Zojirushi NP-GBC05 3-Cup Rice Cooker Review

Three years ago I reviewed the Zojirushi brown rick cooker and today I am reviewing the latest version of the next version Zojirushi rice cooker:  The Induction Heating System NP-GBC05. 
I love the sleeker design of the new cooker.  Janna thinks it looks like a late 80’s CD player.

Here’s the PR blurp about the cooker:

Equipped with Induction Heating technology, this 3-cup rice cooker and warmer provides more evenly distributed heat for perfectly cooked rice every time. Great for singles and smaller families, the appliance can cook as little as a 1/2 cup of rice, and it takes up minimal space on the counter. Multiple-menu cooking functions include white/mixed, sushi, porridge, brown rice, GABA Brown, quick, and rinse-free.

The appliances comes with a user-friendly LCD control panel with buttons that include “keep warm”, “reset”, and “cooking” to start the cooking process, as well as up and down arrows to set the clock or timer.

Thoughtfully designed, the rice cooker and warmer also offers attractive stainless-steel housing, a steam vent, a carrying handle, and a detachable cord for convenient storage. The thick, black, spherical inner cooking pan, detachable inner lid, and all accessories clean up easily by hand with warm soapy water and a soft sponge. Accessories include a measuring cup, a nonstick rice spatula, and a spatula holder. The 700-watt rice cooker and warmer measures 11-13/16 by 9 by 7-1/2 inches.

The 3-cup version of this machine — there are also 5-cup and 10-cup editions — is perfect for one person or and can easily feed a family of four.  “One cup” of rice is plenty for one hungry person — so the ability to cook half that much rice is a real budget saver.  When you have a rice cooker, the last thing you want to do is save, and then reheat, old rice.

“GABA Brown” is something new to me.  Here’s how Zojirushi explains the feature:

When GABA BROWN is selected on the menu, the Rice Cooker will begin activating the brown rice, after which it will start cooking automatically.  During the brown rice activation process, the temperature in the Inner Cooking Pan is kept at about 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours.  Cooking may take 3 hours to 3 hours and 15 minutes till completion. 

By activating brown rice, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a naturally occurring nutrient in brown rice, increases to 150% of the amount contained in non-activated brown rice.  This process also makes brown rice softer, thus making it readily edible.  GABA is a type of amino acid said to lower blood pressure and relieve stress.

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 is a fantastic brown rice cooker and I love the sleek look and enhanced capabilities of the machine. The Induction Heating system — using magnets! — if both fun, safe, and pet-friendly:

The heating method known as Induction Heating (IH) occurs when a magnetic material is placed in a magnetic field. In our case, coils within the bottom of the rice cooker create the magnetic field. When the aluminum nonstick inner cooking pan with stainless steel outer lining is placed into the rice cooker and the unit is activated, a magnetic field is generated to create instant heat. Through this technology, the inner cooking pan itself becomes the heat source utilizing both high heat and fine heat adjustments to control the cooking process. The result–quicker, more evenly distributed heat for perfectly cooked delicious rice every time.

The price of Induction Heating and GABA BROWN doesn’t come at a cheap
price.  Expect to pay around $250.00USD for this machine.  If you’re
concerned about your health, and if your daily bread revolves around the
consumption of brown rice, and if you want the best boom for your brown
rice buck, you cannot go wrong with this Zojirushi.