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Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Rice Cooker Review

Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Rice Cooker Review

Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Rice Cooker: QUICK OVERVIEW

Design

Features

Durability

Affordability

What We Like

  • Fuzzy logic
  • Extensive menu choices
  • Delay timer

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

Induction rice cookers are slowly becoming one of the best ways to achieve the best texture and flavor for your rice at home. If you’re tired of constantly having to monitor your rice, or you don’t want to have to deal with all the hassle and still getting an inconsistent texture with your rice, an induction cooker can help you. They’re great for making either small or large portions of rice for meal prepping, or even for you and your family.

If you’re interested in buying an induction rice cooker, you’ll need to be aware that they are different from your ordinary household rice cookers. They are better than regular rice cookers as an induction cooker can make rice faster, taste better, and come with many different types of settings and functions.

Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Rice Cooker Review

Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer 1.0 Liter, Stainless Brown NP-NVC10

Rice cookers in the United States are gaining popularity as the number sold has more than doubled in the last 7 years (from 3.1 million to 6.9 million).  Consumers are electing to purchase them for their home kitchens because of the convenience, efficiency, small footprint and quality of rice produced. 

Zojirushi, a manufacturer of premium kitchen appliances and vacuum insulated products, celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.  They have been distributing their products in the United States for 31 years.  Zojirushi is known to produce innovative, durable and quality products.  Their line of rice cookers varies in price according to the features offered.  The Zojirushi Rice Cooker NP-NVC10/18, manufactured in Japan, is a top of the line induction heating rice cooker.  It is equipped with fuzzy logic (a form of artificial intelligence), induction heating, pressure cooking and a platinum infused pan. The cooking capacity of the NP-NVC10 model is 5 ½  cups (1 liter) of uncooked rice or 10 cups (1.8 liter) with the NP-NVC18 model. Zojirushi provides two measuring cups that must be used to measure the uncooked rice.  The clear cup is 6.1 oz and the green cup that is used to measure rinse-free rice is 5.8 oz vs the 8 oz U.S. measuring cup.

Features of the Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18

This  Zojirushi induction heating pressure rice cooker comes with the option to cook up to 1 liter of rice at a time, or you want 1.8 liters of rice. The 1-liter option is good enough for up to 2 people and the 1.8-liter option is great for families.

Features included with this induction heat rice cooker are the Umami settings which extend the soaking and steaming time for a better texture and flavor of the rice, steam reducing settings for types of dishes that require less steam, and a scorch setting to get rice a crispy and toasty golden brown. This unit is easy to use because of the LCD control panel with buttons. It also includes a clock and a delay timer to program the start time of the rice cooker.

This induction pressure rice cooker has a retractable power cord that supports 120 volts. Included in the package are the accessories of spatula, spatula holder, and 2 measuring cups. Additionally, an instruction manual in English, French, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese is provided.

  • Dimensions:15.4 x 10.1 x 8.6 inches
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Stainless steel exterior and LCD control panel
  • Fuzzy logic AI technology
  • Pressurized induction heating system
  • Platinum infused nonstick inner cooking pan (removable)
  • Detachable inner lid with filter
  • Automatic keep warm, extended keep warm and reheating cycles
  • Menu settings include: white (regular, softer or harder), mixed, sushi/sweet, porridge, brown, GABA brown, umami, steam-reduce, scorch, rinse-free and quick cooking
  • cETLus listed, tested to comply with FCC standards
  • One-year limited manufacturer warranty

What is Fuzzy Logic?

Fuzzy logic is a form of artificial intelligence (AI).  This type of logic handles situations that cannot be answered in a way that is completely true or completely false but those of partial truth.  For example, it could be used to reason about a vague concept such as whether someone is young.  Programming fuzzy logic into the micro-computer allows appliances such as this rice cooker, to think for itself (resembling the way a human would think) and make adjustments while the rice is cooking.

The temperature and cooking time are controlled by a micro-computer chip according to the menu selected. The computer chip in this rice cooker is programmed to use fuzzy logic in a few ways.  For example, there is a sensor that monitors the water content in the pot.  If the water level reaches a certain point, this cooker will change the temperature since less heat is needed. In a model without fuzzy logic, the heater would just switch off.  Another example is that this unit is able to remember how much uncooked rice is placed in the pan most often. It uses this information to select the ideal cooking process from the beginning. Specifically, the microchip will set the appropriate cooking times and temperatures and will determine the right amount of time needed to soak the raw grains.

Another feature of the AI in this model, recognizes the temperature of the cooking environment. If it is hot outside, the kitchen will be warmer, and the rice cooker will heat up faster than if it is cold outside. This induction rice cooker will compensate for this by adjusting the heating element temperature, allowing the water to be heated slower. This is important because you don’t want all the water to be used (absorbed or evaporated) before the rice is finished. The bottom line is that the rice will be cooked the same way (texture, consistency) regardless of the season.

This induction heating rice cooker also takes into consideration how many times the lid was opened and for how long.  The time and temperature required to keep the rice ready for serving is then calculated.

Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking seals the heat and moisture inside the cooker allowing higher temperatures to be reached.  When under pressure, the heat and water are absorbed into each rice grain cooking it from inside to the outside.

When the menu is selected, the unit automatically chooses one of three pressure settings, then adjusts the cooking time of the rice. Pressure cooking helps turn beta starch into alpha starch. This makes the rice softer and easier to digest. It also cooks rice faster than standard rice cookers.

The pressure cooking feature is not activated when these three pressure settings are selected:  white (harder), sushi, sweet and porridge.

The Zojirushi induction heating rice cooker has numerous safety features including a pressure control valve, back-up safety valve, inner lid valve, and an inner lid filter. It also has a pressure indicator that locks the lid when the pot is under pressure.

Induction Heating

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18 uses induction heating.  In this type of heating system, an electrical current passes through copper coils producing a magnetic field. This field is activated when the pan is placed in the rice cooker.  Heat is then generated throughout the full inner pan not just the bottom as in conventional heating methods. Since the entire pan is the heating element, it will heat up faster and the food will be more evenly cooked.  Additionally, the temperature control is more precise with induction heating than when heat comes from just the bottom of the pan.

Platinum Infused Nonstick Inner Cooking Pan

Zojirushi manufactured the pan for this cooker with nonstick coating infused with platinum particles.  They claim that when the inner pan is heated, water is alkalized. This alkalized water serves two purposes.  First, it breaks down the protein that is on the surface of the rice grain. Second, it is absorbed more easily by the rice grain.  The result is that the sweetness of the rice is released, thereby enhancing the flavor of the rice.

Control Panel

  • Cancel button – used for stopping the rice cooker or cancelling a menu selection
  • Rinse-free – use when cooking rinse-free rice
  • Menu: select one of the many menu settings
  • Keep Warm Selection- choose Extended Keep Warm, Automatic Keep Warm, or Reheat  
  • LCD screen – displays time in the 24-hour military format and text showing when rinse-free or pressure is used
  • Time setting – use arrows to set the cooking time, timer or clock
  • Timer – set the timer so the rice will finish cooking at a particular time.  Be sure to set the current time on the clock (in military time) before using the timer function.
  • Start/reheat – used to start the cooking process or to start the process to reheat rice

Menu Settings for the Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18

List of Settings

  • White rice – choose regular, softer, harder
  • Umami
  • Quick
  • Mixed
  • Sushi
  • Sweet
  • Porridge
  • Brown
  • Gaba brown
  • Steam-reduce
  • Scorch
  • Umami Setting

    In 1907, a Japanese chemistry professor, Kikunae Ikeda, sought to identify a particular taste found in cheese, some cooked meats and tomatoes. This taste was not one of the four well known tastes - sour, sweet, bitter or salty. Dr. Ikeda knew it was in a certain type of seaweed that was used in soup bases. He isolated crystals of glutamic acid, an amino acid from this seaweed, and found that glutamate was the distinctive taste.  He named it Umami (savory taste). 

     The Umami setting on the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 is intended only for use with white rice.  When activated, the rice is soaked in water longer and steamed longer than if the white rice setting was selected.  The theory is that this extra time allows the natural sugars of the rice to be released into the water. These sugars are then reabsorbed into the rice when the cooking begins. The result is rice with a savory taste.   

    Heating Technologies

    The Regular Keep Warm function is activated once the rice is cooked. This allows the rice to be kept warm and fresh until it is ready to be eaten.  This feature is not to be used for keeping rice warm for more than 12 hours, reheating cold rice or for rice containing extra ingredients or seasonings.

    The Extended Keep Warm mode can be activated during the Regular Keep Warm mode.  This feature is not to be used for keeping rice warm for more than 24 hours.

    If the Keep Warm Mode has been activated, and the rice has not been loosened within the first 10 minutes, the Keep Warm Monitor will remind the cook to loosen the rice. This reminder comes in the form of 4 short beeps.  If the rice has not been loosened within 10 minutes of the completion of the cooking cycle, the monitor will emit the beeps again at 40 and 70 minutes after the rice is cooked. The beeps can be disabled by switching to the silent mode.

    This feature can be used during the Regular Keep Warm or the Extended Keep Warm modes. It is used for keeping the rice hotter during these modes and can be used only when reheating white rice. If it is used when reheating other types of rice, they may become discolored or burnt. Additionally, the Reheat mode may only be used once, otherwise the rice may become scorched or dry. When this feature is being used, it is important to loosen the rice. 

    Steam-Reduce Setting

    Zojirushi claims the steam-reduce setting reduces steam to 50% of the regular setting.  When this feature is used, the cooked rice will have a firmer and harder texture than if a regular setting was used (white, brown, GABA etc). This is a separate setting and can only be combined with the rinse-free setting.  It would probably be used if the cooker is situated in a space where there is limited space above the cooker.

    Rinse-free Setting

    This Zojirushi induction pressure rice cooker has a special setting that will adjust the cooking time and temperature for preparing rinse-free rice.  

