Best Japanese Rice Cooker 2023



Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT

Best Overall

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU

Best for the Money

Panasonic SR-G06FG

Best on a Budget

The Japanese and other Eastern speaking countries have been making rice for decades. Rice grows naturally in the East, and as such, Asian countries have had many years to perfect the art of rice cooking in general.

The production of rice cookers based on traditional Eastern meal philosophy and approved by expert Eastern chefs is gaining a lot of attention. The native Eastern understanding of rice, as well as how to cook the many different varieties, is something passed down from generation to generation, and now we get to reap the benefit from their vast knowledge and improve our own nutritional profiles!

In this article, you’ll learn all the “hard hitting” knowledge you need to make a smart Japanese rice cooker buying decision. Especially if you’re new to cooking with rice and how to incorporate it into meals, this article will teach you ALL the basics as well as tons of exclusive tips and tricks.


Best Japanese Rice Cooker

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer, Black and Stainless Steel

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT

3-cup capacity makes 6 cups of perfectly cooked cooked rice every time(Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary.)

The most popular rice cooker and our best Japanese rice cooker overall!
9.2 Total Score
Best Japanese Rice Cooker!

The most popular rice cooker and our best Japanese rice cooker overall!

User Rating: 4.6 (1 votes)

For those that have a bit more money to spend, and don’t mind paying a bit more than average, the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT is one of the best Japanese rice cookers money can buy. When mainstream rice cookers first started being turned out from the factory in 1945, they became more increasingly sophisticated, honed, and fine-tuned as time went on.

The Zojirushi company has gone to every possible length to ensure that their rice cookers are the very best in the marketplace. Through combining many years of collected knowledge about models of rice cookers, their flaws, and customer reports on their functioning, Zojirushi has been able to produce a rice cooker that performs above and beyond normal expectation.

The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT 3-Cup Rice Cooker creates an absolutely superior rice meal that’s second to none. You can find our full review of the Zojirushi NNS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker a bit further down this page.


Best Japanese Rice Cooker For The Money

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel Gray

Born in 1923, the Tiger Corporation has risen to the top of consumer “Wish Lists” by being one of the most respected producers of high quality home rice cookers. Not many companies out there can say they make a rice cooker as well designed, and one that lasts as long, as the Tiger brand.

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup

Keep-warm function up to 12 hours

The Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer represents the best combination of features/quality to price ratio that we could find. You can choose between 3 and 10 cup models, and base your purchase according to your needs.

The price of the Tiger JNP-S10-HU is mid-range affordable and definitely a step above average grade. Many families have owned their Tiger brand rice cookers for over 10 years and they still work great! A bit further down the page, you’ll find our full review of the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU, along with some really helpful tips on how to use it!


Best Japanese Rice Cooker On A Budget

Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)

If you’re just looking for a rice cooker that can get the job done and produce a great bowl of rice “on the cheap”, then look no further than the Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup Rice Cooker. Because it’s made by Panasonic, you can count on their success in being able to develop a rice cooker that’s not only affordable, but one that can produce a wide variety of high quality meals.

Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup

Make up to 3 Cups of uncooked rice with One-step Automatic cooking and shutoff, Just press the button and ready to go,

Sure, the internal parts and build quality of the Panasonic SR-G06FG might not be designed to stand up to loads of abuse or produce 10 cups of rice at once, but it does make a great unit for single people (college students, apartment renters, etc.) Together with the super-low asking price, you’ve got a gift that’s worth it’s weight in gold to people trying to save money on meals.

And in case you didn’t know, rice is one of the cheapest staple foods out there. But don’t let that fool you! Adding rice to your meals adds TONS of natural goodness, nutrition value, and calories, and does it for just pennies a day!

Why You  Need A Japanese Rice Cooker

When it comes to providing meals for yourself and your family, it helps to be able to make a wide variety of meal options. This helps to curb “food boredness” and keep household members happy with less meal frustration.

