A crossover between a countertop slow cooker, an oven clay pot and a stove top saucepan, the rice cooker is a versatile and reliable appliance created for faster, more convenient food preparation. To assist you in selecting the best Japanese rice cooker, here are some detailed information for you to know.
Different Types of Japanese Rice Cookers
Before figuring out the perfect machine that definitely suits your personal preferences, we gathered some information about the different types of Japanese rice cookers.
Cook-and-Shut-Off Rice Cooker
This type of rice cooker only requires you to switch it on because it automatically shuts off when the rice is done cooking. As the water boils off or when the lid is removed, you will hear the switch pop-up. It is fitted with a plain aluminum cooking pot and a tempered glass or metal lid.
Cook-and-Reduce-Heat Rice Cooker
Also known as the Keep Warmer cooker, it automatically adjusts the heating element to low when the thermostat senses that the water has boiled off and the rice is done. This type of machine will keep the rice warm and for up to four hours before forming a thick crust on the bottom of the pan.
Micro-computerized (MICOM) Rice Cooker
Started in the early 90s, this technology enables the rice cooker to judge and calculate the amount of rice by weight, automatically adjusting the cooking time with the help of a micro-computer chip that is used to control the temperature during the process. It also knows on how to switch from cook to keep warm setting.
Induction Heating (IH) Rice Cooker
This type of rice cooker is designed for sensitive sensor timing and temperature detection. Inside the pot, there is a heat circulation made by the electromagnetic force which makes more accurate cooking, resulting in softer and sweeter rice. This is best used when you’re cooking something at a moderately precise simmer that will take for a long amount of time.
Pressure IH Rice Cooker
This type of rice cooker uses the combination of the power of an electromagnetic wave and pressurized cooking. As the temperature rises inside the jar due to the pressure, it steams the rice outright, creating a fluffier type of rice compared to other rice cookers.
Expert Guide in Selecting the Best Japanese Rice Cooker
With a great variety of Japanese rice cookers in the market, it is difficult to choose and purchase the right product. So, we provide you a simple guide that will help you be a smart consumer who consciously takes things into consideration in searching for the perfect rice cooker.
Before anything else, think and consider carefully about your personal budget. Narrow down your choices with a budget because there are Japanese rice cookers that range from medium to high prices with different types and functions. Focus on what you really need and not just what you want.
Analyze what type of rice cooking you want and need. If you cook only white rice and steam a few vegetables, go for a simpler machine. If you want the full range of timing and cooking capabilities, go for a more elaborate model but consider that you won’t be able to use this type as a steamer. If you do a lot of steaming or create multicomponent steamed meals, search for a model with a huge steamer tray or a set of baskets.
Japanese rice cookers come in various standard sizes: the 3 or 4-cup cookers for small quantities, 5 or 6-cup cookers for medium, and 8, 10 or 14-cup cookers for large quantities. Some rice cookers can hold up to 20 cups for home use. For large families, and small cottage businesses, there are jumbo rice cookers or deluxe rice cookers that can hold a capacity of 15 to 30 cups. If you’re living alone in a small apartment, you just need a compact-sized rice cooker that sits well in your small kitchen
Cooking Options and Control Settings
Some rice cookers are able to prepare steamed vegetables, breakfast oatmeals, cereals, etc. Others can also make breads and cakes. If you want a particular texture to your rice, there are some rice cookers that offer that kind of setting. Think about what kinds of cooking options and control settings you really need.
Materials and Construction
The most common bowl is made of aluminum which is an excellent heat conductor, lightweight and cheaper while others are constructed of stainless steel which is very strong enough to resist corrosion. Materials are important to consider as they contribute with the heating and cooking process of the rice. Look for durable and long-lasting materials.
Not all famous and top brands offer the needs of everyone. Select a legible brand that has been well-known and successful in the market and evaluates if it provides a product that will fully cater to your needs. To name a few, Japan has a wide selection of top brands like Zojirushi, Tiger, Toshiba, and Panasonic.
Best Japanese Rice Cookers For The Money
Zojirushi Pressure IH Rice Cooker and Warmer
Ideal for families who love delicious food and rice to be served right away, this 3-in-1 rice cooker from Zojirushi is engineered with multiple intelligent high technology factors. It is powered by Advanced fuzzy logic technology with AI (Artificial Intelligence) that learns and adjusts the cooking cycle to get perfect results anytime. It has a superior Induction Heating (IH) system that utilizes induction heating principles as it generates a magnetic field to create instant heat within the inner cooking pan. It also features a pressure system that increases the normal boiling point of water to make the cooked rice stay softer over a long period of time.
This is an ultimate multipurpose Japanese rice cooker and so far the most advanced item among other brands. It also consists of an array of options and settings like the umami setting that upgrades the flavor of the rice into much tastier and sweeter. The rest of the settings are steam-reduce, scorched setting, automatic keep warm, extended keep warm, reheat function, etc.
Tiger JAX-S Micom Rice Cooker
Live with serenity by simplifying your household chores with this unique multi-functional rice cooker from Tiger that has a built-in synchro-cooking function called “Tacook” which lets you cook rice and a main dish simultaneously without having the flavors affecting each other. It works with the help of the steam made from cooking rice that enables the dishes on the “Tacook” plate to be cooked, saving you time and serving your loved ones with nutritious meals faster.
