Do you often cook Japanese rice at home? Have you been frustrated because of not achieving the perfect outcomes for several times? Do you want to cook rice easily and quickly? In all of these instances, there is one thing that you will need – the best Japanese rice cooker.
With too many options that are available in the market, making the right decision is sure to be not easy. With this, keep on reading the rest of this post and we will help you out. We will list down some of the important factors to consider, as well as the top products that are available in the market.
Benefits of Having a Rice Cooker
In today’s time, cooking rice through the stove or an induction cooker is no longer common. If you are looking for reasons to compel you to buy a Japanese rice cooker, here are some of the benefits that you can expect from such a product:
One of the best things about having a rice cooker is that it cooks rice perfectly all the time. There is no under-cooking or over-cooking. There are also lines on the pan and measuring cups to help you easily determine the water to rice ratio.
If you are the type of person who is always too lazy to be doing something in the kitchen, a rice cooker is the perfect investment. Once rice is in the pan, just leave it and it will do the rest. It will automatically stop when rice is cooked and in some cases, will cook it warm until you are ready to eat.
Yes, it is called a rice cooker, but it does not mean that it cannot do anything than cook rice. Depending on the model chosen, it can be multi-purpose. You can use it for baking a small cake, making pancakes, steaming, roasting, and making soups, among others.
Essential Factors to Consider
As you look for a Japanese rice cooker, make sure that these things are given attention, making it easier to narrow down the possibilities:
- Size: Think about the space that is available in the kitchen and more importantly, the quantity of rice that you have to cook. In most cases, the measurements will indicate the number of cups of uncooked rice that it can make.
- Wattage: This is an indicator of power of the rice cooker. A higher wattage means that it will be more powerful. You can cook quicker, but this can also consume more electricity. For smaller rice cookers, it is not necessary to have a high wattage.
- Pan: Pay attention as well to the quality of the inner pan. It should be made with a non-stick coating. It must be able to resist rust, corrosion, and other problems. Choose one as well that comes with markings that are easy to see.
- Micom Technology: Rice cookers with this technology may be more expensive, but they will surely be worth your money. This is a revolutionary feature that automatically adjusts temperature, making it easier to have perfectly cooked Japanese rice.
- Ease of Use: It is also important to pick one that comes with user-friendly features. The controls should be straightforward and easy to access. There should also be a large display that will make it easy to monitor cooking. There are also some models with a recipe book.
- Versatility: To be provided with the best value for money, find a Japanese rice cooker that can deliver multiple functions in one product. It should have the ability to keep the rice warm. There should also be features for steaming or even for baking a small cake. Some can even be used for porridge, stew, and soup, among others.
- Style: In most kitchens, a Japanese rice cooker is one thing that is often used, and hence, it is usually not hidden in the cabinet. With this, consider picking one with impressive aesthetics, which should complement the overall design of your kitchen.
Tips in Cooking Japanese Rice
Most of you might think that cooking Japanese rice is easy. In reality, it can be frustrating. With this, below are some tips that you might find helpful:
- One of the most important is polishing. To do this, pour the rice in a pan and mix with water. Soaking the rice will remove excess starches and will make the water turn cloudy. Using your hands, rub the grains to make out more starch. Drain the water. Repeat the process until the water becomes clearer.
- More than washing the rice, it will also be necessary to let it sit in cold water for a while. This will make the grains softer and will improve the absorption of water.
- The right amount of water to use is also crucial. More often than not, you just have to follow the markings in the rice cooker. Otherwise, use your finger to measure the amount of rice and add water that is roughly the same.
- Always allow the rice to cool down before serving.
Watch the short video below for a visual guide of how to cook Japanese rice:
Top Picks for the Best Japanese Rice Cooker
Some of the best brands and models available in the market will be briefly tackled in this section. To make it easier to evaluate the products, we will list down some of their notable features, as well as a few of their pros and cons.
Among others, one of the most commendable about this product is the fact that it comes with the Neuro Fuzzy technology, which is the one that will ensure the right outcomes all the time. There is no need for guesswork as the rice cooker will make automatic adjustments to cook rice perfectly.
The spherical inner pan is also a great feature. It has a capacity of up to five and a half cups. It has a non-stick coating, which is also the reason why cleaning it will surely be effortless on your end. It is made from a high-quality material that ensures the even distribution of heat.
