Best Japanese Rice Cooker 2018 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide
Whether we're serving up homemade teriyaki chicken or sizzling enchiladas, we use rice with many different kinds of meals. If you are someone who eats rice frequently, investing in a rice cooker will save you time and spare you from common cooking errors.
When you find the best Japanese rice cooker for your kitchen, cooking meals for your family becomes simple and enjoyable.
Advantages Of Keeping A Rice Cooker In Your Kitchen
Have you ever experienced dry rice due to water overflow in the microwave? Have you cooked rice on your stove top only to have it burn the bottom of the pot and leave a frothy, sticky residue all over everything?
If you're tired of contending with these issues, it may be time to consider purchasing a rice cooker. Rice cookers are fantastic for a multitude of reasons, including solving those aforementioned issues.
Here are just a few of the benefits:
- A rice cooker will cook rice to the same standard every time: flawlessly. Gone are the days of burnt, dried-out rice or rice that's squishy from being cooked too long.
- It allows for easy cooking. Most of them have pre-guided measuring cups and tools available so there's no more fuss.
- They're multifunctional. Most rice cookers have settings for different types of foods like soup or steamed vegetables. They don't cook just rice!
- Your rice won't get cold over time. Most cookers have settings that will keep your rice warm long after you make it.
- Versatility is never a problem. You can buy rice cookers in all different sizes, depending on your needs.
What Can I Use My Rice Cooker For?
1. Making Your Rice
Rice is simple to make in one of these cookers, even if you consider yourself a culinary novice.
First, you'll want to measure out the rice and place it in the cooking pot of the cooker. Look at your specific rice cooker to figure out exactly how much rice you can make and determine the proper rice-to-water ratio. If you want, rinse the rice before putting it in the cooker.
Then, measure the water amount that you need for your amount of rice. Next, add flavoring. Then, choose the setting for your rice. Ten to 15 minutes later, your rice should be ready to serve.
2. Steaming Some Vegetables
Steaming vegetables is made easy with a rice cooker. Whether they're fresh or frozen, you can place your veggies in the cooker to steam. Your manual should let you know how much water you need.
Also, look for a steaming contraption that may come with your cooker. Most cookers will come with a steaming add-on that is great for making veggies. Here's a great squash recipe to try out.
3. Reheating Those Leftovers From Last Night
Have you ever tried to microwave leftovers and inadvertently overcooked them? Or the edges are too hot while the middle is still cold?
There's no need to worry about that when you have a rice cooker!
Rice cookers are great for reheating food evenly. Just place a small amount of water in with your leftovers (sometimes placing the leftovers in the steaming basket works best) and let the rice cooker work its magic. I've found that the rice cooker will reheat my leftovers nicely every single time.
4. Baking A Cake
Yes, you read that correctly. You can even bake a cake in your rice cooker!
Have you been busy all day at work and are looking for a sweet treat? You can throw a couple of quick ingredients into your rice cooker and make a cake.
There are many different recipes that you can get online or in rice cooker cookbooks. Here's one for a dark chocolate truffle cake. Or, if you're looking for something a little more classic, this is a really nifty take on carrot cake .
Top your cake with some frosting or cool whip for the complete package.
The 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers For Your Choice
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
This fancy Zojirushi cooker comes in two colors (white and stainless steel or black and stainless steel) and features a detachable inside lid, an easy-to-read control panel, keep-warm settings, a retractable chord, a delay setting with two times, and even a reheating cycle.
It can hold about 3 cups of dry rice or 6 cups of cooked rice but also has settings for sushi, porridge, brown rice, and quick cooking.
This cooker takes up minimal counter space, which allows for convenient and easy cooking while giving you plenty of room to prepare other dishes. It also comes with a measuring cup for your rice, spatula, and spatula holder.
Editor's Rating: 93/100
Price on Amazon: from $599.80
- This cooker produces high-quality rice every time.
- It fits well on the counter and is easy to store when not in use.
- The different color options make this unit a perfect fit for any kitchen.
- The cooker comes with its own spatula and measuring cup.
- This rice cooker comes with a poorly translated manual.
- The coating material scratches easily.
- The unit is a little pricey compared to similar models.
From the first glance, this stainless steel contender is both attractive and sleek. Its oblong shape with the easy functions in the front make cooking simple and fun.
