Top 5 Best Japanese Rice Cooker – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews 2018
Are you looking for the best Japanese rice cooker that can help you cook perfect rice for delicious meals? Are you tired of burning your rice every time you try to cook it? Do you want to cook rice and warm up the leftovers from the last night at the same time and in the same unit?
If so, a Japanese rice cooker is what you need. There is a variety of models coming from different brands on the market recently. We researched many of them, and today we’re proud to share with you the list of 5 best Japanese rice cookers. Let’s check it out!
Why Should You Invest in a Japanese Rice Cooker?
Avoid Burning Rice
If you’ve never cooked rice before or you’re simply not good at cooking rice, you might meet with difficulties that your rice is over-cooked leading to burning. A Japanese rice cooker can help you eliminate this trouble since it’s specifically programmed to turn off its operation or switch from the cooking mode to the warming mode automatically when the rice is well cooked.
Schedule Cooking Time
Many high-tech Japanese rice cookers feature a timer that enables you to set the cooking time or delay the starting time. As a result, you can schedule your food without having to monitor the machine while it’s working. Of course, you’ll have to prepare the raw rice in the pot with a proper rice-to-water ratio and install it in the cooker before selecting any option.
Keep Meals Warm
In case you’ve completed the cooking, but your husband and kids have not gone home yet, you can utilize the keeping-warm function of your rice cooker to keep the meal warm until the whole family fully gathered. Not only is this extra feature helpful when dealing with rice, but it’s also great for other foods, such as meat, fishes, eggs, etc.
Reheat Food Leftovers
In spite of being quite similar to the previous benefit, this one is better in terms of saving both time and electric consumption. Many Japanese rice cookers include a stream tray as purchasing. When you want to preheat the leftovers from the last night, simply put them into the tray, then place this tray in the cooker (above the rice) and let the heat warm up the food evenly. Another benefit is that you don’t need a microwave anymore.
How to Pick the Best Japanese Rice Cooker
It’s necessary to spend some time to think about how much rice you plan to cook at once with a rice cooker before buying it. Pots of rice cookers are various in size. Some are as little as 1 cup of capacity, which is enough for a single serving. But many are bigger which can reach to 10 cups to serve full-on parties. Keep in mind that a Japanese cup equals 6 ounces, so it’s not the same as a US cup which is 8 ounces.
Depending on how long the rice is cooked, which temperature it’s cooked at or how much water you add into the pot, the product will be different in softness and flavor. For example, porridge rice requires lots of water, while white rice does not. A Japanese rice cooker will be much more versatile if it offers you many pre-programmed modes of rice cooking. Each time you cook your rice, just select the one you want and let the machine do the rest.
As I mentioned above, in many cases, you want to schedule the meals. A timer offers you the best way to do that. You simply select a starting time or set the delay time to the point that you want the machine to automatically start working. For example, set it in the early morning before going to work and enjoy your lunch with the rice that is already cooked as you arrive at home.
Owning a rice cooker equipped with a keeping-warm mode helps you preserve the flavor and aroma of your food. This way, you also save the money paying for electricity because as the cooker is operating in this mode, it releases less heat, and thus, uses less energy. Many cookers enable this mode automatically, but some need one more step of manual manipulation from the users.
Even though Japanese rice cookers are designed to cook rice without being overcooked, they still need a non-stick pot to make sure nothing can burn the rice. Another benefit is that you can diminish both effort and time spending on cleaning because the non-stick layer helps to reduce the stains. Among non-stick materials used in the cookware industry, aluminum is possibly the most common and effective choice.
For a quick look at a Japanese rice cooker, you can check this video:
Our Top 5 Japanese Rice Cooker Reviews
#1. Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
In spite of the small capacity of 3 cups (uncooked rice), this Zojirushi’s rice cooker is a great choice thanks to many innovative features.
There are 5 rice cooking modes that you can find in this cooker. These modes include Quick Cooking, White/Mixed Rice, Brown Rice, Sushi Rice and Porridge Rice. Each one has its own preheating time, cooking time and heat. As one of them is opted, the machine will adjust these parameters in an automatic way to help you get the best result.
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Besides, there is a delay timer button which allows you to delay the starting time. All of the information are displayed clearly and fully in an intuitive LCD screen. And all of the buttons are well arranged in a neat control panel. Also, a keeping-warm mode is also included.
The manufacturer uses stainless steel to make of the cooker’s exterior, including a pot and an inner lid. While the pot is designed with measuring lines showing the precise amount of water, the lid is removable for straightforward releasing and quick cleaning.
One more thing about this cooker that I really appreciate is the retractable power cord allowing you to adjust the right length or shorten the length to minimal when not in use. Many products out there don’t have this useful feature.
- Includes a rice measuring cup, a nonstick scoop and a scoop holder
- Compact footprint for saving the kitchen space
- Sold with 2 color choices (black and stainless steel)
- Has 5 different cooking modes
- The non-stick layer is scratched after several years of use
- The lid cannot open fully
- It’s quite expensive in comparison with other models.
#2. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Although this cooker has a very affordable price, it’s a high-quality product with 4 different cooking modes, including White Rice, Brown Rice, Keep Warm and Steam. So, it’s sufficient for daily family meals.
