Brown rice contains nutritious bran and germ. But, let’s face it…it’s trickier to cook than normal rice. You want that superbly cooked brown rice. Right? Automatic rice cookers are the go here. They take away the hit and miss of cooking brown rice. Here I cover the ins and outs of ‘smart’ rice cookers, and review popular models in this range.
The Best Rice Cooker For Brown Rice
What’s the best rice cooker for brown rice? An intelligent ‘brown rice’ function and a good inner pot define the best rice cooker for brown rice that you’ll enjoy every time.
Else, you work out the amount of water and the required time – all of which can vary.
That is, you could use from 1¼ to 2 cups of water per cup of rice and cook the rice for 30 to 50 minutes – it really depends on your tried and tested recipe.
But…Cooking brown rice in a rice cooker that can be programmed is simpler…
Cooking Brown Rice in A Rice Cooker
How to cook brown rice in a rice cooker unit that has a ‘smart’ function?
Use the measuring scoop supplied to gather how-ever-many cups of rice, add these to the pot, and then fill with water to the matching level.
Turn the rice cooker on, select the brown rice option, and away you go.
Most multi-functional rice cookers have a keep warm function as well as a technological feature to improve the flavor and nutritional value of the rice.
Rice Cooker Buying Guide
Here, I look at models offering automated rice cooking functions.
What to Look For
The inner pot material choices are stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic, or a nonstick PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) type surface.
The inner cooking pot – Is it a healthy choice of material?
Why? It has direct contact with your food. Imagine if the material of the inner pot matters was potentially toxic. You want something healthy for your family, right?
Is it easy to clean?
It also matters if you want a pot that’s easy to clean. Ceramic offers an easy clean surface, made easier if you soak the pot first.
There are some with nonstick surfaces but the concern here is that the surface can easily wear away and leave you with bare aluminum, which is not so easy to clean. Some people may be concerned about the transfer of aluminum into their food.
Price of the Unit
Another factor playing a key role in determining the best rice cooker for you, of course, is the price. A multi-functional programmable unit can be a few more dollars than the ordinary plain rice cooker. They can range from under a hundred to a couple of hundred dollars.
This buying guide aims to help you make an informed choice for your budget.
Automatic Rice Cooker Reviews
Looking for the best rice cooker for cooking brown rice? Here’s the deal …Look for an automated rice cooker with a smart ‘brown rice’ function.
The following looks at rice cookers with self-adjusting functions for cooking brown rice. The info include the inner bowl material, any other note-worthy features, and sums up the cons and benefits of each of these programmable rice cookers.
The Aroma Rice Cooker ARC-6206C
This programmable rice cooker makes up to 12 cups of cooked rice, which is great if you plan on entertaining at some stage or have a large family setting on occasions.
Brown Rice Cooking
It offers a separate brown rice function. Depending on the amount, this brown rice cooker will to take between 38 and 45 minutes, roughly.
The inner pot is lightweight and made of ceramic. It is easy to clean.
This rice cooker comes with a steaming tray, a rice measuring cup, a soup ladle, as well as two rice paddles, one plastic and one bamboo.
- It offers a healthy and natural alternative to the rice cookers with metal inner pots and nonstick coatings
- This unit has a keep warm function and is a multifunctional cooker
- It even has a convenient handle
- Some might find it hard to read the digital rice cooker screen
- For those that love sushi, there’s no separate sushi rice option in the menu settings
It’s a pretty good price for what it offers. Look for savings at Amazon, where you can check out the latest price and the views of verified owners – See details.
The Zojirushi Rice Cooker NS-YAC18
The Zojirushi Rice Cooker is made in Japan. It can make up to 20 cups of cooked rice, so is even better for extended family gatherings or for those who like to entertain, e.g., during the festive season or for celebrations.
Brown Rice Function
It uses Micom fuzzy logic technology to cook brown rice with little effort. This video provides a snapshot on using the features of this 20 cup rice cooker…
This unit has a ‘Umami’ setting to soak and steam rice longer to enhance the flavor of the rice.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Umami means savoriness in Japanese. It refers to the “fifth basic taste – alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter”.
