Product Inspirations –
Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus Breadmaker (BB-PDC20)

It is the perfect season for baking, and we’d like to share our flagship breadmaker, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus Breadmaker (BB-PDC20) with you this month.

2-lb automatic breadmaker bakes a horizontal loaf

The Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus has a smart mix of the best features traditionally found in our breadmakers along with new, healthy menu settings. It makes traditional, rectangular, 2-lb loaves and also has settings to mix dough, create sourdough starter and make cakes and jam. It features 14 pre-programmed course settings along with a Homemade setting that allows you to store up to three custom settings.

Easy-to-read key code on lid for course selection

The course settings work by altering the time the breadmaker kneads the ingredients, allows them to rise, and bakes them to the desired crust. Each course setting sets a different time for each function based on the type of bread to be made, ranging from classic White, Wheat and European breads to health-conscious options like Gluten Free, Salt Free and Vegan breads. A rapid course setting allows you to bake a loaf of White or Whole Wheat bread in just two hours and 25 minutes!

Easy-to-use control panel

Along with the pre-programmed course settings, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus comes with a special Homemade course, which allows you to input up to three of your own custom recipes and store your own knead, rise, and bake times.

Cakes, jam and sourdough starter is just as easy to make as bread and dough. Simply add in the ingredients, select the appropriate course setting and let the breadmaker work. Detailed instructions can be found in the easy-to-read instruction manual that comes with the machine.

The easy-to-use LCD control panel and convenient key-code make it easy to choose the course setting, select the crust color – from light to dark – and set the optional 13-hour delay timer. Our website features seven videos with how-to tutorials for using the breadmaker to its fullest. Learn about How to Measure Ingredients, How to Make Bread, How to Set the Clock and Timer and How to Clean and Store among other great tips.

Homemade loaf of bread

In order to make these delicious foods, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus utilizes heating elements in the lid and bottom of the machine, promoting even baking and browning. It has dual kneading blades that rest inside the baking pan and do a great job of mixing all of the ingredients. The baking pan is removable and nonstick coated which makes it easy to remove your delicious creations from the pan.

Both the pan and blades are easy to clean, and all surfaces that come into contact with food are BPA-free. Accessories include a full-color recipe booklet with 50 delicious recipes, nested measuring cups for dry ingredients, a liquid measuring cup and a measuring spoon.

Baking pan with dual kneading blades

All of these smart features are nothing compared to the food the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus makes! You can find many recipes on our website in the Breadmakers section but we wanted to share our favorites from the recipe booklet. The Multigrain Raisin Bread is to die for, as is the Italian Herb Bread. We love the Breadsticks and the traditional Pizza Dough. And no one can go wrong with Pound Cake! The truly amazing surprises are our suggestions for the Homemade course. You have to try the Meatloaf Miracle and the Tomato Pasta. And when you do, be sure to come back to our website or our Instagram page and share your creation with us!

Happy Holidays and good baking to you all! See you in 2020!

Design Explained –
Clean, Clean, Clean!

We don’t like mold. We don’t like burnt-on grease. We don’t like calcium buildup. What we do like are intelligently designed products that are easy to clean!

Our final post in the Design Explained series for the year explains how many of our products, ranging from home use to commercial use, are smartly designed to be easy to clean.

Removable Inner Lid of a Rice Cooker

Our product designers and engineers ask fundamental questions like:

  • Are the surfaces, grooves, threads and spaces between components large enough for thorough cleaning but small enough to prevent food from falling through?
  • Are there areas where food can get stuck and spoil and how can they be cleaned?
  • Will the area be easy to access for thorough cleaning?

In answering these questions, they realized that four key characteristics about our product design make them particularly easy to clean – their shape, the ability to disassemble their parts, the ability to remove components when necessary and the materials and finishes used to make the products.

