Rice is one of the most versatile foods around the world, and if anyone has perfected the art of cooking rice in different ways, it’s the Japanese. And, if you want it made to perfection, the best Japanese rice cooker can be a handy device in your kitchen.
Japanese rice cookers come with incredible features to let you cook rice in different ways. With different models out there, ranging from simple electric heaters to advanced inductions, choosing one becomes challenging. Thus, we have rounded up some tried-and-tested and expert-recommended Japanese rice cookers on this list. Take a look.
Types Of Japanese Rice Cookers
Here are a few major types of rice cookers available in the market.
- Regular electric rice cooker: Also known as a mechanical rice cooker, it is a simple and functional appliance that automatically switches off when food is cooked. It works on the bottom-to-top heating principle, which cooks the rice uniformly. Affordability and easy-availability are the key features of this variety.
- Electronic rice cooker: An advanced rice cooker, this type works on electronic control panels, microprocessors, and sensing devices to control and manipulate key cooking parameters such as temperature, pressure, and cooking time. It comes with a variety of cooking modes to cook different types of rice
- High-frequency induction cooker:The induction cooker works on magnetic fields to heat the entire cooking pan instead of just the bottom. This technology, indicated by the IH (Induction Heating) label, is considered the most advanced.
This type of cooker can prepare the most uniformly cooked and fluffy rice in less time. Such high-frequency rice cooker devices also have LCDs with touch buttons to select from the different cooking modes. They have a state-of-the-art design that complements a modern kitchen too.
11 Best Japanese Rice Cookers
The Zojirushi Fuzzy electronic rice cooker with neuro-fuzzy logic technology enables you to set temperature and heating time to make the perfect rice. It has several cooking modes such as white rice (sushi, softer, harder), mixed rice, porridge, sweet, semi brown, brown rice, and quick-cooking that can be selected from the panel as per your preference.
The expert-recommended one-liter capacity cooker has triple heaters to cook the rice evenly from the bottom, sides, and the top. The ergonomically designed cooker has a retractable power cord, a folding handle for easy transport, and a keep-warm mode that can keep your rice warm for more than 12 hours. It has a clock and delay-timer function and includes a spatula and a rice measuring cup. Take a look at this video to learn more about this time-tested Japanese kitchenware.
- Multiple cooking modes with LCD
- Sturdy build with quality components
- Beep-audio to indicate cooking completion
- Easy-to-clean detachable cooking pan and lids
- May take longer to cook
- Battery cannot be replaced
"The cooker offers the versatility of cooking different types of rice and even oatmeal. Although cleaning the various grooves can be slightly tedious, its numerous merits, such as the multiple cooking modes and its ability to cook the rice evenly and not make it sticky, outweigh that minor hassle."
The Tiger multi-functional cooker has gained immense popularity among rice lovers for its synchronized cooking mode to steam cooking. This expert-recommended efficient rice cooker features an automatic logic system for active temperature monitoring.
The cooker’s easy-to-understand button layout with four cooking modes, namely plain, synchro – cooking, brown and slow cook, lets you prepare the most delicious and steamed rice dishes. You can use the warm mode to keep your rice warm after it is cooked. The cooker comes with a spatula, rice measuring cup, cooking plate, and various rice cooker recipes in a book for synchro cooking ideas. Watch this brief video for more information about this rice cooker.
- Compact one-liter capacity size
- Super-fast cooking in less than 20 minutes
- Synchro-cooking in the upper tray
- Easy to clean and wash
- Includes a recipe book
- Timer or clock functionalities are absent
- Doesn’t have audio indicators
"This simple rice cooker worked well with both white and brown rice, even specialty ones. It's meticulously built and has not given me any trouble whatsoever. Although getting the water-to-rice ratio perfect did require some practice, this cooker has been the ideal addition to my kitchen."
Equipped with induction heating (IH) technology, the tried-and-tested Zojirushi rice cooker uses magnetic fields instead of electrical conduction to heat the rice pan. This special heating method allows precise temp control and lets you prepare the fluffiest, tasty, and perfect rice in conjunction with highly intelligent temperature sensors.
You can cook various rice dishes, including plain rice, brown rice, porridge, and sushi rice in the cooker, by selecting the right mode. Once the rice is cooked, the ‘keep-warm’ setting automatically sets in for hours. This expert-approved and cETLus-certified product also has a timer to set the desired cooking time in advance, making rice preparation convenient.
