In this blog, we will explore some designs of a pivotal invention that has its origins in the land of the rising sun. The first rice cooker was the brainchild of Yoshitada Minami and Toshiba Corporation. Successive models took the market by storm, and Japan still remains a leading manufacturer of kitchen appliances. We researched various brands to find out how the country cooks its staple food to perfection, enjoying it in a signature bowl-and-chopsticks style. Here are the 10 best Japanese rice cookers available online. Take care to read the website specifications as some appliances are manufactured to be used in Japan only, so you might require technical conversions for voltage compatibility. In general, the Japanese-style rice cookers are categorized as:
- Conventional – having a simple switch control
- MICOM fuzzy logic – for microcomputer sensing and automatic adjustments
- MICOM induction heating (IH) – the whole pot becomes a heat conductor through magnetic fields
- IH pressure system – for pressurized induction heating that yields incredibly soft rice
(1) Zojirushi NHS-18 10-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker
Zojirushi’s 10-cup rice cooker is also available as 3-cup and 6-cup versions. The cooked rice automatically stays warm for around 5 hours, which is a feasible comfort for dorm roommates and working families. It is a versatile appliance that can cook seafood, vegetables, boiled eggs, and even custard. A measuring cup, steaming tray, and spatula are part of the package. You can steam salmon and veggies on this tray as the rice cooks below. A simple switch begins the cycle which can be viewed through a glass lid; its knob stays cool to the touch. The non-stick cooking pan is designed for promising longevity through years of perfectly-cooked rice. Its conventional system turns off automatically.
(2) Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker NP-NVC10
This induction heating Zojirushi rice cooker has a multi-menu control panel featuring pre-programmed options. The keep-warm setting can be switched from regular to extended for a prolonged duration. You can choose the steam-reduce menu to cut down vapors considerably. A special umami setting (inspired by the Japanese word for deliciousness) soaks the grains for an extended period during which the packed sugar is released, adding a sweet hint to the cooked rice. Advanced fuzzy logic teams up with artificial intelligence (AI) to detect the cooking changes, remember the past cycles, and adapt accordingly for future preferences. The rice cooker automatically uses the required pressure for long-lasting softness. Its platinum-infused pot increases the water’s alkalinity, causing the grains to absorb water easily and release more flavor.
(3) Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker
This Japanese rice cooker is designed with an advanced Neuro-Fuzzy Logic technology that makes calculated decisions based on the current cycle. It features multiple menus, automatic/extendable keep-warm, and reheating options. These configurations create an ideal cooking environment for your chosen rice, automating the adjustments where needed. Water and seasonings get absorbed ideally without the risk of overcooked and undercooked failures. A recipe guide is included in the package. The rice cooker comes with a holder on one side to accommodate its spoon. A timed beep alerts you when the process is finished, so you can maneuver the inner pot using its cool-grip handles.
(4) Zojirushi NS-YAC10 Umami Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, Pearl White, 5.5 Cup Capacity
This MICOM rice cooker-and-warmer operates via fuzzy logic to detect and update the ambient cooking heat for the grains. It supports the umami option for automatic soaking that delivers a discernible taste. Various other rice menus are available to choose from. These pre-programmed functions are tailored to every kind of grain color and cooking texture to give you the perfect GABA brown, white, and rinse-free rice. A slow-cooking environment is achieved to let soups simmer until the desired consistency. The appliance has a deep spherical inner pot and features the standard keep-warm and delay timer controls based on the added quantity. The inner lid can be removed for easy cleaning.
(5) Tiger JNP-0720-FL 4-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer
Tiger rice cooker is made in Japan and has various models to support larger servings. Its automatic keep-warm function lasts for up to 12 hours of dependable convenience. The simplistic floral appliance works from a switch and encloses a non-stick pan. A measuring cup and spatula are additional accessories. The steam vent and dew collector can be detached for cleaning. This ergonomic design is equipped with a retractable cord and has a lid handle for easy grip. It allows the rice cooker to leave a small footprint on your countertop and be stored in cabinets when not in use. Tiger has become a household name because of its quality-guaranteed results and durability.
(6) Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker
This Japanese rice cooker features choices for plain, brown, slow, or steam cooking to deliver optimum water absorption for the grains. In addition, there is a synchro-cooking option that allows seafood and vegetables to steam on the upper tray while the rice cooks below. You can easily clean the non-stick coated inner pot after every use. Apart from the spatula, BPA-free cooking plate, and measuring cup, the package includes a cookbook to help you get acquainted with the synchro-cooking mode. It is a clever way to prepare nutrition-packed meals on steam instead of frying; this also means that you will have fewer dishes to wash. The automatic logic system regulates the cooking temperature to give you fluffy rice that stays warm without reheating.
(7) Tiger JKT-S10U-K IH Rice Cooker
Tiger’s induction heating rice cooker is equipped to handle several pre-set menus. Its inner pot is lined with multiple layers for durability and quick responsiveness to induction heating. The unique “tacook” mechanism recycles steam from the rice below to cook your main dish on top; 2 separate meals are ready to serve without either flavor interfering with the other. This is achieved by the synchro-cooking menu to save valuable time and deliver healthy, oil-free meals. A “tacook” recipe book is included to streamline such creations. Moreover, exclusive fermentation and bake options allow bread doughs to rise and cook to gourmet perfection. Clearly, we have come a long way from traditional single-purpose rice cookers.
(8) Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker SR-DF101
Panasonic’s fuzzy logic rice cooker has pre-programmed settings for steam, white rice, brown rice, and porridge. Micro-computer logic and induction system work behind the scenes to regulate heat levels and cooking time without human intervention. A sturdy handle lets you carry the appliance easily. Once the cooking cycle is complete, the system turns off automatically and switches to the keep-warm setting (if selected) for giving warm servings up to 12 hours. The anodized aluminum pot is calibrated for each rice category. A steaming basket, measuring cup, and spoon are included. This Japanese-style rice cooker is a must-have for sushi lovers; its versatile design cooks dumplings, soups, and banana cakes as well.
(9) Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Japanese Rice Cooker SR-HZ106
This Japanese rice cooker supports several pre-programmed menus including sticky, rinse-free, brown, multi-grain, quinoa, curry, sushi, and other options. The calibrated 7-layered pot has a copper exterior and optimizes induction heating from top to bottom. You can steam side dishes in the basket and simultaneously cook the rice below. It is easy to detach the inner lid for maintenance. When the cycle ends, the system transitions into the keep-warm mode for a generous 12-hour duration. The multi-cooker is a great way to test your culinary boundaries with self-inspired recipes. You can adapt your creations around the cooker’s umami feature, trusting it to unleash the subtle flavors. The package includes a measuring cup, ladle, and rice spoon.
(10) HITACHI 0.36 litter portable IH rice cooker RZ-VS2M-N
Hitachi rice cooker is imported from Japan and requires the necessary voltage conversions for use in other countries. It employs induction heating for exceptional heat distribution to cook all kinds of rice grains regardless of their lengths. A measuring cup and spatula are included. The cooking pot is calibrated to assist your measurements and leave enough room for the grains to rise. You can simply remove the pot and use it as a serving bowl. The rice cooker’s overall minimalistic design has compact dimensions of [10.9 x 9 x 7.3 inches], allowing it to join your dining table and steal the spotlight. It is extremely portable through an insulated carry handle for easy transfers and cabinet storage.