The process of making rice or any kind of grain-based food item takes a lot of time and can be very messy if you prepare it on the top of a stove.
Another thing about making rice this way is that it requires you to add just the right amount of additional ingredients.
If you do not measure these additional ingredients properly, the quality of your rice will not be as good as you want it to be.
Most of this can be solved by using a Japanese rice cooker. Japanese rice cookers make things a lot more convenient and easier when making rice or anything like rice.
Ten Featured Japanese Rice Cookers
01. Professional rice cooker by Aroma Housewares
Versatility is something that many demands in their rice cookers and the majority of rice cookers that exist do not deliver on this versatility. While most rice cookers are not one-dimensional in their operation, they often do not contain nearly as many options to optimize their versatility.
This is not an issue at all when using Aroma Housewares’ rice cooker. Containing eight different functions, you’ll be able to steam cook nearly anything with it. It can cook rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and nearly any other grain-based food item, and it can also be used to steam vegetables, soups, and stews.
Another thing that speaks to the versatility of Aroma Housewares’ rice cooker is that it contains a saute then simmer function. This will allow you to saute food items that need to be sauteed which will then simmer and keep warm later this way it does not get overcooked. This is perfect for dishes such as stir fry and risotto where a decent amount of liquid is used.
Because it can do so much, you’ll probably be cleaning Aroma Housewares’ rice cooker a lot more than you want. This is especially true if you are using it to do more than just cook rice. Taking it apart to do this can be frustrating.
02. Micom rice cooker and warmer by Zojirushi
There are a couple of concerns that most have when it comes to Japanese rice cookers. Cleaning is the first concern. Using a rice cooker can get very messy especially if you use it often and cleaning them can be time-consuming. Managing the power cord attached to the cooker is also a concern since most who use rice cookers carry them around.
Zojirushi’s rice cooker solves these issues in a couple of ways. First, the power cord is retractable. This is really useful if you carry it around often since you will not need to worry about the power cord is loose. It is also very easy to clean, as Zojirushi’s rice cooker is made with stainless steel parts.
You get plenty of versatility with Zojirushi’s rice cooker, as it is able to make almost anything that can be steam cooked. It actually has two delay time settings which will organize your cooking sessions a lot easier to manage.
However, these settings are nothing more than different timer presets in Zojirushi’s rice cooker. These settings are pretty lazy and there is nothing stopping you from customizing your own times for the food items you want to make with it. Zojirushi’s rice cooker doesn’t really contain any special functions that optimize what you cook with it either.
03. “Neuro Fuzzy” rice cooker and warmer by Zojirushi
The ability for food inside of a rice cooker to keep warm and the ability to perfectly measure rice are two things that are in high demand for rice cookers. Unfortunately, not a lot of rice cookers excel in these two areas and it can be difficult to find a rice cooker that does.
You’ll find both of these in the Neuro-Fuzzy by Zojirushi. Not only does it have one keep warm option, but it has an extended keep-warm function. This is perfect if you are making a lot of rice for a large party and need the rice to stay warm inside of the cooker for a long time.
You also get two measuring cups with the Neuro-Fuzzy, which means that you will not need to use your own measuring cups, which can be less than accurate when using a rice cooker. Probably the best thing about the Neruo Fuzzy that many don’t recognize is that it uses uniform heating.
The Neuro Fuzzy can do anything that most rice cookers can do, but the way it is designed can leave a little to be desired. While this seems negligible, you’ll notice a difference. It uses stands as a surface other than a flat surface that other rice cookers use and this is problematic.
04. 3-cup rice cooker by Zojirushi
Most rice cookers are designed to be used in the kitchen. It can be difficult to find a rice cooker that is suitable for dorm rooms or a small kitchen in a one-bedroom apartment or an efficiency apartment. This can turn some who desire a rice cooker away from even acquiring one. Those who are new to using rice cookers can also be intimidated by all the settings they have and this can also turn them off.
Zojirushi’s 3 cup rice cooker decisively solves both of these problems. It is small enough to fit in even the smallest spaces in any home, dorm room, or apartment. It is also far less intimidating to use than other rice cookers, containing only one switch to operate. Those who are new to using rice cookers will appreciate this simplicity.
Unfortunately, Zojirushi’s 3 cup rice cooker is very one-dimensional. As mentioned previously, there are no additional settings on the machine and there is no timer either. It also only makes 3 cups of rice, making it practically only suitable for just one person. You really have no business owning Zojirushi’s 3 cup rice cooker.
05. Micom rice cooker with food steamer basket by Tiger
Nearly all rice cookers can either cook rice or a main dish, but never both at the same time. This is frustrating to deal with and it is very time-consuming as well. Cleaning the inner pan of any given rice cooker can be a frustrating task as well, as most of the food you make in a rice cooker can stick to said pain, especially rice.
Tiger’s rice cooker fixes both of these issues. First, it contains a function they call “tacook” which will allow you to cook a main dish and rice at the same time. This will save you all kinds of time and you will get a lot out of it if you are the type who cooks main dishes with a rice cooker a lot. Even if all you do is make the main dishes in your rice cooker, you’ll probably wind up using rice alongside the main dish because of this luxury.
