Zojirushi NP-GBC05 Induction Heating Rice Cooker Review

Are you interested in buying the best quality small induction heating rice cooker? The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 might just be the 3-cup capacity induction heating rice cooker you desire. The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 is made in Japan, but its control panel is in English, so it requires no translation. It is a good size for single people or couples because it can cook from 1/2 cup to 3 cups of uncooked rice.

Our Zojirushi NP-GBC05 review considers its induction heating system, rice capacity, keep warm function and delay timer. We also discuss its menu settings for cooking various types of rice. We answer a few questions before reaching a conclusion.

Induction Heating System

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 has an induction heating system which heats the inner cooking pot by electromagnetic induction. This allows the cooker to make very precise temperature adjustments quickly for consistent results without overcooked or mushy rice grains. However, this system heats up the price tag. You might pay up to 100 dollars more when compared to a Zojirushi rice cooker without induction heating, such as the NS-LHC05.

Rice Capacity

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 has a 3-cup rice capacity (0.5 liter). Use only the included measuring cups. The measuring cup for white rice has a 6.1 oz. (180mL) capacity. The green cup has a 5.8 oz. capacity and is used exclusively for measuring rinse-free rice.

Automatic Keep Warm

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 automatically goes into keep warm mode after the rice is fully cooked. The small indicator light of the keep warm button will become active. The LCD will also show how many hours the rice cooker has been in keep warm mode. Press the KEEP WARM button when you want to cancel the warmer function.

Here are a few important tips to remember when using the warmer function:

  • Do not keep the rice warm for longer than 12 hours.
  • Do not use the warmer function to reheat cold rice.
  • The warmer function is only for rice and not for other dishes such as soup.
  • Remove the rice from the pot once the keep warm function has been cancelled.
  • Some people like to keep rice warm for many days, but this is not recommended by the manufacturer.

Delay Timer

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 has two timer settings which are saved and stored. Press the TIMER button once for the first timer setting and twice for the second setting. The “Timer 1” setting starts with a “6:00” preset time. The “Timer 2” starts with “18:30” as a preset time.

Please note that with the Zojirushi’s clock time, you are setting the desired end time you want it to be finished instead of the time duration. Press the MENU button to select a menu function, and then use the up or down button to change the desired finish time. Press the COOKING button to set the timer.

You should not use the timer setting for cooking germinated brown rice because it will absorb too much water while soaking for hours until the cooking starts. You may use the timer function for white, brown, GABA brown, rinse-free, sushi and porridge rice.

The minimum delay time you can set for white rice is approximately one hour. GABA brown rice has a minimum of more than three hours. The maximum delay time you can set is 13 hours. However, during the hottest months of the year, you should be careful not to let the rice sit in the pot for 13 hours because it might spoil. Use shorter delay times during the summer months.

White Or Mixed Rice

This menu setting cooks white or mixed rice in about 40 to 60 minutes. Mixed rice dishes are flavored with soup or stock. Seasonings are mixed with the liquid and added to the rice according to the white rice water level marker. Ingredients should be chopped and placed on top of the rice. Never use more than two cups of rice when making mixed rice dishes because too much rice might not cook properly.

Sushi Rice

This menu setting is for cooking short-grain rice, which has a sticky texture. You can use this setting for making sushi rice when preparing a sushi meal. Use the sushi rice water level marker inside the pot when adding water. The sushi rice will be ready to eat in approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

Rice Porridge

Rice porridge is popular in the Far East and consists of rice that is cooked with lots of water until it forms a porridge or soup. You can change the consistency of the porridge by using less or more water. The porridge setting cooks the rice in about one hour.

This setting is for cooking rice porridge, even though some people use it for cooking steel cut oat porridge. Remember that you should only add water when you use the timer function to make oat porridge for breakfast because milk might spoil overnight. You can add milk or cream when you eat it in the morning. However, due to its small 0.5-liter size, you might experience issues with the oats boiling over. Therefore, you should probably get a larger 5-cup capacity rice cooker to leave more room for boiling oats.

