November 2, 2017

Rice 101: 5 Of The Best Japanese Rice Cooker In The Market

best japanese rice cooker

When thinking about rice, usually Asians are the biggest consumers, but the whole world is slowly following their footsteps.

But no other country cooks rice perfectly like the Japanese. For them, it’s a way of life and a form of art. They’ve manufactured excellent rice cookers since the early days and up to the present time.

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best japanese rice cooker

Rice needs special attention when cooking it, believe it or not. So, having the best japanese rice cooker in the market is essential.

If you’re busy all the time and want to prepare rice the best and fastest way possible, investing in the best rice cooker will make your life easier. Let’s get into it!

Why Are The Japanese Masters at Cooking Rice?

The first ever rice cooker was invented by the Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan. Back then, it was made of an aluminum pot with a heating coil at the bottom.

I only want to emphasize that the Japanese who invented the rice cooker and a staple consumer of rice were most likely the ones who make the best quality rice cookers.

Besides, the Japanese are known for their best quality and attention to detail in everything they do - from cars and gadgets to bullet trains and skyscrapers. Rest assured that you will most certainly get good quality kitchen appliances.

best japanese rice cooker

Japanese rice cookers are cost-effective. Even though it’s a little pricey compared to most instant rice cookers, investing in a Japanese rice cooker will cost you less in the long term. If your family doesn't cook rice all the time, it may be cheaper to buy an instant rice cooker.

However, if you eat it everyday, A Japanese rice cooker is perfect for your meals!

Another reason is it has a nutritive value. Instant and regular rice cookers may be cheaper and more convenient, but it lacks nutritive value. For a more elaborate explanation go to this link.

Finally, the tasteEven if you put spices and herbs in an instant rice cooker, it will not taste as authentic as when you cook it using a Japanese rice.

Why Choose A Japanese Rice Cooker?

  • The first ever rice cooker was invented by the Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan. Back then, it was made of an aluminum pot with a heating coil at the bottom.
  • I only want to emphasize that the Japanese who invented the rice cooker and a staple consumer of rice were most likely the ones who make the best quality rice cookers.
  • Besides, the Japanese are known for their best quality and attention to detail in everything they do - from cars and gadgets to bullet trains and skyscrapers. Rest assured that you will most certainly get good quality kitchen appliances.
best japanese rice cooker
  • Japanese rice cookers are cost-effective. Even though it’s a little pricey compared to most instant rice cookers, investing in a Japanese rice cooker will cost you less in the long term. If your family doesn't cook rice all the time, it may be cheaper to buy an instant rice cooker. However, if you eat it everyday, A Japanese rice cooker is perfect for your meals!
  • Another reason is it has a nutritive value. Instant and regular rice cookers may be cheaper and more convenient, but it lacks nutritive value. For a more elaborate explanation go to this link.
  • Finally, the taste. Even if you put spices and herbs in an instant rice cooker, it will not taste as authentic as when you cook it using a Japanese rice.

How To Choose The Best Rice Cooker

Here are some features you need to take into consideration when scouting for the perfect Japanese rice cooker for your needs.

best japanese rice cooker

Cup Capacity 

How much rice are you going to cook at a time? Are you going to cook a big batch for your family and friends or enough rice to last you for three days? 

The capacity of a rice cooker can range from 0.5 to 10 cups, from a single-serving to a party-serving size.

Just keep in mind that the cup size for Japanese rice cookers is measured by uncooked rice, which is at six ounces, as compared to the standard metric system eight-ounce cup.

Watts

Wattage is a measurement of the rice cooker’s power and cooking speed. Large Japanese rice cookers’ wattage ranges from 600 to 900 watts, while smaller versions range from 200 to 400 watts.

Most Japanese rice cookers can cook a basic pot of cooked rice in 45 to 60 minutes.

Keep Warm Function 

Yes, keeping your rice warm is important! Who wants cold rice? If you’re the type of person who eats a lot of rice, a Japanese rice cooker’s keep warm feature is perfect for you! 

