Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Review

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Review 

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Summary

4.6 out of 5

Zojirushi brings yet another splendid rice cooker with the Zojirushi NP-HBC10. This rice cooker packs plenty of programs and one particularly impressive preset is the GABA rice mode. Let’s find out what this mode is all about and how well does this rice cooker do its job.


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Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Introduction

Cooking rice is one of those kitchen jobs that in theory should be very easy but can sometimes be a little hit or miss when it comes to getting it just right. The rice can vary slightly from bag to bag, the amount of salt, if any, which is added can make a difference. Even the altitude at which it is cooked can alter the boiling point of the water which can affect the cooking time. Added to this the rice is usually cooked just before serving when you are busy getting the rest of the meal ready. So even though rice is theoretically easy to cook it can be a little more effort that at first thought. One was round all this bother is to use an electric rice cooker and have perfect rice cooked every time with the minimum of effort from you.

Not only do electric rice cookers cook perfect white rice but cookers like the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 have a variety of programs that mean that they will also cook other types of rice to perfection as well. If you like GABA rice, the induction heating system in the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 allows you to effortlessly prepare and cook GABA rice in only a little over 3 hours rather than the 20 plus hours that it takes using conventional methods of pre-germinating the rice at a precise temperature. GABA brown rice is rich in the amino acid gamma-Amino butyric acid, thankfully called GABA for short. 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. With the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 the rice is put in the cooker, the GABA setting is pressed and the rice is geminated and the cooked automatically.

Our Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Review

The Zojirushi NP-HBC10 measures a compact 10 inches x 14 inches x 8 inches and weighs only 9 lbs. and has a capacity of 5 ½ cups of uncooked rice. When cooked this translates in to about 6 generous rice servings. Unlike many other rice cookers the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 uses induction as a heating method. This means that the whole cooking pot itself and the lid becomes the heating element providing an all-round and even heat distribution to help in ensuring evenly cooked rice, no matter how full (or even how empty) the cooking pot is. Due to the method of cooking, the Zojirushi NP-HBC10, even though it is a medium sized rice cooker, can cook as little ½ cup of rice – just right for 1 person. The programming options cope with a wide variety of different rice type including white rice (wither regular, slightly softer or slightly harder), mixed rice types, sushi rice (which is cooked a little less to allow for handling and extra processing), porridge rice, sweet rice and quick cook rice.

Additionally it will also cook brown rice, GABA rice, as well as germinated brown rice. 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. So what was the difference with the GABA brown rice setting, firstly it takes longer (but nowhere near 20 hours fortunately) 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. To be able to cook the rice correctly the amount of water added must be in proportion to the amount of rice to be cooked. All the measures that are given are in relation to the cup that comes with the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 and the cup is marked with amounts of water needed for each type of rice. The supplied cup is smaller than a standard size cup (1 Zojirushi NP-HBC10 sized cup = about ¾ of a standard cup). Due to the materials used to enable the cooking pot and inner lid to be able to be induction heated they are not able to be cleaned in a dish washer.

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 Specifications & Pros/Cons

Pros

Cons

Key Features

  • Using induction heating provides a more even heat when cooking meaning that no matter how filled the rice is the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 will cook every bit of rice evenly.
  • Induction heating uses less power to cook than a conventionally heated rice cooker
  • Can prepare and cook GABS rice within 3 ¼ hours rather than the traditional 20 hours preparation plus the cooking time on top
  • The programming timer allows for, a delayed start time, an automatic switch over to warming mode when the rice is cooked and the finish time of the rice to be set so that it is ready when you are.
  • Due to the materials that have to be used the inner lid and the non-stick cooking pot cannot be washed in the dish washer.
  • Induction heating – this is a very effective way of heating. The induction only heats the cooking pot and the inner lid. This means that not only is the heat delivered where it needs to be but that it is an all-round and even heat. This not only allows for the food to be cooked evenly and efficiently. Induction heating uses less power than conventional heating because there is no heat wasted.
  • GABA rice – GABA rice has always been a favorite among the health conscious but it is traditionally a long process that needs precise monitoring to enable the seeds to germinate properly. The Zojirushi NP-HBC10 makes the preparation of GABA rice easy. Instead of taking 20 hours of careful preparation the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 germinates and cooks the rice automatically in one operation.
  • Multifunction timer – the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 programming interface allows all the functions and timings set at a simple press of a button. When the rice that has been programmed in has been cooked the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 automatically switches over to warming mode. Keeping the rice hot to eat when you are ready for it without over cooking.
  • Will cook as little as ½ cup of rice – unlike similarly sized conventionally heated rice cookers the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 can cook as little as one portion of rice.

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Our Final Conclusion For The Zojirushi NP-HBC10

The Zojirushi NP-HBC10 is a little more expensive than many similarly sized rice cookers, including some of the Zojirushi range. This is due to the induction heating method that is employed. In exchange for that additional price you get a very efficient rice cooker both in terms of its rice cooking ability and in terms of low power usage. The Zojirushi NP-HBC10 can cook white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free or quick cooking rice perfectly every time.

Induction heating also means that this rice cooker can also successfully prepare and germinate GABA rice something that not many trice cookers are able to do. Despite this higher price the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 is one of the top selling and highly rated rice cookers on Amazon. There are a few drawbacks though, due to the materials that are used the Zojirushi NP-HBC10 rice cooking pot and inner lid cannot be washed in the dish washer. The cooking pot has a non-stick surface and the inner lid cleans with the wipe of a cloth to compensate for this. Users highly rate this rice cooker with 81% rating it as very good, overall it scores a very high 4.6 out of 5 from over 350 reviews.