The 10 Best Japanese Rice Cookers of 2020

Best Japanese Rice Cooker

The Japanese have certainly turned the art of rice cooking into a science. They produce highly sophisticated rice cookers that have the capability to prepare different types of rice and in different ways.

That said, there is still a wide variety of these units to choose from. Without the know-how, you might end up picking the wrong product. But this article lists 10 of the best Japanese rice cookers that you should consider buying.

You can also read other product reviews of rice cooker for sushi, stainless steel rice cooker.

IMAGE

​PRODUCT

​FEATURES

Zojirushi NS-ZCC18

1. Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 (Smart Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Smart advanced neuro-fuzzy logic technology
  • 8 cooking settings with one for sushi
  • Automatic keep-warm function
  • 10-cup capacity
Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB

2. Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB (Best Value Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Smart fuzzy logic technology for perfected cooking
  • Triple heater design for even heating
  • Interchangeable melody and beep signals
  • 3-cup capacity with 7 cooking settings
Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT

3. Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT (Triple Heater Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Triple heater design for even all-round cooking
  • Automatic keep warm and reheating cycles
  • Micro computerized fuzzy logic technology
  • 3-cup capacity with 7 cooking settings
Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH

4. Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH (Large Capacity Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Large 10-cup capacity
  • 9 cooking functions, with healthy brown rice options
  • Superior induction heating technology
  • Easy-to-clean clear-coated stainless-steel exterior
Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W

5. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W (Japanese Rice Cooker with Synchro-Cooking Function)

  • Synchro-cooking function
  • Automatic cooking logic system
  • Safe BPA-free cooking plate
  • Automatic keep warm
Zojirushi NHS-06

6. Zojirushi NHS-06 (Affordable Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Affordable
  • Durable nonstick inner pan
  • See-through glass lid for easy monitoring
  • Stay-cool knob and handles for easy handling
Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU

7. Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU (Japanese Rice Cooker with a Keep Warm Function)

  • 12-hour keep-warm function
  • Spatula and measuring cup accessories
  • Retractable power cord for easy storage
  • Removable and washable steam vent
Panasonic SR-DF181

8. Panasonic SR-DF181 (Good Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • Advanced fuzzy logic technology
  • Steaming basket for preparing slow-cooked meals
  • 12-hour keep-warm function
  • Sturdy handle for easy carrying
Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH

9. Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH (High-Quality Japanese Rice Cooker)

  • 11 cooking settings
  • Induction heating technology
  • Sturdy 8-layer inner pot
  • Outer handle and an inner pan grip handle
Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K

10. Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K (Japanese Rice Cooker with a Removable Steam Cap)

  • Easy-to-remove and clean inner lid and steam cap
  • 10 computerized cooking settings
  • Easy-to-read LCD control panel
  • Automatic keep warm

PRODUCT

1. Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 

(Smart Japanese Rice Cooker)

Zojirushi NS-ZCC18
  • Smart advanced neuro-fuzzy logic technology
  • 8 cooking settings with one for sushi
  • Automatic keep-warm function
  • 10-cup capacity

2. Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB

 (Best Value Japanese Rice Cooker)

Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB
  • Smart fuzzy logic technology for perfected cooking
  • Triple heater design for even heating
  • Interchangeable melody and beep signals
  • 3-cup capacity with 7 cooking settings

3. Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT 

(Triple Heater Japanese Rice Cooker)

Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT
  • Triple heater design for even all-round cooking
  • Automatic keep warm and reheating cycles
  • Micro computerized fuzzy logic technology
  • 3-cup capacity with 7 cooking settings

4. Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH 

(Large Capacity Japanese Rice Cooker)

Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH
  • Large 10-cup capacity
  • 9 cooking functions, with healthy brown rice options
  • Superior induction heating technology
  • Easy-to-clean clear-coated stainless-steel exterior

5. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W 

(Japanese Rice Cooker with Synchro-Cooking Function)

Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W
  • Synchro-cooking function
  • Automatic cooking logic system
  • Safe BPA-free cooking plate
  • Automatic keep warm

6. Zojirushi NHS-06 

(Affordable Japanese Rice Cooker)

Zojirushi NHS-06
  • Affordable
  • Durable nonstick inner pan
  • See-through glass lid for easy monitoring
  • Stay-cool knob and handles for easy handling

7. Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU

 (Japanese Rice Cooker with a Keep Warm Function)

Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU
  • 12-hour keep-warm function
  • Spatula and measuring cup accessories
  • Retractable power cord for easy storage
  • Removable and washable steam vent

8. Panasonic SR-DF181

 (Good Japanese Rice Cooker)

Panasonic SR-DF181
  • Advanced fuzzy logic technology
  • Steaming basket for preparing slow-cooked meals
  • 12-hour keep-warm function
  • Sturdy handle for easy carrying

9. Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH 

(High-Quality Japanese Rice Cooker)

Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH
  • 11 cooking settings
  • Induction heating technology
  • Sturdy 8-layer inner pot
  • Outer handle and an inner pan grip handle

10. Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K 

(Japanese Rice Cooker with a Removable Steam Cap)

Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K
  • Easy-to-remove and clean inner lid and steam cap
  • 10 computerized cooking settings
  • Easy-to-read LCD control panel
  • Automatic keep warm

1. Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 – Smart Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-ZCC18
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 1000 watts
  • Capacity: 10 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 8
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Plastic

Starting us off is this piece from Zojirushi and it features an advanced neuro-fuzzy logic technology. Basically, this tech makes it smart because it can think by itself, making adjustments to the temperature and heating time for perfect cooking every time.

Other than that, the unit consists of 8 cooking settings, which include porridge, mixed, semi-brown, sweet, rinse-free, brown, quick-cooking and white (regular/sushi, softer or harder).

This dedicated sushi setting makes it one of the best Japanese rice cookers for sushi because it cooks the rice in the best way possible for sushi.

More features include an automatic keep warm, a built-in retractable power cord for neat storage, a programmable delay timer, a large and easy-to-read LCD display and a melody or beep audio indicator.

However, the product has a relatively high-power rating (1000 watts), which means it draws a lot of power and thus, you should expect higher power bills. It is also quite large in size but with this, you are able to prepare up to 10 cups of uncooked rice at once.

Pros:

  • Smart advanced neuro-fuzzy logic technology
  • 8 cooking settings with one for sushi
  • Automatic keep-warm function
  • Large and easy-to-read LCD display
  • Programmable delay timer

Cons:

  • Quite large in size
  • High power rating

2. Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB – Best Value Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 450 watts
  • Capacity: 3 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 7
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Clear-Coated Stainless Steel

Zojirushi’s NS-LGC05XB is the top-rated Japanese rice cooker in this review, and this is due to a number of reasons.

For starters, the cooker is equipped with advanced fuzzy logic technology, which ensures you get perfect quality cooked rice all the time. This technology controls the timing and heating processes so as to achieve the best results for each cooking setting.

That said, you get triple heaters: at the lid, side, and bottom, and this gives even heating for even cooking all around.  

Also featured are interchangeable melody and beep signals, which let you choose the kind of notification that you want once the cooking is done.

Included in the pack are a rice spatula, spatula holder and a measuring cup as accessories while a removable vent cap enables you to cook in high temperature without messy overflows.

More features include a delay timer with 2 settings, automatic keep warm and reheating cycles, a detachable and washable inner lid, a retractable power cord and an easy-to-clean clear-coated stainless-steel exterior. However, the unit has a relatively low 3-cup capacity.

Pros:

  • Smart fuzzy logic technology for perfected cooking
  • Triple heater design for even heating
  • Interchangeable melody and beep signals
  • Comes with a rice spatula, spatula holder and measuring cup as accessories
  • Removable vent cap prevents messy overflows

Cons:

  • Relatively low 3-cup capacity

3. Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT – Triple Heater Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-LHC05XT
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 450 watts
  • Capacity: 3 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 7
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Stainless Steel

This rice cooker is characterized by a triple heater design, in which the bottom, side, and lid are heated for even cooking all around.

The unit also has automatic keep warm and reheating cycles for keeping your rice warm while 7 cooking settings give you white/mixed rice, sushi, jasmine, GABA brown, porridge, brown and quick cooking.

