The best rice cookers are incredibly convenient, and really, once you use one, you’ll never go back. But not all rice cookers are created equal, and some have obvious limitations when it comes to cooking anything but plain white rice.
The best rice cookers for brown rice are not always the same as those for white rice, and vice versa. Luckily, there are a few rice cookers on the market that are absolutely phenomenal for a variety of rice types, including brown rice and white rice, and some of them are even more versatile than that.
The following list covers the six best rice cookers for brown rice currently on the market. Full disclosure though, they all make exceptional white rice too.
High End Pick
My pick for the all around, absolute best rice cooker for brown rice.
This Aroma Housewares rice cooker is very cool and extremely versatile. It prepares all rice types perfectly, from normal white rice to brown rice, even sushi rice, and has additional settings for quinoa, soup and oatmeal.
The cooking capacity for this machine is quite large, processing up to 10 uncooked (or 20 cooked) cups of rice. This is really a tremendous amount of rice, and unless you’re entertaining guests, you probably won’t need to max it out like that.
That said, the large capacity comes in handy for some of the other settings, and for when you’re using the slow cook function to make soups and stews. Be advised though, while the rice cooker has a 10 cup maximum capacity, it also has a minimum capacity, and that’s for two cups.
Unfortunately, this minimum capacity means you really can’t use this rice cooker to make less than two cups at a time. If you’re a family of one or two, used to making just one cup of rice per meal, then you’ll probably want to look at one of the smaller capacity rice cookers later on this list.
Operating the Aroma Housewares rice cooker is also pretty simple. An easy-to-read digital panel, located on the front of the device, is user friendly and intuitive. And in addition to specific functions for different food items, there are different cooking functions as well.
For example, in addition to a delayed cook feature (wait up to 15 hours before the rice cooker starts working), there is also a sauté and simmer feature, and even a keep warm setting.
Aroma Housewares also makes sure you have everything you need when you buy this rice cooker, throwing in a measuring cup (¾ cup measure), a steam tray and a rice spatula. Even without these convenient extras, the Aroma Housewares rice cooker is a next level machine that you’d expect to pay at least $100 for.
It is without a doubt a fantastic value for the money.
Zojirush is a major name in the rice cooking business, and for good reason. Their products are phenomenal, but be forewarned, that quality comes with a hefty price tag.
This three cup rice cooker is perfect for small families. Don’t get me wrong, three cups is more than enough to feed decent-sized dinner parties; it’s just worth noting that this rice cooker is significantly smaller than others on this list.
The first thing that stands out about this rice cooker is the design and attention to detail. Every aspect of the machine is deliberate, from the three separate heating elements located at the bottom, side and lid of the machine to ensure rice cooks evenly, to the retractable power cord.
The Zojirush NS-LGC05XB is also efficient and versatile. Excellent at preparing white rice, sushi rice, brown rice, and long grain rice, the Zojirush is even great with steel cut oats.
The digital display is easy to use, and you can even customize the indicator beeps when your food is done. There is an intuitive timer, reheat and warming functions, all easily operated using the top facing digital control panel.
Lastly, this thing is incredibly easy to clean, and designed specifically with washing in mind. The lid interior detaches, and there is also a removable steam vent cap, all in the interest of keeping the machine sterile and as new as the day it was purchased.
There are two downsides to this rice cooker, and the first is most obvious, the price. It’s expensive, and there is no getting around that. I personally think that this is worth the investment, since it’s such a high quality machine, and because Zojirushi is worth the money. Your views may differ on this and that’s alright - there are plenty of rice cookers to choose from.
The other issue with this rice cooker is the time it takes to cook rice. It takes about twice as long as other, cheaper models to prepare rice, including brown rice, but that seems to be the price you pay for perfection. As long as you’re not in a rush, this Zojirushi is an exceptional machine.
Honestly, if you’re just looking to make a solid pot of rice and not concerned with all the bells and whistles of more expensive machines, this rice cooker by Hamilton Beach might be the way to go. While it won’t sauté or simmer, the Hamilton Beach 4 cup rice cooker is still great for both white and brown rice, whole grains and even hot cereal.
Despite its affordability - at well under $50 - this rice cooker is still in fact pretty versatile. In addition to cooking all rice types perfectly, it’s also great for whole grains and hot cereals, like steel cut oats. And what is more, this rice cooker also steams!
The Hamilton Beach rice cooker comes with a basket that fits perfectly inside the chamber, to be used as a tray for steaming. That said, the basket is also perfect for rinsing rice, and really, we should all be washing our rice before cooking it. Think about everything that comes off rice when you rinse it! Not to mention all the hands that have touched it before it hits your rice cooker…
The cooking capacity on this machine is fairly large, at four cups uncooked (eight cups cooked), so there should be no problems accommodating a large party of guests. And of course, this rice cooker is also super easy to use. It has pre-programmed settings for white rice, whole grains and hot cereals, as well as clear buttons for warm and steaming functions.
Although the rice cooker is somewhat slow (about 40 to 45 minutes, depending on the quantity of rice being cooked), it’s still more than worth it for the price. I don’t really have a problem with longer cook times, since everything is automatic and it just means setting your rice to cook earlier than you would otherwise.
