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Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer 1.8 Liter, Stainless Brown NP-NVC18
|Price:||$375.34 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Multi-menu cooking functions include settings for white, mixed, sushi/sweet rice, porridge, brown, GABA brown and quick cooking
- Umami setting extends soaking and steaming time for better rice
- Steam-reduce setting reduces steam to 50-percent of regular setting
- Scorch setting toasts rice to a crispy golden brown, ideal for special dishes
- Easy to ready colored LCD control panel with clock and delay timer
- NOTE: Refer user manual - attched in this page
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This item Zojirushi Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer 1.8 Liter, Stainless Brown NP-NVC18
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|Color||Stainless Brown||Stainless Dark Gray||Stainless Brown||Stainless Dark Brown||Stainless Brown||Black|
|Item Dimensions||11.1 x 16.5 x 10.1 in||11 x 15.5 x 9.5 in||9.9 x 11.1 x 15 in||9.12 x 11.82 x 7.5 in||8.6 x 15.4 x 10.1 in||11.3 x 15.2 x 9.8 in|
|Material Type||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Steel||Stainless Steel||—||Stainless Steel|
|Size||1.8 Liter||1.8 L||1.8 Liter||—||5.5 Cups/1.0-Liter||10-Cup|
Zojirushi NP-NVC18 Induction Heating 10-Cup (Uncooked) Pressure Rice Cooker and Warmer
The NP-NVC18 10-cup Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker and Warmer is the most intelligent rice cooker ever made. Advanced fuzzy logic technology with AI (Artificial Intelligence) "learns" and adjusts the cooking cycle to get perfect results every time. This rice cooker will automatically select from 3 pressure settings according to the menu selected for the best cooking results. The platinum infused nonstick inner cooking pan changes the water quality and allows rice to absorb water easily for better tasting rice.
NP-NVC18 also includes superior induction heating technology, multi menu cooking functions with healthy brown rice and GABA brown rice cooking options, Zojirushi's exclusive Umami setting, scorch setting, and steam reduce setting, an easy-to-read colored LCD control panel with clock and timer functions, a delay timer with two settings, an interchangeable melody and beep signal to indicate the end of the cooking cycle, automatic keep warm as well as extended keep warm, and a detachable and washable stainless-steel inner lid.
For safety, the appliance provides a pressure-control valve, a back-up safety valve, an inner lid filter, and a pressure indicator on the control panel, which locks the lid during pressure-cooking. Easy to clean clear coated stainless steel exterior and washable detachable inner lid makes clean up a snap. Accessories include a rice spatula, a spatula holder, and two measuring cups (for regular rice and rinse-free rice). The ETL-approved 1,370-watt rice cooker and warmer measures 11-1/8 by 16-1/2 by 10-1/8 inches.
Make every rice type imaginable with a Zojirushi Rice Cooker
This is a menu setting designed to cook delicious brown rice. In order to cook hard rice bran and the rice inside, preheating time is extended for better absorption of water, and is cooked at a lower temperature to allow the rice to cook longer without becoming mushy.
Because sushi rice will be processed after it's cooked, it's easier to handle when it is a little firmer. This menu setting is very similar to regular white rice, but uses less water (adjusted by the water fill lines) for a firm finish.
Mixed rice is rice cooked with additional ingredients and seasonings. This setting extends preheating for better absorption of seasoning. Also, the cooking temperature is slightly lower than regular white rice, to avoid ingredients from boiling over.
Instead of cooking rice in larger amounts of water and risk making it sloppy, use the porridge setting to cook fluffy porridge. Cooking temperature is slightly lower than regular white rice, to be cooked longer for soft texture.
A newly discovered way of cooking brown rice to "activate" it and increase natural occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid in brown rice believed to have health giving properties such as lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function and relieving stress. The brown rice is "activated" by soaking it at 104 degrees F for 2 hours before the actual cooking begins. All Zojirushi Induction Heating System rice cookers, including the IH Pressure models, have the GABA brown rice setting.
Not to be confused with Germinated Brown Rice: Germinated brown rice is a type of brown rice that has been processed. It is a type of rice that must be purchased. The process gives it a softer texture and improved taste. It also contains increased values of GABA. Germinated brown rice, sometimes also called sprouted brown rice, may be cooked using the "Softer" menu in most Zojirushi rice cookers.
