In Asian countries, rice is a staple of any diet. Those who love Asian cuisine know how well rice complements the other side dishes whether it is a chicken curry, steamed veggies, or a well-cooked fish. But sadly, cooking rice perfectly can be quite tricky, especially for those born and raised outside the continent.
Does that mean people in Europe or America cannot enjoy rice meals without spending money at a restaurant or getting lessons from a professional chef? Well, not really. With a simple rice cooker, you will be able to cook delicious meals right at the comfort of your home at your own convenience.
There are many different brands out there these days that manufacture high-quality rice cookers. But cookers made by Asian manufacturers are generally considered way better since they understand the process better. So, getting yourself the best Asian rice cooker is the easiest way to get your hands on this dish.
In this article, we will give you a quick and thorough rundown of a few different models that you want to look out for if you are in the market for a new rice cooker for yourself.
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Top 10 Best Asian Rice Cooker Reviews
Here are our top picks for some of the finest Asian Rice cookers that you can find on the market promising the best value for your investment.
1. Aroma Housewares 8-Cup (cooked)/ 2 Quart Digital Cool-Touch Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
Buying a new Asian rice steamer does not necessarily mean you have to spend a lot. And to prove that fact, Aroma Housewares brings this fantastic digital option to the table. Like the best Aroma rice cookers, it features an absurdly low-price tag while offering plenty of functions and cooking options to the user.
The unit comes with four built-in presets for steam rice, brown rice, white rice, and flash rice, in addition to an automatic keep-warm function. So, whenever your rice is done cooking, the device will switch to warm mode to ensure you can serve your dish warm and tasty right out of the pot.
It also has a delay timer with the option to set it up to 15 hours. The programmable timer settings will let you store rice inside it and cook automatically when the timer reaches zero. The main benefit of this feature is you can work on other tasks while the cooker automatically prepares rice for you and your family.
With the capacity to cook 8-cups of uncooked rice, you will be able to prepare a hearty meal for a small family without any issues. The inner pot is nonstick and comes reinforced offering some added durability. And once you are done cooking, you can simply toss it in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
2. BLACK+DECKER Rice Cooker
If you are handy with tools and have used different electronic gadgets for home renovations in the past, then there is a good chance that you have used one or two products by Black and Decker. It turns out they are no slouch when it comes to producing high-quality, budget-friendly rice cookers either.
This particular model is a simple on/off model with an automatic keep-warm function. So, all you have to do is pour rice inside, fill it with water, and turn it on. When the rice is done cooking, the LED on the Warm function will turn on, and your food will stay hot and toasty, ready to serve.
With this unit, you get a maximum capacity of 6 cups of uncooked rice. So, whether your family size is small or moderately large with 4 to 5 people, this unit can handle your rice requirements quite easily. Because of its lower price tag, it offers extreme value to a smaller family.
Another great element of the unit is the nonstick inner pot that comes with it. It facilitates the easy release of food, and you can remove it completely to serve straight out of it. You can even toss it in the dishwasher after you are done having your meal for easy, hassle-free cleaning.
3. Dash Mini Rice Cooker Steamer with Removable Nonstick Pot
For our next option, we will be going with another on/off cooker but this time we will be going with Dash, a company respected for its innovation and high-performance tools. This unit is an affordable entry on our list of best Asian rice cookers that will offer reliable performance for a long time.
Since it is a simple on and off Asian rice steamer, using this unit is pretty straightforward. But what sets it apart is its ability to cook other dishes such as oatmeal, soup, and even pasta. So, if you are hunkering for something different for your lunch or dinner, this unit will have your back.
The downside to this option however is its maximum capacity of only two cups. This should not be too much of an issue if you are cooking for yourself and your partner. However, if you want to use this cooker to prepare food for a moderate family, you are out of luck.
Apart from that slight hiccup, you would find nothing else worth complaining about it. It has an automatic keep-warm feature to keep your rice hot after cooking. And the unit never overcooks and will take only twenty minutes to prepare your food fully. For the price, the performance it offers is pretty amazing.
4. Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker & Food Steamer
If you had your fill of on and off cookers and want something a bit more modern, but unwilling to spend too much, then this Digital Programmable Rice Cooker by the brand Hamilton Beach might be the perfect option for you. With such a big name behind the unit, we went in with high expectations.
And frankly, the unit met our every expectation head-on. At a fraction of a price than what you would have to pay for a high-end rice cooker, this unit gives you access to four different menu presets that you can access with the push of a button. The presets are white rice, whole grain, hot cereal, and steam.
This unit also comes with an automatic keep-warm function and the indicator light lights up the moment you are done cooking. It even has an integrated basket if you want to use the steam function to cook seafood, poultry, or vegetables while cooking your rice at the same time.
With a maximum capacity of 8 cups, the interior space of the unit is also pretty decent. You will be able to prepare dishes for a small family of four quite easily with this option. For the price, the performance you get out of this unit is hard to find with any other competing options.
5. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 5-1/2-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer
When it comes to the best Asian rice cooker, there is one brand that can never be ignored, Zojirushi. They have a vast catalog of fantastic cookers and almost each of them is worth a mention on our list. For now, let us take a look at the NS-TSC10 which is considered one of their finest creations.
Powered by the infamous fuzzy logic technology, this option is quite capable of ensuring your meals are tasty anytime you use them. It has eight different menu presets that you can cycle through and use depending on whether you are cooking white rice, mixed rice, or even baking cakes.
This unit also has an automatic keep warm, an extended keep warm, and a reheat function to offer even more flexibility for when you are done cooking. The clear LCD display panel allows you to monitor the timer and a beep lets you know when your food is ready to serve. You also get a delay timer option with it.
In terms of build quality, you will find nothing lacking thanks to its tough stainless-steel exterior. You can find this unit in two versions; one comes with a 5.5 cup capacity while the other one comes with a 10-cup capacity. For a small family, the 5.5 cups model will offer better value as it is much cheaper.
6. IMUSA USA GAU-00011 Electric Nonstick Rice Cooker
Whether you love it or hate it, the undeniable fact is that a simple on and off rice cooker often offers the best value if you are on a budget. It does the simple tasks quite well and does not eat a big chunk out of your wallet. The IMUSA Electric rice cooker is a perfect example of how amazing these little devices are.
The unit features an automatic keep-warm function that it switches to when it is done cooking your rice. All you have to do is make sure the ratio of water and rice is perfect and the unit will take care of the rest. When it is done cooking, the LED switches from Cook to Warm and you are ready to serve straight out of it.
The nonstick inner of the unit is quite conductive and maintains the heat ensuring your food remains warm and tasty. You can remove the inner pot for easier cleaning. And since the pot comes with a nonstick coating, releasing the food is completely hassle-free.
One thing that this unit does differently is that you get a tempered glass lid. So, you will be able to monitor your cooking progress easily. You can find this model in three versions with the capacity to cook from 3 cups to up to 8 cups. So, pick out the one that suits your requirements.
7. Instant Pot Zest 8 Cup Rice Cooker
Instant pot is not a name that you hear often when looking for the best Asian rice cooker, and it really is a shame. This 8-cup rice cooker by the brand is truly a marvel and considering the price that it comes at, you could not ask for more functions or better quality.
As far as digital units go, this is not the most versatile one. But it does the basic functions and a few nifty extras pretty well. For one thing, it comes with 5 smart presets that let you cook white rice, brown rice, steam rice, oatmeal, and quinoa with the simple push of a button.
Not only does it cook rice perfectly, but you can also use it to steam veggies, fish, and poultry. Once it is done cooking, it will switch to warm mode to keep the food fresh and ready to serve. Overheating, burning, or undercooking food is never a concern thanks to its intelligent design.
In addition, the unit comes with a ceramic-coated nonstick inner pot that is capable of handling 8 cups of uncooked rice. The best ceramic rice cooker will be a lot healthier than conventional non-stick rice cookers. You also get a steamer tray that is safe to clean n the dishwasher, a rice measuring cup, and a spoon to serve the food. Speaking of value, it does not get better than this.
8. COMFEE’ Rice Cooker, 6-in-1 Stainless Steel Multi Cooker
The brand COMFEE’ has been making the lives of cooks in the kitchen easier with their high-quality rice cookers, pressure cookers, and air fryers for years. This high-performance digital multi-cooker is just one of their many fantastic options that promise great value at an attractive price point.
