Zojirushi introduced a rice cooker that uses induction heating technology.
Induction heating creates heat in magnetic metal using a magnetic field. In glass cooktops, the induction heating technique is used to create heat in the cooking vessel, not the cooktop itself, so the cooktop stays relatively cool compared to the heat generated by a standard heating element under the glass. In cooktops, the technology also offers performance advantages over some other electric cooking techniques.
In the Zojirushi rice cooker, coils in the bottom of the unit create the magnetic field. The cooking pan is a non-stick aluminum (non-magnetic) material on the inside, but has a stainless steel outer lining. The magnetic field causes the stainless steel to create heat very quickly.
Zojirushi explains that, because the cooking pan itself is the source of the heat, it has high heat capabilities and heat can be finely adjusted, allowing for better control of the cooking process. Quicker, more evenly distributed heat is said to provide better cooking results.
The unit has a large LCD display and electronic controls for cooking and timer settings. The electronic controls enable automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheating cycles. The controls also allow versatile cooking settings, including white rice, sushi, brown rice, semi-brown mixed rice, sweet rice, porridge, rinse-free rice, quick-cooking, and GABA Brown Rice Activation. The GABA Brown setting is intended to cook brown rice in a manner that optimizes the rice's nutritionally available gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), an amino acid.
The Model NH-VBC18 rice cooker has a 10-cup capacity.