Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
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Last updated: July 10, 2021
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Brown rice is better and healthier than white rice because it is a whole grain with bran, germ and endosperm, which are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, while white rice only has the endosperm after it has been processed. Our review will guide you on how to pick a rice cooker for brown rice.
After several hours of researching 31 different units on the market, we collated a list based on the individual performance of the cookers and customer feedback. We picked the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 as our Editor’s Choice because of its high capacity, numerous programs and the multiple accessories and recipes that are included in the package. We also gathered nine other popular products that have garnered high ratings by verified buyers to give you more options that will help you make the final choice.
To determine the best rice cookers for brown rice, we factored in essential features such as the capacity of the unit, the programs available for different types of rice and diverse cooking methods, the dimensions of the models, and their warranty. This review is comprised of a comparison table that ranks the overall performance of the products, detailed reviews of each of these units, and a comprehensive buying guide that focuses on the key features to consider when shopping for the best rice cookers for brown rice. It also includes a helpful FAQ segment and an overview of our top three picks.
"This fantastic rice cooker has multiple cooking programs, as well as Neuro Fuzzy logic technology that automatically adjusts the temperature when operating. Moreover, it is energy efficient and has keep-warm functions."
Our Editor’s Choice is the10-cup advanced product that incorporates Neuro Fuzzy logic technology that uses a microcomputer to automatically adjust the cooking time and temperature to match the rice you are making for optimal results. The Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 comes with built-in programs for white rice (regular/sushi, softer or harder), mixed, porridge, sweet, semi-brown, brown, rinse-free, and quick cooking. It also has settings for automatic keep-warm, extended keep-warm, and reheat cycles, and a colored LCD control panel that includes a clock and a timer with 2 functions.
The 1000-watt cooker that has been certified by cETLus for energy efficiency comes with a built-in retractable power cord, which is convenient when operating or storing this unit. You will also receive an instruction manual in English, French, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages and several accessories such as 2 measuring cups, non-stick rice spoon/scooper and rice spoon holder, so you can start making your favorite dishes right away.
Customers also appreciate the ease of cleaning facilitated by a detachable inner lid, and the cool handles on the side that make it easy to move the spherical, non-stick inner pan.
Reported complaints include condensation that spills out when you open the lid and the relatively high pricing, although customers admit it is worth the money. You can also opt for the 5.5-cup capacity model if your rice demand is low.
We chose this BPA-free cooker as our Budget Pick due to its affordability, but there is a lot more to this unit that makes it a contender for the best brown rice cooker in the market.
The Aroma ARC-150SB has a high capacity of 10 cups and pre-programmed settings for white rice, brown rice, flash rice, slow cook, and steaming of meat and vegetables.
The 3-in-1 digital model uses AROMA’s patent-pending Sauté-Then-Simmer STS function to simmer Spanish rice, chili and risotto, then switches to automatic keep-warm once the food is ready. You can set the 15-hour delay timer to cook your meals at a more convenient time. This ensures your meal is ready whenever you are ready to eat.
Other notable features are the stainless steel body that retains heat well and makes this model a durable product, digital controls that are easy to operate, and removable parts that make cleaning a breeze, although some buyers find the non-removable lid inconvenient. Some also noted that the rice dries out or turns brown if left on Keep Warm for a longer period.
Accessories included are a steam tray, a measuring cup, rice spatula, and a soup spoon.
Why is it special?
Sturdy stainless construction
Multiple integrated programs
15-hour delay timer
What are the flaws?
Rice dries or turns brown if Keep Warm function works quite long
The Tiger JBV-A10U-W stands out in particular as one of the best small rice cookers for brown rice because of its Tacook synchronized cooking function that allows you to prepare a main dish and rice at the same time. There are also three other built-in settings for plain rice, brown rice and slow cooking. Place the cooking plate above the inner pot with up to 5.5 cups of rice and press the start button to make both meals simultaneously. For higher capacity, you can buy the 10-cup model by the same company.
The BPA-free cooking plate of the Tiger JBV-A10U-W is designed in a unique way to prevent interfering with the texture of the rice or transfer of flavor from the plate to the rice.