About AI Fuzzy Logic Technology
The AI (Artificial Intelligence) allows the rice cooker to "learn" from past cooking experiences and adjust the cooking "flow" to cook ideal rice. NP-NVC18 cooks rice to the same consistency in summer or winter, when water and room temperatures may be drastically different. Even after years of use, the rice cooker can cook rice to the same consistency as when the unit was new. With AI technology, the rice cooker remembers the capacity you cook most often, and selects the ideal cooking "flow" from the very first stage of the cooking process. Basically, the microchip does all the thinking for you to adjust cooking times and temperatures, sets the precise amount of pre-soaking time of the raw grains, and the time for the final "wait" period during steaming.
Conventional rice cookers simply turn on and off in reaction to temperature. Fuzzy Logic Technology fine tunes this adjustment to adapt to various rice types, such as white, brown, sweet or porridge, which all have different cooking requirements. This model has separate thermometers that monitor the room temperature, the temperature inside the unit, and the temperature of the inner cooking pan to collect data to aid in the cooking and keep warm process.
What is Induction Heating (IH)
Induction Heating took rice cooking to another level by literally introducing another dimension to the heating process. Where the heating element would normally be located at the bottom of the cooker, IH transforms the entire inner cooking pan into a heat conductor, allowing for higher, more precise and more uniform cooking temperatures.
IH Pressure System
Pressure cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure resulting in even higher temperatures. Cooking rice with pressure is a better way to turn beta starch into alpha starch, which makes the rice softer and easier to digest. (The starch in grains is beta starch. Raw rice is hard because beta-starch is rigid. Beta-starch resists digestion by any enzyme, to protect the seed from germinating when conditions are unfavorable. When rice is cooked, the starch loses its rigidity, and turns into a soft pasty alpha-starch.) This change makes the rice softer and easier to digest, and even fluffier to the taste. Rice cooked with pressure has also been found to stay soft for longer periods of time when compared to regular cooked rice.
How it works
A specially designed lid keeps the cooker airtight and sealed, which prevents the steam from escaping. As pressure builds inside while the rice cooks, the boiling point of the water increases beyond the normal 212 degrees F. Once the water is allowed to boil, it cannot be heated further; but inside a sealed environment under pressure, higher temperatures can be reached, which penetrates everything in the cooker from the surface of the food to its center.
The unit automatically selects from three pressure levels according to the menu selected. Three pressure settings are available to steam the rice to varying degrees of firmness; lower pressure and temperature for firmer rice, and higher pressure and heat for softer rice.
Zojirushi has multiple safety features for a rice cooking experience that is as safe as possible.
- Pressure Control Valve (with Pressure Release Ball) Controls the pressure level during cooking
- Safety Valve: Releases excessive pressure in case the pressure control valve becomes clogged or malfunctions
- Pressure Indicator on the control panel turns on when pressure is applied during cooking, and locks the lid
- Inner Lid Filter: Minimizes small particles from becoming stuck inside the Pressure Control Valve, Safety Valve or Steam Vent Set
- Whistle: A whistling noise warns that the Pressure Control Valve or Safety Valve is clogged and needs to be cleaned
Platinum Infused Nonstick Inner Cooking Pan
The nonstick coating on the inner cooking pan is infused with platinum particles. Through research, we discovered that platinum alkalizes water. Alkaline water breaks down the protein on the surface of the rice grain, and water is able to penetrate the rice grain more easily. Enhanced gelatinization brings out the sweetness of rice ultimately making better tasting rice. The platinum particles are burnt onto ceramic particles, which are mixed into the nonstick coating. The water is alkalized when poured into the inner cooking pan and comes into contact with the platinum particles.
The Umami setting soaks the rice before cooking longer than the regular white setting. During this extended soaking time, the sugar contained within the rice is slowly released out into the water. Once the rice cooker begins to cook the rice, the sugar that was released into the water reattaches itself onto the surface of the rice, making the cooked rice taste sweeter. The Umami setting also extends the steaming time at the end of the cooking cycle.
