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which rice cooker - zojirushi pressure induction heating htc vs induction heating hbc?

w
wotcher Jun 5, 2009 07:17 PM

Hi,

I'm in the market for a new rice cooker. I have narrowed down my choices to the zojirushi pressure induction heating htc 10 cup model and the zojirushi induction heating hbc 10 cup model. I normally cook jasamine rice. But I'm planning to switch to brown and/or GABA brown.

So is the pressure model worth the premium? It comes down to a $100 difference for me. I haven't come across many or any reviews for the htc. Maybe its just too new and expensive for most people. From what I gathered so far, the htc came out at the beginning of this year. The hbc is about two years old.

thanks.

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  1. David A. Goldfarb Jun 5, 2009 07:56 PM

    10 cups is a really big rice cooker, unless you have a really large family. I bought a 10 cup rice cooker several years ago, thinking that it was only slightly more expensive than a smaller one, and I still have it, and I don't think I've ever made more than 5 cups in it, and normally I just make 3 or 4 for a family of two adults and a toddler. My wife is Filipino, so we make a lot of rice, and I think even her parents who have rice at every meal have always had a 6-cup rice cooker for a family of 4 and occasional guests. In retrospect, I wish I'd bought a smaller one that takes up less space.

    I don't think any of the extra features on expensive rice cookers are necessary. I use it to make rice, and maybe occasionally I'll steam something in the rice cooker, and two settings are sufficient for both of those tasks: "on" and "warm." To turn it off, I unplug it.

    1. Politeness Jun 5, 2009 10:12 PM

      wotcher, We cook rice at least 300 times a year. As you go up the Zojirushi line (or any maker's line) from the most basic to the most feature-filled model, each is a little better than the one below it, but there is one big step: the step from merely computer controlled in fine increments (in the case of Zojirushi, "Micom") to the fuzzy logic model (in the case of Zojirushi, "Neuro Fuzzy"). All of the other steps are tiny steps., but the ability to raise the temperature of the heating element just a little bit (fuzzy), rather than all on full speed until an internal temperature is reached (Micom), does make a difference.

      In my understanding, the pressure heating merely allows faster cooking, not better. We have no personal experience with it, so I may be wrong. Does Zojirushi claim otherwise?

      David A. Goldfarb is correct that the 10-cup size is huge, probably more than you will need or want. And remember, when you are making a small batch of rice, it is much more difficult to get the ratio of rice to water correct in a large container than it is in a smaller one.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Politeness
        w
        wotcher Jun 6, 2009 01:16 AM

        Thanks for the advice so far.

        I'm replacing my current 10 cup pre-fuzzy Zoji. We suspect that the keep warm function is broken because after a few hours the rice develops a rotten smell that we never had before, for years. We regularly cook for three/four with it despite being a ten cup machine. I'm look towards the 10 cups because I want the option if guess drops by. And unlike David's concern, space isn't an issue for me.

        Honestly, I don't know why the "pressure" makes the newest model better. I was hoping for an answer from the experts here. =). I agree with Politeness's suspicion that the pressure feature would make cooking things faster. But I haven't seen any marketing hype on it. It would be cool to cut down that 3 hour cook time for GABA brown for induction heating models.

        And we probably use the Zoji as much as Politeness. So its money well spent.

        1. re: wotcher
          tanuki soup Jun 6, 2009 07:10 AM

          I'm no expert, but I did find the following explanation at Zojirushi's website. Hope it helps with your decision.

          Pressurized cooking is a method of cooking in a sealed vessel that does not permit air or liquids to escape below a preset pressure. It elevates cooking temperatures to higher levels, which alters the structure of starch within each grain of rice. This change makes the rice softer and easier to digest, and even fluffier to the taste. Rice cooked with pressure has also been found to stay soft for longer periods of time when compared to regularly cooked rice.

      2. b
        bernise6 Jun 6, 2009 04:55 PM

        I just went through this study and decided the Cuckoo brand of rice cookers worked better for me than Zojirushi. This is the leading brand in Korea and they are imported into the US. I went with a 6 cup model CRP-HF0610F

        8 Replies
        1. re: bernise6
          alarash Jun 7, 2009 08:29 PM

          I've been keeping a close eye on this thread, and I really hope some people with the Zojirushi HTC and also those with the Zojirushi HBC weigh in and explain why they chose the model they did, and also whether they notice a difference that's worth paying for.

