Is an Induction Rice Cooker Worth the Price?

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Induction rice cookers are becoming very popular because they produce perfect, fluffy, and flavorful rice. The rice has a high-quality texture, and you can prepare it with little effort.

 A standard electric rice cooker works by using a heating element to transfer heat down to the bottom of the pot, which can cause the rice to cook unevenly. The rice on top might be dry, while the rice on the bottom can burn.

An induction rice cooker uses induction to heat the entire pot, which cooks the rice evenly throughout. You might wonder, “Is an induction rice cooker worth the price?”

How Does an Induction Rice Cooker Work?  

Induction rice cookers use electromagnetism to heat iron or a magnetized steel cooking vessel. The rice cooker has a coil of wire (usually copper) beneath the cooking surface. When you turn the unit on, an alternating current runs through the coil. This electric current creates an oscillating magnetic field above and around the coil.

When the rice cooker’s inner pot is inside the rice cooker, the fluctuating magnetic field induces eddy currents in this pot. These eddy currents are swirling around in response to the magnetic field. They transform kinetic energy into heat, which is conducted through the metal of the inner pot.

Heat is generated quickly throughout the inner pot, not just the bottom as in non-induction rice cookers. The result is evenly cooked rice with a consistent texture.

An induction rice cooker has an electronic thermal sensor that detects when the water has evaporated. It then automatically changes from the cooking state to a heating state, or in some units, the rice cooker shuts off. An induction heating rice cooker responds quickly to the heat and is capable of precise temperature control.

Induction rice cookers are stand-alone models, and you only need to plug them in. They use a standard 120V outlet. 

How Does Induction Heating Improve Rice Cookers?  

There are several ways induction heating improves rice cookers. First of all, the temperature sensors are more accurate, allowing more specific control of the temperature. Also, the area where the heat is distributed can include the inner cooking pot. Rather than being heated from the bottom up, the heat is more evenly distributed. In some models, there are heaters on the sides of the pot and in the lid. Finally, you can change the rice cooker’s heat level by adjusting the magnetic field that creates it. Minimal adjustments can be made, resulting in evenly cooked rice.  

Various kinds of rice in colorful cups white on background

Is an Induction Rice Cooker Worth it?

People who have an induction rice cooker usually say that it is worth it to them for the quality of rice prepared, the ability to cook different kinds of rice, and the features and menu settings.

Induction rice cookers can usually hold 3, cups, 5 1/2 cups, or 10 cups of dry rice.

Technology

Induction rice cookers have superior technology and use fuzzy logic combined with induction heating to produce perfectly cooked rice. The result is flavorful, evenly cooked rice with consistent texture. 

Versatility

For those who want high-quality rice and like to prepare different kinds of rice, induction rice cookers are worth considering.

Most induction rice cookers are used to prepared foods other than rice. Dishes such as beans, stews, soups, and oatmeal can be easily cooked. You can even find those with a bread baking function.  

The slow cook and warming functions are also appealing attributes. If the rice cooker is used for cooking different kinds of rice and other dishes, the expense may be justified.

On the other hand, if you aren’t going to use the rice cooker very much, it might be wise to compare the cost and features of non-induction options along with induction heating rice cookers.

The Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH can be used to cook white (regular, softer, harder), jasmine, sushi, sweet, brown, and GABA brown rice. However, if you only eat white rice, you may not get a satisfactory return on your  investment.

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Types of Induction Rice Cookers

Induction rice cookers fall into two categories – induction heating pressure cooker and induction heating cookers. For example, Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT does not have a pressure feature, while the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 allows you to pick a pressure level.

In many induction heating pressure cookers, the pressure cooking function can be used with some but not all menu settings. If the brown rice menu setting is selected, the cooker chooses the appropriate pressure setting and then determines the rice’s cooking time.

Pressure cooking seals the heat and moisture inside the cooker. The heat and water are absorbed into each rice grain, cooking it from the inside to the outside.

Features

The available features of induction rice cookers vary according to the model. You can narrow your short list once you decide whether you want to make dishes other than rice or only cook rice or prepare cooks other foods.

If you just want to cook rice, then you can decide whether you a model with GABA, rinse-free, quick-cooking, scorch, and reheat settings. Some rice cookers have a slow cook function;while others allow you to make steel cut oatmeal or bake bread.

