- Mayuka Ueno
The Top 5 Best Japanese Rice Cookers to Bring Home From Japan
Since rice is the staple of the Japanese diet, Japanese people are very particular about it. Thus, Japanese rice cookers are very high quality. As bringing rice cookers back from Japan as souvenirs and gifts has become more common, top rice cooker brands have released English and other language models specifically for visitors to Japan to bring back with them to use overseas. These rice cookers range from cheap to very expensive. We will introduce both cheaper and more expensive models.
1. Microcomputer Rice Cooker HITACHI RZ-VMC10Y
There are two main types of rice cookers divided by their method of heating. The first type uses the “Microcomputer method," which uses an electric heater, while the other type uses the “IH method," which utilizes electromagnetic power to heat the whole pot. In Japan, the latter is the most commonly used type, but since the Microcomputer type rice cookers are comparatively cheaper, they have remained popular and a lot of people buy them as a gift to bring home from Japan. The HITACHI RZ-VMC10Y is known as having one of the best heat conduction and durability of the microcomputer rice cookers. Part of its appeal is its multifunctionality. It is equipped with multiple modes, including mixed rice and bread mode. It is also popular with Japanese people who work overseas. It is very reasonably priced so we recommend it to anyone looking for a Japanese-made rice cooker.
HITACHI RZ-VMC10Y Price set at retailer discretion
2. IH (Induction Heating) Rice Cooker Tiger JKT-S10W
IH type rice cookers keep rice more evenly cooked than their microcomputer counterparts. To prevent uneven heat distribution, the IH Rice Cooker Tiger JKT-S10W's inner pot and inner lid are entirely clay-coated. On top of that, it uses a double copper five-layer far-infrared pot, which transfers the high heat of the IH heating system evenly to every grain to make delicious rice. It’s easy to disassemble which is convenient for repairs and it also has an attached cooking plate that you can place ingredients on so you can cook rice and make side dishes at the same time in one pot. It’s great for housewives that are short on time. Most of the parts, like the lid, can easily be disassembled so it's easy to use. You can find it at tax-free corners in large appliance stores and in duty-free shops.
Tiger JKT-S10W Price set at retailer discretion
3. IH Rice cooker Panasonic SR-JH10-N
The Panasonic SR-JHS10-N uses a “diamond-coated copper heat retaining pot," which transfers the strong heating power of the IH heating system evenly over the rice. The diamond-reinforced coating causes bubbles to form around the rice, which conducts heat to evenly cook the rice. Also, the inner pan’s charcoal coating induces far-infrared heating, which cooks the rice to its core. It is made of stainless material so it’s easy to wash and it even has an attached steaming basket. Once you put your side dishes to cook in the basket and the rice in the pot, all you have to do is press the button and wait for it to cook and you have a whole meal. It’s perfect for anyone living alone or people who aren't too skilled at cooking.
Panasonic SR-JHS10-N Price set at retailer discretion
4. HITACHI RZ-KG10Y
Same as its name, this rice cooker uses the IH rice-cooking system with pressure features added on. Like a pressure cooker, the pressure inside the pot is very high. It reaches up to 1.3 atm and 107℃ to create high-temperature steam to cook the rice quickly. It is also equipped with a steam recycling mechanism in which trapped steam turns to water, which is then heated and turned into steam again to reheat the rice at regular intervals, keeping the rice warm and fresh up to 24 hours. It is specially designed to keep steam from escaping, keeping the rice properly steamed to bring out the natural sweetness in the rice. This is the kind of feature that you can only find in Japan. Taste the happiness that comes from being able to have delicious rice anytime you want.
HITACHI RZ-KG10Y Price set a retailer discretion
5. Clay Ceramic Pot IH Rice Cooker Tiger JKL-T10W
Japanese high-grade rice cookers, a culmination of Japan’s technological skills, have been getting more and more widespread in recent years. This high-grade Tiger ceramic pot IH rice cooker model uses a genuine ceramic pot that has been fired three times. Regular earthenware pots have been used in Japan for centuries as a standard cooking tool. When you cook with earthenware pots on high heat, you can get small slightly singed, flavorful bits of rice on the edges. This slightly burnt rice is called “okoge” and any rice-loving Japanese person will be excited to see it at the bottom of their rice pot. With this earthenware IH rice cooker, you can control the heating using a 3-tiered heating unique to ceramic pots so that you can make okoge too! Try this Japanese favorite for yourself! You can find it in the tax-free corners of large appliance stores and at duty-free shops.
Tiger JKL-T10W Price set at retailer discretion
How did you like our picks? There are many kinds of rice cookers from relatively cheap to very expensive. Find one that suits your needs, and give Japanese-made rice cookers a try.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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