5+ Best Japanese Rice Cookers Of 2022 (Consistent & Fluffy)

Are you looking for the best Japanese rice cookers?

If so, you've come to the right place. 

Japanese rice cookers are not only known for their high quality materials, but for their consistency. 

Yes, consistency.

Consistency is something that you wish you had when you waited 40 minutes to cook your rice, and only find out that it's overcooked or undercooked. 

Painful. 

So if you're looking to up your rice game, look no further.

Let's break it down.

Firstly, let's define what a rice cooker is (in case you didn't already know).

The 7 Best Japanese Rice Cooker

What Is a Rice Cooker?

A rice cooker is an appliance used to automatically cook rice with little supervision. The appearance of one is similar to a slow cooker and acts like one too.

Not only do you not have to constantly keep watch of your rice and worry about it overcooking or not cooking enough, but the cooker also comes with a thermometer to monitor the pot’s internal temperature as well as strong handles and a paddle to scoop out the rice without damaging the non-stick coating.

The reason people choose the rice cooker is because it is both efficient and effective. With cooking rice, it can be very difficult to produce the perfect batch. It is easy to put too much water into your pot and have your rice taste like mush.

It is also very easy to fill your pot with too little water and have your rice burnt and undercooked. With a rice cooker, this will never be an issue because it is guaranteed to have your rice coming out perfectly every time.

You may be wondering how one uses a rice cooker. It is a very easy process. All you need to do is load the cooker up with your ingredients, hit a button, and wait.

You don’t have to think about the heat since the cooker regulates the temperature for you. You don’t have to keep an eye on the time either. All in all, a rice cooker provides that stress relief and, in addition, makes for a nice placement on your kitchen countertop.

A Little Japan Rice Cooking History

It is well known of Japan’s love for the rice cooker and in almost every Japanese household will you find an electric rice cooker. It is engrained in their culture, rice being one of Japan’s most important crops.

Although every country around the world consumes rice, in Japan rice is used on an entirely different level. You have your steamed rice, sushi, onigiri, and more. It is also common in Eastern Asia for people to use their leftover rice for other means. One example is chazuke – this is made by pouring tea (more often green tea) over the leftover rice.

The electric rice cooker was made by a Japanese company where it is known as suihanki (this translates literally to “boil rice device”). Of course, with the development of this brand new product in a country where rice is the main food of choice, this device would capture the attention of many.

What makes the Japanese rice cooker better?

There are rice cookers of every type, however the Japanese rice cooker has been seen as the best out of them all. But why is this?

Japanese rice cookers are not only built with a custom cooking timer to ensure your rice won’t overcook, but they are also made from stainless steel making them strong, sturdy, reliable and has a non-stick coating for easy cleaning.

There is a reason as to why these handy kitchen appliances are so popular in Japan. Even in the home of Westerners do you sometimes find the rice cooker.

However, it is important to note that with all the positive reviews follows some negatives.

Japanese rice cookers are very expensive and when thinking about purchasing one, make sure you know what you are getting into financially.

On average, you will find that the Japanese rice cooker will cost hundreds of dollars, which is a large percentage more than your regular rice cooker. But, of course, Japanese rice cookers wouldn’t be selling for these high prices if they weren’t special.

There is much that goes into the making of one of these rice cookers that make them exceptional, and here are some of the factors why.

Factor #1 - Great Quality

The Japanese rice cooker is of outstanding quality, made from strong stainless steel which makes it resistant to physical damage and attain a high tolerance for heat. As well as this, the device also features a non-stick aluminum surface to guarantee no rice will be stuck to the bottom.

It is important for Japanese manufacturers to use quality materials as not to lower the rate of the price. Great quality machinery also means guaranteed longevity.

Factor #2 - Versatile

Did you know that the Japanese rice cooker isn’t only used for cooking rice?

Although rice for many is its main purpose, this appliance is also used for preparing a variety of other dishes.

This can be from other grains such as quinoa to onion soup and roast pork.

Essentially, this rice cooker works similarly to your average slow cooker but supplies ten times more.

Factor #3 - Features

What attracts people to buying these rice cookers are the features of the appliance. Japan in general is an innovative country with great ideas, and this is incorporated into the great rice cooker.

The cooker comes with technology able to cook different foods and grains to the expected quality. Many of these rice cookers are also installed with microchips that adjusts the cooking temperature in order to supply the best food results.