As purchasing, you’ll receive a stream tray which allows you to warm or even cook other foods together with the rice quickly and tastily. Simply select the steam mode and let the machine do the rest.
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Another cool feature of this cooker is its digital control panel that looks very nice and neat. It’s also easy to operate as well. All the buttons are well-designed. The timer can be set up to 15 hours of delay. When your rice is cooked through, the cooker will switch to the keeping warm mode on an autopilot instead of waiting for you to change the mode manually.
The pot is 4 cups in capacity (uncooked rice), and I think this size is enough for most families. In addition, since it’s dishwasher safe, you can save a lot of time in cleaning.
- Includes a serving scoop, a rice measuring cup and a steam tray
- 15-hour delay timer
- Steaming mode for cooking both rice and other food at once
- Very affordable price
- The materials are not as sturdy as other rice cookers.
- The coating steel can be scratched a little bit after a year of use.
#3. Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
Simplicity is what makes me impressed about his cooker. In spite of having only one cooking mode, it still deserves to be on the list of best Japanese rice cookers thanks to the low price and ease of use.
The control panel simply includes a button and a LED light. There is no LCD or digital elements to struggle. You also don’t have any timer to select because the machine will automatically shut off when it recognizes that the rice has been cooked through.
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Another convenient feature is the see-through lid which made of high heat-resistant glass. Since it’s transparent, you can monitor your food from the outside with a glance of the eyes. No need to open the lid and no more hot steam released to your face.
Simplicity also comes from the design. In particular, the cooker looks very sleek. It only weighs 2.2 lbs. Instead of using a fold-down handle like most Japanese rice cookers, this one is equipped with a couple of side handles, which makes the overall structure more neat and compact.
- Includes a rice measuring cup and a rice spatula
- Extremely simple to use with only one step
- See-through glass lid allowing instant monitoring
- Recommended for small kitchens due to the compact footprint
- Has one rice cooking mode only
- Not good to cook brown rice
- The side handles require two-hand operation
#4. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Like the first product, this one also comes from the manufacturer Zojirushi. The main difference is that it has up to 9 rice cooking modes, including Quick Cooking, White Rice, Semi-Brown Rice, Brown Rice, Mixed Rice, Rinse-Free, Porridge, Keep Warm and Preheat. Besides, the larger capacity of 5.5 cups (uncooked rice) is another great advantage.
Thanks to the Neuro Fuzzy logic technology, you can cook your rice in the most reliable way. The unit smartly and automatically adjusts the proper cooking time and temperature to make sure that there will be no wet or hard rice.
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The control panel of this cooker is relatively large with a big LCD screen and many buttons. At first time, you might feel it hard to operate the unit, but when you’re familiar with it, you’ll feel it very easy to switch the modes or select the timer.
Besides the fold-down handle, this cooker features a couple of side handles. The special thing about these handles is that each of them has a small pocket for putting the scoop holder. Additionally, cool features of the Zojirushi’s cooker series, like the stainless-steel body or retractable cord, remain the same in this model.
- Includes a nonstick scoop, a scoop holder, a regular measuring cup and a rinse-free measuring cup
- Emits melody to notify the users when the rice has been cooked through
- Features up to 9 cooking modes
- Very large capacity
- The inner pan is not recommended to clean in a washing machine.
- High price
#5. Tiger JAX-T10U-K 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer & Slow Cooker
At first glance, the unit catches my attention due to its sleek look with stainless steel and oblong shape with a nice control panel located right on the top of the lid.
Like many best Japanese rice cookers, this one also features a lot of cooking modes. They are Quick Cook, Slow Cook, Porridge, Mixed, Plain, Sweet, Brown, Multigrain, Keep Warm and Steam. You have it, and you have a versatile cooker for both daily use and parties.
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A basket included as purchasing allows you to cook rice and steam other foods at the same time without wearing out the quality and flavor of the food. Other handy settings, including the delay timer or the automatic warm-keeping switching, work properly and easily every time.
This cooker has the capacity of 5.5 cups (uncooked rice), which is great for big family or feasts. Besides, since the stainless-steel thick inner pan, lid and steam cap are all removable, you can clean up them easily.
- Includes a cooking plate, a rice spatula and a cookbook
- 2 years of warranty
- Very large capacity
- Basket included allowing to cook 2 dishes at once
- The cord is not retractable
- The inner gasket is not removable
- High price
Japanese rice cookers are useful in many aspects. Not only do they help you cook perfect rice, but they also let you keep the food warm and preheat leftovers quickly and easily.
If you want a high-grade rice cooker with an ample pot, nice looking, steaming function and sturdy materials, the Tiger JAX-T10U-K is a prominent choice. On the other hand, if you only need a simple cooker offering only one cooking mode, you can take the Panasonic SR-G06FG into account.
Personally, I prefer the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker and Food Steamer due to two reasons. Firstly, it’s a high-tech cooker with many advanced features. Secondly, it’s very affordable in price. For me, it the best Japanese rice cooker.
What about your decision? Let us know by leaving your comment in the box below. Thank you for reading our reviews and buying guides!