Some automatically turn on when the cooking process is done and it’s still plugged in. But for other cookers, you have to manually press the keep warm function

best japanese rice cooker

Cooking Settings 

Some Japanese rice cookers can only cook rice, but others have extra features that change the game. For example, steaming vegetables or cooking different kinds of grain like quinoa, barley, and even corn can be done by more advanced cookers.

Some machines can even make cakes or porridge. If you want to find out what magic dishes a rice cooker can make aside from rice, read this link.

Dimension

The size of a rice cooker or any appliance is crucial. What if you’re a student living in a dorm and you have limited space or you have a small kitchen -- will you buy a big one?

Certainly not, right? A large rice cooker can cook a huge batch of rice, but a smaller one can easily be packed up and moved from place place. So, size does matter!

best japanese rice cooker

Weight

Finally, weight is very important when selecting a Japanese rice cooker. No one wants to carry a heavy rice cooker from one place to another, whether you’re moving houses, apartments or you just simply want to move it.

Weight can also be a sign of quality, as some rice cookers are made with stainless steel.

How To Use A Japanese Rice Cooker

If you’re a beginner in cooking rice with a Japanese rice cooker, the video below will help you with the functions that will work best for perfect rice all the time!


An Overview of the 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers

A Detailed Review of the 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers

When I first saw this rice cooker, I fell in love with it. Its black and silver body looks perfectly sleek in any kitchen. This rice cooker can also cook a minimum of 3 cups or up to 6 cups of rice.

When you purchase this rice cooker, it comes with a cup measured at 180 ml. This cup ensures perfectly cooked rice -- just make sure to use ONLY this cup when measuring rice.

Via  Amazon.com

At first glance, the control panel might be difficult to use but I can assure you it’s not. The control panel has a timer button that lets you choose the range of time you want to cook the rice and two big arrows on the side to adjust it.

Another convenient feature is the keep warm setting. When the rice is cooked, this feature automatically turns on which keeps your rice warm as long as it’s plugged in. There is also another button that you may press for cooking different kinds of rice.

The pot where you cook the rice is made with a non-stick coating material. It also comes with a non-stick, heat resistant spatula which you can scoop the rice with. The spatula also helps in maintaining the nonstick surface of the bowl.

PROS

  • plus
    Versatile in cooking any kind of rice
  • plus
    Easy to use
  • plus
    Doesn't take up a lot of space in the kitchen
  • plus
    Comes with a measuring cup and serving spatula
  • plus
    Easy to clean
  • plus
    Has an LCD display
  • plus
    Has a detachable lid
  • plus
    Has a timer feature

CONS

  • minus
    Expensive
  • minus
    Nonstick coating may wear off through time
  • minus
    May not cook be able to cook small batches

Can you imagine a rice cooker that you just have to turn on and wait for the rice to cook?

Well, with the advanced Neuro fuzzy logic technology, this rice cooker has the ability to “think” for itself and make the necessary adjustments on it’s own such as the time in cooking the rice and lowering the temperature so that you get perfectly cooked rice all the time.

Via  Amazon.com

With the automatic keep-warm and the extended keep-warm functions, even after the rice is done cooking, the nonstick inner pan still allows the rice to cook for an even and uniform cooking.

Also, it comes with a delay timer so that you can control the cooking time and a retractable cord, so transporting the appliance from place to place is easy.

Upon purchase, it includes a nonstick rice spoon/scooper and two measuring cups.

The cooking mode of this rice cooker is endless! From sushi, porridge, cakes, brown rice, to corn, buckwheat, quinoa, and barley. It also has a cute melody indicator that tells you when the rice is cooked.

PROS

  • plus
    Delay timer
  • plus
    Doesn't take up a lot of space in the kitchen
  • plus
    Comes with a measuring cup and serving spatula
  • plus
    Easy to clean
  • plus
    LCD display
  • plus
    Cooks other grains
  • plus
    Can be used as a steamer

CONS

  • minus
    Expensive
  • minus
    Nonstick coating may wear off through time
  • minus
    May not cook small batches

Zojirushi is one of the most trusted brands in Japan when it comes to rice cookers. It also has a Neuro fuzzy logic technology to get a consistent and even cooked rice all the time, while saving up on prep time.

