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Finest Japanese Rice Cookers In 2022


Increase your hand when you’re sick of your stovetop rice turning right into a sticky, starchy, scorched mess—or simply discover the cooking course of too time consuming and labor intensive. If that is you, it’s time to spend money on top-of-the-line Japanese rice cookers. Whereas there’s nothing incorrect with a conventional rice cooker, which generally has a one-cooks-all setting, Japanese rice cookers are tremendous intuitive–mitigating points with mismeasuring and accommodating totally different cooking nuances. These machines alter timing and temperature to accommodate no matter type of rice fits your subsequent dinner; plus, the pressurized cooking methodology makes for extra-tender, fluffy rice. They’re kitchen multitaskers too. Toss in a couple of dumplings for an ideal steaming session, and even the egg custard chawanmushi—as chef Joanne Chang, the culinary power behind Boston’s Meyers & Chang and Flour Bakery, suggests. She’s our resident knowledgeable for this story and remembers a Tatung rice cooker as a distinguished a part of her childhood kitchen. Discover the mannequin that fits your kitchen (in addition to some useful procuring ideas) under with our picks for the perfect Japanese rice cookers.

Our Prime Picks

Finest General: Zojirushi NL-GAC10

Capability: 5.5 cups | Dimensions: 9.1″D x 9.1″W x 9.1″H | Micom enabled/Fuzzy logic: Sure

Professionals


  • Quite a few customizable settings
  • Included twin hotter function
  • Easy interface
  • Nonstick-coated inside vessel

Cons


  • Greater value
  • Not as appropriate for bigger batches

Why we selected it: With a setting for almost each sort of rice and different helpful additions, this small-but-mighty machine makes probably the most tender, fluffy grains.

Zojirushi has been slinging top-notch Japanese rice cookers since they hallmarked the type in 1983, and this profitable mannequin is not any exception. Whilst you can’t actually go incorrect with any of the choices provided by the model, this one hits the candy spot between the dearer cookers and the less complicated choices (although we all know it does sit nearer to the dear finish of the spectrum). Plus, we are able to confirm it churns out wonderful rice tailor-made to the person’s preferences. Not solely does it have specialised settings for jasmine, candy, and brown rices, however the equipment additionally boasts distinctive cooking settings you’ll be able to mess around with together with the extra normal warming and fast/sluggish prepare dinner modes. (We’re a fan of the “umami” mode, which is designed to coax extra taste out of your grains by soaking and steaming the rice longer.)

We additionally love the prepare dinner timer, which helps you to time your rice completely with the remainder of your dinner, and the low-touch expertise of utilizing this cooker. Merely use the inside bowl measurements to succeed in your required quantity, add the suitable quantity of water, and push a button. You’ll have good rice in roughly 50 minutes. Bonus: Once you rice has completed cooking, it’ll mechanically shift into warming mode to maintain your rice prepared for second helpings.

Finest Worth: YumAsia Panda Mini Rice Cooker

Capability: 3.5 cups | Dimensions: 8.86″D x 11.81″W x 8.27″H | Micom enabled/Fuzzy logic: Sure

Professionals


  • Myriad settings for a small mannequin
  • 24-hour warming setting
  • Simple cleanup
  • Fast cooking

Cons


  • Solely out there in small capability
  • Ceramic bowl coating may scratch simply

Why we selected it: This little powerhouse is the epitome of small, however mighty—exact performance and some helpful bells and whistles for a extra modest value.

This compact machine is an actual workhorse—together with simply sufficient helpful options to face out with out being overly difficult, and in addition clocking in on the decrease finish of the worth spectrum for this souped-up type of rice cooker. From the outset, you’ll be able to inform it’s constructed with consideration to element in thoughts. There’s a useful built-in holder to your spatula to maintain it clear and off the counter, in addition to a transport deal with that nestles into the cooker completely when not in use.