Other features include a retractable power cord for easy storage, a detachable and washable inner lid and micro computerized fuzzy logic technology that adjusts the heating time and temperature for perfect cooking.

On the downside, the unit only has a 3-cup capacity and it lacks synchro-cooking capabilities.

Pros:

  • Triple heater design for even all-round cooking
  • Automatic keep warm and reheating cycles
  • Retractable power cord for easy storage
  • Detachable and washable inner lid
  • Micro computerized fuzzy logic technology for perfect cooking

Cons:

  • Relatively low 3-cup capacity
  • Lacks synchro-cooking capabilities

4. Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH – Large Capacity Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NP-HCC18XH
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 1350 watts
  • Capacity: 10 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 9
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Clear-Coated Stainless Steel

Even though it has a very high 1350-watt power rating, this product features a 1.8-liter capacity inner pan that can comfortably hold up to 10 cups of uncooked rice or 20 cups of cooked rice.

With this, you get 9 cooking functions, which give you the flexibility of preparing your meal differently.

Part of these settings includes brown rice, GABA brown rice, and germinated brown rice, which are healthy cooking options.

You also get superior induction heating technology that provides high heat all-round the inner pan, an easy-to-clean clear-coated stainless-steel exterior and a large, easy-to-read orange LCD panel with a clock and timer.

However, this piece does not have a synchro-cooking function and its high power draw will result in higher power bills.

Pros:

  • Large 10-cup capacity
  • 9 cooking functions, including healthy brown rice options
  • Superior induction heating technology for powerful heating
  • Easy-to-clean clear-coated stainless-steel exterior
  • Large and easy-to-read LCD panel

Cons:

  • High 1350-watt power rating translates to higher power bills
  • Lacks a synchro-cooking function

5. Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W – Japanese Rice Cooker with Synchro-Cooking Function

Tiger Corporation JBV-A10U-W
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 672 watts
  • Capacity: 5.5 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 4
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Plastic

With its synchro-cooking function, Tiger’s JBV-A10U-W is capable of preparing two dishes at once; the main dish and rice at the same time.

Basically, this design places rice in the inner nonstick cooking pot and the tacook cooking plate above so that your main dish is steamed from below.

Apart from this, you get 3 more cooking settings (plain, brown and slow cook), and Tiger’s automatic cooking logic system actively monitors the cooking temperatures so as to cook a perfect meal.

More features include a safe BPA-free cooking plate, automatic keep warm and a detachable inner steam cap for preventing messy overflows. However, the unit is available in a white color that is not very easy to clean and it lacks a sushi cooking setting.

Pros:

  • Synchro-cooking function allows you to prepare two meals at once
  • Automatic cooking logic system monitors the cooking temperature for perfect cooking
  • Safe BPA-free cooking plate
  • Automatic keep warm

Cons:

  • Not very easy to clean
  • No sushi cooking menu

6. Zojirushi NHS-06 – Affordable Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NHS-06
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 300 watts
  • Capacity: 3 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 1
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Stainless Steel

If you are on a tight budget, Zojirushi’s NHS-06 is an affordable rice cooker that you should consider.

That said, the unit is equipped with a durable nonstick inner pan and a see-through glass lid for easy monitoring of the cooking process. This lid has a stay-cool knob and the entire piece features stay-cool handles for easy carrying.

You also get a plastic rice measuring cup, a nonstick rice spatula and a steaming tray as accessories, as well as multiple sizes to choose from, which include 3, 6 and 10 cup capacities. However, each of these sizes has one cooking setting, which is quite limiting.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Durable nonstick inner pan
  • See-through glass lid for easy monitoring
  • Stay-cool knob and handles for easy handling

Cons:

  • Single cooking setting

7. Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU – Japanese Rice Cooker with a Keep Warm Function

Tiger Corporation JNP-S10U-HU
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 305 watts
  • Capacity: 5.5 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 1
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Stainless Steel

Tiger’s JNP-S10U-HU is characterized by a 12-hour keep-warm function, which ensures your rice remains warm for a long time after its ready to eat.

The system is designed to switch to keep warm automatically after cooking is complete and therefore, you should expect your rice to remain warm long afterward.

