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Best Japanese Rice Cooker: Buying Guide, FAQs, and More

Easiest To Use
Toshiba One-Touch Japanese Rice Cooker
5/5
Most Versatile
COMFEE All-In-1 Multi-Cooker
5/5
Best Budget Option
panasonic rice cooker with fuzzy logic
5/5

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Our Top Picks For Best Japanese Rice Cooker

1. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Stainless Steel Rice Cooker - Best Overall

Features

It is a very versatile 10″ x 14″ stainless steel rice cooker by the Japanese manufacturer Zojirushi. Not only can it be used to cook brown, white, and sushi rice, but it also doubles as a steamer and cake baker, making it an excellent item to have around the kitchen.

Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Stainless Steel Rice Cooker - Best Overall
Best Overall

The first product on our list is a very versatile 10″ x 14″ stainless steel rice cooker by the Japanese manufacturer Zojirushi. Not only can it be used to cook brown, white, and sushi rice, but it also doubles as a steamer and cake baker, making it an excellent item to have around the kitchen.

Whereas most rice cookers simply turn on and off in reaction to temperature, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 employs something called ‘fuzzy logic,’ which continually makes minor adjustments to the temperature based on what kind of rice is being cooked. This is done by a well-placed microsensor at the bottom of the heating plate that closely monitors weight and heat, making small changes as needed and ensuring that you get perfectly cooked rice every time.

On top of all this, the non-stick inner pan is dishwasher safe, has a total capacity of 5.5 cups of uncooked rice, and comes equipped with an electrical cord that winds up automatically when unplugged. When you take all this into consideration, it’s easy to see why this product from Zojirushi is considered by many to be the best Japanese rice cooker available.

Pros
Cons

2. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker

Features

Like the last Zojirushi rice cooker we looked at, the Neuro Fuzzy has setting options for several rice types and features the ‘fuzzy logic’ technology the Japanese manufacturer has become known for.

Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
Runner Up Best Overall

Coming in at second place is another Zojirushi product known as the Neuro Fuzzy. Like the last Zojirushi rice cooker we looked at, the Neuro Fuzzy has setting options for several rice types and features the ‘fuzzy logic’ technology the Japanese manufacturer has become known for.

Upon first look, one thing that immediately stands out is the unit’s unconventional design, which is much more spherical than the average Japanese rice cooker. Despite its unique look, it comes with the standard capacity of 5.5 cups of uncooked rice (although a 10 cup model is available) and an automatic keep warm function. Additionally, it can also be used for steaming vegetables and baking cakes, making it highly versatile.

At just over $200, this Japanese rice cooker might be a little expensive for some, but we promise that it’s well worth the price.

Pros
Cons

3. Tiger JAX-T1U-K Micom Rice Cooker

Features

With the ability to hold up to 10 cups of uncooked rice, this Tiger product allows you to cook nearly double the amount of rice that most Japanese rice cookers are capable of producing. What’s more, it comes with 11 built in cooking settings that include white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, steam, and many others.

For some people, the standard 5.5 cup capacity that most Japanese rice cookers come with simply isn’t enough. If this is an issue you sympathize with, the Tiger JAX-T1U-K may be just what you need in your kitchen.

With the ability to hold up to 10 cups of uncooked rice, this Tiger product allows you to cook nearly double the amount of rice that most Japanese rice cookers are capable of producing. What’s more, it comes with 11 built in cooking settings that include white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, steam, and many others.

However, perhaps the most impressive aspect of this model is Tiger’s proprietary ‘Tacook’ plate. Essentially, the Tacook plate functions as a steam tray, allowing you to cook vegetables, meat, and anything else using the heat produced from cooking rice. This innovation has made it possible for people to cook an entire meal with the JAX-T1U-K, and each purchase even comes with a small cookbook containing several tasty recipes.

Pros
Cons

4. Panasonic Rice Cooker With Fuzzy Logic

Features

Retailing at just under $70, it’s perhaps the best budget option available and even comes equipped with fuzzy logic technology, and an advanced ‘keep warm’ function that maintains rice at an ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours.

The products we have covered so far are, without a doubt, some of the best Japanese rice cookers on the market. However, they all come with price tags of $150 and up – an amount of money not everyone can justify spending on a rice cooker.

