Best Japanese Rice Cooker Reviews (2017) For Culinary Excellence
A Japanese rice cooker offers you the best way to cook perfect rice for daily meals. Simply put a certain amount of rice in its pot, determine the proper rice-to-water ratio, and turn on the unit. It’ll do all the rest for you!
Recently on the market, there is a wide range of Japanese rice cookers providing plenty of different features. We researched and tested 20 common models, and we’ve concluded the list of 5 best products. Today, we bring it to you. So, check it out before paying your money.
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Tiger JAX-T10U-K 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker
What a Japanese Rice Cooker Can Do
- Avoid Burning Rice
For those who are not good at cooking or simply don’t have the experience in rice cooking, they might get into the situation where their rice is burned. A Japanese rice cooker can get rid of this mistake because it’s specifically designed to shut-off or switch into a warm keeping mode automatically as the rice is cooked through.
- Schedule Cooking Time
Modern Japanese rice cookers include a timer that allows you to delay the cooking time. In other words, they help you schedule your cooking time. As the timer is set, it’ll wait until it’s off. At this point, the cooker will start cooking. Of course, you have to prepare the rice and put it in the cooker in advance.
- Keep Food Warm
In case you finished cooking but want to wait for your husband and kids to come home, you can keep your food warm easily in a cooker, not only rice but also other dishes. So, your family can enjoy warm meals no matter how long you have to wait.
- Reheat Leftovers
This is quite similar to the previous one, but it brings into play in a different situation. Many rice cookers offer a stream tray that you can put it in the rice to preheat the food inside it. The huge benefit is that you can evenly preheat your leftovers from the last night in a time-saving way.
How to Pick the Best Japanese Rice Cooker
- Pot Capacity
Before buying a rice cooker, think about how much rice you want to cook at once. Rice cooker’s pot comes in a variety of size, from as little as 1 cup for a single serving to as big as 10 cups for a full-on party. Note that these cups are measured in Japanese size, which is 6 ounces compared to 8 ounces in the US.
- Cooking Modes
A versatile Japanese rice cooker is the one that can cook rice in different ways. Depending on the preheating time, cooking time or temperature, the rice will be cooked at different levels. For example, whether its color is white or brown or whether it’s dry or contains lots of water (porridge rice). Of course, you can monitor your cooking process manually, but having a rice cooker with pre-programmed settings will be much easier and quicker.
- Delay Timer
As I said before, sometimes you want to schedule your meals. That’s when a timer brings into play. It simply allows you to delay the starting time to the point when you want. For example, set it before your bedtime, so you’ll have a fresh rice for breakfast on the following day.
- Keep Warm Function
This function not only helps you to preserve the quality and flavor of rice but also saves the electric consumption. That’s because the cooker uses less heat when working in the keep-warm mode. Some models switch to this mode automatically, but some require one more step of setting after cooking is finished. A few also provide an extended keep-warm feature for extra waiting time.
- Non-Stick Pot
The pot’s surface needs to be coated with a non-stick layer to eliminate the chance of burning the rice on its bottom. This feature also helps you to reduce the effort and time spending on cleaning. Aluminum has this property, so I would recommend you to buy a cooker having the pot made of this material.
For how to use a Japanese Rice Cooker, check this video:
Our Top 5 Japanese Rice Cooker Reviews
1. Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
Despite the small capacity of 3 cups (uncooked rice), this rice cooker from the famous Zojirushi is worth its weight in gold because of plenty of advanced features.
The cooker provides up to 5 different rice cooking modes, including Quick Cooking, White/Mixed Rice, Brown Rice, Sushi Rice, and Porridge Rice. When one of these modes is selected, the unit will automatically adjust the preheating time, cooking time and temperature to achieve the best result.
If you want to delay the cooking time manually, then there is a Delay Timer button for you to select. All of the details are showed clearly in an intuitive LCD.
Looking at the control panel, you also see a useful mode called Keep Warm. It allows you to cook a large amount of rice for several meals, yet remains the rice’s softness and flavor.
The exterior is made of stainless steel: an inner cooking pan with measuring lines for the exact amount of water and a removable inner lid for easy cleaning. Also, you have a retractable power cord for eliminating the hassle of being tangled in.
- Accessories include a nonstick scoop, a scoop holder, and a rice measuring cup
- Compact size taking up minimal space
- Available in 2 colors (black and stainless steel)
- Various rice cooking modes
- The coating steel is scratched quickly
- The lid cannot open fully
- A little expensive compared to other models
2. Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD 8-Cup (Cooked) Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker and Food Steamer
The first thing you need to know is that this cooker is very cheap, but this doesn’t mean it’s a poor unit. In fact, with 4 different cooking modes (White Rice, Brown Rice, Keep Warm, and Steam), it’s enough for daily family meals.
