Best Japanese Rice Cooker

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Find perfect, money saving alternatives to expensive brand products!

Best Japanese Rice Cooker

Outsmart Brands - Brand Product

Bestselling Brand

Zojirushi NS-TSC10

Outsmart Brands - Smart Alternative

Smart Alternative

Aroma ARC-150SB

Overview

For some of us, cooking rice just doesn’t come easy. Sure, some of the rice will turn out fine--usually a small layer in the middle of the dried crust on top and the burnt crust on the bottom of the pot--but it could definitely use some improvement. Sometimes, the best option is to hand over a duty to a machine. In this case, an electric rice pot, or rice cooker.

The Japanese eat a lot of rice, hence why Japanese rice cookers are much-acclaimed among the rice-eating community. If a Japanese rice cooker is good enough for people who are well-versed in cooking rice, then they must be pretty good rice cookers. The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is a bestselling Japanese rice cooker that comes widely recommended, and for good reason: it’s one of the best rice cookers around for people who have a serious grain habit. But we saw its high price and knew there had to be a comparable alternative that could perform just as well. After extensive reviews and testing of cheap rice cooker models, we found that the best cheap rice cooker alternative to the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is the Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB.

If you’re looking for a good rice cooker, but still aren’t sure whether to go for the brand or try out our alternative, maybe our reviews and comparison will help you make up your mind.

Who Should Buy The Brand

The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is a multi-tasking rice cooker available in 11-cup and 20-cup models. It is designed to handle just about any kind of rice or grain you can throw at it, whether you want plain cooked rice, porridge, a steamed cake, or to steam a side dish while your rice cooks. It does all of this with “fuzzy logic” technology that helps it make more complex decisions than other rice cookers. If you like to eat many types of rice in many forms, multiple times a day, the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is most likely the best rice cooker for you. If you aren’t sure you’ll use the many features the NS-TSC10 offers, take a look at the simpler Aroma Housewares model before deciding.

Who Should Buy The Alternative

The Aroma Housewares ARC-150SB, available in eight-cup and 20-cup sizes, is also a multi-tasker. If you like to make one-pot meals or occasionally like to whip up a stew or slow-cooked meat, this rice cooker has slow cooker functions built into it to make that easy. It can also make white rice and brown rice, as well as steam meats and vegetables. Although it doesn’t have a cake or porridge setting, it cooks more quickly than the brand product, and combined with the delay timers, we think this product is one of the best rice cooker models for busy people and families. It has a simple learning curve and can help you prepare fast, healthy meals on the go.

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Recumbent resistance type

Cups

The Zojirushi rice cooker is available in two sizes. The 1.0-liter size cooks 5.5 cups of rice into 11 cups of cooked rice, while the 1.8-liter size makes 10 cups of uncooked rice into 20 cups of cooked rice.

recumbent exercise bike resistance

Cups

The Aroma rice cooker also comes in two sizes. The “eight-cup” size takes four cups of uncooked rice to eight cups of cooked rice, while the “20-cup” size can cook up to ten cups of rice into twenty cups.

Resistance settings

Fuzzy Logic

The Zojirushi rice cooker uses microcomputer fuzzy logic technology to guide its temperature and time settings based on the cooking selection you make. This is what allows the Zojirushi rice cooker to make things like porridge and cake without any input from your end.

resistance levels

Fuzzy Logic

The Aroma rice cooker does not have the MICOM fuzzy logic that the Zojirushi cooker possesses, so its functions are simpler and more focused on rice and steaming. If you prefer to focus on just cooking rice, you may prefer the simplicity of the Aroma rice cooker.