          I have read on some forums that the HTC (induction WITH pressure) actually cooks rice LESS well than the HBC (induction fuzzy) and even other fuzzy models (e.g. NeuroFuzzy). Others complain that the HTC doesn't cook steel cut oats (is this true?).

          Others claim the HTC cooks white rice slightly better than the HBC and NeuroFuzzy, but that the latter two cook all other varieties (brown, GABA brown, oats) much better, and that the HTC basically doesn't make sense to purchase at this time.

          Finally, regarding the Cuckoo brand rice cookers: my close friends who are Korean insist that Cuckoo pressure rice cookers just flat out out-perform zojirushi HTC. They claim that several family members bought Zojirushi models, and eventually got rid of them because they didn't cook rice as well or as fast as the Cuckoo models. I don't know if this is true.

          So, finally, my questions:

          1. How does the Zojirushi NP-HTC compare to the NP-HBC? Is there anyone out there who has experience from both?

          2. Anyone out there hace experience with the much less expensive but well-received Sanyo pressure rice cookers (Sanyo ECJ-PX50S)?

          3. Any comments from those who have experience with Cuckoo pressure rice cookers, especially if you have experience with Zojirush as well?

          1. re: alarash
            b
            bernise6 Jun 9, 2009 08:57 PM

            ".....They claim that several family members bought Zojirushi models, and eventually got rid of them because they didn't cook rice as well or as fast as the Cuckoo models. I don't know if this is true......"

            ---------------

            I would say this is probably true. First, even though Zojirushi is made in Japan, it isn't the #1 brand in Japan. That would be Tiger. However Tiger does not import most of its line into the USA.

            Second, the Cuckoo program modes address all of the deficiencies that you list for the IH pressure models from Zojrushi. For example if you want to eat steel cut oats, the Zoj doesn't allow for this. With the Cuckoo, this is simply considered a stew with their multi-cook option. You simply select the time. Also the Cuckoo pressure system is fairly straight forward. Aside from a rice cooker, it can be considered as an advanced pressure cooker. You can use it accordingly. The Cuckoo also has realistic modes for GABA of 12 hours + and also has settings for Okoge rice which the Zoj doesn't have.

            1. re: bernise6
              JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jun 10, 2009 01:25 PM

              Actually, on the Neuro Fuzzy models that Zojirushi makes, there is a Porridge setting that one can use to make steel-cut oats. I just got one and it turns out fantastic oatmeal.

              1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                b
                bernise6 Jun 11, 2009 03:54 PM

                But Zojirushi says it is not supported and will void the warranty on the the IH/pressure models. Not a problem however on the Cuckoo. I prefer the induction heat pressure model over the older hot plate style. The Cuckoo can also double as a machine to cook stews under pressure.

                1. re: bernise6
                  JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Jun 12, 2009 02:34 AM

                  Show me where in both cases or I'm not believing you.

                  I have *personally* cooked oatmeal in my Zojirushi induction rice cooker, and can tell you that it's some of the best oatmeal I've ever had.

                  1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                    t
                    tikken Feb 2, 2014 12:32 PM

                    http://www.zojirushi.com/recipes/stee... offers such a recipe and states:

                    Cooked in a 5 cup Zojirushi Rice Cooker

                    )

                    NOTE: This recipe CANNOT be made in the Pressure IH Rice Cooker (NP-HTC10/18, NP-NVC10/18 model)

              2. re: bernise6
                Politeness Jun 12, 2009 05:44 AM

                bernise6: "...even though Zojirushi is made in Japan, it isn't the #1 brand in Japan. That would be Tiger. "

                I am curious about your source for this. I have no hard evidence that conflicts with your claim, but in my personal and informal observations (I have not taken inventory) of the displays in department stores like the Yokohama Sogo and Mitsukoshi's Nihombashi honten, and in the street-level mom-and-pop stores in Ofuna that I walk casually by, the models of rice-cookers from the electronics giants like Panasonic, Hitachi, and Toshiba seem to be much more prominent than products from specialty producers like Tiger and Zojirushi.