It’s very sturdy because it’s made with high quality materials. Moreover, it has a retractable power cord and a melody indicator to tell you that the rice is cooked. It’s also easy to clean and has a sleek color and design.

Via  Amazon.com

The Zojirushi is worth investing on if you’re looking for versatility. It can steam vegetables and comes with a steaming basket upon purchase. There is also a setting mode for cakes.

It also has an automatic keep warm and extended keep warm functions, and a time delay setting. It’s basically perfect for those who want their rice cooker to do all the work.

Other features are easy-to-read LCD screen with timer and clock functions. The cooking settings include steaming, for cakes, porridge, sushi, corn, etc. It can also slow cook legumes and oats!

PROS

  • plus
    Has a delay timer
  • plus
    Has a slow cooking mode
  • plus
    Comes with a measuring cup and serving spatula
  • plus
    Easy to clean
  • plus
    Easy to read LCD display
  • plus
    Cooks other grains and vegetables
  • plus
    Doesn't take up a lot of space in the kitchen

CONS

  • minus
    Expensive
  • minus
    Nonstick coating may wear off through time
  • minus
    May not be able to cook small batches

This Japanese rice cooker is very unique because of the 13 cooking mode options. You can cook pasta, soups, cakes, porridge, steam vegetables,etc.

It also features a delay cooking timer so that means you can set the time you want to cook your food. It also has a keep warm function so that you will be able to keep your rice warm until everyone is gathered on the dinner table. Also, it’s very easy to adjust the time and function with the led LCD panel.

Via  Amazon.com

Cleaning is a breeze because of the non-stick pot -- just remove it, wash it with a sponge ONLY, then rinse it! Also, this cooker comes with a non-stick scooper upon purchase.

PROS

  • plus
    Has 13 Cooking mode options
  • plus
    Has a delay timer
  • plus
    Comes with a measuring cup and serving spatula
  • plus
    Easy to clean
  • plus
    Easy to read LCD display
  • plus
    Cooks other grains and vegetables
  • plus
    Doesn't take up a lot of space in the kitchen

CONS

  • minus
    Very expensive
  • minus
    Nonstick coating may wear off through time
  • minus
    May not cook small batches

One of the most attractive things about this Japanese rice cooker is the stainless steel exterior. Moreover, it’s shape is unique because you won't find many Japanese rice cookers that are shaped spherically.

It has 4-in-1 functions and 10 cooking mode settings. Everything is computerized and can be see through the led LCD display. The inner pan and lid is removable, so cleanup is a breeze.

Via  Amazon.com

What’s interesting about this rice cooker is that it can cook two different dishes at once. Thanks to the BPA cooking bowl that comes with it. Just place the bowl on top of the rice and set the time.

In case a 5.5 cup of rice is not enough for your family, it also comes with a 10 cup size. One negative thing about this rice cooker is the non-retractable cord.

PROS

  • plus
    Has a stainless steel exterior
  • plus
    Has 4-in-1 functions and 10 cooking mode settings
  • plus
    Comes with 2 measuring cups and serving spatula
  • plus
    Easy to clean
  • plus
    Easy to read LCD display
  • plus
    Can cook two different dishes at the same time

CONS

  • minus
    Does not have retractable cord
  • minus
    Nonstick coating may wear off through time

Verdict

Now that I’m done talking about the best rice cookers in the market, what do you think is the very best? For me, it's the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT because it has a reasonable price out of all five.

Yes, it’s the most expensive but if you think about it, investing in the very best rice cooker is worth it, right?

Because of it’s small frame, it can easily fit in any kitchen space. Furthermore, it can cook up to 6 cups of rice! Great for family gathering and parties. It can cook other grains like barley, buckwheat, corn, brown rice, etc as well. It also features a keep warm setting.

Via  Amazon.com

Did you find this article useful? Have you had any experience with using a Japanese rice cooker? If you can recommend other Japanese rice cooker brands, feel free to comment below. Don’t forget to share this post. “Sayounara” and take care!

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