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Cooking rice is hard, at least for me it is. You measure water, then let it sit over a stove. If everything goes right, then you have rice. But the problem is that nothing ever goes right. You always end up with burnt or soggy rice. Having a rice cooker takes care of all that. All you need to do is press and the rice comes out perfect. But the creme de la creme of rice cooker are the Japanese Rice Cooker. While we dont have the fancy features of those in Japan. The Best Japanese Ricer Cooker in the states uses induction heating for even heat and rapid cooking.
Why are Japanese Rice Cooker so Expensive?
The biggest issue with Japanese Rice Cooker is the price. The reason while its so expensive is labor. No other country take as much care as the Japanese. Every step is meticulous and done to perfection. Because of this, they get paid accordingly. Not only that, the Japanese Rice Cooker usually have features that American models have.
Made in China?
Some Japanese Rice Cooker are made in China. For the most part, they work. However, in my opinion, the Japanese Model are more durable. The good thing about the Chinese Made rice cooker is the price. They are generally more affordable but come with fewer features.
What is Special About Japanese Rice Cooker
For the super high end rice cooker, they come with niche features like Binchotan lining. Binchotan is Japanese Charcoal that apparently takes away impurities of rice. Other features include pressure cooking feature. This lets rice cook at a much faster rate than regular cooker. This makes the rice more firm yet plum at the same time. Unfortunately, these features are not available for those allowed in the States.
Micro Temperature Adjustment
The great thing about Japanese Rice Cooker is its micro temperature adjustment. They have sensors throughout the rice cooker to give it the optimal cooking environment. This is why you hear clicks when the rice cooker cooks. A lot of American Made Rice Cooker dont have that feature.
How to Use?
Using a Japanese Rice Cooker is simple and challenging at the same time. The easiest way of using it is by pressing cook. Most of their setting will have pre soak and with a cook setting for Japanese Short Grain Rice. But for things like brown rice, longer cook setting needs to be selected.
If you want to cook things like Long Grain Rice, then selecting a quick setting is all you need.
One challenge with rice is selected the right water ratio. I honestly find that a 1 to 1 water to rice ratio works pretty well. However, this will change as you increase the quantity of rice and the type of rice.
The rice cooker size you get depends on your family size. The sensor works best on the respective size. For example, the 3 cup works best with 1-3 cup. The 5 cup works best from 3-5 and ten works best from 5 – 10.
Best Japanese Rice Cooker List
Below, you will find a list of the Best Japanese Rice Cooker. There are a few option available, choose one that best suits you.
Zojirushi NP-NWC10XB Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer (Best Overall)
Zojirushi is one of the best known brands in Japan. They are known for their performance and durability. This induction model is made in Japan and uses induction for its heating. This means it heats up fast and evenly.
Another benefit of this model is that it builds up pressure. This means that it cooks brown rice better than the standard model. It will reach temperature higher 212 degree.
Zojirushi NL-AAC10 Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer (5.5-Cup/Beige) (Best Buy)
This model is the most common among the asian househould. Its durable and functional. While it doesnt have induction or pressure cooking, it does have the Micom Setting. This lets it adjust the temperature as it cooks. There are also preset button for different type of rice. Like the other model, its made in Japan for quality and durability.
Panasonic 5 Cup (Uncooked) Japanese Rice Cooker with Induction Heating System and Pre-Programmed Cooking (Best Alternative)
Panasonic is a great alternative to Zojirushi. Like our winner, it uses induction technology to heat and cook rice. The inner layer nonstick coating has 7 layer for durability. The diamond coating and copper exterior also helps in heating. The feature that its missing over our winning one is the pressure cooking.
Japanese Rice Cooker are some of the best in the world. Models with Induction and Pressure building are the best. The cook rice the fastest and most even. Zojirushi are the winner in this category. However, if you want a more affordable alternative then Zojirushi makes a non induction model. Panasonic also makes a similar model as our winner. It just lacks the pressure feature.
Got a Small Kitchen? Check out our article on the Best Small Rice Cooker.