Rice is a food staple across the globe. It’s the perfect base for many recipes and the best side to serve with grilled meats and veggies. Rice recipes make a frequent appearance at my kitchen table.
Asian countries have mastered the art and science of making rice. So it’s no wonder that these countries produce what is widely considered the best rice cookers.
I like the Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker and Warmer because it has a nice blend of extra features, great reviews, and of course excellent performance and reputation. You can cook restaurant-quality rice with this cooker.
But the best rice cooker for one person may not fit the next person. Fortunately, there are several high-quality rice cookers available. I’ve broken down the pros, cons, and features for you. You’ll be cooking delicious rice in no time.
Which Asian rice cooker is right for you? Keep reading to learn more.
Best Asian Rice Cooker Reviews
Zojirushi Induction Heating Rice Cooker: Best Japanese Rice Cooker
Capacity: 5.5 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
Zojirushi is a rice cooker brand with an unmatched reputation for its high-quality Japanese rice cookers, and it’s not hard to see why.
This Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker uses induction heating to take rice cooking to the next level. It has consistently been at the top of my reviews, first earning a spot as the best Japanese rice cooker and then as the best overall rice cooker.
It has an uncooked rice capacity of 5.5 cups (1 liter), which yields approximately 11 cups of cooked rice (2 liters). It comes with a rice paddle and a rice measuring cup.
This Japanese rice cooker uses induction technology to heat the bottom, sides, and lid of the inner pan. The surround-cooking produces evenly cooked rice.
It has settings for white rice (regular, softer, harder), jasmine rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, sweet (sticky) rice, brown rice, quick-cooking, and even GABA rice, nutritious sprouted rice.
The nonstick inner pot and detachable lid are easy to clean. Plus, the keep-warm setting can hold rice for a short time when dinner might be delayed. The extended warm keeps the rice warm for up to 24 hours.
The delay timer has two settings for maximum control over timing. Additionally, the timer settings allow you to choose between a standard beep notification, melody, or silent mode to let you know the rice is ready.
Buyers liked the extra features, but they were primarily impressed with the results. Multiple users were able to convince their begrudging parents or partners that the Zojirushi Rice cooker is worth every penny.
The Zojirushi IH Rice Cooker and Warmer does take up a sizeable amount of countertop space, and it doesn’t come cheap. However, if you plan to cook rice daily, this model will be well worth the cost and kitchen real estate. It’s one of the best rice cookers out there.
However, if you only consume rice occasionally, this rice maker may not be worth it for you. But there are other options on the list that might fit your needs.
- Excellent performance
- Uses induction heat cook to rice evenly
- Nonstick inner pot
- Delay timer
- Keep warm function
- Multiple rice settings
- Made in Japan
- Large countertop footprint
Cuckoo Electric Pressure Rice Cooker: Best Korean Rice Cooker
Capacity: 5.5 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
Cuckoo is another one of the top Asian rice cooker brands, this one hailing from Korea. This Cuckoo Electric Pressure Rice Cooker and Warmer is a technologically advanced rice maker with a lot of nice features. It earned a spot as the best Korean rice cooker in my earlier review.
This Cuckoo rice cooker can hold up to 5.5 rice cups (1 liter). This is a smart rice cooker with eight cooking programs and countless cooking modes. The steam option is perfect for jasmine rice, while the regular rice function is best for brown rice.
Fair warning, however. Many customers felt the results with white rice far exceed the results with other types of rice. If you stick to mostly non-white rice, you might want to go a different route.
Need help programming the rice maker? No problem. The Cuckoo rice cooker will speak to you to walk you through the process. The voice navigation controls make this the best Asian rice cooker for techies.
This rice maker also has safety features like a digitally-programmed steam release valve, which releases steam automatically at the end of the cooking cycle or during the keep-warm mode.
The inner cooking pot is made of a combination of stainless steel and aluminum with a nonstick coating. It’s easy to clean, too. You can use the auto-cleaning function to remove odors and bacteria from the interior.
As far as auto-warming, Cuckoo Q5 will keep rice warm for several hours after cooking, meaning you can eat your delicious rice when you’re ready.
The exterior is a stunning white with gold trim. There is also a sleek black exterior, as well. The LED display is easy to read, and the touch controls are responsive.
The Cuckoo comes with a rice spatula, rice measuring cup, detachable inner lid, steam plate, product manual, and recipe book full of rice recipes.
When it came to cooking performance, the user reviews are mixed. Most users loved the Cuckoo Q5 and the results they got with this Asian rice cooker.
However, there were some complaints of soggy rice and uneven results. There were also isolated reports of malfunctioning units.
If you want something no-fuss that just has solid performance? You may not be happy with this model. However, if you want a technologically-advanced rice cooker with plenty of bells & whistles, this one is for you.
- Voice navigation
- Automatic cleaning function
- X-wall nonstick inner pot
- Auto warming mode
- Advanced safety features
- Better for white rice cooking than other types
- Doesn’t use induction heating
Cuckoo MICOM Rice Cooker: Best Bargain Korean Rice Cooker
Capacity: 6 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
The Cuckoo MICOM rice cooker uses fuzzy logic technology to determine the proper cooking times. It features an LCD display with 10 menu options, including steam, multi-cook, multigrain, and more.
The multi-grain setting is best if you are cooking mixed rice, for example, jasmine and brown rice. Cooking a whole range of Asian food is easy with the multi-cook setting.
This Cuckoo rice cooker also has a customized function called My Mode, which lets you select the degree of softness, glutinosity, and tastiness you desire.
The turbo setting is a great time saver, allowing you to cook rice in less time.
The automatic steam and pressure emission help safely release steam, while the lid locks tightly to prevent someone from opening a cooker full of hot steam.
The washable steam vent and the detachable lid make for easier cleanup. But there are more parts to clean with this rice cooker than with more basic models.
The white and pink exterior brings a pop of color to the kitchen. It may not be everyone’s favorite, though. There is a white/silver option for those who don’t want pink.
Customers raved about this rice cooker’s performance. They liked the ease of use and the multiple cooking functions.
They also said it’s easy to use. That’s good because the English instructions are clunky and not always the best translated.
Several users loved the Cuckoo rice maker but wished it had a few more bonus features. Things like a retractable cord, a cute jingle when the timer is done, and a more stationary inner pot for stirring purposes.
When it comes to fuzzy logic rice makers, the lack of extra features is not a dealbreaker, in the least. But when it comes to cooking delicious rice, this Cuckoo is at the top.
It’s the best Asian rice cooker for those who can’t afford induction cookers but don’t want to sacrifice cooking performance.
- Fuzzy logic technology
- Safety features
- Turbo mode cooks rice faster
- My Mode gives precise control
- Excellent performance
- No induction heating
- English directions are clunky
- Doesn’t have many bonus features
Tiger Induction Heating Rice Cooker: Best Runner-Up Japanese Rice Cooker
Capacity: 5.5 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
When it comes to Asian rice cooker brands, Tiger is one of the most well-known worldwide. This Tiger Induction Heating Rice Cooker earned a spot as runner-up in my review of the best Japanese rice cookers.
The Tiger Rice Cooker has an uncooked rice capacity of 5.5 cups, allowing you to make enough white rice for a family of four.
There is a larger 10-cup version (1.8 liters) that’s ideal for groups or large families. The inner cooking pan has a non-stick coating for easy release.
Customers like the handles on the inner pot. It makes lifting the pot out of the base less precarious.
The elongated design means this Tiger rice cooker takes up a little more counter space, but it’s shorter and has a convenient carry handle for easy transport.
The heating performance of this cooker is excellent. Customers were able to make fluffy white rice, delicious brown rice, and even steel-cut oatmeal.
The reason for this is the induction heating technology. The pot heats up on the bottom, sides, and top, resulting in perfect rice that’s not soggy or overcooked.
The ultra setting is great for bringing out maximum flavor, and the delay timer is the ultimate convenience for busy schedules.
With an automatic warming feature, you don’t have to worry about your rice drying out for several hours.
The orange LCD display is easy to read, although it’s not backlit. And while you can’t use this Tiger as a slow cooker, when it comes to rice makers? This one is top-notch.
