Zojirushi NS-LAC05 3-Cup Rice Cooker Review

Were you searching for a Zojirushi rice cooker that is small enough for one person but big enough for up to 3 people? The Zojirushi NS-LAC05 rice cooker and warmer might satisfy your rice cooking needs. The Zojirushi NS-LAC05 has a nonstick coated cooking pot with a maximum capacity of 3 cups of uncooked rice. It has a built-in microcomputer (MICOM) that uses fuzzy logic technology.

Please note that the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 has been replaced by a newer rice cooker model: the Zojirushi NS-LGC05. You may either read my Zojirushi NS-LGC05 review, or you can skip all the reading and just check pricing on Amazon.

Otherwise, you can keep scrolling for an overview of the features, answers to common questions, advantages and disadvantages of the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Micom rice cooker.

Zojirushi NS-LAC05: List Of Features

  • Automatic warmer function keeps rice warm after cooking.
  • Handle for carrying the rice cooker.
  • Inner lid can be removed for cleaning.
  • Its width, depth and height is approximately 9 x 11 x 7 inches.
  • LCD control panel, clock and delay timer.
  • Menu options: White/mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge, brown rice and quick cook.
  • the Microcomputer uses fuzzy logic to control the cooking process.
  • Spherical nonstick cooking pot: even heat distribution, easy cleaning.
  • Plug it into 120V, AC, 15 ampere electrical outlets.
  • Retractable power cord.
  • Rice capacity: 3 cups of uncooked rice (6 oz. cups).
  • Stainless steel exterior with white plastic or black plastic trimmings.
  • Steam vent for releasing excess steam during cooking.
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT MICOM 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT (Black Trimmings).

Zojirushi NS-LAC05: Overview

The Zojirushi NS-LAC05 is for cooking rice at home. It is not for commercial use. Take note that it does not have a steamer basket for steaming food. The Zojirushi NS-LAC05 is made for cooking rice dishes. Do not use it for steaming food. Let’s take a quick look at a few of this electric rice cooker’s parts.

The steam vent releases hot steam while it is boiling the water and cooking the rice. Do not burn your hand by holding it over the vent, and do not cover the steam vent with a cloth towel.

The outer lid is opened by pressing the hook button. Be careful not to press it by accident while you are carrying the rice cooker with the handle, or the inner cooking bowl might fall out. The inner lid can be removed and cleaned. Do not open the outer lid while the rice cooker is cooking rice.

The inner cooking pot is coated with a nonstick coating. Do not use metal kitchen utensils, which can scratch the nonstick coating. Use a nonstick rice spatula. Keep metal spoons away from the cooking pot.

Never clean the inner cooking pot with abrasive materials such as nylon or metal. Use soft sponges to clean it. Remember that the nonstick coating will not last forever and will eventually start to peel off. When the coating starts to flake off, it is time to buy a new inner cooking pot.

Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Nonstick Coated Inner Cooking Pan
Nonstick cooking pot.

The keep warm button is for keeping white or brown rice warm. It is not intended for mixed rice or other dishes. Do not keep the rice warm in the cooking pot for more than 12 hours. The rice might start to spoil. The keep warm function does not work for reheating rice. Use the microwave for reheating rice.

Press the menu key to select one of the cooking options. You can cancel an option when it is in operation by pressing the reset button.

The other buttons are for setting the timer function to complete cooking rice at a specified time. The cooking button starts the selected cooking process.

How To Cook Rice With The Zojirushi NS-LAC05

You can start the rice cooking process by measuring the rice you want to cook with the included rice cup. This rice measuring cup has a capacity of about 6 ounces or 180 milliliters. Level off the rice in the cup.

You can rinse the rice a few times to remove any pieces of bran. Be careful when using hard, alkaline water because it might cause the rice to turn yellow or become sticky and gluey.

Put the rinsed rice into the nonstick inner cooking pot and add water to the right mark. For example, add one cup of white rice to the cooking pot and then add water to number 1 on the white rice scale mark.

Put the cooking pot into the rice cooker, close the outer lid and plug the retractable cord into the power outlet.

Select the menu setting you want by pressing the menu key. Follow the position of the small black triangle on the display screen to check if it is at the correct menu setting.

Press the cooking button to start cooking the rice. The cooking light turns on and a melody will play. The instruction manual has information on how to change the sounds from a melody to a beep.

Another melody will play when the rice is finished. The cooker now switches to keeping the rice warm (keep warm light turns on). You can stir the rice to help release extra moisture and to make it fluffy.

We think you press the keep warm button once to cancel it. Remember to press the reset button before unplugging the rice cooker from the power outlet and retracting the power cord.

What accessories are included?

Three accessories are included. The most important accessory is the rice measuring cup, which has a capacity of 6 ounces or about 180 milliliters. Remember that rice cookers use the Japanese definition of a cup, which is 180 ml instead of the usual 8 ounces or 240 ml. A nonstick rice spatula and a spatula holder are also included.

Zojirushi NS-LAC05 Rice Measuring Cup And Rice Spatula
Accessories are included.

How long does it cook rice?

The amount of time it spends cooking rice depends on a few variables such as rice type, room temperature and the amount of water. The amount of rice will also modify the time. Its quick cook function can cook rice in about thirty minutes. The rice will be similar to rice that was cooked in a cheaper on/off rice cooker.

You can use the menu settings for the best results. These settings take longer because it soaks the rice grains for a short period of time before cooking it. This makes the rice softer and fluffier. White rice, mixed rice dishes, sushi rice and porridge might take between 45 minutes to an hour to cook.

Brown rice can take as long as two hours to soak and cook. The brown rice setting soaks the brown rice grains for a longer period and also cooks it at a lower temperature for longer than the other rice settings.

Porridge Setting

The porridge setting is for making traditional rice porridge. We can look in the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 instruction manual and see the recipe for a rice porridge with seven herbs. It contains rice, green vegetables and a little salt. The vegetables and herbs are boiled separately and added to the finished rice porridge. It is not really what we in the western world would consider a bowl of porridge.

Nevertheless, owners use the porridge setting for cooking steel cut oats. Here are three tips for cooking steel cut oats in the Zojirushi NS-LAC05.

First, make sure that the porridge setting is selected before you press the cooking button. If you accidentally use the white rice setting, the oats will boil over and clog the steam vent.

Second, it is better to cook the oats on its own and add extra ingredients such as fruit, nuts or spices to the finished oat porridge.

Third, you will need a custom recipe for cooking steel cut oats because the instruction manual does not have a recipe for steel cut oats. It seems that the basic oats to water ratio is about 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water. If you like a thicker oat porridge, try 1 cup of oats to 2.5 cups of water.

It is probably best to use the rice measuring cup that comes with the Zojirushi rice cooker. Experiment with the ratios until you think that bowl of steel cut oat porridge is just right.

Zojirushi NS-LAC05: Advantages And Disadvantages

  • Menu settings for cooking white or brown rice.
  • Nonstick inner cooking pot is easy to remove and clean.
  • The retractable cord is retracted and stored inside the rice cooker.
  • Timer works well for cooking rice or oatmeal.
  • Brown rice takes a long time to cook.
  • It costs more than $100.
  • Rice cup size is based on 6 ounces (180 ml).
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA MICOM 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA (White Trimmings).


The Zojirushi NS-LAC05 was probably the best 3-cup uncooked rice cooker for making really tasty rice when it was still available. Its 3-cup rice capacity made it an ideal small rice cooker for one person or two people. It might even have been large enough for three people, if you did not eat large amounts of rice.

Related post: you may also read the review of the Zojirushi NS-LHC05, which is another alternative to the old NS-LAC05 model.