Product Inspirations – Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer (NP-NVC10/18)

Ahhh, December. The time of year for holidays and for hunkering down with warm, wholesome foods. At Zojirushi, we’re obviously fans of rice as a staple of those warm meals and are showcasing our top-of-the-line Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker & Warmer (NP-NVC10/18) to get you through the winter.

This rice cooker combines multiple cooking technologies to provide top-notch results each and every time. It’s made in Japan and comes in two sizes, 5.5 cups and 10 cups. As with our other rice cookers, it’s styled to coordinate with any kitchen décor and comes with two measuring cups and a rice spatula for your convenience.

But really, the most innovative features of this rice cooker are its technologies, including induction heating (IH) and pressure cooking, both of which are controlled by the fuzzy logic technology with artificial intelligence (AI). Whew! Say that fast 10 times!

Knowing how these three technologies work together helps to really understand why this is a superior rice cooker, so get ready for some tech talk.

This rice cooker uses induction heating as one of its cooking methods. When you look inside the rice cooker, you won’t see a heating element or plate, like those used in a radiant heat-dependent appliance. Instead, this rice cooker has a system of magnetic coils that are hidden within the body of the machine. When electricity is run through these magnetic coils, they instantly heat the stainless steel of the inner cooking pan, making the pan itself the ‘heating element’!

 

The heat can be controlled for precise tuning during cooking and the resulting rice is perfectly cooked, every time.

This rice cooker also uses pressure cooking to cook rice. Pressure cooking is simply the act of heating food under steam pressure in a sealed vessel, forcing liquid into the food in order to cook it. In the case of our rice cooker, once the menu setting has been selected, the machine automatically selects from the pressure levels that result in hard, medium or soft rice–the more pressure, the more liquid forced into the rice, and the softer it becomes. In our rice cooker, applying pressure while cooking also helps convert the hard beta starch in raw rice into alpha starch, making it softer and easier to digest. For example, brown rice will need more water forced into it to make it soft and fluffy whereas sushi rice won’t, since it needs to have a firmer texture. Plus, rice cooked under pressure has been found to stay softer longer, perfect for rice that will be stored before consumption.

Both cooking methods are controlled by the rice cooker’s microcomputer, or Micom for short. It’s programmed using advanced fuzzy logic technology with artificial intelligence that adjusts the cooking time and temperature for each menu setting. Fuzzy logic is important, because it can make subtle adjustments the cooking process, creating a flow that results in rice that’s perfectly cooked every time.

Considering there’s so much technology in this rice cooker, it’s surprisingly easy to use. All of the menu settings can be selected from the easy-to-read LCD panel and include menus for White Rice, in regular, softer or harder textures (see… different pressures!), Mixed Rice, Sushi/Sweet Rice, Porridge, Brown Rice, GABA Brown Rice, as well as Zojirushi’s exclusive UMAMI, Steam-Reduce and Scorch settings.

The Delay Timer, also accessible from the LCD control panel, allows you to program when you’d like the rice to be ready, and Keep Warm and Reheat settings keep your rice hot and fresh when you’re ready to eat.

Inside the machine, the easy to clean platinum-infused nonstick inner cooking pan (which heats beautifully because of induction heating!) makes sweeter tasting rice, and the detachable inner lid is fully washable and equipped with a filter to prevent small food particles from becoming stuck in the pressure system.

With all of these features, we know you’re going to make amazing dishes. Our favorite warming dish are Garlic Flavored Beef Yakimeshi, Kimchi Fried Rice and Rice and Beans with Bacon and Collard Greens. Check out some more rice cooker recipes on our website!

Happy cooking and happy end of year!

And don’t forget to share your favorites with us below.

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

Crisp, cold, fall air. Shorter days. Holidays with family. November is such a wonderful time of year for baking! Our new flagship breadmaker—the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus (BB-PDC20)—brings all of the warm, comforting scents and delicious recipes into your home.

We’ve designed this full-capacity breadmaker to help any baker, from novice to advanced, make delicious breads, doughs, cakes, jams and even sourdough starter with ease and expertise.

The Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus comes with nine pre-programmed course settings to bake breads ranging from classic White and European breads, to healthy options such as Whole Wheat, Multigrain, Gluten Free, Salt Free, Sugar Free and Vegan breads. Each course setting alters the kneading, rising and baking functions based on the type of bread to be made, and select courses allow you to control the crust from Light, Medium to Dark, so you can customize each loaf to your liking. In addition, this machine also comes with four additional courses for Dough, Sourdough Starter, Cake and Jam, making the breadmaker even more versatile.

