Donabe Rice Cookers

After getting a $300+ Zojirushi induction rice cooker almost 1.5 years ago,

I went 180 and got this donabe rice cooker this weekend.

Pretty cool.


I have an older version 10-cup Zojirushi. Not sure i’d trust myself with a donabe rice cooker, having gotten used to starting it up, walking away, and coming back to perfection. But i’m intrigued- is there any earthiness in the flavor of the rice? It’s absolutely beautiful.

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Yeah. It is nice to have an electric rice cooker where we can walk away and not worry about undercooking or overcooking. I cooked the rice, but haven’t had the chance to taste it yet. I don’t expect it to have much earthiness to it, but I will have an update on it. Yeah, I mostly bought it to explore this kind of clay rice cookware. Pretty cool looking. Thanks.


I’ve been sold on Zojirushi for a long time. I always have rice available but moreover unapologetically lazy. :disappointed:

Having said that I’m looking forward to your updates and love the look of your Donabe.


Someone told me before that the grandma in the family used to cook rice in a similar clay container. When done correctly, the rice was perfectly cooked, didn’t stick and smelled like heaven, much better than those cooked in a rice cooker.

Would love to hear how you like the results.

I do remember a few years that there is a electric rice cooker that use a clay vessel instead of a metal one. But I recalled so-so reviews about the longevity of the vessel.


I have a number of donabe cookers (but not a dedicated rice donabe), and a gin donabe (smoker). I find the quality of the rice, when cooked properly in a donabe, is unmatched (I love my Zoj too, but that’s a whole other game).

I often put all sorts of things on top of the rice before turning on the donabe. Veg, ginger, sometimes fish (which cooks the fish a little bit too much for my liking, but in the general Japanese style of cooking fish a lot). Works great for assorted mushrooms…

Donabe lunch 05-08


Wow, just wow!

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The CMOS battery on mine died a while ago so I have to reset the time whenever I use it, but that just takes a few seconds. I wonder how easy it is to replace (idle curiosity)

Yeah. I have two other “regular” donabe beside this rice cooker donabe.

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I love my Zojirushi rice cooker, but every once in a while I really miss the lovely aroma of rice cooked in a clay pot (plus, crunchy rice bottoms!!). I haven’t easily found smaller sized donabe or clay pots that don’t require me to cook rice for a family of 5+.

@Chemicalkinetics - did you find this at your local Japanese or Asian grocery store?

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Tastytravails, your photo is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.


Well, now I need to research donabe cookers in general.

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The most common ones I have seen is this one.

So when I found a slightly unusual one at a Japanese ceramic store, then I bought it. I bought it from Utsuwa-no-yakata

I am opposite. I have a few Japanese donabe and Chinese clayware which more 1-2 person size.


What’s the difference between the donabes and the chinese clay pots?

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Here, you can tell most of my donabe and “sand” clayware are not huge. My two regular donabe (on the left) are what people considered as 1 person and 1-2 person. I put a ruler to help put things in perspective. The lower left one has a inner diameter smaller than 6 inches.

I forgot to mention that my rice cooker has an inner lid and outer lid.

I did buy a couple of larger donabe, but I bought them as gifts. :slight_smile:

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While looking up donabe cookware I found a photo of one for sale on eBay that’s a dead ringer for two that I have. They were given to my parents by friends who’d been to Japan. This was in the mid-to-late '50s. The pots are quite a bit bigger than the five that Chemical Kinetics showed a photo of. I’ll add a photo of the eBay one since mine are behind a bunch of stuff and high up, but the shape and design are nearly identical.
They aren’t like the rice cooker, more like the one on the lower left, and look to be more glazed. Do I dare use these on the stove?

Add images here

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I do have one precious Chinese clay pot that I put on the stove, but I tend to mind that pot a lot while cooking. I’ve heard that you can only use these on open flames, save not electric ranges. You’re not supposed to use it on high heat, and even to get it up to medium you have to start slow and then gently bring to medium. It’s certainly not for quick cooking!

If you have a gas range, I would put some liquid in that and give it a try.

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All good advice- thanks

Chem!! Long time no hear :slight_smile: How’s the knife collection going these days? (petek from that other food site)