- Advanced induction heating technology
- Modern design with stainless steel body
- Multiple cooking modes
- Easy-to-operate front panel and LED screen
- One-liter capacity
- May take longer to cook
- Power cord may not be retractable
"This rice cooker exceeded my expectations, producing non-mushy and non-crunchy rice every time. It reminded me of restaurant-quality rice. Also, it excelled at cooking brown rice. It requires some care, as the non-stick pot can be scratched easily. But, overall, it makes a worthwhile investment, and I can't even imagine going back to my old cooker."
Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
Tiger Micom Rice Cooker
Zojirushi Induction Heating System
Best Multiple Cooking Modes
|Wattage||680 watts||672 watts||1.2 KW|
|Weight||3 Pounds||5.7 Pounds||9 pounds|
|Color||White||White||Stainless Dark Gray|
|Dimensions||13"D x 10.13"W x 8.13"H||13.9"D x 10.6"W x 8.4"H||14"D x 10"W x 8"H|
4. Best Touch Panel: Comfee’ Asian Style All-In-1 Multi Cooker
If you are looking for a multipurpose cooker,the Comfee all-in-one cooker can be a good choice. You can use this five-liter appliance as a rice cooker, steamer, sauté pan, slow cooker, yogurt maker, and soup pot. It also includes a 24-hour delay timer to set the time of cooking conveniently. It is available at an affordable price and has good build quality with a stainless steel outer body and non-stick cooking pot. This brief review video has more information about this automatic rice cooker.
- Multi-cooker, cook more than just rice
- Touch panel and timer with LED display
- Automatic keep-warm mode
- Removable pot and lids for easy cleaning
- May take longer to cook
- Could be heavy for some
"This user-friendly appliance has consistently delivered perfect outcomes for over six months now. Although it occasionally yields slightly soggy rice on top during the warming function, mixing serves as a quick fix. Plus, it comes with a steam basket, making the cooker a multipurpose device."
The induction heating pressure cooker and warmer is an advanced and top-of-the-line offering by the Japanese brand Zojirushi. With a combination of induction heating (IH) and pressurized cooking in conjunction with fuzzy logic technology and AI, this time-tested rice cooker ensures uniform heating of the rice. This high-quality rice cooker has three different pressure levels and micro-adjustments suitable for cooking different types of rice at the desired temperature.
Available in one and two-liter capacity, the cooker has basic features such as LED display, touch control, timer, and keep-warm mode and advanced safety features, such as a pressure control valve, safety valve, and pressure indicator.
- High-finish stainless steel exterior
- Multiple cooking modes
- High-quality components and parts
- Easy-to-clean parts
- May not be suitable for food items other than rice
"I love this rice cooker's stellar performance and its easy-to-clean parts. It cooks rice to perfection and gives it a fluffy texture. Although not the best fit for specialty rice, it's been perfect for cooking regular rice, and the steel grey color seamlessly blends into my kitchen decor."
The Toshiba cooker brings innovation to rice cooking with advanced fuzzy logic, 3D, and six-step cooking technology. With a capacity of 3L, this quality-tested cooker is capable of cooking white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, and other food items, such as oats, porridge, and multiple grains. A well-lit LED display, ergonomic design,and single-touch buttons enable easy selection of cooking modes or timer settings. The sturdy and durable cooker has a carry handle and detachable cooking pan and lid for portability and efficient cooking.
- Combination of advanced cooking features
- Not limited to just cooking rice
- Multi-functional rice cooker
- Includes steam basket, spatulas, soup spoon, and measuring cups
- Quick rice feature for faster cooking
- Keep-warm mode for 24 hours
- Power cord is not retractable
"I love the versatility of this cooker as it allows me to make not just rice but also soup, vegetables, and eggs. Its compact size has been perfect for my small kitchen, and although the cooking time is longer than expected, the quality of cooked rice more than makes up for that minor inconvenience. And the ease of cleaning and durability is much appreciated."
The budget-friendly multipurpose rice cooker has three main cooking modes to steam meat and veggies and cook white and brown rice. This tried-and-tested rice cooker also has the automatic sauté-then-simmer and keep-warm functions to cook moist, well-textured, perfectly rice at the push of a button. The additional steam tray can be used to steam your favorite dishes simultaneously with the rice. You can use the delay timer for up to 15 hours for planned cooking.
