Perhaps you’ve been to Japan before and you miss the delicious cuisine there. Maybe you’ve always wished you could go, but eating Japanese food is the next best thing. Instead of going out to restaurants all the time, bring the authenticity of Japanese food home with you with your very own Japanese rice cooker.
This cooking device lets you get soft, chewy, sticky rice that’s perfect for making dishes like sushi, onigiri, donburi, and so much more. Of course, if you’re going to invest in a rice cooker, you want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your money.
We’ve found the top five Japanese rice cookers. Each is renowned for its easy usage, fast cooking times, and delicious, high-quality rice. Any of these rice cookers would make a fantastic addition to your kitchen.
Why Buy a Japanese Rice Cooker?
Best Japanese Rice Cookers Currently On The Market – Reviews 2018
1. Zojirushi Three-Cup Rice Cooker
Zojirushi’s rice cooker and warmer can hold up to six ounces of rice in three cups, which means you can get six cups of rice at a time. This device, which comes in an appealing stainless steel with black plastic accents, can also warm up premade rice. If you’re new to rice-cooking, the LCD control screen with a clearly-marked control panel should let you acclimate quickly. This rice cooker even comes with a spatula holder, nonstick rice spatula, and measuring cup so you have everything you need.
- Zojirushi’s rice cooker is designed to be small, so even if you don’t have a lot of room on your counter, there’s still some space left for this device.
- An included retractable power cord and inner cooker lid (which can come off) makes cooking less of a hassle.
- Control panel features include two delay settings, a reheating cycle, extended keep-warm, and an automatic setting.
- Cooking functions include quick cooking, browned, porridge, sushi, and white/mixed rice.
- Measuring lines on the inner cooking pan allow you to cook the exact amount of rice you want.
- You can get lots of rice in one sitting, which is ideal for big families.
- The interface is easy to use with a clear LCD control screen.
- With many controls and cooking functions, you can make rice in almost any way imaginable.
- The included accessories make this a great value.
- Some users complain about the lifespan
2. Hitachi Portable Rice Cooker
Coming straight from Japan, Hitachi’s IH rice cooker will give you that true Japanese rice you’ve been craving. It can make up to three servings of rice at once, which is plenty to feed family and friends. This rice cooker is about seven pounds, but it has a rounder, more streamlined design than the Zojirushi model above. Many reviewers who have tried this rice cooker say it dramatically improved their rice’s flavor.
- This rice cooker plugs into any available outlet.
- You can also warm up rice via a stovetop.
- The detachable metal bowl can be easily removed and washed by hand or even in the dishwasher.
- Although it lacks a large LCD display, Hitachi’s rice cooker does let you set the time you want to cook your rice with slim silver buttons. You can also see the time remaining with a red countdown clock.
- An included rice spatula and white plastic heating bowl with a translucent lid make cooking a breeze.
- Make porridge, white rice, and brown rice by toggling the cooking settings.
- The no-frills design is simple and to-the-point.
- Being able to detach the rice cooker and wash it is helpful.
- Since you can plug this rice cooker in via an outlet, you can cook rice almost anywhere, anytime.
- If you have any issues with the rice cooker, it could be difficult to find replacement parts.
3. Tiger 10-Cup Rice Cooker
First, Tiger’s rice cooker is gorgeous. It’s a pristine white with pink and orange cherry blossoms on either side. Besides its looks, it can also hold up to 10 cups of uncooked rice, which is more than any other rice cooker we’ve reviewed thus far. Of course, for those who want less rice, there are also three-cup, four-cup, 5.5-cup, and eight-cup models available. Although it doesn’t have an LCD display, there are two lights (the orange one for warming and the red one for cooking rice) on the front that are hard to miss.
- The included steam vent comes out and can be hand-washed (it may not be dishwasher-safe, though).
- Measuring cups and a rice spatula come standard with the rice cooker for easier food prep.
