Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Review

Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Review 

Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Summary

4.5 out of 5

Considered one of the costliest Zojirushi models in the market, with a long history of reliability and excellent customer reviews, the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 is a 10 cup induction heating rice cooker and warmer. It is reliable, sturdy and technologically superior. Come find out why this model comfortably beats all other cookers in the market.


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Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Introduction

Always get nutrition and quality with the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 rice cooker thanks to its induction heating method. Considered the latest in rice cooking technology, induction heating conducts heat throughout the inner pan with uniformity. This ensures an evenly cooked rice no matter the type. Borrowing from its long lineup of already existing rice cookers, Zojirushi brings to this model MICOM fuzzy logic. This is just a geeky way of saying that rice cooker has a few brain cells capable of understanding the right temperature and time required to cook rice depending on its type. Basically, it adjusts whatever setting you use to what you are cooking using real time calculations the microprocessor makes with the help of its thermal sensors.

This rice cooker can make GABA brown rice with an exclusive brown rice cycle, can also cook white rice, porridge, sushi and many other types. It has an impressive 10-cup capacity although the actual capacity of raw rice is about 6 cups (yield tends to be just under double the raw rice used). A few noteworthy features include the extended keep warm and automatic warming cycles, large LCD touch control panel with timer and clock display plus measuring lines inside the pan for better control over ingredients.

Our Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Review

Zojirushi truly is the king of rice cookers. This brand really does know how to make rice without any input from your side. We previously did one other Zojirushi rice cooker review and loved the results. This time around, we got our hands on the induction model, NP-HBC18 10-cup stainless steel cooker. Now, the very first thing you will notice when you unpack this machine is the beauty of it all. Everything about it screams quality and the Japanese are not ashamed to brand themselves either. Right on the lid you read the words, Made in Japan! And we all know products from Japan tend to have a certain class and quality about them. This particular model is all stainless steel, both on the outside and the inside. Yes, the cooking pot within is stainless steel and heavy. It does not feel cheap by any standard. No wonder it meets FCC standards and is even cETLus listed.

Moving on, this is an induction rice cooker. Unlike other conventional rice cookers of today and even cheaper models from Zojirushi that use heaters in the bottom and probably to the sides as well, this one relies on complete induction cooking. In other words, no heaters but a lot of magnetic fields. Naturally, it helps keep the entire exterior cool even though it is stainless steel. Only the pot inside is heated up and the contents inside the pot. As for cooking itself, any type of rice thrown in came out picture perfect. Want to make white rice that is soft and supple, well then follow the instructions and add about 10% more water than mentioned. Moreover, in any rice cooker, brown rice tends to come out a bit crunchy, but with this unit, it actually came out soft and exquisite. Remember though to use the GABA mode for brown rice, you will fall in love with brown rice – that is our promise!

As for configurability, really nothing to complain here. It is all Zojirushi standards. Large easy to push buttons a clear display with timer and clock. Decide on how long you wish the rice to stay warm after cooking or keep a delay setting on it if you plan on a late lunch or dinner. The reason why it works with Jasmine rice, Persian rice, brown rice, porridge, sushi rice, long rice and any other kind of rice is because of the fuzzy logic technology and induction heating. Rice never sticks to the pot and it cooks evenly at a constant carefully maintained temperature.

Fair warning though, the seals on this unit are heavy duty rubber but because they are rubber, the chances of them eventually wearing out over years of use is high. Either find and keep replacement seals handy or be ready to replace the entire unit three years down the line. As for immediate complications, there are none with this particular Zojirushi model. Yes, it has a slight learning curve if you are migrating from cook/warm models but that curve is because it can do so much more than cheap Oster or Walmart models.

Zojirushi NP-HBC18 Specifications & Pros/Cons

Pros

Cons

Key Features

  • Full of Surprises – We decided to make Persian rice and it came out amazing. A little butter and some salt with the raw rice gave every single grain of rice its own identity at the end!
  • Multiple Keep Warm – Not sure when you will be having your meal? Not to worry. Set the delay timer and then let it keep warm. Rice does not lose its texture nor its warmth even after 12 hours of cooking.
  • Intuitive and Automated – Everything about this rice cooker is intuitive. From the design to usability. The instruction manual gives you a quick tour of everything and by the end of it you can make any kind of rice with perfection.
  • Heavy Duty Construction – Stainless steel exterior and stainless steel induction pot are both testament to the Japanese quality of construction.
  • Large Quantities – The 10-cup capacity of this rice cooker lets it make anywhere from 5 to 6 cups of raw rice depending on the kind. This is more than sufficient for a large family gathering and probably some next-morning leftovers too.
  • Induction Heating – Because it relies on induction heating, this rice cooker actually does not burn rice. In fact, it keeps the lid and exterior cool even when the rice is fully cooked.
  • Completely made in Japan makes this Zojirushi very expensive but it is completely worth it.
  • The entire unit is pretty heavy so you better find a permanent spot for it in your kitchen.
  • Rubber seals will eventually wear out so best to keep spares handy while they are available for this unit (the model has been in the market for years now, not sure when the next upgraded model comes out and if spares will be available for this one then).
  • For a 10-cup rice cooker, the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 is not that large by measurement. It is just about 15.6 by 10.1 by 9.2 inches in dimensions.
  • Comes with a rice measuring cup that is used as the base for measurement in recipes included in the instruction manual.
  • LCD control panel with clock and timer display plus delayed keep warm and automatic keep warm features.
  • Uses induction heating to evenly distribute heat all across the inside non-stick pan.
  • Can make brown rice, white rice, sushi, basmati, porridge and many other rice only recipes too.
  • Uses fuzzy logic technology to completely automate rice cooking.
  • Sturdy construction with a stainless steel coated exterior that also happens to be easy to clean.
  • This Zojirushi rice cooker meets FCC standards and is even cETLus listed.
  • Most important of all, the rice cooker is made in Japan entirely and then shipped out to the US.

Community Reviews

No community reviews have been submitted yet for this model!

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Our Final Conclusion For The Zojirushi NP-HBC18

The Zojirushi NP-HBC18 could very well be the reason why time travelers visit our time today. Maybe they don’t get the same kind of cooked rice in the future! Technology, design, quality of construction and overall performance – there is no criteria where the NP-HBC18 does not score high. Yes, it is pretty expensive for just a rice cooker but if you love your rice then you will love this cooker for the rest of your life.