You can make all the delicious rice you need in a simple pot on a stovetop, or any source of heat, including a fire. I do it all the time. But an electric rice cooker useful to have and convenient and I use mine all the time. You can turn it on and do other things while it makes rice for you, which is helpful when you’re busy.

If you go shopping for a rice cooker you’ll find American-made rice cookers, Japanese-made, Chinese-made, and Korean-made. The prices can range from $12 to $600 and it can be hard to figure out which to buy.


In Korea everyone used to swear by Zojirushi, but these days the most popular brand is Cuckoo, which is what I use. Mine is also a pressure cooker, so I can use it to make multigrain rice without having to soak any grains, and I can even use it to make ginseng chicken soup. It was expensive but rice is my favorite thing to eat, and I eat it every day, so it was totally worth it: my rice cooker makes delicious rice and delicious soup.

If you go shopping for Cuckoo rice cookers keep in mind that the instructions, buttons, and functions can be written in Korean and the English is not always great. Take a good look at it, and look at the buttons, make sure you can understand how to use it. Mine even speaks to me in Korean! It’s always telling me the progress of the rice cooking lol.

If you don’t make a lot of rice, I would suggest you just make it in a pot, or buy the cheapest rice cooker for now. Rice cookers are becoming more and more popular in the West these days. They can be found in some department stores and almost alwaysin Korean, Chinese, or Japanese grocery stores, and online as well.

Korean rice cooker


  1. John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16 & has 40 comments

    I have a Tiger rice cooker from Japan that I really like. I’ve never made such good rice. At first I thought, “wow.. how can I spend over $100 for a rice cooker?” But now i realize it was well worth it. Prior to that, I used a cheap $20 rice cooker. I cook rice all the time, so I get my money’s worth. There really is a big difference in a nice rice cooker versus a cheap one. Trust me :)

  2. I just bought a Cuckoo Rice Pressure cooker, but haven’t seen any good YouTube videos on cooking with it. I would like a “from start to finish” tutorial, not just a these are the buttons tutorial. Would you consider making a video using the Rice pressure cooker for white rice, mixed rice and possibly a soup recipe using this appliance.

  3. Bobbsie Chicago, IL joined 3/12 & has 1 comment

    Just purchased my Cuckoo HN-1059 F Induction Pressure Rice Cooker
    Wonderful appliance
    But I have questions:
    What setting do I use to steam food?
    What is Nutritious Rice (the cooker has a setting for that
    What is the Multi Cook setting for?

    If someone is familiar with the Induction Pressure Cuckoo cookers I would appreciate your reply
    Thank you

  4. littlez Boca Raton, FL joined 8/11 & has 11 comments

    Oh, my goodness… I have to say I feel like the luckiest person here. I bought my rice cooker at Target for $12.80 American dollars (on sale) plus tax. It has both white and brown rice buttons, and I can steam food in it too. It makes perfect sushi rice! I would imagine that it would work plugged into my European adapter should the need arise (don’t those things have plugs for New Zealand and other countries too?) I trust the adapter with my computer, why not a rice cooker?! They’re not super expensive even when they’re not on sale. If anyone wants one, Let me know!

    Cheryl :)

  5. rv65 joined 5/09 & has 47 comments

    I have seen some Cuchen rice cookers that support European voltage on ebay. The seller is even willing to include an adapter plug as well.

  6. phil joined 4/11 & has 1 comment

    Where can I buy such a Cuckoo rice cooker in Europe?
    I rarely find some, if any then older or larger models.
    But I want to buy a 3/5.5/6 cup model.

    There are a lot of Japanese rice cookers out there, but I heard that Cuckoo is just great and their pricing actually looked reasonable compared to Japanese ones! Or would LiHom (sure more expensive?) be an alternative?
    Didn’t see those anywhere either.

    Thanks in advance!

    • rv65 joined 5/09 & has 47 comments

      Only the westernized multi cookers are only sold in Europe :(. I hope they sell them in the USA. Multi Cookers are like a rice cooker, but without any rice cooking function :(. LiHom and Cuchen make models, but not sure if those are 50Hz capable (Korea uses 220v at 60Hz not 50Hz.) I hope someone in Europe takes notice and starts selling Cuckoo rice cooker not that Robochef that can’t do rice.

  7. snow1081 Australia joined 7/10 & has 2 comments

    Unnee, do you know whether Cuckoo has distributor in Australia? I want to get one from Korea but my parents said it probably won’t work…

    • rv65 joined 5/09 & has 47 comments

      It probably wouldn’t work due to the hz requirement. It uses 220v, but it’s 60 hz not 50 hz, which is what Australia uses. It would work with a powerful transformer.

    • JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

      There is a distributor in Australia and New Zealand – you should try to find who they are and buy it from them because there are some models made to work on Aus/NZ power. I bought mine from a US store and it wouldn’t work here in New Zealand so I ended up having to get a very expensive step down transformer which sits under my bench so the rice cooker will work. It is definitely an option if you want one of the fancier cookers but you should expect it to cost around 1,000 dollars not including the price of the rice cooker and shipping.

    • JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

      Oh – btw, here is an Australian shop online that you can buy a Cuckoo from that will work in Australia:

      It costs $438 excluding GST.

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

        Jamie, thanks a lot for your time and effort to share your experience about your rice cooker. It will be a big help for those who are interested in getting a rice cooker in Aus/NZ.

