Top 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers 2021:
- Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer, 1.0-Liter
- TIGER JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer Basket, White
- Aroma Housewares ARC-954SBD Rice Cooker, 4-Cup uncooked 2.5 Quart, Professional Version
- COMFEE’ 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi-Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow cooker, Steamer
- Toshiba TRCS01 Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked (3L) with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking for Brown, White Rice, and Porridge
Cooking rice sometimes seems like a game of chance. You have the perfect recipe that you stick to every time, and use the right ratio of water to rice, but sometimes it just turns out too sticky, fluffy, or mushy.
Not to mention brown rice – the story gets even more complicated.
What you need is the best Japanese Rice Cooker (sometimes known as Asian rice cooker) that will cook perfect rice every time, evenly and trouble-free. You don’t even have to stand next to it and stir the rice – this cooker will do everything for you.
You’re one step closer to enjoy all those delicious dishes, such as sushi, rice pudding, and yogurt, just the way they are supposed to be!
Read our comprehensive list of the five best Japanese rice cookers that we found and tested for you.
5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers In 2021: Detailed Reviews
Our first pick is an incredibly versatile and efficient kitchen appliance that is not just the best Japanese rice cooker that you can currently buy, but also a well-rounded steamer.
Namely, there are four settings, each specializing for a particular purpose.
Those that are of prime importance for us today are the White Rice and the Brown Rice setting, which result in perfectly fluffy and delicious rice.
The good thing is that there are different programs for the two kinds of rice because they require different preparation methods (not to a large extent, but still), and you don’t have to make any calculations by yourself – the cooker will do it all for you.
Next, there is the Steam setting that you can use with the steaming basket (included in the purchase) for healthy vegetable or seafood preparation. Naturally, we had to try them all out – and it produced perfectly cooked vegetables, neither mushy or hard.
Finally, there’s the Cake setting that allows you to bake a cake, right there, in the rice cooker! Sounds unbelievable? But it’s true – you can make fluffy and delicious cakes in this appliance, as well.
Besides, you get two great cake recipes – Sponge and Cheesecake – in the user manual that is supplied with the purchase.
You may be wondering: Can the Zojirushi NS TSC10 really do it all?, and the answer is: Yes, it can! That’s why it climbed to the top of our list.
Besides, it has a removable inner lid, which is very convenient because it is much easier to clean it when you detach it.
Also, the whole cooking pan is coated with a non-stick surface, which is very important with rice that can get sticky.
The steam basket that we’ve mentioned can be used both for rice and other foods.
Finally, the built-in power cord is retractable, which makes the cooker completely transportable.
- Easy cleaning
- Non-stick coated inner cooking pan
- Durable cable
- Has a timer
- Easy to use
The Tiger JBV-A10U is one of the most praised Japanese rice cookers on the market, and after trying it out, we can confirm that it has everything you may want of this appliance.
This reliable company was founded in 1923, and since then, it has continued to put out some of the best kitchen appliances.
First and foremost, it makes high-quality rice, with two separate settings for brown and white rice. Again, we’re in favor of those rice cookers that have two modes, because the preparation is not the same.
In addition to those two settings, it has the Synchrony-cooking mode, and we find it very interesting. It allows you to cook the main dish and rice simultaneously, so you can make your favorite dishes, such as mushroom risotto or chicken-and-vegetable rice quickly and save your valuable time.
Lastly, there is a Slow cooking mode for vegetables, stews, etc.
You can also select “Keep Warm” if you’re not going to serve the meal right after you make it, and the cooker will monitor the temperature and – just like the name of the function says – keep it warm.
The cooking plate is made of high-quality materials that don’t affect the flavor or texture of the meal that you’re cooking (that’s something that often happens with steamers).
Moreover, the inner steam cap can be taken off for cleaning, and the non-stick inner pot is equally easy to clean.
Free accessories? That’s what we want to hear!
With this purchase, you will get a non-stick spatula along with the measuring cup and a cookbook.
The cooker comes in two sizes: 5.5-cup and 10-cup. Make sure to always measure the quantity of the price with the cup that you get with in the package!
- Four cooking settings
- Detachable inner cap
- Excellent value for the price
- It has a handle for transportation
- Free accessories
- The manual could have been better
3. COMFEE’ 5.2Qt Asian Style Programmable All-in-1 Multi-Cooker, Rice Cooker, Slow cooker, Steamer – The Most Versatile
The Comfee Asian-style Rice Cooker deserved the place on our list because it has been fully developed to produce the most delicious rice.
Let’s see what it offers.
Firstly, at Comfee, they have developed what they call “the intelligent 6-step cooking process” to cook the perfect rice every time, and we can confirm that it works like it’s supposed to.
Wondering what the six steps are?
Basically, the appliance firstly preheats, increasing the temperature, and lets the rice absorb the water while it is at the medium temperature. Then, it is heating up until it’s brought to the boil, and then it simmers for the perfect flavor. The final step is basically keeping it warm until you decide that it’s the time to serve it.
But what is the strongest point about this rice cooker is the number of the digital cooking programs that it offers: as many as seventeen! That was the crucial factor for us to deem it the most versatile Japanese rice cooker on the market.
We won’t list all of the modes here (there are simply too many), but we’re going to give you a few so that you know what you can expect: rice, pasta, stew, soup, veggies, yogurt…
We liked how the manufacturers made use of the space: the Honeycomb design, along with the 62-degree boiling angle, enlarged the whole heating area to fit more ingredients and achieve the capacity of 10 to 20 cups of rice.
Another benefit is maximized user-friendliness. Namely, the device has a digital LED display and a sensitive touch panel to set the mode that you wish (or the timer).
