Best Japanese Rice Cookers 2020 – Reviews and Buying Guide

Are you fond of having sushi or other Japanese style rice with your meals? If yes, then you have landed on the right platform. Many food enthusiasts adore having diverse styles of rice in the comfort of their home, but always end up going to a well-known restaurant to enjoy that authentic taste. Preparing perfectly cooked rice with ideal texture and aroma is quite a daunting task. When it comes to preparing sushi, it is just the next-level game. But, don’t worry we have got you covered. It is rightly said that the type of kitchen appliances you tend to utilize dictate the degree of convenience and proficiency you experience in your kitchen. This holds true for both amateurs and professional chefs. 

That’s why to prepare perfectly cooked rice at home, you would require to own a Japanese rice cooker. The significance of rice in Japanese culture can not be emphasized enough. It all originated from the famous Sushi recipe from Japan. We have also listed our top picks of best rice cookers for sushi. Their rice cookers are perfect for preparing evenly cooked rice and come with a lot of distinct functionalities as well. We will be introducing some of our top picks along with their detailed specifications so that you know what to expect from each one of them before making a purchase.

Our Top Picks

Best Japanese Rice Cooker Reviews

  • Incorporates numerous modes and functionalities
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Comes with various safety features
  • Features an elegant design
  • Prepares evenly cooked rice
  • A dedicated brown rice button could have been better.
  • 4.8/5.0

Zojirushi rice cookers are increasingly getting prevalence for all the valid reasons. The brand is known for manufacturing kitchen appliances with a perfect blend of appealing aesthetics and exceptional functionality. Zojirushi is among the best Japanese rice cooker brands available in United States.

The NP-NVC10 rice cooker tops our list as it is considered to be the most intelligent rice cooker ever made. This is the perfect rice cooker, in our opinion, for those who prepare at least 4-5 cups of rice every single day. As long as you rinse this rice cooker thoroughly and select the ideal setting, it will offer you perfectly cooked rice every time. Considering the appearance, you will find a touch of brownish tone along with the orangish display that is quite elegant and goes well with the kitchen décor as well. This Zojirushi rice cooker is our top recommendation for the best Zojirushi rice cookers.

Performance-wise, the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is amazingly engineered for a single task that is preparing short-grain white rice. But, we tried out certain variations and guess what, the results turned out pretty well. So, we can assure you that it can do a superior job on a long-grain, brown, sushi, beans, lentils and even sticky rice.

However, the model seems to consolidate induction heating with pressure cooking in numerous settings. You can also make efficient use of steam reduce setting which reduces the steam to 50% of the regular mode and scorched setting to achieve a crispy texture. We often like to cook crispy rice and relish it with a bowl of sautéed veggies. 

There are a fair number of smart add-ons like a microchip that lets the rice cooker recall the last arrangement of utilization with the goal that it can give you similar result every time. This aspect certainly sets it apart from the other rice cookers in our list.

  • Incorporates Synchro-cook functionality
  • Highly advanced induction heating technology
  • Multilayer inner pot
  • Preset cooking timers
  • Numerous menu settings
  • The interior of the rice cooker is prone to scratches
  • 4.6/5.0

The Tiger brand has successfully influenced most of the rice cooker buyers with their patented Synchro-cook functionality. It lets you prepare two dishes simultaneously without affecting the flavor and texture of the food items. We tried using the “tacook” plate with some teriyaki meatballs on top along with the rice underneath, and both of them came out perfectly. We have prepared everything from simple white rice to lasagna and short ribs utilizing JKT-S10U-K rice cooker and it has always managed to deliver exceptional results. If you are quite picky about your rice type, then this stainless steel (also check our list of rice cookers with stainless steel inner pot) unit is definitely a fantastic choice for you.

Tiger JKT-S10U-K boasts of incorporating the highly advanced induction heating technology. Unlike in ordinary rice cookers, the IH framework uses the skillet itself as a heat source. This empowers the rice to cook at a thermal efficiency level of 85%, adjusting the warmth all through the whole internal pot.

We always tend to prefer the unit that consists of detachable parts as it makes cleaning a breeze and this rice cooker stands true to this. Also, the automatic cooking logic system allows you to monitor the entire cooking process. It automatically alters the heat, temperature and time accordingly to aid you to cook perfect meals every time.