Other than this, you get a spatula and rice measuring cup as accessories (spatula holder not included), a retractable power cord for easy storage, a removable and washable steam vent for preventing messy overflows and multiple color options (urban satin, white and lovely flower).

However, the unit only has only one cooking setting, which is very limiting.

Pros:

  • 12-hour keep-warm function keeps rice warm long after cooking
  • Spatula and measuring cup accessories
  • Retractable power cord for easy storage
  • Removable and washable steam vent prevents messy overflows

Cons:

  • Spatula holder not included
  • Only 1 cooking setting

8. Panasonic SR-DF181 – Good Japanese Rice Cooker

Panasonic SR-DF181
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 750 watts
  • Capacity: 10 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 4
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Plastic

This Panasonic rice cooker is equipped with 4 cooking settings (quick cook, brown rice, white rice, and porridge/soup), and all these are controlled using advanced fuzzy logic technology.

Basically, this microcomputer-controlled technology makes delicate temperature and cooking time adjustments automatically for perfect and consistent cooking results.

The unit comes with a steaming basket for preparing an unlimited range of slow-cooked meals, steamed veggies, etc., while a keep-warm function keeps the meal at the ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours.

Other features include non-scratching rice spoon and measuring cup accessories, and a sturdy handle for easy carrying. However, you get no LCD screen or timer settings, but there is a slightly costlier version that contains all these.

Pros:

  • Advanced fuzzy logic technology for controlling the cooking process
  • Steaming basket for preparing slow-cooked meals
  • 12-hour keep-warm function
  • Sturdy handle for easy carrying
  • Non-scratching rice spoon and measuring cup accessories

Cons:

  • No LCD screen
  • No timer settings

9. Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH – High-Quality Japanese Rice Cooker

Tiger Corporation JKT-S10U-K IH
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 1080 watts
  • Capacity: 5.5 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 11
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Stainless Steel

Tiger’s JKT-S10U-K 1H is arguably one of the best Japanese rice cookers, primarily because it has a whopping 11 cooking settings, which include synchro-cooking, healthy brown rice cooking, baking, and many others.

The actual cooking is done using induction heating technology, which is capable of making precise temperature adjustments in a short time for better control and short cooking time.

Other features include a sturdy 8-layer inner pot (5 metal layers and 3 coats), an outer handle and inner pan grip handle for easy carrying, two 24-hour preset cooking timers and a 24-hour keep-warm function.

However, the piece is quite costly and it has a relatively high 1080-watt power rating for its 5.5-cup capacity. Ultimately, this high power draw will lead to higher power bill with continued use.

Pros:

  • 11 cooking settings, which include synchro-cooking, brown rice settings, baking, etc.
  • Induction heating technology makes it possible to do precise temperature adjustments
  • Sturdy 8-layer inner pot
  • Outer handle and an inner pan grip handle for easy carrying
  • 24-hour keep-warm function

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • High power rating will result in high power bills

10. Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K – Japanese Rice Cooker with a Removable Steam Cap

Tiger Corporation JAX-T18U-K
  • Electrical Rating: 120 volts/ 918 watts
  • Capacity: 10 cups (uncooked)
  • Cooking Settings: 10
  • Inner Pan: Nonstick
  • Exterior: Stainless Steel

This product features an easy-to-remove inner lid and steam cap, which eases off the cooking pressure so as to avoid messy overflows. These parts are also easy to clean for easy maintenance.

You also get a whopping 10 computerized cooking settings, which include synchro-cooking, plain rice, mixed rice, sweet rice, multi-grain rice, slow cooking, quick-cooking, porridge, brown rice and steam cooking for preparing meals in different ways.

Additionally, the unit has 4 built-in functions (rice cooking, synchro-cooking, steamer, and slow cooker), which further contribute towards the versatility of the product.

More features include an easy-to-read LCD control panel, automatic keep warm, a sturdy 1.8 mm thick inner pan with a nonstick surface (1.5 mm thick for the 5-cup option), 2 preset cooking timers and an easy-to-clean stainless-steel outer surface.

