One of the biggest challenges with buying a rice cooker is that there are just so many different options. In fact, this can come as a bit of a shock when people first start looking, as it seems like rice cookers should be a fairly simple and easy tool. Some of the various types available include pressure rice cookers, rice cookers with fuzzy logic and induction rice cookers. That list doesn’t even count all the other variations, such as features and functions, along with size, price and quality.
However, in this particular post we are focusing on just one type – pressure rice cookers. The general idea of any type of pressure cooker is that it creates an airtight environment and uses steam to create intense pressure. That pressure helps food to cook faster and can also help lock in flavors. In their own right, pressure cookers are popular choices in the kitchen and many of them even cook rice. But, if you’re looking to get great rice, you’re better off looking for a rice pressure cooker, as these are specialized towards cooking rice.
There is a range of great pressure rice cookers out there and in this list we’re specifically focusing on ones from Japanese and Korean brands. These cultures both have a strong focus on rice as a staple food and this often means that their rice cookers are more specialized and even more effective.
We also want to quickly note that in this list, we provide measurements of capacity in terms of cups of cooked rice. Those cups actually refer to the plastic cups that come with rice cookers. For American cooks, these cups are of an unusual size, roughly two-thirds the size of a conventional measuring cup.
Cuckoo Silver Pressure Rice Cooker
- Model Number: CRP-CHSS1009FN
- Capacity (cooked rice): 20 cups
This particular model is a little bit unusual, which is probably evident from the design alone. First of all, the rice cooker does take the pressure cooking approach. It also appears to use induction heating, although the company never states this explicitly. However, the most interesting thing about it is the use of Smart NFC, where the NFC stands for near field communication.
Basically, that approach means that you can remotely communicate with the rice cooker, using an Android smartphone (Windows phones and iPhones won’t work). Doing so lets you change settings and monitor cooking remotely. There are relatively few other devices that do this and the main product that we’ve seen was one of the high-end pressure cookers from Instant Pot.
For some people, the Smart NFC may be a good reason to invest in this rice cooker, while others may feel that it is little more than a gimmick. But, regardless of the Smart NFC, this is a good rice cooker in its own right, offering an extensive range of settings. At the same time, this is one of the few high-end rice cookers that have a stainless steel pot and that aspect is another appealing factor about the rice cooker.
Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker
- Model Number: NP-NVC10
- Capacity (cooked rice): 11 cups
In contrast to the previous model, this pressure rice cooker is more conventional and is also considerably more popular. Much of that comes down to the brand, as Zojirushi is probably the most popular brand for rice cookers, especially for ones that have both induction heating and pressure cooking functions.
This particular model is a good example of Zojirushi’s workmanship and it consistently receives positive reviews. That includes reviews on Amazon (where the model averages 4.6 stars) along with similar perspectives on many blog sites.
Like many of Zojirushi’s higher-end models, this rice cooker also has an extensive range of functions. Many of these revolve around creating specific types of rice, including mixed rice, brown rice and sushi rice. However, there are also more complex and specialized settings, such as a setting to scorch rice and one that is designed to produce the umami flavor.
Cuckoo Pink Electric Rice Cooker
- Model Number: CRP-G1015F
- Capacity (cooked rice): 20 cups
Admittedly, this rice cooker model is relatively simplistic for a pressure rice cooker but that may also be why it is much less expensive than the other models that we’ve discussed so far. Nevertheless, the model does still offer a decent number of functions. In this case, these functions are mostly focused on different types of rice, along with the ability to adjust timing based on what suits you.
In terms of reviews, the rice cooker does still perform well with an average of 4.2 stars on Amazon. However, that average rating is considerably lower than the other products that we’ve discussed so far, suggesting that this one isn’t as good. That pattern isn’t too surprising, as in some ways this model is essentially a budget introduction into a pressure rice cooker. For many people, that probably wouldn’t be an issue and the rice cooker may well offer everything that you are looking for.
Cuchen Pressure Rice Cooker
- Model Number: WHA-VE0609G
- Capacity (cooked rice): 12 cups
Another brand that often pops up in discussions of rice cookers is Cuchen and like Cuckoo, this brand tends to produce rice cookers that look a little bit different than you might expect. In this case, you can actually get a gray or a red model, as well as options for a 12 cup or 20 cup version.
In terms of the functions on offer, this model is similar to most of the other pieces on this list, with a strong focus on the various types of rice, along with the standard option to steam food while the rice is cooking. However, it is also worth noting that the rice cooker does also appear to have a slow cooking function. We’ve seen this function in some other rice cookers as well, and it does mean that the rice cooker can double as a slow cooker for many meals.
Overall, the rice cooker is an interesting one and the overall style may be one reason that people find it appealing. However, it is worth noting that this model has relatively few reviews on Amazon. While we do still consider this one of the top models the limited number of reviews makes this one more of a risk than the other items on this list.
If you’re looking for a relatively simple and safe option for a pressure rice cooker, then we recommend turning to the Cuckoo Pink Electric Rice Cooker. This model is one of the least expensive options for a pressure rice cooker on the market and it also offers a pretty good balance of features versus price. As such, it is the best choice if you’re mostly looking for a pressure rice cooker because of the speed of cooking or quality of rice, rather than the features of the machine.
However, if you are willing to invest more in a rice cooker, then the model that we recommend is the Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker. For one thing, Zojirushi is the brand to turn to if you’re looking for a high-quality rice cooker and the consistently positive reviews for their products highlights this fact.
Additionally, this model also offers an extensive number of features and these are great for making specialized meals or even for cooking food other than rice. The Zojirushi brand also means that you’re likely to end up with an item that will stand the test of time, while also meeting your expectations.