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Jun 5, 2009 07:17 PM

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


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.


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  1. 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. 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

        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

          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. 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

          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

            ".....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

              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

                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

                  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

           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

                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

                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. 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. 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

                  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

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