- Like the Hitachi rice cooker above, Tiger’s model also includes a retractable power cord, even though the cooker is not designed to be portable.
- Plastic feet that blend into the white/cherry blossom design will keep the rice cooker in place.
- A non-stick inner pan achieves better heating.
- Keep your rice warmer longer, as the warming feature can heat rice up for 12 hours.
- The beautiful design of Tiger’s rice cooker makes it a standout.
- This is one of the hardiest rice cookers available, as it can cook 10 cups of rice.
- The warming function lasts for 12 hours, which is plenty of time for a hot meal.
- With a detachable steam vent and included measuring cup and spatula, cleanup is fast.
- It’s recommended you only use the same brand of rice that comes with the cooker.
- The lack of LCD display may be off-putting to some.
4. Toshiba Vacuum Pressure Cooker
Another Japanese import (so you can expect stellar rice every time), the Toshiba IH cooks rice via vacuum pressure, which is the first on this list to do so. Not only that, but it comes in an appealing metallic cherry red that will look nice on your kitchen countertop. You simply open the lid (which comes with a matching red plastic carrying handle), pour in your rice, and then watch the LCD display until it’s ready.
- The rice cooker works even without a power converter, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally blowing out your power or doing tough calculations between Japanese and American power levels.
- This rice cooker will make both white and brown rice.
- You can make nearly six cups of rice at once with Toshiba’s rice cooker, which is impressive.
- The metal rice pressure cooker is nonstick and can be easily washed in the sink or dishwasher.
- The color of Toshiba’s rice cooker is very attractive.
- Although it comes from Japan, there’s no need for a power converter.
- This rice cooker can prep 5.5 cups of rice at once.
- All the buttons on the display are in Japanese, so if you don’t understand the language, it’s hard to cook rice.
5. Panasonic 10-Cup One-Touch Rice Cooker
Although it’s adorable, Panasonic’s Fuzzy Logic rice cooker does its job well. With a built-in micro-computer, you can toggle your rice options more than ever before. From soup to porridge, brown rice, white rice, steamed rice, and everything in between, this rice cooker does it all. You can also choose to reheat previously-cooked rice with a “keep warm” button. When you’re done with your cooking, just turn the device off until next time. The Fuzzy Logic micro-computer will even increase or decrease power based on your rice quantity!
- Squat and tiny, the white Fuzzy Logic may be the smallest rice cooker on the list. It weighs about eight pounds.
- There is a detachable power cord included with this rice cooker, as well as a measuring cup, rice scoop, and steaming basket for easy cooking and serving.
- Icons depict each type of rice available, making it easy to envision what the final product will look like, even if you’ve never made that dish before.
- The rice warming button will gently heat rice for a 12-hour period so you can grab a snack or meal when you have the time.
- An included nonstick-coated pan keeps rice from getting burnt.
- Keep moisture out of your rice thanks to the specially-designed domed lid, which controls water flow.
- At less than $100, Panasonic’s is by far the cheapest rice cooker of the five.
- The warming feature lets you cook your rice in the morning, go to work, and come home to hot food.
- There are many rice varieties to make, which keeps dinner interesting.
- The cute, squat design is appealing and functional.
- Included accessories like a rice scoop and steaming basket are nice additions.
- You must only cook the included rice brand in this Panasonic rice cooker.
What Are the Best Japanese Rice Cooker Brands?
- Zojirushi – With gravity pots, air pot beverage dispensers, and vacuum flasks in its line of products, Zojirushi is a trusted culinary brand.
- Hitachi – Since 1910, Hitachi has had a long legacy of great products, among them electronic equipment and systems, consumer products, digital media, and automotive systems.
- Toshiba – One of the best-known Japanese brands, Toshiba produces a range of electronics, including kitchen equipment, Blu-ray players, televisions, computers, and more.
- Panasonic – Another Japanese electronics brand is known for its many products, Panasonic manufactures electronic consumer goods and is especially renowned for its cameras, including camcorders and point and shoot cameras.