Zojirushi NP-NVC Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker Review

The Zojirushi NP-NVC rice cookers combine advanced microcomputer fuzzy logic, induction heating and pressure-cooking into one kitchen appliance. What is the reason for adding a pressure-cooking function to an already excellent rice cooker? Does the pressure function reduce the time it takes to cook rice? Can it cook oatmeal porridge? Is it worth the higher price tag? We attempt to answer these questions and more in our review of the Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18 induction heating pressure rice cookers.

How To Use The Zojirushi NP-NVC Safely

A few safety warnings are in order because this rice cooker applies pressure to the contents of its cooking pot. Watch out for a clogged steam vent or clogged filters and valves. Clean these parts after cooking is done and do a quick check before you cook a new dish.

A clogged steam vent might cause the lid to be under too much pressure and open during pressure-cooking. Keep the valves and vents clean and it will cook rice without a problem.

Zojirushi NP-NVC: Control Panel

Zojirushi NP-NVC18 Control Panel

The first button (starting from the left) is the “Cancel” button. It is used for cancelling a selection or for stopping the rice cooker.

To the left of the LCD screen are three buttons:

  • Rinse-Free: used when cooking rinse-free rice.
  • Keep Warm Selection: select either the regular keep warm or extended keep warm function.
  • Menu: select one of the menu settings.

Here is a list of the menu settings that are available for the Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18:

  • White rice (regular, softer, harder, umami, quick)
  • Mixed rice
  • Sushi rice
  • Sweet rice
  • Porridge rice (do not use for oats!)
  • Brown rice
  • GABA brown rice (increases gamma-aminobutyric acid)
  • Steam-reduce (reduces steam by 50% for harder rice)
  • Scorched rice (for golden crispy rice)

The LCD screen shows a black triangle next to the text of the selected menu setting. It displays text when rinse-free or pressure is applied. The time is shown in the ’00:00′ 24-hour military format.

To the right side of the display are two buttons. The “Timer” button activates the timer function so the rice cooker can be programmed to finish cooking rice at a specified time. The “Time Setting” button is pushed up or down to increase or decrease the time delay. It is also used to adjust the clock time.

The last button on the far right of the control panel is the “Start/Reheat” button. Press it to start the cooking process or to reheat cooked rice which are being kept warm.

You might notice the words “Made in Japan” printed right above the start button. This means the quality control is very good, but it also makes the rice cooker more expensive than appliances made in China.

What accessories are included?

Four extras are included with the rice cooker main body and cooking pot: spatula, spatula holder and two rice measuring cups. The first cup has a 6.1 oz. (180mL) capacity and is for measuring most types of rice. The second cup (green) is used exclusively to measure rinse-free white rice. It has a capacity of 5.8 oz. (171mL).

Zojirushi NP-NVC18 Lid Open Pot Cup Spatula
Zojirushi NP-NVC18 with nonstick pot, cups and spatula.

What is rinse-free rice?

It is a special rice that is produced without the usual rinsing by water. It is made by using special milling techniques that remove the bran as well as most of the surface starch and excess residue. Rinse-free rice grains are smoother than rinsed rice and more grains will fit into a cup. This is why the Zojirushi NP-NVC pressure rice cookers are shipped with a slightly smaller 5.8 oz. rice cup for measuring rinse-free rice. These rice cookers have a special menu setting for cooking rinse-free rice.

Does it have a platinum pot or what?

The inner cooking pot is not made out of platinum. An inner cooking pot made from pure platinum is not magnetic and therefore the induction heating system would not work at all. The cooking pot has a nonstick fluorine coating that is infused with platinum particles.

Zojirushi claims that platinum particles make the rice taste sweeter because it alkalizes the water. The alkaline water breaks down the surface protein of the rice grains which increases water penetration and soaking. This makes the rice taste sweeter. Avoid using water with a pH higher than 9 due to the alkalizing effect of the platinum present in the nonstick surface.

What is the reason for adding pressure?

The added pressure increases the normal boiling point of water so that the cooked rice is softer and stays softer for longer. Water usually boils at around 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The NP-NVC applies pressure so that white rice is boiled at 219 degrees. Brown rice is boiled at 221 degrees.

Pressure is not applied to all the rice settings. Regular and softer white rice is cooked under pressure, but harder white rice is not. Umami, quick, mixed, brown rice, steam reduce and scorched rice are also cooked under pressure. Sushi, sweet and porridge rice is not cooked with pressure.

How does the delay timer work?

First you check if the current clock time displayed on the LCD screen is correct. Change the time by pressing the up or down time button if it is not correct (or if the internal battery does not work anymore). The current clock time needs to be correct so that the finish time is also correct.

The timer button gives you the choice of two settings: timer 1 starts at “06:00” while timer 2 starts at “18:00”. The LCD screen shows either a “1” or a “2” next to the clock face symbol. So, press the timer button to select timer 1 or timer 2.

Press the menu button to select the menu option you wish to use. Do not select the quick, mixed or sweet programs. Press the timer up or down buttons to set the time you want the cooking process to be finished. Push the start button to start the delay cooking countdown. The timer light turns on while a melody or beep is heard.

What is the minimum amount of rice it can cook?

The inner cooking pot has water level markings for one cup white rice, one cup sushi rice and 0.5 cup porridge rice. The minimum amount of rice it can cook is probably one rice measuring cup.

The NP-NVC10 has a maximum uncooked rice capacity of 5 measuring cups (6 oz. cups). This produces about 10 cups of cooked rice.

The NP-NVC18 has space for a maximum of 10 measuring cups full of uncooked rice. It prepares about 20 cups of cooked rice.

How long does the Zojirushi NP-NVC cook rice?

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18 instruction manual comes with a table that gives estimated cooking times for regular rice, rinse-free rice, the 1-liter and 2-liter models.

Regular and rinse-free white rice takes approximately 50 to 60 minutes to cook. The quick cooking menu option needs about 30 to 45 minutes. Brown rice cooks in about 80 minutes. However, the GABA brown rice menu setting might need up to 3 hours and 30 minutes to finish.

Does the pressure system decrease the cooking time?

Let us compare the rice cooking times of the Zojirushi NP-NVC10 induction heating pressure rice cooker to its nearest rival: the Zojirushi NP-HCC10 induction heating rice cooker.

White (regular)00:4900:47
White (softer)00:5600:53
GABA brown03:1803:01

We conclude from this comparison that the NP-NVC10 menu settings which apply pressure does not decrease the rice cooking times when compared to the NP-HCC10.

Can it pressure-cook other food besides rice?

The NP-NVC can only cook rice. It is not a pressure cooker that can cook other foods. It is not made to cook food such as beans, stew, jam or green vegetables. You have to cook beans and raw vegetables on the stove. It cannot steam vegetables, and it does not have a steaming basket.

Can itthe Zojirushi NP-NVC cook steel cut oatmeal?

Zojirushi says that you should not use this pressure rice cooker to prepare steel cut oats. The oats might clog the pressure valve and cause problems. The NP-NVC is unfortunately not recommended for making oatmeal porridge.

If you want to make oatmeal for breakfast, then take a look at these rice cookers with an oatmeal setting.

How does keep warm and reheat work?

The NP-NVC pressure rice cooker switches automatically to keep warm mode after a menu setting has finished cooking. The rice can be left in the rice cooker on regular keep warm for up to 12 hours without spoiling.

Press the “Keep Warm Selection” button to use the extended keep warm setting when leaving the rice in the rice cooker for longer than 12 hours. After 24 hours, the rice cooker automatically switches back to regular keep warm.

The reheat function may be used when the rice cooker is keeping cooked white rice warm (not other rice types). Press the “Start/Reheat” button to let the rice warm up for a few minutes to the correct serving temperature.

Use the reheat function only once, otherwise the rice might become discolored or burnt. Press the “Cancel” button to cancel reheating and keep warm. Press the “Keep Warm Selection” button to return to keeping the rice warm.

What are its power requirements?

This Zojirushi pressure rice cooker uses 120V AC current. It has a polarized plug. Plug it into an electrical outlet that is rated at a minimum of 15 amps and do not plug another appliance into the same outlet.

Zojirushi NP-NVC Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cookers
Zojirushi NP-NVC18 and NP-NVC10.

Zojirushi NP-NVC: is it worth the money?

Is the addition of the pressure system worth the extra money? Well, if you are serious about the taste of your rice and are used to buying the best appliances, then the Zojirushi NP-NVC IH pressure cookers are for you. It is made in Japan and has special features such as the platinum infused nonstick coating, induction heating and pressure-cooking system. It also has an umami (savory taste) rice setting, GABA brown rice setting and scorched rice setting.

The Zojirushi NP-NVC10 and NP-NVC18 rice cookers are only worth the extra money if you have the extra money (check price on Amazon). Otherwise, you might settle for the NP-HCC induction heating rice cooker without the pressure system.

Thank you for reading our Zojirushi NP-NVC10/18 Micom IH pressure rice cooker review.