A Japanese rice cooker is designed to prepare rice exclusively, of course, but you can also use it to create TONS of other homemade meal ideas, such as :

  • Made-From-Scratch Oatmeal
  • Homestyle Porridge
  • Quinoa
  • Steamed Vegetables/Fish
  • Homemade Mac and Cheese
  • Sponge Cake
  • Homemade Bread
  • “Mahi Mahi”
  • Puddings
  • Soups
  • And More…

These cost to own one these rice cookers is TOTALLY AFFORDABLE! People on a budget, and people trying to save money to reach a goal, can create world class meals “On The Cheap”, benefit from an upgrade to homemade nutrition, and be able to save the cash they need at the same time!

Portable Convenience And Small Size That Can Go Anywhere!

Because Japanese rice cookers are so small, they’re easily portable! You can entertain guests and feed them to their hearts content, take your Japanese rice cooker on the road, use it for tailgate parties, picnics, camping, and even bring it to a friends house / lend it to them to teach them a new way to cook!

And you can really put these Japanese rice cookers to the test! Cooking prep meals for a full week, or even longer, is no match for their awesome build quality. And if you happen to break one, it’s no big deal to replace it because they’re so cheap!

What Makes A Great Rice Cooker – Buyer’s Guide

Here’s what to look for when it comes to choosing a great Japanese rice cooker! Knowing what features and options will serve you a purpose will help you decide on the model, type, and size you need without any confusion!

How Often Will You Be Using Your Rice Cooker? – Any rice cooker in the marketplace can handle being used occasionally, but if you’re a part of the food service industry, or you’ve got a large family (or more than one family!) to cook for, then you should consider a rice cooker with a rock-solid build quality and customer reviews that confirm it lasts for years of trouble-free use.

What Volume Cup Size Should I Buy? – Japanese rice cooker size options scale up from 3 cups all the way to 10, and can be found in 5 and 7 cup sizes as well. To figure out what size you need, create a list that details all possible cooking scenarios you could encounter, and base your purchasing decision on that. You don’t want to overspend for a model you don’t need, but at the same time you don’t want to be without the cooking bowl size that’s necessary to make meal preps work out.

Ease Of Use – Being able to use your rice cooker without having to consult a manual is important to any chef. A rice cooker is no good if it wears out its welcome with frustrating controls and options that are a nightmare to configure. Early models of rice cookers required that you stand by and assist (stirring), as well as manually unplug the unit when the meal was done (no timer feature).

Thankfully, most rice cookers use a single main control button and come with easy to understand operating instructions.

Adjustable Timer And Audible Beep – Having a timer allows you to adjust cooking times according to the recipe you’re preparing, as well as alert you with an audible “BEEP” when a meal is done or needs your attention.

Non-Stick Cooking Bowl – Cooking bowls in early models of rice cookers often finished off with food being burned on or sticky, so removing the meal from the bowl was often time consuming and frustrating. Cleanup was also difficult at times.

The inner cooking bowls of modern day rice cookers feature non-stick coatings that last for many years of use, and they’ll never leach any harmful toxins into your food. Meals come out easy, without any form of scraping required!

Multiple Settings For Different Types Of Rice Grain – If Japanese rice cookers were simplistic in their features and didn’t allow for adjustments, a lot of their value as a product would be lost. Most rice cookers have multiple settings that allow for cooking adjustments, and these settings work to assist with meals that don’t involve rice (breads, puddings, etc.) as well.


Keep Warm Feature – A keep warm feature is often useful to cooks because it gives them a small window of time to keep freshly prepared food hot before storing it away/serving it. But it can also make rice degrade/turn bad fast (even after only 12 hours of Keep Warm it goes bad)  and can ruin any type of meal if used in excess. Use Keep Warm responsibly!

Having a timer allows you to adjust cooking times according to the recipe you’re preparing, as well as alert you with an audible “BEEP” when a meal is done or needs your attention.

High Tech Cooking Element – The cooking element and internal circuitry of high-end rice cookers are A LOT more advanced than we’ve seen in years past. More expensive model rice cookers combine top-of-the-line technology along with standard rice cooking features, with truly amazing results.

