For as huge because the cooking business is, most kitchen-product launches are modest affairs. There may be some commerce present hoopla or a video, and lord is aware of my inbox is filled with press releases, however a current rice cooker occasion, of all issues, stood out for its flashiness. Japanese producer Zojirushi proposed an expense-paid journey to Japan Home in Los Angeles for sushi, cocktails, and the disclosing of its “most superior and costly rice cooker” so far in america.
I handed on the invite, however because the very happy proprietor of a 10-year-old Zojirushi with a contemporary equal that prices beneath $200, I used to be curious to know the way a lot better a mannequin costing $550 extra might probably be.
My previous machine, the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 (later changed by the NS-LGC05), is about as middle-of-the-road because the Zojirushi lineup will get in america, but it embodies all the things I really 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 carried out. Glorious rice awaits and is saved heat, moist, and in respectable form for so long as a few days. It’s kind of of a uni-tasker, and there are different, extra hands-on methods to make higher rice. However it’s 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 Stress Induction Heating Rice Cooker & Hotter NW-JEC10/18, is available in 5.5- and 10-cup sizes, and it sits on the prime of the corporate’s lineup. It cooks with strain, which the advertising copy says “promotes gelatinization” whereas producing “sticky and plump rice.” To me, pressure-cooked rice might be glorious, making a extra distinct, much less mushy grain of rice. The machine additionally makes use of induction warmth, which is quick and is superb at holding the temperature regular. Variations of those options can be found in Zojirushi’s glorious NP-NWC10, however this new mannequin additionally sports activities a brand new “My Rice” customization function for white rice.
Whenever you make white rice on the brand new machine, you’ll be able to select between 5 presets of rice firmness—a pleasant contact—and you’ll attempt different settings like Fast, Combined, Sushi, or Porridge. You too can use the My Rice function the place you primarily price your white rice after it is cooked. That suggestions step by step adjusts the firmness and stickiness of subsequent batches, working towards your model of excellent while you prepare dinner ranging from the My Rice submenu.
At dwelling, I used the brand new machine to make short-grain white rice, and it was clearly higher than what my previous machine might make. From there, My Rice allowed me to get as fussy as I needed with it. Contemplating that each model of rice can prepare dinner up just a little in a different way, this lets you actually dial in the very best variables on your favourite model.
Choices galore, proper? Effectively, sure and no. Discover how I repeated “white rice” so much when describing doable changes in the previous few paragraphs? For those who set the machine to prepare 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 after 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 prepare dinner this on the Mush setting?”
You might sense I began searching for the exits at this level.