The Ultimate Shopping Guide For The Best Japanese Rice Cooker
Rice cookers are an inspired solution to cooking rice quickly and conveniently. They are a great appliance for beginner cooks and experts alike, as they take the guesswork out of cooking rice and let you cook large amounts of rice in no time.
Many rice cookers double as steamers as well. This means investing in a rice cooker is actually a fairly good deal since you’ll be able to cook many other dishes like porridge, soups, and stews as well. Read our guide for shopping the best Japanese rice cooker to get your hands on this amazing appliance today.
Why Use A Rice Cooker?
A rice cooker is an amazing appliance that lets you cook rice swiftly and with little effort. All you have to do is putting rice and water in the cooker and set the time, and the machine will do the rest for you. Here are some of the benefits of using a rice cooker:
- A rice cooker gives you consistent results. Unlike stovetop or microwave cooking where cooking rice depends on a number of factors including your own cooking expertise, rice cookers are machines designed to produce similar results. This means you get perfect rice every time.
- They offer you no-fuss cooking, as most cookers come packed with cooking manuals, measuring cups, and spatulas.
- Rice cookers are really versatile, they let you steam, sauté, and slow cook many other food items as well.
- They don’t just cook rice but heat it up and keep it warm for you as well. Many cookers also have delay cooking features.
- Rice cookers are available in different sizes, shapes, and colors, which means you can choose the one that suits your needs.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Rice Cooker
The sheer variety of rice cookers in the market is enough to confuse you as to which cooker is the best one for you. So, before heading to the market, make a list of all the things you want in the perfect rice cooker. This will help you navigate through the clutter and look for specific models. Here is a list of things you should consider:
- Define your need
- Choose the size
- List down the features
- Determine the convenience level
- Set your Budget
The first thing you have to ascertain is the purpose you need the rice cooker for. Do you want to cook brown rice or white rice? What will be the frequency of use? Do you want to just cook rice or want to cook some other things as well? These questions will help you understand the kind of cooker you need.
The second important thing to consider is the size of the cooker. Bear in mind that bigger sizes cost more. Also, some big sized rice cookers aren’t capable of cooking small quantities of rice. So choose the size wisely.
Now that you have the size of the cooker down, the next thing you need to think about is the features. Rice cookers come packed with all kinds of features like steaming, baking, keeping warm, automatic shut-off, adjustable temperature, and more. Make a list of the basic features you want and then add on some additional features you will like in the cooker. Just remember that rice cookers that offer a lot of extra features are more expensive and more complex to use.
Rice cookers are meant to be no-fuss appliances that are easy to use. But some of the advanced rice cookers come packed with features that are aimed at expert cooks or people who like to experiment with their food. When choosing a rice cooker, be sure to check if it comes with an instructions manual and if the manual is easy to understand.
Simple rice cookers are generally available for under $100. While the more advanced ones can retail for up to a thousand dollars. While the price is important, don’t compromise on quality or features for a cheaper product, as that will cost you more in the long run.
See how you can use a rice cooker to make so many dishes.
Top 5 Japanese Rice Cookers
Japanese rice cookers are some of the best in the market. They offer both a quality product and a reliable one. We used some of the best Japanese rice cookers available and reviewed them for you so that you can make an educated buying decision. Here are the details:
When it comes to rice cookers, Zojirushi is one of Japan’s leading brands in the market. It offers a variety of rice cookers of various capacities and features. We picked this model because it does what it promised and is the most compact rice cooker we have come across.
Though not the cheapest rice cooker out there, we do like that this rice cooker is compact and can be used to cook sushi, brown rice, and porridge as well.
- Can hold three cups of uncooked rice and six cups of cooked rice
- Stainless steel body
- Comes in white and black colors
- Includes a detachable lid, retractable chord, measuring cup, spatula, and spatula holder
- This rice cooker cooks rice evenly and produces consistent results with all types of rice
- It has a ‘keep warm’ setting that automatically reduces the heat when the rice is cooked to keep it warm for hours
- You can manually put in the cooking time or choose one of the cooking options on the control panel. It also has ‘fuzzy logic’ that automatically adjusts cooking time
- The rice cooker is really compact, perfect for a small kitchen. Also, has a handle that comes in handy if you want to move the cooker
- The detachable lid makes it easy to clean the cooker
- The measuring cup included with the cooker is smaller than the standard 8 oz. US cup which means it doesn’t hold a lot of rice
- The clock settings are in military time and the manual is poorly translated
- The cooker doesn’t come with rubber feet so it’s slippery. Its coating material is also prone to scratching
- For a pretty basic model (it doesn’t have any advanced features like umami
Aroma is another very famous brand in the rice cooker world. It is famous for making good quality rice cookers that are available at incredibly affordable prices. The ARC-914SBD keeps up the Aroma tradition in being a compact, quick, and affordable rice cooker that is perfect for any kitchen.
This rice cooker is packed with a number of exciting features and comes with a lot of accessories including a measuring cup, a spatula, a steam tray, some recipes, and even coupons.
- Holds four cups of uncooked rice and eight cups of cooked rice
- Available in black and white colors
- It has a delay timer and a keep warm function
- The rice cooker cooks both brown and white rice beautifully and provides consistent results
- The cooker has various cooking functions that are easy to use. Also, it comes with a variety of useful accessories
- It has a steaming option which makes for some cooking versatility
- It is a really affordable rice cooker
- The detachable lid makes it easy to clean the cooker
- This rice cooker also has a smaller sized cup, so you aren’t actually getting the full four or eight cups of rice
- Though this cooker has a detachable lid, it isn’t very easy to clean. Plus, it has no handle so moving it is also a problem
- This isn’t the most durable rice cooker
Instant Pot is one of the best brands in the pressure cooker industry. The IP-DUO60 boasts to be a 7-in-1 pressure cooker that lets you cook rice, steam, sauté, and slow cook food, and even make yogurt.
While it may not perform all these functions well, this pressure cooker does make good rice. Its fully automatic features allow you to make many dishes hands-free.
- The cooker is made from stainless steel
- It is available in 5,6, and 8 quarts
- It has 14 Microprocessor controlled programs
- This pressure cooker offers you the chance to fully customize your meals at the push of a button. With 14 microprocessor controlled programs you can make rice in many different ways
- Since this cooker is fully automatic and pre-programmed, you get a hands- and stress-free cooking experience
- The pressure cooker feature reduces the time it takes to cook rice
- The cooker base is dishwasher friendly
- This isn’t a small cooker, it actually takes up a lot of space and isn’t available in a size smaller than 6 quarts
- This cooker has a bit of a learning curve. You need to follow the instructions to the tee to make sure you get consistent results
- Because the cooker base is made of stainless steel, the rice has a great chance of sticking to the base
- The time calculations mentioned in the manual are a bit off, so you have to rely on trial and error to get the right time
Tiger is a Japanese brand that is synonymous with quality. It makes rice cookers that offer great functionality at a reasonable cost. The JAX-T10U-K is a sleek and chic looking rice cooker that looks as good as it functions.
It is oblong shaped which means it takes less space and it can actually cook two dishes at the same time. It is also made in Japan, which means it is a high-quality product.
- The cooker is available in 5 cup and 10 cup sizes
- It has a black and silver body
- It comes with a cookbook and a cooking plate
- It has 10 computerized cooking settings
- This cooker is perfect for cooking all kinds of rice and it features many cooking settings so it has a pretty fuss-free system
- It has a slow cook mode and a quick cook one, both work wonderfully
- You can adjust the cooking times while cooking rice and other dishes as well
- This has detachable pieces which make for easy cleaning
- It is Japanese made and comes with a warranty
- It doesn’t come with a retractable chord
- It is only available in two sizes
SR-G06FG continues that legacy by being a rice cooker that is quick and reliable.
This rice cooker comes with a glass lid so you can see the rice cooking inside. It also has a non-stick base which means you don’t have to worry about any rice sticking at the bottom.
- It can make up to 3 cups of uncooked rice
- Comes in white and silver
- Includes a measuring cup, a rice scoop, and a multilingual instructions manual
- This cooker has very straight-forward settings and is simple to use
- This cooker is really fast and gives consistent results. It is also easy to clean
- The non-stick base is ideal for cooking rice
- It has an automatic shut-off feature
- This cooker is only compatible with white rice
- It doesn’t come with a steamer
- There aren’t any warming options or extra features
- You can only use the measuring cup provided with the cooker
Our Top Pick
We like using rice cookers because they are fast and convenient. But they can be a hassle if you pick a model that is less than perfect. Though all the products mentioned above performed well, the one rice cooker that stands out from the rest is the Tiger JAX-T10U-K Micom Rice Cooker.
We love this rice cooker because it offers the best cooking experience and is very easy to use. It cooks amazing rice every time. It is fast and fuss-free. It is also easy to clean and you can cook some other dishes with this as well. The best thing about this cooker is that it is Japan made, which means it is a high-quality product.
Do you agree with our top pick? Let us know in the comments section below and also share your thoughts.