Micom Fuzzy Logic, for example, is able to store your past cooking data in it’s memory bank so you can access it to create the same meal again and again, so the results are always perfect. This eliminates a lot of guesswork due to forgetfullness, and most cooks appreciate the additional peace of mind.

Affordable Price Tag – Because they’re so small in size, not a lot of raw materials are used in the production of rice cookers. But don’t let their small size fool you! You can easily make enough rice to satisfy hundreds of guests (if you’ve got enough time), with the power of just a single Japanese Rice Cooker!

This fact alone (small in size, cheap to build) ensures that companies like Tiger can sell them to you at a great price! And these little powerhouses of meal prep can easily save you THOUSANDS of dollars over store bought food in just a short period of time! This is true ESPECIALLY if you’ve got a large family to feed.

A Few Helpful Notes For Beginners – Learn To Cook With Rice Correctly

When considering rice meal prep, it helps to realize a few key aspects about rice itself.

#1 – There’s more than just one type of rice out there (i.e brown, white, wild, black, germ intact, long/medium/short grain), as well as more, and literally THOUSANDS of different rice recipes you can create.

#2 – There’s different grades of rice quality you can choose from according to your available budget.  The United States grades rice in the marketplace according to 3 factors : Degree Of Milling, Appearance (Color), Damaged (Broken) and Percentage Of Chalky Kernels.

#3 – A rice cooker in the marketplace is only going to make food that’s respectable in taste, nutrition, and storage ability if the quality of the rice seed is good enough. Inquiring about and researching the quality, as well as the type of rice you choose to prepare your meals with is key to how your meals end up turning out.


Best Japanese Rice Cooker – Full Review

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer, Black and Stainless Steel

The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom is considered to be one of the best models that money can buy, according to popular rice connoisseurs . It comes equipped with all the features basic models have, plus a number of high-tech, intelligent features that actually improve the way the final rice product (or meal you’re cooking in general) turns out.

Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT

3-cup capacity makes 6 cups of perfectly cooked cooked rice every time(Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary.)

The Zojirushi features the renowned Micom Fuzzy Logic microchip, stored safely inside the unit as an internal temperature sensor and memory bank. It remembers the exact steps you’ve taken to prepare your meals so you can “dial in” those exact same steps to be followed automatically whenever you need them!

It also detects the exact temperature in the room and uses the reading to help calculate when to activate/deactivate the heating element. There’s also temp sensors in the lid and center, so the Zojirushi always knows what to do so meals turn out succulent and delicious every single time!

It’s hard to find a fault in the craftsmanship of the Zojirushi, but if there’s any “downfall” to this product in any way, the only possibility would be the price tag. At well over a hundred dollars, it’s too expensive for some peoples budgets.

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Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer Features

3 Cup Uncooked Rice Capacity  – The Zojirushi can create a maximum of 6 cups of perfectly cooked rice per cycle (3 Cups Uncooked White Rice To 3 Cups Water) Different rice grains, such as black rice, will require a different ratio of rice to water.

Multiple Cooking Selections : This rice cooker also has multiple rice pre-sets you can select from, including :

Quick Cook

High Grade Non-Stick Inner Cooking Pan – The inner cook pan of the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3 Cup Rice Cooker provides a much more even heating experience for better cooking as well as easy to read measuring lines for precise ingredient and portion control. And its totally non-stick for the life of the unit!

Detachable Inner Lid – Cleaning, controlling dryness levels, and keeping your meal warm and away from air degradation is easy with the detachable lid.

Easy-To-Read LCD Control Panel – The LCD control panel of this rice cooker allows you to see at a glance the status, as well as make finger press selections to control how the rice turns out.   Keep Warm, Two Option Delay, Harder, Softer, Reset, Mixed, Porridge, Sweet, Brown, etc.

Retractable Power Cord – It’s easy to store this unit away with the retractable power cord. There’s never any cord laying about to get in your way!

Space-Saving Design – The Zojirushi only uses a very small amount of counter space with nearly zero excess bulk footprint. It can fit in the smallest of kitchens with no problem at all!

Includes Measuring Cup, Nonstick Rice Spatula, and Spatula Holder – The Zojirushi comes as a complete set, and allows you to take the unit “on the road” without having to sacrifice additional kitchen utensils in the process. The convenient holder tucks away the spatula when not in use.


