Choosing a rice cooker can be a daunting task.
You want the best, but how do you decide? Two popular brands often come up in the debate: Yum Asia Bamboo and Zojirushi.
I went through a similar journey, and here is what I found out:
|Feature||Yum Asia Bamboo||Zojirushi|
|Keep Warm Feature||10||9|
The Yum Asia Bamboo scores higher overall, especially in crucial areas like technology and voltage compatibility. While Zojirushi excels in design and has a slightly better "Keep Warm" feature, the Bamboo offers a better value for the price. For those in Europe, Yum Asia Bamboo is the more intelligent choice.
The Dilemma: Japan vs China
Many people think Japanese products are better than Chinese ones. But is that true? I found no solid evidence to back this claim.
Both countries produce quality rice cookers. So don't let this be your deciding factor.
Rice cookers come with different technologies. The two main types are conventional and Induction Heating (IH).
IH is the latest and is said to cook rice more evenly. But here's the catch: Zojirushi doesn't offer an IH model with a steam setting in the EU. So, if you want to steam veggies while cooking rice, you're out of luck.
Voltage and Price
Voltage is another issue. Japan uses 100 V, the US uses 120 V, and Europe uses 220-230 V. You can buy a voltage converter, but that adds to the cost.
Speaking of cost, Zojirushi models can be expensive. The cheapest one I found was around 329 euros. On the other hand, the Yum Asia Bamboo was around 195 euros.
Why I Chose Yum Asia Bamboo
The Bamboo model offers the latest IH technology and has a steaming basket. It also has a larger capacity (8 cups vs. 5.5 cups) than some Zojirushi models. And it's cheaper!
So, for me, Yum Asia Bamboo was the more intelligent choice in Europe.
My Experience with Yum Asia Bamboo
Build and Design
The cooker feels sturdy, even if it's made of plastic. The buttons are easy to use, and the overall design is sleek.
The first time I used it, I was impressed. The rice had a better texture compared to stovetop cooking. I also tried the "yumami" function, which enhances the rice's flavor. Honestly, I didn't notice a big difference.
I experimented with brown rice and GABA rice. Both came out well. The cooker also has a quinoa setting, which worked fine. However, I haven't used the steaming function yet.
Cleaning is easy, but you have to be careful with water droplets falling into the bowl placement area.
Keep Warm Feature
This feature is excellent. The rice stays warm for hours without losing quality.
What about the size and kitchen space?
The Yum Asia Bamboo has a larger capacity but takes up about the same amount of space as a 5.5-cup Zojirushi model.
If you have a small kitchen, you might need to find a spot for it in another room.
Can I cook other grains like quinoa?
Yes, the Yum Asia Bamboo has a Quick Cook function that works well for quinoa. The texture and taste are similar to stovetop cooking.
Is the Yum Asia Bamboo good for single servings?
The cooker is designed for larger batches, but it can handle smaller servings. However, there are no markings for a single cup in the bowl, so you'll need to measure carefully.
What about slow cooking?
The Yum Asia Bamboo has a slow cook feature, although it's not commonly used. Its effectiveness for slow cooking hasn't been thoroughly tested in the review.
Does the Yum Asia Bamboo have a crust function?
Yes, it has a crust function for making dishes like tahdig. However, this function takes between 60 and 120 minutes, so plan ahead if you intend to use it.
How does the “Keep Warm” feature work?
The "Keep Warm" feature keeps the rice warm for up to 8 hours without losing quality. It doesn't scorch the rice, unlike some other models.
Are there any additional accessories or books worth buying?
There is an optional cookbook called "The Greedy Panda Cook Book" available for around 4 euros. However, the book mostly contains recipes where the rice cooker is used to prepare the rice, which is then added to other ingredients cooked separately. It may not offer much value for the price.
Is the Yum Asia Bamboo easy to clean?
Yes, it's easy to clean, but you need to be careful with water droplets that may fall into the bowl placement area. You may need to wipe it down the day after use to catch any missed water droplets.
What’s the cooking time for rice?
It takes approximately 20 minutes to cook rice in the Yum Asia Bamboo, making it a quick and convenient option for meal preparation.
Can I cook brown rice and GABA rice?
Yes, the Yum Asia Bamboo has specific functions for both brown rice and GABA rice, and both come out well in terms of texture and taste.
Is the Yum Asia Bamboo made in the same factories as other renowned brands?
Yes, the Bamboo is made in factories that also manufacture for other well-known brands like Cuckoo and Tiger, so the quality should be comparable.
Hi there, I’m Sam Billings, and I’m all about sustainability. Running a printing business is my thing, but my real passion is preserving nature. That’s why I run the Live Health blog, where I focus on Bamboo plants and their eco-friendly goodness.