Zojirushi NS-XAC05 3 Cup Rice Cooker Review

zojirushi-ns-xac05-3-cup-rice-cooker

zojirushi-ns-xac05-3-cup-rice-cooker

If you are fanatic about modern design in household appliances and the ease of one-touch operation, this Zojirushi NS-XAC05 3 Cup Rice Cooker is your dream come true. Designed by the Japanese born and world renowned environmental and industrial designed Toshiyuki Kita, this rice cooker is literally as cute as a button mushroom that combines aesthetic and functionality. The NS-XAC05 was cleverly named as Rizo due to the risotto menu button.

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

3 Cups Capacity

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The 3-cup capacity is ideal for singles and small families who are also very much interested in cooking risotto in a rice cooker.

Heating: Fuzzy Logic

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The NS-XAC05 combines Fuzzy Logic technology with convection for the best of both worlds. The Fuzzy Logic enables the rice cooker to think like a human as if you were manning the pot on the stove to adjust the temperature and cooking time just the way to cook perfect rice or risotto except you don’t have to be bothered with it. Set the cooker and enjoy other things in life.

Convecting Heating Element:This is the only rice cooker in Zojirushi’s entire product portfolio that has a convection heating element.

Two Cooking Processes: In case you are not familiar with convection, it is just another heat transfer method commonly used in cooking. There are two cooking methods: conductive and convective. Conductive heating is a direct transfer of heat via contact. A case in point is when you sauté the vegetables on a burner, the vegetables get cooked by contacting the sauté pan. The better the conductivity of the pan, the more efficient the heat transfer. Therefore, less energy is consumed and the food tastes better.

Convective heating on the other hand is an indirect heating method through air or moisture. The most cited example is when boiling water. The water at the bottom of the pot is heated first. The moving water causes the water at the bottom and the top of the pot to trade places. Eventually, the entire pot of water is heated to a uniform temperature.

Benefits of Convective Heating: There are several benefits in convective cooking vs. conductive such as less energy, faster cooking and more even heat distribution. In addition, the sugar in the food is released faster resulting tastier food.

Is NS-XAC05 Faster in Cooking Time? The faster speed in steaming is not realized in the NS-XAC05 rice cooker as I was doing a side-by-side comparison with NS-TSC10/18 rice cooker. To steam 7.0 oz carrots of bite-size pieces, it takes 20 minutes to steam in the NS-TSC10 or 18 rice cooker vs. 60 minutes in the NS-XAC05 rice cooker. Of course, this is a on-paper comparison from the two Instructional Manuals. I am not 100% sure how it would turn out in real-time cooking. I’ve read in some of the customer reviews that steaming time seems to be shorter than Zojirushi’s claims. I’ll let you be the judge on this one.

What about energy efficiency? This is proved to be quite significant in the NS-XAC05 rice cooker. It consumes 280/21 watts electricity per cooking/warming hour respectively comparing to the NS-TSC rice cooker’s 610/29 watts for the 5-cup size and 820/35 watts for the 10-cup size. One disclaimer is that the NS-XAC05 is a smaller size (3-cups vs 5 or 10 cups) rice cooker. So it’s not a precise apple-to-apple comparison, but you get the point, right?

Easy and Breezy to Use and to Clean

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If we say using a Zojirushi rice cooker is easy before, this one takes it up to another notch towards “no brainer”. It has five (5) buttons on the top rim of the rice cooker and all you need to do is to select and push it. Cleaning is not a big deal, either. After each use, clean the inner cooking pot, the inner lid and the steam vent. Also check to make sure there is no water or debris on the heating plate and the sensor in the external cooking vessel.

Other Features – NS-XAC05

LCD and Timer: There is no LCD control panel besides the few buttons mentioned earlier and no timer is available for you to program in advance.

Menu Selections: It has five (5) buttons on the top panel of the rice cooker: Keep Warm, Reset, Rice/Sushi, Risotto and Steam Cook. Keep warm function will automatically kicks in after the rice is cooked. Reset is used to cancel the selected menu setting in case you push the wrong button.

Rice/Sushi is for cooking white or sushi rice. If you want to cook brown rice or other types of rice in it, you’ll have to adjust the water level higher so slightly. Test a few runs to get the right texture you like. Steam/cook is for steaming vegetables or other types of foods. Risotto is for cooking risotto.

Cord: No removable or detachable power chord

Color: Chrome with a touch of white and yellow (represents the colors of white rice and saffron)

Dimensions (inches): 8.9 (W) x 9.4 (D) x 8.7 (H)

Accessories:

  • Rice spatula
  • Spatula stand
  • Measuring cup
  • Steaming tray

helpful-tipsHelpful Tips

  1. When using the steam tray, cut the food into bite-size pieces for proper cooking.
  2. Cut meat, fish or other types of seafood into thin slices to avoid overcooking.
  3. Don’t pour vinegar in the inner cooking pan to prevent erosion of the non-stick cooking surface.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5It’s no small feat to be rated as 4.7 out of 5 stars. At the time of this review, 8 out of the 12 reviewers gave it a 5-star and the rest 4 a 4-star rating. In fact, one customer said he would have given it a 6-star rating if possible. Not one person had any major complaint about it. They liked it for the perfectly cooked rice and also in its look and style. Cooking risotto couldn’t be easier and better.

Pros and Cons

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ProsStyle and functionality is the biggest selling point for this rice cooker. It is designed to please with the few easy-to-push buttons to get the job done. The risotto setting is the “icing on the cake”. It’s very energy efficient and perfect for singles or couples.

ConsThe Instruction Manual is not well-written or translated. You need to experiment with the water and rice ratio to get it the way you like it.

Price, Warranty and Where to Buy – Zojirushi NS-XAC05 Rice Cooker

Standard one-year limited warranty is provided by Zojirushi. As far as price goes, I checked in Google and no store could beat Amazon’s price at the time of the review.

I read in one of the customer reviews about getting it from the Amazon Warehouse Deals. When I checked, this model of rice cooker wasn’t listed in the deals.

Amazon Warehouse Deals are created by Amazon to sell returned, warehouse-damaged or even refurbished products that can’t be sold as “new” on Amazon.com. These products are offered at a deep discount and subject to physical and functional inspection by Amazon. If you get lucky, you might be able to get a great deal with a product that has never been removed from the original packaging, but the packaging may have minor damage. If you are interested in learning more about different conditions of products and types of products, please click this link.

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

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