Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Rice Cooker – Full Review
Want to add more healthy foods to your diet? The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-Cup Rice Cooker lets you make up to six cups of cooked rice or porridge per cycle. It’s just the right size for singles, couples, and small families. With several menu settings including a keep warm cycle and a convenient delay timer, it makes every type of rice imaginable with minimal effort on your part. A removable inner liner and lid add to its utility while making cleanup quick and simple.
A great choice for small kitchens, this rice cooker has a small, slightly squared profile so it can be kept on a countertop or tucked away in a cupboard. Its attractive silver and black exterior matches well with a variety of modern kitchen appliances.
Where old-style rice cookers boil over or cause scorching, the Zojirushi Micom uses Fuzzy Logic technology to ensure that rice is properly pre-soaked, cooked, and warmed. Whether you prefer long-grain white rice or jasmine rice, brown rice, mixed rice with seasonings, or fluffy porridge, this rice cooker delivers. Even sushi rice, notoriously difficult to make properly in a rice cooker, comes out feeling firm and easy to handle, with just the right amount of stickiness for making tight, compact rolls.
I’ve noticed that some other reviewers complain that their rice turns out watery. This will happen if you add the water before adding the rice, as the water measuring marks on the inside of the cooking chamber are meant to account for the presence of rice in the bottom of the cooker. The instructions could be a little more clear about this, but once you know to add rice first then water, your finished product will be just the way you like it.
These are just a few highlights. Read on for more details about the pros and cons that come with owning and operating the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Micom 3-cup Rice Cooker.
Most rice cookers are big and bulky. Not the Zojirushi Micom. Designed to deliver up to six cups of finished rice per cooking cycle, it has a small footprint that’s about the size of a toaster. Instead of the classic round profile, this one is slightly rectangular, so it fits easily into a small space. The retractable cord adds to its compact appeal, making for easy storage. A handle that tucks around the back makes it easy to pick up and put away if you decide not to keep it on the countertop.
If you’re hoping to feed a crowd, you’ll need a bigger rice cooker. If you want to make just the right amount of rice for one or two people or a small family of up to four, this is a great machine that will do what you need it to without taking up much space.
Looks might not be everything, but let’s face it – they do count for something. Zojirushi has done a fantastic job designing this rice cooker. It has an attractive silver finish with black trim, so it looks nice in just about any kitchen. The LCD control panel lies flat against the top, and when activated, is very easy to read.
Removable Inner Cooking Chamber
If you’ve ever used an old-style rice cooker without a removable cooking chamber, you know just how difficult cleaning can be. You’re not supposed to submerge the cord, yet you need to soak sticky rice particles away from the interior! You won’t have that problem with this rice cooker. Its inner chamber, which has a nice bowl-shaped profile for even cooking and presentation on the table, comes right out so you can wash it quickly. The inner lid comes out as well, so you don’t have to struggle to clean anything.
Five Handy Menu Settings
Different kinds of rice require different cooking processes to come out with the right texture and flavor. With the Zojirushi Micom rice cooker, you don’t have to wonder whether your rice will look and taste the way you want it to. Just choose the setting for the type of rice you’re making and walk away. The rice cooker does the rest. Settings include white/mixed rice, brown rice, sushi rice, quick-cook rice, and porridge. The microchip adjusts cooking time and temperature, times the pre-soaking period to suit the raw grains you are using, and ensures that the final steaming process happens correctly.
If you’re on a tight schedule but want to eat healthy, you’ll find the Zojirushi Micom rice cooker makes life easier. Just set it up in the morning before you leave for work, and come home to cooked rice. Steam some vegetables and make a quick entrée, and you’ve got an entire meal with a minimum amount of effort.
Automatic Keep Warm Feature
In the event you’re not quite ready when your rice is, you’ll appreciate the automatic keep warm feature. It gently heats the rice without scorching or overcooking.
Cooks Items Other Than Rice
The “mixed rice” setting allows you to combine other items with your rice, i.e. vegetables, tofu, chicken, fish, and seasonings. You’ll want to experiment with this after familiarizing yourself with the process of cooking plain rice.
If you like oatmeal, you can use the rice cooker to make it, using the porridge setting and about half the amount of water recommended on the oatmeal package. Different types of oatmeal and other grains like quinoa and barley are easy to make, however you will need to experiment with the amount of water to use in order to get the proportions right.
The one downside to this rice cooker is that the instructions that come with it are not as clear as they could be. You may find yourself feeling slightly frustrated while experimenting with cooking things other than rice, however once you know how much water and grain to use, you’ll be pleased with the results. A little experimentation pays off, and there are quite a few tutorials online that provide instructions for making different things in rice cookers.
“Can you use this to cook rice with broth?”
Yes, you can use any kind of liquid to cook your rice, i.e. vegetable broth, coconut water, chicken stock, etc.
“Is the inner cooking chamber aluminum or is it coated with a non-stick surface? If it’s non-stick, is it BPA-free?”
The inner cooking chamber has a non-stick surface. Per Zojirushi’s website, all their products have BPA-free components (at least the parts that come in contact with your food, i.e. the cooking chamber.)
“How long does the “Keep Warm” function last?”
You can keep rice warm for up to twelve hours, per the instruction manual.
“Are replacement cooking bowls available?”
Yes. It’s normal for the cooking bowl to become worn over time. You can get a new cooking bowl from the Zojirushi site.
“How long does this take to make brown rice? I’ve seen some complaints about the cooking time.”
It takes a little more than 2 hours to run through the brown rice cycle, which is where pre-setting your rice cooker really comes in handy. For brown rice to come out right, it needs to be cooked at a lower temperature. This machine utilizes an extended pre-heating cycle to allow for .optimal water absorption
“Can I make red beans and rice in this rice cooker?”
Yes, as long as you use pre-cooked red beans like the ones that come in a can. Mix up your recipe with the right amount of water or stock for the rice and use the mixed rice setting.
“Is the cooking pan dishwasher safe for the top rack?”
The cooking pan should be hand-washed. Because it’s nonstick, it only takes a few seconds to rinse, wipe clean, and dry.
“Does this rice cooker work at high altitude? I live at 7500 feet and it’s very hard to cook rice on the stovetop here.”
Yes, it works well at high altitude, but expect it to take a little longer to finish since water’s boiling temperature is lower at higher altitudes.
“Does the rice cooker sing a song when it’s finished, or does it beep?”
It plays a tune when it’s finished with the cooking process. It also plays a song at the beginning to let you know that it’s getting started.
The Zojirushi Micom 3-cup rice cooker is a fantastic machine that does exactly what the manufacturer claims it will do. It makes a variety of rices perfectly, and you can use it to cook things other than rice or make mixed rice dishes. Despite the minor inconvenience posed by the handbook, which has instructions that really ought to be rewritten, the machine is very easy to use and has a number of convenient features. This rice cooker makes it easy to add healthy whole grains to your daily diet, and it’s just the right size for a small family or couple.
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