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.


  1. Sounds like a magnificent cooker, David. Do they have GABA capable larger machines (for people with bigger families?) 🙂

  2. The 3 cup model seems ideal for my use. Do you know if I can make steel cut oatmeal in it and how would I find the oatmeal/water proportions. Knowing me, I’d end up making 3-4 batches of really bad oatmeal before hitting on the right proportions ! Also, does anyone use it for other grains? Thanks so much…would appreciate any tips. 🙂

    1. I think you could cook anything in the device if you knew what ratios worked best for you. I don’t have any information on cut oats, but I like your idea of experimenting. There’s no harm in it and you might just discover something great in the process.

    2. Makes the best Steel Cut oats. 3 cups of water to one cup of oats on porridge setting.

  3. I’ve cooked steel cut oatmeal in this rice cooker. I use the water levels for porridge. For half a cup of oatmeal, fill the water level to .5 under porridge, and use the porridge setting. I soak the oatmeal in the rice cooker over night and set the timer for the morning. I cook 2-3 servings at a time and store the rest in the refrigerator to eat for the next couple of days.
    I’ve also cooked quinoa, polenta, and barley in my rice cooker. Polenta needs to be stirred during cooking a couple of times. Use water ratios as recommended or adjust to suit your own taste.

    1. Hi emma!

      Thank you for that excellent and detailed response. I love this rice cooker. I live for it every single day — though waiting three hours for GABA rice is always a preplanned, and sneaky, conundrum for me because when I’m hungry, I want to eat NOW and not three hours later. SMILE!

      What is your recipe for cooking quinoa?

      1. I like it to be a little more el dente and not too mushy. I’ve found that a 1:1 or 1.5: 1 ratio (water or stock : grain) is better than the higher ratio recommended on the packaging.

          1. Regular setting on my last rice cooker. This heat induction rice cooker is only one week old so I haven’t had a chance to experiment with the different settings.

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