It is clear that the Japanese rice cooker has a lot of great aspects, and it is no wonder why this device is so popular in Japan and has such an important role in the Japanese kitchen. The only downfall is the expense, but even then you are getting your money’s worth due to the rice cooker’s outstanding quality.

There are particular Japanese rice cooker brands which many go for. Some include Zojirushi, Tiger, and Toshiba. Listed below will be a 7 of the best Japanese rice cookers, each detailing their pros and cons and helping you find the right rice cooker for you.

Best Japanese Rice Cookers Reviews

OUR TOP PICK

Zojirushi NS-WAC10-WD 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer

This rice cooker is a great choice, with a 10-cup rice capacity and supplied with multi menu cooking options. Its size is efficient as it is small enough to fit within your kitchen without taking up too much space. The rice cooker is also made with dent resistant plastic to ensure it won’t be externally damaged.

Pros

  • Easy to use – this appliance is user-friendly and is straight forward to use.
  • Accessories – it comes with extra accessories including a rice spatula, spatula holder, and rice measuring cups.

Cons

  • Plastic – as it is made with a plastic body, it is not as efficient as it would be if the body were made from stainless steel.

EDITORS CHOICE

Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Japanese Rice Cooker with Induction Heating System and Pre-Programmed Cooking Options for Brown Rice, White Rice, and Porridge or Soup - 1.0 Liter - SR-HZ106 (Black)

This rice cooker is another ideal choice. It is made with induction heating, making an electrical internal current which heats the pot efficiently. With this cooker you can look forward to devouring a delicious healthy meal.

Pros

  • Stays warm – when your rice has finished cooking the cooker shuts down, however at the same time keeps the contents of the pot warm for up to 12 hours after.
  • Strength – this kitchen appliance is strong, being made from heavy aluminum to guarantee a long lasting and damage proof product.

Cons

  • Fan – the rice cooker comes with a fan which creates a loud noise. This can disturb some people.

BEST VALUE

Tiger JAX-T18U-K 10-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer & Slow Cooker, Stainless Steel Black

This Tiger rice cooker is another great Japanese model, allowing up to 10 cups of rice to be cooked as well as offering ten different cooking option – these options include plain rice, brown rice, sweet rice, porridge, and many others.

Pros

  • Extra features – this model includes a cooking book and cooking plate.
  • Measurements – this cooker comes with measurements inside the bowl that make it easier for people to measure out the water to rice ratio.
  • Internal heating – this device keeps your rice warm even if you are not wanting to serve up straight away.

Cons

  • Battery – the battery used is to be replaced by an authorized dealer, and this can be confusing for some people to get sorted if they don’t know where to go.

RUNNER UP

Zojirushi NHS-06 3-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker

This is a great Japanese rice cooker, most suitable for small family units, couples, or people living alone. It has a capacity of 3 cups and its cute small style is perfect for the kitchen.

It is simple, small, compact, and won’t take away from the kitchen. As with other Zojirushi cookers, this comes equipped with a plastic measuring cup.

Pros

  • Size – this rice cooker is small adding convenience as it won’t get in your way in the kitchen.
  • Durable – made with a non-stick layer to prevent any scratching/wear and tear.

Cons

  • Not for big families – if you are looking for an appliance that will feed many mouths, this may not be the right one for you. This model is on the smaller scale, suitable for less people.

RUNNER UP

Aroma Housewares ARC-914SBD Digital Cool-Touch Rice Grain Cooker and Food Steamer, Stainless, Silver, 4-Cup (Uncooked) / 8-Cup (Cooked)

The Aroma Houseware brand is popular in Japan for its great rice cookers. This appliance is user friendly, easy to use with four digital functions.

This rice cooker is also built in with a steam function, great for allowing you to save time by cooking two things at once – have a meal preparing above whilst the rice cooks below it at one time. 

Like other models, this rice cooker contains a non-stick inner pot, measuring pot, and serving spatula.

Pros

  • Multi-functional – the aroma houseware rice cooker is multi-functional meaning it cooks other things than just rice – even cake!
  • Delay timer – this delay time works great for those on the go or for those with a busy schedule

Cons

  • Time – this cooker has been known to take longer to heat up and cook the rice compared to other cookers.

RUNNER UP

Zojirushi NS-RPC10FJ Rice Cooker and Warmer, 5.5-Cup (Uncooked), Tulip

This is a lovely Japanese rice cooker, detailed with a beautiful delicate tulip design giving the appliance that dash of personality. This device is simple to use with a one touch system.

It also comes with a triple heater located on the lid, side, and bottom of the cooker which generates a good temperature for delicious rice.

