If you frequently cook up large batches of rice, you probably don’t want to use pans and boiling water. This method is time-consuming and hands-on.
Instead, rice cookers automate the process allowing you to create your main meal then simply plate up some rice that’s warmed and perfectly cooked.
Not all rice cookers are created equal, though. Today, we’ll be looking exclusively at induction heating rice cookers and highlighting the 5 leading models in this competitive vertical.
We understand you might not be familiar with induction heating applied to rice cookers so we’ll kick off by examining the basics before we give you the lowdown on the best products.
First thing’s first, then…
What is an induction heating rice cooker and how does this cooking method actually work?
Table of Contents
- I. Our Top 5 Picks for Induction Heating Rice Cookers
- II. What is an Induction Heating Rice Cooker (IH Cooker) & How Do They Work?
- III. Induction Rice Cooker vs Regular Rice Cooker
- IV. Are Induction Heating Rice Cookers Worth the Money?
- V. Top 5 Best Induction Heating Rice Cookers
- VI. FAQs
- VII. Conclusion
I. Our Top 5 Picks for Induction Heating Rice Cookers
II. What is an Induction Heating Rice Cooker (IH Cooker) & How Do They Work?
Induction heating technology can be used to devastatingly powerful effect with rice cookers.
A regular rice cooker applies heat via an electric plate under the inner pan. With an induction heating rice cooker, commonly known as an IH rice cooker, the heat comes from AC power from the wall outlet.
When alternating current (AC) passes through copper coils – sometimes other metals are used – induction heating is the result. As the current surges through those coils, a magnetic field is created. The pan of an IH cooker enters this magnetic field and heat is generated.
Induction heating can also be achieved if the pan of the rice cooker is made from a magnetic material.
So far, so good but why should you bother with this type of cooking?
Well, induction heating improves a rice cooker in the following ways:
- Accuracy: You will enjoy a fair more precise control of temperature when you’re using an IH cooker
- Heat distribution: Rather than radiating heat only upward, the heat distribution area includes the inner pan resulting in more evenly cooked food
- Instant adjustability: You can tweak the level of heat in an instant by strengthening or weakening the magnetic field
Beyond these core benefits of using an IH rice cooker, you’ll also find the machine will compensate for any minor measuring areas. The intelligent operation and fuzzy logic you’ll find on most great induction heating rice cookers ensures all rice is optimized by type and quantity so you get gourmet quality rice without lifting a finger.
Beyond cooking myriad types of rice, this type of IH cooker can be readily used for a range of other foods.
With some induction rice cookers, you’ll be able to bake bread. Not only can you make much tastier and more nutritious loaves than you could find at the store, you’ll also fill your kitchen with the unbeatable smell of freshly baked bread.
Other induction rice cookers allow you to steam vegetables. Boiling vegetables requires close monitoring and regular prodding. You’ll also lose a great deal of nutrients from the veg by overcooking them. Instead, let the machine do the work for you and load them into your IH cooker. You’ll get crisper and tastier veg packing even more nutrients than ever. And you won’t need a separate appliance to achieve it.
Many IH rice cookers offer a slow-cooking facility. You can typically tweak the timer up to 24 hours in advance. Cook up some soups or stews while you’re at work for the day: what’s not to love.
It’s this versatility beyond allowing you to quickly and easily cook all types of rice that makes multipurpose IH cookers such a smart choice. If you’re anything like us, your kitchen is overflowing with gadgets and appliances. The more functions you can derive from any given piece of kit, the better. We would add a qualifier to this, though. Don’t simply seek out the IH cooker with most functions if you don’t realistically think you’ll use them. Examine a cross-section of rice cookers and consider what recipes you cook on a regular basis. This will help you determine the best fit.
OK, you might be asking yourself why you should get an IH cooker instead of a regular rice cooker. And the truth is, maybe you shouldn’t. Only you can decide which fits most snugly with your cooking regime and budget. We’ll help you out by quickly looking at the differences between these two types of rice cooker…
III. Induction Rice Cooker vs Regular Rice Cooker
All induction heating rice cookers have an inner pot. It’s the inner pot that will be heated whereas with a regular rice cooker, only the underside of the outer pot is heated.
A primary benefit of an IH rice cooker is the way you can make precise and near-instantaneous adjustments to temperature and power. You can do this at any stage throughout the cooking process. This is not the way most regular rice cookers operate. So if you’re looking to place flexibility uppermost, it’s got to be induction heating.
The induction process also promotes quicker heating times due to the highly conductive inner pot.
Also, your rice will almost certainly taste better if you opt for an induction rice cooker.
Is it worth it paying extra for this type of rice cooker, then?
IV. Are Induction Heating Rice Cookers Worth the Money?
As with any purchase, value is subjective.
If you don’t cook a great deal of rice, buying any form of rice cooker is unnecessary and we wouldn’t advise it at all.
Since you’re reading this far, though, we’ll assume you do rustle up plenty of rice-based recipes so you need to ask yourself whether digging deeper for an IH cooker is worthwhile.
