Sat. May 25th, 2024

For as large because the cooking business is, most kitchen-product launches are modest affairs. There is perhaps some commerce present hoopla or a video, and lord is aware of my inbox is filled with press releases, however a latest 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 the USA.

I handed on the invite, however because the very glad proprietor of a 10-year-old Zojirushi with a contemporary equal that prices below $200, I used to be curious to understand how significantly 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 the USA, but it embodies every thing 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 tune to let you understand it is carried out. Wonderful 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. But it surely’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 Strain 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 and marketing copy says “promotes gelatinization” whereas producing “sticky and plump rice.” To me, pressure-cooked rice could 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 characteristic for white rice.

While you make white rice on the brand new machine, you may select between 5 presets of rice firmness—a pleasant contact—and you’ll attempt different settings like Fast, Blended, Sushi, or Porridge. You too can use the My Rice characteristic the place you basically price your white rice after it is cooked. That suggestions steadily adjusts the firmness and stickiness of subsequent batches, working towards your model of good while you prepare dinner ranging from the My Rice submenu.

At house, 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 a bit in another way, this lets you actually dial in one of the best variables in your favourite model.

Choices galore, proper? Properly, sure and no. Discover how I repeated “white rice” loads when describing potential changes in the previous couple of paragraphs? In case you 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?”

Oof!

You could sense I began in search of the exits at this level.

{Photograph}: Zojirushi

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