky rice” program.

Another reason to choose an induction rice cooker over a regular one is that they are more energy-efficient.

Induction cookers use less power than other types of rice cookers, which saves you money on your electricity bill.

So if you’re looking for the best way to make sticky rice, look for an induction rice cooker.

How long does it take to cook sticky rice?

My recommendation is to check your rice cooker’s instructions before using it, as each has a different time setting.

In a rice cooker, sticky rice typically cooks for about 15 to 20 minutes. In comparison to cooking it on the stove, this method takes only 10 minutes!

I explain how to cook perfect rice for sushi on the stove in a rice pan here.

Takeaway

When choosing a rice cooker for sticky rice, it’s best to skip the conventional rice cookers and instead use an induction rice cooker like the Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH or an Instant pot type of cooker like the Hamilton Beach.

Both of these devices can cook sticky rice perfectly without burning it or overcooking it.

Just keep in mind that cooking sticky rice is different than white rice or long-grain rice, for example, because it has a different texture.

As a result, you’ll need to use less water and cook it for a shorter amount of time.

Follow the instructions that come with your cooker, and you’ll be able to enjoy delicious, sticky rice in no time!

Now it’s time for dessert! Here’s a yummy Filipino Sweet Ginataang Monggo Dessert Recipe that calls for sticky rice

Ever had trouble finding Japanese recipes that were easy to make?

We now have "cooking Japanese with ease", our full recipe book and video course with step-by-step tutorials on your favorite recipes.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.