Japanese rice cookers are famous around the world. There are a lot of reasons to like them such as convenience, durability, and good-tasting rice. But why are they so expensive? You might wonder if it's worth it to pay that much for one.
In this article, we will be exploring why Japanese rice cookers are so expensive and if they are worth the price. We will also discuss what to look for when buying a rice cooker. By the end of this article, you’ll know what the best Japanese rice cookers to buy are.
Let's get started with this topic.
Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?
Japanese rice cookers are a lot more expensive than other brands for several reasons. The main reason is the quality and workmanship that goes into them. The cooking bowls are coated with enamel and have a nonstick surface which improves the cooking process and durability.
They come with convenient features that will quickly make them one of your favourite kitchenware appliances, such as being able to keep the rice warm for up to six hours after it's done cooking which eliminates the need for using aluminum foil or pot holders when taking the rice out of the cooker.
The most popular feature of these high-end models is their unique fuzzy logic technology.
This specific technology uses a sensor to detect whether or not your rice has finished cooking by analyzing how moist and fluffy it appears when cooked. While some models have basic features such as automatic warming which can be found in cheaper brands, many people prefer buying more expensive rice cookers because of their ability to adjust themselves based on an individual's preferred texture and taste for both white and brown rice.
This technology is also used to allow your rice cooker to determine if your rice has been overcooked or undercooked by adjusting the cooking temperature and timing until it reaches the desired consistency.
What to look for when buying a rice cooker
When purchasing a Japanese rice cooker many features should be taken into consideration before making your purchase decision. One of the most important features to consider is the actual size of your rice cooker.
There are several different sizes available, and each size has its own set of pros and cons. The best way to choose a proper rice cooker for your needs is to focus on how much rice you usually cook in one sitting, and what other side dishes you might serve with that rice.
For people who don't need to make more than five cups of cooked white or brown rice at once, a small 1-4 cup model should be sufficient enough for their needs. This size will also be appropriate for those who regularly eat alone and/or have smaller families as it's the smallest amount that these models can produce on their own.
These models can typically prepare up to five cups of cooked rice. On the other hand, those who regularly eat with more than one other person or have larger families often require larger 10-12 cup models to feed their family. These people may also want to consider a 14-16 cup model if they plan on making dishes such as sushi that demand a large amount of rice to complete properly.
There are models with even bigger capacities available which can accommodate people who frequently host big events such as birthdays and weddings, but these tend to be very expensive and not necessary for most households today. Another important thing to consider is whether you'll be using the cooker mostly for white or brown rice, or both white and brown rice together.
Most small 1-4 cup models only make white rice, while larger 10-12 cup models can make both white and brown rice at the same time. Note that even though they are designed to cook both white and brown rice together, some models have a harder time cooking the brown rice properly than others so be sure to check out consumer reviews for the specific model before making your purchase decision.
If you're planning on cooking different types of meals in your cooker outside of just rice such as soup or stew then make sure that it's able to handle those kinds of foods as well. Some cookers cannot accommodate recipes with higher amounts of liquid than their bowls can hold which could result in spillage if you place too much food inside it.
A good rule of thumb is if you don't put too much of a certain ingredient in your cooker bowl then you shouldn't have any problems with it. It's also important to consider the cleaning process when making your purchase decision as some models can be more difficult than others when it comes to cleaning them.
Models that require you to clean the cooker by hand or put it into the dishwasher can become quite cumbersome after many uses which is why they're not ideal for most people. So if you want something easy to use and clean, make sure that the model you are considering has detachable parts which can go into both the dishwasher and hand washing without causing any issues.
Many different rice cooker manufacturers offer this feature so this should not be an issue. The last thing to consider is whether or not you want to be able to make soup.
Some cookers have a function that allows them to steam food as well as prepare rice, so if you're planning on making anything other than just plain white and brown rice then you need to consider this feature when purchasing your cooker.
Purchasing these features in a 1-4 cup model is very expensive due to their smaller size which is why many people only buy models with higher capacities if they plan on using them more regularly.
A good rule of thumb is that the more capacity your rice cooker has, the more versatile it tends to be which can be useful for those who like cooking different types of meals with their appliances. Note that some models also tend to produce higher quality rice compared to others so if you're willing to pay the price, it is worth looking into this aspect as well.
The best way to store your rice cooker to keep it functional and clean
Unplug the appliance, drain the water left inside after use and wipe it down with a damp cloth. If you want to store larger amounts of rice in your cooker then it's best if you put it into an airtight container or Ziploc bag before refrigerating or freezing them for later use.
Most modern Japanese rice cookers are also fitted with timers which can be useful when making automatic meals such as breakfast since they will automatically shut off at a set time without any intervention on your part.
For example, if you were looking to make a pot of warm oatmeal in your rice cooker for breakfast one morning but tend to sleep in late every day, using this function would allow you to have some warm food waiting for you when you finally wake up.
Many people also like using these cookers for making hot rice at lunchtime since the food will be ready to eat in just a few minutes without needing to stay at the office for an extended period.
How frequently should I replace my Japanese rice cooker?
Some manufacturers will typically recommend replacing your rice cooker every 4-5 years due to normal wear and tear such as mechanical failure or reduced functionality from long-term use.
If you use your cooker more than an average person would, it would probably be best if you replaced your appliance after 3 years.
Also, newer models tend to last longer than older ones especially if taken care of because there are many more components and features are built better than old ones.
Some people also like replacing their model after 5 years since it gives them time to learn how to use the appliance and master all of its functions which means they would be able to get even more out of their rice cooker in terms of cooking quality.
You may find a model that is suitable for your lifestyle such as one with more capacity or additional features if you decide to purchase a new rice cooker after this amount of time.
Do I need to pay more money for a better quality rice cooker?
Simply put, no you don't have to spend extra money to get higher quality rice cookers since they all produce good-tasting results, but there are subtle differences between them which may affect your decision when buying one.
For example, if you're looking into spending over $100 for a Japanese rice cooker then we would recommend that you also buy an extended warranty or insurance policy on top of that as these machines tend to be expensive so it makes sense to protect your investment instead of buying another one altogether after just a few years.
That's not the case for cheaper models though since they can usually last a long time depending on your usage or if you live in a rough area and it's best to just replace them fairly regularly instead.
Final thoughts on Japanese rice cookers
In conclusion, while Japanese rice cookers can be expensive, they are worth the purchase if you're looking for a high-quality product with good functionalities and features. The higher price also usually means that you will get more of them which is not something to scoff at – especially if you plan on using them frequently in your daily life.
These products are made by high-quality manufacturers who take pride in their craftsmanship, so as long as you do enough research into what kind of model fits your needs then we suggest that you buy one today!