Grooves of the Indoor Grill

Our Indoor Grills, Vacuum Insulated Mugs & Bottles and Vacuum Insulated Food Jars are prime examples of how the shape of the product influences its cleanability. Our Indoor Grills are designed with slightly rounded grooves that prevent food from falling through the grill, while also making it easy to wash away fats and food particles from inside the grooves. Our stainless mugs and food jars have wide mouths, making them not only easy to fill but also easy to clean with mild detergent, warm water and a sponge. And the lid of our Commercial Stainless Vacuum Creamer / Dairy Server is funnel-shaped with minimal threading to prevent dairy from getting stuck in the grooves and spoiling.

One Piece Lid with Minimal Threading

For some products, such as our Vacuum Insulated Mugs & Bottles, the ability to disassemble the components in the lids makes all the difference when it comes to thoroughly cleaning them. So often, liquids get stuck inside lid components, creating bad odors and causing mold. Disassembling all of the parts of the lid allows for thorough cleaning and continued hygienic use.

Disassembling Lid

Our Rice Cookers are just as easy to clean, even with all of the electronic components. The inner lids are removable, so that any stuck-on bits of food and dried on cooking liquids can be washed off without wetting the base of the appliance. The same applies to our Coffee Makers. They’re made with removable coffee filter baskets that can be thoroughly cleaned, so your coffee is fresh, without having to submerge the entire appliance.

Removable Water Tank

The materials and finishes we use in our product engineering directly influence how easy our products are to clean. This facet is integral to each product. Whether it’s the nonstick coating in the baking pans in our Breadmakers or nonstick interior in most of our Water Boiler & Warmers, these surfaces are engineered to repel odors, discoloration and buildup. For example, the inner pans in our breadmakers are removable and can simply be cleaned with mild detergent, warm water and a sponge, just like many of our other products. Our water boilers can get an even deeper yet gentle cleaning with our Citric Acid Cleaner (CD-K03EJU), which dissolves calcium buildup, instead of letting it flake off into the electronic components. These materials and finishes make cleaning and maintaining your appliances much simpler, prolonging their use and your investment.

We hope you’ll check out each of these products, and as always, love it when you share your stories with us. Have a wonderful end to 2019 and prosperous New Year!

Bert-san’s Take—Zojirushi Toaster Oven

What can you do in a Toaster Oven? I thought about avocado toast, but that sounded too easy. On the other hand, I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew, you know what I mean? So I decided to try a homemade pop tart because there were lots of recipes online…and I like pop tarts!

First thing I found out was that I didn’t have to make my own pie crust because—who knew? They sell ready made crust at the supermarket! Jeez, I had no idea, honestly.


But I still had to roll out the dough…


…and lay it out as best as I could on the baking pan. (See what I did there with the parchment paper to prevent sticking?)


Then I spread the jam. I used a mango passion fruit jam instead of strawberry because I wanted it tart and not too sweet.


I placed another square of pie crust over the jam and poked holes in it to let steam out, according to the recipe. The edges were sealed with grooves made with a fork. It’s lookin’ good!


Then it goes into my Zojirushi Toaster Oven and bakes for 20 minutes or so at 375°F.


So then the recipe says to make your icing while I’m waiting for my pop tart to bake—so I did! Pretty simple; it’s just powdered sugar and water.


Ding!! Looks all golden brown and everything! I see how there’s a hot spot in the back, but it’s not that bad.


My finished pop tart won’t win any beauty prizes, but it tasted pretty good! The choice of the passion fruit jam was spot on, but my icing didn’t spread well because I made it too thick (lesson learned).

What else can you do with a Toaster Oven? How about roasting chestnuts?

Just pierce the shell with little “X” marks with a knife, add a little water to the pan, and pop them in for like 35 minutes at 425°F.


Ta-dah!

Overall my Zojirushi Toaster Oven ET-WMC22 performed very well. The size is very compact, so it’s perfect for a single person or a small family like ours. The included baking pan is heavy duty and not flimsy, so that’s a bonus. And the automatic pull-out rack made it easy to load and remove my pop tart.

 

 

Images by Bert Tanimoto

 

 

 

 

Foreign Foods in Japan –
Piroshiki!