Best Japanese Rice Cooker For The Money

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Steel Gray

As you may have noticed, most of our reviews follow the same general outline. We present an introduction, then a series of products well known to be the best deals, as well as a full review of each of those products for an up-close view and explanation of the features.

Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup

Keep-warm function up to 12 hours

We also provide valuable ownership/usage tips based on actual customer feedback you can use to get the best use out of it. Finally, we provide a conclusion of our findings to wrap things up.

As our best rice cooker for the money spent pick, the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5 Cup Rice Cooker provides a whopping 2.5 cups more capacity than competing 3 cup models in the marketplace.

The price tag on the JNP-S10U-HU reflects the Tiger Corporation committment to quality. A single Tiger rice cooker can last you 15 years or more quite easily! You’d expect to pay more for superior quality like this, but nope, Tiger is as affordable as it gets. Sure, you could purchase a lower end “No-Name” model, but you’d always be wondering in the back of your mind if it’s going to last for the long haul.

With the Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5 Cup Rice Cooker, there’s no guesswork involved, as everyone who knows rice knows that Tiger stands behind their products 100%. They provide a no questions asked, money back guarantee if it breaks under normal conditions.

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Tiger JNP-S10U-HU 5.5-Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker and Warmer Features

5.5 Cup Uncooked Rice Capacity – The great thing about the Tiger JNP-S10-HU is that it’s appropriate for single people AND families at the same time. Prepare a small amount for a single sitting, or cook all day for meal storage and entertaining guests. The JNP-S10U-HU is great for both!

And remember, the more rice you prepare at one time, the longer you can use the Keep-Warm function without the rice becoming dry.

Keep-Warm Function Up To 12 Hours – Rice stays soft, fluffy, and moist for up to 12 hours in the Tiger JNP-S10-HU with no problems at all! Other rice cookers are well known for failing in comparison to legendary Tiger quality in this respect. Customer reports of being able to leave the rice on “Keep-Warm” for a whopping 2 days, was found to be perfectly edible with no burning!

Non-stick Pan – The inner cook bowl of the Tiger JNP-SS10U-HU 5.5 Cup is high quality, and you can expect your meals to come out of the cook bowl without any muss, fuss, or hassle. No matter what you’re cooking, it refuses to stick!

Retractable Power Cord – Storing this rice cooker away is easy to do. The cord retracts into the cooker itself, saving you valuable storage space that would otherwise be used by cookers that feature a free-standing cord.

Spatula And Rice Measuring Cup – The JNP-S10U-HU comes complete with everything you need. The Spatula and Measuring Cup allows you to travel appropriately with the complete unit and never have to use your home kitchen utensils.

Removable / Washable Steam Vent – Proper cleaning of this rice cooker is crucial to the quality of the meal, as well as the health and safety of the people eating it. Being able to wash the steam vent provides you with an additonal way to ensure that your rice cooker isn’t harboring any dangerous bacterial growth.


Best Japanese Rice Cooker On A Budget

Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup (Uncooked) Rice Cooker (Silver)

For people that need to save the most, the Panasonic SR-G06FG is one of the most affordable options that’s built well enough to satisfy first time rice cookers. Some people simply need a simple rice cooker that doesn’t do much else, and for those people this model makes perfect sense.

Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup

Make up to 3 Cups of uncooked rice with One-step Automatic cooking and shutoff, Just press the button and ready to go,

Not only will you recoup the cost of buying it within the first six months of ownership, but you’ll also learn how to use rice cookers in general for the “long haul”. If you wind up burning a few meals while learning, no problem! The super cheap price tag allows you to learn to cook rice without fear before stepping up to a higher end models that have more features and a higher price tag.

Once armed with rice cooking experience and know-how, you’ll be much less prone to making beginner mistakes that could damage higher end rice cookers that cost a lot more but create a better quality meal.