Along with the pre-programmed course settings, the Home Bakery Virtuoso® Plus comes with a special Homemade course that allows you to input up to three of your own custom settings and store your own knead, rise, and bake times. These settings can be stored and used repeatedly, just like the pre-programmed courses, offering an easy way to consistently use your own tried-and-true recipes.

The simplified LCD control panel and convenient key code make it simple to choose the course setting as well as select the crust color and set the optional 13-hour delay timer.

The breadmaker has also been designed with superior features, including an additional heating element in the lid, which promotes even baking and browning and a removable, nonstick coated baking pan to hold all ingredients. The baking pan uses dual kneading blades to thoroughly mix ingredients for the best results. Both the pan and blades are easy to clean, and along with 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.

The included recipe booklet has amazing recipes for the season. The Cranberry & Walnut Bread is deliciously full of sweet-tart cranberries and crunchy walnuts. Our classic Pumpernickel uses coffee and a mix of wonderful whole wheat flour, rye flour and cornmeal.  And the Rustic Herb Bread, a gorgeous European-style bread, pairs beautifully with seasonal soups and stews. This breadmaker will definitely come in handy when preparing for the holidays. Butter Rolls complete any festive meal, and Tea Cake served with a variety of teas and coffees add charm to any gathering. All of these are in the recipe booklet, along with so many others!

We hope you love these recipes and share the ones that you create in your own kitchen with us!

Product Inspirations – Micom Water Boiler & Warmer (CD-WCC30/40)

Ahhh… autumn! The perfect time of year for warm, enticing, soothing food and drinks, especially hot beverages. We love this time of year and use our Micom Water Boiler & Warmer (CD-WCC30/40) so much during these cooler days.

The CD-WCC30/40 is a particularly convenient appliance to have on hand in your home or office. It’s designed to quickly heat water and keep it at the selected temperature, so you have hot water ready whenever you want to brew tea, make instant coffee or even a more fragrant toddy or hot cider.

This water boiler is meant to be versatile and comes in your choice of 3 and 4 liter capacities. The unit features an easy-to-read LCD panel that lets you set the water temperature and delay timer, dispense water with the touch of a button, as well as keep track of the actual temperature of the water inside in real-time. The entire water boiler rests on a swivel base for convenient serving, with the wide window water level gauge clearly visible along the side of the machine.

This water boiler and warmer also comes with the optional Quick Temp mode, a great feature for those who prefer to use filtered water or who need to quickly heat water to 160°F, 175°F or 195°F without first bringing it to a boil.

Using the water boiler is easy. Fill the inner container with water, plug in the machine, and select the desired temperature setting on the LCD display panel using the Temp Set button. The water boiler comes with four selectable keep warm temperature settings to choose from—208°F, 195°F, 175°F, and 160°F.

Delicate teas are best brewed at 160°F, while 175°F is the ideal brewing temperature for green teas. Oolong tea is best brewed at 195°F, and at 208°, the hot water is great for brewing black teas and herbal teas. At 208°, water is also hot enough to make coffee, instant noodles or oatmeal and blanch vegetables. (We even have a great chart you can use!)

It’s also safe and easy to dispense hot water from the machine. Our smooth-operating electric dispensing system lets you simply place your cup under the spout, press the UNLOCK button, then press the dispense button. Café Drip Dispensing allows water to come out of the spout 60% slower, making it suitable for brewing café drip coffee.

This water boiler also comes with multiple safety features including auto shut-off, which turns off the machine when there is no water in the inner container, an automatic dispense lock, a removable magnetic power cord which easily detaches from the machine when snagged to prevent the unit from toppling, and in-spout and in-lid spill protection. Along with the nonstick coated interior, all parts that come into contact with the warmed water are BPA-free.

So, what do you normally use your water boiler for? If you don’t have a favorite recipe, we hope you try some of ours, like traditional Hot Green Sencha Tea and a classic British Tea along with more unique recipes like Black Tea Panna Cotta and Oolong Tea Chicken Bites! Plus, if you’re feeling a bit under the weather, try out this Cold Buster Soothie!

We hope you love these recipes and definitely share ones that you create in your own kitchen with us!

Product Inspirations – Stainless Steel Food Jar (SW-GCE36)

Last month, we featured our Ms. Bento® Stainless Lunch Jar and the great ways that you can take a fresh and complete meal with you, whether you’re at school, the office, traveling, picnicking or just out and about. This month, we’re excited to share our Stainless Steel Food Jar (SW-GCE36) with you!

This stylish food jar holds 12 ounces of hot or cold food, and because it uses Zojirushi’s double-walled vacuum insulation technology, foods are kept at their optimal hot or cold temperatures for hours. The vacuum insulation is created by removing the air between the outer and inner layers of the stainless steel, blocking heat from transferring through it. This minimizes the temperature change of the food inside the jar, providing a useful way to safely pack and store a meal when a refrigerator or microwave may not be readily available.

SlickSteel® interior

This food jar comes in a Cherry Red or Nut Brown finish and has a modern, angled design, and the thin vacuum insulation takes up minimal space while maximizing capacity. The large 3 ¼-inch wide opening makes it easy to fill and clean and its electro-polished 18/8 SlickSteel® interior prevents corrosion and repels stains. The flat interior design makes it easy to eat directly from the food jar, and it even has a removable plastic ring around the rim of the jar for drinking comfort, in case it is filled with a beverage or soup.

The lid is just as innovatively designed as the jar itself. It’s completely disassemblable for thorough cleaning and utilizes gaskets to tightly seal the jar, minimizing leaks and maximizing temperature retention. When released, the valve in the center of the lid set helps to relieve pressure caused by hot contents inside the jar and makes it easier to open the lid.

Best of all, all areas that come into contact with your food are BPA-free, making it safe to use for your entire family.

The Stainless Steel Food Jar is great for both adults and children. Back-to-school meals such as macaroni and cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup and easy rice dishes like Shiitake Gohan are ideal school meals, easily transported in the food jar. Morning meals like Steel Cut Oatmeal To-Go are easy to make in the food jar and the food jars transition well from the hot months of summer to the colder months of autumn and winter, with lighter fare such as our Stacked Pasta Salad staying cool, and dishes like Total Tonjiru Soup staying hot.

We know you’ll love using this Stainless Steel Food Jar just as much as you do the Ms. Bento® Stainless Steel Lunch Jar. Try it out and share what you love about this Stainless Steel Food Jar in the comments below!

Product Inspirations – Ms. Bento® Stainless Lunch Jar (SL-NCE09)

Nothing is as satisfying as a fresh, home-cooked meal. Our Ms. Bento® Stainless Lunch Jar lets you experience that comforting sense of home, whether you’re at school, the office, traveling, picnicking or just out and about.

The Ms. Bento® is a versatile lunch jar and is perfect for taking complete hot or cold meals, breakfast and lunch, or just satisfying a picky eater by keeping foods separated! It has multiple smart features that make it useful for a variety of foods. The first smart feature is the outer container, which is made of double layers of durable, high-quality stainless steel. The outer container is built using Zojirushi’s superior vacuum insulation, where the air is removed between the layers of stainless steel to prevent heat transfer. Preheating or precooling the outer container and inner bowls further increases temperature retention.

The lunch jar holds three inner bowls—a Soup Bowl, a Main Bowl and a Side Bowl. All three bowls are microwaveable and come with unique characteristics that make them ideal for their specified type of dish. The Soup Bowl holds 7 ounces of liquid and sits at the bottom of the outer container. The Soup Bowl has a special lid with a gasket that seals the bowl tightly, and a valve that helps to release pressure so the bowl can be opened even if the hot contents would otherwise make it difficult to unscrew.

The Main Bowl fits on top of the Soup Bowl and can hold up to 11 ounces of hot or cold food, such as cooked rice, pasta, or other entrees. The Main Bowl also has a specialized lid—it’s made to insulate the food in it from the food in the Side Bowl, which sits above at room temperature. Hot or cold soup and entrees all stay hot or cold inside the insulated outer container.

The Side Bowl holds up to 10 ounces of food and comes with two features—a Side Bowl divider and a lid with a sealing gasket. The Side Bowl divider makes it easy to store two types of room temperature foods in the same bowl, for example, nuts and berries or nut butter and apples. The Side Bowl sits above the walls of the outer container, securely nestled in the lunch jar’s outer lid. The outer lid locks onto the outer container, and the entire lunch jar is sealed.

All components of the Ms. Bento® are washable and made from BPA-free plastic and stainless steel, and come with a forked spoon accessory with cover and a stylish tote bag.

The smartest feature of all is all the food you can take in your Ms. Bento®! We love putting together warm and delicious meals for the Ms. Bento®, and our favorites include Marinara Sauce in the soup bowl, Fresh Pasta in the main bowl and Veggie Chicken Rolls in the side bowl. (Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?) And these is just as scrumptious!

We know you’ll love using the Ms. Bento® Stainless Steel Lunch Jar as much as we do… so try it out and share your favorite meal combinations with us in the comments below!