For as large because the cooking trade is, most kitchen-product launches are modest affairs. There is perhaps some commerce present hoopla or a video, and lord is aware of my inbox is stuffed with press releases, however a latest rice cooker occasion, of all issues, stood out for its flashiness. Japanese producer Zojirushi proposed an expense-paid journey to Japan House in Los Angeles for sushi, cocktails, and the disclosing of its “most advanced and expensive rice cooker” up to now within the United States.
I handed on the invite, however because the very glad proprietor of a 10-year-old Zojirushi with a trendy equal that prices beneath $200, I used to be curious to know the way a lot better a mannequin costing $550 extra may probably be.
My outdated machine, the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 (later changed by the NS-LGC05), is about as middle-of-the-road because the Zojirushi lineup will get within the United States, but it embodies all the things I like about electrical rice cookers. Measure rice and water within the pot, shut the lid, hit the Cooking button, and stroll away till it sings a music to let you understand it is completed. Excellent rice awaits and is stored heat, moist, and in first rate form for so long as a couple of days. It’s a little bit of a uni-tasker, and there are different, extra hands-on methods to make higher rice. But it is so competent and hands-off—and I’m maybe so lazy—that I simply by no means see the purpose of different strategies.
Zojirushi’s new mouthful, the Pressure Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Warmer NW-JEC10/18, is available in 5.5- and 10-cup sizes, and it sits on the high of the corporate’s lineup. It cooks with strain, which the advertising and marketing copy says “promotes gelatinization” whereas producing “sticky and plump rice.” To me, pressure-cooked rice may be wonderful, creating a extra distinct, much less mushy grain of rice. The machine additionally makes use of induction warmth, which is quick and is excellent at holding the temperature regular. Versions of those options can be found in Zojirushi’s wonderful NP-NWC10, however this new mannequin additionally sports activities a new “My Rice” customization characteristic for white rice.
When you make white rice on the brand new machine, you possibly can select between 5 presets of rice firmness—a good contact—and you may strive different settings like Quick, Mixed, Sushi, or Porridge. You can even use the My Rice characteristic the place you primarily charge your white rice after it is cooked. That suggestions regularly adjusts the firmness and stickiness of subsequent batches, working towards your model of good once you cook dinner ranging from the My Rice submenu.
At residence, I used the brand new machine to make short-grain white rice, and it was clearly higher than what my outdated machine may make. From there, My Rice allowed me to get as fussy as I needed with it. Considering that each model of rice can cook dinner up a little otherwise, this lets you actually dial in one of the best variables for your favourite model.
Options galore, proper? Well, sure and no. Notice how I repeated “white rice” a lot when describing potential changes in the previous couple of paragraphs? If you set the machine to cook dinner brown or jasmine rice, these settings have none of these firmer, softer, or faster choices just like the white rice. No My Rice in any respect.
This was made worse once I used the brown rice that Zojirushi makes use of for testing, Nishiki Genmai brown rice. I loaded up the machine, scrolled to the brown rice setting, and made a batch, later giving my spouse Elisabeth a spoonful of the just-finished product.
She reacted with a query: “Did you cook this on the Mush setting?”
You could sense I began wanting for the exits at this level.