Rice Cookers History
A rice cooker is a kitchen appliance used to cook rice. Many people find that when they cook rice on the stove, they have to constantly watch it, and often the rice comes out too dry, brittle or mushy. Rice cookers are also called steamers because many of them double as steamers. Rice steamers have been in existence since 1250 B.C. The first electric commercial rice cooker was made by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation in 1945. Since then more companies have developed innovative rice cookers for convenience and quality in the kitchen. Let’s take a look at the five best rice cooker brands on the market.
Top Best Rice Cooker Brands
Tiger Corporation was founded by Takenori Kikuchi in 1923 and is located in Osaka, Japan. The original name was Torajirushi (Tiger) Vacuum Bottle Company. During World War II the factory was destroyed during the Osaka raids. In 1946 the company was rebuilt and in 1953 the name was changed to Tiger Vacuum Bottle Industry Co., Ltd. They expanded on creating glass vacuum bottles and added electric water heaters, stainless steel beverage containers, rice cookers, and other cooking appliances. In 2006, Tiger was the first company to introduce induction heating rice cookers with inner ceramic pots.
Induction heating ensures that heat is distributed evenly throughout the cooker and not just underneath. Tiger’s line of rice cookers also feature fuzzy logic, the technology where the system monitors and adjusts the cooking process instead of you. They also have multiple computerized menu settings that accommodate brown rice, white rice, porridge, mixed rice, slow cooking, oatmeal and quick rice. Tiger developed a corporate mission in 2012 which says, “We will continue to create new every day essentials for the dining experience with ideas that produce warmth.” Tiger has established sales bases in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Shanghai, and the United States.
Zojirushi Corporation has been in business for more than 90 years. They began manufacturing and selling vacuum bottles in Osaka, Japan. The company’s original name was Kyowa Vacuum Bottle Co., Inc. In 1961 the name was changed to Zojirushi and an elephant was used as the corporate logo. Elephants symbolize intelligence, strength and familiarity and ZO means elephant in Japanese. Zojirushi’s corporate philosophy is to improve customers’ quality of life through creation of innovative products. They are dedicated to developing products that exemplify affluence, style and ease in three areas: food and beverage preservation, amenities for home and industry, and cooking appliances.
One of their innovative products is the rice cooker which is easy to use and convenient. The cookers are able to “think” and adjust cooking temperature and time according to the type of rice you are cooking. This is made possible by fuzzy logic and the microcomputer technology (computerized chip) programmed into the cookers. You just put your rice in, select a setting and the cooker does the rest. You can read, do laundry, help the kids with homework, or just relax. A number of the cookers have keep warm and extended warm features in case you don’t want to eat right away. Zojirushi rice cookers also use induction heating which ensures even cooking and a perfect rice every time. Zojirushi now has companies worldwide including China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, and the United States.
Aroma Housewares is located in San Diego, California and their mission is to design and distribute a line of products that enhance and enrich people’s lives. By listening to their customers they are able to provide products that are unique, innovative, valuable and convenient. Aroma rice cookers are some of the top sellers in the United States. They offer a variety of cookers and steamers to meet every need. Their stainless steel rice cooker offers durability, safety, and restaurant-quality rice. Aroma cookers range from simple basic one-touch, to sophisticated and high tech with all the bells and whistles. They offer fuzzy logic, digital touchpads, delay timing up to 15 hours, and keep warm functions that switch on after your rice is finished cooking. There are small cookers that will serve single people well, or bigger cookers for larger families. Aroma is a company that gives back to the community and for several years they have donated 1200 digital rice cookers along with bags of brown rice to the San Diego Red Cross offices. They are also environmentally conscious, not only using sustainable green packaging for many of their products, but constantly researching to see how they can develop kitchen technology that preserves energy and reduces environmental impact.
Instant Pot designs their rice cookers to make cooking less laborious and more enjoyable. Their goal is to release a new design every 12 – 18 months, so they are always looking for new ideas to make Instant Pot more useful and convenient for their customers. They have launched products in Canada, the United States and the UK. Instant Pot is mostly known for their multi functional pressure/rice cookers. Instant Pot is a 3rd generational programmable pressure cooker that is designed by Canadians. Their products are designed for convenience, safety and dependability. They have rice cookers that serve as slow cookers, yogurt makers, pressure cookers, steamers and warmers and you can also sauté and brown. These pots offer delay cooking up to 24 hours and up to 10 proven safety mechanisms. The built-in smart programs are for soup, poultry, bean/chili, congee, multigrain, meat/stew, sauté, and slow cook which has three adjustable modes. Most of their pots have stainless steel 3-ply bottoms which makes clean up easier.
Hamilton Beach sells over 35 million appliances each year and is one of the leading distributors in the country. Their household brands are found in Canada, Mexico and across America, and they are still expanding. The company was founded in 1904 by L.H. Hamilton and Chester Beach. In 1990, they merged with Proctor Silex which resulted in the largest manufacturer of small kitchen appliances in the United States. Through their “Good Thinking” brand they commit to superior customer service, product quality, helping make your day easier and more flavorful.
Hamilton Beach rice cookers are easy to use and versatile. They come with glass lids and non-stick bowls that are easy to clean and dishwasher safe. Not only can you cook rice, but you can steam, cook whole grains, pasta/rice and even mac and cheese. The rice cookers make perfect, fluffy rice every time and you will be pleased with the texture and moisture. Features like the keep warm function are great for those days when you are not going to eat right away.