And these sensible selections lengthen to the performance of the machine, too. It has specialised settings for lengthy and brief grain rice together with some much less run-of-the-mill selections. Rice cooker cake, anybody? One potential disadvantage for these with bigger households: the capability is one the small facet. Nevertheless, the scale additionally helps the rice prepare dinner faster, shaving off round 20 minutes in comparison with the usual 5.5-cup cooker. After you have your moist and flavorful batch of rice cooked, you should utilize the extra-precise warming mode, which instances by the minute quite than the hour as different fashions sometimes do. And with its rounded physique form and 4 nubby toes, this rice cooker appears to be like actually lovable sitting counterside.

Finest Bells and Whistles: CUCKOO CRP-BHSS0609F

Capability: 6 cups Dimensions: 10”H x 14.7”L x 10.6”W inches Micon enabled/Fuzzy logic: Sure

Professionals


  • 16 totally different customizable settings
  • Stress cooking capabilities pace up prepare dinner time
  • Auto adjusts in the course of the cooking course of
  • Constructed-in voice steering

Cons


  • Costly
  • Somewhat intimidating

Why we selected it: A wise algorithm makes the suitable cooking changes to get fluffy rice each time, whereas high-end stress cooking know-how retains issues shifting shortly with out sacrificing high quality.

There’s not a lot this R2-D2-like equipment can’t do (it may possibly even speak you thru the rice cooking course of in three totally different languages). With 16 totally different settings, this cooker goes past simply rice—with choices to prepare dinner beans, reheat leftovers, and make bread—however in fact, it will get into the nitty-gritty of grain making, too with a sturdy lineup of modes for various rice sorts. Although this may appear a bit intimidating, it’s nonetheless quite intuitive. This rice cooker is enabled with a particular algorithm that detects your grain sort and works to take care of the right inner temperature. 

Different intelligently designed cooking options embody: a managed steam launch that limits condensation, stress cooking mode to advertise consistency, and an induction-heated inside pot (solid from sturdy chrome steel and cloaked in a scratch-resistant nonstick coating no much less). Heating the pot quite than an exterior supply helps distribute the warmth extra evenly throughout the underside and sides of the vessel, so that you received’t have to fret about some grains getting mushy and others staying crunchy. It additionally speeds issues up, cooking white rice in round 20 minutes or so. To not point out, there are security options in place to control the warmth and stress contained in the machine. And whenever you’re completed cooking, have interaction the automated cleansing cycle with the contact of a button.

Finest for Cooking for a Crowd: Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker & Hotter, 10 Cup

Capability: 10 cups Dimensions: 11″ x 14¼” x 9½” Micon enabled/Fuzzy logic: Sure

Professionals


  • Giant measurement excellent for giant households or celebrations
  • Intuitive operation with automated changes
  • Retro aesthetic
  • Retractable twine for simplified storage

Cons


  • Slower prepare dinner time
  • Hand-wash inside pot and lid

Why we selected it: This beloved fan favourite cooker makes foolproof rice in huge batches—now that it’s out there in two instances its authentic measurement.

That is the darling of Japanese rice cookers, so it’s no shock it secured a spot on our “greatest” record. This mannequin is easy, versatile, and—in fact—produces comfortable grains with sweetness, nuttiness, and a contact of nice chewiness each time even in a big quantity (a rarity). It has setting for a number of sorts or rice as many high-end cookers do (in addition to congee and porridge settings) in addition to top-of-the-line “hold heat” features round; it does wonders to take care of the standard rive it makes, and people used to making ready rice on the stovetop comprehend it’s all too straightforward to finish up with crusty grains after your cooking is full. We love the little melody this cooker performs when your rice is finished, so that you don’t should hold checking the timer, and the candy-colored buttons and total retro aesthetic of the factor. 

The retractable twine and inside pot handles additionally add somewhat extra finesse to your rice cooking expertise, together with the extraordinarily clear measurements markings on the pot’s inside. It may be a bit fickle to scrub, as you will need to hand wash the lid inside and pot, and total cooks rice on the slower facet than different fashions, a bit underneath double the time. However consistency is vital on the subject of rice cookers, and aren’t good issues price ready for?