This unit comes with 6 different digital functions to cook a variety of meals including white rice, brown rice, slow cook, quinoa, steam, and oatmeal. The steam function allows you to cook up delicious, steamed veggies or meat without any extra hassle on your part.
Its 2 quarts, translated to 8 cups, cooking capacity makes it the perfect choice for a small family. Once prepared, the unit switches to keep warm mode and preserves your food in a ready-to-serve state for up to 12 hours. It even has a 12-hour timer delay setting that lets you schedule your meals.
With the stainless-steel housing of the unit, durability is never a concern. To protect the electronics, the unit comes with an overheating protection feature. The inner pot comes with a nonstick coating that is safe to clean in the dishwasher eliminating. It also has a cool-touch handle to help you move it around easily.
9. TIGER JBV-A10U 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Micom Rice Cooker with Food Steamer Basket
Coming up next, we will be reviewing a unit by the brand TIGER which is widely considered as a leading example of quality and excellence when it comes to affordable Micom rice cookers. The JBV-A10U is one of the most affordable units of its kind and has a lot of handy features to make the task of cooking rice easier.
Featuring four different cooking menu presets, you will be able to prepare the rice exactly the way you like it with this option. It has an interesting Synchronized-cooking function called Tacook that lets you cook your main dish while cooking your rice simultaneously.
With a capacity of 5.5 cups of uncooked rice, this unit offers plenty of space to cook for your entire family. Its one-push operation lets you cook quickly and keep your food warm and ready to serve whenever you feel like eating. The non-stick inner pot is also made of high-quality materials.
Your purchase includes a couple of handy accessories such as a non-stick spatula, a cooking plate, a measuring cup, and a cookbook that drastically enhances the value of your investment. If you are on a budget but do not want to compromise on the quality, then this can be a pretty valid choice.
10. Toshiba Cooker 6 Cups Uncooked (3L) with Fuzzy Logic and One-Touch Cooking
You have to be living under a rock if you have never heard the name of Toshiba. This is one of the leading brands of Japan in many fields including. electronics, computers, and gadgets. Their rice cookers are considered one of the finest to go with if you want a modern unit with excellent performance.
Though this unit is priced a bit higher than others on this list, its performance far exceeds the rest. For one thing, it features the fuzzy logic technology that ensures optimal cooking without burning your food ever. It comes with 7 different presets that let you cook just about anything you want with it.
The inner pot comes with a nonstick coating for efficient food release. That along with the steam valve in the unit ensures your food remains hot after cooking for up to 12 hours. In addition, the unit comes with two different timer options to preplan your cooking schedule.
The unit has a capacity of 6 cups of uncooked rice. So, using it to cook for a large family is quite possible. It comes with a compact design and has a handle at the top to let you move it around without too much trouble. The overall design and performance of this unit is excellent and worth every penny you spend on it.
Things To Consider When Buying An Asian Rice Cooker
Even though we have narrowed down your choices to ten different models, you might still be wondering which unit will give you the best value and performance. The following list of features will help you figure out which unit suits your needs perfectly and help you find the perfect option for your requirements.
Maximum Cooking Capacity
Most of the time, when buying a rice cooker for your family you want to consider its maximum cooking capacity. The size of the cooker needs to be large enough to cater to the needs of your entire family. Typically, rice cooker sizes are measured using quarts or cups.
For a family of four, for instance, you should go with a cooker with at least 4 to 6 cups of uncooked rice capacity. If you are planning to host dinner parties regularly for your friends, you might need to go with an even larger unit.
Cooking rice might be the primary function of a rice cooker, but that does not mean it cannot do anything else. It is an extremely versatile piece of equipment and with the right unit, you can even bake a cake or make porridge without too much trouble.
However, if you do want to use a rice cooker to cook other food items, take a look at the different options available in it. Some units can come with only a cook and keep warm option. However, there are many models out there that feature a plethora of presets that you can use.
Fuzzy Logic Technology
For true food connoisseurs who take the issue of food quality very seriously, going with a rice cooker that features fuzzy logic technology is almost essential. This is a simple algorithm that comes in some high-end models to ensure the quality of rice is optimal in all conditions.
This technology essentially allows your unit to sense the heating progress and adjust the temperature in real-time to ensure your rice never gets burnt. However, this feature is not available in every unit out there, and typically the units that do feature this technology costs a bit higher than average.
