Zojirushi NW-QAC Induction Heating Rice Cooker Review

Obviously, the first thing I noticed about the Zojirushi NW-QAC rice cooker is that it has a flat-top design, in contrast to the rounded egg shape of other Zojirushi induction heating rice cookers. The next thing I noticed was that the control panel with the LCD screen and buttons is on top of the lid. Furthermore, I noticed the words SELF-CLEAN (HOLD) printed underneath the TIMER button. This is the first time that I have seen a self-cleaning steaming function on a Zojirushi rice cooker.

How many models of the Zojirushi NW-QAC are available?

There is both a 5.5-cup and a 10-cup model available. Please note that, similar to other rice cookers, the size of the rice measuring cup is about 6 fluid ounces, or 180 milliliters.

The Zojirushi NW-QAC10 model has a 5.5-cup rice cooking capacity, which is equal to about 1 liter. The 10-cup model, the NW-QAC18, is slightly larger and has a 1.8 liter capacity.

Except for an obvious difference in size, capacity and power consumption, these two models are basically exactly the same. Of course, the 10-cup NW-QAC18 model might cost a little more than the smaller 5-cup NW-QAC10 model, but it offers increased rice cooking capacity (check price on Amazon – paid link).

Are the NW-QAC models made in Japan?

Zojirushi says that the NW-QAC models are made in Japan, and I believe them. It should be a very good quality rice cooker, due to it being made in Japan. Of course, that also pushes up the suggested retail price.

Is the flat-top design better than previous designs?

I think that the flat-top design looks more modern than the older designs that were more egg-shaped, where the control panel was on the front instead of on the lid. In that case, the flat-top design where the control panel and LCD is integrated in the lid does look better.

The only problem that I can see is that you should take care not to accidentally press a button when you open or close the lid. Specifically, if you press the CANCEL button by accident while opening the lid to add ingredients or stir the rice, then the current program will be cancelled. In that case, you will unfortunately have to wait for the rice cooker to cool down before you can restart a cooking program again.

Does the Zojirushi NW-QAC use pressure-cooking?

No, the NW-QAC models are non-pressure induction heating rice cookers that do not use pressure-cooking to cook rice.

If you want a Zojirushi induction heating rice cooker that also uses pressure, then you may read my Zojirushi NP-NWC review.

Of course, those Zojirushi NP-NWC pressure induction heating rice cookers are more expensive than the non-pressure induction heating models.

Zojirushi NP-NWC10/18
The Zojirushi NP-NWC10/18 uses both pressure-cooking and induction heating.

Is induction heating superior to a heating plate or not?

The Zojirushi NW-QAC models use induction heating to cook the rice instead of a heating plate. A heating plate, or heating element, heats up both itself and the inner cooking pot. In contrast, an induction heating system uses induction to only heat up the inner cooking pot, so it does not have a heating element.

For the most part, the induction heating system works better than a heating plate, for the reason that it provides heat much faster, and allows the rice cooker to automatically make tiny adjustments to the heating and cooking process that would otherwise be impossible with a simple heating plate. Therefore, induction heating is a better system for cooking rice than a cooking plate.

Nevertheless, there is one thing about an induction heating cooking system that can be annoying, and that is the noise of the internal cooling fan. This induction heating rice cooker is going be louder than a rice cooker with a heating plate, due to the fan noise of the induction heating system which runs during the cooking process.

What type of cooking pot does this induction rice cooker have?

The Zojirushi NW-QAC induction heating rice cookers have an iron-coated, platinum-infused non-stick inner cooking pot made from a combination of aluminum and stainless steel with a double non-stick layer for added durability. The non-stick coating of the inner pan contains PTFE, a commonly used material for the non-stick coating of cookware.

Induction cooking uses magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface to create a magnetic field that heats the contents of a pot made with iron. However, pots made with materials like aluminum, clay, and non-magnetic stainless steel will not work on induction cooktops. Iron atoms in the cookware need to be excited for induction cooking to work effectively. Obviously, the inner cooking pot of the Zojirushi NW-QAC10 contains the right amount of iron and steel to make induction heating possible.

What I do like about the inner cooking pot is that it has white markings on the inside that are easy to see on the dark coating of the pot. There are water markings for white rice, Jasmine rice, congee, and quinoa.

What menu settings does the Zojirushi NW-QAC have?

I believe that the Zojirushi NW-QAC models offer the following settings:

  • White Rice
  • Quick White Rice
  • Mixed Rice
  • Sushi/Sweet Rice
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Quick Jasmine Rice
  • Congee
  • Brown Rice
  • GABA Brown Rice
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Quinoa
  • Steam

I really like the menu options that are available on the Zojirushi NW-QAC rice cookers. In addition to settings for cooking either white rice or sushi rice, there are also settings for both brown rice and GABA brown rice. Moreover, there are menu options for cooking Jasmine rice normally or quickly.

While I would never use the Congee setting for making rice porridge, I would probably use the Steel Cut Oatmeal option for making oatmeal porridge.