Pros

  • Unique – this cooker is unlike many others for its unique design with its tulip pattern. This also allows the device to blend in with the décor of the kitchen.
  • Simple to use – this only has a one touch control making it easy for anyone to use.

Cons

  • Cord – the cord of the rice cooker does not retract.

RUNNER UP

Moosum Rice Cooker Small 5 Cups With Steamer Stainless Steel Asian Japanese Sushi Rice Brown Rice Long Rice Auto Warmer Mini Kitchen Electric Appliance Black Maker

This is another small Japanese rice cooker for those looking for something simple yet efficient. This is a great rice cooker option for anyone looking for something which is quick and easy to use.

It has a “keep warm” option to keep your already cooked rice warm in case you did not want to consume straight away.

Pros

  • Detachable inner pot – the inner pot detaches meaning you are able to effectively clean with little problem.
  • Multi-functional cooker – this cooker is also able to cook other things as well as rice, such as stew and seafood.

Cons

  • Long grain rice – this cooker does not cook long grain rice.

Best Japanese Rice Cookers Buying Guide

Choosing any rice cooker can be a difficult task, but it is even more difficult when you are searching for a good quality, Japanese rice cooker, a rice cooker that is famous for its well-done quality rice and brilliant efficiency.

You will find that the majority of Japanese citizens in their home will own a rice cooker, and this is not only because it makes up a big part of their day but is also because, to put it simply, it works. It is important to know what you are buying, especially with a big and expensive product such as this one.

Japanese rice cookers are made to be long lasting, lasting as long as 5 years at a time, sometimes longer. You want to make sure that you are guaranteed a rice cooker that will live up to this expectation.

There are plenty of things to think about before purchasing a rice cooker and as this appliance will be living in your home for some years, you have to be sure that you will still be happy with it once those years arrive.

This buyer’s guide will help guide you in the right direction, pointing out key points and qualities all Japanese rice cookers should have. This guide will also help you to avoid making any purchasing mistakes and ensure that you are getting your money’s worth.

Size

The first thing to think about is size. It is easy to find a rice cooker that ticks all your boxes, but it is also easy not to consider the size of the unit. How big is your kitchen? How big is the rice cooker? Will it fit?

The last thing anyone wants is for the rice cooker to stand out and sit awkwardly in the corner, trying to squeeze into a space too small for it. There are plenty of options out there if you need a cooker that is bigger or that is smaller.

As well as this, think about who you will be cooking this rice for. Are you living alone? Or do you have a large family? You want to purchase a rice cooker that is suitable for the amount of people you are serving.

Some rice cookers supply 10 cups whilst others supply for as little as 3 cups. Make sure that you are preparing yourself for this possibility.

Material

Most commonly, the Japanese rice cooker is made out of a metal stainless steel, however for other models they are made out of a hard plastic. Make sure you look into the material of your potential cooker – you don’t want to regret your decision.

The best choice is to get a stainless steel model. This is because they are stronger, can withstand any potential external damage, and it is guaranteed to last much longer. It is essential for you to pick out a rice cooker that you know will stay damage-proof.

Additional Features

Japanese rice cookers have a lot to offer. They are not your generic device which only cooks rice but have many added features which attract buyers. But in turn this means more expense spent. How important are these special features to you? Go in knowing what you are wanting in a rice cooker and don’t only pick one that is ‘all the range’.

It is important that you are choosing a product that works for you and your day-to-day cooking life. Do you desire simplicity? Or do you desire the extreme? If you are someone who only cooks for one now and again then you may choose to opt for a simple rice cooker model.

On the other hand, if you have a full family and a busy schedule then a rice cooker with additional features, such as the delay time, will be the one for you.

What Will You Be Using the Rice Cooker For?

It is important to think, ‘what will be my rice cooker’s purpose?’. This is a good point to think about before buying since many of these Japanese rice cookers are made to be multi-purpose, meaning they can be used for cooking other dishes aside from rice. If you are looking to only cook rice, then look to see if what you are buying is simple enough to meet these needs. 

However, if you are wanting a rice cooker to make a variety of things, choose one which is highlighted as multi-functional. This way you are able to cook as much as you want in just one device, such as soup, chicken, even cake!

Does It Make Too Much Noise?

Before buying your rice cooker it is always good to look at reviews. This is because the given descriptions do not always reveal all, especially any first-hand feedback towards the device. It can be known that some rice cooker fans make a loud noise when it is cooking.