- Induction heat to evenly cook rice
- Automatic warming feature
- Ultra setting for max flavor
- Handles on the inner pot
- Delay timer
- Larger unit
Panasonic Induction Heating Rice Cooker: Best Splurge Japanese Rice Cooker
Capacity: 5 rice cups, uncooked (.9L)
If you’re looking to splurge, you can’t go wrong with the Panasonic Induction Heating Rice Cooker. It was one of my picks for the best Japanese rice cookers, and it comes in a sleek black housing with a dark stainless lid.
Panasonic brings its passion for cutting-edge technology to this rice cooker. This model uses induction heating technology, which cooks rice quickly and evenly.
The durable inner pot has seven layers of nonstick coating infused with diamonds for extra scratch resistance. Plus, the copper exterior is designed for improved heat conduction and responsiveness.
The 13 present cooking pre-programmed settings allow you to automatically cook a variety of grains. And the Panasonic can hold up to 5 cups of uncooked rice (1 liter), which can easily make enough for 4-5 people.
Buyers were pleased with the results. This model shines with brown rice and mixed rice. Some buyers felt that the flavor wasn’t significantly different from other rice cookers, but the consistency of the rice was outstanding.
The rice cooker’s automatic shut-off function prevents overcooking. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of burnt rice, you understand the value of that feature.
The handy keep-warm function activates automatically when cooking is complete, holding contents at an ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours. It has an extended warm for 24 hours, as well.
Some customers even claimed they could keep rice in there for up to 3 days, but I wouldn’t recommend that for the average consumer.
Bonus features include a built-in umami-enhancing taste catcher and a detachable lid for easy cleaning. This model also includes a rice measuring cup, ladle, and a non-scratching rice spoon.
This rice cooker is not for those afraid of technology. It does have a learning curve to it, but Panasonic includes a well-detailed instruction manual that walks you through everything.
The Panasonic IH Cooker is a high-quality rice cooker, but it is significantly more expensive than other brands. Unless you have the extra room in your budget or a very specific reason to get this brand, I can’t personally justify the cost.
- Induction technology
- 13 preset cooking programs
- Superb performance
- 7-layer non-stick inner pan
- Auto keep-warm function
- Detachable lid, easy to clean
- Made in Japan
- Learning curve
- No GABA rice setting
- Significantly more expensive
Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker: Best Sushi Rice Cooker
Capacity: 5.5 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
This Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker has the same quality and thoughtful design as the other Zojirushi on my list but without some of the extra features or the induction heating.
This model has a capacity of 5.5 cups (1L) of uncooked rice, although there is a 10-cup (2L) option, as well. I found it to be the best rice cooker for sushi rice.
The Neuro Fuzzy logic rice cooker uses intuitive technology to determine appropriate cooking times and to cook rice evenly. It has specific settings for different types of rice, as well as a porridge setting.
Forgot to pre-rinse your rice? No problem. The Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 has settings for cooking rice without pre-rinsing and a quick-cooking option.
The keep-warm mode can go up to 12 hours, meaning you can eat rice at your convenience. This is good, too, because customers noted that the cooking times are longer with this rice cooker.
The non-stick inner pan has measurement markings on the inside so you can easily add the right amount of water. Users said it was easy to clean, and they loved the inner pot’s stay-cool handles.
This nonstick pot does scratch easily, however. Be sure to use wooden or plastic tools when fluffing or removing rice. Metal forks are a no-go.
This rice cooker comes with two rice measuring cups, a rice scooper, and a spoon holder.
Although this cooker has a small countertop footprint, it has a carrying handle for maximum portability. It also features a detachable inner lid for easier cleaning and a retractable cord.
Customers especially liked the delay timer. This is great for cooking overnight oatmeal or for cooking rice while at work.
They did note, however, that the timer doesn’t show the countdown until the final 13 minutes of the cooking process. That was a minor frustration for some buyers.
Overall, though? People raved about this rice cooker. The Zojirushi Ns-Zcc10 Rice Cooker is a great pick for those who want perfectly fluffy rice and like to cook a variety of rice types.
It’s not the best choice for those who want to steam vegetables with their rice cooker or for those who primarily want to cook rice faster.
