Rice is considered as a staple food in Asia as it is served often alongside meals whether it is breakfast, lunch or even supper. Cooking the grains before was simple but requires constant attention as the grains are placed inside a pot over fire or on the stove.
Nowadays, rice cookers have evolved from the cooking pots that require constant monitoring into rice cookers that come in with high-tech features and functions making rice cooking even more convenient than before.
One of the most well-known brands of rice cookers that sport high-tech functionalities and features is Zojirushi, widely-renowned for high-tech rice cookers that are easy to use and is capable of providing restaurant-quality rice.
One of the rice cooker models that they’ve made that we’ll cover here is the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT. We’ll be taking a look at its key features, its Pros and Cons and how to take care of it and then piece them altogether whether the NS-LAC05XT is worth the purchase.
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Key Features:
1. Small Footprint, takes up small counter space
- This 3-cup Rice Cooker is small compared to the rest of the Zojirushi rice cookers and will only take up a small area of the counter making this very space-friendly and an attractive choice for small homes.
2. A good number of cooking functions
- Has a reasonable number of cooking options to meet your cooked rice needs whether it is plain rice, sushi, porridge or if you’re health-conscious, brown rice. Aside from the rice-based options, you too can make use of the Quick Cooking option if you want quick and snappy preparations. Speaking of functions, all of them are easy to utilize through a simple push of a button.
3. Automatic and extended keep warm settings with a re-heating cycle
- The NS-LAC05XT sports one of the recurring features among the high-tech Zojirushi rice cookers and that is its capability to retain warmth in the cooked rice. It has an automatic and extended keep warm setting for the rice so that it is capable of keeping warm and fresh for up to 12 hours. If the rice gets cold after that point, it has a re-heating feature for that purpose.
4. Non-stick cooking pot with measuring lines
- Another recurring feature that Zojirushi rice cookers have in general is that they have a non-stick cooking pot. With non-stick lining forming the walls of the rice cooker’s cooking pot, leftover rice won’t be able to stick to the lining making the cooking pot very easy to clean. Aside from that, the cooking pot has measuring lines which you can use to properly estimate/measure the rice and water that is going to be cooked.
5. Melody or beep signal
- These two are interchangeable, the rice cooker utilizes a melody or beep signal to let you know whether it is done cooking. There’s no need to go back and forth towards the rice cooker whether to see if the rice is ready to be served or if it is not yet ready for consumption.
- Comes in with additional accessories
- Every purchase of the Zojirushi rice cookers come in with a few extra accessories for your use. Accessories include a measuring cup, a plastic spatula and a spatula holder. Bear in mind that the measuring cup uses a Japanese standard of measurement for a cup of rice meaning this is slightly less of that of a US-standard single cup of rice.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The NS-LAC05XT comes in with two available colors, one variant is a stainless steel with black trimmings while the second is also of stainless steel but has white trimmings instead.
With the features now covered, let us proceed to the Pros and Cons section and take a look at the strong and weak points of the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT rice cooker.
Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT Pros and Cons
There is a saying that there’s no such thing as perfection and, in this section – we’ll get to see the advantages and the disadvantages of utilizing the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT.
- Space-friendly – The NS-LAC05XT is a small rice cooker hence it won’t occupy much space on the kitchen counters.
- A decent amount of cooking options – The NS-LAC05XT has a good amount of cooking options for your rice dish or delicacy of choice. For those who prefer a healthier take on rice, they’re in luck because this rice cooker can even accommodate brown rice.
- Great features, easy to use – A common trend among the Zojirushi rice cookers is that while they have high tech features, they are not too complicated to use as it only needs one press of a button to make them work. If you’re still uncertain on what to do then don’t fret as there is a user manual that comes along with every purchase of the rice cooker.
- Capable of keeping the rice warm for a long time – With automatic and extended keep warm features and a re-heating option when needed, the rice can be kept warm as long as 12 hours before the need of re-heating rises.
- Easy to maintain – The NS-LAC05XT continues the trend of easy to maintain rice cookers from Zojirushi. With its non-stick surface, you can just simply wash and rinse it until it is thoroughly clean. You don’t even need to worry about leftover rice accumulating on the lining of the cooking pot.
- No need for constant monitoring – With the interchangeable melody or beep notification options, the NS-LAC05XT doesn’t need to be constantly monitored from time to time to check if the rice is ready for consumption. It will just make the sound you’ve set to let you know when the rice is ready for meal time.
- Not suited for larger homes – Its small size is a mixed blessing – while it doesn’t occupy much space in the household, its small size means that it cannot hold a lot of rice making it not ideal for use in larger households. It is best used in homes that have a few members.
- Doesn’t have the higher-end features – This may be more of a minor nitpick. While it does have a decent assortment of cooking options, it doesn’t have higher-end functionalities such as the Umami, Scorch Cooking or Induction Heating features.
With the pros and cons covered, now we move onto the proper care of the NS-LAC05XT rice cooker in the maintenance section.
Maintenance of the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT
Rice cooker maintenance must be done from time to time in order to ensure smooth cooking operations. In this section, we’ll get to know a few steps on how to maintain the Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT rice cooker in order to ensure smooth operations and at the same time, improve its longevity so it can serve you well in the long run.
- The cooking pot can be cleaned with a combination of warm water and dishwasher soap. Wash and rinse until the cooking pot is thoroughly cleaned. Leave it to dry afterwards.
- The inner lid is detachable. Clean it the same way you did to the cooking pot. Wash and rinse until thoroughly cleaned.
- The rice cooker has a heating element inside when the cooking pot isn’t inserted in it. Clean the heating element through the use of a damp cloth. Remove both leftover rice and small splashes of water if present, this is to assure that the heating element will be able to distribute heat evenly throughout the cooker without any hindrance.
- When serving the cooked rice, use only the plastic spatula that comes in with the purchase. Metal utensils such as metal scoopers can scratch or scrape the non-stick lining of the rice cooker causing its effectiveness to be drastically reduced in the long run.
- Zojirushi rice cookers usually have a gasket. Check if the gasket looks normal or is starting to show signs of discoloration. If it’s the latter, contact their customer support in order to avail a replacement gasket.
With the maintenance section all wrapped up, let’s go to the final remarks and sum up what we’ve covered here in this article.
The Zojirushi NS-LAC05XT is a solid container for a rice cooker at your home kitchen. However, while it is a potent workhouse within a small body, it is better suited for homes that have a few members (such as a couple or a small family). The NS-LAC05XT is convenient, easy to use and easy to maintain.
You will not even need to worry about constantly needing to check on the rice cooker because the sound notifications will let you know whether the rice is ready for consumption.
On top of that, it is capable of keeping the rice nice and warm for a long duration of time – and if it does go cold, there’s always the option of re-heating the rice so that it will be just like when it was freshly cooked.
It does have a couple of flaws; one is already mentioned – where it is better off in smaller homes and the second flaw is that it doesn’t have the higher-end cooking options and features seen in the more expensive Zojirushi rice cooker models.
Despite the two noted flaws, it is still a rice cooker that you’d want to consider adding to your home kitchen due to its ease of use and great functionality.