- Advanced cooking features work in sync
- Sauté and steam functions
- Includes steam basket and standard accessories
- Multipurpose cooking
- One-liter capacity
- Cleaning may not be easy
- Panel display is not backlit
- Condensed water may drip from the sides
"This rice cooker outshines all my previously owned options, all thanks to the quick cook button, which has been a boon during rushed meals. It leaves no residue, and the larger pot and sturdy design render it a winner. The cooker also keeps the rice warm for hours. Hence, it gets the approval of this home cook."
8. Best Programmable: 5 Core Asian Digital Rice Cooker
The Asian digital rice cooker by 5 Core boasts a large touchscreen for easy operation and features distinct programming rice cooker functions, making it a versatile and diverse cooker. With 15 different functions available, including cake-making and automatic food warming, this quality-tested product is a highly practical kitchen appliance suitable for daily use and party preparations. The cooker’s 20-cup or 5.3-quart capacity accommodates cooking in large batches with even heating. Additionally, the 8X bonded granite five-layered non-stick inner pot prevents food from sticking, ensuring a hassle-free cooking experience while increasing its durability.
- Features a cool-to-touch handle for added convenience
- Features a 24-hr delay timer for facilitating meal planning
- Dishwasher-safe components
- Free of cadmium, lead, and PFOA
- Anti-chip and anti-flake inner pot
- Instructions may not be easy to follow
- Buttons may be delicate
"I love the fact that this rice cooker handles everything from rice to buckwheat to stews in an efficient manner. It has been a reliable choice for work potlucks and large home meals. Overall, it is a dependable and multifunctional addition to my kitchen."
9. Best LED Screen: Tiger JKT-D10U Rice Cooker
This rice cooker by Tiger works effectively on advanced induction technology. The temperature adjustment feature encourages you to cook fluffy rice within a short time. This non-stick rice cooker also comes with 12 preset cooking functions for quick and convenient cooking, and the new express limited cup setting enables you to cook a limited amount of rice in 17 minutes. The tried-and-tested cooker can also keep the cooked rice warm when you select the ‘keep warm’ setting. You can conveniently cook multigrain rice, long grain rice, porridge, and sweet rice, and bake using this versatile rice cooker.
- Comes with side handles
- Non-stick coated ceramic inner pot
- Precise temperature adjustment
- Available in 1.3 and 2.3 liters
- May take time to get familiar with the features
"The Tiger rice cooker has impressed me with its ability to cook white rice to perfection, and its slow cooking setting has been the highlight for me. Also, the ceramic-coated inner pot is a welcome upgrade as it helps me make rice, soups, oatmeal, and more without messing up the cooker's interiors."
Be it sushi rice, pasta, brown rice, or other steamed food, this one-pot electric rice cooker by Moosum allows you to cook it all. It features an auto shut-off mode that turns the cooker into an auto-warming device once its contents are cooked.
The cooker has a BPA-free steamer, a non-stick FDA-coated inner pot, and a detachable inner lid to make cooking easy and convenient. Further, the stainless steel housing and dishwasher-compatible parts make it easy to wipe and clean the cooker. This is an ideal choice for Japanese home cooking even if you are a beginner.
- Features an easy-to-use handle
- Has a one-touch button for opening the lid
- Can cook up to 20 cups of rice
- Includes a ladle, rice measuring cup, and a spoon
- Instructions may not be clear
"This multi-cooker is more than a rice cooker. It doubles as a steamer and a slow cooker. Be it juicy chicken thighs or fluffy rice, everything comes out tender and tasty. It is intuitive and easy to use. However, I felt that the user instructions could be clearer. Yet, its convenience and versatility heavily outweigh this minor con."
The YumAsia smart rice cooker with advanced seven-phased fuzzy logic technology cooks food evenly by adjusting the temperature according to the water volume and content type. It can steam vegetables and bake cakes and has four different rice settings. The 20oz cooker is suitable for a couple or a family of three. Furthermore, the five-layer ceramic-coated Ninja bowl is ideal for non-stick rice cooking. This expert-recommended cooker is free of BPA and PFOA, and its compact size makes it ideal for smaller kitchens for the traditional Japanese rice cooking process.