In addition to offering an elegant design, this cooker can hold just over 5 cups of rice. This micro-chipped controlled model features 4-in-1 functions and 10 computerized cooking menu settings.
It also has a thick inner pan and an inner lid and steam cap that are easily removable for cleaning. This cooker takes minimal preparation and can even cook two different dishes at one time.
The cooking plate on this cooker is designed to hold the flavors for the food on the cooking plate. Plus, this Tiger has an available two- and three-year warranty plan and can also be ordered in a 10-cup size to hold even more.
Editor's Rating: 91/100
Price on Amazon: from $149.99
- This cooker can cook more than two things at once.
- There is a warranty available.
- The larger model holds up to 10 cups of rice.
- This unit does not come with a retractable cord.
- There is only one setting for slow cook.
- While some pieces are detachable for easy cleaning, the inner gasket is fixed.
This Hirbo Asian-style cooker features 13 pre-set options for a wide variety of delicious foods, including pastas and soups.
Set the cooker before you go bed at night to begin cooking your breakfast in the morning or use the convenient reheat function to warm up leftovers.
The large LCD screen and 45-degree tilted display are easy for anyone to read, eliminating any cooking errors. This unit will even tell you the cooking status of your dish while it's working!
It also contains a non-stick inner pot for easy cleaning, durability, and efficiency. Exhibiting high-tech Fuzzy Logic for ultimate heating abilities, this rice cooker has everything you might need, and then some.
Editor's Rating: 89/100
Price on Amazon:
- This unit is highly versatile, cooking anything from rice to stew to yogurt.
- A warranty is available.
- The advanced heating technology thoroughly cooks foods every time.
- The non-stick pot is easy to clean with just warm water and a rag.
- This cooker's lid features a removable overflow-proof lid that's also simple to clean.
- This cooker does not come with its own cook book.
- There are no attachments, so tools must be purchased separately.
- The user manual is poorly translated.
Looking for an inexpensive rice cooker that will do the trick? This Aroma Housewares model will do much more than that.
From the number one rice cooker brand in the United States, this cooker is built with high expectations in mind. This cooker holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice and includes a multitude of accessories, such as a removable cooking pot, a measuring cup, a steam tray, a serving spatula, recipes, and even coupons.
It also features easy-to-use functions like different rice buttons (for white and brown), a steam option, a warming function, as well as a delay timer for up to 15 hours. This pot is great for cooking anything from brown rice to jambalaya.
Editor's Rating: 84/100
Price on Amazon: from $29.31
- The various function buttons on the cooker are easy to use.
- It features a 15-hour delay timer.
- The steaming option makes it a versatile cooking tool.
- The inner cooking pot is non-stick and dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
- This cooker is not as durable as others following heavy use.
- The cooking pot may hold less rice than advertised.
This Panasonic has a lot of positive buzz surrounding it, and it's also extremely cost-effective. This smaller cooker holds 3 cups of cooked rice with a one-step automatic cooking and shut-off button.
It's compact enough to leave out on your kitchen counter or easily store while not in use. It also features a see-through glass lid (watch it cook!), a measuring cup and rice scoop, and a multilingual manual for easy setup.
The non-stick coated aluminum pan is easy to clean. This rice cooker does not come with its own steaming attachment, but it's still versatile enough to satisfy just about any discriminating cook. There's even an available warranty, if you should choose to take advantage of it.
Editor's Rating: 80/100
Price on Amazon: $41.72
- This cooker is simple to use.
- It features an automatic shut-off setting.
- The small, compact size is ideal for any kitchen.
- The non-stick coating of the pan tends to peel off after excessive usage.
- The directions can be unclear regarding exact measurements, particularly when using the included measuring cup.
- This cooker does not feature warming options or additional cooking settings.
The Winner Is?
For both value and function, the Zojirushi is the clear winner and a strong contender for the best Japanese rice cooker.
This model delivers quality on a scale seldom seen at its price point. It also has a warranty available, comes with different attachments and a user manual, and has settings to accommodate a wide range of cooking needs.
As previously mentioned, the Zojirushi can cook just about anything: veggies, cakes, and rice. This cooker is capable of producing restaurant-quality rice, and you'll barely notice the small amount of space it takes up on your countertop.
Did this help you make your decision? Comment below and share these tips with someone you know!