If this sounds like you, this 5 cup Japanese rice cooker from Panasonic is worth some serious consideration. Retailing at just under $70, it’s perhaps the best budget option available and even comes equipped with fuzzy logic technology, and an advanced ‘keep warm’ function that maintains rice at an ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours.

While it doesn’t come equipped with some of the fancy features included with more expensive rice cookers, this offering by Panasonic is an excellent budget option and even comes with a free rice spoon and measuring cup.

Pros
Cons

5. Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH Induction Japanese Rice Cooker

Features

This electric rice cooker features significantly higher than average construction quality, featuring clear-coated stainless steel and a dishwasher-safe inner cooking pan. However, with a cost of over $300, some people may find it hard to justify spending that kind of money on a Japanese rice cooker, no matter how good the results are.

An induction heating system allows for a finely tuned cooking process, producing flawlessly cooked rice every time. The downside is that these systems can be considerably more expensive compared to non-induction rice cookers. Still, if you’re serious about rice, induction is the way to go.

Besides its superior heating system, which utilizes a triple contact heater (bottom, side, and lid), this Japanese made rice cooker comes equipped with advanced pre-sets that includes:

  • White rice
  • Brown rice
  • Jasmine rice
  • Sushi rice
  • Porridge
  • Sweet rice
  • GABA rice

On top of all this, this electric rice cooker features significantly higher than average construction quality, featuring clear-coated stainless steel and a dishwasher-safe inner cooking pan. However, with a cost of over $300, some people may find it hard to justify spending that kind of money on a Japanese rice cooker, no matter how good the results are.

Pros
Cons

6. Tiger JKT-S18U Multi-Purpose Rice Cooker

Features

The Tiger JKT-S18U is much more than your conventional rice cooker and can be used to cook a wide variety of foods. For starters, it comes with Tiger’s classic Tacook plate that, as we previously discussed, uses rising heat to cook meat and vegetables and can provide users with a complete meal.

The Tiger JKT-S18U is much more than your conventional rice cooker and can be used to cook a wide variety of foods. For starters, it comes with Tiger’s classic Tacook plate that, as we previously discussed, uses rising heat to cook meat and vegetables and can provide users with a complete meal.

To use this feature, simply select the ‘Synchronized Cooking’ option, load the Tacook plate with whatever it is you want to cook, and wait for the process to finish. What’s more, even if you don’t feel like cooking rice, this function can still be used so long as the inner plate is filled with water.

In addition to the Tacook plate, the JKT-S18U can also be used to make bread, soup, and stews and even comes with a slow cook function. This slow cook setting works by heating food to near boiling point, then gradually dropping the temperature to 199F. Doing this causes the food to be cooked gradually through a simmering process and is excellent for making stews and soups.

While the JKT-S18U is a phenomenal product, we must warn you – it’s not cheap. At just under $550, this offering by Tiger is truly a luxury model and one of the best Japanese rice cookers around.

Pros
Cons

7. COMFEE All-In-1 Multi-Cooker

Features

To anyone looking for a Japanese rice cooker that offers a high number of functions at a reasonable price, we present the COMFEE All-In-1 Multi-Cooker. Although COMFEE isn’t as well known as Tiger or Zojirushi, the company is quickly gaining a reputation for producing quality products at an affordable price, and there is no better example of this than their All-In-1 multi cooker.

Did you like the versatility of the Tiger JKT-S18U but have no interest in spending hundreds of dollars on a rice cooker? If so, we don’t blame you – It’s an easy position to understand.

To anyone looking for a Japanese rice cooker that offers a high number of functions at a reasonable price, we present the COMFEE All-In-1 Multi-Cooker. Although COMFEE isn’t as well known as Tiger or Zojirushi, the company is quickly gaining a reputation for producing quality products at an affordable price, and there is no better example of this than their All-In-1 multi cooker.

Not only can this model cook the standard white and brown rice, but it can also be used to make soup, pasta, stews, and even yogurt. On top of all this, it even comes with a measuring cup, steam basket, soup ladle, and rice scoop, making it one of the most value-packed options on this list.

Pros
Cons

8. Toshiba One-Touch Japanese Rice Cooker

Features

This Toshiba rice cooker comes equipped with fuzzy logic technology, a programmable ‘keep warm’ function that can run for up to 24 hours, and even includes a measuring cup, rice spoon, and steam tray.

