If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you know how important rice is for the culture. You could argue that the method you use for cooking rice is just as, if not more, important than the quality of the rice grain itself.
Although the old-fashioned stovetop way will always be available to you, cooking rice this way can be tricky. That’s why it’s important to have the right equipment – namely, a Japanese rice cooker – to ensure that your fluffy rice is hassle-free and comes out perfect.
But how do you choose a Japanese rice cooker to make rice the way you want it? Keep reading to discover the best Japanese rice cookers and find out how you can get your rice just right every time.
Best Japanese Rice Cookers
Choosing a rice cooker can be difficult, especially if you’ve never bought or even used one before. Luckily we’ve got you covered. Here are some recommendations for the best Japanese rice cookers.
Toshiba 6-Cup Rice Cooker with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking
First on our list of the best Japanese rice cooker options is the Toshiba Rice Cooker with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking.
If you don’t already know, Toshiba is a Japanese company. They were the ones to launch the first electric rice cooker in 1955 so you know that their products are tried and tested.
The Japanese rice cooker results in up to 12 cups of cooked rice and uses 3D technology and a 6-step cooking process to make the perfect rice every time. It features a steam valve and inner nonstick pot to keep your rice warm and fluffy.
The 7 pre-programmed settings allow you to make a variety of rice, including white rice, brown rice, mixed rice, short or long-grained rice, as well as oatmeal and porridge. What’s more, for those days when you’re in a hurry there is a “quick rice” feature that will have your rice ready in as little as 30 minutes.
Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
Next on our list of the best Japanese rice cookers is the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer.
This compact Zojirushi rice cooker is a great choice if you often cook for only one or two people, as it’s able to cook as little as half a cup of rice. It features a triple heater to generate heat all around for perfect heating, as well as an automatic keep-warm feature and reheating cycle.
The clear-coated stainless steel exterior makes this rice cooker sleek and easy to clean. Plus, the steam vent cap allows for high-temperature cooking without messy overflows.
What’s more, this Japanese rice cooker also comes with several accessories, including a rice spatula, spatula holder, and a rice measuring cup.
TIGER JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer Basket
The next best rice cooker is the TIGER JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer Basket.
This Tiger rice cooker is available in 5.5-cup and 10-cup sizes for when you need to make a large quantity of rice. However, both sizes have similar features.
This multi-functional rice cooker is built to “set it and forget it” while you make the other components of your meal. What makes this one of the best Japanese rice cookers is that it also doubles as a slow cooker to easily slow cook your favorite recipes. Check out our review of large capacity slow cookers if you need something with a larger capacity.
You can even cook two dishes simultaneously using this rice cooker’s “tacook” synchronized cooking settings.
Using Tiger’s Automatic Cooking Logic, this rice cooker monitors the temperature of your rice as it cooks so that you always end up with a perfect meal.
Panasonic 5 Cup Japanese Rice Cooker with Induction Heating System
This Panasonic Japanese Rice Cooker with Induction Heating System is next in our rice cooker review. This powerful rice cooker comes with all the features you need to make the perfect rice every time.
This rice cooker features industry-leading induction heating to create an electrical current inside the pot suitable to cook white rice, brown rice, porridge, soup, and more.
The durable 7-layer inner pan is non-stick and has a copper exterior for continual heat and constant use without any loss of efficiency.
Additional features include built-in umami enhancing taste catcher, a special measuring cup, ladle, and non-scratch rice spoon.
What’s more, with 13 pre-set cooking settings and a keep-warm feature, this Japanese rice cooker will cook your rice perfectly and keep it warm until you’re ready to eat.
Yum Asia Panda Mini Rice Cooker With Advanced Fuzzy Logic and Ninja Ceramic Bowl
Next on our list of the best Japanese rice cooker options is Yum Asia Panda Mini Rice Cooker with Advanced Fuzzy Logic and Ninja Ceramic Bowl.
This is one of the best Japanese rice cookers for couples or small families, as it has up to a 3.5-cup capacity, resulting in enough rice for 1-3 people.
This rice cooker comes with 7 cooking phases to ensure the best taste, texture, and aroma for your rice. It also has additional features to steam food, make porridge, slow cook, and even bake a cake.
The thick Ninja inner ceramic bowl is durable and sturdy, ensuring that your rice stays warm within it.
This rice cooker also comes with a steaming basket, rice measuring cup, rice spatula, and a ladle.
CUCKOO CR-0655F | 6-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker
To finish off our list of the best Japanese rice cookers, we have the CUCKOO CR-0655F 6-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker. This striking red Japanese rice cooker is one of the most affordable rice cookers on our list but still features everything you need in a rice cooker.
With 11 menu options that range from sticky rice to oatmeal, there’s no shortage of meals you can make with this rice cooker, and the smart cooking algorithm will ensure that your meal always comes out well.
It also has a setting called “My Mode” that allows you to personalize your rice cooking with 16 different flavor and texture options.
The removable non-stick inner pot, detachable inner lid, auto clean functions, and excess drainage make it easy to keep your rice cooker clean.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look For In a Japanese Rice Cooker
Before choosing the best Japanese rice cooker for you, you have to know what you should be looking for in a rice cooker. There are so many options on the market and so many features to choose from. Your best bet is to learn what’s out there and consider your rice cooking needs.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Japanese rice cooker.
Is rice the only dish you plan on using your rice cooker for? Today’s rice cookers are versatile and can make more than your basic steamed white rice. With the right rice cooker, you can make a variety of rice dishes as well as other grains, such as:
- Sticky rice
- Sweet rice
- Brown rice
- Wild rice
- Jasmine rice
- Mixed rice
- Sushi rice
What’s more, some devices go beyond cooking just rice and grains. They double as a slow cooker with which you can braise meats and make soups. With rice cookers becoming increasingly multi-functional, it’s best to understand what you’ll be using yours for.
The size and capacity of your Japanese rice cooker are other factors to consider. Rice cookers range from very compact to very large, but it’s important to choose the right size for your needs, to make the right amount of rice.
If you eat rice often or have a large family, a larger rice cooker with the capacity to take at least 5.5 cups of uncooked rice will be sure to make enough rice for you. However, if you live alone or with one other person and don’t want too many leftovers, you should opt for a compact size that will allow you to make as little rice as you want — sometimes as little as half a cup.
Another element of Japanese rice cookers that you should consider is the settings and controls they feature.
The best Japanese rice cookers feature several settings to assist you in cooking the best rice to your liking. This technology makes Japanese rice cookers more desirable than the typical stovetop method, as you can let the rice cooker do all the work and know that your rice will cook with precision.
What’s more, rice cookers often come with additional settings such as timers, a keep-warm function, and even the ability to control it through your mobile device. Don’t forget to check out what additional tools it may come with, such as ladles and measuring cups.
Japanese rice cookers have allowed many people to cook rice easily, without the stress of monitoring and making sure it comes out perfectly. They are now the norm in many households and have a variety of features that take them beyond their simple rice-cooking origins. Make sure you shop around to find the best Japanese rice cooker for your home and expand the possibilities for your favorite rice dishes.