The Steam-Reduce setting reduces steam to 50% of the Regular Setting. The Rinse-Free setting can be used together with Steam-Reduce, but it is a separate course from other courses, and cannot be combined (e.g., you cannot cook choose Steam-Reduce when cooking sweet or mixed rice). The rice texture may be slightly harder than Regular.
The Scorched setting lightly toasts the bottom of the rice for a crispy texture. This is also a separate setting, and cannot be combined with other settings. It is recommended that the rice be consumed immediately.
Automatic Keep Warm
Extended Keep Warm keeps cooked rice warm at a lower temperature than Regular Keep Warm to minimize drying and yellowing of rice. It is ideal to switch to Extended Keep Warm when keeping rice warm for a longer period of time. The rice cooker will switch to Regular Keep Warm automatically for 24 hours after cooking completion. The reheat function will raise the temperature of the rice closer to immediately after cooking.
Reheating will take about 5-8 minutes. It can be used to reheat rice kept warm under Regular or Extended Keep Warm, to bring the temperature closer to immediately after cooking.
Keep Warm Monitor
The lid sensor detects how many times the lid has been opened and for how long, and calculates the amount of rice left inside the inner cooking pan. The rice cooker calculates how much heat is needed to keep the rice at the ideal keep warm temperature.
The keep warm monitor alerts you by beeping four times, 10, 40 or 70 minutes after cooking completes if the lid has not been opened, to encourage you to fluff the rice to release excessive moisture. The rice cooker will also beep four times if the lid is left open for over 5 minutes to remind you to close the lid. If unclosed, the rice cooker will beep every 3 minutes thereafter for up to 3 times. Both beeps will not sound if the rice cooker is set to "Silent" mode.
LCD Control Panel
Easy-to-read LCD control panel with clock and timer features. Menu Settings include: white (regular,softer, harder), umam, mixed, sushi/sweet, porridge, brown, GABA brown, steam-reduced, scorch, rinse-free and quick cooking.
The inner lid is detachable and washable for easy cleaning
Top customer reviews
What is Pressure IH?
Briefly, without getting too much into the details of the technology, Pressure IH uses inductive magnetic coils in the walls of the cooker that induce eddy currents in the rice pot and cook your rice (same as an inductive coil stove). Pressure allows for higher temperatures to be used, beyond the normal boiling point to drive moisture in to rice. Pressure is felt uniformly everywhere within the pot and the rice cooks faster. As a result, pressure IH creates a much more even cooking process. With traditional cookers, there is one resistive heating element on the bottom of the pot. As a result of a single source of heat, the rice is subject to differences in both moisture and heat. The bottom may end up burnt/mushy, the middle just right and the top slightly dry and undercooked. In pressure IH, with multiple inductive rings surrounding the pot, there is far greater evenness in cooking and with that control comes better taste and texture! Once you try pressure IH, there really is no going back. If you look at the Japanese market, it is now hard to find a traditional rice cooker that still remains popular in the US.
Japan versus US market
I've been spoiled by having lived in Japan and seeing the selection of rice cookers available there and the results. I will say that this is THE BEST rice cooker available in the US market currently. It is one of the few Pressure and IH(inductive heating) systems (compare with plain IH or conventional resistive heating element) which is a major plus. Hands down Pressure IH is the way to go with cooking rice and the quality and durability of this rice cooker is second to none.
However, I'm disappointed in the cooking pot that Zojirushi ships with the NP-NVC10 for the price. In Japan, a similarly priced cooker would have a much thicker pot (see my review on the Zojirushi NP-BS10-WB Pressure IH model, this also has a discussion on the various forms of rice cookers which I briefly outlined above Zojirushi NP-BS10-WB IH 5-cup Pressure Rice Cooker and Warmer | AC100V 50/60Hz (Japan Model)). Pot quality is the mark of a top of the line cooker, and it's construction makes a significant difference in the cooking of rice. A thicker pot improves the evenness of heat transfer, reduces deformation under pressure, and has increased thermal mass which allows rice to stay warm longer in the cooker.
That said, you won't be disappointed in the results of this rice cooker. You are as I said, getting the best you can get in the US without the hassle of importing your own and dealing with transformer/voltage issues.
