Induction Rice Cooker: What’s All The Fuss About?

rice

Induction rice cookers are fast becoming known as the best way to achieve better flavor and better texture from your rice at home. If you eat rice, you need an induction rice cooker.

This is high tech cooking at its best. If you take your rice cooking seriously, this is the perfect product for you. If you’ve cooked rice with an ordinary rice cooker in the past you’ll notice the difference when you switch to induction cooking.

These rice cookers are far more intelligent than your ordinary kitchen appliance. They are technologically superior, computerized and use fuzzy logic in combination with induction heating to produce better results.

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Are induction rice cookers better?

The models we review here are induction heating high pressure rice cookers.

The advantage of both induction and high pressure is faster cooking and more consistent heat to produce better results in your rice. You can use a variety of different types of rice and you’ll achieve superior results with each.
Induction Rice Cooker at Amazon.com
You can get an induction heating rice cooker that talks to you, one that has NFC capability for Android and there are others that alkalize the water before cooking commences.

Most models provide a keep warm function and have a timer for delayed start up to 24 hours in advance. Most will also provide a slow cook function so you can make stews and soups. Induction rice cookers are also great for making oatmeal.

Why would I buy an induction rice cooker?

rice heartIf you cook a lot of rice you would be wise to invest in one of these modern high tech appliances.

You will notice the difference in your rice.

Most of these induction rice cookers are made in Japan, Korea or China. If you have visited friends in one of these countries you may have experienced the high quality result from one of these rice cookers.

By using an induction pressure rice cooker you can get even heat throughout the bowl.

Unlike a standard electric rice cooker which cooks from the bottom up, the induction heating provides heat all around the rice and the high pressure allows the temperature to get much hotter so that it penetrates the food into its center.

Cooking with an induction rice cooker produces a better texture in the rice, you have more control over the result and the rice has more flavor.

One of these reasons alone would be a good reason to buy one of these high tech rice cookers but all together they are more than convincing.

Induction Rice Cookers

Are they expensive?

If you speak to people who already own one, they’re sure to tell you they’re worth the money.

An induction rice cooker costs a lot more than a standard electric rice cooker so you’ll only want to spend the money if you cook quite a lot of rice. Having said that, most models also allow you to cook oatmeal and other dishes.

Most models will let you slow cook and they offer a warming function. Some even have a bread baking function.

You should expect to pay between $200 and $600 for an induction rice cooker. If you find one cheaper you’ll need to check whether it really is using induction heating and pressure cooking to cook your rice.

rice and cashewsThere are many electric rice cookers for a cheaper price but they don’t offer the same benefits. At the high-end there are also more expensive induction rice cooker models that cost thousands of dollars.

Once you buy an induction rice cooker you won’t want to go back to ordinary cooked rice.
It will let you enjoy the best result at home with little effort. If you enjoy eating rice, this product is a great investment.

How do I choose the best induction rice cooker?

A lot of home cooks rely on an electric rice cooker. Many of the brands that make induction rice cookers also make a standard electric type as well.

You may already be familiar with one of the brands and have a preference, especially if you’ve been using the same rice cooker for the last decade and you know the brand is reliable.

Brands like Zojirushi (Japanese), Cuckoo (Korean) and Tiger (Japanese) are very popular and well respected.

Induction Rice Cooker

The Tiger JKT-S10U-K is an Induction Rice Cooker with a Bread Making Function.

When choosing an induction rice cooker the first decision is what size you need. Most models offer either 1L (5.5 cups) or 1.8L (10 cups). The cup measurement refers to uncooked rice.

Decide whether you need the scorch setting to toast rice for certain recipes.

Also think about whether you want to use it to cook other foods like meat, vegetables, eggs and poultry. If you want to bake bread this could be another option.

Once you know the size you need and the functions you want to use you’re ready to look at the fine details. Each review will help you with the specifics.

Do I need a high amp electrical socket?

An induction rice cooker is a stand-alone product. It does not require an induction cooktop to work.

It can be plugged into a normal 110V, 15amp socket and operate independently from a cooktop.

It will usually have a handle on top with a locking lid and is easy to transport.

The power cable is either retractable or may be wound around the base of the appliance for storage.

How do I use it?

The primary use is for rice but you can use your induction rice cooker for many other foods too.

Best induction rice cooker for vegetables With some induction rice cookers they can be used for steaming vegetables. You can save time on vegetables and there is no need to monitor the process in a double boiler. You can set and forget an induction rice cooker with the correct amount of water and let the appliance do the cooking for you. You can get a perfect result without having to prod your vegetables.

The slow cooking function on some rice cookers can be set on a timer to cook your meal when you want it. You can usually set the timer 24 hours in advance.

You can cook stews or soups. In the morning you can use your induction rice cooker to cook oatmeal and if you put it on the timer overnight it will turn on and cook in time for when you rise in the morning.

Some models come with a bread making option and this is very useful if you are short on space in your kitchen.

It is to your advantage if one appliance can offer the convenience of multiple functions.

The warming mode is also useful. You can use it for your rice immediately after cooking it.

You can also use the warming function to keep other foods like soup warm before serving. This is especially useful when you’re entertaining.

Reviews

Each of the following induction rice cookers includes the following features:

Induction cooking
Timer
Delayed start
Easy cleaning
Detachable and washable lid
Multiple rice cooking options
Warming function

In addition to the features above, each product has its own special features and these are reviewed below.

The difference in price is usually reflected in the size/capacity of the induction rice cooker and the number of settings available.

There are additional reasons why people pay more for the high-end models. Some of these features are highlighted below in our reviews.

Review 1:  Most affordable induction rice cooker – Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT

Induction Rice Cooker
 

This Zojirushi Induction Rice Cooker is a 3-cup capacity model. Rice cups measurements refer to uncooked rice and are measured at 180ml capacity and are therefore smaller than an ordinary measuring cup.

This rice cooker is perfect for one to two people because it can cook as little as half a cup of rice. It is also ideal for small families who can use up to 3 cups of rice.

How much power?

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT provides 700 watts of power. It is one of the smaller induction rice cookers available and is very affordable.

This model does not use high pressure in conjunction with the induction heating.

It is an induction rice cooker without the pressure cooker function. This makes it less expensive yet it still produces superior results using induction cooking.

Does it have enough settings?

sushi riceThe settings include white/mixed rice, brown, GABA brown, sushi, rinse-free, quick cooking and porridge/oatmeal. There is also a keep warm function.

Home cooks have used this rice cooker for foods other than rice, like whole grains, but there is no setting for produce like barley, quinoa and couscous.

It is up to you to find the correct setting for whole grains but it can be done.

One limitation on this model is that is does not have a reheat setting. Because the bowl size is smaller it is not expected that you will have rice left over and need to use a reheat function.

On the larger capacity Zojirushi induction rice cookers they include the reheat option.

If you want to make one batch of rice and reheat it later you should consider the larger, albeit more expensive, models which hold either 5.5 cups or 10 cups of uncooked rice.

This model is also not intended to be a multi-cooker. There isn’t a setting to steam vegetables or do other cooking like the larger Zojirushi induction rice cookers.

oatmealThis induction rice cooker is perfect for oatmeal and especially handy for steel cut oats which usually take a long time to cook. If you set the timer you can put your oatmeal on the night before and have it automatically done for you in the morning.

What is the bowl made of?

The bowl inside the appliance is made from a double layer of stainless steel and aluminum. The inner aluminum part is coated with a non-stick coating made of PTFE.

The non-stick coating makes cleaning very easy. Often you need only wipe the dry bowl with a dry piece of kitchen paper towel to remove the rice residue, no washing required.

If you are going to be carrying the rice cooker around a lot you should know that induction heating requires the stainless steel component in the bowl to operate.

This makes the rice cooker heavier than non-induction models but is a common requirement across all induction rice cookers.

With the advantages induction heating offers, the extra weight of the bowl is a small disadvantage to consider.

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT 3-cup induction rice cooker is perfect for smaller households and comes at a very affordable price. It offers enough settings to be able to use every day for different meals and produces perfect rice.

This model lets you enjoy your rice done beautifully in an induction rice cooker without a huge price tag.

Some stores have the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT for $275. If you find it online for under $250 I’d say that’s a good deal (especially if it includes shipping). The best price I found is Here.

Review 2:  Best family induction rice cooker – Zojirushi NP-NVC18

Induction Rice Cooker
 

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10/Zojirushi NP-NVC18 induction rice cooker comes in two sizes, the 5.5 cup (1 liter) and the 10 cup (1.8 liter) maximum capacity. The cup measurements refer to uncooked rice cups of 180ml each.

Which size is best?

If you have a large family opt for the larger model. Also consider, if you eat rice at breakfast and at dinner you may want to make a larger batch of rice in the morning and keep it warm during the day to use at night as well.

In this situation you would want to consider buying the larger one for convenience. The larger size is also great for entertaining.

Are there different settings?

This induction rice cooker offers superior features compared to the less expensive models offered by Zojirushi. It includes a lot of variety in settings.

There is a setting to cook brown rice so it is preheated and cooked on a lower setting for longer so it doesn’t become mushy.

There is also a separate special setting for GABA brown rice to activate an amino acid in the rice which is believed to provide superior health benefits.

sushi rice dishThe mixed rice setting allows you to cook your rice with added flavors or ingredients in a way that they won’t boil over. The porridge setting is great for perfect oatmeal. The scorched setting lightly toasts the rice so it is crispy which is ideal for certain recipes. There is a setting for sushi rice which will be handled after being cooked and needs to be slightly firmer.

You can also use the steam-reduce setting, the keep warm or extended keep warm setting or the re-heat function.

In addition to all of these there is an automatic keep warm function which kicks in automatically after rice has finished cooking and maintains the temperature of the rice at serving temperature for up to 12 hours.

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10/Zojirushi NP-NVC18 is an amazing appliance for cooking rice but it is not a multi-cooker. It does not offer the option of cooking stews, vegetables or fish.

As you will see below it has extra features to enhance your rice and these are not offered by other brands of rice cookers but if you want your rice cooker to act as a multi-cooker please see the information below about the Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN induction rice cooker.