        ” I bought mine from a US store and it wouldn’t work here in New Zealand so I ended up having to get a very expensive step down transformer which sits under my bench so the rice cooker will work. ” I shouldn’t laugh but a little funny when I imagine your rice cooker sitting under the bench. : )

        • rv65 joined 5/09 & has 47 comments

          That model is a commercial model, which is used for restaurants and other commercial kitchens like Churches.

          Zojirushi rice cookers from are a good enough.

          Cuckoo has finally started selling rice cookers, but they are multi cookers, which aren’t really meant for rice. There is a rice mode, but it has non rice related menus. I guess these cookers are catching on in Europe.

      • gourmetandkitchen Sydney; Australia joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

        Thank you for mentioning our website. We have been dealing with rice cookers for many years now, and we chose to offer Cuckoo rice cookers due to their popularity and great reputation. The machine we import has been modified to suit our market here. It is a restaurant capacity appliance, and would definitely work better if loaded with at least 10-15 cups dry rice. It can cook up to 30 cups in one serve. We also offer some more simple options from China, that are also very reliable, but more suited to budget conscious users. This range covers from 15-55 cup. Finally we also offer Rinnai gas rice cookers from Japan, but they are very commercial and not at all suited for home use. When using rice cookers, be sure to check your power supply if you are sharing power-points with other appliances. electric rice cookers have fairly high power demands, and often they should not be shared with other high powered appliances, in case the circuit becomes overloaded. This can cause failure of the thermal fuse, which is easy to repair, but often annoying.

        • snow1081 Australia joined 7/10 & has 2 comments

          Thank you so much for the help guys!! Appreciate it!!
          I think I might just have to go to a few of the Korean Mart here in Melbourne and get it from them or maybe even order it from them. There’s one model that really catches my eyes…

  8. rv65 joined 5/09 & has 47 comments

    Great rice cooker if you live in Europe. It’s hard to get a good rice cooker in Europe due to the EU regulations. These rice cookers are EU certified and are about 8 cups. They do porridge, braise meats, soup, conjee (juk), and cook rice. The owners have a blog with good recipes but if you’re in the market for a Rice cooker in europe then check this out.

    You can also try where they sell SE Asian Zojirushi rice cookers and Water boilers that can keep the water warm.

    Hope this helps.

    • Yum Asia UK joined 12/09 & has 1 comment

      Thanks rv65 for highlighting our website at The Zojirushi brand of rice cookers which we sell are in fact Japanese (not Chinese or SE Asian). We chose this brand to supply to the UK and Europe because they are the Number One brand in Japan for rice cooker technology and have the reputation of being robust and first class at cooking rice. Japanese companies really know how to make appliances last a long time! Of course, the Zojirushi cookers can be used to cook things other than rice such as cheese cake etc but what they do best is dedicate themselves to cooking all different types of rice perfectly at the touch of a button…or even by a timer.

      Yum Asia

  9. MrsKim Elko, NV joined 3/09 & has 7 comments

    I live far from Korean markets, so when I needed a new rice cooker, I bought a good Sanyo 10 cup rice cooker from for $100 when it was on sale. It got great reviews and I LOVE my rice cooker!

  10. Do you know what retailers sell the Cuckoo rice cooker in Montreal, QC? I am having a difficult time finding the information. Thank-you for your help. Susan

  11. The Cuckoo rice cookers can even make Nu rung ji or even chicken soup. Only the 10 cup models make chicken soup. It’s also possible to make sung nyung. This is on the IH pressure models. Not sure on the other ones.

  12. The Cuckoo 1054 is a nice rice cooker.

  13. i have one of those cuckoo rice cookers and its great the only problem is that it speak in korean. can any one say it i can get it changed to english



  14. Anahita Eastwood& has 1 comment

    i gut a cuckoo rice cookerfor 6 thegold one on top it is the best thing enventead +i bout sinse electericity began i make fantasteek difrent foods rices soops and i make up as i go along as i can not anderestand korian so i realy do not know what it tels me just by experians i have maneged
    i wished some how it would speek to me in english or i could cheng the cheep in it, but i love it could not live without it one minet.had menny difrent ones this one is best ….
    some one needs to tell me how long is it ok to keep foodie rice hot in there befor it is not safe to consium ?

  15. Great, thanks!

  16. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I heard that the brand of the rice cooker is very good, too.

  17. :) I bought the same kind of rice cooker in the picture…the CUCKOO~ I made some delicious Korean beef with the rice cooker. It was so goooood~ you should try it.


    The above website is of the rice cooker that I use now. I guess I haven’t found the right rice cooker for me yet, but this one works wonders. It doesn’t keep the rice warm like rice cookers do, but it serves it purpose :). Thanks Maangchi for everything in your kitchenware page – actually your whole site is awesome!

  19. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    oh, Lu Lu! Thank you very much! It’s getting better.

  20. Hi, Maangchi,

    Thank you for answering me when your wrist is hurt. I just found out! I hope you feel better soon.

  21. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

    I think most rice cookers produced these days are reliable. I would like to buy Cuckoo pressure rice cooker to make mixed rice easily. You should leave your question on the forum to discuss a rice cooker.

  22. Hi, Maangchi,

    What brand of rice cooker do you like? I want to get one that does many things–some of them are combination rice-cooker and pressure-cooker. I can make good rice with just a regular pot, so it’s a waste for me to buy a special cooker if all it does is cook rice. :) There is one they sell at a Korean market in Chicago that is Cuckoo Brand (yay, Korean!), but these fancy machines are so expensive.

  23. my grandma bought this expensive cooker that plays a song when the rice is finished

  24. I have seen rice cookers at Target, too.

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