Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5.5 Cup Rice Cooker Review



If you had a Zojirushi rice cooker handed down from your mom or grandma and are ready for a new upgrade, Zojirushi NP-HBC10 induction rice cooker ought to be added to your short list. With the cutting edge heating technology, the Zojirushi NP-HBC will ensure the rice cooked flawlessly regardless of what types of rice or other grain.

Table of Contents (click a title to jump ahead)

Capacity | Heating Technology | Easy to Use | Other Features | Helpful Tips | Customer Reviews | Pros and Cons | Price, Warranty and Where to Buy

Zojirushi NP-HBC 10 or 18 Capacity

Zojirushi NP-HBC has two models, NP-HBC10 with 5.5 cups of uncooked rice and NP-HBC18 of 10 cups. A few customers recommended buying the 10 cup model for more capacity and for less boil-over. The price difference is within $5 at this time of the review. The difference is meaningless considering how much this rice cooker costs.

Zojirushi NP-HBC Heating Technology

Zojirushi NP-HBC10 or NP-HBC18 is a step up from the Fuzzy Logic technology. The induction heating system heats the entire inner pan versus just the heat plate on the bottom of the rice cooker. The heat is distributed evenly throughout the inner pan and the temperature adjusted precisely to ensure the rice cooked to perfection every single time.

Is It Easy to Use NP-HBC10?

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From the outside, it seems quite intimidating with all the bells and whistles. But in reality, it’s very simple to use the rice cooker. Zojirushi does a great job in providing how to instructions to include all the components in the rice cooker, how to cook, how to clean and how to care for the rice cooker so it will last for many years to come.

There are two parts that need more time to clean than anything else in the rice cooker.One is the lid for the inner pan and the other is the inner pan itself.The lid is detachable so you can take it off to clean after each use.The inner pan is non-stick so rice won’t stick to the bottom unlike a conventional stove-top cookware.Make sure you use a plastic or a wooden spoon to get the rice to prevent scratches.Worse case scenario, you can replace the inner pan if it’s so beat up.

Other Features – NP-HBC10 or 18 Rice Cooker

LCD and Timer: The rice cooker has a color LCD for easy reading. The timer is set in 24-hour format similar to that in the military. There are people who like the 24 hour format and those who don’t. It shouldn’t take that much time to make a mental adjustment if you are in the “dislike” camp. Once you learn how to use the timer, it might be your best friend for planning a meal in advance.

Menu Selections: There are 8 menu settings: white rice with regular, softer or harder option for texture, quick cooking where you can cut down on the cooking time quite substantially if you are in a pinch, mixed rice, sushi rice, porridge or oats/oatmeal, sweet rice, brown rice and GABA brown rice.For more health benefits on GABA brown rice, please refer to my review of Zojirushi NS-YAC10/18 Umani Rice Cooker.

Your preferred setting will be stored in the rice cooker until you change it.

The NP-HBC 10 or 18 rice cooker is designed for “Keep Warm” and “Extended Keep Warm” feature.Most people don’t keep the rice in the cooker for longer than 12 hours.There is no reheating setting for this rice cooker.

Cord: Unlike many of the Zojirushi rice cooker models, this one doesn’t have a detachable or retractable cord. A lot of people choose to place the rice cooker in a corner of the kitchen counter so you don’t have to move it around all the time.In fact, many just leave it on the counter all the time.

Color: Stainless steel that fits into most of the household kitchen design.

Dimensions: 14-3/16 x 9-13/16 x 7-15/16 inches for the NP-HBC10 5.5 cups and 15-5/8 x 10-13/16 x 9-5/16 inches for the NP-HBC18 10 cups

Accessories: Rice spatula, spatula holder, measuring cup

helpful-tipsHelpful Tips for NP-HBC10 or 18 Rice Cooker

  1. Buying the right rice has a lot to do how the rice tastes. I buy sushi grade rice for white rice. You would be paying a bit more than the generic short-grain rice in the grocery store or Costco, but it’s all worth it.Another customer suggested Tsuro Mai for brown rice.
  2. Try to cook some coconut sticky rice for dessert. Just rinse the sticky or sweet rice and let it sit for 30 minutes or so before putting into the rice cooker. Add some coconut milk in lieu of water. For sweet taste, sprinkle some brown or raw sugar cane sugar on top.You can eat it warm or cold.I prefer it warm as sticky rice tends to harden when it’s cold.
  3. If you are cooking fajita for dinner, then fix some Spanish rice in the cooker as a side dish.Who says you have to cook everything Oriental?

NP-HBC10/18 Rice Cooker Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5Many customers are very impressed with this rice cooker. It cooks rice, especially brown rice to restaurant quality and it’s “idiot-proof”. Some people are so pleased with the money saved from going out to lunch at work by bringing their own Bento box lunch. If you are curious about how well it does in high altitude, one customer proved that it worked well from 3,500 to 6,000 feet.

Pros and Cons of NP-HBC10/18 Rice Cooker

ProsAs an advance from the Fuzzy Logic technology, Zojirushi NP-HBC 10 or 18 combines the best of both worlds (induction heating + micro-computerized chip). With the ability to make minute temperature adjustment, you will get every single of grain tender and tasty. The settings for brown and GABA brown rice are what people raved about most.

ConsIt’s a small investment to buy this rice cooker. Cooking time is much longer than a simple rice cooker. That’s why you need to make friends with the timer to make sure the rice is ready when you get home. There is nothing that a simple planning wouldn’t solve.

Price, Warranty and Where to Buy – NP-HBC10/18 Rice Cooker

Zojirushi rice cooker NP-HBC10 or NP-HBC18 can be found in multiple online or retail stores. Among them, Amazon carries the most models and it is sold by multiple merchants on Amazon. I did find a couple of sites with lower base price, but I wasn’t quite sure where they sourced their products since there wasn’t much in their “About Us” page. In addition, some would charge a hefty price for shipping + sales tax.

A standard one-year limited warranty is offered by Zojirushi. There was one customer on Amazon who talked about buying an extended warranty through Square Trade in case something goes wrong.

For current price on Amazon, please click on the button below:

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  1. Can you help? I am trying to decide on which rice maker to buy. I am considering the Zojirushi model NP-HBC18, NP-HTC18JX and the Np-HBC18XA. It seems all models have induction and fuzzy logic but the NP-HTC18JX also introduces pressure. Can you suggest the differences and is one model superior

    • Rice Queen says:


      Thanks for reaching out and your great question. It all depends on what you want out of a rice cooker. Yes, the NP-HTC series have all the cutting-edge heating technologies, including pressure cooking. It’s touted as being able to break down the starch in rice and make it easier to digest with better flavor. It also shaves a few minutes in cooking time for sushi and brown rice, very marginal improvement. I’d written a detailed review on the NP-HTC10/18. Here is a link if you are interested in reading. http://sacredrice.com/zojirushi-np-htc10-5-5-cup-rice-cooker-review. Then again, it costs $100 more than NP-HBC18. If money is no object for you, then consider getting the NP-HTC18. Zojirushi also released a brand new rice cooker in this past December, which is twice as expensive as the NP-HTC series. I am attaching a link to my review in case you are curious. http://sacredrice.com/zojirushi-np-nvc1018-rice-cooker-review.

      The bottom line is that if you just want to get the latest and greatest, then choose NP-HTC. If not, NP-HBC would be a great rice cooker to get to save you some money.

      Hope it’s helpful. Please feel free to write back with further questions.

      Happy New Year!



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