Japanese Rice Cookers are designed to simplify your life in the kitchen. We all know that these products are rather expensive, but they can also be a great investment.
Many of these cookers are multifunctional, meaning that you can cook any type of rice with ease and they tend to speed up the cooking process quite significantly.
We have decided to look at the best Japanese Rice Cookers 2017 and how they can potentially simplify your life. Choosing the right one might be a daunting task and with so many top brands, you might not know where to start.
Luckily, we have done all the legwork to ensure that you have the knowledge to make the right choice and get the best possible value for your money. We have also included a buyer’s guide to help you understand the features these cookers offer and which ones are the most important.
Best Japanese Rice Cookers 2017-2018 reviewed
Before we dive a little deeper into these cookers, it is important for you to know which ones we have chosen. If you are still unsure about the right cooker, the buyer’s guide should help you make the best decision. That being said, here are the top rice cookers you will find on the market in 2017:
- Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker
- HITACHI 0.36 litter portable IH rice cooker
- Tiger Corporation JKT-S18U-K IH Rice Cooker
- TOSHIBA vacuum pressure IH rice cooker
- Tiger JNP-1800-FL 10-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
- Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer
- Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer
- Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker
|Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker||3 CUPS||120 V / 450 W||Stainless-steel||LCD control panel, automatic and extended keep-warm setting, reheating cycle, delay timer||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|HITACHI 0.36 litter portable IH rice cooker||2 CUPS||AC100 V||Iron pot||Japanese notations||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|Tiger Corporation JKT-S18U-K IH Rice Cooker||10 CUPS||1,080 W||Stainless steel, ceramic pot||Brown rice settings, 2 preset cooking timers||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|TOSHIBA vacuum pressure IH rice cooker||5.5 CUPS||220 V / 1100 W||Copper coat inner, titanium diamond coated||Cooking timers, keep-warm function up to 40 hours||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|Tiger JNP-1800-FL 10-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker||10 CUPS||305 W||Non-stick coating inner pot, plastic, stainless steel||Keep-warm function up to 12 hours, retractable power cord||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer||10 CUPS||120 V / 1,370 W||Platinum infused nonstick pan||LCD control panel with clock and delay timer, automatic keep warm||⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer||3 CUPS||120 V / 450 W||-||LCD control panel with clock and timer functions, interchangeable melody and beep signal||⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
|Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker||10 CUPS||120 V / 875 W||5 kinds of material, non-stick coating, topaz honeycomb||LCD display, 11 function settings, 24-hour Delay Timer, BPA free steamer basket||⭐️⭐️⭐️||Check price!|
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker – Best Option Japanese Rice Cooker Brand 2017
With a 3 cup capacity, the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker is one of our favorites. It is durable and stylishly constructed with an easy to use and clean base.
It cooks around 6 cups of rice that should be perfect for the whole family. The design is quite compact, meaning it should fit into any kitchen with ease.
Versatility is one of the key features on this rice cooker.
It has the ability to cook all of your favorite rice types in just a couple of minutes and the LCD control panel makes it easier for you to navigate the settings and choose the way you would like the rice to be cooked.
The delay timer is something that makes it stand out and this means that you can set it to have the rice cooked when you arrive home after work. Lastly, it includes an inner cooking pan and this will help the rice cook much more evenly. The entire cooker can be cleaned with ease and the detachable lid will make this much easier to do.
The price is what you would expect to see in these cookers and this one is quite Affordable for all the features it includes. We would definitely recommend it to sushi lovers and those people eating rice often. This might not be the best option if you love foreign rice blends.
HITACHI 0.36 litter portable IH rice cooker – Best Portable Option Rice Cooker from Japan
The HITACHI 0.36 litter portable IH rice cooker is made in Japan and it is used by many of the locals for cooking sushi rice.
It features a basic jar design and it is quite compact and easy to move around when it is hot. The design is quite small and it only takes around 3 servings of rice at the most when fully stocked.
The display system is quite simple to use and you could easily choose the right setting for your rice. It cooks rice perfectly in only a couple of minutes and the compact design does not take up too much space in your kitchen either.
Unfortunately, this and the price of the cooker will make it a little bit expensive, but if you are serious about Japanese cuisine and preparing smaller portions, this cooker will definitely be ideal and easy to clean.
Tiger Corporation JKT-S18U-K IH Rice Cooker – Best Commercial Grade Option
Versatility is certainly the goal with the Tiger Corporation JKT-S18U-K IH Rice Cooker and it includes a slow cooker and a bread maker for all your cooking needs.
The design is quite large and it might take up a lot of space in smaller kitchens, but it works with virtually any rice you could imagine.