However, there is no dedicated sushi cooking setting and no spatula holder is included.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-remove and easy-to-clean inner lid and steam cap
  • 10 computerized cooking settings, including synchro-cooking
  • Easy-to-read LCD control panel
  • Automatic keep warm
  • Easy-to-clean stainless-steel outer surface

Cons:

  • No dedicated sushi cooking setting
  • Spatula holder not included

How to Buy the Best Japanese Rice Cooker

How to Buy the Best Japanese Rice Cooker

These are the key factors that you need to consider before settling down on the most suitable Japanese rice cooker.

1. Electrical Rating

Given in watts, a rice cooker’s electrical rating basically shows the amount of power draw in the unit’s circuitry inside. A high electrical rating means that the piece consumes too much power and therefore, you should expect high bills.

However, with large capacity rice cookers, you should expect a higher rating because of the larger cooking surface that is contained inside.  

This should not be exaggerated though.

Ideally, 10-cup cookers should have a rating of about 1000 watts while that of 5.5 cups should range between 700 – 1000 watts. Smaller 3-cup units should a rating of 300 – 500 watts. This should act as a rough guide towards picking an energy-efficient rice cooker.

2. Capacity

Each rice cooker is limited to preparing a certain portion of rice at a time. This capacity is usually given in cups or liters. Of course, the larger the rice cooker is, the better, but this also means its costlier than the small type.

Therefore, if you can afford a larger one, the better. Otherwise, consider the portion sizes that you want to prepare, then buy a matching size.

3. Multi-Menu Settings

Most high-end Japanese rice cookers are equipped with multiple computerized menus or cooking settings, and these come in very handy as you prepare different rice meals.  

For instance, some units feature sushi, brown rice, rice porridge, and other customized cooking functions, in which the cooker’s in-built computer cooks that meal in the best way possible.

Even though they may be costlier, such units are way better than the ones with a single cooking option because they are more versatile.

4. Non-Stick Inner Pan

While almost all rice cooker inner pans have a metallic construction, one of the most important factors to check about them is the surface quality.

Ideally, this pot should be coated with a nonstick material so that it is easy to clean and also to prevent unnecessary wastage of stuck rice.

5. Stay Cool Exterior

Since it generates heat inside, a rice cooker is bound to get hot and some of this heat may be transferred to the exterior. This will burn your fingers unless it has a stay-cool exterior.

You can also check for stay-cool handles, which pretty much do the same thing of heat protection.

6. Control Features

Aside from the multi-menu settings, there are some key additional features that you should consider. These include automatic keep warm, which turns on immediately after the rice is cooked so as to keep it at the ideal serving temperature for some time.

You should also consider getting a cooker with a programmable delay timer for extending the cooking time and a large LCD display for easy reading as you play around with the settings.

7. Accessories

If there is one thing that Japanese rice cookers don’t lack, its accessories. Therefore, it's not a matter of “if” but rather of “how many.”

You should expect a measuring cup and rice spatula as standard, but some units contain a steaming tray, steaming basket, spatula holder, etc. as part of the set. The more they are, the better.

8. Budget

Lastly, price is always a big factor to consider when choosing any product. The cost of a rice cooker is determined mostly by its features, such as its capacity, number of cooking settings, etc. but you should buy the one that is within your budget.

The recommended selection process is to look for the features that you want first, which should narrow down your list. Next, pick the most affordable cooker from this list, or the one that you are comfortable spending on.

Conclusion 

It is quite evident that the most important features to look for are the cooking settings and capacity when selecting your rice cooker.

Therefore, by getting to this point, you should have a clear idea of which is the best Japanese rice cooker that suits your needs and makes the perfect addition to your kitchen appliance collection.


Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?
Related Reads

Sushi is basically rice with a vinegar flavor that is accompanied by a […]

The name says it all. A bacon cooker is a specialized piece of […]

Over the last few decades, the tools and cooking equipment used in kitchens […]

Many people like to experiment different cuisines in their house. Rice is not […]

Gas ranges are the heart of many modern kitchens. A 30-inch gas range […]

If you are looking to add some style and elegance to your home […]

A food processor is a versatile home appliance that supports and simplifies many […]

With their more powerful burners, sturdier design and increased versatility, the 36-inch gas […]

The 24-inch gas range is always the go-to option for smaller kitchens. And […]