Do you care more about simplicity than having a bunch of special features? If so, this offering by Toshiba may very well be the best Japanese rice cooker for you.

While it does come with seven pre-sets that include white rice, brown rice, and even porridge, its Quick Rice’ feature is what has made this rice cooker a favorite amongst those who value simplicity.

In addition, this Toshiba rice cooker also comes equipped with fuzzy logic technology, a programmable ‘keep warm’ function that can run for up to 24 hours, and even includes a measuring cup, rice spoon, and steam tray.

Pros
Cons

9. Aroma Housewares ARC-6106AB Rice Cooker

Features

The ARC-6106AB includes an impressive ‘keep warm’ function and comes equipped with a non-stick inner pot. Furthermore, this model includes all the standard pre-set functions one would expect from a rice cooker in the price range, including white and brown rice, oatmeal, soup, and more.

Although it’s becoming more and more common, not many rice cookers include a slow cooking function. That being said, this offering from Aroma Housewares does not fall into this group and can even be used for sautéing, yogurt making, and much more.

Like all the other rice cookers we have seen so far, the ARC-6106AB includes an impressive ‘keep warm’ function and comes equipped with a non stick inner pot. Furthermore, this model includes all the standard pre-set functions one would expect from a rice cooker in the price range, including white and brown rice, oatmeal, soup, and more.

While the ARC-6106AB is overwhelmingly a quality product, it has one noticeable flaw: there is no condensation tray. As a result, when the lid of lifted, the water droplets tend to fall everywhere, leaving something of a mess.

 

Pros
Cons

10. Tianji FD30D Electric Rice Cooker

Features

If you plan on making soaps and stews with your Japanese rice cooker, or are concerned about the long term health concerns related to non stick coatings, you may want to consider buying a model with a ceramic pot.

All the electric rice cookers we have seen so far use a metal material for their inner bowl. If, for one reason or another, you’re looking for a Japanese rice cooker that uses a ceramic inner bowl instead, the Tianji FD30D has you covered.

Many people prefer ceramic over metal for a variety of reasons. First off, with metal pots, the non-stick coating tends to scratch off over time, especially if crusty rice is repeatedly scraped off the bottom. Secondly, more and more people are growing concerned about heavy metals and other contaminants used to make non-stick coating. Because ceramic pots don’t employ a non stick coating, they effectively alleviate this concern. Finally, ceramic pots are easier to clean as food doesn’t stick to them as strongly.

If you plan on making soaps and stews with your Japanese rice cooker or are concerned about the long-term health concerns related to non-stick coatings, you may want to consider buying a model with a ceramic pot.

Pros
Cons

11. Zoirushi NS-LGC05XB Rice Cooker and Warmer

Features

With a capacity of just three cups of uncooked rice, it is considerably smaller than rice cookers we have seen. Nevertheless, if you’re hard up for space or don’t need to cook rice in large batches of rice, the NS-LGC05XB is an excellent option.

Next up, we have another quality product by Zojirushi, and with a capacity of just three cups of uncooked rice, it is considerably smaller than rice cookers we have seen. Nevertheless, if you’re hard up for space or don’t need to cook rice in large batches of rice, the NS-LGC05XB is an excellent option.

Besides its compact nature, this rice cooker features a detachable and washable inner lid, a removable steam vent cap, and a retractable power cord that makes storing the product very easy.

Using fuzzy logic technology, this unit is capable of producing perfectly cooked rice on demand. Furthermore, like most Zojirushi rice cookers, the NS-LGC05XB comes loaded with an impressive collection of pre-set functions, including white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, sweet rice, slow cooking, and much more.

Pros
Cons

12. Cuckoo CRP-P0609S 6 Cup Rice Cooker and Heater

Features

Unlike the traditional coil heating system, this model circulates pressurized heat throughout the cooking pot, leading to faster cook times and is one of the best ways to cook rice.

Although not as common, some rice cookers use an electric heating pressure system for cooking rice, a method which most people consider to be one of the better options around. For anyone who wants a premium pressure rice cooker, this offering by Cuckoo is an excellent option.

Unlike the traditional coil heating system, this model circulates pressurized heat throughout the cooking pot, leading to faster cook times and is one of the best ways to cook rice.

Besides high-tech heating technology, this rice cooker also comes pre-programmed with 13 pre-sets and a full stainless steel non-stick inner pan.

Pros
Cons

Japanese Rice Cooker Buying Guide

There is quite a bit to take into consideration when picking the best Japanese rice cooker for you. After all, what might be right for some may not be suitable for others. Because of this, we’ve prepared a brief buying guide outlining some of the key criteria you should consider before making a purchase.

Rice Cooker Volume

Simply put, how much rice do you plan on cooking? Most models will come with either a five or ten cup bowl, although three and ten cup models also exist. When looking at different rice cookers, take a moment to consider how many people you’ll be cooking for and buy accordingly.

Rice Cooker Price

Our list featured rice cookers that range in price from $60 to over $500, with the rest falling somewhere in-between. Choosing the right rice cooker for you is a much easier process when you narrow down a price range to look in.

Heat Source

Generally speaking, any given rice cooker will employ one of two heating systems, coil or induction, both of which have their pros and cons.

Coil Heating: Coil heating systems use a highly conductive coil placed below the heating plate that transfers heat to the uncooked rice when heated. While Coil heating is quick and inexpensive, it doesn’t result in even heating, resulting in rice that is considerably more cooked towards the bottom of the pot than the top.

Induction Heating: Induction uses magnetic fields to produce heat from all sides of the pot, ensuring the heat is evenly distributed throughout. Cooking rice with induction is significantly superior to coils, but it is also more expensive.

Advanced Features

While rice cookers are primarily used for cooking rice, many models (such as the ones covered in our list) come with a host of other features and capabilities that may be important to some.

Besides cooking rice, do you want to be able to bake bread, make yogurt, cook soups, or steam meat/vegetables? If you do, this is something to keep in mind when choosing a rice cooker.

FAQs

Compared to their North American and European counterparts, rice cookers in Japan are considerably more high-tech. Aside from rice, they are also used for baking, making soups, and even steaming meat/vegetables. Furthermore, they are typically much larger and capable of holding anywhere from five to ten cups of rice.

Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?

While we did look at some very affordable models, most Japanese rice cookers are pretty expensive, usually falling between $150 and $250 for a quality model. This is because the number of features and cooking settings offered by Japanese rice cookers requires high-tech computerized parts and high-quality components to work correctly, which is reflected in the price tag.

When it comes to the question ‘what is the best Japanese rice cooker’, the answer is partially a technical matter and also one of personal preference. While some people may prefer the features offered by one rice cooker over another, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.

That being said, the best Japanese rice cookers available are made by Zojirushi and Tiger, both of which are based in Japan and have over 100 years of experience in the industry.

Micom rice cookers became popular in the 1980s and are still in heavy use today. These rice cookers are outfitted with microprocessors that offer more advanced control of heating and are also capable of detecting changes in temperature.

The invention of micom (or micro computerized) rice cookers made it possible to include a number of special features, the most notable being the ‘keep warm’ function. On top of this, Micom also made it possible to cook brown rice, which requires much more temperature control than white rice.

As most people are aware, brown rice is wholegrain, meaning it contains the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. On the other hand, white rice has been removed from the bran and germ, making it considerably less nutritious.

When cooking rice, the process changes slightly depending on what kind of rice you’re cooking. In this case, brown rice takes considerably longer to cook than white rice, which is why all Japanese rice cookers have separate settings for white and brown rice.

Fuzzy logic technology gives rice cookers the ability to make adjustments to heat and duration depending upon what kind of rice is being cooked.

For example, if whole grain rice is entered, the fuzzy logic technology will know that whole grain rice needs to be cooked longer and at lower temperatures than white rice and will make the necessary adjustments.

In short, rice cookers with fuzzy logic provide a hands-off approach to cooking rice that produced perfectly cooked rice each time.

Over the last decade, a growing number of people are concerned that heavy metals and other contaminants from the nonstick coating can leech into the rice. As a result, ceramic pots have become much more popular, as they aren’t coating with a nonstick substance.

Aside from this, some people feel that rice cooking with ceramic cookware produces superior results.

Final Thoughts

While it may not be the most important decision you make in your life, picking the right rice cooker is not as straightforward as some people may think, and given the price of some of the models we have seen, the choice shouldn’t be taken lightly.

By going through our list of the top 10 rice cookers and reading our buying guide and FAQs, you should be equipped with enough insight to make a quality and informed decision. Good luck and happy cooking!

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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