Finest Analog: Hario GohanGama Japanese Rice Cooker Pot

Capability: Small: 1.5 cups Giant: 2.25 cups Dimensions: Small: 7.00″ D x 8.00″ L x 7.00″ H; Giant: 9.00″ D x 11.00″ L x 8.00″ H Micon enabled/Fuzzy logic: No

Professionals


  • Warmth resistant lid 
  • Out there in small or giant sizes
  • Beautiful stoneware look
  • Mushy whistle sound signifies cooking completion

Cons


  • Costly
  • Small possibility very small; giant possibility additionally small

Why we selected it: Made in Japan from conventional Banko ware, this candy little pot cooks rice shortly and effectively on the stovetop (and appears nice doing it, too).

We all know Japanese rice cookers are famed for his or her sensible technological capabilities and hands-off reserving expertise, however we couldn’t resist together with this pot-style rice cooker made in Japan for cooks in search of a digital detox. You is likely to be conversant in Japanese model Hario for his or her iconic gooseneck kettle and occasional gear, however their culinary attain extends a lot additional. Hario is the one heat-proof glass manufacturing unit in Japan and has been producing top-notch merchandise for over a century, so it’s no shock that the glass lid on this earthy ceramic rice pot is sort of indestructible (and a good way to control your rice because it simmers away). The physique is crafted from Japanese Bankoware, a sort of pottery initially made for tea and identified for its constant heat-holding and wealthy rust hue, and outfitted with considerate options like an inner measuring information, a steam vent to stop starchy overflow splashes, and useful helper handles on both sides lined in heat-resistant silicone. Each pots are fairly small in measurement, however when you’re cooking for one or two individuals it shouldn’t be a difficulty, because the petite stature of those pots assist them prepare dinner rice in round quarter-hour. And although it’s completely analog, this cooker shouldn’t be with out its “automated” options, so to talk. The pot makes a light-weight whistling sound when your rice is finished, akin to a less-aggressive tea kettle.

Issues to Think about Earlier than Shopping for a Japanese Rice Cooker

Materials

Chef Chang recommends choosing a mannequin with components crafted from chrome steel to allow them to maintain as much as years of frequent use. Aluminum is one other frequent materials used to assemble rice cookers, but it surely’s rather more flimsy and vulnerable to warping over time. Many cookers even have a nonstick coating on their inside pots, which is a godsend in stopping clumpy, crusty rice. 

Capability & Dimension

In the event you’re shopping for a rice cooker within the first place, it’s most likely protected to imagine you prepare dinner/eat fairly a little bit of rice. However the measurement of your family (and the scale of your kitchen) each may affect the capability you want. Rice cookers are normally marked by the dry cup quantity, and that normally multiples by 2x-3x as soon as it’s cooked. Observe: A rice cooker’s “cup” shouldn’t be the identical as the usual cup we’re used to cooking with. Whereas a metric cup measures 240ml, a rice cooker’s cup clocks in at round 180ml. Preserve this in thoughts when selecting and utilizing your rice cooker. The excellent news is the measuring cup that comes with the home equipment is suited towards the Japanese measurement, so there received’t be a lot guesswork. 

Pre-Units

In the event you’ve already chosen to go for a Japanese-style rice cooker over an easier conventional mannequin, likelihood is you’re longing for a extra “sensible” expertise that may be tailor-made to your preferences and totally different sorts of rice. Most choices embody settings designed for various sorts of rice, so when you’re somebody who prefers a nutty, chewy brown rice over its fluffy white counterpart, you must hold an eye fixed out for a rice cooker with a chosen brown rice setting. Extra tricked out fashions may embody buttons for reheating rice and even fast (stress prepare dinner) and sluggish cooking choices to completely time your rice to be completed with the remainder of your meal. 