Tiger’s Automatic Cooking Logic system actively monitors cooking temperatures, creating the perfect meal with minimal preparation and with just a press of a button. You just cook rice in the inner pot, place tacook cooking plate above and press start. In just a few minutes, two dishes are being cooked at the same time. This rice cooker is part of Tiger’s JAX-S series that gives you the comfort of being able to select any special grain and simply use the multi-grain function to cook other grains besides rice.
Tiger Earthen Pot Pressure IH Jar Rice Cooker
Featuring a premium earthen pot plus the thermal efficiency, this stylish Japanese rice cooker from Tiger makes a sweet, rich, abundant and aromatic rice. With the use of Induction Heating (IH) system, the earthen jar holds and emits IR ray as it utilizes the heat to flow inside the rice slowly, creating a softer rice. Because of the pot, the rice will be cooked more deliciously than others.
After cooking, it uses a pressure system with a high temperature steaming that exceeds up to 200 degrees or more so that you can enjoy and get the excellent, fragrant scorched rice or “Okoge” which tastes amazing. It thoroughly maintains the good taste of the rice. As for the usage, it acquires a motion sensor and touch panel and you can also confirm the operation through the voice guide but only in Japanese.
Panasonic Micom Fuzzy Logic Rice Cooker
For busy people who love convenience and multifunctionality while effortlessly enjoying delicious home-cooked meals, this professionally designed microcomputer-controlled Fuzzy Logic rice cooker from Panasonic is perfect for you. It takes the stirring, hovering, checking, and temperature adjusting right out of food preparations. It features a simple, pre-programmed control panel with four large buttons for selecting up to six menu options: quick cook, steam, white rice, brown rice, porridge or soup.
Thanks to the wide options of rice settings, this rice cooker can cook anything from basmati, jasmine, or arborio rice to hearty wild rice, brown rice or short- or long-grained rice in restaurant-quality perfection. Aside from rice, it expands in cooking quick and healthy steamed vegetables as side dishes to be complemented into your grilled meat. For busy and hectic mornings, just load up the rice cooker with oatmeal, or hot cereals and water or milk for a quick and satisfying breakfast on the go.
Zojirushi Umami Micom Rice Cooker
For tastier and flavor-enhanced rice, this Japanese rice cooker from Zojirushi carries an exclusive Umami setting that soaks and steams the rice longer for a richer flavor. Umami is considered to be the fifth taste which represents savoriness, mostly found from glutamate which is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in meat, cheese, mushrooms, broth and stock.
It also works as a slow cooker with its Slow Cook function, perfect for making soups and other menus. It is powered with micro computerized Fuzzy logic technology or MICOM that provides you maximum ease and comfort as it does all the work for you such as adjusting cooking times and temperatures depending on the type of rice you are cooking and timing the pre-soaking of the raw grains.
Aroma Professional Plus Digital Rice Cooker
This rice cooker from Aroma is exceptionally designed to cook 4 to 20 cups of any variety of rice with specialized functions for both white and brown rice. It has an automatic Keep-Warm function so that you will not need to monitor it once the rice is done. It is a versatile kitchen equipment with the inclusion of a steamer tray that allows you to prepare healthy steaming of meats and vegetables while the rice cooks below. If you’re in a hurry, try the Quick Rice function which cuts cooking time in half.
With the unique options of Slow Cook and Saute-then-Simmer (STS) functions, it remains to be an excellent cooking powerhouse which makes meals rich, tasty, and delicious for families to greatly be satisfied and happy. It also carries a programmable 15-hour delay timer, suitable for families on the go as it can deliver delicious rice ready when it’s needed.
Aroma Simply Stainless Rice Cooker
If you’re tight on a budget and you like a much conventional rice cooker, this very affordable rice cooker from Aroma brings you top quality rice, healthy steamed meals, and delicious one-pot dishes in just a breeze. Made completely of surgical-grade 304 stainless steel, this convenient and compact cooker is perfect for busy parents out there who are busy helping their kids in accomplishing their homeworks, or for ones who just want to relax by reading a book without distractions.
With the simple one-touch design, you can cook delicious and fluffy rice in no time. It has an automatic function that switches to the Keep-Warm setting that is perfect for making oatmeal, jambalaya, soups, and many more foods that you can be creative for.
Comparison of the Best Japanese Rice Cookers
Japanese Rice Cooker
Dimensions and Weight
15.4 x 10.1 x 8.6 in
10.1 x 13.6 x 8.2 in
5.5 cup (uncooked)
10.3 x 12.8 x 8.7 in
10.2 x 13.9 x 7.8 in
15 x 10.1 x 9.2 in
12.2 x 12.1 x 12.2 in
10 cup (uncooked)
20 cup (cooked)
With patent-pending Sauté-Then-Simmer (STS) function
8.2 x 8.1 x 10.3 in
Food becomes a good medicine, especially when it is made with fresh, organic ingredients and cooked in a way to retain its nutrients. When it comes to cooking rice, the concept remains similar.
After finishing up the quest for the best Japanese rice cooker, Zojirushi Pressure IH Rice Cooker and Warmer ranked the best among the rest as it exclusively showcases the newest revolution in rice cooking with 3-in-1 high technology and advanced AI features, providing you the most delicious and healthy rice that you and your family will surely love.
All of these top-rated Japanese rice cookers beautifully express Louis Sullivan’s idea that “form follows function”— pure and uncomplicated home appliances that solve the cooking dilemmas of the many. Try one of these wonderful products that we curated for you to enjoy delectable and hearty homemade meals in great convenience while spending most of the time with your loved ones.