- Great for making sushi rice
- Uses fuzzy logic for better results
- Delay timer
- Retractable cord
- Detachable inner lid, easy to clean
- Made in Japan
- Timer doesn’t display the total time
- Non-stick cooking pot scratches easily
- Long cooking time
Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker: Best Chinese Rice Cooker
Capacity: 10 rice cups, uncooked (2.37L)
Aroma Housewares makes a variety of affordable kitchenwares while maintaining quality. This Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker is not only great for rice cooking, but you can use it for so much more.
It earned a spot as a budget pick on in my previous review. This unit is manufactured in China, making it my pick as the best Asian rice cooker.
This is the professional version of the series, which also includes a basic rice cooker and a Smart Carb version. The professional version is slightly more expensive than the basic cooker but with a lot of added benefits.
This rice cooker is versatile. From slow cooking and sautéeing to simmering soups and steamed vegetables, the Aroma Rice Cooker can handle it. You can make all sorts of delicious food with just one tool.
It is important to note that this is not a pressure rice cooker. This model might resemble an Instant Pot with a stainless steel exterior and multiple cooking options, but it’s not quite the same.
It has a generous uncooked rice capacity of 10 rice cups, so you can serve rice for larger groups. It comes with a measuring cup, rice spatula, and steam tray.
The inner cooking pot has a non-stick coating for easy rice release. And the keep warm mode will keep rice warm for up to 12 hours.
With that being said, many users were disappointed in the keep warm function. They had problems with stale or dried-out rice after a few hours.
A few people also had issues with steam and water spewing out of the lid. Overall, though, this is the best Asian rice cooker for those on a budget who want a multi-tasking appliance.
- Removable steam tray
- User-friendly control panel
- Convenient delay timer
- Can slow cook, steam, and sauté
- Keep warm function is lacking
- Reports of spewing water/steam
Tianji Ceramic Rice Cooker: Best Ceramic Pot Asian Rice Cooker
Capacity: 6 rice cups, uncooked (1L)
Tianji seems to be a brand that sells exclusively to Amazon, but this Tianji Ceramic Rice Cooker packs a lot of value in the white and gold housing.
It has a capacity of 6 cups of uncooked rice or 12 cups of cooked rice. These quantities are with a rice measuring cup, not a standard U.S. cup. It’s enough to feed 2-5 people.
The Tianji rice cooker is unique because it’s the only one on my list with a clay inner pot. If you’re looking to avoid Teflon, this model fits the bill. Visit my review to see why I found it to be the best non-Teflon cooker.
Not only that, but it preserves the flavor and nutritional value of brown rice and other healthy grains. The ceramic inner cooking pan was the favorite feature of customers, hands down.
As far as cooking functions? The Tianji rice maker has several: rice, porridge, multi-grain rice, porridge, soup, reheat, and clay pot rice. While the clay pot can hold in heat, this would not make a good slow cooker.
The delay start timer gives you flexibility over rice preparation. But some reviewers wished the timer would show the time remaining for the entire cooking process instead of for the last few minutes.
It does have a keep warm function, but it only goes up to 8 hours. Many people found that unhelpful for making rice overnight. However, it does work for making overnight oats for breakfast.
The TianJi rice maker includes a rice cup, soup spoon, rice spoon, and spoon holder. The inner cooking pan has interior measurement markings, as well, to help you achieve the perfect water-to-rice ratio.
While most customers were pleased with the Tianji electric rice cooker, there are a few defects that take away from the user experience.
For starters, the lid is difficult to open. Several customers had problems with the lid sticking. This wasn’t universal, but it was common enough to constitute a design flaw. To help you open the lid, you can press the button while simultaneously nudging it open.
Another issue is the timer. It doesn’t show the cooking time until the last few minutes, which can certainly be inconvenient.
While the Tianji rice maker has its flaw, it has solid performance and is great for non-toxic rice cooking.
- Non-Teflon ceramic inner pot
- Delay start timer
- Clay pot is easy to clean
- Interior measurement markings on the pot
- Not as user-friendly
- Lid is hard to open
- Only shows time remaining for last few minutes
Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker: Bargain Asian Rice Cooker
Capacity: 4 rice cups, uncooked (.7L)
If you like preparing steamed vegetables or hot soup in addition to cooking rice, this Hamilton Beach Rice Cooker might be for you. It has a stainless steel exterior and a round shape with a black plastic lid.
The Hamilton Beach rice cooker is digital and programmable, with a total capacity of 4 cups of uncooked rice (.7 liters). That equates to 8 cups of cooked rice, measured with a rice cup.
There is also a 7-cup (1.2 liters) option available for those who need something larger.
This electric rice cooker can do more than cook rice, however. It’s designed to cook whole grains, hot cereal, steamed veggies, and more. It has a warm setting to keep food warm.
It also includes a steam basket that can function as a rice rinser. People enjoyed using their rice cookers for steamed vegetables, so that basket came in handy. They also liked making oatmeal with this model.
However, several issues affect the quality of this electric rice cooker. First, several customers complained of a broken condensation collector on the side of the unit.
When the condensation collector breaks, it results in spewing warm water and steam, making a mess and drying out the rice inside.
Others complained of long cooking times, and others had difficulty cleaning the rice cooker. The lid does not detach, so it’s a more labor-intensive process.
Lastly, several people complained about the quality of the inner cooking pot. It’s a run-of-the-mill non-stick pot, but the coating seems to flake and chip quite easily, even with plastic utensils.
Overall, I can’t recommend the Hamilton Beach rice cooker for its quality or durability. However, if you need something that’s highly affordable, this rice cooker will fit any budget.
- Multiple cooking functions
- Small countertop footprint
- Includes steam basket
- Complaints of faulty parts
- Smaller capacity
- Difficult to clean
Buying Guide and FAQs: Asian Rice Cookers
Tips for Cooking Rice with a Rice Cooker
You may be thinking, cooking rice is simple, right? It is, but simple doesn’t mean easy. There are several ways for this humble dish to go wrong. Here are a few tips to help you get perfectly cooked rice with your Asian rice cooker:
- Measure your rice. For the best results, use the rice measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker.
- Rinse the uncooked rice. Rinsing rice helps clean and hydrate the grains. It also removes excess starch, preventing the rice from turning into a glutinous mass. To rinse, place uncooked rice in a fine metal mesh strainer and run water over the rice until the water runs clear. Using rinsed rice is not as crucial for long-grain white rice, but it’s necessary for brown rice.
- Add rice and water to the rice cooker. Generally (but not always), the ratio of rice to water for rice cookers is 1:1. So if you’re adding 1 cup of uncooked rice, add 1 cup of water. Most rice cookers have a user manual that details specific ratios by rice type. It’s best to use filtered or purified water.
- Select the program. Many rice cookers have several cooking options, while others are simply “one-touch.” If your cooker has multiple cooking functions, select the one that matches the rice you are cooking.
- Let the rice rest. Depending on the rice, let it rest for 5-15 minutes. Resting lets any excess moisture evaporate and allows your rice to fully absorb the water.
- Fluff the rice. Use the rice paddle, if the cooker has one, or use a plastic serving utensil. Avoid metal forks to prevent scratching the inner cooking pot.
What to Look For in an Asian Rice Cooker
Inner Pot Material
Rice cookers have inner pots made of a variety of materials. The type of cooking pot you want depends on your personal preference.
Most pots consist of aluminum with a non-stick Teflon coating. This prevents the rice from sticking and is easy to clean. However, it’s susceptible to scratching.
If you wish to avoid Teflon, there are also stainless steel inner pots. These are heavier and more durable, but they’re more difficult to clean. Rice is a starchy food, so it’s more likely to stick to stainless steel.
There are also ceramic inner pots, as well. These are less common, but they are Teflon-free and are easier to clean than stainless. However, ceramic can chip and crack easily. Handle with care!
Fuzzy Logic vs One-Touch
Rice cookers generally fall into one of two categories: one-touch or fuzzy-logic/MICOM.
A one-touch rice maker is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a rice cooker that has only one cook setting and only one button to start the cooking process. Most basic rice cookers fall under this category.
However, a rice cooker that uses fuzzy logic technology mimics human reasoning by using “if/then” programming mechanisms. This allows for greater precision and control.
