• 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed) 1
  • 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed) 2
  • 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed) 3
  • 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed) 4
  • 9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed) 5

9 Best Tried and True Japanese Rice Cookers in 2022 (Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor-Reviewed)

Invented and perfected in Japan, rice cookers are convenient products that allow us to eat delicious rice, and are a staple appliance in Japanese households. In fact, there are so many types of rice cookers, such as those for people who live alone, those for big families, and those that not only cook rice but also can bake bread or also double as a slow-cooker. On top of that, there are high-end rice cookers as well as entry-level rice cookers from various manufacturers like Zojirushi, Panasonic, Tiger, and Toshiba, all with different strengths and weaknesses, making it difficult to choose the best rice cooker.

To determine what the best rice cooker is, we compared 9 of the best-selling Japanese rice cookers found on popular e-commerce sites in Japan, such as Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping and put them all to the test.

We tested each rice cooker for the following:

  • Deliciousness
  • Functionality
  • Usability
  • Ease of Maintenance

Keep reading to find out more about the best Japanese rice cookers!

Featured in this article

Akira Nomura
mybest US Editors
  • Last updated: 09-08-2022
Table of Contents

What's Special About Japanese Rice Cookers?

What's Special About Japanese Rice Cookers?

Rice cookers just cook rice, right? Well, not really. Since rice is arguably the centerpiece of Japanese cuisine, Japanese rice cookers have continuously innovated their products since the world's first-ever consumer electric rice cooker was released by Toshiba in 1955. Today, rice cookers not only cook rice perfectly, but have a multitude of other functions as well.


Unlike your average rice cooker, Japanese rice cookers cook rice with lots of steam and pressure to force the grains of rice to absorb more water. They're also incredibly consistent, always cooking rice to perfection regardless of the type of rice you use, allowing you to simply add rice, water, and push a few buttons to cook perfect, fluffy and delicious rice.

How to Choose a Rice Cooker

For tips on how to choose a buying guide, see the link below. Since Japan is the pioneer of rice cookers, all the points featured in the article below apply to the products featured in this article.

How to Cook Delicious Rice the Japanese Way

In order to cook delicious rice, it takes a little bit more than just picking up a fancy rice cooker, and requires some techniques and tools.

Wash Your Rice With a Bowl

Wash Your Rice With a Bowl

While some people might wash their rice in the inner pot of their rice cooker, the friction from the rice can actually damage your rice cooker. While this isn't always necessary, it's better to wash your rice in a separate bowl.


Moreover, when you wash your rice, a lot of scum and excess starch from the rice will wash out. The key to washing your rice is to quickly rinse your rice so that it doesn't re-absorb what you just washed off


Another thing to keep in mind is you don't need to vigorously scrub your rice. You want to gently rinse your rice, not pulverize it! Use your fingers to wash the rice, and press the rice down with your palm when you dump out the water you used to wash the rice.


Using a fine mesh colander, like in the image above, can make washing rice easy. Check out the link below for the best colanders.

Stir Your Rice When It Finishes Cooking to Release Excess Moisture

Stir Your Rice When It Finishes Cooking to Release Excess Moisture

According to major Japanese rice cooker manufacturer Tiger, when your rice cooker finishes cooking the rice, you should quickly stir it up to release excess moisture on the surface of the rice. Not releasing this excess moisture can make your rice soggy and mushy, losing its texture.


When stirring your rice, gently insert your rice scoop into the rice and lift up sections of the rice. Never press down on the rice, since that will turn it into mush.

Cook the Appropriate Amount of Rice for Your Rice Cooker

Generally speaking, Japanese rice cookers are sold in three different capacities: 3 cups, 5.5 cups, and 10 cups. And if all of these rice cookers, well, cook rice, you might be thinking it's fine to just cook 2 cups of rice in a 10 cup rice cooker, right? 


Using a rice cooker that's bigger than what you need not only uses more energy than necessary, they also can't cook rice optimally. Additionally, cooking rice at maximum capacity usually means that there isn't enough space for the water to move around, and the heat won't be evenly distributed.

Akira Nomura
Consumer Electronics Salesman and Advisor
Akira Nomura

People often think that you can just cook small amounts of rice with say a 5.5-cup rice cooker, but the truth is, bigger isn't always better if you're not planning on cooking a lot of rice.


Rice cookers are designed to optimally cook at 60% of the rice cooker's capacity. Rice cookers are designed to let the rice absorb water before it starts cooking, so if the rice absorbs too much water during this time, you can end up with mushy rice.