4 Stars on Global Standard (sorry to be a rice snob!)
5 Stars on US Standard
1. You aren't supposed to cook steel cut oats in the pressure cooking models.
I called Zojirushi, and the support representative said, "You shouldn't use this model to cook
steel cut oats. Doing so may clog up the filters and vent on this model."
"NOTE: This recipe CANNOT be made in the Pressure IH Rice Cooker (NP-HTC10/18, NP-NVC10/18 model)"
The pressure models are designed to cook rice and congee amazingly well--but that's about it (no cakes and no steaming function).
Unofficially, some people claim to have made steel cut oats perfectly fine, but you probably need to cook a very small amount (under 1.5 cups total contents for the NP-NVC10 model and under 2.5 cups total contents for the NPC-NVC18 model) and constantly check to ensure nothing is overflowing--and that nothing is clogging up vents and filters. These are pressure models. If you're going to try, make sure you're using the "porridge" setting. Obviously, since a Zojirushi representative said not to use this model to cook steel cut oats, doing so is at your own risk (and should anything happen, you probably void the warranty). *I recommend not trying. Why inadvertently ruin a high-end rice cooker? *
2. The pressure (Pressure + Induction) heating models do not let you steam food or bake cakes in them. Some of the older, cheaper models do (Zojirushi NS-TSC10 and NS-TSC18 do, for example).
3. The manual states if the rice is cold (after putting leftover rice in the fridge, for example) don't use the reheat feature on the rice cooker because you may end up scorching the rice (amongst other reasons). But I took a small amount of leftover rice (less than the 1 cup line in the rice cooker bowl), added a tiny bit of water, and performed two reheating cycles until most (but not all) of the water was absorbed. The reheated rice was fine. The rice was definitely not as good as the first time it was cooked, but it was fine.
4. A lot of rice cookers (in general) use lithium batteries to remember the time. Without the battery, you need to reset the time manually each time you plug in the rice cooker. So the battery affects both the time and the timer function (since the timer function is based on the clock time).
The lithium battery is soldered onto a circuit board inside the rice cooker. That means, after the battery dies in 4-7 years, you can't replace it yourself (unless you have more soldering knowledge than I do). Official repair centres will charge you anywhere from $6-$15 for the battery and $10-$20 for labor.
That said, the rice cooker will function perfectly fine without the battery. But you will need to reset the time manually each time you plug the cooker in if the battery is dead. If you never unplug your rice cooker, the battery running out won't matter to you. Even if the battery runs out, everything will still work perfectly fine if the rice cooker is plugged in, with the caveat that you will have to set the clock manually if you ever unplug the unit.
If you keep the unit plugged in, the internal lithium battery will take longer to die, since the power for the clock function will not be provided by the battery when the unit is plugged in. Whether you want to keep the unit plugged in constantly probably depends on whether you have a surge protector available.
Basically, the lithium battery exists in the unit so people don't complain about having to reset the time constantly after they unplug the rice cooker (the battery dying isn't a big deal, but you should be aware of the cost involved should you want to replace it when it dies after 4-7 years).
5. There is no way to change the clock to non-24hr/non-military time. That is, you will always see 16:00 instead of 4:00 p.m, for example.
6. The platinum bowl models on these high-end Zojirushi rice cookers don't have ridges on the bottom like the older Zojirushi models do. So rice, in my opinion, is cooked more evenly using the NP-NVC18 (or NP-NVC10), and there's less chance of rice getting stuck along a ridge (or of you jamming or scraping a rice paddle along the ridge) when scooping the rice out. This new design is a small, but better improvement.
7. The inner bowl may eventually lose its non-stick coating. The manual states the following:
"The nonstick coating may eventually discolor or peel off. This will not affect its cooking/keep warm performance or sanitary properties, and is harmless to your health. If concerned with the peeling of the non-stick coating or if the Inner Cooking Pan deforms, please replace it by purchasing a new one."
Well, a new Platinum inner bowl costs $74 for the NP-NVC10 and $92 for the NP-NVC18.
So, treat the inner bowl like a baby. Do not scrape it. Do not use a dishwasher. Do not pour vinegar into it. Don't do anything that may wreck the bowl.
