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Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Review

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Zojirushi 3 cup IH rice cookerZojirushi 5.5 cup IH rice cookerZojirushi 10 cup IH rice cooker

3 Cup Zojirushi NP-GBC05 · 5.5 Cup Zojirushi NP-HBC10 · 10 Cup Zojirushi NP-HBC18

 

Living in Japan, I’m spoilt for choice when it comes to buying new rice cookers (and I’m always on the look out). In the U.S. however, if you want the best 3 cup rice cooker then it’s an easy choice to make. The reason is simple, the Zojirushi NP-GBC05 is the only 3 cup model with Micom and Induction Heating technology. In my opinion, the quality of rice that IH machines prepare is markedly better than plain Micom rice cookers.

I’ve got the Japanese version of this machine, the Zojirushi NP-GD05. It’s practically identical except mine has Japanese buttons, instead of the sushi rice setting, I’ve got a mixed grain option and the power cord is different – mine is retractable while the U.S. model has a detachable cord.

The cost for the NP-GBC05 is about $100 more expensive than a similar style rice cooker that comes without the IH system, e.g. the Zojirushi NS-LAC05. For the money though, the NP-GBC05 is going to make better tasting rice every time you use it. In addition, it’s the only 3 cup rice cooker with a GABA brown rice setting. This setting takes over 3 hours to cook brown rice, much longer than the regular brown rice option. However, for your patience, you get a softer, more enjoyable brown rice which Zojirushi suggest is even better for your health. The levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) are 150% higher and this is said to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. I do prefer this type of brown rice. The only issue is remembering to start it cooking in time…plenty of time!

Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Diagram

Important features on the Zojirushi NP-GBC05

Features

  • Detachable power cord
  • Removable steam vent, inner lid and cooking bowl (standard on most Micom rice cookers) for easy cleaning
  • Non-stick inner cooking bowl
  • Two rice measuring cups (standard and rinse free)
  • Rice spatula and spatula holder (holder connects on to the side of the rice cooker)
  • Programable timer
  • 12 hour keep warm function

Settings

  • White/Mixed Rice
  • Rinse-free Rice
  • Quick Cooking
  • Sushi Rice
  • Rice Porridge
  • Brown Rice
  • GABA Brown (the only 3 cup rice cooker with this option)

Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Control Panel

control panel image from product manual

Images from: Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Operating Instructions Manual

Is the Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Right for You?

This sized rice cooker is ideal for people like me who live alone. Used as a straight up rice cooker, it’s potentially big enough for up to five people. Then again, that would totally limit you to the sorts of recipes you could make if you were wanting to make all-in-one style meals. Basically, you wouldn’t be able to make any. Sometimes I literally fill it to the top if I’m making a soup or a stew…and that’s just for me!

This was the first rice cooker I got that had a detachable lid which was a total revelation for me. These days though, practically all Zojirushi’s come with removable lids, so this in itself isn’t reason enough to pick the NP-GBC05. The steam vent, inner lid and cooking bowl all come out really easily so it’s a sinch to clean up. My full how to clean a rice cooker article has some other hints and tips about cleaning.

I’d say this is the best 3 cup rice cooker without a doubt. If you live on your own. It’s well worth considering. But if you’re living with your partner, you might want to think about something bigger. And for those of you who’ve got families…this is not the rice cooker you’re looking for.

Further Reading

  1. Visit Amazon.com to read more genuine customer reviews.
  2. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 manual is provided for free by Zojirushi on their official website (http://www.zojirushi.com/servicesupport/manuals/manual_pdf/npgbc_05.pdf)
7 Comments
  1. Hey Andy. Thanks for the review. I am trying to decide between the 3 cup and the 5 cup. My question is does a small amount of rice come out better in the 3 cup or is it the same for both? I live by myself but want to also experiment making mixed dishes.

    • Hi Javier,

      I would say that the 3 cup makes it easier to cook small amounts of rice. The markings on the side of the bowl show you the amount of water to add for 1/2 a cup,1 cup, 1 1/2 cups, 2 cups, 2 1/2 and 3 cups of rice. On my 5 cup rice cookers, the measurements are only 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 cups.

      I wouldn’t say that small amounts of rice necessarily taste better from the smaller machine, it just makes it easier is all.

      I live by myself so have a soft spot for my 3 cup rice cooker. One downside is when I cook a full cup of steel cut oats, it has a tendency to bubble out the top. The 5 cup machine is safer when I’m making oats.

  2. Hi Andy

    I am seriously considering buying this rice cooker. However I’m disappointed that this has a detachable cord – my older cooker has a retractable cord. What is your experience with a detachable cord.

    It looks like the Japanese version has a retractable cord. I live in the US – is there any way I can get my hands on the Japanese version from here. I don’t mind the Japanese labels on the controls.

    Anita

  3. Hi Andy,
    Have you tried quinoa or bulgur or oat groats or millet in the rice cooker. I currently have a fuzzy logic rice cooker (Zojirushi) that needs to be replaced. I had very good luck using that cooker for all my grains.
    Thanks.

  4. Hi Andy,

    I need to replace the inner pot of my NP-GD05 (Japanese version), I was wondering, will the NP-GBC05 inner pot work?

    • Hi Wei,

      Pretty sure it will be okay. That said, I haven’t tried it myself. The only difference as far as I am aware between those machines is the voltage and superficial settings. Let me know how you get on :)

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