What is the umami setting?

An added function you may not have seen on your old rice cooker is the umami setting.

Umami is the fifth sensation of taste after sweetness, sourness, saltiness and bitterness. Umami is familiar to the Japanese and is described as a pleasant savory taste.

bag of riceThe umami setting combines longer soaking time with a special cooking time and extended steaming time at the end.

During the soaking period the sugar contained in the rice is released into the cooking water. It is then reattached to the surface of the rice during cooking and the whole process combines to produce a more flavorsome result.

Is it made with platinum?

There is another unusual feature on this induction rice cooker. The surface of the bowl is coated in platinum particles.

Zojirushi NP-NVC18 and NVC10 Best Induction Rice CookerYou may associate platinum with expensive jewelry but this platinum is not being used to enhance the aesthetics of the rice cooker.

The platinum is used to combine with the cooking water in the bowl with the rice and change the water to become more alkaline.

This in turn breaks down a protein on the surface of the rice grains and allows the water to be better absorbed. The result is sweeter and tastier cooked rice.

There are plenty of reviews from people who own this induction rice cooker who say it is the best rice they’ve tasted.

The alkalized water seems to make quite a difference to the end result.

What is MICOM?

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10/Zojirushi NP-NVC18 induction rice cooker contains a microcomputer chip (MICOM) and utilizes fuzzy logic. It is used to learn from your previous cooking about how to better cook your rice in future batches.

The rice cooker provides you with consistent results no matter what the season. It adjusts the temperature and other settings without the need for manual correction.

It learns what it needs to do and gives you the advantage of adjusted soaking, cooking and steaming times to produce a consistent result. This all happens automatically.

rice mealIf you are prepared to pay a little more for your rice cooker and you have a large family, or you like to cook a lot of rice, this induction rice cooker is ideal.

It is perfect for entertaining, especially if you own the 1.8 liter model, and the various settings are not only convenient but they produce better tasting rice.

Some stores which had the Zojirushi NP-NVC18 10-cup for $430 have sold out. If you can find it for around $430 this is a good price. And if there’s free shipping, grab it. HERE is the best price I found.

You can get the 5.5 cup model online for under $400. The best price I found on the Zojirushi NP-NVC18 5.5-cup is Here.

Review 3:  Best high-end induction rice cooker – Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN

Induction Rice Cooker
 

This Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN induction rice cooker not only does all the work for you but it talks to you as well.

It can speak to you in three languages, Korean, English and Chinese. The voice navigation talks you through the settings.

It is a large 10 cup capacity (1.8 liter) induction rice cooker.

Full stainless steel

Induction Rice CookerIt is a full stainless steel model. The exterior is a fingerprint proof stainless surface with a stainless steel lid and cover which can be detached for easy cleaning.

The interior bowl is stainless steel with a non-stick coating to ensure your rice does not stick and burn on the bowl.

Smart technology

Cuckoo utilizes smart cooking algorithm technology. It claims to be the most advanced technology to automate heat, pressure, time and power consumption.

By combining these elements with Cuckoo’s smart coating technology on the rice cooking bowl they achieve better taste in your cooked rice.

Multi-function cooker


chicken soup with induction rice cooker
This induction rice cooker is a multi-function cooker which includes 19 settings. It includes all the usual settings you’d expect to see on a rice cooker as well as GABA-brown rice, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, chicken soup and bread fermenting/proofing and bread baking.

It even has a bread making function. When you want to make bread there are two settings.

The first is the Ferment Bread setting. You can set this between 5 and 120 minutes. Once you start this function a voice tells you the process is beginning.

You can ferment/proof your bread twice and knead it in between.

BreadAfter the second fermentation process you check that your dough is 1.5 to 2 times increased in volume and then you can move on to the bread baking function.

The available baking time is between 1 and 80 minutes. The voice tells you when to select the setting and when the bread baking is starting.

The multi-function advantage means you can also cook meat, poultry, fish, eggs and vegetables.

Steel cut oats and grains can also be cooked in this induction rice cooker using induction heating and pressure cooking to cook faster and better.

NFC technology

The Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN comes with NFC technology for Android users which you can use to set your rice cooker and discover new recipes.

The NFC communication is available in English.  This function allows you to control the rice cooker from your phone and it means you can be very specific in starting the rice cooker in exactly the mode you want it to be in.

By using NFC communication your android smart phone can send new settings to the Smart Menu on the Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN to include settings that were not pre-programmed in the rice cooker.

sushi rice mealMost people who buy the Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN induction rice cooker will do so for the better flavoured and better textured rice. However, with 19 settings to choose from, you may find yourself using it for a lot of your cooking.

Steaming vegetables is easy and quick and if you like steel cut oats for breakfast this appliance will save you time and produce perfect results.

With induction heating and pressure cooking combined with a large capacity bowl and so many settings you’ll enjoy the convenience this rice cooker offers.

Some stores are out of stock of the Cuckoo CRP-CHSS1009FN and you may see it online for sale for over $1,000! Do NOT be tempted to pay that much for it. It is still available for under $600 (not necessarily including shipping). The best price I found is HERE.

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