3 Best Compact Rice Cookers

Now for the 3 best compact rice cookers. Compact rice cookers can cook up to 3 cups and are perfect for cooking rice for up to two people.

Image
1
Zojirushi Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker NP-RT05 1

Zojirushi

2
Tiger Micro Computer-Controlled Rice Cooker JBS-A055 1

Tiger

3
Toshiba Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker RC-6PXR 1

Toshiba

Name

Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker NP-RT05

Micro Computer-Controlled Rice Cooker JBS-A055

Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker RC-6PXR

Features

Size Matters Not - Capable of Cooking Soft, Fluffy Rice

Best for People Living Alone

Best for Firm Rice and User-Friendly Design

Price$327.77$114.55$260.48
Japanese象印マホービン 圧力IH炊飯ジャーNP-RT05タイガー魔法瓶 マイコンジャー炊飯器JBS-A055東芝ライフスタイル 圧力IHジャー炊飯器RC-6PXR
Volume3 cups3 cups3.5 cups
Size9x12.5x7.7 inches9.7x10.9x7.5 inches9.7x11.9x8.5 inches (16.7 in. with open lid)
Weight9lbs5.9 lbs11.2 lbs
Pot materialFluorine coatedFar infrared black special thick kettleFar-infrared coating exterior, charcoal diamond coating interior
Unique featuresVariable cooking pressure, moisturizing heat retention, high heat retention, aged cooking (white rice/brown rice), cleaning, 2 clock-based timersHeat retention time display, washable inner pot, clear LCD (gray)3 options for furnace-style cooking, extra sweet rice cooking option, environmentally-friendly cooking
PowerAC100V 50/60HzN/AN/A
Deliciousness3.83.53.6
Usability3.64.64.3
Functions3.43.43.4
Ease of maintenance3.24.23.3
Overall score3.663.643.61
Link
1

ZojirushiPressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker NP-RT05

$327.77

Japanese象印マホービン 圧力IH炊飯ジャーNP-RT05
Volume3 cups
Size9x12.5x7.7 inches
Weight9lbs
Pot materialFluorine coated
Unique featuresVariable cooking pressure, moisturizing heat retention, high heat retention, aged cooking (white rice/brown rice), cleaning, 2 clock-based timers
PowerAC100V 50/60Hz
Deliciousness3.8
Usability3.6
Functions3.4
Ease of maintenance3.2
Overall score3.66
2

TigerMicro Computer-Controlled Rice Cooker JBS-A055

$114.55

Japaneseタイガー魔法瓶 マイコンジャー炊飯器JBS-A055
Volume3 cups
Size9.7x10.9x7.5 inches
Weight5.9 lbs
Pot materialFar infrared black special thick kettle
Unique featuresHeat retention time display, washable inner pot, clear LCD (gray)
PowerN/A
Deliciousness3.5
Usability4.6
Functions3.4
Ease of maintenance4.2
Overall score3.64
3

ToshibaPressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker RC-6PXR

$260.48

Japanese東芝ライフスタイル 圧力IHジャー炊飯器RC-6PXR
Volume3.5 cups
Size9.7x11.9x8.5 inches (16.7 in. with open lid)
Weight11.2 lbs
Pot materialFar-infrared coating exterior, charcoal diamond coating interior
Unique features3 options for furnace-style cooking, extra sweet rice cooking option, environmentally-friendly cooking
PowerN/A
Deliciousness3.6
Usability4.3
Functions3.4
Ease of maintenance3.3
Overall score3.61

3 Best 5.5-Cup Japanese Rice Cookers

Image
1
Tiger Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-G100 1

Tiger

2
Zojirushi STAN. Induction Heating Rice Cooker NW-SA10-BA 1

Zojirushi

3
Tiger Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-A100 1

Tiger

Name

Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-G100

STAN. Induction Heating Rice Cooker NW-SA10-BA

Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-A100

Features

Best at Balancing Grain Texture and Softness

A Reliable Rice Cooker That Always Delivers

Delicious Heated Rice Eliminates the Need to Freeze

Price$490.53$376.57$314.89
Japaneseタイガー魔法瓶 圧力IHジャー炊飯器JPI-G100象印マホービン STAN. IH炊飯ジャーNW-SA10-BAタイガー魔法瓶 圧力IHジャー炊飯器JPI-A100
Volume5.5 cups5.5 cups5.5 cups
Size9.9x11.9x8.3 inches11.42x9.25x7.68 inches9.9x8.3x11.9 inches
Weight11.9 lbs9.47 lbs11.9 lbs
Pot materialEarthenware coatingFluorine coating, aluminum, stainlessBody: Stainless steel, aluminum, alloy, pure aluminum/Coating: copper, earthenware coating
Unique featuresFoam cooking, pressure washer courseBlack thick pot, even heating, reheating, dimple stainless (inner lid), 2 timers, notification melody, washable inner lid, cord reel, capable of washing rice in inner potCleaning, 24-hour heat retention, fast cook, delicious small-portion cooking, environmentally-friendly cooking
PowerN/A1115WN/A
Deliciousness4.13.53.4
Usability3.83.83.8
Functions3.33.44.3
Ease of maintenance3.24.34.3
Overall score3.743.653.64
Link
1

TigerPressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-G100

$490.53

Japaneseタイガー魔法瓶 圧力IHジャー炊飯器JPI-G100
Volume5.5 cups
Size9.9x11.9x8.3 inches
Weight11.9 lbs
Pot materialEarthenware coating
Unique featuresFoam cooking, pressure washer course
PowerN/A
Deliciousness4.1
Usability3.8
Functions3.3
Ease of maintenance3.2
Overall score3.74
2

ZojirushiSTAN. Induction Heating Rice Cooker NW-SA10-BA

$376.57

Japanese象印マホービン STAN. IH炊飯ジャーNW-SA10-BA
Volume5.5 cups
Size11.42x9.25x7.68 inches
Weight9.47 lbs
Pot materialFluorine coating, aluminum, stainless
Unique featuresBlack thick pot, even heating, reheating, dimple stainless (inner lid), 2 timers, notification melody, washable inner lid, cord reel, capable of washing rice in inner pot
Power1115W
Deliciousness3.5
Usability3.8
Functions3.4
Ease of maintenance4.3
Overall score3.65
3

TigerPressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPI-A100

$314.89

Japaneseタイガー魔法瓶 圧力IHジャー炊飯器JPI-A100
Volume5.5 cups
Size9.9x8.3x11.9 inches
Weight11.9 lbs
Pot materialBody: Stainless steel, aluminum, alloy, pure aluminum/Coating: copper, earthenware coating
Unique featuresCleaning, 24-hour heat retention, fast cook, delicious small-portion cooking, environmentally-friendly cooking
PowerN/A
Deliciousness3.4
Usability3.8
Functions4.3
Ease of maintenance4.3
Overall score3.64

3 Best 10-Cup Japanese Rice Cookers

Image
1
Panasonic Steam and Variable Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker SR-VSX181 1

Panasonic

2
Tiger Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPW-A180 1

Tiger

3
Mitsubishi Electric Bincho Charcoal Induction Heating Rice Cooker NJ-VEB18-W 1

Mitsubishi Electric

Name

Steam and Variable Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker SR-VSX181

Induction Heating Rice Cooker JPW-A180

Bincho Charcoal Induction Heating Rice Cooker NJ-VEB18-W

Features

The Rice Cooker for Those Who Value Deliciousness Over Everything

Authentically Replicates Rice Cooked in an Earthenware Pot

Best for Fluffy and Sweet Rice

Price$943.79$242.11$308.34
Japaneseパナソニック スチーム&可変圧力IHジャー炊飯器SR-VSX181タイガー IHジャー炊飯器〈炊きたて〉JPW-A180三菱電機 備長炭 炭炊釜NJ-VEB18-W
Volume10 cups10 cups10 cups
Size11.7x15.4x10.6 inches11.3x15.2x9.4 inches10.3x12.4x10.1 inches
Weight19.8 pounds10.8 lbs13.2 lbs
Pot materialDiamond coatedEarthenware coatingCharcoal coating
Unique featuresAuto-cooking, optimized cooking for various rice brands, steam heat retention, frozen rice menu, "Kitchen Pocket" appTimer, various cooking settingsEnvironmentally-friendly cooking (white rice/unwashed rice)
Power100V100VN/A
Deliciousness3.93.63.4
Usability3.83.63.8
Functions3.83.33.3
Ease of maintenance3.24.43.4
Overall score3.773.623.47
Link
1

PanasonicSteam and Variable Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker SR-VSX181

$943.79

Japaneseパナソニック スチーム&可変圧力IHジャー炊飯器SR-VSX181
Volume10 cups
Size11.7x15.4x10.6 inches
Weight19.8 pounds
Pot materialDiamond coated
Unique featuresAuto-cooking, optimized cooking for various rice brands, steam heat retention, frozen rice menu, "Kitchen Pocket" app
Power100V
Deliciousness3.9
Usability3.8
Functions3.8
Ease of maintenance3.2
Overall score3.77
2

TigerInduction Heating Rice Cooker JPW-A180

$242.11

Japaneseタイガー IHジャー炊飯器〈炊きたて〉JPW-A180
Volume10 cups
Size11.3x15.2x9.4 inches
Weight10.8 lbs
Pot materialEarthenware coating
Unique featuresTimer, various cooking settings
Power100V
Deliciousness3.6
Usability3.6
Functions3.3
Ease of maintenance4.4
Overall score3.62
3

Mitsubishi ElectricBincho Charcoal Induction Heating Rice Cooker NJ-VEB18-W

$308.34

Japanese三菱電機 備長炭 炭炊釜NJ-VEB18-W
Volume10 cups
Size10.3x12.4x10.1 inches
Weight13.2 lbs
Pot materialCharcoal coating
Unique featuresEnvironmentally-friendly cooking (white rice/unwashed rice)
PowerN/A
Deliciousness3.4
Usability3.8
Functions3.3
Ease of maintenance3.4
Overall score3.47

How We Tested the Rice Cookers

We gathered the 9 most popular Japanese rice cookers available online from e-commerce sites popular in Japan like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping, and put each one to the test in order to find out which was the best rice cooker.


We tested each product for the following:

  1. Deliciousness
  2. Functionality
  3. Usability
  4. Ease of Maintenance

Test ① Deliciousness

Test ① Deliciousness

The most important thing in rice cookers is whether or not they can cook delicious rice. For this test, we cooked rice at different volumes with each rice cooker. For the compact rice cookers, we cooked rice once at minimum volume and again at maximum volume and conducted taste tests after we cooked each time. 


We cooked three and seven cups for our 5-cup and 10-cup rice cookers, respectively. We then conducted four taste tests in total: once immediately after cooking, once after leaving it heated in the cooker at six hours, again at 12 hours, and finally, frozen rice that was defrosted using a microwave.


We then invited two 5-star Rice Meisters, Keiichiro Yamanabe and Muneyoshi Nitta, who are expert rice tasters, and had them rate the rice on a scale of 1 to 5 based on the following criteria:
  • Whether or not the rice was soft and fluffy
  • Whether or not the center of the grains of rice were able to absorb water
  • Whether or not the rice cooked evenly
  • Whether or not the rice was glossy
  • How tasty the rice was
  • How dried out the rice got after leaving it on warm
Test ① Deliciousness

<Left: 5-Star Rice Meister Muneyoshi Nitta>

Muneyoshi works in sales at Mitsuhashi Rice Milling. He earned the rank of 5-Star Rice Meister in 2017. He recommends and sells various brands of rice and blended rice to supermarkets and restaurants depending on their needs. With his motto of providing delicious rice to his customers, he works hard in sales on a daily basis.


<Right: 5-Star Rice Meister, Class 1 Side Dish Manager Keiichiro Yamanabe>

Keiichiro currently also works at Mitsuhashi Rice Milling, where he's hopped from role to role, ranging from systems, planning and PR, and online sales. Today, wanting to have as many people eat delicious rice as much as possible, he also supervises and operates the earthenware pot-cooked rice specialty restaurant, GOHANYA'GOHAN. He also runs classes on various rice blends, how to cook rice, and compares rice brands at schools, companies, and other events.

Test ② Functionality

Test ② Functionality

Next, we tested the functionality of each rice cooker. We invited Japanese editors from mybest's Japanese team and had them evaluate each product's functionality on a scale of 1 to 5. 


We asked them to focus on the following:

  • The rice cooker's heating function
  • The rice cooker's steam reduction structure
  • The number of cooking settings and how easy it was to select them

Test ③ Usability

Test ③ Usability

In this test, we again had our Japanese editors test each rice cooker for how easy each rice cooker was to use.


We had them rate the rice cookers based on the following aspects on a scale of 1 to 5.

  • How intuitive navigating the settings was
  • Whether or not the rice cooker is too heavy
  • Whether or not the manufacturer try to make it easy to use
  • Whether or not the labeling and structure straightforward
  • How big the screen was and whether or not the text was easy to read

Test ④ Ease of Maintenance

Test ④ Ease of Maintenance

Finally, we tested for how easy the rice cookers were to maintain, since rice cookers are something that sees a lot of use.


We evaluated the rice cookers based on how easy the parts were to wash and how heavy the inner pot was on a scale of 1 to 5.

More Japanese Kitchen Tools

More Japanese Kitchen Tools

Now that you've gotten a Japanese rice cooker, time to get some more products that you might find useful!

Translation: Mitsuki Nagasawa/Haruka Kobayashi


  • Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more mybest recommendations! For questions or comments, leave us feedback via a Google Form on our Contact Us page.

