Rice cookers may seem like a cheap cookware but any good Japanese rice cookers have a price range of $60 to $300 or even more. Most Japanese rice cookers are of high quality and technologically upgraded. They are far superior in performance and durability than traditional rice cookers available in the market. There are features in these rice cookers that you may have never seen in traditional ones; hence they have good reasons to be expensive.

Rice is indeed one of the cheapest and variant staple food, but cooking the perfect rice can be a bit of work. Japanese culture and food are deeply associated with rice. The love for rice combined with the attention to detail resulted in Japanese rice cookers- innovative and smarter cooking machines surpassing any other cooker in terms of usability and experience.

So, let’s look into the details of why Japanese rice cookers are so expensive and why it might be a good idea to get one.

Is an Expensive Rice Cooker Worth It?

If you are a big fan of rice who cooks it almost daily, buying a rice cooker is a good idea. While cheaper alternatives exist from cooking on a stovetop to relatively less expensive rice cookers, opting for slightly higher quality ones serve you for a long time and an even a longer list of purposes. One thing that no one can disagree with is that cooking perfect rice takes time and skills. If you have a lack of either of them, why not let a cooker do that for you? It’s worth buying a good quality rice cooker if you want to save time and simultaneously cook rice efficiently.

What Is the Difference Between a Cheap and Expensive Rice Cooker?

A cheap rice cooker does what cooking rice at a stovetop does – just cook the rice. Imagine what bottlenecks arrive when you cook rice on a stovetop or on a cheap rice cooker. The main concern with a cheap rice cooker is everything to do with convenience. It’s much easier to cook rice in a costly cooker because you don’t have to worry when you have to take it out or if the rice will stay warm. The high-end cooker does it for you. It’s smart and compact, filling in the gaps by maintaining temperature, setting time goals, and being flexible. These features are not available in a traditional cheap rice cooker. 

Japanese rice cookers have notable features and subsequent benefits which set it apart from other ones. Let’s explore what special features they have to know why Japanese rice cookers are expensive but worth it.

Quality Matters

Japanese rice cookers are extremely high quality and this fact is not at all exaggerated. This is where it is different from the cheap ones; these rice cookers are manufactured from the highest grade of materials, not sacrificing performance for the price. From the stainless steel exterior to the bowl’s interior coating, everything is made with uttermost perfection. The shape and design are also optimized to fit into a corner of your kitchen cabinet.

Keeps Your Rice Warm

Although most rice cookers have a ‘keep warm’ function, they’re not as effective. Japanese brands figured out how to automatically keep the rice warm without the press of any button. Most of them employ the induction heating method to distribute heat evenly in the bowl. Japanese rice cookers are energy efficient with superior temperature and pressure control mechanisms and features.

Smart and Upgraded

One of the main reasons why Japanese rice cookers are so expensive and unparalleled in usability is its smart operation method. Japan being one of the most technologically upgraded countries, is why even simple equipment like rice cookers have an automated system. Modern Japanese rice cookers are even optimized with microchips. Most of them have fuzzy logic applied for enabling smart features. There are real-time adjustments for controlling temperature and different modes of cooking too.

Some smart rice cookers even come with an app. By downloading the app, you can add your favorite recipes and the best cooking method will be decided to be cooked by your rice cooker. This is a handy feature for those who want to cook good food in a short time.

There are some other features too for smart operations:

  • LCD showing temperature and time remaining
  • Delay features
  • Functions for different modes of cooking such as simmering, slow cook
  • Pre-set rice cooking settings
  • Equipped with smart sensors

Cooks More Than Just One Kind of Rice

If you love rice, you may know that there are numerous kinds of it. Each variant takes a different amount of time to cook. You may not always find some rice in the supermarket. Different dishes also use different types of rice, ranging from short grain like sticky jasmine rice to long basmati rice. Japanese rice cookers can cook any rice you want, changing the operating conditions suitable for the different kinds. There are specific buttons for the type of rice you may be cooking. So, there is no need to worry about how much water you should put in or the right temperature; your rice cooking machine can handle anything.

Multipurpose Use

Japanese rice cookers can also make other food such as porridge, pudding, steamed dumplings, or even a cake. They can be used as a steamer or even slow cookers. Some models can maintain the perfect temperature for making yogurt or ferment bread. 

Easy to Clean Up

Cooking rice can be a hassle as you need to clean up before you cook. Japanese rice cookers are convenient in this regard too. They can be dismantled and realigned easily. The parts are detachable and also dishwasher safe. The conventional rice cookers are usually difficult to clean and too many washes may wear out the aluminum coating. Japanese rice cookers instead have stainless steel coating, so that it can withstand multiple cleaning.

Resilient and Portable

If you ask us why Japanese rice cookers are expensive, we would say durability. Smart operations and other perks would not matter much if we have to fix it every few months. Japanese rice cookers are sturdy and popular for their longevity. Some use a rice cooker for five to six years even without much complaint. The coatings and finishing of the bowl are a huge factor in its reputation. Some have platinum infused Teflon too. Quality and durability are two pillars strengthening the appeal of Japanese technology. Japanese rice cookers are no exception.

Few recent models of Japanese rice cookers can now be portable. With the exterior and shape exactly like a bento box, these are great for carrying to picnics or as a lunch box.

Unique Appearance

Most of the time, you do not even have to ask the shopkeeper which brand; Japanese rice cookers have a distinct look. They look quite different from the traditional rice cooker with a more compact body and user-friendly design. Although appropriately sized, they have a slightly tapered exterior, perfect for storing in a cupboard. Unlike any cookware, they look durable and perfect if you have a small kitchen space.

What are the Best Japanese Brands for Rice Cooker?

Zojirushi rice cookers are perhaps the most famous Japanese brands out there. Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Japanese Rice is currently the best-rated rice cooker in the market. They are prevalent in the market and a bit pricey as well. However, it’s exceptionally smart and equipped with all the latest technological features. Midea and Comfee are also among the best rice cookers. Tiger makes one of the most durable rice cookers of all. If you are looking for a slightly cheaper Japanese rice cooker, Panasonic rice cookers is a great option.

Performance Over Price: Are Japanese Rice Cookers Worth a Shot?

Japanese technology is esteemed for always valuing performance over price. This is why Japanese rice cookers are so expensive. The brands mentioned make the best performing rice cookers with almost no extra maintenance. Not just rice, they can be utilized for making other delicious rice derived snacks or food, such as porridge, dumplings, and so on. They are easy to use and do the job well. Instead of changing and buying for the umpteenth time cheaper rice cookers, it’s wise to spend money on a Japanese rice cooker.

What to Look for When Buying a Japanese Rice Cooker?

If you do decide to buy a rice cooker, there are several things to look out for. They come in various sizes and functions. If you only want to cook good rice, look for simple functions in a rice cooker. Most modern Japanese cookers are computerized and sturdy. Some can be very high end and able to cook various types of rice and food. They are easy to use and come with instruction guides as well as a warranty.

Final Thoughts

Japanese rice cookers are made with efficiency and computerized functions. Even though Japanese rice cookers are so expensive, they give superb performance and reliability. If you prefer performance over price and want to make cooking less stressful, a Japanese rice cooker is great cookware to have.