Why a rice cooker? Because cooking fluffy, flavorful and moist rice on the stovetop on a consistent basis requires far too much time and attention. Sure, you could probably do it, but why not free up your time and attention to focus on other things?
I liken it to when I first got a water boiler and start of the art toaster for tea and breakfast. Got a precious extra 20 minutes every morning because I had instant hot water waiting and a perfectly toasted bagel.
We took a detailed look at two heavyweight Japanese rice cookers manufactured by top brands Tiger and Zojirushi. We’re fans of many of their products for their design, performance durability and their rice cookers are no exception.
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Neuro Fuzzy Rice Cooker and Warmer
This is highly regarded as one of the best overall rice cookers you can buy and is a good value considering that it has a ton of features and will last for several years.
I’m not a chef by any means but I like eating different types of rice with my meals. In addition to white rice, I like long grain, brown rice, basmati etc…
Unlike most rice cookers, the Zojirushu cooks any type of grain I throw at it, uses its fuzzy logic micro computer brain to tweak cooking settings on the fly, and delivers me fluffy and evenly cooked rice every time.
The only downside is that for those times I want anything other than white rice, it could take an hour to cook. I guess good things take time but I’m known to be a bit impatient at times.
You could technically use the timer to program the Zojirushi to start cooking hours in advance so maybe I’m being too harsh. But anyway, as far as the specifics:
- -Smooth white exterior finish with aluminum inner non stick inside container.
- -Stay cool side handles on the inner pan so you don’t burn yourself make it easier to transport rice from cooker to kitchen table.
- -Removable and easily washable inner lid and detachable pan.
- -Retractable power cord and handle so can transport and store it.
- -Choose from rice white sushi rice, soft rice, hard rice, porridge(breakfast oatmeal), brown rice and then press cooker to let it do its job.
- -Fuzzy Logic Feature: It’s foolproof. You can mess up the ratio of water to rice and the Zojirushi’s smart enough to make adjustments to moisture and temperature in order to compensate and turn out great tasting rice.
- -Its triple heaters heat the rice from all sides to heat the rice evenly.
- -Has a timer to delay cooking start for up to 13 hours to be ready when you get home from work.
- -Keep warm mode for up to 12 hours once rice has been cooked. Or keep it warm for another 8 hours at a lower temperature.
- -Reheat cycle then brings it back to serving temperature.
- -Notification: a cute little jingle to notify you when your rice is done cooking.
- -Accessories: Spatula for scooping out the rice, a rinse free and regular rice cup. Note that the rice cooker cups are only about ¾ the size of a standard measuring cup.
- -Capacity: Available in 5.5 cups (1 liter) or 10 cups (1.8 liters). Get the 10 cup size if cooking frequently for the whole family but 5.5 cups should be more than enough otherwise.
Why You should Get It:
-It has neurofuzzy microcomputer so it thinks for itself kind of like an actual cook would so it makes adjustments to cooking time and temperature according to the type of grain and its amount to ensure firm, plump, and separate evenly cooked rice.
-If you’re a demanding customer who is after top quality flavor and texture, you really can’t beat the Zojirushi. Thousands of people on Amazon seem to think so too.
Why You Shouldn’t:
- -Slow. Takes a long time to cook rice.
- -More expensive than the Tiger JBV.
- -Only makes rice, no other foods which is great of course if that’s all you need it for.
Tiger JBV-A10U-W 5.5-Cup Micom Rice Cooker
The Tiger is also another established Japanese brand so I had to give their rice cooker a shot as well and I must say I’m impressed.
First and foremost, this isn’t just a rice cooker. Its also a slow cooker, steamer and warmer and comes with an upper tray that you place on top of the inner container in the rice cooker that allows you to cook protein and rice at the same time.
With the push of a button, you can choose between cooking settings and voila, you’ve got a whole meal prepared for you in one device.
This is made possible by the Tiger’s Micom technology – its cooking logic system, which is short for a microcomputer that helps control the cooking process by adjusting time and temperature in order to adjust for the type of food being cooked.
- -White solid body with clear LED screen that allow for push button navigation and operation to choose between cooking plain rice, brown rice, steaming or synchronized cooking
- -Tacook cooking plate (orange upper tray) placed on top of the inner container to allow for simultaneous cooking
- -Micom cooking logic that allows for adjustments in time and temperature.
- -Easy navigation one touch operation: Choose from rice white sushi rice, soft rice, hard rice, porridge, brown rice and then press cooker to let it do its job.
- -Easy to clean non stick inner pan.
- -Keep warm settings
- -Detachable inner steam cap
Why You Should Get it:
It has the ability to cook different types of rice and perhaps more importantly, slow cook and steam proteins simultaneously with its upper tray. It comes with a recipe cookbook. It’s also more affordable than the Zojirushi.
Why You Shouldn’t:
- -No notification to let you know when your food is ready.
- -As noted by several chefs and reviewers, for perfectly cooked rice, the Zojirushi still does a better job.
- -The lid isn’t removable for easy cleaning.
Our Take: If you want the versatility to cook a number of different meals at an affordable price, get the Tiger Rice Cooker. However, if you’re after a cooker that will produce perfectly cooked rice for several years and are willing to invest a little more, get the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy.