The first rice cooker was released as early as 1955 in Japan. Since then, numerous companies not only in Japan but in US, China, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and other countries made innovations and developments.
Being the first to introduce rice cookers, Japanese brands of rice cookers have proven its quality and durability or workmanship over the years. This has made these brands more popular although it may cost higher than the other brands due to the quality of materials used, advanced technology, security features, and durability or reliability.
Many people ask the following questions: “Why Japanese Cookers are so expensive?” Is it worth it? “Should I buy it or settle with less cheaper brands?” and a lot more. Let us help you answer them.
- Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?
- How Does A Rice Cooker Work?
- What to look for when buying a rice cooker
- Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Why are Japanese rice cookers so expensive?
For those first-time buyers or the people who wants to upgrade their rice cookers, they would definitely wonder the price difference of rice cookers from other manufacturers with that of Japanese brands. Some may think they these rice cookers both do the same job, but Japanese brands actually has good reasons to raise their prices.
These are the reasons why Japanese rice cookers are so expensive:
1. Quality Materials
Manufacturers have different strategies in the market. In competing in the market, some manufacturers would produce products at a low cost so that can offer it to the consumers at a lower price but other would go for quality regardless of the high cost of the products which will be offered to the public at a high price. Japanese Manufacturers always go with innovations and new technology to improve the quality of their products which also costs higher like their rice cookers hence the expensive price.
Japan focuses on the quality of the products to meet customers’ satisfaction. For instance, the top manufacturers in Japan of Rice cooker utilizes stainless steel for their rice cookers as such material is excellent damage resistant and great heat tolerance. This guarantees the rice cookers’ sturdiness and durability.
2. Advanced Technology
Japan is known for its huge innovations and modern technology in the products they make. Which is why they have a good reputation for producing quality products. They continue to research and improve their technology which contribute to technological advancements such as in the cookware industry. This explains why Japan’s cookware, such as rice cookers, are expensive.
Japanese rice cookers come with technology that allows the cooking of different grains and other food at par with your preference. It has also microchip which regulates the temperature by automatically adjusting it and the cooking time to cook all the ingredients evenly. Also, it has the ability to determine the temperature suitable even when the rice is already cooked to warm it. This is the warming functions of their rice cooker which ensures that your food stays warm even after a few hours.
3. Security Features
When people go for expensive products, they believe that it is safer than the cheaper ones. That’s where the Japanese manufacturers are doing great with the added security features of their rice cookers. Although it is pricey, people go for it because of it is guaranteed safe and good. These security features were added to put to rest the worries of their customers. You can only fully enjoy the perks of a product when it makes you feel safe using it.
Some of its security features are cool-touch handles, locking lids, timer, and automatic shut off. The timer allows you to control the limits of how much longer or shorter your rice is cooked. It is a delayed cooking functions such that you can set the time when it should be cooked and leave it on so that when you return, it is freshly cooked. You also have noting to worry leaving your rice cooker on since Japanese rice cookers have automatic shut off when it determines that the rice or the food is already cooked.
4. Durability and Reliability
Japanese products are known to last very long considering the quality materials they used in their products and the technology they add into it. It is no secret that the Japanese manufacturers put quality as priority in making their products. This greatly affects the durability and reliability of the Japanese rice cookers as you are guarantee that it will always be of excellent quality.
The reputation of Japanese products of having excellent quality and durability has been proven several times. Take your home for instance, you can see that the appliances that are long-lasting are those products from Japan. Even as you go to the mall to buy an appliance, once you know it is from Japan, you would definitely make it as one of your options.
How Does A Rice Cooker Work?
Rice cookers are fast and efficient appliance that does the cooking convenient for consumers. Your participation in the cooking process will only be the preparation of the raw rice or the food you desire to cook. After preparing it, you put them in rice cooker pot, close the lid, switch on for cooking or set for steaming if you have a more advanced rice cooker and that’s it. The rice cooker will take care of the cooking and it will let you know that it is done by switching to warm. For some models of rice cookers, you can let the rice sit there and still have a warm rice or food after several hours since it automatically adjusts the temperature. You may also notice that cooking time is shortened as it is the rice cooker which speeds up the cooking of the food at the increase or decrease of the heating mechanism when necessary. Fast? Easy? Convenient? Yes, to all!
That is how the rice cooker functions. You do not have to know the ingenious technology behind such functionality as what’s important is knowing to operate it. But to respond to your questioning mind this is what happens: as rice cookers have heating and thermostat, once the water boils and is absorbed by the rice grain, it will trigger the thermostat. The thermostat detects when the water is gone and switches the rice cooker to WARM indicating that the cycle is finish.
Well, that’s the easiest way to illustrate the process that occurs when using the rice cooker. Above all, what you only need to know is that you can leave the cooking to the rice cooker, you just have to follow the instructions on how to operate it.
Is it worth buying a Japanese rice cooker?
Japanese rice cookers are indeed expensive compared to other brands. But if you take into considerations its quality, advanced technology, safety features, and durability and reliability, you might be convinced that it is worth the price. Buying expensive appliance which have a guaranteed good quality is a form of investment in a way. You will strip rice cooker off the list in your yearly buys since you are guaranteed that it will last long. You would be saving yourself from buying and replacing appliance for a good long year.
For people who are looking for high-quality and safe products with good features and functions, Japanese rice cooker is worth buying. Above all, your decision to buy this product should depend on your cooking purpose. If you would often cook rice and other dishes, Japanese rice cooker is the best option as it is a long-term investment. On the other hand, if you will rarely use it, you might consider this as the best option.
What to look for when buying a rice cooker
Rice cookers have different types, features and functions, and size or capacity. When buying a rice cooker, you have to choose one that will satisfy your needs or best suited to your preferences. It would not be practical to be buying a rice cooker with too much feature if you only want to cook rice in it.
The following are the things that you should look for when buying a rice cooker:
- Type of the rice cooker
- Capacity or size
- Inner Pots and utensils
- Quality and durability
First, you need to the know the type of the rice cooker you will be buying as there are various types such as conventional or standard rice cooker, microwave rice cooker, heat inducting rice cooker, and more. To know this, you must think of your intended purpose in buying it. If you want to cook only white rice then go for the standard type of rice cooker, but if you want additional features like cooking different kinds of rice and other dishes, you might want to try those upgraded versions of rice cookers. Second, the capacity or size of the rice cooker, you will not be buying a 10-cup rice cooker if you only live alone, so the appropriate capacity would be a 3-cup rice cooker. Third, the inner pots and utensils, when buying rice cookers, spatula and measuring comes will come with it. The inner pots also different, there are stainless steel, ceramic, and other types of pots. Of course, the ideal choice is to get a non-stick pot stainless steel pot for easy cleaning. Lastly, the quality and durability of the rice cooker. Usually, those with quality are the expensive ones since they are made with high and quality materials. When it is guaranteed high quality, you can best expect that it will last long.
These are some of the few things that you should keep in mind when deciding to buy a rice cooker. The best choices are those that are well-thought and well-researched. You have to be a smart buyer so you know you will always get a product that is worth your money.
Why Is Your Rice Cooker Taking So Long?
There are many reasons why your rice cooker is taking so long in cooking your rice or dish like the type of rice or food you are cooking, the amount of water, the type of rice cooker, or maintenance issues.
The type of rice you are cooking affects the typical cooking type, for instance white rice cooks faster than long-grain brown rice. Also, usually the rice cooker cooks based on temperature of the pot, when the water is not yet absorbed as you may have poured a little more than the necessary, the thermostat will not trigger the Warm switch and will still continue to cook. Another is the type of the rice cooker, the more advanced rice cookers definitely have features which speeds up more the cooking time. Lastly, there may be maintenance issues. Rice cookers whether it be the most expensive or ones that have the best quality will break down or stop working if it is not maintained properly.
If you experience this problem, consider first these factors or try reading through the manual that comes with the product.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Here the FAQs we collated to help you out more if you still have doubts in buying Japanese rice cookers:
Do they use rice cookers in Japan?
Yes, people in Japan use rice cookers. As they have their favorite brand of rice which they strive to cook as perfect as possible hence they use rice cookers to attain consistent results.
Why do Japanese use rice cookers?
In Japan, rice is one of the most important staple food. The Japanese cook their rice perfectly and to achieve consistency, they prefer to use rice cookers.
Is it worth buying an expensive rice cooker?
Yes, an expensive rice cooker is worth buying. Rice cookers are made of high-quality materials, advanced technology, and with safety and additional features are expectedly expensive. If you often use a rice cooker not only for cooking rice but for other food type, the expensive rice cookers are the best option for you as some models are designed to have multifunction or multipurpose. It is also a good investment as its guaranteed high quality connotes to its durability.
Can I use Japanese rice cooker in US?
You can use Japanese rice cooker in US. The only issue is the difference in the voltage used in typical Japanese appliance to that of the US. Japan uses 100 volts for its appliances so you will have to use voltage converters when you use it in US.
In buying rice cookers you have to consider factors like its type, capacity, features, quality, and cost. While cost is one of the things you should check on, you would notice that the prices of rice cookers differ when there are additional features introduced and the high-quality materials used in the product. The question would not be whether it is expensive or not but whether you can spend much on a rice cooker considering its quality, security features, new technology and the other things it can offer.
When you buy an appliance for your convenience or your love for rice, to be specific, and you consume rice often, its high cost will not hurt if you take it as an investment that can save you from cheap but unreliable appliances. At the end of the day, your ultimate deciding factor is the appliance that will serve your needs.