  • Compact and user-friendly interface
  • Highly versatile
  • Includes delay timer feature
  • Utilizes induction heating technology
  • Convenient to clean
  • The coating on the inner cooking pot tends to flake off after 2-3 years of usage
  • 4.5/5.0

This model features a high-end induction rice cooker at a reasonable price. It is a decent counterpart for a small family. One-half to three cups of uncooked rice can be prepared to utilize any of the numerous menu settings. The innovation and configuration take into consideration exact temperature control. This model incorporates a micro-computer chip that is customized to make changes in accordance with both the temperature and the warming time. The inward cooking pot is made of thick tempered steel/aluminum with a nonstick covering. There are markings engraved on the inward container that demonstrate how much water to include for every half cup of uncooked rice running from ½ to 3 cups. 

The timer functionality on this rice cooker can be set to consequently complete the process of cooking by a predefined time. The time shows up in the 24-hour design. Once the timer settings are set into the cooker, they need not be set again if similar settings will be utilized. Before utilizing the timer, be certain the clock is set to the current time. The clock can be utilized related to these menu settings: white, brown colored, rinse-free, GABA brown, sushi and porridge rice. This Zojirushi rice cooker tops our recommended list of rice cookers for cooking brown rice.

This 3-cup Zojirushi rice cooker consequently goes into keep warm mode after the rice is completely cooked. The small indicator light on the keep warm button shows up. The LCD display additionally shows how long the rice cooker has been in the keep warm mode. 

  • Synchro-cooking function
  • Incorporates Micom technology
  • Features spherical inner pot with nonstick covering
  • Includes 10 distinct cooking settings
  • Automatic keep-warm mode for up to 12 hours
  • Rice gets stinky if they are kept inside the cooker for a prolonged time
  • 4.3/5.0

The Tiger is certainly one of the most popular and our personal favorite Japanese rice cooker brands, that’s why this is the second model that we are featuring in our list. Tiger JAX-S10U-WY is quite sleek and sturdy and can be easily fitted in any corner of your kitchen space. This model is an ideal choice for those who always find ways to save their precious kitchen space by selecting appliances that feature a compact design.

We used this rice cooker for preparing white rice and we can totally tell the difference it offers in terms of flavor and texture when compared to the similar models in this price range. Even though we used the same quality of rice, the texture turned out to be quite exceptional as it was quite fluffy and delicious as well. Moreover, the Tacook feature permits you to cook different dishes simultaneously without affecting the flavor. Therefore, we prefer to use JAX-S10U-WY mostly at parties as it does its job pretty well and you get multiple dishes within no time. You can use different settings and prepare healthy and tasty meals in the comfort of your home. 

Considering the design, it includes a spherical inner pot with a non-stick coating. The coating doesn’t let the rice to stick at the bottom of the pot and hence offers easy clean up as well. Moreover, you can also utilize two preset cooking timers (up to 24 hours) if you like to enjoy rice with your morning meals.

  • Features a seven-layer pan design
  • Offers thirteen preset functions
  • Built with stainless steel
  • Superior induction heating technology
  • Features non stick covering
  • It’s a bit expensive.
  • 4.3/5.0

Panasonic is one of those significant brands that you can trust. Since they have been doing business for quite a long time, they are additionally a company that is very well aware of their consumer’s requirements and preferences. Panasonic SR-HZ106 rice cooker cooks amazingly good Japanese style rice that stays moist even on the third day, which is quite a great aspect. As this rice cooker doesn’t allow you to prepare multiple dishes simultaneously and we are not a huge fan of its quick cook function, that’s why we preferred to keep it at the bottom of our list.

This rice cooker is an ideal choice for those who love to eat dry and fluffy rice and have got a sufficient amount of time to cook their meals every day. We tried to prepare some other dishes like stews, fish, steam veggies, soup etc. and the results turned out to be quite satisfactory. In case you need a model that can deal with cooking something beyond rice, at that point Panasonic SR-HZ106 is an extraordinary alternative as it is accessible at a reasonable value contrasted with contending models. 

Moreover, this is an exceptionally programmable model that highlights thirteen presets. It will likewise permit you to pick the kind of rice you are cooking to guarantee it’s cooked flawlessly. Also, the advance induction heating will assure that you get nutrient-rich and evenly cooked rice every single time.

Japanese Rice Cookers – Buying Guide

Why are Japanese Rice Cookers So Popular?

Rice is considered to be the soul of distinct Japanese cuisines. That’s why their rice cookers are designed to prepare rice in the most delicious way infused with the ideal texture, color, shine, aroma and flavor. Rice cookers made in Japan are integrated with innovative technologies that pay close attention to the entire cooking procedure while sustaining an optimal temperature and pressure inside the pot unlike pressure cookers. Besides, they are extremely easy to use and are highly efficient as well. You can utilize distinct pre-programmable settings to prepare different kinds of rice as per your preference. The quality of material, technology and quality of cooked rice makes their rice cookers stand apart from the other rice cooker brands.

Also Read: Best Korean Rice Cooker Reviews

Factors to consider while buying a Japanese Rice Cooker

1. Capacity

Capacity of Korean Rice Cooker Buying Guide

The capacity of the rice cooker is generally measured by the number of cups of rice the appliance can hold. Remember that the capacity estimates cups of uncooked rice, so you may wind up with double the measure of cooked rice. You ought to pick a rice cooker that can deal with the amount of rice you need per meal considering the size of your family. For a small family, a rice cooker having a capacity to cook up to 5 cups of rice is sufficient. If you have a big family, then you can opt for commercial models as well. 

2. Non-stick Inner Pot

Inner Pot material of Korean Rice Cookers

If you like to cook rice for a drawn-out time and with a constrained measure of water, at that point, there are chances of rice sticking to the bottom of the inner pan. Therefore, prefer to purchase the rice cooker that includes a nonstick covering on the internal dish as it keeps the rice from adhering to the base of the pot and circumvents the formation of the thin crust as well. Besides, it makes the cleaning process quite convenient for you and can end up being an extraordinary efficient element too.

3. Induction Heating System

Induction Cooking Korean Cookers guide

The induction heating technology comes into the impact when the conductive metal in the inner pan responds with the copper heating component. This response creates an electric flow that is liable for heating the food uniformly. Other advantages consolidate momentary temperature switches that level up the cooking precision. This component is commonly featured in the top of the line models, so if your budget permits, at that point it is a commendable element to search for in a rice cooker.

4. Micom Menu Settings

Micom Menu Settings in Korean Rice Cookers

Micom is generally referred to as a microcomputer, which induces that a microcomputer is fused with the rice cooker to control the rice cooking framework. They are a particularly impelled display of rice cookers that generally incorporates Micom, Micom fuzzy and Neuro-fuzzy rice cookers. The advancement endeavors to modernize the most outrageous cooking process which can turn out to be remarkable help for all the amateurs and the ones who have a tumultuous existence. Because of this modernized chip, you can cook brown colored rice and rice porridge without the risk of overcooking and overflowing.

5. Rice Warmer

keep warm button in rice cooker

This function can keep your rice warm for a limit of 12 hours after it has been cooked. It keeps the rice at ideal serving temperature and takes out the requirement for warming it. It can be an incredible expansion for the people who have a hectic lifestyle and don’t get sufficient time to set up their morning suppers. You can set up the rice around evening time and turn on the keep warm mode and you are good to go to appreciate fresh and fluffy rice in your morning meal.

6. Dishwasher Safe Removable Parts

rice cooker removable parts

If you own a dishwasher and like to utilize it often for washing various utensils, at that point you should look out for a rice cooker that features dishwasher safe and removable parts. It makes the cleaning procedure very helpful, particularly for the ones who don’t get enough time to wash dishes. Some models only feature a removable inner lid, but there are models that come with a removable steamer tray, ladle, condensation collector etc. So, prefer to select the one that features most of the removable parts as it saves a lot of time and effort as well.

Conclusion

If you relish having a bowl of freshly prepared Japanese style rice with your meals, then investing in a Japanese rice cooker is quite worth it. The quality of rice that you get is exceptional as it is infused with the authentic taste. Make sure to consider all the above-mentioned aspects carefully while making a purchase as they are all going to influence the texture and quality of cooked rice. Ensure to opt for the best model that fits into your budget as it will just magnify your cooking experience by offering you programmable settings and user-friendly interface.

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