Best Japanese Rice Cooker Reviews 2017: Buyer’s Guide
Need to make Japanese rice for your next dinner with the family? Then you should invest in the best Japanese rice cooker to get the perfect consistency of rice for sushi or rice bowls! Wondering what to get? Read on as I show you the top five choices of Japanese rice cookers, as well as many other things you should know about this wonderful kitchen appliance.
What's a Japanese Rice Cooker?
A staple in many Asian countries would be rice, though there are different types of rice according to the cuisine and culture. Japanese rice has a more sticky consistency, known to mold quickly for sushi and making it soft to eat with Japanese cuisine.
While you'll be able to make Japanese rice with rice cookers or by stoves, there are specialized Japanese rice cookers that would create the ideal sticky consistency you expect. In just a push of a button, it would control the heat while sending in the enough pressure for the rice to come out correctly. No need to hassle yourself or do the traditional methods, which can take a ton of effort!
Benefits of Using a Japanese Rice Cooker
Wondering why you should own a specialized Japanese rice cooker? Here are the advantages it has to offer:
Like mentioned, Japanese rice has a different consistency and may require different temperatures to keep its quality. Through owning reputable rice cookers, you will be able to have the uniform cooking and almost always get the desired results. Plus, it won't burn or undercook your rice, making it perfect to consume while hot. A rice cooker will also keep your rice warm for later consumption.
Compared to using a stove or the traditional over-fire method (still?), you'll be able to get the accurate measurements when adding rice and water, getting the right consistency to cook it correctly. Some pots have the measuring line, or they come with scoops, so you won't have to guess measure.
Do you want hot rice when you wake up in the morning? You can leave uncooked rice in a pot overnight and set the scheduled time. That way, you won't need to hassle yourself when you get up, having to wait for the rice to cook especially when you're in a hurry.
With technology today, Japanese rice cookers have added features where you can quickly adjust its temperature and settings. They also have safety features to avoid burning of hands or damaging the rice or appliance. Some rice cookers even have dual purposes, such as steaming or slow pressure cooking.
How to Purchase the Best Japanese Rice Cooker
Wondering how to buy the best Japanese rice cooker? Here are some tips and factors to consider to help you out:
Think how many people you'll be feeding, or the size of your household. If you are only cooking for less than four people, go for rice cookers that have a capacity of three to four cups. For bigger rice cookers, go for ten cups, which is fit for five or more people.
There are three main types of rice cookers: The pot-style for beginners, the cool-touch for safety, and the egg-shaped design that comes with an LCD for easier adjustment.
You should get a rice cooker that comes with a fuzzy logic function or one that detects the temperature of the day and either lowers or increases its temperature to cook rice consistently and quickly.
Other rice cookers also have settings such as a porridge cycle, a reheat cycle, or even a quick cook function for those in a hurry. You can adjust the texture or temperature quickly yourself, so focus on rice cookers with a variety of settings that's still easy to understand and use.
Safety or Extra Features
Rice cookers have other better features to improve the quality of your rice such as nonstick pans for easy scooping, the fuse protector and auto cord reel for fewer accidents, or rice cookers that come with scoopers for measurements.
Some rice cookers even have multi-purposes, which saves up on space and hassle while cooking multiple dishes.
Top 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers Reviews
Based on our testing, research, and overall customer reviews, here are our top five choices on the best Japanese rice cooker:
1. Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 - Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker/Warmer
Zojirushi is one of the most popular brands for Japanese rice cookers, and for a reason! It can store up to 5.5 cups of rice, with its digital and advanced technology helping make things easier for you. You get to choose between many selections on how to cook your rice, including an automatic keep-warm option with reheat cycles to keep your rice ready to eat no matter when you do.
Its pan is made out of spherical and nonstick material for even heating and hassle-free scooping of rice. And its LCD clock and timer will enable you to stay informed on the status of your rice and when it's cooked!
With its quality features and complete packaging, you'll be making an investment to last for a very long time! It's definitely worth the price.
2. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 - Micom Rice Cooker/Warmer
Another crowd favorite, Zojirushi offers micro computerized fuzzy logic technology to cook your rice no matter the weather quickly. It can hold up to ten cups and has the original keep warm and reheating cycles to preserve your rice and have it ready to eat no matter.
I love its stainless steel exterior. Not only does it look sleek, but very easy to clean. Using it is a breeze, only requiring a few pushes of a button. And once the rice is done, you'll be able to hear a cute melody or beeping signal.
You can choose the sushi or porridge setting to make your Japanese rice have the sticky yet warm and delicious flavors you want. With its multiple settings for any rice, as well as a complete package (for steaming as well!), it's a versatile and affordable rice cooker well worth its price.
3. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W - Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer and Slow Cooker
Tiger, another reputable brand name, has one main feature I love: The "tacook" function. While cooking my Japanese rice, I can also steam or cook my main dishes at the same time. The rice cooker has a one-push operation, making it very easy to use. This rice cooker isn't only meant for Japanese rice, but for any other type of rice and cooking as well, including a slow cooker and steamer. It's versatile and at such an affordable price for all its features.
It has a cute and simple look and can hold up to ten cups, depending on the size you choose. Coming with the non-stick pan, spatula, cooking plate, measuring cup, and even a cookbook, you're getting something worth more than what you pay for.
4. Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker - Slow Cooker, Food Steamer
One huge plus about the Aroma Housewares is its affordable price and huge capacity. It's ideal for families and large households, as it can yield up to 20 cups of cooked rice.
Another plus is that it's not only a digital rice cooker for Japanese or brown rude, but it can also act as a steamer while your rice evenly cooks. The whole appliance is easy to use with its digital controls to choose what you need, may it be to cook rice or keep it warm. You can even choose the delay timer to meal plan flexibly and without the hassle of waiting and preparing it at the time you want to.
With its versatility and ease of use, it's a great purchase for anyone in the kitchen.
Hamilton Beach is a brand known for their adorable yet quality kitchen appliance, with this rice cooker cooking Japanese rice with ease and quality. You can choose to cook one or 14 cups, ideal for single people or those with large households. It can also cook beans, whole grains, pasta, or rice mixes with its heat and simmer function.
It's effortless to cook Japanese rice here because it only takes one push of a button. Not only is it even cooking, but you can even delay start it and let it do its job without the hassle.
Just like Aroma Housewares, it comes at an affordable price. If you're looking for something simple yet effective for your Japanese rice, then this is the one for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. How can I store Japanese rice?
To preserve Japanese rice, wrap it in plastic wrap. Separate it into small portions when adding it to the plastic wrap. Freeze the rice and use a microwave to thaw it out. The taste will remain the same. Take note that frozen Japanese rice would last for about a month. I would recommend you to cook only the recommended amount so as to avoid wastage.
2. Why is my rice so soggy?
Japanese rice requires precision. The reason why your rice is too mushy is that it either has too much water, or you left the pot slightly open for moisture to seep into the rice. Or, the quality of your Japanese rice isn't as quality as it should be. Fortunately, there are ways on how you can fix it to avoid wastage.
3. How can I fix soggy Japanese rice?
If your rice is too mushy, you can still save it and use it as Japanese rice pudding instead. OR, follow this quick tip:
Put the soggy Japanese rice on parchment paper, spreading it out into a thin layer. Place it on a baking sheet and heat it in the oven, checking if it has dried out. Once it reaches the ideal consistency, turn off the heat and leave it in the oven for two minutes before taking it out to cool.
4. How do I wash Japanese rice?
Add the rice into the Japanese rice cooker, then cover it with cold water. Agitate the grains and mix it around until the water turns opaque. Pour out cloudy water, then repeat it about four times or until the water runs clear.
5. What dishes can I make with Japanese rice?
There are various dishes you'll be able to make with Japanese rice, with one of the most popular being sushi!
You can also whip up a delicious Yakimeshi or Gohan, which are types of Japanese fried rice. Okayu, a rice porridge, is an easy recipe for breakfast.
Other types of Japanese rice recipes include Onigiri, Sushi Rice Cakes, or even a donburi, plain Japanese rice mixed with delicious meats.
When it comes to cooking authentic-tasting Japanese rice, you'll need to make sure that you have the adequate kitchen appliances to back you up. That's why it's important to invest in the best Japanese rice cooker because it won't only achieve the consistency you want, but the flavors as well!
Out of the many rice cookers tried and tested, the best one would go to the Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker. Not only does this leading brand have the positive customer reputation, but it also offers the excellent performance and advanced technology to cook the best quality of rice without compromising on its taste and flavor.
From the nonstick pan down to the Multi-menu selections with an LCD screen, it's the ideal rice cooker for Japanese rice and the like. It's definitely worth the price because you are assured one kitchen appliance to last for a long time.