This is one of the most durable designs and it includes 8 layers of metal padding to keep the heat inside and to keep your foot hot.
This ensures a more thoroughly cooked serving of rice and it will cook all your meat until they fall off the bone. The addition of an inner pan is quite handy and carrying it around after cooking is now simplified and much safer.
The large model seems quite expensive, but when looking at all of the features and the size, you will see that it is definitely worth it. We would highly recommend this as an industrial grade rice cooker that can be used in restaurants for slow cooking and sushi rice purposes.
TOSHIBA vacuum pressure IH rice cooker – Best Speed Option
Toshiba is a well-known Japanese electronic brand and they have been in the industry for quite some time.
The TOSHIBA vacuum pressure IH rice cooker is quite portable and compact.
It will not take up too much space in the kitchen and it is constructed from Japanese metal to ensure that the heat is kept inside and you have evenly cooked rice.
It makes around 5.5 cups of rice and this should be perfect for the family. It also includes a detachable lid that speeds up the cleaning significantly and the inner pot can be removed when you need to serve the rice. Since the rice is perfectly cooked, you have the ability to cook any type of rice without fearing the outcome.
The general thought on the price is that of being quite affordable and since it makes enough rice for the entire family, it can also be used in smaller sushi shops for speeding up the rice cooking process. We would definitely recommend this one for the compact designed and the quality that is always ensured when purchasing Toshiba products.
Tiger JNP-1800-FL 10-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker – Best Affodable Japanese Rice Cooker
The Tiger JNP-1800-FL 10-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker is an affordable alternative, made for the average income household.
It features a metal design that will keep the heat insulted inside and keep-warm function will ensure that your rice can stay warm for up to 12 hours when you are at work during the day.
A non-stick pan has been placed inside and this is where the rice will be cooked.
The sloe cooking design allows you to use it as a slow cooker if you are looking to cook the meat and the removable steam vent is easy to clean. It has been designed in the form of a jar and this makes it easier to clean and pick up when moving to the table.
This cooker is one of the cheapest on the market and while it is not the best, it can still cook up to 10 cups of rice. We would definitely recommend this for large family reunions and small startup sushi companies looking for an affordable cooker.
Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer – Best Japanese Rice Cooker 2-in-1 Combo
Next, we have the Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer and this 2-in-1 combo is designed to simplify your life when it comes to cooking those after work dinners.
It is designed from durable stainless steel and keeps the heat perfectly inside. It can also be used for virtually any type of rice, offering you great versatility.
A steam reducing setting has been incorporated and this will reduce the amount of steam that is produced.
The LCD display makes it much easier for you to see and to navigate the settings; while the delay timer helps, you have the food warm or ready once you reach home.
This model is quite expensive, but when looking at all of the features, it does not seem as expensive. This is definitely one of the best rice cookers on the market and we would highly recommend it to rice lovers and business serving tons of rice during the day.
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer – Best Selling Japanese Rice Cooker
The Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer is another well-designed and affordable rice cooker.
It is also made from durable Japanese steel and cooks around 3 cups of rice for the average family.
The design is a little smaller and can be placed anywhere in the kitchen. An additional retractable cord also makes it easier to store.
It includes heat panels on the sides, the top, and the bottom. This enables the rice to be cooked evenly and thoroughly, while the non-stick pan will keep the rice from sticking. Cleaning is it simple as the lid can be detached and placed aside.
It is an affordable option for those smaller families or the bachelor’s needing rice for their diets. The GABA setting will be perfect for preheating the pan and speeding up the cooking session. If you are looking to save a few bucks and get a great cooker, this one should be the choice.
Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker – Best Cheap Japanese Rice Cooker
Last but certainly not least, we have the Midea Mb-fs5017 10 Cup Smart Multi-cooker and this is definitely the budget cooker on the market.
It includes multiple different functions and great versatility. It is quite small and only features a 5l capacity, which means that you will not be able to cook a ton of rice for the entire family.
The control panel features 11 different setting and preparation styles. It enables you to cook entire dishes in this one cooker and saving a little on the dishes.
A 24-hour delay timer has been included and this makes life easier when you are coming back from work. Since the lid is detachable, it also makes the cleaning process that much easier.
We would recommend this cooker to new couples just buying their first house. It will be perfect for two people cooking and the cooker can also save you some time and effort on doing the dishes. It is also the perfect thing for college students who love cooking.
17 Tips to Choose Best Japanese Rice Cooker
The Japanese Rice cooker is specifically designed to cook rice and while cooking it in the pot is fine for normal rice, you might not be able to do this correctly with specialty rice. The rice cooker offers you the ability the ability to cook these specific types of rice without any hassles.
The rice cooker also cooks the rice a little more evenly and this eliminates the reason for having overcooked and undercooked rice.
