Reviewed: Zojirushi NS-WAC Micom Rice Cooker And Warmer

The NS-WAC could be Zojirushi’s cheapest micro computerized fuzzy logic rice cooker. It has a compact design, yet still has both a delay timer and an extended keep warm function. My review of the Zojirushi NS-WAC rice cookers answers a few questions about the models, rice cooking capacity, cooking pot, menu settings, and more.

What Zojirushi NS-WAC models and capacities are available?

There are two models: the NS-WAC10 and the NS-WAC18. The former has a 1-liter, 5.5-cup uncooked white rice capacity while the latter has a 1.8-liter, 10 cup uncooked white rice capacity. The NSWAC10 can only cook a maximum of 4 cups of uncooked brown rice.

The minimum amount of uncooked rice that the NS-WAC10 can cook is one cup in contrast with the water markings of the NS-WAC18’s pot that starts at 2 cups.

What is included with the rice cooker?

The following essential items are included: two rice measuring cups, a rice spatula and a spatula holder. The first measuring cup has a 6.1 oz. capacity and is used for measuring white rice, brown rice and other grains. The second measuring cup, the green one with a 5.8 oz. capacity, is used exclusively for measuring rinse-free rice.

Does the Zojirushi NS-WAC have a detachable cord?

The Zojirushi NS-WAC has a short detachable power cord with a polarized plug that is easy to detach and store when not in use. A short power cord reduces the risk of accidental tripping or entanglement. Nevertheless, you may use an extension cord if its electrical rating is the same as the electrical rating of the appliance. Be careful not to let the extension cord become a liability by letting it hang all over the place.

What kind of inner cooking pot does it have?

The Zojirushi NS-WAC has a thick inner cooking pan with a nonstick coating. You should wash it with a soft sponge, mild kitchen detergent and water. Do not damage it with hard utensils, vinegar, abrasive cleaners or brushes. Furthermore, there is no indication in the instruction manual that the parts are dishwasher safe, so you should only wash it by hand. If damaged, then the nonstick coating will peel off. You may still use the pot even if the coating has small peels or discolorations, but replace the cooking pot when you can afford it.

What menu settings does the Zojirushi NS-WAC have?

The following menu options are visible on the control panel around the display screen: White/Mixed, Rinse-Free, Quick Cooking, Sushi, Porridge, Sweet and Brown. The instruction manual has specific information on how to cook different types of rice with the menu settings.

A quick observation about the Porridge menu setting: this option is made to cook rice porridge, not oatmeal porridge! If you want to cook oats, then you should read our guide to rice cookers with an oatmeal setting.

Zojirushi NS-WAC18 Control Panel Buttons Display

How long does it need to cook rice?

The following are only estimated cooking times, but it gives you an idea of what to expect:

  • White, mixed, sushi and rinse-free rice: approximately 60 minutes.
  • Quick cooking: between 30 and 45 minutes.
  • Porridge rice: about 60 minutes.
  • Brown rice: between 90 and 110 minutes.

A cheap electric rice cooker might cook rice much faster in under 30 minutes. Then again, the longer cooking times of a fuzzy logic rice cooker might produce better tasting rice, specifically when it comes to brown rice.

Why does it have two keep warm modes?

The Zojirushi NS-WAC has two warmer modes: regular keep warm and extended keep warm. The rice cooker automatically goes into regular keep warm mode after the cooking is finished. The small light labeled REGULAR on the control panel turns on.

The regular keep warm mode is used to keep cooked rice warm for up to 12 hours without spoiling it. However, it is not intended to keep rice mixed with other ingredients warm. Moreover, do not use it to keep food other than rice warm.

The extended keep warm mode allows you to keep rice warm for more than 12 hours, but not if the rice has already been on regular keep warm for 12 hours. There are a few other things to consider when using extended keep warm, but those are explained in the instruction manual. For example, extended keep warm mode is not available after using either the Brown, Sweet or Porridge settings.

Does the Zojirushi NS-WAC have a delay timer?

The Zojirushi NS-WAC has a delay timer with two settings: Timer 1 and Timer 2. The time you set is the time when the rice cooking should be finished. For example, if you want the rice to finish cooking by 7:30, then set the delay timer for that time. The settings are stored by the rice cooker in either the Timer 1 or Timer 2 slot.

The minimum delay for the timer is one hour and the maximum delay is up to 13 hours. However, during the summer you should never set the timer to its maximum of 13 hours because the soaked rice might start to spoil. Also, do not use the delay timer for cooking mixed rice dishes or germinated brown rice.

A quick note about the timer: the clock time should be correct before you set the timer. If the clock time is not accurate, then you should follow the directions in the instruction manual to correct the time.

How does it remember clock settings?

The Zojirushi NS-WAC has a small internal lithium battery that allows it to remember the current clock time and memory settings after it is unplugged. If you see a blinking 7:00 error display, then the battery might need replacement.

You have to contact Zojirushi Customer Service to get the details on how to replace the battery. If you do not replace the battery, then you have to reset the clock every time you plug in the rice cooker, and before you start cooking rice.

Verdict

The NS-WAC is probably the most affordable Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cooker on the market. It has most of the features and functions of the other Zojirushi micom rice cookers except for the NS-TSC model that also has a steaming basket. Shop now on Amazon.