This can be okay for some, especially if the noise is discrete, but if you are someone who works long hours and are trying to sleep or someone who has a resting baby, the noise it makes my not be bearable. It is important to be prepared for any possible things which may put you off your rice cooker.

Frequently Asked Questions

What rice cookers are made in Japan?

The rice cooker was first manufactured in Japan and present a variety of quality rice cookers. In order to achieve the best cooking results and prepare from an authentic device, here are some of the well-known rice cooker brands of Japan.

Zojirushi, Tiger, Panasonic, Toshiba.

Why do people want the Japanese rice cooker?

The Japanese rice cooker has become popular globally as people have realized the benefits of owning one. It comes by no surprise as to why Japan loves their rice cookers. It is because they are guaranteed a model with great features, sustainability, and a product that will cook a delicious bowl of rice.

One thing that makes them better is how you are able to cook different foods in the rice cooker due to its multi-functionality. You will find people cooking rice, porridge, quinoa, even chicken legs in the rice cooker.

Something else that makes the Japanese rice cooker exceptional is its easy cleaning ability. Unlike some others, the Japanese rice cooker is very easy to clean. All you need to do is remove the interior bowl to wash and wipe the outside of the cooker.

With this easy and fast clean, you can put your attention into other activities that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do because of cleaning.

No oil is required when using these cookers because they are all manufactured with a non-stick inner surface area to stop your rice from sticking. This is good as you won’t have to worry about scratching and ruin the surface of the cooker. It is also good as it is healthier with less oil being consumed in your food.

Lastly, the Japanese rice cooker is painless to use. All that you need to do is push a few buttons and the cooker does the rest of the work for you. You can be happy sitting back with your feet up until the rice is complete.

This is very convenient for those who have a busy schedule, and also reduces the chances of any spillages or mess which may occur with cooking your rice manually on the stove.

What are the disadvantages of a Japanese rice cooker?

There are many great things about the rice cooker, but there are also some things that put it at a disadvantage.

The main thing that puts people off the Japanese rice cooker is the price of the item. It is rare you will find a good quality Japanese rice cooker without having to spend a fair amount of money. It is a good idea to save up until you have the sufficient funds to purchase a cooker.

Another disadvantage is the health risks that some of the cookers hold. Upon purchase, you may find that some cookers have warning stickers signaling the potential harm it could cause. It is important to keep an eye out for these warnings to ensure that you are receiving the safest cooking device.

Does rice need to be washed before cooking?

It is always important to wash your rice thoroughly before use; by doing so you are removing the starch. Simply pour the amount of rice you would like into a bowl, rinse the rice and drain, repeating this a number of times until you see that cloudy water turn clear. Once the water is clear, you know your rice is clean.

Alternatively, you are able to purchase rice that does not need to be washed, however, these are ten times more expensive than your regular pack of rice.

How frequently should I replace my rice cooker?

The great thing about the Japanese rice cooker is how sustainable and durable it is. The cookers are made to the highest quality with stainless steel exterior and damage-proof features.

With a good quality Japanese rice cooker, you will find they will last up to 5 years and only then would you have to think about replacements. If you are someone who uses the rice cooker more frequently than the average user, however, you may find that you will be replacing your cooker every 3 years.

This is an impressively long time for any cooking appliance, showing the strength of the Japanese rice cooker.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot to be appreciated about the Japanese rice cooker. It is a kitchen appliance that tops your average device and something that provides customers with satisfaction every time. The rice cooker is a great invention and has benefitted the lives of many Japanese citizens.

It makes cooking easier and you don’t have to think about piles of washing up. This is a brilliant device to own in your home and there are many Japanese brands to choose from.

The 7 rice cookers listed above are some of the best rated cookers, delivering their customers the best quality appliances as well as great tasting rice. If you are tired of your rice turning out too soggy or burnt to a crisp, then the rice cooker is the way to go.

Sure, it is true that you may have to spend some extra money however it is worth it for reduced stress, reduced pain, and an easy cooking process.

Before purchasing always remember to think about what rice cooker suits you. There is a rice cooker made for everyone. What is the most important thing is finding the best rice cooker for you and finding one which suits your needs.

About the author 

Jesse Spitzer

Jesse is a father of two and an aspiring chef. He has worked in the kitchen for over 7 years. He loves cooking and is passionate about finding ways to cook easier and more efficient. When he's not in the kitchen, Jesse can be found on on the golf course, reading a productivity book or sipping a glass of nice pinot.

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