Furthermore, the Zojirushi NW-QAC models have a menu option for cooking quinoa, and even has white markings inside the cooking pot for quinoa (up to a maximum of 4 cups).

Lastly, you can use the BPA-free steaming tray and the Steam menu setting to steam vegetables. Although, you should probably buy the larger NW-QAC18 model if you want to cook rice or steam vegetables for a small family. Otherwise, for single people or couples, the smaller NW-QAC10 model should suffice.

How long can the Zojirushi NW-QAC keep the cooked rice warm?

Similar to almost every other electric rice cooker on the market, the NW-QAC rice cooker has a keep warm function that keeps the rice warm after it has finished the cooking process. The regular and extended keep warm modes should keep cooked rice warm and edible for more than a day without drying out the rice.

I guess that the regular warmer mode keeps rice warm for up to 12 hours, while the extended warmer mode should be selected by pressing the KEEP WARM button to keep rice warmer for longer than 12 hours. While there is no specific menu button for reheating the cooked rice, I do see that there is a START/REHEAT button.

Does the Zojirushi NW-QAC have a self-cleaning function?

When I think of self-cleaning rice cookers, the first brand that I think about it CUCKOO. For instance, the CUCKOO CRP-ST0609F twin pressure rice cooker has an auto-clean function that turns water in the cooking pot into steam that cleans the interior of the rice cooker.

I wonder if the Zojirushi NW-QAC might be one of the first Zojirushi rice cookers to have a self-cleaning function? I certainly have not seen this function on any other Zojirushi rice cookers until now.

Anyway, it seems like you have to press and hold the TIMER button until it cycles through to the self-cleaning function, and then you can press the START button. Of course, there also needs to be a few cups of water in the cooking pot to generate sufficient amounts of steam.

Keep in mind that you will still have to clean the inner cooking pot and the detachable stainless steel inner lid by hand. I think the self-cleaning function is most important for cleaning the integrated steam vent, which is not removable, and therefore cannot be removed for washing by hand. You will probably need to use the self-cleaning function regularly in order to keep the integrated steam vent clean and free from bad odors.

Zojirushi NW-QAC vs. Zojirushi NP-HCC

The Zojirushi NP-HCC is probably the closest model that I can compare to the Zojirushi NW-QAC, because both are induction heating fuzzy logic rice cookers that are made in Japan. The suggested retail prices of these rice cooker models are similar, and there are both 5.5-cup and 10-cup capacity models available in the NP-HCC series (check price on Amazon – paid link).

The menu options are mostly similar, although the Zojirushi NP-HCC does not have a Steel Cut Oatmeal menu option. Moreover, it has neither a Steam menu option nor a steamer tray. However, the Zojirushi NP-HCC does offer separate buttons for the Keep Warm and Extended Keep Warm functions.

In brief, if you prefer induction heating rice cookers with an egg-shaped design and stainless steel exterior, then the Zojirushi NP-HCC models are the best alternative choice. You may read my Zojirushi NP-HCC review to learn more about this model.

Zojirushi NP-HCC10XH
The Zojirushi NP-HCC10 is an induction heating rice cooker that is made in Japan.

What are the pros and cons of the Zojirushi NW-QAC rice cookers?

The biggest drawback of the Zojirushi NW-QAC10 and NW-QAC18 rice cookers is the suggested retail price. If the retail price of these induction heating rice cookers were lower, then I believe more people would buy and use them.

Heck, who would not want one of these stylish Zojirushi induction heating rice cookers sitting on their kitchen countertop? I certainly would like to own this rice cooker, even though I just cannot afford it right now (or probably never).

I also hear that this induction heating rice cooker creates some noise while cooking, due to the internal cooling fan of the induction heating system. Be that as it may, even an electric kettle makes noise when it boils water, so it should not be much of an issue. I mean, probably all electrical kitchen appliances create some kind of noise while working.

A few other drawbacks that I can think of right now are that the NW-QAC models do not have a carrying handle, and that the integrated steam vent cannot be removed for cleaning. Also, the NW-QAC10/18 models have some kind of hard plastic exterior (polycarbonate), instead of the stainless steel exterior found on Zojirushi’s other induction heating models.

I am definitely not disappointed by how this induction heating rice cooker looks: the flat-top design makes it look like a very modern kitchen appliance. Although, the LCD screen still looks exactly the same as the LCD on other Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cookers. Thus, you should have no problem with using the control panel and LCD screen of the Zojirushi NW-QAC rice cookers.

Furthermore, I like the selection of menu options that are available, even though I would mostly use the Brown, Jasmine, and Steam settings. The included steamer tray should work well for steaming a small amount of vegetables.


To conclude, the Zojirushi NW-QAC10 and NW-QAC18 feature a new flat-top lid design with an integrated LCD control panel and steam vent that makes them look different from the other egg-shaped Zojirushi fuzzy logic rice cookers, such as the Zojirushi NP-HCC induction heating rice cookers.

If you are looking for a stylish fuzzy logic rice cooker that uses induction heating to cook rice, then the Zojirushi NW-QAC10 (or NW-QAC18) should do the trick. Shop now on Amazon (paid link).