Particular Options

Our article knowledgeable, chef Joanne Chang, says a hotter is her most important function on the subject of a rice cooker. It’ll hold your rice not solely heat, but additionally contemporary (no crusty grains right here) till you’re able to serve it. Most Japanese fashions will embody “neuro fuzzy” or “micom” know-how, which applications your cooker to be delicate to elements like water degree and temperature if they alter all through the cooking course of. Most choices may even embody a rice paddle and a measuring cup, and a few very elite fashions could have an auto clear perform (as if cooking with one in all these infants couldn’t get any simpler).

FAQs

What defines a Japanese rice cooker? 

By definition, a Japanese rice cooker is any rice cooker that’s made in Japan. However extra usually, the time period is used to explain high-tech fashions specializing in fast cooking and embody myriad extra options in distinction to a conventional cooker’s easy bucket heater, pot insert and lid. (And sure, there are lots of manufacturers who don’t produce these in Japan, however they’re nonetheless thought-about Japanese rice cookers). Japanese rice cookers sometimes are thought-about “micom” or “fuzzy logic,” which basically means they’re powered by a microchip that may sense environmental adjustments and alter to take care of your rice’s splendid temperature and texture. 

What’s the splendid capability of a Japanese rice cooker?

As touched on within the “issues to think about” part above, the everyday capability of a Japanese rice cooker is round 5.5 cups (which is able to yield sufficient rice for round 3-5 good servings), however clearly it’s sensible to go bigger or smaller relying in your cooking habits (are you a meal prepper or somebody who cooks for crowds usually?). Be mindful, rice cookers sometimes are no less than medium-sized home equipment, so contemplate your kitchen area and storage limits earlier than you select a mannequin. 

What number of totally different settings does a Japanese rice cooker have?

By definition, Japanese rice cookers are likely to have extra elaborate settings than conventional fashions. Whereas the precise quantity ranges from product to product, we discovered most choices have a number of settings for cooking several types of rice (from white, to brown, to Jasmine) with some even together with auto features for making ready congee and porridge. Extra settings for warming or sluggish cooking are frequent in high quality cookers as nicely. 

What else can I exploit Japanese rice cookers for?

Along with making extra easy, simple dishes like porridge and dumplings, Chang says: “You should use the rice cooker as a steamer for different meals not only for rice. With eggs, you can also make chawanmushi (a steamed egg custard with mushroom, scallion, and soy that’s a conventional Japanese breakfast and a scrumptious snack). You can too marinate rooster or pork in sake and salt and pepper and steam within the rice cooker for a easy fundamental course whenever you don’t wish to saute or fry or bake. Be sure you observe the directions on the rice cooker for the water to rice proportion.”

Last Ideas

All the greatest Japanese rice cookers showcased on this record will give you tender, fluffy grains with minimal guesswork and hands-on work. The best choice to fit your kitchen largely is determined by the area you’ve got, frequency you’ll use it, and when you’re loyal to 1 sort of rice or many. Since Japanese rice cookers usually run costly, since they’re outfitted with so many sensible options, we love the Zojirushi NL-GAC10, which gives simply sufficient little luxuries in a compact, user-friendly package deal. No matter which mannequin you go together with, you’re positive to have nice grains forward. 

Methodology 

Japanese rice cookers are all concerning the options, so helpful settings and high-tech capabilities have been the elements we thought-about at the beginning when deciding which fashions made it on our winners record. We started with checking in with chef Joanne Chang of Boston’s Meyers & Chang restaurant to glean some preliminary rice cooker intel earlier than sifting by the choices from Zojirushi. This firm pioneered the Japanese rice cooker within the early Nineteen Eighties and we knew they’d have some choices that may discover a house in our “greatest” record. We then moved on to different manufacturers each small and huge to get a greater sense of which of them are well-liked out there and if their merchandise stack as much as their reputations. Japanese rice cookers are additionally identified for being on the costly facet, given the entire included bells and whistles, so we additionally aimed to incorporate a spread of costs whereas nonetheless retaining high quality in thoughts. Sturdiness performed an vital half in our resolution making, too. We’ve heard of rice cookers turning into kitchen heirlooms and, to verify our picks would perform for many years, selected these with parts constructed from sturdy chrome steel (our knowledgeable’s suggestion). 



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