Multiple functions are included in many of the designs and they can be used as slow cookers as well. With this versatility, you could cook an entire meal in one session and save a lot of time on doing the dishes and cleaning up. These cookers can be seen as an expensive way to cook your food much faster and better.
The Four Types of Japanese Rice Cookers
There are 4 different types of Japanese Rice cookers and these all resemble different styles that you could cook. Each of these will have its benefits and reasons why they are effective. Here is the short breakdown of these cookers:
- Electric Rice Cookers with removable lids. These are the older models and they are extremely popular in other countries around the world. However, they are not available in Japan anymore and these cookers only have one setting. They are also the most affordable and should not cost you more than $50.
- Electric Rice Cookers with microcontrollers. As the cheapest modern version, this is the cooker will find in most shops. It also uses the same method of cooking the rice but includes additional features like warming it up. These cookers also have timers and will be best for the new chefs to start out with.
- Electrical IH (Induction Heat) Rice Cookers. With a modern design, this rice cooker is a little more expensive. It is also the most famous Rice Cooker found in Japan. It heats up the entire pan and this ensures that the rice is cooked evenly. It also gives the rice that tasty and fluffy texture.
- Electrical IH Pressure Rice Cookers. The Electrical IH Pressure Rice Cookers are the most advanced models. They include LCD display systems and multiple different rice features. These cookers will also speed up the cooking time and the rice will be cooked perfectly. However, they are also the most expensive rice cookers on the market today.
These 4 rice cooker models will essentially do the same thing and cook your rice. While we would recommend the final three models for the new innovations in technology, the best one will come down to your budget.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Japanese Rice Cooker
These cookers are rather expensive and they tend to be quite intricate. This makes it all the more important for you to buy the right one that will not only fit your budget but also include all the features that you need. Luckily, we have done the legwork to find out exactly which features are the most important.
The inner bowl quality will have a major effect on the quality of your rice. The more insulated the bowl, the better it will retain the heat and regulate it. This means that every portion will be thoroughly cooked and you will never have to fear someone eating an undercooked portion of rice. The quality of the outer bowl also influences the texture of the rice.
We highly recommend looking for a good Japanese steel inner bowl. Thicker stainless steel will also be great for insulting the heat, but it does not conduct the heat as well.
How to properly wash rice look at the video:
The bowl capacity is one of the first features you look at when looking at the size. The larger models will be more expensive, but they can cook double the amount of rice in one serving. If you are living on your own or you are only 2 people, there is no use in buying a bigger model unless you are entertaining guest quite often.
It is also worth mentioning that the size of the rice cookers is measured in Japanese cups. They also use uncooked rice and this means that one cup will be quite a lot of servings.
Different heating methods are used for different types of rice. These methods will be more advanced in the more expensive models and they are used to cook all these foreign rice types. Japanese rice cookers are generally designed for cooking normal and Japanese rice, it might not be the best option for cooking other rice types.
You should consider the rice you will be cooking most frequently and this should be the one you stick with when making your decision.
Different metals are generally used to keep the heat out and ensure that the exterior stays cool. This will also be affected by the quality of the interior and should this be weak, the heat will spill over to the exterior.
Which Brand of Rice Cooker is Best?
With multiple different quality brands to choose from, you might be daunted to go for a cheaper model. The cheaper models are perfect for training and infrequent use, but when you are cooking at a high scale, the better brand will be better and much more durable.
We recommend sticking with the Japanese brands and the Zojirushi is known for creating quality Rice Cookers. The only downside is the fact that they are based in Japan and you might occasionally need a converter for the power supply to work in your country.
Lastly, you should invest some time in the features and having the right features are fundamental. The cooker should have a keep-warm function as this will keep the food warm until you are done with work. Secondly, the timer is fundamentally important as well. It allows you to set cooking times and having everything ready on time.
The last thing you should look into will be the settings and versatility. If it is a multi-cooker, you could save additional money on new kitchenware and this can be used for more recipes. You should define the main reason of buying and select your features accordingly.
Why Japanese Rice Cookers Are So Expensive
Since these cookers mainly focus on cooking specialty rice, they are designed for these chefs. This cooker is seldom found in homes, but it can be a really effective way of cooking. They are also made in Japan and this will cost a little extra to import.
There are top brands in the US, but many of these Japanese brands focus only on Japanese cuisine and equipment.
Are You Ready To Improve Your Rice?
Improving the taste of your rice is now in your hands and these 8 rice cookers can be your way to better rice. We would like to recommend all of them and we would like to encourage you to share your thoughts on these products if you have used them. Please also let us know if you think we might have missed any of your favorite rice cookers in the comment section below.