It is also very easy to clean Tiger’s rice cooker as well. Its inner pan is completely non-stick, which complements its synchro-cooking function very well. Using a rice cooker to cook rice alongside the main dish can lead to a lot of cleaning, and the non-stick inner pan of Tiger’s rice cooker makes things much easier.
The only real thing that sets Tiger’s rice cooker back is that it does not have the vast amount of settings that other rice cookers that can make main dishes provide. You get a plain rice setting, a brown rice setting, a slow cook setting, and a keep-warm function, but this is nothing that other rice cookers do not have.
06. All-in-one multi cooker by Comfee
A good amount of rice cookers are not as versatile as they should be. Most of them can make rice and steamed vegetables but they can’t make much else. You’ll often need to look elsewhere if you are looking for a cooker that is able to make soups, stews, pasta, or yogurt.
This is where Comfee’s rice cooker shines. It is able to make a lot more than just rice or steamed vegetables. It contains 17 different programs that will allow you to make nearly anything that needs heat preparation. Its settings do a lot more than just assign different cook times. When you use a setting on Comfee’s rice cooker, it will adjust not only it’s timing, but it will also adjust its temperatures and pressure. This is very impressive.
Another impressive thing about Comfee’s rice cooker is its capacity. It has a capacity of 10 cups of rice, making it perfect for cooking for large parties. Although this is true for most entrees you make in it, it is especially true for rice. You’ll be able to cook for as many as 6 people with Comfee’s rice cooker.
Comfee’s rice cooker is designed for large parties. Therefore, it takes a lot of space, more space than you might want it to take. Be prepared to clear a lot of room on your kitchen counter for Comfee’s rice cooker because you will need it.
07. Pro multi function cooker by Breville
Japanese rice cookers that are able to cook a lot of different things usually have a lot of settings to accommodate this. Some of these settings are nothing but different cook times and some of them affect cook times and pressure. However, very few rice cookers allow you to customize your own timing and pressure levels.
Breville’s multi-function rice cooker allows you to do this. Among the dozen or so different pressure and time settings it contains, you’ll be able to also customize your own pressure and time settings as you see fit. This is perfect for anybody who is really experienced with using rice cookers who want to experiment.
Adjusting the pressure and timing is done much easier on Breville’s multi-function rice cooker than with other rice cookers. It uses knobs instead of buttons, meaning you can make very quick adjustments. Again, this is really nice for anyone who is experienced with rice cookers.
However, Breville’s multi-function rice cooker can be overwhelming for some. You do need a little experience using one in order to cook with it effectively. 11 different settings can be too many for some and the custom settings will mean nothing to you if you do not have experience with rice cookers.
08. Multifunctional micom rice cooker and warmer by Cuckoo
Rice cookers get really hot. This is especially true when you are using one to cook things other than rice. Temperatures can reach as high as 500 or so degrees and temperatures this high in a device as compact as a rice cooker can lead to some safety hazards especially if they are not in an open space.
These safety issues are solved when using Cuckoo’s rice cooker. While nearly all rice cookers contain some semblance of safety measures, Cuckoo takes things to the next level, containing auto temperature controls to make sure things do not get too hot. This is perfect for somebody who is new to rice cookers who want to use them for more than just make rice and steamed vegetables.
Even if you are more experienced with using rice cookers, you will appreciate how fast Cuckoo’s rice cooker will be able to finish cooking. The fuzzy logic and cooking algorithms it contains will detect the types of grains that your rice is made of if you are cooking rice with it. This shortens cook times for rice a lot.
The safety features of Cuckoo’s rice cooker can make things frustrating for those who are more experienced and who know that they are doing. The fact that the lid locks and prevents you from adding ingredients and has an auto-off function when it thinks it is too hot could cause certain entrees to be unfinished sometimes.
09. One-Touch rice cooker by Toshiba
Anyone who uses a rice cooker specifically for rice usually has one common and universal complaint: It takes too long for the rice to be finished, especially when it comes to making a lot of rice. This is what can even turn some off from getting a rice cooker since they would rather use a pot to make their rice: It is often faster this way.
Toshiba’s rice cooker solves this in a big way. Its quick rice feature will allow you to cook rice in 30 minutes. With Toshiba’s cooker having a capacity of 6 cups, this means you will be able to have plenty of rice in a very short amount of time. This is much faster than other rice cookers and is certainly faster than making 6 cups of rice from a pot.
You’ll also be able to make all kinds of rice with Toshiba’s rice cooker. It has settings for any kind of rice, whether it is white, brown, short-grain, or long grain. You can also make oatmeal and porridge with it, making it a little more versatile than other rice cookers that specialize in rice.
While it is possible to cook other things with Toshiba’s rice cooker, it is not recommended. The smart fuzzy logic technology that it contains seems to be optimized for rice and not other food items. A different rice cooker would be ideal for vegetables, pasta, or meat.