- Easy-to-read measurement lines
- Features a ten-minute countdown timer
- Enabled with a quick-cook setting
- Built-in LED display and smart button control panel
- Detachable stainless steel inner lid
- Condensation collector for easy cleaning
- Lid may discolor over time
- Inner pot may not be scratch-proof
"I find this rice maker uncomplicated and adept at delivering perfectly cooked rice each time. And the various cooking modes allow me to make everything from long grain to porridge. While its size makes it a bit bulky for storage, its overall performance and high-quality ceramic pot make up for it."
How To Choose The Right Japanese Rice Cooker?
With the plethora of features and various Japanese rice cooker brands, it may not be easy to pick what is best for you. To make your decision-making easier, here is a list of key features that you should look for in Japanese rice cookers.
- Bowl capacity: One-liter is the standard capacity of Japanese rice cookers. If you need to cook more, you can go for a two-liter capacity. While the former would be sufficient for two or three people, the latter is preferable if you intend to cook for more people.
- Cooking pan quality: The cooking pan quality affects the taste of your rice. A better-insulated pan ensures better heat propagation and retention, ensuring thorough and uniform cooking. Try to find a cooker with high-quality steel pans and a non-stick surface that doesn’t peel off with repeated usage.
- Heating technologies: Some standard heating technologies include induction heating (IH), Fuzzy Logic heating, and 3D heating. A few brands also offer proprietary patent technologies or the above mentioned in combination. These technologies are known to enable the cooking of rice at the desired temperature and consistency.
- Ergonomics and aesthetics: Consider their form factor, portability, and overall design as well. Several brands listed provide touch panels for easy usage, detachable inner parts or rice cooker accessories for easy cleaning, and foldable handles for portability. Consider these factors from your perspective, and choose the best one.
Akino Ogata, a Japanese culinary expert, says, “Consider how often you cook rice before buying a rice cooker. If rice is your staple food, choose a medium to high-end product. If not, choose a reasonable but reliable one. Whichever product you select, know that rice tastes best when it is freshly cooked.” She adds, “Also, I don’t recommend keeping rice warm for long hours. Freeze it and reheat it just before eating.”
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah offers expert assessments of furniture, home appliances, and kitchenware. He has compiled a list of the best Japanese rice cookers for you based on his extensive study and analysis of various products. These cookers come in various models and types, allowing you to cook rice in a variety of ways. Wedetso has also included a detailed description of each product and a buying guide to help you buy as per your requirements based on bowl capacity, pan quality, ergonomics, and aesthetics.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What else can I use rice cookers for?
You can steam vegetables, cook oatmeal, soups, beans, lentils, pasta, grains like barley, quinoa, or millet, boil eggs, and many more things in a rice cooker.
2. Can I lift the lid off my rice cooker while it’s working?
You can lift the lid off your rice cooker while cooking. However, it slows the cooking time because when you lift the lid, some of the steam escapes and lowers the temperature.
3. How long does it take to cook rice in a rice cooker?
Typically, one cup of white rice takes about 25 minutes to cook, whereas one cup of brown rice takes about 60 minutes.
4. How do I clean my rice cooker?
A rice cooker is pretty easy to clean. Here are a few steps for cleaning it: Remove the inner bowl and place it in the dishwasher. If it is not dishwasher-safe, soak it in a solution of warm water and soap for some time. While the bowl is soaking, wipe the outer part of the rice cooker with the same solution using a cloth, then wipe it carefully with regular water. Take out the inner bowl from the soap solution and scrub it using a slightly gritty washing cloth, then wipe it clean with regular water.
5. How do I store my rice cooker?
Store your rice cooker in a clean and dry cabinet. Also, make sure the rice cooker is clean and dry before storing it to prevent damage.
To ensure that your rice is cooked perfectly each time, you must invest in a Japanese rice cooker. They feature several functions, such as perfect heat distribution, quick cooking, and multiple cooking modes. While there are many options, the best Japanese rice cookers must have a high bowl capacity, a better-insulated pan, and an easy-cleaning design. They must also be compact and portable with touch panels for easy usage. Lastly, choose cookers with standard heating technologies that offer desired temperature and consistency. Our top recommendations include the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker for its keep-warm mode and portability, the Tiger Micom Rice Cooker for quicker cooking and easy maintenance, and the Toshiba One-Touch Cooker for its large capacity and versatile utility.
Infographic: Advice For Cleaning Rice Cookers
Rice cookers use slow-cooking methods to prepare rice and other dishes. However, if this is your first time using it, you should know how to clean this appliance. Check out the infographic below for some pointers for cleaning rice cookers without damaging their circuits.