Flywheel

Reheat

The Zojirushi rice cooker has a reheat setting that allows you to reheat your rice in the cooker without drying it out. Although you shouldn’t “store” cooked rice in the cooker, the reheat setting can be handy if you want leftover rice to have that just-cooked texture.

weighted flywheel

Reheat

The Zojirushi rice cooker has a reheat setting that allows you to reheat your rice in the cooker without drying it out. Although you shouldn’t “store” cooked rice in the cooker, the reheat setting can be handy if you want leftover rice to have that just-cooked texture.

workout program

Keep Warm

The Zojirushi rice cooker has an automatic keep warm function to keep your rice warm for hours. If that’s not enough, you can hit the Keep Warm button again to activate the extended keep warm function for up to 24 hours.

exercise program

Keep Warm

The Aroma rice cooker also has an automatic keep warm function, but it lasts a shorter period of time than the Zojirushi rice cooker. If you prefer to store your rice in the fridge after your meal, this isn’t an issue.

heart rate monitor

Delay

The Zojirushi rice cooker allows you to save two preset delay timers. If you want porridge in the morning and rice at night, you can set one timer for 7AM and the other for 6PM. Although you can set these timers in ten-minute increments, they rely on the clock time in the rice cooker to be accurate.

pulse sensor

Delay

The Aroma rice cooker allows you to set an amount of hours you want the rice cooker to delay cooking. This makes it easy to set up a pot of rice in the morning and come home to perfect rice already cooked. This cooker’s timer setting is not as exact as the Zojirushi’s, but still allows lots of flexibility.

LCD

Settings

The Zojirushi rice cooker has eight settings: white/sushi rice, mixed rice, porridge, sweet rice, brown rice, cake, steam, and quick cooking. This is one of the best rice cooker options for people who like to eat different rice varieties in many different ways. People who prefer making rice for savory meals may not find the cake and sweet rice settings useful.

LCD screen

Settings

The Aroma rice cooker has four settings: white rice, brown rice, steam, and slow cook. These settings cover a range of basic applications as well as allowing you to make “one-pot meals” and to slow cook meat and other recipes. You can steam a vegetable side while your rice cooks, or forget about cooking rice and use it to make a savory stew.

weight capacity

Speed

The Zojirushi rice cooker’s fuzzy logic can slow down the cooking process. The white rice setting soaks the rice for a longer time period to make it sticky for sushi rice. The white rice setting can cook two cups in an hour, or two cups of brown rice in 90 minutes. The quick cook setting prepares white rice in about thirty minutes.

weight capacity

Speed

The Aroma rice cooker can prepare two cups of white rice in 20 minutes, or two cups of brown rice in 35 minutes. This makes the Aroma rice cooker a great choice for busy households. If you want your rice to be ready in the shortest amount of time, you may prefer the Aroma rice cooker for its speedy cooking abilities.

wheels

Cooking Pot

The Zojirushi rice cooker has a cooking pot with a nonstick coating. This coating can be scratched by dishwashing or by using metal utensils, so read the instructions carefully before using it.

transport wheels

Cooking Pot

The Aroma rice cooker also has a nonstick-coated cooking pot. The days of rice burned to the bottom of a saucepan will become a distant memory. The cleaning process is also much easier as a result.

pedals

Beyond Rice

The Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a steaming basket, and can be used to make steamed cakes and one-pot meals with ingredients like sausage and vegetables. You can steam items in the steaming basket or chop them up and mix with the uncooked rice.

foot pedals

Beyond Rice

The Aroma rice cooker has a specific slow cook option that the Zojirushi rice cooker lacks, which can be convenient for occasional slow cook recipes. It comes with a steaming basket as well for steaming while your rice cooks simultaneously, but lacks a cake option.

dimensions

Display

The Zojirushi rice cooker has an LCD display that shows a clock, cook timer, and allows you to navigate the menu and timer settings.

dimensions

Display

The Aroma rice cooker has a simple digital display that counts down the last 12 minutes of white rice and last 25 minutes of brown rice.

weight

Accessories

The Zojirushi rice cooker comes with a steaming basket, a measuring cup for dry rice, and a plastic serving spatula.

product weight

Accessories

The Aroma rice cooker comes with the same accessories as the Zojirushi cooker, plus Mahatma and Carolina rice coupons.

three year warranty

Cord

The Zojirushi rice cooker has a convenient retractable cord for easy storage when the cooker is not in use.

three year warranty

Cord

The Aroma rice cooker has a short cord to prevent tangling and keep storage simple between uses.

warranty

Dimensions

The Zojirushi 20-cup rice cooker model measures 10 by 11 by 15 inches.

three year warranty

Dimensions

The Aroma 20-cup rice cooker model measures 11.2 by 10.8 by 10.8 inches.

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