Should you wreck the bowl for any reason, even within the 1 year warranty period, I doubt Zojirushi is going to replace it for free for you (expect to pay for a replacement if you wreck it) since the fault of the bowl being wrecked within 1 year is likely the consumer's.
8. The rice paddle the unit ships with is made of hard plastic (I can't think of any rice cooker that doesn't ship with a hard plastic rice paddle). Due to point #7, you might want to consider getting a softer, silicone rice paddle to use instead for scooping rice out of the inner bowl.
9. Because this is a pressure model, opening and closing the lid after cooking is more difficult than when the rice cooker has been off for some time. Pressing the top button may not release the lid very quickly due to the pressure inside the unit. Closing the lid may be a little difficult as well. It's probably a good idea not to force anything (either opening or closing).
10. Congee produced on the porridge setting may be a little too thick for some people. Try adding more water (or use less rice).
11. There's no backlight on the front panel. Does this matter to you? Probably not unless you don't turn on lights in the kitchen
12. Zojirushi has toll free customer support: (800) 733-6270 M - F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PST
13. This unit is made in Japan. Being made in Japan used to indicate quality. Hopefully, it still does.
14. Warranty service requires that you pay for transportation of the product to a Zojurishi dealer, authorized service center, or Zojirushi:
"If there is a manufacturing defect, ZOJIRUSHI will repair the product with new or rebuilt parts at no charge to you in the U.S.A. and Canada, provided you return the product during the warranty period with transportation charges prepaid to one of the following: the authorized ZOJIRUSHI dealer from whom this was purchased, a ZOJIRUSHI authorized service center, or ZOJIRUSHI. Please call toll free 1-800-733-6270 for assistance. This warranty does not include packaging, postage, freight, transportation, insurance or delivery fees.
When returning the product, include your name, address, daytime telephone number, a description of the problem and a copy of the dated sales slip or receipt of purchase. No warranty work can be performed without all of this information.
Should ZOJIRUSHI determine that the product is not defective, is not covered by warranty or is outside of the warranty term, ZOJIRUSHI shall return the product to you at your expense without being repaired or replaced."
Now, all that said, how does the rice taste? Where these units shine is with brown rice cooking. Cooking brown rice, typically, is not easy. When cooking without a fancy rice cooker, the results are often undesirable. But with this model, brown rice is amazing.
So, obviously, is white rice. The rice produced is fluffier than with previous units. The difference, however, is subtle. Whether that subtlety is worth the price is up to you.
While I understand Zojirushi offers fancier units than this one in Japan, the NP-NVC series is the best currently in North America for cooking rice. The other units in Japan have control panels that aren't in English, and the units would require electrical transformers for use over here. If cooked rice quality is important to you, this unit is as good as it gets, for now.
I don't feel this model is perfect. I would like to remove half a star because Zojirushi doesn't go out of its way to indicate this model is not as versatile with respect to cooking various foods as its previous models (and I'm specifically referring to steel cut oats). I had to look up a recipe on Zojirushi's website to find this information. And to find out the exact reason why you're not supposed to cook steel cut oats in this model, I had to call Zojirushi. When you visit their product page, nothing is mentioned about steel cut oats (and performing a comparison across various models doesn't seem to indicate that this unit wouldn't be able to cook steel cut oats without potentially clogging filters or causing other damage to the unit). I can't remove a full star because I feel the unit is better than 80% (4/5 stars); I feel this unit deserves a 90% rating.
- cooked rice is about as good as it gets (that's what you're paying for in the end, right?)
- better inner bowl design than on previous models
- made in Japan
- not supposed to cook steel cut oats in this unit (also, you can't steam or bake cakes, unlike the NS-TSC10/18)
- congee produced on the porridge setting may be a little too thick for some people. Try adding more water (or use less rice).
- pricey replacement bowl
- clock displays 24hr time only
- soldered lithium battery for the clock on a circuit board (not a big deal; after all, the unit works fine if it's plugged in even if the battery is dead; you just need to reset the time if you unplug the unit)
- no backlight on the front panel (only matters if lights are off in the kitchen, but who cooks with lights off?)
- customer pays for transportation costs of the unit for warranty repair
90% (great unit, but you're paying for it)
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