10. Cup capacity multi-functional rice cooker by Amazon Basics
Something that a lot of people do with their rice cookers is carrying them around. This is because it is easy to use anywhere. It’s very common to see rice cookers being used at barbecues, picnics, parties, and other social events. However, it isn’t really easy to carry these cookers around. Oftentimes, you’ll need to use both hands and this can be awkward.
Amazon Basics solves this problem in a very simple way. Its rice cooker contains a handle that you can use to carry around easily as if it were a basket. This is a very convenient feature that very few rice cookers possess, as surprising as this is.
Rice cookers also tend to not come with accessories. While this is negligible for those who already possess them, those who do not possess them or who just want additional accessories will be left in the dark. Fortunately, Amazon Basics’ rice cooker comes with accessories that you need for a rice cooker, including a measuring cup and a scoop.
Other than those two things, there really isn’t anything special about Amazon Basics’ rice cooker that isn’t much different from any other rice cooker. While this does not take away from its overall value, it is missing some features that some other rice cookers possess.
Why Choose a Japanese Rice Cooker?
There are a few reasons why you should choose a Japanese rice cooker over other rice cookers.
As convenient as standard rice cookers are, they can take a very long time to make rice or anything else that you want to cook with them. This is one of the reasons why some do not even consider getting a rice cooker at all.
Most Japanese rice cookers are able to cook rice really quickly compared to other rice cookers. This makes things very convenient especially if you intend to cook a lot of rice.
Japanese rice cookers are also very useful if you want to keep rice warm after cooking it. To do this, they use a thing called fuzzy smart technology which allows rice that is cooked inside of it to stay warm for very long stretches of time, often hours on end.
This is perfect if you are cooking rice for a lot of people.
You can also cook a few other things in most Japanese rice cookers, not just rice. This varies from cooker to cooker but in most cases, you’ll be able to cook other things other than rice in a Japanese rice cooker.
Japanese Rice Cookers – A Buying Guide
Japanese rice cookers are very diverse in what they can do. Not all of them do the same things and because of this, you’ll want to consider a few things.
Do you need a Japanese rice cooker for only rice, or for other things?
This is the first thing you should consider and it should be the most obvious. Some rice cookers specialize in making rice but some others can make other things. It is up to you to decide whether you need a rice cooker for rice, other things, or both.
How much rice will you need to make with your Japanese rice cooker?
Different rice cookers contain different capacities, and you’ll need to determine how much rice you’ll need to make. The thing about rice cookers is that they can take up a lot of space in your kitchen and you’ll need to make sure that you have enough space in your kitchen if you truly need a rice cooker that has a large capacity.
Will you be taking your Japanese rice cooker with you?
One of the reasons why Japanese rice cookers are so popular is because a lot of them are portable. It is easy for you to take your rice cooker anywhere with you if they have a low capacity. However, rice cookers with a large capacity can be a struggle to carry with you.
How experienced are you with using rice cookers?
While most Japanese rice cookers are easy for anybody to use, some of them will require you to have a little bit of experience if you want to make the most out of them. This is especially true if your rice cooker is able to cook a lot more things other than rice. If your rice cooker can cook other food items, you’ll want to be somewhat familiar with how rice cookers operate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?
A: Japanese rice cookers are expensive because they are effective and because they are a lot more efficient in what they do compared to other rice cookers. They are also able to keep anything you put in the warm for a long time and you’ll get much more out of them in the long term.
Q: Which brand of rice cooker is the best?
A: The answer to this question depends on what kind of rice cooker you need and what you need the rice cooker for. When it comes to diversity, you’ll find that Zojirishi has a wide selection of rice cookers that are suitable for any situation. However, that does not mean that Zojirushi is the best brand of the rice cooker. It just means Zojirushi is the most diverse.
Q: Which Zojirushi rice cookers are made in Japan?
A: Zojirushi is one of the most popular brands of rice cookers, and it can be difficult to tell which ones are made in Japan and which ones are not. However, there is one trait that all Zojirushi rice cookers that are made in Japan share. That is the fact that it contains directions and displays that are in Japanese and English.
Q: Which Zojirushi rice cooker is the best?
A: The title of “best” means different things to different people, but one Zojirushi rice cooker that seems to be the most diverse and functional is its Neuro Fuzzy model. The Neuro Fuzzy has something called smart fuzzy technology which will let you keep anything you make in its rice cooker warm for a very long time. The Neuro Fuzzy is also easy to use and can use it to cook a lot of things, not just rice.
Q: Are Japanese rice cookers better than standard rice cookers?
A: In terms of keeping the food you cook in it warm and being able to cook rice really quickly, Japanese rice cookers are indeed better than standard rice cookers. They also tend to be easier to carry and a little more diverse in their settings than standard rice cookers. These qualities give Japanese rice cookers a slight edge over standard ones.
Japanese rice cookers are a must in your kitchen if you spend time making a lot of rice.
Even if you do not make a lot of rice but need something that can make steamed vegetables and even certain soups and stews, you will get a lot out of a Japanese rice cooker.
Different Japanese rice cookers have different capacities and are capable of cooking different food items at different rates, so make sure you take plenty of time to see which one is perfect for you before making a decision on one.