There are two main heating methods for rice cookers, with two pricing tiers.
Electrothermal Heating (“Maicom”) Rice Cooker (economical option)
In Japan, it’s known as a maicom rice cooker, short for micro-computer. The maicom rice cooker has an electric heater in the bottom of the pot, and the heat isn’t distributed well. Compared to an IH rice cooker, the heat is weaker and it often used for small size rice cooker for singles. Larger machines, like 5.5 cups and up, are being produced less.
Price range: From $50 up to $200, for 5.5 cup models.
IH (Induction Heating) Rice Cooker (powerful and reliable option)
IH (Induction Heating) rice cookers are becoming more mainstream these days. The IH rice cooker uses electromagnetic power and the internal pot itself heats up well in high temperatures. In this way, the whole pot gets hot equally and speed high heating with high pressure will happen.
Price range: From $100 up to $1,200, for 5.5 cup models.
So which one do we need to get? Off course, the IH rice cooker can cook better rice and that's why IH is the mainstream of rice cookers now. Especially, when you cook more than 5 cups, it is better to use IH using high heat and get equally heated tasty rice.
On the other hand, if you just need to cook 3 cup or less, Electrothermal heating (Maicom) rice cooker could be enough because if the amount is small, Maicom rice cooker's heat level could be enough to give rice equal level of heat to rice.
Also, the cost of Maicon rice cooker is great too. Comparing cooking same amount of rice between these two types, Maicon rice cooker uses less energy and cheaper. So if your family is less than 3 people, Maicon rice cooker could be a good option too.
OK, if you decide you will get IH, there is more thing to consider which is how the machine cooks.
(Learn more about IH rice cookers in our next article, out June 27.)
1. 4 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Rice Cooker
2. You Should Never Buy a Rice Cooker that is Too Big for Your Needs
3. Why Are Induction Heating Rice Cookers So Hot?
Better than white & Brown rice; It's Haiga-mai !