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Panasonic SR-G06FG Automatic 3.3 Cup Rice Cooker Features

3 Cup Uncooked Rice Capacity – You can make a total of 6 cups of cooked white rice at once with the Panasonic SR-G06FG. It’s not the highest capacity out there, that’s for sure, but it’s more than enough for single people and small families.

One-Step Auto-Cook and Auto-Shutoff – With the Panasonic SR-G06FG, it couldn’t be easier. Just press the button and it does the rest automatically. And with the Auto-Shutoff, there’s never any risk of scorched food.

See-Thru Glass Lid  – The see through lid allows you to check on the progress of your rice without having to disturb the cooking process. And because it’s glass, it’s guaranteed to never warp and last a lifetime.

Non-Stick Coated Aluminum Pan – The non-stick coated aluminum pan makes for perfect meal preps that are never difficult to remove. Once you’re done with one meal, you can remove it fast and easy so you can keep the prep work going and get the next meal started right away!

310 Watts of Power Consumption – 310 watts may seem like a lot, but considering that a rice cooker isn’t on for all that long for most people, it doesn’t add up to excessive energy usage. It uses about the same amount of power as a small desktop PC.

Includes Measuring Cup and Rice Scoop,

Multi-Lingual (English, French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese) Operating Instruction Manual – The instruction manual teaches you fast and easy how to use the cooker in easy to understand black and white text.

Special Note : The Panasonic SR-G06FG is not recommended for use with Brown rice.

Japanese Rice Cookers – Other Considerations

Let’s Talk Facts!

There’s a countless number of kitchen appliances you could choose to use in order to prepare your food. Some people who earn a high job salary have HUGE kitchens with enough cabinet space (and enough money to fill it up!) to house a separate appliance for each specific food type they want to prepare.

The key lesson here is that a Japanese Rice Cooker has multi-meal prep ability and honest-to-goodness VALUE.

For example, a breadmaker for making bread exclusively, a rice cooker for making rice exclusively, a crock pot for stews and meat exclusively, individual  (and expensive) pearing knives for fine food detailing work,  etc. For those of us with normal jobs and limited budgets, strategizing to use our money in the most efficient way possible is key.

A Japanese Rice Cooker Is A Real Life “Jack Of All Trades”

A Japanese rice cooker makes rice like a champion, yes, but it also works wonderfully well to help create a wide array of other meal items too. It can keep a meal warm until you or your significant other get home, it can be cooking your meal while you run errands, etc. And once you get the hang of using one, you can prepare “a whole slew” of different meal creations and make the prep work around your schedule, not against it.

The key lesson here is that a Japanese Rice Cooker has multi-meal prep ability and honest-to-goodness VALUE.

A rice cooker is one of the items that you can spend money on, and know proof-positive and without a doubt that it’s money well spent. There’s so many different meal options, plus the build quality is designed to be rock-solid, which means you could cook for an entire army and they still wouldn’t break!

Most people would agree that such a versatile appliance, that’s able to create so many different meals (thousands upon thousands of them), while being ridiculously affordable, is a surefire winner for any family out there!


Just like a slow cooker (also known as a Crock Pot), a Japanese rice cooker adds a lot of quick and easy meal ability to a kitchen. While a slow cooker is more appropriate for meats, stews, Bar-B-Que, and other liquid based meals that can take half a day or longer to cook, a rice cooker excels at drier meals that require less cooking time. Look At It Like This Slow Cooker Crock Pot : Wet/Liquid/Meat Meals With Longer Cooking Time Japanese Rice Cooker : Drier Meals That Require Much Less Cooking Time Especially If you’re in a hurry, a rice cooker can be one of your very best kitchen allies. It provides you with the time you need to do chores, take care of kids, attend meetings, etc. Hectic schedules are no match for the power of a Japanese rice cooker! There’s literally thousands of meal ideas that take only a few minutes to prep, store in a bag, and freeze. Then, whenever you need a quick meal, you just grab it out of the freezer, dump into the cooker bowl, turn it on, and that’s it! When you come back in a few hours, it’s ready to serve! So, in conclusion, for a quick and easy, affordable way to make mouth watering meals that taste worlds better than frozen pizza or hot pockets, a Japanese rice cooker is what you need!

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