Inner Pot Design
Finally, you want to take a closer look at the inner pot of the rice cooker. This is the part that holds your rice and the material used to manufacture the inner pot dictates the overall quality of your rice. If the pot does not hold temperature efficiently, for instance, your rice will not stay warm for long. We like the best rice cooker with stainless steel inner pot.
You also want to ensure that the inner pot comes with a nonstick coating as it would make it much easier for you to serve the rice out of it. Some inner pots are dishwasher-friendly which can free you up from clean-up responsibilities to some extent.
Why Are Asian Rice Cookers Better?
There is a common consensus among users that Asian rice cookers are much better than cookers that are made in Europe or the United States. And the reason behind it is simple, rice is the main dish in most, if not all, Asian countries. Whether you go to Japan or China, India or Pakistan, you will find rice as the main dish.
With a culture so habituated with rice consumption and preparation, it is natural for them to understand the ins and outs of this food better than in other parts of the world. In Europe or other continents, rice is typically considered a side dish. However, it is the primary diet of Asian countries.
Since Asian countries know how to prepare rice much better than other regions, the manufacturers in those areas need to really put in the effort in making devices that deliver better quality than handmade rice. The end result is that you get rice cookers that are extremely attentive to the quality of food they deliver.
How Do You Use An Asian Rice Cooker?
As you have no doubt noticed from our list of reviews, there are many different types of rice cookers available in the market these days. But the secret to cooking perfectly using a rice cooker is the make sure the ratio of rice and water is correct. If you can do that correctly, your cooker will take care of the rest.
In the following section, we will walk you through the steps to use an Asian rice cooker to make the perfect rice meal. For our guide, we will be using a simple on and off the rice cooker.
If you are using the digital model, make sure you read through the manual carefully. This type of unit often comes with handy presets for one-touch cooking. But since each model is different, going through the manual thoroughly is essential to learn the ins and outs of your particular unit.
Before you get started, here are a couple of things that you need to use an Asian rice cooker to cook rice.
- Rice Cooker
- Rice paddle
- Measuring cup
Step – 1
Take your rice in a bowl and rinse it thoroughly. It would wash off any excess starch, or pesticides from the food and make it safe to cook without introducing any toxins to your food. You want to keep rinsing until the water in the bowl with the rice turns completely clear.
Step – 2
Then you can place the rice inside the inner pot of your rice cooker. Use a measuring cup to make sure your amount is perfect.
Step – 3
For the next step, you need to add water to the inner pot. This is the most critical step to using a rice cooker. The correct amount of water depends on the type of rice you are cooking. Here is a quick breakdown of the right amounts of water for each cup of different types of rice.
- Short grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
- Medium grain white rice – 1 ½ cups
- Long grain white rice – 1 ¾ cups
- Parboiled rice – 2 cups
- Basmati or Jasmine rice – 1 ½ cups
- Long grain brown rice – 2 ¼ cups
- Quinoa – 2 cups
Step – 4
With the proper ratio of rice and water mixed, you can place the inner pot back inside the rice cooker. At this stage, you can mix any extra ingredients like spices or butter into the pot.
Step – 5
Turn your rice cooker on and start it up by switching to the cook mode using the switch or button on your cooker.
Step – 6
When your rice is ready, the cooker will automatically notify you by switching the LED or with a beep depending on the design of the cooker. After cooking, you want to give the cooker at least 15 minutes to absorb the remaining water and steam.
Step – 7
Voila! Your rice should be prepared and ready to serve. Use a wooden or plastic rice paddle to serve the rice.
Top Asian Rice Cooker Brands
There are many brands in Asia that produce high-quality rice cookers. Here are three of the best brands out there at three different price ranges that are worth considering when you are on the market for a new rice cooker for your family.
The first brand that we will talk about is based in Osaka, Japan, and currently operating worldwide. Tiger Corporation USA that is in California is just one of the many divisions of the brand. This brand is well-known for its high-quality rice cookers and other home appliances that come at an affordable price.
Toshiba is a brand that not only manufactures rice cookers but also other electronic devices and gadgets. It is a major name in the computer hardware market. Typically, Toshiba products despite their excellent quality come at a reasonable price tag making them a good choice for people with a moderate budget.
