Best Rice Cooker Brand Reviews

Thousands of rice cookers and dozens of rice cooker brands, no wonder it’s so intimidating and time-consuming when it comes to shopping for one.

Like everything else in life, the 80/20 rule applies in evaluating rice cookers. Let’s look at a few major brands of rice cookers in terms of who they are, their design philosophy, types of rice cookers, and price-value proposition. This guide will be a high-level overview.

Table of Contents (click a title to jump ahead)
Aroma Rice Cookers | Zojirushi Rice Cookers | Sanyo Rice Cookers | Panasonic Rice Cookers |

Aroma Rice Cookers

aroma-arc-150sb-20-cup-rice-cooker

aroma-arc-150sb-20-cup-rice-cooker

Overview

Based in San Diego, California, Aroma Housewares Company has been in business for over 25 years.

Aroma is no stranger to many American households with its wide range of small household appliances from coffee maker, rice cooker, food warming tray, pressure cooker, toaster and so on.

Design

Aroma’s business philosophy is to enrich consumers lives by designing and manufacturing household appliances with function, form and value. Aroma’s products are simple, ergonomic, easy-to-use and durable.

Types of Rice Cookers

There are two types of rice cookers. One is pot-style and the other cool-touch. Pot-style rice cookers are the conventional electric rice cookers with cooking and “Keep Warm” functions. It’s simple to use with the one-touch operation and great for cooking basic white rice.

The cool-touch rice cookers are a step up in the product lineup. They are cool to the touch from the outside and operated through digital controls. They are more versatile in cooking different types of rice such as white, brown and can also be used as slow cookers.

Some of the rice cookers come with a steam tray where you can steam vegetables and so on either with rice or separately. There are models of rice cookers with stainless steel inner pot if the material is of concern to you.

Aroma’s rice cooker capacity is measured in cooked rice vs. Japanese’s uncooked rice. It also carries a line of commercial rice cookers.

Price

Aroma rice cookers are more affordable than the high-end rice cookers. Price ranges from $20 to $100.

The Verdict

Aroma’s rice cookers represent simplicity, durability and good value. If you are looking for the sleekest design and the most advanced fuzzy logic technology, you should consider a Japanese rice cooker.

zojirushi-ns-zcc10-18-rice-cookers

zojirushi-ns-zcc10-18-rice-cookers

Zojirushi Rice Cookers

Overview

Zojirushi is well-known for its innovation and cutting-edge technology in the household appliance market. Based in Osaka, Japan, Zojirushi is a formidable player with significant market share in Japan, Southeast Asia and the United States. Being in business for over 90 years, Zojirushi has three product lines: cooking, living and commercial products.

Design

Zojirushi’s design strength is minimalistic, modern and refined.

Types of Rice Cookers

True to its solid reputation in the world, Zojirushi has the most advanced technology and an impressive lineup of rice cookers from conventional, micom (micro-computerized chip), fuzzy/neuro fuzzy logic, induction heating to pressurized rice cookers. Zojirushi’s rice cookers are designed with the most menu settings for cooking different types of rice, grains and meals.

Price

Zojirushi is a more expensive brand among them all. Most rice cookers fall between $100 to $400.

The Verdict

If you are looking for innovative products, sophisticated design and an array of menu options, look no further.

Zojirushi products are not best known for multi-functional features.

sanyo-ecj-hc100s-10-cup-rice-slow-cooker

sanyo-ecj-hc100s-10-cup-rice-slow-cooker

Sanyo Rice Cookers

Sanyo is a Fortune 500 consumer electronic company headquartered in Moriguchi, Osaka, Japan. Between 2009 and 2010, Sanyo was acquired by Panasonic in two transactions and has become a subsidiary of Panasonic.

Design

The unique design element with Sanyo rice cookers is multi-functional in nature. The rice cooker can do several jobs: a rice cooker, a steamer, a slow cooker and a bread-maker. The models have some of the features or all.

From the aesthetic standpoint, Sanyo rice cookers are not as sleek and stylish as Zojirushi. They are more square-looking.

Types of Rice Cookers

Like many others, Sanyo carries both conventional as well as digital/computerized rice cookers.

Price

Since Sanyo is known for being a mid-market manufacturer in electronics, it’s true in the rice cookers priced from $20 to $200.

The Verdict

Sanyo definitely designs and manufacturers solid rice cookers with multiple functionality, whether it’s for steaming vegetables, slow-cooking meals or making tofu from scratch. It doesn’t have the most stylish design and the wide selections of menu setting.

panasonic-sr-ms183-10-cup-rice-cooker

panasonic-sr-ms183-10-cup-rice-cooker

Panasonic Rice Cookers

Panasonic Corporation is another Japanese electronics company with footprints worldwide. Based in Kodoma, Osaka, Japan, its main business is manufacturing electronics. Panasonic also offers non-electronic products such as home renovation services.

Design

Panasonic is known for its domed lid and the Binchotan charcoal inner pot. The domed lid prevents water from falling on on rice to preserve the texture of the cooked rice. The Binchotan white charcoal is best for promoting the best color, aroma and taste by its absorption ability of the undesired smell and taste from the tap water.

The look-and-feel of Panasonic rice cookers is functional, but uninspiring.

Types of Rice Cookers

The same story goes here with a line of traditional and computerized rice cookers.

Price

The price of Panasonic rice cookers is between Aroma and Sanyo, more on the affordable side between $20 to $150.

The Verdict

Another great brand of rice cookers to service your basic needs. The biggest selling point in my mind is the Binchotan charcoal inner point for culinary as well as for health reasons. The choices are limited and they tend to look bulky.

Conclusion

As you can see, there is no shortage of rice cookers to choose from whether you are into design, quality and options. Overall, the Japanese brands are more expensive and more sophisticated in design and technology. The Japanese rice cookers are smaller in capacity. On the other hand, the Aroma rice cookers are fool-proof and get the job done at an affordable price.

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