So many of our Foreign Foods in Japan have come from Europe, the US and China, so this month we’re finally focusing on Japan’s neighbor to the north…Russia!

Piroshiki are hand-held dough pockets filled with various types of fillings. The original dish from Russia is spelled as pirozhki, piroshki or when plural, pirogi or pierogi. In Russia, pirozhki can be found all over the place, made at home, in restaurants and at street food stalls. The Russian version is commonly filled with meat, vegetables, cheese and infrequently fish, when savory, or with fruit and jam when sweet. The dough is typically a yeast dough, leavened and brushed with egg wash, and the entire pocket is baked in a hot oven…perfect for the cold Russian climate!

Pierogi

In Japan, pirozhki were adapted to Japanese taste and cooking methods. One account states that this dish was introduced to Japan after WWII, and the original Japanese piroshiki were filled with minced onions, boiled eggs and ground beef and deep-fried, instead of baked. Another states that Miyo Nagaya, a Japanese chef from Tokyo, became interested in the cuisine of Russia and Central Asia, and opened a restaurant in Tokyo in 1951, where she modified the Russian dish to Japanese tastes.

Piroshiki

Today, piroshiki can be found at bakeries and restaurants in Japan and frying is still the most common way of preparing the dish. Typical fillings range from ground meat, fish and vegetables such as onions, carrots and shiitake mushrooms. One delicious and unique Japanese-centric filling is cooked and chopped up harusame glass noodles, which add incredible texture and umami to the piroshiki. Some believe that piroshiki were the inspiration for kare-pan or curry pan, which is a beloved Japanese deep-fried dough pocket filled with curry flavored ingredients.

Kare-pan

No matter where you get your piroshiki in Japan, you’re sure to enjoy this hot pocket. Have you had it? Have you made it? Share your favorite recipe with us below!

Product Inspirations –
Premium Thermal Carafe Ichimatsu Collection (AFFB-10)

Our vacuum insulated mugs, bottles and carafes come with three different types of innovative inner linings…our nonstick coating, our SlickSteel® electro-polished stainless steel, and our gorgeous glass liners.

Zojirushi Glass Liner

Our glass liner is part of our new Premium Thermal Carafe Ichimatsu Collection (AFFB-10). This carafe extends our line of glass lined carafes, including the Glass Vacuum Carafe (AH-EAE10) designed by British designer David Tong of The Division, the Euro Carafe (AG-KB10) and the Premium Thermal Carafe (AFFB-10S/19S).

Ichimatsu Collection

The Ichimatsu Collection carafe comes in white or black finishes and holds 34 oz. or 1.0 L of liquid. It features a one-touch pour, an easy-to-press side push open/close button and a comfortable handle for quick and easy serving. It also accommodates most brewing attachments for added convenience.

The truly unique and smart design of this carafe stems from the vacuum insulated glass liner that makes up the easy-to-clean interior, and the Ichimatsu pattern on the exterior.

The Ichimatsu pattern hold great historical and cultural significance in Japan. The pattern is a traditional Japanese two-toned checkerboard design that originated during the Edo Period (1603-1868) when a famous Kabuki actor, Sanogawa Ichimatsu, wore pants with the checkerboard pattern on stage. His style became so popular that the pattern was named after him. The pattern and finish of the Premium Thermal Carafe pays homage to this iconic design.

Glass Liner

Along with the stylish exterior, the glass lined interior offers an odor and stain resistant surface so beverages stay fresh. The glass liner is made of two layers of strong, durable and hygenic borosilicate glass, molded into the perfect shape at our factory in Osaka, Japan. The air between the two layers of glass is removed to create powerful vacuum insulation and the interior cavity between the two layers of glass is coated with silver plating to give it heat reflecting properties. We even have a cool video showing you how it’s done!

This new carafe is a great addition to your home or office table, and can be used for cold or hot beverages, including water, tea, coffee and so on. Learn more about it on our website or through our product video at https://youtu.be/VuG3K0Uyao8.