    This variety of rice is processed in a way that does not require the consumer to rinse it prior to cooking. During the milling process, the bran, excess surface starch and residues from the rice, are removed without affecting the quality of the rice.

    Since the rice grains are smooth and more slippery, more will fit into the 6.1 oz cup provided by Zojirushi. Therefore, it is important to use the green measuring cup (5.8 oz) that comes with your cooker, to measure the uncooked rinse-free rice.  If you don’t use this cup, the texture of your rice may be harder than you would like.   

    The Brown and GABA Brown menu settings cannot be selected while Rinse-free is selected. If they are chosen, the menu setting will change to White Rice/Regular.

    Scorched Setting

    The scorch setting lightly toasts the bottom of the rice and is often used to make fried rice dishes. This is a separate setting and cannot be combined with other settings. It is recommended that if this feature is used, the rice be eaten immediately after it is cooked.  

    Brown Rice vs White Rice

    The four parts of the rice kernel are: the hull, bran, germ and the endosperm. The hull is the hard-outer part and is not edible.  Bran is the outer skin (multi-layered) that protects the inner parts of the kernel.  It contains minerals, vitamins and fiber and gives rice the brown color. The endosperm makes up most of the kernel and contains a lot of starch, some proteins and very small amounts of vitamins and minerals. The germ is the part from which a new rice plant can grow and has B vitamins and some protein.

    Brown rice is the whole grain rice with the outer hull removed. White rice has the outer hull, the bran layers and the germ removed. Brown rice takes more water and more time to cook. It is thought that because the germ and gran have fiber and larger amounts of nutrients, brown rice is considered healthier than white rice.

    What is the GABA?

    GABA stands for gamma-aminobutyric acid.  It is a non-protein amino acid (not found in genetic code).  When the GABA setting on the Zojirushi NV-NPC is selected, the cooker will soak the brown rice for two hours at 104°F after which the cooker will automatically begin cooking the rice.     

    The main benefit of the GABA Brown setting is that the brown rice is softer than if it were cooked on the brown rice setting. However, it is not cooked to the point of being mushy.  According to some scientific studies, the germination process of the brown rice could induce the formation of new compounds such as GABA. This is of interest because some scientific publications have reported GABA inhibits blood pressure elevation in rats. The hope is that it will be proven that GABA will have the same effect on humans.  

    Pros

    • Artificial Intelligence – Fuzzy logic
    • Induction heating technology
    • Pressure cooking
    • Platinum infused nonstick inner pan
    • Pan and lid are removable for easy cleaning
    • Extensive menu settings
    • Timer and Delayed-start  
    • Three Warming options   
    • GABA setting
    • Many safety features for the pressure cooker 
    • Beep reminds you to close the lid
    • Easy to use and clean

    Cons

    • Expensive
    • Only cooks rice effectively
    • Does not contain a steamer basket
    • Steam-reduce setting is a separate setting  
    • Scorched setting is a separate setting

    Alternatives

    If you’re not completely satisfied or sold on the NP-NVC10 model, Zojirushi makes other types of induction rice cookers. The Zojirushi NS-TSC10 works just as well and is less expensive than this current model. It does lack in some features; however, if you're looking for one which has minimalistic functions but can still cook rice well then, this rice cooker may be a good choice for you. The option to buy either a 1 liter or a 1.8-liter rice cooker is available.

    The NS-TSC10 model can automatically keep your rice warm and can even extend the warming cycle to reheat the rice every now and then. This option is perfect for people who plan to serve dinner parties, etc. You have an interchangeable melody and beeping signals that lets you know when the rice is done. For easy storage, it has a retractable power cord.

    Another option is the Cuckoo CRP-HZ0683F Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker.   

    Ultimately, you will have to make the choice for yourself if this Zojirushi induction rice cooker is worth it or not for you and your family. 

    Zojirushi NP-NVC10 Review: Verdict

    This Zojirushi model is an innovative product that combines artificial intelligence, induction heating, and pressure cooking. As the review suggests, this state-of-the-art unit will produce delicious and perfectly cooked rice. For those who do not like the texture of brown rice, the GABA Brown setting might just make them converts. 

    If you happen to cook a lot of rice and you’re looking for a more effective way to get the perfect rice cooked in less time, this luxury product should be considered. It is especially useful for families who find themselves eating rice every day or even more than once a day.  This model is also very handy if you’re looking to make large batches of rice or need to keep your rice warm when you’re hosting a dinner party or attending a potluck supper.  

    Those who eat rice frequently, enjoy eating it prepared in different ways and appreciate terrific flavor and texture will be ecstatic with this quality product even though it is expensive. However, if you only want to cook white and brown rice and are not interested in a lot of specialty functions, this cooker probably is not worth the extra cost and you would be better served considering a less expensive option. 

    Hopefully, this article has helped you decide if the Zojirushi induction heating pressure rice cooker and warmer is a kitchen appliance you would like to buy.

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