A number of customers have complained about the pot peeling and the cookers malfunctioning after a while. Otherwise, the majority of owners like the synchronized cooking, simplicity in operation, the non-stick spatula, cooking plate, measuring cup and cookbook that come with this product.
Programs: white rice, congee, quick rice, brown rice(wholegrain or wild rice), baby porridge, oatmeal, soup(broth or more liquid-based cooking), steam, stew (roast or beans, or less liquid cooking), slow cook(up to 10h) and reheat
Dimensions: 16.7 x 12.5 x 12.5 in.
Warranty: 30-day return period
More features: 24-hour delay timer, includes measuring cup, two spoons, food steamer.
The Midea MB-FS5017 is among the best rice cookers for brown rice that can give your food the Midas Touch. It is designed to hold 10 cups of raw rice for 3 to 10 people, and a measuring cup, two spoons and a food steamer are included to ensure you take the right measurements required to make a variety of meals for consistent results. You will also benefit from the wide range of 11 pre-programmed settings for cooking white rice, congee, quick rice, brown rice (wholegrain or wild rice), baby porridge, oatmeal, soup (broth or more liquid-based cooking), steam, stew (roast or beans, or less liquid cooking), slow cooking for up to 10 hours, automatic keep-warm and reheat functions, and a 24-hour delay timer so you can enjoy your meal at your convenience.
It is operated using touchscreen controls and a digital LCD panel, which may take some time to figure out. Moreover, some users didn’t like the keep-warm function.
Customers like the topaz honeycomb used to make the pot for efficient heat distribution and retention and meals that are cooked evenly, the ease of cleaning and sleek design.
The Zojirushi NS-YAC18 takes rice cooking to the next level with the GABA setting that holds brown rice at a lower temperature for an extended time to enhance flavor. It also comes with other built-in settings for white rice, umami, mixed, sushi, porridge, sweet, brown, rinse-free, quick cooking, and slow cooking for soups as well as a delay-timer with two functions.
This meal-maker uses the same computerized Fuzzy logic technology found in the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 to automate optimal settings for varied cooking cuisines and cooking styles. It holds a maximum of 10 cups of raw rice, and the automatic keep-warm function is activated when the rice is ready to keep it hot.
Other features that customers like in this cETLus- listed product are the legible LCD control panel, the spherical inner cooking pan, and heating system that limits heat loss, and the detachable inner lid. A number of people had issues with the power cord coming loose. Furthermore, this cooker is more expensive compared to other models on our list.
The Rival RC61is a cute and compact cooker for beginners looking for a simple, affordable unit to make meals for 1 to 2 people. The non-stick pot with a capacity of 6 cups of cooked rice can be easily removed for cleaning.
This product comes with measuring cup, plastic rice paddle, tempered glass lid that is domed to lock in heat and moisture, and a steaming basket that is perfect for cooking shrimps and vegetables.
Unfortunately, this is a basic model that does not include pre-programmed settings. Instead, you use the included measuring marks with lines labeled 1, 2 and 3 that correspond to the similar labels on the pot.
The manufacturer also offers a 30-day return period, which secures your wallet in case of unforeseen damages, but the chances are that you won’t need to return your unit if we go by the many reviews that praise its longevity. Along with rice, buyers have used this cooker to make broccoli, beans and oatmeal.
However, it is not very convenient that you must unplug it to turn it off after automatic keep-warm is activated.
The rice cooker’s automatic shut-off function prevents overcooking, and its handy keep-warm setting activates when cooking is complete, holding contents at ideal serving temperature for up to 12 hours
In addition to the convenience provided by computerized rice cookers with preset settings that automatically adjust the cooking time and temperature to ensure even cooking and precise results, models such as the Panasonic SR-DF101 that utilize advanced Fuzzy logic technology automatically shut off to prevent overcooking and to preserve energy.
It comes with built-in programs for cooking white rice, porridge, soup and brown rice, quick cooking and steaming. These touch-and-go settings are complemented by extra accessories like the measuring cup, rice scoop and the steaming basket that come with this cooker, making this product one of the best small rice cookers for brown rice, with a capacity of 5 cups.