There really is no fixed answer.
Despite the shower of advantages from using an IH cooker, you should also consider that they draw down more power and also cost more out of the gate. If you’re prepared to outlay a little more, you’ll get great tasting rice at the push of a button.
For anyone prioritizing precision, there’s absolutely no substitute for an induction heating rice cooker. You can fine-tune cooking every step of the way with consummate ease. Most of the best IH cookers come with scorch settings and various other ways to finish specialty rice.
OK, with those foundations laid, you should have a thorough understanding of induction heating and the advantages of opting for an IH cooker.
We’ll cut to the chase now with the best 5 induction heating rice cooker reviews…
V. Top 5 Best Induction Heating Rice Cookers
1. Our Pick:Zojirushi Induction Heating System Rice Cooker (1.8L)
Zojirushi has a stranglehold on the rice cooker vertical and with units like this, it’s not hard to see why.
Unlike rice cookers with an internal heating plate, the induction heating system in place makes use of an AC current from the wall to cook your rice to a turn.
The menu looks confusing at first glance but it’s actually straightforward to navigate once you get started.
This IH cooker allows you to rack up white or brown rice, mixed rice brown rice, and a range of specialty rice at the push of a button. If you wondered whether rice cookers repaid the effort and investment, make a single batch with this Zojirushi and you’ll have that question answered.
Once the rice is cooked, it stays automatically warmed even for extended periods. This is ideal if your kids often take ages getting to the table.
The inner lid is detachable to simplify clean-up while the transparent stainless exterior fits well with most kitchen décor.
For a great all-round induction heating rice cooker from the dominant industry force, we can’t recommend this 1.8L gem highly enough.
Things We Like
- Cook a broad spread of rice including healthier types like germinated and GABA brown rice
- Measuring cup provided for ease of use
- Two sizes available so something for everyone
Things We Dislike
- Reasonably expensive compared to the opposition
2. Runner-Up: Zojirushi Induction Heating System Pressure Rice Cooker (1.8L)
Another top-notch IH rice cooker from Zojirushi up next, this time a pressure cooker with a pressure control valve for safety’s sake and wide-sweeping functionality.
The fuzzy logic AI means this rice cooker will learn as it goes and optimizes cooking depending on the type of rice.
Menus allow you to choose from a wide variety of rice including GABA and brown rice. You also get dedicated settings for Umami, steam reduce and scorch giving you the scope to rustle up just about any kind of rice you fancy.
The LCD looks fairly garish. Indeed, the only real drawback of this rice cooker is a cheap and tack overall aesthetic. In terms of navigation, though, the menu is a pleasure to use. This prioritizing of function over form is one of the reasons behind Zojirushi’s huge success in this vertical.
With capacity enough for a large family and a smaller model available if this 1.8L version is overkill, road test this rice cooker and you won’t look back.
Things We Like
- Wide range of presets to make your life easier
- Scorch setting for added versatility
- Operate with reduced steam when the recipe calls for it
Things We Dislike
- 120-volt only so make sure you have the requisite electrical system
3. Tiger Rice Cooker (5.5 cups uncooked)
Tiger serves up an elegant and powerful rice cooker delivering versatility and affordability in one enticing bundle. What makes this induction heating rice cooker so good, though?
If you’re new to cooking rice this way, launch right in with the handy presets. You can easily select the most suitable setting for the rice at hand then the machine will do the work for you.
Layered with 5 tiers of metal and triple-coated, you’ll get a rice cooker that’s built to stay the distance while offering you a flexible cooking experience along the way.
Taking advantage of all the space you have available inside this generous unit, you can even bake bread using a special setting.
A handle makes it easy to shift this Tiger around the kitchen without straining yourself.
As with all rice cookers, we’d recommend staying on top of cleaning. Little and often means you’ll never need to face a really messy clean-up.
While not exactly cheap, the Tiger occupies mid-price territory while coming through with genuinely impressive performance. Check this beast out at your earliest convenience.
Things We Like
- Grip handle makes shifting this rice cooker around a cinch
- 11 programmed settings available at the push of a button
- Multi-layered inner pot for optimum performance
Things We Dislike
- A few niggles about quality control so make sure you closely check your package upon receipt
4. Panasonic 5-Cup Rice Cooker with Induction Heating System (5 Cups Uncooked)
This bulky and powerful 5-cup rice cooker from Panasonic comes with induction heating baked in and gives you enough space to cook for the whole family.
As with any decent rice cooker, the interior is multi-layered for enhanced performance. The added kicker with the Panasonic is a diamond coating. These layers also help to encourage even heat distribution so you won’t end up with clumps of rice marring your meal.
Induction heating not only leads to even and consistent results, you’ll also find more nutrients remain in your food.
Flick between cooking various types of rice at the press of a button with the cooker itself acting as the heating source.
13 presets ensure you can come bolting out the gate even if you’ve never used a rice cooker before. Auto shut-off means you don’t need to worry about your rice cooker overheating. You’ll also be free to keep rice warmed for up to 12 hours giving you a complete package at a reasonably competitive price-point. Act now and you’ll benefit from a worthwhile discount.