- A lot of smart features
- 1-year warranty
- Large capacity
- 17 cooking modes
- Comes with BPA-free plastic accessories
- Dishwasher safe
- It takes a bit of time until you get the hang of all controls
4. Toshiba TRCS01 Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked (3L) with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking for Brown, White Rice, and Porridge – Premium Pick
Toshiba is a renowned brand and one of the biggest Japanese companies in the world, and it’s no wonder that they have created a perfect Japanese rice cooker, albeit accompanied by a hefty price-tag.
In fact, they have produced their first electric rice cooker in 1955, and since then, the formula has been upgraded. So, what we have today is the Toshiba TRCS01 Japanese Rice Cooker.
Remember the 6-stage cooking process that we mentioned (preheating, cooking at medium temperature, boiling, simmering, keeping the rice warm)? The same principle is used with this rice cooker.
The steam valve and the inner non-stick pot have been made with quality materials that account for excellent rice texture and taste.
Usually, there are two modes for two kids of rice – brown and white – but this one has 7. They are as follows: White rice, Brown rice, Mixed rice, Short-grained rice, Long-grained rice, Oatmeal, and Porridge mode. You couldn’t get it more personalized, even if you wanted!
The result? Approximately 12 cups of perfectly cooked rice. Also, the “Keep warm” stage can last for up to 24 hours, meaning that you can cook the rice on one day, and serve it on the next one completely warm!
The steam goes through the vent, which means that there won’t be any overflow from the bubbles during the boiling stage.
Among other smart options, we would also want to highlight the Quick rice feature (the cooking time is shortened to 30 minutes without any compromises to the taste), and the Delay time features that allows you to set the precise time at which you want the rice to be ready.
- Large capacity
- Convenient handle
- The inner lid & vent are detachable
- A lot of smart features
- Intuitive display
- Comes with all accessories
- A bit pricey
5. Aroma Housewares ARC-954SBD Rice Cooker, 4-Cup uncooked 2.5 Quart, Professional Version – Best Budget-Friendly
Aroma Housewares has managed to pack a tremendous amount of value in their budget-friendly Japanese rice cooker.
It’s very intuitive and easy to use. Namely, at the front, you have 12 buttons for setting up the mode that you want. There are White rice, Brown rice, Quinoa, and Quick rice specialized modes for rice, and then there are the Steam, Slow, and Simmering mode. And they are all available at the press of a button!
What is more, it allows you to prepare the rice simultaneously with the main dish, as it can cook below the steaming meat and vegetables, for example.
Other smart features include the “Keep warm” function and a 15-hour delay timer that lets you plan your meals in advance.
Basically, here’s how the cooking process looks with this rice cooker: the first part of the cycle is signalized with a loading symbol until it is brought to a boil, and then you’ll see a countdown until all the water is absorbed. From there on, the rice will be “kept warm” in the function that we mentioned above, which you have to turn off manually.
In case you were wondering, with this purchase, you also get all the necessary accessories – the steam tray, rice measuring cup, and a nice spatula.
Yes, the capacity (8 cups of rice) is lower than with some other picks, but it should be enough for most of the uses.
- Low price
- Prepares delicious rice
- Allows for simultaneous cooking
- Accessories included
- Non-sticking surface
- 2-year warranty
- Lower capacity than other picks
- A bit loud
Factors To Consider When Buying A Japanese Rice Cooker
In order to find a Japanese rice cooker that is well suited for your needs, here are some important factors you need to consider. You’ll see, it’s very simple!
- By this, we don’t mean the actual dimensions of a rice cooker – in general, it is a compact device, and you shouldn’t be having trouble transporting and fitting it anywhere.
- Besides, many models come with a handle you can use for transporting, making sure that you don’t touch the cooker when it’s warm and burn your hand, as the handle doesn’t warm up.
- What we mean here, though, is the size of servings, which is usually measured in cups of rice.
- Most commonly, they come in 5 or 10 cups size, although there are some 3-cup appliances as well, which should be enough for one or two people. The former two are for families of three to four and more.
2. Modes & Functions
- Just as we mentioned earlier, you won’t use the same setting to prepare different kinds of rice, and that’s why it’s very important for a Japanese rice cooker to have at least two modes for white and brown rice. These are the minimum requirements that we looked for to take a model into consideration.
- As we live in the era of technological advances, Japanese rice cookers nowadays come with many more modes and functions than those two basic ones.
- For instance, it allows you to prepare another dish (for instance, vegetables, seafood, or meat) in the Steam mode, and some models have a Synchro mode for cooking the rice and main dish simultaneously.
- Also, most of them have the Keep warm function that keeps the rice warm after it is cooked until you serve it (or decide to turn it off). This is very convenient, as some most advanced rice cookers can keep your rice warm for as long as 24 hours!
- Speaking about the time, most of these devices come with the timer that you can set up so that the whole cooking process begins just when you want it to.
- Some manufacturers choose to make a separate setting for every kind of a dish (you’ll see, one of our picks even has 17 different modes), but this isn’t necessary.
- What matters is that you don’t have to calculate and think about whether you got the water-to-rice ratio right, and measure the time of preparation – this appliance will do it all for you.
- For your convenience, most of the Japanese rice cookers come with a retractable cord that is taken out just when you need it. This doesn’t only save the space, but it also protects the cable.
- Other than that, all of our picks have durable cords that will not get damaged easily.
Final Words: Our Top Three Recommendations
In the end, the only thing left is to answer the question: what is the best Japanese rice cooker that money can buy? And the answer is the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 rice cooker that can fulfill all of your cooking needs.
If you want something easier on your pocket, the Aroma Housewares ARC-954SBD Rice Cooker, our budget-friendly pick is there for you.
Finally, kudos to Tiger for producing the Tiger JBV-A10U rice cooker, an incredibly competitive and capable appliance that earned the title runner-up on our list.