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    Matcha has long been appreciated for its multiple health benefits, including promoting brain activity, weight loss, and improving alertness. Making the beverage can be difficult, though, when the powder is so fine and doesn't dissolve well in water. A matcha tea set with specially designed tools for making the perfect drink comes in handy here.Maybe you're just looking to make your daily cup of green tea nice and smooth, or maybe you're curious about the Japanese Tea Ceremony - we've got you covered with all the information you need when choosing your set. Our top pick was the Matcha Whisk Set by BambooMN for its simplicity, reliability, and its attention to detail used to craft its tea ladle. Read on for more information about what else made the cut! 
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  • 9 Best Reusable Ice Cubes in 2022 (Balls of Steel, Urban Essentials, and More)
    9 Best Reusable Ice Cubes in 2022 (Balls of Steel, Urban Essentials, and More)
    It’s summer, it’s hot, and you just want a cold drink. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that your ice cubes will water down your drink as they melt. Reusable ice cubes are a great solution to this issue, as they're made of frozen synthetics like silicon gel and won't melt at all. You can also use them as many times as you want! We've done the research for you and created this list of the nine best reusable ice cubes on the market this year. Our favorite reusable ice cubes are Urban Essentials' Reusable Freezable Ice Cubes. They're safe and easy to use, and those who have purchased them love their design. Read on to learn more about our other picks and a buying guide at the end.
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  • 10 Best Crepe Spreaders in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    10 Best Crepe Spreaders in 2022 (Chef-Reviewed)
    Crepe spreaders have a big impact on the shape and texture of the crepes. A good crepe spreader will help you spread the batter smoothly, thinly, and evenly to all sides. But since they all look pretty much similar, it may take a little work to find the right one that fits all your needs.To help you make the right decision, we've provided a buying guide reviewed by a chef that's packed with useful information on how to find the best crepe spreader. On top of that, we've selected the 10 best products based on customer reviews. Indigo True Crepe Spreader is first on our list because it's made with safe material, easy to clean, and comes in three different sizes that can fit all pan sizes. 
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  • 10 Best Hot Pot Cookers in 2022 (Aroma, Zojirushi, and More)
    10 Best Hot Pot Cookers in 2022 (Aroma, Zojirushi, and More)
    There’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than sitting around a table with your friends and family eating food that you all cooked together. And there’s no better way to do that than hot pot! From broths filled with mouth-numbing Chinese Szechuan peppers to mild Japanese shabu shabu, hot pot is fun, instant, and easy to do at home—if you have the right materials.As the popularity of this traditional Asian cooking style continues to rise in the West, so does the availability of electric and stovetop cookers in small and large sizes. But choosing is difficult, so that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to picking out the right hot pot cooker. We’ve also included a list of our 10 favorite hot pots—split into electric and non-electric categories—to start your search. We personally loved Zojirushi's Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet for its versatility and portability, but read on to see more choices!
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  • 10 Best Tried and True Japanese Frying Pans in 2022 (Culinary Researcher-Reviewed)
    10 Best Tried and True Japanese Frying Pans in 2022 (Culinary Researcher-Reviewed)
    Have you ever struggled with frying pans that are supposed to be non-stick, but you keep burning your food, no matter what you do? Having a reliable frying pan can help make cooking much easier. With a multitude of uses, everything from making stir-fries and pasta to pancakes and omelets, the humble frying pan can be used to make just about anything. Japanese frying pans are incredibly reliable, versatile, and easy to maintain. Yet there are so many different brands and materials to choose from, it becomes difficult to know what the best Japanese frying pan is!Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the best Japanese frying pans and put them all to the test! We tested each frying pan for the following:How little food sticks to the frying panHow well the frying pan conducts heatHow evenly the frying pan distributes heatHow light the frying pan isHow easy it is to hold the handleSo just which Japanese frying pans will stand out above the rest? Use this guide as a reference to help you make your decision before purchasing. 
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  • 10 Best Electric Tea Kettles in 2022 (Hamilton Beach, Krups, and More)
    10 Best Electric Tea Kettles in 2022 (Hamilton Beach, Krups, and More)
    Do you drink several cups of tea a day and are looking for a faster and safer way to boil water? Then an electric tea kettle might be what you need! An electric tea kettle boils water faster than a stove or microwave. It also ensures the water is at the best temperature for brewing tea.There are a large variety of tea kettles available, and that's why we’ve done the research for you. We picked the Water Kettle With Removable Tea Infuser by Decen as our favorite. It boils quickly, is easy to clean, and has six convenient temperature settings. We’ve also put together a top 10 list for you to consider and created a handy buying guide to help you make your choice!
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