Micom is an abbreviation of micro-computerized, meaning Micom rice cookers are controlled by a microcomputer chip.
If you prefer simplicity and budget-friendly appliances, a one-touch cooker is best for you. If you’re willing to spend more for better results, go with a MICOM or Fuzzy Logic rice cooker.
An induction heating rice cooker (IH rice cooker) is the top of the line in terms of performance. The induction heating system uses coils to create a magnetic field inside the rice cooker.
The magnetized inner pan reacts and essentially becomes the heating element.
The result? Perfect evenly-cooked rice every time. No more spots of wet or overcooked rice.
An IH cooker will often be the best Asian rice cooker in terms of heating performance and consistency.
If that’s not enough, induction heating rice cookers allow rice cookers to make automatic temperature adjustments based on the cooking settings.
To top it all off, IH rice makers work more quickly than other types of rice cookers. Whereas basic rice cookers don’t save you any time, an IH rice cooker can cut down cooking time.
These rice cookers do run more expensive, so they may not be the best choice if you have a strict budget.
Multiple Cooking Functions
I love to eat rice, but I like my appliances to have more than one use. Even the best Asian rice cooker has to pack a value punch to earn a spot on the kitchen counter.
Conventional rice cookers do one thing: cook rice. However, many modern rice cookers have multiple functions. Not only do they cook white rice, but they also cook brown rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, mixed rice, sticky white rice, multigrain rice, and more.
But that’s not all.
Some of these advanced rice cookers can also steam food and can be used for slow cooking or pressure cooking. The sky’s the limit, allowing cooks to effortlessly create meals that are both healthy and delicious.
Some features are not necessary for an Asian rice cooker to produce perfectly cooked rice, but they make the user experience better.
One such feature is an intuitive control panel. An easy-to-read, well-lit display, timer function, and clear preset programs all make using an Asian rice cooker easier.
Having a keep-warm mode is important for ultimate convenience. Cooking rice while at work is no problem with an automatic warming mode. This mode will keep rice warm until you’re ready to eat it.
Rice cookers are notorious for getting odors and moisture stuck in the lid. With a detachable lid, it makes cleaning the unit easier and more effective. No more weird odors!
For storing purposes, it’s nice to have a retractable cord. If you’ve ever tried pulling out an appliance, only to have the plug get stuck under another object, you know how frustrating a loose cord can be. Retracting it is super quick and makes for painless storage.
Why Use an Asian Rice Cooker?
Using a rice cooker is quick and convenient, especially when making large quantities of rice. Many Asian households swear by their favorite rice cooker. A rice cooker can also deliver consistent results. If you want perfect fluffy rice every time, a rice cooker will be your best bet.
How Long Does It Take to Cook Rice with an Asian Rice Cooker?
The time it takes to cook rice in an Asian rice cooker depends on multiple factors, including the rice cooker itself as well as the type and length of the rice grain.
Brown rice takes longer to cook because it still has the outer layer of bran, which takes longer to cook. White rice cooks faster because the bran is already removed. Shorter grains also take less time than longer grains.
In general, the cooking time for white rice is approximately 10 minutes per cup in either pot-style or cool touch-rice cookers.
Cooking brown rice, on the other hand, takes approximately 20 minutes per cup in a one-touch rice cooker and around 60 minutes in a fuzzy logic or IH rice cooker.
How Much Rice Should I Make Per Person?
If you’re serving rice as a side, you should estimate 1/2 cup of cooked rice per person (U.S. standard measuring cup). If it’s the base of a meal, estimate 1 cup of cooked rice per person.
What Size Asian Rice Cooker Should I Get?
This is perhaps the most common question among people looking to purchase a rice cooker. After all, no one wants to spend money on an appliance that doesn’t fit their needs!
Best Asian Rice Cooker: Final Thoughts
Which Asian rice cooker prevails? My top pick is the Zojirushi Rice Cooker and Warmer for most people. It’s the best Asian rice cooker in terms of performance, reviews, and reputation. But it is a pricier pick.
If you don’t plan to make rice every day, you might be better off with something more affordable, like the Cuckoo MICOM Rice Cooker. It uses fuzzy technology to deliver perfect rice without the steep price tag, making it the best rice cooker on a budget.