Hamilton Beach also throws in a measuring cup and rice spatula, both made of plastic and certainly not the most luxurious. But hey, why not? This rice cooker is incredibly inexpensive, and at the end of the day, it makes really good rice. What more do you need?
The first thing you need to know about this product is that Toshiba has been making electric rice cookers for more than 65 years. In fact, they have been the industry leader in electric rice cookers throughout that time, making the first automatic rice cooker in 1955. It’s fair to say that they’ve nailed the technology.
This six cup rice cooker is fantastic. That’s six cups dry, uncooked rice by the way, which works out to about twelve cups of cooked rice. This is obviously a lot of rice!
And the Toshiba model utilizes a six-step cooking process that produces absolutely perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every single time. If you’re interested in the specifics of those six steps, I’ll list them here, but feel free to skip ahead to a less granular overview.
- Step 1 - The rice cooker preheats, increasing temperature steadily to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 2 - The rice begins to absorb water, now at a median temperature of about 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 3 - The heat increases dramatically to a high temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 4 - The water boils at the highest temperature setting, 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 5 - Temperature is lowered to a simmer, approximately 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 6 - Temperature decreases further, the rice is cooked, and residual heat (about 150 degrees Fahrenheit) keeps rice warm.
Beyond the precision with which this machine prepares rice, it is also quite versatile. The Toshiba comes with seven pre-programmed settings that can accommodate white rice, brown rice, mixed rice (assuming they mean mixed grain and artisanal grains here), short and long-grained rice, oatmeal and even porridge.
One of my favorite features though is the 30 minute quick rice feature. It seems as though rice cookers have been taking longer and longer over the years, and I think that has to do with the increased quality of rice that the machines are now putting out. That said, we can’t always be expected to wait an hour for rice, and so this 30 minute feature is quite nice.
There are also “keep warm” functions, and a delay timer to make sure you get your rice exactly when you need it. My only problem is that the keep warm function doesn’t kick on immediately when the rice is cooked, and needs to be activated manually.
Not a big deal, but this means that in the off chance that you cook your rice and leave it for a few hours, it might be cold when you finally get around to serving, unless you intervene to hit the “keep warm” button in the meantime.
Switching it up, I’ll start this overview with the negatives. Or should I say, the single negative that I can find about this mini rice cooker.
And that’s the fact that this TLOG two cup mini rice cooker is only good for one to two people, given the size. That’s it. That’s the only thing wrong with this otherwise perfect - and extremely cute - rice cooker.
This thing is so cute and so cool. Incredibly well designed, it’s also ridiculously compact, measuring just 7.4 inches tall (and that’s with the handle up, by the way, so probably more like 6 inches tall with the handle down) and 6.4 inches wide. That’s nothing! You can store this thing anywhere!
But don’t let its small stature fool you, because the TLOG also has loads of functions, including pre-programmed settings for white rice, brown rice, soup and even yogurt. Additionally, there are also features that will help with timing your meal, like a delayed start and warmer.
It’s also quite easy to clean, thanks to the fact that you can pretty much take everything apart. The lid comes off for easy washing, and the nonstick inner pot is obviously removable as well.
If you’re on your own or cooking for just two to (maybe) three people, the TLOG is a really good option. It even comes with its own rice measuring cup and rice spatula, which is incredibly convenient. I’ll admit, the spatula isn’t the highest quality spatula I’ve ever used, but it is a nice bonus.
And even though I’ve really drilled in how compact this thing is, let’s also not forget that two cups of uncooked (or four cups of cooked) rice is actually quite a lot!
If you’re looking for a no frills, affordable rice cooker, then this digital rice cooker from Aroma Housewares is it. This is actually the second rice cooker by Aroma Housewares on this list, and just as good as the first, if perhaps a more economical option.
First, this thing is extremely user friendly. There is a digital touch control panel on the front of the device with clearly labeled pre-set buttons for white rice, brown rice, and steam, as well as intuitive buttons for warming food and for delayed starts.
I also really like the “flash rice” option, which is pretty handy if you’re in a hurry. So many rice cookers take longer and longer these days, and so getting a quick rice option is particularly convenient.
The machine itself is relatively compact, which is good for small spaces, though it’s not by any means as small as the TLOG. Instead, this rice cooker measures 9 ¼ inches high, and about 8 ⅝ inches in diameter. Unfortunately, although this rice cooker is compact, it’s also relatively difficult to clean. The lid doesn’t come off, which makes it difficult to really get in there.
But with respect to performance, the Aroma Housewares rice cooker is surprisingly efficient for the price you pay. It’s also versatile, and thus great for not just rice, but dry cereals and vegetables as well. And it comes with a steaming tray, which is a really nice add on.
The features include what you would expect at this point, like warmer and delayed start settings. One small detail that I really like is that the warmer function kicks on automatically when the rice is finished cooking, so you’ll never wind up with cold rice, even if you forget about it.
And if a perfectly efficient rice cooker isn’t enough for under $30, they also throw in a measuring cup and a rice spatula. What else do you need?
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