              3. re: alarash
                j
                Jane917 Jun 12, 2009 01:36 PM

                I have the Sanyo ECJ-S35S 3.5 rice cooker. I love it. I especially love using the porridge setting to have my oatmeal all ready in the morning.

            2. w
              wotcher Jun 11, 2009 11:55 PM

              so after bernise6's stellar comments, im leaning towards getting a cuckoo now. but ive been searching and searching and can't find any decent reviews on the latest cuckoo, especially the CRP-HF0610F 6 or 10 cup models. Well, I ran across some stuff but I can't read Korean.

              On the other hand, there are tons of reviews of Zoji HI models, especially on amazon. so can you point me in the right direction? I've been asking almost every korean that I iknow. But they know little more than its a name brand.

              i went to cuckoo's us site. and i saw the marketing piece of 99.9% gold and 99.9% bronze. I'm assuming one of fiver layers is a gold plating on the pot.

              and last, can give a price range for what you bought the cuckoo 6 cup for? thanks.

              1. s
                stomsf Jun 25, 2009 08:43 AM

                Hi All -- So I was in a local Asian store yesterday and actually found a slew of Tiger models they had on the floor. I hadn't seen them in the States and discussion here said they are one of the more prevalent brands in Asia -- should I pick one up in lieu of the standard Zoj or Samsung? How does Tiger stack up?

                2 Replies
                1. re: stomsf
                  Politeness Jun 25, 2009 09:12 AM

                  stomsf , Tigers are good. Tiger and Zojirushi both fall within the usually reliable maxim that a small(ish) company that specializes in a very narrow range of products usually makes better products than are made by gigantic companies for which the same kind of products are s minor sideline. If you are buying a DVD drive for your computer, for instance, you probably will get a betetr drive if you buy a Plextor than if you get a Sony, and the Eizo computer monitors generally are better than NEC/Mitsubishi: the reputations of Plextor and Eizo ride on those specific products, and if one of them produces a model that's clinker, the entire company could go down the tubes, whereas if Samsung makes a clinker, it just sells a few more refrigerators to make up the difference. Tiger and Zojirushi specialize in small kitchen appliances that heat water, and they know their business and do it well.

                  1. re: Politeness
                    j
                    Jane917 Jun 25, 2009 09:32 AM

                    During a visit to San Francisco last week, I saw oodles of Tiger rice cookers (and many other brands) at Kamei on Clement Street.

                2. d
                  dsweedler Aug 24, 2011 07:35 PM

                  Cuckoo has made pressure rice cookers for a long time and has many different models at all price points including several non induction one button models. I think Tiger and Zojirushi finally noticed the Korean competition and decided to enter this market but it is a new technology to them compared to Cuckoo. I periodically live in small apartmenst while contracting in various states and countries and cook all my meals in a rice cooker. I am leaning towards the Tiger JKCR18U after owning 4 different Zojirushi MICOM models.

                  One thought about capacity. I have had trouble with poorly steamed rice when using the cooker at over say 65% capacity. I think the headspace is important to catch steam and a over filled cooker is prone to pushing liquid out the vent. So a 10 cup capacity works really well up to 6 cups for me and gets dicey with more than 7 (6oz) cups of dry rice. I also think that a 10 cup model is too large a bowl for a single cup of rice but I have a 3 cup rice cooker for everyday single servings. I want the pressure induction model to prepare brown and red rice meals. I currently use the keep warm function to heat the rice slowly for 4 hours before colling and cooking using a normal white rice program on my non pressure Zojirushi. It makes very tender brown rice that way but is tedious and requires monitoring the time plus that long wait before it is ready to eat. Soakng brown rice overnight at room temperature also works but makes a more sprouted texture brown rice style that tastes very different than the slow heating version.

                  Soaking overnight also works but makes a more sprouted texture brown rice style that tastes very different than the slow heating version.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: dsweedler
                    e
                    exvaxman Aug 25, 2011 02:37 AM

                    I actually got a perscription from my doctor for the high-end Zoshi due to glaucoma and the brown rice setting was supposed to help. It has been the workhorse in the house ever since. I will also mention that when walking over lunchtime from work, the local church was having a rummage sale. I was able to buy a second one for $20 in an unopened box! I put it away for the kid when he goes away to college.