We like the domed design of the lid that prevents the build-up of condensate, although it can be hard to clean since it is not detachable
Going by its wide popularity as the best cooker for risotto, you would be forgiven to think that that is all it does, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The Breville BRC600XL is a versatile model that comes with pre-programmed settings for making risotto and rice, sautéing vegetables, steaming poultry and seafood, and slow cooking (low/high), and a non-stick coated bowl that holds up to 10 cups of uncooked rice. You can use the same bowl to make fluffy rice, quinoa, or risotto that does not require constant stirring.
This model also includes a cord that can be removed to minimize storage space, a removable and washable lid, control buttons that are placed facing upwards for convenient access, and an exterior made of brushed stainless steel housing. Buyers like the diverse dishes they can prepare with it, the ease of cleaning, and the compact size that fits well in overhead cabinets. Unfortunately, some customers report that their cookers malfunctioned after a while.
Many buyers love the Cuisinart CRC-800 because of its construction. What you will first notice is the sturdiness and efficiency that has been implemented in its design. The exterior is made of brushed stainless steel. There are also stainless steel steaming basket, anodized aluminum bowl with non-stick coating, chrome-plated handles that remain cool to touch, a glass lid with a stainless rim, a chrome knob and a steam vent to prevent splattering.
There is a built-in tray for steaming other dishes and rice simultaneously and a retractable cord that saves some space. You can steam vegetables and lean cuts of meat, make 8 to 15 cups of cooked rice, or cook couscous, polenta, oatmeal, boiled eggs and shrimp. The product features automatic keep-warm function, 2 LED notification lights, and a lever to switch on the unit.
This is what makes this model popular and high-performing despite lacking preset cooking programs. All the removable components are also dishwasher-safe.
It comes with a paddle and a plastic measuring cup for correct portions, as well as a gourmet recipe booklet. A 4-cup capacity model is also available.
What makes the Oster 20-Cup Digital Rice Cooker outstanding as one of the best rice cookers for brown rice is its capacity to make 20 cups of cooked rice and other dishes while remaining budget-friendly. You can steam food, prepare soup or hot cereals by selecting from the 5 pre-programmed settings. It has the timer to delay the cooking time for up to 9 hours so you can wake up to a ready breakfast or come home to ready dinner. The automatic keep-warm feature will keep your food hot for a couple of hours.
Other attractive features include a locking lid that seals in heat, moisture and flavor, a removable non-stick pot that is dishwasher safe, detachable cord, a steaming tray, rice paddle for stirring and serving, and a measuring cup for precise portioning and palatable meals.
This digital rice cooker sports stainless steel finish for a long lifespan. However, the condensation catcher is poorly designed and may cause leakage. The cord is also quite short.
What stands out?
5 cooking functions with delay timer and keep-warm
Dishwasher safe pot
What cons did we manage to find?
Condensate may leak
Things to Consider
There is a huge variety of rice cookers on the market, so it might be hard to decide which unit to pick. This guide breaks down the most important features to consider before buying the best stainless steel brown rice cookers. In the FAQ section, we discuss the ideal water ratio and cooking time for brown rice.
How to choose the best rice cooker for brown rice?
Some brown rice cookers come with built-in programmable settings that automatically adjust to the optimal cooking time and temperature for a wide array of recipes. Some models even allow you to prepare different dishes simultaneously so you can cook rice while steaming vegetables and seafood. Oftentimes you can get a unit with convenient delay timer and keep-warm feature to save time and energy. There are more features that we are going to discuss below. All in all, we will be focusing on affordable, versatile and compact models to fit in limited space of your kitchen.
A reputable brand can be relied upon to build trust, so customers can buy products with confidence. Brands that have been in existence for a while are more reliable because you can easily find several reviews on user experiences by verified buyers. These brands have also been in the industry long enough to know what works, so they are able to make high-quality, durable products and incorporate new technology to upgrade their existing models. A great example is Tiger Corporation, which introduced the Tiger JBV-A10U-W, has been manufacturing household products since 1923. The next one is Zojirushi, