Update, Nov. 24: The price of my gigantic rice cooker has been knocked down to $188 -- just in time for Black Friday -- and I really want everyone to know about that. The rest of my love letter to the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy is below.
There's a lot of jasmine rice in my diet, which might not be clean eating or great for my macros but definitely adds a delicious serving of carbohydrate to many of my meals. The sheer amount of rice my household goes through means we outsource nearly all the grain cooking to a rice cooker. So when it came time to buy one, there was only one product we considered: Zojirushi's 10-cup Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker.
Except... I never bought this rice cooker. It was a wedding registry gift from my mom, and easily one of the best ones my husband and I received. And as someone who received this as a present, I recommend it to anyone who's thinking about a gift for the rice fanatic in their life or looking to score a lifetime dinner invitation.
Why it's a great gift: This rice cooker has the honor of being both versatile and easy to use; you're never more than a few buttons away from delicious food. Making rice? Add the white, brown or semi-brown rice, add water and hit go. If that seems too simple, you can make it more complex: Harder rice? Softer rice? Are you actually making a mixed-rice dish? (Shout-out to Spanish rice, which comes out perfectly.) Porridge? Flan? Yeah, the Neuro Fuzzy can take care of it, and whatever you're making will reliably come out in the consistency you want.
The Neuro Fuzzy has a permanent spot on my countertop, in spite of it being, well, a bit of a chonker. But if you want to hide it away, it's portable. (There's a handle!) This rice cooker also plays a little tune every time you hit the cook button, and there's a matching tune that plays when the dish is done. It's Pavlovian: I can't hear Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star without getting hungry now.
The lid is attached, so you don't have to worry about removing it for cleaning. That said, cleanup is probably the hardest part of this rice cooker's regular maintenance. The steamer dish needs frequent wipe-downs, the removable bowl should be cleaned between every use, and the appliance's hinges can get clogged with cracked or dried grains.
What you'll pay: If you eat a lot of rice, you know that Zojirushi is a household name, and that reliable quality and craftsmanship has a price tag to match. This Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker usually retails for around $210, and sales are generally few and far between.
If the 10-cup model sounds like too much rice (it's not, trust me), the 5.5-cup version of this exact same cooker made CNET's list of best rice cookers. But note that it's inexplicably more expensive ($224) than its bigger sibling at the time of writing.
🎁 More 84 Days of Holiday
⬅️ Day 40: Make Any Outing a Party With This Stylish Bluetooth Speaker
➡️ Day 42: Give the Busy People on Your List the Gift of Home Cooking