Brown And GABA Brown Rice

You may use either the BROWN RICE or GABA BROWN menu setting. The GABA BROWN setting activates the brown rice to increase the amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid. This activation process takes about two hours at a temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The rice cooker then cooks the activated brown rice until it is soft and easy to eat. As you can see, this process takes a long time: up to three hours and 15 minutes to make a pot of GABA brown rice! Nevertheless, the end result is worth waiting for.

Germinated brown rice may look like ordinary brown rice, but it has been allowed to germinate. It has a softer texture, better taste and contains more gamma-aminobutyric acid. You should use the WHITE RICE/MIXED menu setting for cooking germinated brown rice. You may cook as little as half-a-cup of rice, but no more than two cups. Germinated brown rice tends to boil over, so do not soak it in water and do not use the timer function.

Rinse-Free Rice

This menu setting is programmed for cooking rice that does not need rinsing. Rinse-free rice is polished to remove any bran residue. Nevertheless, if the water seems cloudy, you might rinse it once to remove excess starch. Remember to use the green measuring cup to measure rinse-free rice. Estimated cooking time is around 50 minutes.

Quick Cook

This setting is only useful for preparing rice when you are pressed for time. It cooks white rice in about 30 minutes, but the texture will be harder than normal due to the shorter cooking time.

What accessories are included?

  • 6.1 oz. white/brown rice measuring cup
  • 5.8 oz. rinse-free rice measuring cup
  • nonstick rice spatula
  • spatula holder

You should use the included white rice measuring cup for measuring brown rice and germinated brown rice. This cup has a 6.1 oz. (180mL) capacity.

Zojirushi NP-GBC05 rice cooker with measuring cups spatula and holder
Measuring cups and spatula are included.

Can the music be turned off?

You can choose to hear only beeping noises if “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” starts to annoy you. You can change the sound signal type by holding down the TIMER button for more than 3 seconds. There are three settings to choose from: Melody, Beep or Silent (no sound when cooking is finished). While holding down the TIMER button, the sound signal types will be heard. First the melody will play, followed by three beeps and then one beep. Each corresponds to a signal setting for either Melody, Beep or Silent. Release the button when the desired signal type is heard.

You cannot change the sound signal during cooking or keep warm. Change the signals before you start cooking. The rice cooker stores the sound signal selection even if you unplug it from the wall. It has a tiny internal battery which powers its internal memory and clock.

What is the electrical rating?

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 runs on 120-volt AC power. It uses a maximum of 700 watts during the cooking process. It comes with a detachable power cord.

The rice cooker will resume cooking automatically if the power is restored within 10 minutes. If not, you will have to restart the cooking process and hope for the best.

What colors are available?

There seems to be two color schemes: either Stainless or Stainless Dark Brown. However, the Zojirushi website only shows the Stainless Dark Brown color.

Is the NP-GBC05 made in Japan?

The NP-GBC05 is indeed made in Japan. It says so on the control panel right above the COOKING button. Do not worry, all the labels and instructions are in English. You will have no trouble using this Japanese rice cooker.

Zojirushi NP-GBC05-XT IH Rice Cooker on table with food
Welcome to the world of induction heating rice cookers!

Zojirushi NP-GBC05: Conclusion

The Zojirushi NP-GBC05 is an expensive rice cooker, but it makes perfect rice. The 3-cup capacity is the right size for singles or couples, but it might be too small for a family of four. The GABA brown rice setting is a definite plus. It makes brown rice soft and delicious to eat.

The induction heating system and thick stainless steel/aluminum/nonstick inner cooking pot contributes to rice that is evenly cooked. No more overcooked rice!

The only design flaw we could find was that its small internal battery needs to be replaced by a repair center when it eventually dies, which will cost you a few phone calls and a few dollars. Unfortunately, this is something that you cannot replace yourself. Small battery equals a small problem.

Bottom line: the Zojirushi NP-GBC05 is a small induction heating rice cooker that makes perfect white or brown rice for a small household (buy it on Amazon).

Thank you for reading our review of the NP-GBC05 3-cup rice cooker with induction heating.