Rice has become not only a staple food in the east but is also becoming popular in the west due to being a rich source of fiber. When it comes to cooking rice, Japanese quality sets a high standard among others.
Find out what it takes to be the best Japanese rice cooker.
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What Makes Japanese Rice Cookers Stand out from the Others
Any rice cooker at the least must be able to cook rice evenly and is time-saving. Among all, the products of Japanese brands still lead the pack of the best.
I dug deeper into what made them the leaders and here’s what I found. All these Japanese rice cookers have these features in common but in varying levels:
1. Easy to Clean and Use
This does not need further explanation simply because rice cookers were primarily invented to simplify rice cooking experience.
With the ones of great quality, cooking must not only be easy but also the after-use cleaning part too. Their design is very user-friendly and requires minimal effort to produce consistent perfectly-cooked rice.
One might just want to cook the usual white rice. But because of fiber-rich diets’ increasing popularity, different grains are also becoming popular.
If you’re a health and fitness enthusiast, it would come natural to eventually find interest in preparing other rice grain varieties like – brown rice, red rice, Chinese black rice, Basmati rice, Purple Thai rice, long-grain rice, and more.
This is why you would need your rice cooker to be able to cook different types of grains. Some grains don’t need much water, some are very sensitive to uneven heating and some even need prolonged cooking.
Regardless, your rice cooker must be able to adapt and have options for cooking various rice grain cooking requirements.
The other critical feature Japanese rice cookers have in common is their higher degree of functionality.
These cookers do not only offer on/off automation but on varying degrees sometimes offer keep warm feature, locking lids, digital timers, induction heating, quick cook function and texture setting.
Some also do not only cook rice but can also be used to prepare other meals like porridges, vegetable soups, and steamed meat and vegetables.
Aside from these critical features, Japanese rice cookers lead the market because they are all known for their quality and durability.
The Best Way to Use Japanese Rice Cookers
Investing in a good quality rice cooker is no ordinary task for those who love their cup of rice. But regardless of what kind you choose to buy, how you handle and use it would still dictate how long it will continue serving your rice needs.
So, before we tackle the best rice cooker, here are some tips for you to lengthen the service life of your trusty rice cookers.
Once the rice is cooked and you’re ready to eat its goodness, unplug the cord first. Don’t get rice from the pan while the cooker is still plugged to the outlet. This drains a lot of energy and may lead to overheating your cooker parts.
Before any cleaning should be done, allow the cooker and the pan to cool down first. The bigger the size of your pan, the longer the cooling time it needs.
For regular sized pans, 30 minutes to a full hour is enough. Just like any hot cooking utensil, exposing it right away to cool running water during washing may lead to degeneration of its heating capabilities.
This may also result to scraping off of its non-stick part.
Cooking the perfect rice takes practice. There may be times wherein the bottom part of your rice is burnt.
For these cases, take extra care in removing these burned parts. Do not disregard them because the longer they stick to your pan the harder it will be to remove.
Neglecting this part may also hinder equal heating during cooking. Just be careful not to scrub too much because you might scrape the non-stick layer of your cooker.
Allowing it to be soaked in hot water eases the way of removing the burnt rice. For stubborn stains and residues, use a mixture of citric acid and water and let it cook for an hour.
Treat the main pot and lid likewise with your other dishes. Wash them like your regular dishes with lukewarm water and soap.
Even if they look clean after cooking, never forget to wash them regularly after every use. Keep them clean and dry for next use.
Now that we know how to show them our TLC for their service in the name of fiber-rich diet, let’s now talk about the next best rice cooker that will be receiving our tender loving care.
Five Best-Selling Japanese Rice Cookers
Now that we have laid out the qualities that sets the best Japanese rice cookers from the ordinary, let’s look into how different each one is in ensuring customer satisfaction.
**Below, you’ll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer’s reviews on Amazon.
Zojirushi rice cooker takes pride in its micro-computerized fuzzy logic technology that enables their users to customize their settings accordingly to what meal they will prepare.
With this technology, it does not only consistently cook perfect rice but it also works great for cooking even wild rice and quinoa.It also features an automatic keep warm feature, an extended keep warm and reheating cycle feature.
Those features can help you can set the time you want your rice to be ready and it will cook it for you at that time.
Its dual mode rice warmer and sealed cooking chamber allows re-sterilization keeping your rice hot and safe until the next day.
