I adore my rice cooker. It cooks speedily and expertly and retains my rice, heat and prepared to eat, for days. At home, we just about always have a pot prepared on the counter prepared to serve with dinner or fortify a lunchtime salad. The rice is great, and the cooking approach rivals toast-building in its simplicity. After my spouse Elisabeth and I received ours—a Zojirushi NS-LAC05—nearly a ten years in the past, I have by no means witnessed the stage of any other method. In actuality, if it ever dies, I would be one hundred percent happy to change it with the actual identical design.
And nevertheless … with the launch of Zojirushi’s new, top rated-of-the line Stress Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Hotter, aka the NP-NWC10—quite a mouthful possibly way—I was very curious. It offers two characteristics that make cookery nerds’ hair stand on conclude with enjoyment: induction warmth and pressure cooking. In small, induction is fast and exact, and pressure’s better warmth is purported to extra thoroughly and evenly cook every grain.
The new a single operates just about identically to the design I personal. Making use of the cup it arrives with, you measure out the volume of rice you want into the pot, rinse the grains, then include water up to the etched line on the sidewall of the pot that corresponds with the quantity of cups of rice you happen to be cooking. Find the location you want, strike the Cooking button, and clap along as it plays a pair bars of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Very little Star.”
Here’s wherever the difference kicks in. In its place of plateauing at 212 degrees Fahrenheit with no pressure, white rice is cooked at two.one psi and 219 degrees. Brown rice gets a minor extra pressure (two.8 psi) and reaches 221 degrees.
I also had a huge realization here: The 1st take a look at would be the deal breaker. It would possibly flavor superior or it wouldn’t be really worth it, in particular taking into consideration the Zojirushi will established you again handily. The prompt retail rate for the five.five-cup design I tested is $585, and the 10-cup NP-NWC-eighteen is $620, though both of those can be located slightly less expensive in outlets.
For my take a look at, I purchased a 15-pound bag of Tamanishiki Super Top quality Quick Grain Rice, the identical rice used by Zojirushi for its white-rice testing in the United States. I place equal amounts of rice in the old and new devices, rinsed, extra water, and strike Cooking. About fifty minutes later, I fluffed the rice, grabbed some spoons, and identified as Elisabeth. We every gave the other blind assessments from every cooker, formed an impression, and kept it to ourselves until we might both of those attempted every a single. The difference was obvious. Although our old equipment developed rice that would be extra than satisfactory at a cafe, the induction/pressure design made extra distinct grains—”significantly less mushy” was our shared assessment. It was a obvious action ahead, and there ended up even “softer” and “more durable” options for even more tinkering.
Grace Beneath Stress
One particular argument that now crops up when it arrives to all rice cookers is, Why not just cook your rice in a pressure cooker? It can be a excellent dilemma. In follow, I am a devout proponent of the division of labor, letting every equipment do its matter. Also, there is so significantly stuff you can cook in a pressure cooker that you’d want to eat with rice that, at the least, you’d want two independent equipment.
The head-to-head take a look at punched a several holes in my argument. Making use of my super-top quality rice, I cooked a fresh new batch in my Prompt Pot working with Melissa Clark’s rules from her cookbook Meal in an Prompt. It arrived out very well on my 1st go, with plainly individual grains and just a trace of mushiness, a thing that may well be able to be dialed out with extra testing. In the Zojirushi, the grains ended up just a little bit extra distinct, but the difference was amazingly slim taking into consideration that you can acquire an great electric pressure cooker for about $one hundred and the Zojirushi expenses extra than five periods that. Then once more, pressure-cooking rice usually is a little bit fussier and doesn’t help save you significantly time.
Having said that, the rice cooker’s “Continue to keep heat” operate is notably superior. I remaining both of those concluded batches of rice in their respective devices overnight. In the early morning, the Zojirushi’s batch was in the vicinity of indistinguishable from just-cooked, although the Prompt Pot’s had a fifty percent-inch-thick crust of inedible rice crud on the base of the pot. I recognize that the excellent of the rice degrades in excess of time even in a excellent rice cooker, but as someone who routinely maxes out my old Zojirushi’s timer at ninety nine several hours so I can just about always have a several scoops of heat rice on hand, this is huge. On a very similar note, quite a few men and women adore working with the timer operate to make just-cooked rice seem at dinnertime.