The primary focus of the brand Zojirushi is manufacturing rice cookers. They have a massive catalog of products at different price ranges, capacities, and qualities. You can find both digital machines with programable features and manual models from this brand.
Three Asian Rice Cooker Recipe that You Should Know
Now that you have a good idea of the different rice cookers and know how to use them to make rice, let us give you a few quick recipes to take your cooking game to the next level.
1. Rice Cooker Chicken Curry
The first recipe that we want to showcase is a fantastic one and takes only 30 minutes tops. It only requires a few key ingredients and when you are done, you and your family of four can enjoy a delicious and healthy meal.
The main ingredients to make this dish are as follows:
- 1 one-pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 tablespoons of curry powder
- 2 cups of water
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 1 (8 ounces) can of tomato sauce
- 1 (8 ounces) package of jambalaya mix
- 1⁄2 cup of golden raisin
- 3⁄4 cup of plain yogurt
- 1⁄3 cup of chopped cashews
2. Rice Cooker Quinoa
While the rice cooker chicken curry is a fantastically flavorful dish, it does take a fair bit of ingredients. It also requires some preparations and you would most likely serve it only for lunch or dinner. But the rice cooker quinoa is a dish that you can eat whenever you feel like it.
The best part about this dish is that a lot of rice cookers come with separate settings for this very purpose. Even if you have a basic on and off style cooker, you can prepare it without any hassle at all.
The main ingredients you need to prepare this dish are:
- 1 cup of quinoa
- 2 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, you can also use water
- 1/2 tablespoons of salt
3. Rice Cooker Rice Pudding
We have given you the main dish, a dish you can eat whenever, and now we will be finishing up with a dessert. Rice pudding is a very tasty dessert that you can prepare in many ways. You can make it on a stove or an oven, but for the most hassle-free experience, you can use your rice cooker.
The ingredients are pretty simple, and you should have them in your home already. Just put them all in the cooker and set it to cook and it will be done before you know it.
Here are the main ingredients for this recipe:
- 2/3 cups of long grain or short grain rice, uncooked
- 4 cups of milk
- 1/3 cups of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What rice cooker do Asians recommend?
Asian rice cookers hold a special place in the hearts of people who like Asian cuisine. Most of the Asian brands that produce rice cookers care deeply about the quality of their dishes. So, it is hard to recommend just one unit. If you are looking for options, you will find ten of the best ones on our list of reviews.
2. Do most Asians use a rice cooker?
Not necessarily. Since Asians are already quite adept at cooking rice, a lot of them prefer to make it themselves. However, in a dietary establishment such as restaurants or sushi places, preparing rice in a short time is not always possible. Those establishments almost always make use of a rice cooker to reduce cooking time and hassle.
3. Do Chinese people use a rice cooker?
Yes, Chinese people do use a rice cooker if they want to make rice quickly and easily, as does any other people whose diet consists of rice as the main dish.
4. How to clean an Asian rice cooker?
Cleaning a rice cooker is essential to make sure you are eating healthy food. Gunk and residue from old food can accumulate quickly inside the pot of the cooker and cooking a fresh batch of rice in that condition is not very hygienic.
Thankfully, cleaning a rice cooker is pretty easy. First, unplug your unit and remove the inner pot and any other elements inside it. Then use a sponge or light cloth to scrub it using warm water.
Take out the water collector in the rice cooker and empty it. If your unit has a steam vent, you also want to remove and wipe it thoroughly. After you are done, put everything back in place and you are ready to use the rice cooker again.
5. How do I keep rice warm after cooking in the rice cooker?
Though cooking rice in the rice cooker takes only a few minutes, not everyone is ready to eat right away. So, it is essential to keep your food warm until everyone gets to the table.
Thankfully most Asian rice cookers come with a keep-warm function that, as the name suggests, keeps the food warm until it is ready to serve.
A rice cooker is a fantastic piece of kitchen appliance to buy even if you enjoy eating rice only occasionally. It takes the entire hassle of cooking rice out of the equation and ensures your meal is tasty, warm, and healthy. The capability of a rice cooker is not only limited to cooking rice, it can also make many other dishes.
We hope our article on the best Asian rice cookers could help you narrow down your favorite product. Good luck.