June 17, 2017

5 Best Japanese Rice Cooker: Culinary Distinction with Exceptional Rice Cooker

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Do you love Asian cuisine? If you do, then you might be consuming a lot of rice. This staple of Asian cooking finds its way to a lot of recipes, and in Japan, it is consumed by the tons. About 85% of the 2.3 million farmlands are planted with rice in Japan. Is it a wonder that the best rice cookers come from that country? They even give it out as souvenirs.

In Japan, quality comes first and if you buy their rice cookers, it will last. That being said, you still have to choose the best among the good ones and this review will make you achieve that. I have here five of what I consider to be the best in the market at the moment and I will take them apart to guide your buying decision.

What To Look for in a Japanese Rice Cooker​

There are telltale signs of a quality rice cooker. On top of that, you have to choose what will meet your needs. Before we go to the review, here are features that you need to consider when choosing your dream rice cooker.​

  • Storage capacity
  • Power
  • Keep Warm Feature
  • Multi-purpose Settings
  • Size of the rice cooker
  • Weight of the rice cooker

How much do you need to cook at the same time? Do you cook for the whole family or do you just cook for yourself? One big pot of rice might just be enough for the entire household, but is obviously too much for a single living alone.

The rice cooker reviewed here have capacities ranging from 0.5 to 10 cups, good for single serving and an entire rice party. You have to bear in mind that the cup size is measured in uncooked rice which will expand when cooked.

Another thing to consider is that a Japanese cup is a 6-ounce cup while US cup is an 8-ounce cup.

Top Five Japanese Rice Cooker

After hours of testing and eating lots of delicious rice, here are what I believe to be the best Japanese rice cookers in the market today. The four are complex multi-function machines while the fifth is just a simple turn-on turn-off one. This lone one might not be my best pick, but I included it here because this is what I believe to be the best in the simple category.​

Via amazon.com

For its rice capacity of 3 cups, this cooker packs in decent power at 450 Watts. If you will only be cooking a few cups, expect it to be done quickly. This is ideal for singles who are often in hurry and don’t have 50-60 minutes just to cook rice.

Its versatile cooking setting allows you to cook sushi rice, porridge and brown. It can hold a maximum of 3 cups uncooked rice which will yield up to 6 cups when cooked.

The keep warm function automatically kicks in, but you can also extend it with its delay timer. It has two colors to choose from which makes it fit for any kitchen type. If you’re looking for a handy rice cooker but has a lot of features, I highly recommend this one.

Storage

1-3 cups

Power

300W

Keep Warm Feature

Yes

Settings

1

Dimension

7.8 x 7.1x 9.1

Weight

3.1lbs

Via amazon.com

For family cooking, the is the rice cooker to choose. This jumbo size rice cooker is equipped with a huge, easy to access LCD screen that houses the timer, menu and start button. This interface ensures that you will have a well-cooked rice every time.

It has a BPA-free cooking plate, rice spatula and a cookbook. The synchro-cooking function lets you steam other ingredients while cooking rice. Its multi-settings are slow cooking, quick rice, plain rice, sweet rice, brown rice, porridge, mixed rice, multi-grain rice, and steam cooking.

With a top of the line rice cooker like this, a keep warm and delay settings are standard features. It comes in a stainless steel color which makes it attractive and fit for any kitchen design.

Storage

2-10 cups

Power

918W

Keep Warm Feature

Yes

Settings

10

Dimension

11.1x14.6x9.8

Weight

9lbs

Via amazon.com

The most hi-tech among the rice cooker reviewed, the ZojiRushi NS-ZCC10 used “fuzzy logic” technology together with a thermal sensor to monitor and automatically adjust the cooking temperature based on pre-selected settings. Your choices ranges from quick cooking, white regular, sushi, mixed, porridge, sweet, semi-brown, brown, and rinse-free options.

As an add-on, this cooker comes with a spatula and holder, and a rinse-free rice measuring cup. If you plan to go to a neighborhood gathering or a potluck, this lightweight cooker with its foldable handle is good to take. It’s also ideal for singles living in a small room because it barely takes up space. It also has the standard keep warm, reheat and delay timer.

Storage

1-5.5 cups

Power

680W

Keep Warm Feature

Yes

Settings

8

Dimension

10.1x13x8.1

Weight

3lbs

Via amazon.com

This might sound like an overkill, but if the situation calls for cooking 10 cups of rice and serving 20 cups in 45 minutes, the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB is up to the task.

It has a limited setting of slow cook, steam, white and brown rice, but nobody would really think of making this monster play a double role.

Its keep warm function automatically kicks in, removing the need to push the button. It also has a delay timer which you can set to a maximum of 15 hours. The rather small LCD monitor ensures that you’re spot on in your cooking.​

Storage

2-10 cups

Power

650W

Keep Warm Feature

Yes

Settings

4

Dimension

11.2x10.8x10.8

Weight

5lbs

Via amazon.com

Among the featured rice cooker in this review, Panasonic SR-G06FG is the most simple. It’s just an on-off cooker without any frills but it does what it’s designed to do very well. It comes with a measuring cup and a spatula.

The machine automatically shuts off when the rice is cooked but there is no keep warm function. The glass lid is all you’ve got to monitor the status of your rice. This has a non-stick inner pan which contains the rice.

There’s really nothing much to say about this rice cooker except that it takes minimalism to the next level.

Storage

0.5-3 cups

Power

310W

Keep Warm Feature

No

Settings

1

Dimension

8.25x9.6x7.8

Weight

2.6lbs

​Final Thoughts

The clear winner in this review is the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT. It just meets the portability, power and storage needs of a regular home rice cooker. It can also double as a steamer for veggie and cake.

From experience, it can cook restaurant quality rice and the space that it occupies on my countertop is barely noticeable. You will seldom find a rice cooker of this quality at this price point.

You will seldom need the big ones like the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB and the Tiger JAX-T18U-K unless you have a huge family. It’s only good for those occasions where huge families gather together but other than that, you won’t need it often.

Have you used any of these Japanese rice cookers? Feel free to brag about your cooking success in the comment section below.​

    Claire J. Ruiz

    I'm Claire, and my passion is cooking. I believe that food is what actually unites people and the dining table is where we set aside our differences. When we eat we become vulnerable because enjoying food requires a different level of trust and surrender to the person preparing your food. Sharing and enjoying food is one of the most intimate experiences in life.​

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