Zojirushi Rice Cooker Troubleshooting Tips

zojirushi rice cooker unboxed

One of the best manufacturers of rice cookers in Japan is the Zojirushi company. They offer a wide variety of rice cookers for every kitchen, commercial-style or consumer style. Known for manufacturing high-quality and durable rice cookers, the Zojirushi cooker offers many features other rice cookers don’t.

Rice Cooker Technology Has Improved Over The Years

Over time, rice cooker technology has evolved to include sophisticated electronics and digital phone interfaces. Despite being one of the easiest and most convenient rice cookers on the market today, on occasion, things can go wrong and your beloved rice cooker doesn’t perform exactly as expected.

When this occurs, it’s important to follow the troubleshooting tips provided by Zojirushi but if that information isn’t available, this article is designed to help resolve any problems encountered.

Common Rice Cooker Problems

Most of the time the causes for improperly cooked rice are easy to identify and correct. When there are issues with the cooked rice, it’s important to understand what may be contributing to the problem. Listed below are the most common problems rice cookers can encounter during the cooking cycle:

  • Rice is Too Hard
  • Rice is Too Soft
  • Rice is Half-cooked
  • Rice is burned
  • Water boils over
  • Rice has an odor or is discolored
  • Rice is too dry or too moist

Common Causes for Improperly Cooked Rice

undercooked rice

When the finished rice isn’t cooked properly, there can be several factors to consider. Each factor may be a part of the solution to cooking the rice correctly. When a problem arises, customers are encouraged to perform a thorough inspection of the rice cooker before attempting to perform any troubleshooting activity.

Please review the below-listed possibilities to find the right solution:

 Hard Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Cooked rice not stirred or loosened
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Object on edge of inner pan or lid
  • Lid not closed
  • Inner lid not attached correctly
  • Reset Key pressed during cooking
  • Wrong Menu choice

Soft Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Cooked rice not stirred or loosened
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Wrong Menu choice

Half-cooked Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Wrong Menu choice

Burnt Rice

  • Rice and/or water not measured correctly
  • Object interfering w/ heating plate or center sensor
  • Inner pan or lid bent or deformed
  • Rice not washed before cooking
  • Object on edge of inner pan or lid
  • Wrong Menu choice

Other Troubleshooting Tips

There can be other reasons why the rice cooker isn’t performing correctly, Many times, it has to do with power interruptions to the rice cooker during the cooking cycle or a mechanical issue.

Listed below are the 9 most common problems encountered and the solution(s) for those issues:

  1. Keys do not work – Check to see if the rice cooker is plugged in properly and the inner pan inserted correctly. Also, check if the Keep Warm indicator is lit; if so, press Reset Key and then press Cook/Reheat Key.
  2. Function indicator light is incorrect – Unplug the unit from outlet and re-plug, check for flashing display, then reset timer and time clock.
  3. Reheat function not working – Check to see if Keep Warm mode has been turned off.
  4. Rice cooker makes clicking noises while cooking – Heat adjustments by microcomputer are making this sound, there is no malfunction.
  5. Steam leaks out of Rice cooker lid – Inner lid gasket out of place or cut.
  6. Power failure during cooking – If power failure lasts 10 minutes or less, the rice cooker will re-start the cooking cycle from stopping point once power is restored and continue cooking as normal. If power failure lasts more than 10 minutes, the rice cooker goes to Reset mode and should be re-programmed.
  7. Beeper sounds 4 times while cooking – Rice cooker operating temperature is too high and must be unplugged and allowed to cool down before continuing.
  8. “H04” is displayed on panel – Inner pan is not in place or incorrectly placed on the heating unit.
  9. “E01” or “E02” is displayed on panel – Rice cooker cannot function. Customer service should be contacted.

Maintenance And Upkeep Of Your Zojirushi Rice Cooker

A rice cooker, like all kitchen appliances, requires cleaning and maintenance to stay in peak condition. The use of proper cleaning materials and equipment can help extend the life of your rice cooker for many years. I’ve outlined the following recommended cleaning methods below:

  1. Rice cooker inner lid, pan, and serving spatula – Soak the parts in warm water and then wash off using mild dish detergent or soap and a soft washcloth or sponge.
  2. Outer lid surface and interior body surfaces – Clean using a soft, dampened cloth.
  3. Electrical cord and plug – Wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
  4. Control Panel – Wipe with a soft, dry cloth.
  5. Exterior Surface – Clean using a well-wrung dampened cloth using mild detergent and then dry off with a towel.
  6. Heating Plate and Center Heat Sensor – Clean using a well-wrung dampened cloth using mild detergent and then dry off with a towel. Use caution when clearing any debris or rice per the below instructions.

*Please Note – If grains of rice are found under the heating plate while cleaning, use a bamboo chopstick or plastic knife to remove the debris. Do not use anything metallic as this may damage the heating element or cause rust to form. If the rice has been burned onto the heating plate, lightly polish the surface using a #320 sandpaper soaked in water. Wipe away any remaining debris with a soft, dampened cloth.

Zojirushi Rice Cookers Are Easy To Use

Zojirushi Rice cookers are a product designed, engineered, and built to last for years and years. Even when used multiple times each day, a Zojirushi Rice Cooker will provide tasty, delicious rice every time no matter what recipe is followed. With proper maintenance and care, using a Zojirushi rice cooker will continue to be simple and will perform exactly as desired with every use. Customers should always read the Owner’s Manual thoroughly to get the best results from their rice cooker.

Any customer experiencing problems with their rice cooker should always refer to the Owner’s Manual for the best ways to correct the problem or they can contact Zojirushi Customer Support to get answers to their questions.

📌 Pin it for later reading! 📌

Save this pin to Troubleshooting Kitchen Appliances or Japanese Rice Cookers.

Zojirushi Rice Cooker Troubleshooting Tips

What problems did you have with your Zojirushi Rice Cooker? Write your answer in the comments below.

About Mario 62 Articles
I am the owner of the Kitchen Guru Ideas. I've set up this site so I can share my kitchen tips and hacks that have been passed on to me from my parents and grandparents and show you how a wonderful experience cooking is and not just a way to save money. Even in this hectic lifestyle, there is time to prepare and most important enjoy a home-cooked meal.


  1. Hi, my NP HBC10 worked faithfully for a long time and it just quit one day. I opened up the interior and checked the fuse – it’s not burnt out (i.e. working fine). Ichecked the rest of the electronics and there doesn’t seem to be any other thermal fuses. Any possibilities you can think of?

    • Hello William, sometimes a wire comes loose from the board and soldering it back fixes the problem. Worst case scenario: it reached the end of its lifespan and there’s nothing you can do :(. I hope this isn’t your case. Best of luck, Mario

  2. I forgot to put the inner lid back when I cooked my rice, can I still eat the rice that’s cooked without the inner lid?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.