The included steam tray offers you a time- and electric- saving way to cook both rice and nutritious foods (meats, fishes, vegetables) simultaneously. Remember to select the Steam mode to have the tastiest meals.
The digital control panel is not only very nice but also very easy to operate. All the buttons are ample and well-made, and the delay timer can be set up to 15 hours. As the rice is cooked, the unit will automatically change to the Keep Warm mode, so no need to monitor.
This cooker has the capacity of 4 cups (uncooked rice), which is sufficient for most families. Besides, the inner cooking pot is dishwasher safe for effortless cleanup.
- Accessories include a serving scoop, a rice measuring cup, a steam tray, and coupons for Mahatma and Carolina Rice
- Various rice cooking modes
- 15-hour delay timer
- Steaming mode increases its versatility
- Cheap price
- Materials are not as durable as other Japanese rice cookers
- The coating steel is scratched quickly
3. Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
What I like the most about this Japanese rice cooker is the simplicity. For those who don’t usually eat rice, it’s a perfect choice due to the cheap price, ease of use, and excellent quality of rice.
There is no LCD or several buttons to struggle. The cooker works with only one mode, and it works really well by automatically adjusting the proper cooking time and shutting off the unit immediately when the rice is cooked through to save the electricity.
Another great feature that I appreciate is the see-through glass lid, allowing you to monitor your food without having to open the lid and endure the hot steam. The non-stick coated Aluminum pot is durable and scratch-resistant.
The design of this cooker is also simplified to look very sleek and neat. The fold-down handle is replaced by a couple of side handles to make things as simple as possible.
- Accessories include a rice measuring cup and a rice spatula
- Extremely easy to use, one step and done!
- See-through glass lid for quick view
- Compact size and neat design is ideal for small kitchen
- Only one rice cooking modes
- Not recommended for brown rice
- The side handles are not as convenient as fold-down handle
4. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
Another great Japanese rice cooker from Zojirushi, but this one is larger in capacity (5.5 cups of uncooked rice) and offers more cooking options. There are totally 9 different rice cooking modes, including Quick Cooking, Mixed Rice, White Rice, Semi-Brown Rice, Brown Rice, Rinse-Free, Porridge, Keep Warm (automatic and extended), and Preheat.
The innovative Neuro Fuzzy logic technology not only cooks rice really fast but also eliminates mushy or hard rice every time. You simply have the best meals thanks to this unit.
Although the control panel is quite space-consuming, it offers almost everything you need to operate the whole unit. The LCD is large and clear, and the delay timer allows two settings.
In addition to the fold-down handle, there is also a couple of cool side handles which offer pockets for putting a scoop. Besides, great features of Zojirushi’s cooker series, such as the retractable cord, nonstick inner pan, stainless steel body and plenty of accessories, remain the same in this unit.
- Accessories include a nonstick scoop, a scoop holder, and 2 rice measuring cups (regular and rinse-free)
- Melody or beep audio to notify that the cooking cycle has ended.
- Large capacity
- Various rice cooking modes
- Complex inner pan is not recommended to clean with a washing machine
5. Tiger JAX-T10U-K 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer & Slow Cooker
At first glance, this Japanese captures my eyes since it’s so elegant. The stainless steel looks sleek, while the oblong shape with a compact control panel in the front is just very nice.
In terms of functions, it offers up to computerized cooking settings, including Plain, Quick, Porridge, Mixed, Sweet, Brown, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Steam, and Keep Warm. That’s why the manufacturer called it a 4-in-1 rice cooker.
The synchro-cooking function allows you to steam ingredients in the included basket and cook rice at the same time worrying about deteriorating the quality and flavor of foods. Other settings, such as delay or automatic warm keeping, work easily and effectively.
In addition, this cooker can hold 5.5 cups of uncooked rice, so it’s great for big family or feasts. Cleanup is also simple thanks to the removable stainless-steel thick inner pan, lid, and steam cap.
- Includes a cooking plate, a rice spatula, and a cookbook
- Large capacity
- Various cooking modes
- Cook 2 different dishes at once
- Doesn’t have a retractable cord
- Inner gasket is not removable
Without a doubt, Japanese rice cookers are extremely useful because it not only helps you cook perfect rice but also allows you to keep your food warm and preheat leftovers from the last night.
To conclude, I would suggest buying the Aroma Housewares Rice Cooker and Food Steamer due to two reasons: an affordable price and excellent features.
If you want a high-end rice cooker with a spacious pot, steaming function to steam food and cook rice at the same time and durable material, then the Tiger JAX-T10U-K 5.5-Cup will be an excellent choice.
What are you waiting for? Why don’t you bring the best Japanese rice cooker to your kitchen now? Thank you for reading my guide! Have a good day!