Why Are Some Rice Cookers More Expensive Than Others?

Last update:
Rice cooker and dollars with a text "why are some rice cookers so expensive"

Rice cookers make cooking rice easy. They steam rice, veggies, and meat effortlessly and with minimal supervision. Some models, however, are $200 or more, whereas others are as inexpensive as $40. So, why are some rice cookers so expensive? 

Some rice cookers are costly because they use more effective modern technology, have extra safety features, and are made from higher-quality materials. But not all rice cookers are expensive. You can find excellent quality rice cookers for around $30. These models cook great-quality rice and have straightforward functions.  

What Is The Difference Between A Cheap And An Expensive Rice Cooker?

Cheaper rice cookers usually offer more basic features. They have white rice, brown rice, grains, and steaming settings. 

Aroma rice cooker in the counter with a logo of Fooducopia on the upper left side of the image.

Cheaper rice cookers cook with steam. They start heating until the machine reaches the boiling point. Then, they steam your rice until all the moisture is gone. Most automatically switch to “keep warm” after the cooking cycle finishes. 

Basic rice cookers can also steam veggies, fruits, and meats simultaneously while you cook rice. Depending on the brand and cup size, cheaper models range from $20 to $60. 

Expensive rice cookers use Fuzzy Logic to cook rice. Rice cookers that use fuzzy logic cook rice more like humans; computer chips take in information and adjust as needed. However, these adjustments have a downside – some pots of rice take over an hour to cook

Expensive rice cookers also have extended keep-warm settings and other features. They are more versatile than cheaper models. Expensive rice cookers can range from $100-$400.

Some rice cookers are expensive because they are induction rice cookers. Induction rice cookers work similarly to how Fuzzy Logic rice cookers work. They sense what the rice needs and make adjustments during the cooking cycle. Induction rice cookers are often $300 or more.

Is It Worth It To Buy An Expensive Rice Cooker?

Pressing hand on jasmine menu cooks Thai rice in electric cooker with steam.

Expensive rice cookers have extra features and fool-proof ways to cook food. They are a good choice for large families since they can make larger quantities of rice than many less costly options. Expensive rice cookers are usually made from higher-quality materials that last longer than cheaper brands. 

Expensive rice cookers have more specific setting choices, including sushi rice, wild rice, or quinoa. Many models have delay timers so you can set up your cooker in advance and have fresh food waiting when you get home. 

Buy a rice cooker that fits your budget. Expensive rice cookers can be worth it if you cook large quantities of rice, use your rice cooker daily, or appreciate extra features.  

Does The Quality Of A Rice Cooker Matter?

Yes, the quality of a rice cooker matters. Cheap rice cookers don’t last as long as more expensive brands. So, even if you save money in the short term, you may have to replace your cheap rice cooker more often. Some costly models last for ten years or more, while cheaper models may only last 3-5 years. 

Why Are Japanese Rice Cookers So Expensive?

Japanese rice cookers are so expensive because they come with many features. Brands like Zojirushi and Tiger can steam shrimp, boil eggs, and slow cook

Japanese brands are known for their high-quality materials. Their rice cookers are often more expensive than other models. 

Trendy Japanese Rice Cookers

These models range from $200-400. 

  • Tiger JBA-T1OU-WU
  • Tiger JAX-T18U-K
  • Zojirushi NS-TSC10
  • Zojirushi NS-ZCC10

What To Look For In A Rice Cooker

If you just want to cook rice, look for a basic model. Choose one that: 

  • Has white and brown rice settings.
  • Can steam veggies.
  • Automatically switches to “Keep Warm.”
White backdrop showcases electric rice cooker.

If you want a little more from your rice cooker, find one that: 

  • Has a delay timer
  • Has separate settings for different grains
Zooming in on Zojirushi's 5.5-Cup Rice Wizard's Menu.

If you want all the options, look for a rice cooker that can:

  • Slow cook.
  • Boil eggs.
  • Cook soups and stews.
  • Has an extended ‘Keep Warm” setting.

I chose a basic model when I bought my rice cooker. My Aroma rice cooker was under $40 but does everything I need. It cooks rice, steams foods, and cooks various other grains. Rice cookers come in many varieties, so find one that fits your style and budget.

The Bottom Line

Some rice cookers are expensive because they use Fuzzy Logic to cook your rice to the best quality. Other expensive rice cookers can also cook soups, make stews, and cook every type of rice and grain. Different models make excellent pots of rice but aren’t as expensive. 

Sarah Pearce Avatar


Leave a Comment