                  2. s
                    skyline Aug 25, 2011 07:47 AM

                    As a current (for about 4 years) owner of a Zoji Micom (which is also advertised as having 'fuzzy logic' so I am a bit fuzzy myself about the difference between a Micom and a Fuzzy model -- maybe someone can explain it to me?) it is far and away the most used appliance in the kitchen. Every single overnight/morning we use it to make steel cut oats.

                    Coincidentally I was thinking the other day "what if this one completely dies on us one day, should we get one of the more advanced models instead?" and so am interested to learn that the newer-tech models are supposedly not suitable for steel cut oats -- which it would be used for even more often than to make rice. Sounds like the Micom is the most suitable for us after all. The programmable features is the biggest 'must', along with a setting for porridge/steel cut oats.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: skyline
                      JK Grence the Cosmic Jester Aug 25, 2011 11:44 PM

                      Micom and Fuzzy are one and the same; there's a computer onboard that makes your rice just perfect. And the timer is pretty cool too; instead of setting it for when you want the rice to start, you set it for when you want it to finish, and it does the rest.

                      1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester
                        s
                        skyline Aug 26, 2011 04:25 AM

                        Oh, okay... I was a little confused as a result of the comment "merely computer controlled in fine increments (in the case of Zojirushi, "Micom") to the fuzzy logic model (in the case of Zojirushi, "Neuro Fuzzy")." -- which made me think that perhaps there was a functional cooking difference between the two. :-) And yes one of the things I love about our Micom is that it is set to the time you want the rice or oatmeal to be done (and then kept warm if needed, of course).

                        How ironic that the day after I mentioned wondering about a replacement, we find ourselves now packing up boxes in anticipation of having to evacuate due to Hurricane Irene. I looked around the kitchen last night and suddenly realized that there is no way we can take any of the appliances or cookware along with all the other Really Important stuff. :-( So the Zoji will be carefully placed (along with the Viking mixer and the more expensive pieces of cookware) on the highest shelf with fingers crossed. Hopefully they will still be there, high and dry, when we come back. Hopefully the kitchen will still be intact as well!!!!!

                        I could not bear to leave my four favorite Japanese knives behind though -- they're coming with us. Thankfully they are small and don't take up much box room. :-)

                        1. re: skyline
                          d
                          DPGood Aug 26, 2011 05:02 AM

                          Don't put that stuff on the highest shelf where it has farther to fall. Put it on the floor!

                          1. re: DPGood
                            s
                            skyline Aug 26, 2011 06:03 AM

                            Unfortunately we have just as much -- actually more -- chance of damage by flooding than by the wind.

                            Definitely a "rock and a hard place" situation. We are less than 200 ft from the water and also in a high-water-table area. House sits on a 4' high crawlspace which means if the groundwater rises more than 4 ft it will start coming up through the first floor floorboards. If the storm hits at high tide there will also be water coming horizontally toward the house from the canal. So anything on or close to the floor is at risk of water damage.

                            At the same time, the house has about a dozen extremely large trees along 3 sides of the property, which are all within falling distance of the roof should they come down in the direction of the house. So if the water doesn't get us, the trees might. The pantry room happens to be facing the one side of the house that doesn't have an adjacent large tree within striking distance.

                            Of course once the roof is breached and rain starts pouring into the attic, it will be soaked up by the insulation (horizontally) and then start dripping down through the ceilings of all the rooms eventually, especially into those that have recessed (can) lighting. The pantry has a single standard ceiling fixture so is less "hole-y" than some other rooms but naturally, wet sheetrock will only stay intact for just so long anyhow before it gives way entirely.

                            So it's a case of damned if you do/damned if you don't when it comes to where things might be less damage prone. :-/ My bet is that the flooding is more likely than the trees coming down, given the current forecast and the timing of high tide during the probable timeframe of the storm. So electrical things are being put up higher with fingers crossed.

                            It's a given that the power will go out and be out for whotheheckknows how long. The last time we had a storm like this the power was out for 2 weeks in our area, came back on for 4 days, and then went out for another 3.

                            I hate hurricane season.

                            1. re: skyline
                              d
                              DPGood Aug 26, 2011 06:24 AM

                              The very best of luck to you. I think that for most of us, the aftermath is worse than the event itself, while you have both to deal with!

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