Some units have a timer with a delayed start option. For example, in the morning, you can program it to begin cooking at a specific time in the evening, and the rice will be cooked when you are ready to eat dinner.

Country of Origin 

We emailed Zojirushi and Tiger asking if all of their rice cookers are made in Japan. We also asked Cuckoo if all their rice cookers were made in Korea. 

Tiger Rice Cookers

Tiger responded promptly. Here is their answer.

"Thank you for your inquiry. Not all of our rice cookers are made in Japan. Here are the models that are made in China:

JBX-B10U, JBX-B18U, JAJ-A55U, JBV-A10U, JBV-A18U, JAZ-A10U, JAZ-A18U."

Zojirushi Rice Cookers

Zojirushi also responded promptly as to whether all Zojirushi rice cookers made in Japan. It is rare that a company would take the time to answer a customer's question so thoroughly as Zojirushi did.

Thank you for contacting Zojirushi America.The place of manufacture would depend on the model number.

Listed below are our current rice cooker models which are manufactured in Japan:

  • NP-NWC10
  • NP-NWC18
  • NP-NVC10
  • NP-NVC18
  • NP-HCC10
  • NP-HCC18
  • NP-GBC05 (3 cup)
  • NS-YAC10
  • NS-YAC18
  • NS-ZCC10
  • NS-ZCC18
  • NL-AAC10 (Inner pan is made in China)
  • NL-AAC18 (Inner pan is made in China)

(*10 indicates a 5.5. cup model/18* indicates 10 cup model)

All other models are manufactured in China or Thailand.

Please see the following models below which are manufactured in China:

  • NS-TSC10
  • NS-TSC18
  • NS-WTC10
  • NS-WAC10
  • NS-WAC18
  • NL-BAC05
  • NS-LGC05
  • NS-LHC05
  • NS-PC10
  • NS-PC18

Please see the following models below which are manufactured in Thailand:

  • NS-RPC10
  • NS-RPC18
  • NHS-06
  • NHS-10
  • NHS-18

Zojirushi America products are not outsourced to factories in China or Thailand, but rather, they are manufactured in cooperation with Zojirushi and the factory.

The same manufacturing system and quality control are strictly enforced at all our factories worldwide, to ensure that the products are manufactured at the same high standard and quality that is expected of all products bearing the Zojirushi brand name.

White tray with different kinds of sushi

Does an Induction Rice Cooker Need a High Amp Electrical Socket?

You may wonder whether you need a high amp electrical socket for an induction rice cooker. It is a powerful and fantastic appliance and a stand-alone product. The good news is that you need only a 120V AC power outlet.   

Rice cookers are easy to transport and have a locking lid and a handle. Most of the time, the power cable will either be retractable or easily wrapped around the rice cooker’s base.

How to Cook with an Induction Rice Cooker

When you get your rice cooker, it is helpful to read the section in the manual regarding cooking the rice.

The following gives you a general idea of the steps of using an induction rice cooker. The steps may vary according to the particular rice cooker model.

Some manufacturers include a measuring cup with the rice cooker. If so, be sure to use this to measure the rice. After the rice is measured, wash it and place it in the inner pot.

If there are lines on the pot’s side, adjust the water level to the corresponding scale (varies according to the rice type). Wipe off excess water and rice, place the pot in the rice cooker, and connect the power plug to an outlet.

Then select the desired menu settings and cooking time (see the manual for cooking time guidelines). If the unit has a delay timer, it can be to have the rice ready at a particular time.

Press the start key (if you want to use the rinse-free settings, you may have to press the start button twice).

Once the rice is finished cooking, stir and loosen the rice. Some units have a Keep Warm function that automatically turns on when the rice is done. When you are finished using the rice cooker, press the Cancel button to turn off that function. Then disconnect the power plug from the outlet and clean your rice cooker.

Final Words

Induction rice cookers are being used more because they are known to produce high-quality rice. They also have the advantage of being versatile since they can prepare dishes other than rice.

Not only are they easy to use, but they make your rice taste better because they respond to temperature change and can make precise temperature adjustments. They cook more evenly than standard electric cookers because they use induction heating. You can avoid having rice that is dry on top and burned on the bottom.

 An induction rice cooker can be worthwhile if you want perfectly textured, fluffy, and flavorful rice every time, if you enjoy eating different kinds of rice, and if you will use many of the available menu settings and features.