If you are looking for a product that can offer versatility, you have another good reason to have it considered. Whether it is sushi, brown, or mixed rice, or even for porridge, you can use this rice cooker. When it is done cooking, rice will also be automatically kept warm.
When it comes to storage, you will love how it comes with a retractable cord, which minimizes tangling and mess in the cabinet. There is also a foldable handle, which makes it space-efficient.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Automatic keep warm
- Digital clock
- Instructions are quite complicated
- Cooking time is long
With the use of this rice cooker, there is no need to worry about the result as you can be assured of achieving the perfect outcomes all the time. It has Micom Fuzzy Logic Technology. This is an innovative micro-computerized heating feature that makes automatic adjustments based on what is deemed needed.
Most of the rice cookers that are available in the market can only cook rice and keep it warm. If you want something that is multifunctional, this is what you should choose. Aside from cooking different types of rice, you can also use it for baking and steaming.
Another feature that is worth highlighting is that it comes with an LCD control panel. The latter will make it easy to monitor the progress of cooking rice. There is also a clock and a timer, allowing you to see how long the rice has been cooked.
Lastly, there is also a delay timer, which has two settings. This will allow you to set the time and leave it. You can do other tasks and be sure that your rice will not be overcooked.
- Easy to clean
- Multiple functions
- Eliminates the need for guesswork
- Coating of cooking pot easily peels
- Rice can end up being dry
Are you looking for an option that comes with a budget-friendly price? This is one product that should be on the top of your list. However, because of its price, do not expect too much from this product. Its functions are pretty much basic.
It comes with a large and easy-to-read display. Even for the elderly or those who cannot see clearly, this is a good choice. The letters and numbers are big enough.
Another thing that is impressive about this product is that it has synchrony cooking technology. With this, there are four cooking settings. Temperature will also be automatically adjusted based on what is required by the rice.
Even if you are a beginner, there is also no need to worry. Aside from having comprehensive instructions, there is also a recipe book that is included. You will be given step-by-step guide on how to cook the perfect rice, as well as other recipes that you can prepare with the use of this Japanese rice cooker.
- Easy to clean
- Comes with a cookbook
- Not as great as more expensive choices
- Can spew water on the countertop
Similar to the case of other Japanese rice cookers from Zojirushi, this is also a good choice because it comes with the Fuzzy Logic technology, making it easy to cook the perfect rice all the time. All that you have to do is to input the desired function and the unit will automatically adjust based on the temperature that is required.
It also comes with an LCD control panel. With the latter, you will easily see how long is it before the rice is ready. The display is large and clear, even if you are cooking in the daytime.
It also comes with a spherical cooking pan, although it can only hold three cups of uncooked rice. This is smaller compared to most of the options in this post. The pan comes with premium construction, making it durable and easy to clean. This also allows heat to be distributed evenly.
Lastly, aside from the cooker and the pan, the package is also inclusive of measuring cups and spatula. A recipe book is also included.
- Perfect even for small spaces
- Intelligent cooking technology
- Delivers multiple functions
- Small capacity
- A bit expensive
If budget is not an issue, this is one product that you might want to consider choosing. Its expensive price can easily put many people off, but taking a look at its features, it will be worth your money. At its price, however, take note that it has a capacity of only three cups of uncooked rice.
One of the best things about this product is that it comes with triple heating element. You can find the heater in the lid, bottom, and side. This makes sure that all portions will be evenly heated. This ensures not only consistency, but can also speed up cooking time.
With multi-menu cooking, this can be a great addition in the kitchen. A single appliance can do several tasks, such as steel cutting oatmeal.
Lastly, it has a clear-coated stainless steel exterior. This makes it perfect if you want to achieve a sophisticated look in a contemporary kitchen.
- Makes automatic adjustments
- Elegant design
- High quality inner pan
- Expensive price
- Minimal capacity
By now, we hope that choosing the best Japanese rice cooker is a lot easier for you. At the end of the day, it should not be only about price or design. You should look at the specifications and features of the product, such as its functions and its heating capabilities. A good rice cooker is one that will allow you to make the perfect rice with minimal effort on your end.
From the five products that we have mentioned earlier, I personally believe that Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker is the overall winner. It comes with an intelligent cooking technology, as if it has a mind of its own. With this, cooking rice will never be a difficult task for you.