Its clear coated stainless steel exterior is easy to detach and clean. Makes it easy to switch and play around the melody and beep signals adding in its entertainment factor.
It has built-in retractable power cord which is flexible and is good for keeping your wiring neat and organized.
- Easy cleanup for pan and detachable lid
- Smart timer
- Versatile in cooking different grains
- Rice is cooked perfectly and stays at top quality even if reheated
- Delay-time setting
- Cooking of white rice takes long (about an hour)
- Quick cook setting (30-40 mins) is not comparable to its regular cooking quality
This Japanese rice cooker has synchro-cooking function which is a real game changer because it makes it possible to cook a main dish and rice all at the same time.
The steam plate allows cooking simultaneously without affecting the quality of cooked rice.
It saves a great deal of time and space for those that do not spend a lot of time preparing food in the kitchen and those that have limited kitchen counter space .
It features four cooking menu settings – sychro-cooking, plain rice, brown rice, and slow cooking for soups and porridges.
This product even comes with a cookbook as guide for the synchro-cooking function. It has a non-stick pan which is really easy to clean.
- Cooking time is shorter than that of Zojirushi (approx. 30 minutes)
- Time- and space-saving
- Easy to clean inner pan
- Automatic switch to keep warm setting when done cooking
- Limited adaptability to other grains aside from white rice and brown rice
- Cooking pot needs extra-care in handling
- Fixed lid, cleanup takes more time
- No timer
- Does not beep when done cooking
- Product lifetime is short
Midea Cup Smart Multi-cooker sets apart from its Japanese counterparts because of its super touching control panel with 11 kinds of menus. Aside from the usual rice, it can also be used to make Chinese congee.
It has a smart feature that automatically adjusts the settings to make it suitable for congee preparation which makes it highly-recommended for Chinese congee lovers out there.
Meal planning can be flexible using this cooker because of its 24-hour delay timer so that you could set your desired time for it to start cooking. It also saves time because cleaning is easy.
It cooks rice perfectly because of the even heating brought about by five kinds of materials that makes heat transfer efficient.
- Large capacity for cooking
- Versatile in adapting to cooking different grains
- Smart technology
- Easy cleanup
- Delay-time setting
- LED Display is not that user-friendly
- Manual and user documentation can be improved
This one brought all the tricks into its bag with its 16 cooking modes – cake, baking, yoghurt, broad beans, soup, crust, oatmeal, milk porridge, stewing, pasta, dessert, rice cooking, frying, pizza, steaming, reheat.
Practically any kitchen function can be done using this multi-cooker. It is an added plus that its micro computerized fuzzy logic technology makes cooking rice easier because it adjusts according the temperature of your rice.
This rice cooker also has an automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycle.
The delay time setting feature allows great convenience for planning meals ahead during the start of the day and still enjoying it after the day’s work.
Aside from having a non-stick pan, it is also dishwasher safe making clean-up a breeze.
- Highly versatile in cooking different grains and meals
- LED Smart Touch Control
- Easy cleanup
- Delay Time setting
- Not intuitive to use
- 16 Mode selection is not that user-friendly
- Accompanying manual does not yield to good results
Compared to its counterparts in this list, Panasonic Automatic Rice cooker looks and operates simpler. If you’re not up for all the smart shenanigans and just want to cook your rice in peace then this one is perfect for you.
Unlike the cookers above that are compact and complicated, this cooker has a see-thru glass lid making it easier to track the cooking process.
It may not have the fuzzy logic technology like other best sellers but it relies on the premise that is a dedicated rice cooker and nothing else.
It cooks white rice perfectly but unfortunately that is all that it does. It does not even work well with other grains.
- One-step Automatic cooking and shutoff
- Non-stick coated pan
- See-through tempered glass lid
- Easy to clean
- Relatively fast cooking
- Very limited adaptability to cooking other grains
- No timer
And the best Japanese rice cooker goes to Zojirushi Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer by virtue of ease of usage and cleaning, functionality and versatility.
Ultimate-rice lovers would like to eventually explore preparing other meals and grains. This rice cooker helps you do that at ease.
It may not have all the other cooking modes that you could do with your stove-top and ovens but it does have the necessary functions for various rice-related meals and having the option to restore once cooked rice back to top-level.
It is on the higher end of the price spectrum but users have had their Zojirushi Rice cookers for more than just a couple of years now so the investment for this one is long-term.
Is your rice cooker better performing? We hope you found this post helpful! We would be more than glad if you drop by the comments section below and share this post.