For brown rice, rather than choosing Umami, choose the ‘GABA Brown‘, which is a specific setting to enhance the flavor and nutrition of brown rice.
With the GABA function, the unit soaks the brown rice at 104°F for 2 hours before it attempts to cook rice.
This results in rice cooked to enhance its goodness and flavor but also the cooked brown rice is soft and fluffy. (It might just change your family’s thoughts about eating brown rice.)
The inner pot is metal with a nonstick surface, so make sure to use non-metal utensils and keep things like sharp knives and abrasive cleaners away to avoid scratching the surface.
Though not clearly stated for this item, the nonstick coating appears to be PTFE and this fits with Zojirushi’s statement that their “nonstick coating is made using PTFE” regarding its other products.
The GABA Brown feature aims to increase the natural occurring gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in brown rice that is thought to provide health benefits that includes lowering blood pressure, improving kidney function, and relieving stress.
- Being nonstick, the inner pot should be easy to clean, at least as long as the nonstick surface is retained
- The biggest thing — This Japanese rice cooker features a ‘Brown’ as well as a ‘GABA Brown’ setting for cooking brown rice
- If you are a fan of the Zojirushi brand, this model offers savings on electricity. It uses about half the power (610 watts vs 1,230 watts) of the NP-HTC10 model, which features the pressurized technology and the Zojirushi induction heating system
- Be aware of the issues of wearing of the nonstick coating over time – see my article about caring for PTFE (or Teflon)
Check out the latest price and reviews of real owners at Amazon — See details.
Zojirushi Rice Cooker NS-ZCC10
Another Made-in-Japan Zojirushi Micom rice cooker. This unit is smaller than the one mentioned above and naturally a better price.
It makes up to 11 cups of cooked rice. It’s does not have the extra functions of a multifunctional cooker. Features include a retractable power cord.
Brown Rice Function
Among the menu settings, this unit has a brown rice function. It uses an advanced Neuro Fuzzy logic technology to automatically cook delicious brown rice. With this menu setting there is an extended preheating time to help with the absorption of water.
The cooking temperature is lowered with a longer cooking time so that both the hard outer bran and the inner part of the rice grains are cooked perfectly, without a soggy, gummy, mushy, or sticky result.
The inner pot in this Neuro Fuzzy rice cooker is made of aluminum with a nonstick surface that appears to be PTFE. Once again, avoid using metal utensils, vinegar (as it can also damage the coating), and abrasive cleaners.
This product also has a delay timer with two settings that can help with meal planning.
- It includes an automatic keep warm along with an extended keep warm and reheating cycle
- This is another one that should be easy to clean as long as you care for the nonstick surface and it remains intact
- Be aware of the issues in nonstick coating wearing over time and about the concerns with PTFE (or Teflon)
Check out the latest price and views of real owners at Amazon — See details.
Midea Rice Cooker
This is a 5L or 10 cup smart rice cooker.
Brown Rice Cooking
It has a separate brown rice setting.
The nonstick inner pot, the manufacturer claims, comprises five different materials to aid performance. Basically, it is metal with a nonstick coating.
It comes with a set of tools that include a cup, two spoons ,and a food steamer. This steamer basket is BPA free.
- It has a brown rice cooker function
- Has a 24-hr time delay for other functions, which helps with planning meals. See manual for details (link in Information Sources)
- It has a nonstick surface of the inner pot, which will scratch and wear with use
This is an economical buy. Check out the latest price and views of real owners at Amazon — See details.
Things to Know About Rice Cookers
Some computerized rice cookers are calibrated for cooking 2 cups of rice. You may need to adjust for 1 cup, but what I would do is cook the 2 cups and then store the extra in the refrigerator for later use, for example in a quick fried rice dish.
(Cooked rice can go off, so always make sure to store correctly and use within a day or two of cooking — here’s a helpful article on cooking and storing rice).
- Midea MB-FS5017 Product Manual