Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Review

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Review 

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Summary

4.7 out of 5

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT has practically dominated the Rice Cooker scene for the past couple of years. It has consistently attracted positive consumer reviews, and has delivered all of the promises that Zojirushi has made. In terms of cooking quality, there are only a few models that outperform the rather fantastic NP-GBC05-XT.


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Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Introduction

For those who have never used a rice cooker as it seems a lot of money to have an appliance that just boils rice – try using one and you will see why rice cookers are becoming an increasingly popular kitchen appliance. They are versatile and have the ability to produce perfectly cooked rice, of various types, every time and have it ready whenever you want it.

It seemed that most of the manufacturers were concentrating their efforts on the larger capacity rice cookers, so it is good that there are now smaller capacity cookers available, which will cook quantities that are small enough for a small family or even a single serving.

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer is a prime example of a rice cooker that will cope with smaller portions, even though it will cook up to 3 cups of uncooked rice it can also cook as little as ½ a cup. Innovatively the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT cooks by using energy efficient induction heating which provides all round heating ensuring that the rice, whatever quantity is cooked, will be cooked evenly to perfection. Rather unusually for rice cookers, there is a setting for GABA brown rice to be prepared and cooked with the push of a button.

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Dark Brown
Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Induction Heating System Rice Cooker and Warmer, Stainless Dark Brown
  • 700-watt 3-cup rice cooker and warmer with Induction Heating technology. Note - Capacity is measured in the approx. 6 oz. / 180mL rice measuring cup, using raw short grain white rice. Other grains may vary.
  • Menu settings include: white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free and quick cooking
  • Accessories include rice spatula, spatula holder and rice measuring cups

Our Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Review

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT is a compact rice cooker, measuring only 7.5 x 11.8 x 9.1 inches and weighs only 8 lbs. when empty. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT looks cosmetically like many other rice cookers in the Zojirushi range, albeit a little smaller, a curved container finished in stainless steel with a dark brown trim. The differences are hidden for view. Instead of a conventional heating element, the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT uses electrical induction.

Induction heating is a very efficient for of producing heat. The only thing that is heated is the cooking pot and, in this case the lid. It produces the maximum amount of targeted meat for the minimum electricity usage. This does mean that specific materials have to be used for the cooking pot and lid which are unfortunately not able to be cleaned in a dish washer. The second item that catches the eye is the GABA brown rice setting.

GABA brown rice is rich in the amino acid gamma-Amino butyric acid, thankfully called GABA for short. GABA is alleged to have many health giving qualities such as lowering blood pressure and relieving stress. Traditionally GABA brown rice was made by soaking the rice in warm water, at about 93 deg. f for 20 hours until germination started and various enzymes were activated. The rice was then cooked conventionally.

Not only was the brown rice rich in GABA but it also became softer to eat. Many people do not particularly like brown rice as it is often not cooked right, it is either too hard or over cooked and becomes mushy. The first test just cooked standard brown rice, using the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT’s brown rice setting. Needless to say it was cooked to perfection, very slightly chewy – not too hard and not mushy.

So what was the difference with the GABA brown rice setting? Firstly, it takes longer – about 3 to 3 ¼ hours from start to ready to eat. The soak time is cut short, the rice is heated to a constant 104 deg. F for 2 hours which starts germination and the rice is then cooked normally. The GABA rice tasted just like normal cooked brown rice with the slightly nutty flavor but the texture was felt to be similar to that of white rice. It is really down to the choice of the individual as to which they prefer and whether they want the additional GABA that is present in the GABA cooked rice.

The next trial consisted of cooking ½ cup of dried white rice. Some of the larger rice cookers cannot cope with such a small quantity which means that for an individual portion either more than is required is cooked or an alternative found. Needless to say the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT performed just as expected and produced the perfect single portion of rice.

A good test is always to fill the rice cooker to the maximum recommended quantity and see if it cooks all the rice through evenly. The very short answer to this question is – yes. It seems that whatever the instruction booklet says it can cook it can and get it right every time.

What about things the booklet doesn’t say it can cook? A user mentioned that they cook steel cut oats in theirs. As many may know this can be a long drawn out process that needs watching. Using a 1:2 mix of oats to water and (guessing) using the porridge setting, the cooker was set for 10 hours (simulating an overnight cooking). Even though the porridge setting on the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT is intended for porridge rice it did a perfect job of making oat porridge as well.

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT Specifications & Pros/Cons

Pros

Cons

Key Features

  • Ability to cook GABA brown rice within 3 ¼ hours instead of the 20 plus hours traditional methods take.
  • Induction heating methods gives a more economical and more even cooking method.
  • Can produce anywhere from 1 to 6 cups of cooked rice.
  • Multiple timer settings allow the start, cooking or finish time to be programmed in.
  • Produces perfect results no matter what type of rice is cooked, whether it is white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free or quick cooking rice.
  • The inner stainless steel  lid and nonstick  cooking pot cannot be washed in the dishwasher, they have to be wiped down instead
  • GABA brown rice setting – whether for the higher levels of GABA in the brown rice or for just having brown rice with a similar texture to white rice the GABA setting is a quicker and easier way to prepare GABA rice.
  • Induction heating – this is a very effective way of cooking. The heat is delivered evenly where it is needed. In the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT the inner lid becomes part of the heating element. It is also more cost effective way of cooking as there is no heat lost through heating areas that are not part of the cooking pot.
  • ½ cup portion – being able to cook as little as ½ cup of uncooked rice, which produces 1 cup of cooked rice, is particularly useful for making a single serving.
  • Non-stick spherical cooking pot and detachable inner lid – when the cooking is finished the cooking pot and lid can be easily cleaned with just a wipe off.
  • Multi-function timer – can be set for start of cooking, end of cooking or cooking time. An audible warning (which can have the sound altered) sounds when the cooking is complete.
  • Will cook any type of rice at the touch of a button – white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free or quick cooking rice.

Community Reviews

No community reviews have been submitted yet for this model!

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Our Final Conclusion For The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT induction heating rice cooker is more expensive than comparable conventionally heated rice cookers. However, the induction cooking method does come with additional benefits. It can cook GABA brown rice in no more then 3 ¼ hours complete, this compares with the warm water soaking of 20 hours that is needed to make the brown rice begin to germinate using traditional methods.

The induction heating directly causes the cooking pot and the inner lid to heat up, this ensures that the rice is cooked evenly, using the least amount of electricity. One of the features of means that the cooking pot and lid cannot be washed in the dish washer. However the non-stick surface of the pot only needs a wipe over when it is finished with so the effort is minimal.

Although many families need a larger capacity of rice cooked, the ability of the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT to cook from ½ cup to 3 cups of uncooked rice makes it ideal for singles, couples and smaller families. Users love the Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT and rate it a very high 4.6 out of 5 on Amazon.