Things We Like
- Inner pan boasts 7 layers and a diamond coating
- 13 presets catering for a range of rice, porridge, and quinoa
- Generous batch of accessories bundled
Things We Dislike
- Quick Cook function could be a little brisker
5. Cuckoo Electric Induction Heating Rice Pressure Cooker (3 Cups Uncooked)
Last but absolutely not least, this Cuckoo electric induction heating rice cooker is highly programmable, versatile and makes a real design statement even if it’s not especially cheap. The thing is, cheap rice cookers typically let you down quickly while delivering unimpressive results. You’re better advised to dig a little deeper and you’ll be rewarded with greatly superior firepower.
The fuzzy logic cooking automatically optimizes settings according to its intelligent cooking algorithm. The result for you is even cooking without needing to lift a finger.
As well as giving you first-class rice on tap, the Cuckoo is also loaded with safety features. From a lid-locking device and auto temperature control to steam and pressure emission, this rice cooker is as safe to use as any on the market.
If you happen to run into any snags, the manufacturer offers responsive and helpful customer care to complete a winning package.
Things We Like
- Programmable with touchscreen interface for user-friendly experience
- Fuzzy logic gives you intelligent rice cooking optimizing time and temperature by type
- Non-stick coating means you won’t face any messy clean-up
Things We Dislike
- Ruthlessly expensive but still solid overall value
Right then, to round out today we’ve curated a list of the most frequently asked questions about induction heating rice cookers so you have everything you need at a glance.
1) What is an induction heating rice cooker?
An induction heating rice cooker sends alternating current (AC) from the power outlet through copper coils creating a magnetic field. An IH rice cooker heats your rice from all angles rather than just from the bottom up. Results are consistent, even, and extremely tasty.
2) Is it necessary to wash your rice before putting it in a rice cooker?
You should generally wash your rice before popping it in a rice cooker, yes. Some rice comes labeled rinse-free but this is in the minority. By washing your rice, you’ll rinse off any particles remaining from the lengthy production process. Some countries use talcum powder during production so it pays to rinse your rice. You’ll also remove any surplus starch that can make your rice too sticky.
3) How should I measure the rice for my rice cooker?
Use the measuring cup included with your rice cooker. Cup volumes vary from country to country so you should stick to what’s thrown in. Rice cookers typically have an optimum load capacity. If you try to cram in too much rice or you use too little, you can end up impairing the end results to the extent it will be unpalatable. Be precise.
4) What size rice cooker do I need?
This depends entirely on how much rice you intend to be cooking. If you’re only going to cook for yourself or your partner, investing in a large-capacity IH cooker is a waste of time and money. You’ll end up with underwhelming rice since you’ll be running your rice cooker at sub-par capacity. Equally, if you routinely host large dinner parties or you’re cooking for a big family, don’t sell yourself short and get a rice cooker too small for purpose.
5) What is Zojirushi’s Umami setting?
Zojirushi has patented their exclusive Umami setting. Use this if you have one of these impeccable rice cookers to soak and steam your rice for longer. This brings out even more in terms of flavor.
6) What is GABA rice?
Germinated brown rice is known as GABA rice. You sometimes see GABA rice sold by its Japanese name, hatsuga genmai. GABA rice is a form of brown rice that’s been sprouted. During the sprouting process, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels are increased. GABA is a vital neurotransmitter that impacts your brain and other organs. GABA also affects muscle tone.
7) Which materials work best for rice cookers?
Aluminum and stainless steel are both commonly used for the inner cooking pan on induction heating rice cookers. You can also find pans made of clay or charcoal. These naturally non-stick pans don’t need a chemical coating. You should think about budget and what priority you place on an all-natural coating and allow this to guide your decision about materials.
8) How long does it take to cook rice in an induction heating rice cooker?
This depends to a large extent on the type of rice you’re using. You should follow the instructions on your specific rice cooker while also paying attention to any instructions with the rice itself.
9) Why does an induction rice cooker need an inner pot?
It’s this inner pot that will be heated during the induction process. With a regular rice cooker, by contrast, only the bottom of the unit is heated. The result of this is rice that’s cooked much more thoroughly through being heated from all angles.
10) Do all rice cookers allow you to make bread?
No, but plenty do. If this is a feature you’ll make use of, look for a model offering a dedicated bread setting. There are plenty of for grabs allowing you to do this.
You should now have a clear idea of whether or not an induction rice cooker would make a neat fit in your kitchen.
We’ve tried to give you a balanced view of how this cooking method operates so you can see whether it’s worthwhile paying a little more for the convenience of an IH rice cooker.
You should also have a nice overview of the leading models. Often here at the PrinceLA, we’ll actively encourage you to consider budget products. With rice cookers, shopping by price alone is likely to yield a dud. You should dig a little deeper and think about the manifold benefits of an induction rice cooker. Make the modest investment and it should return years of faithful service.
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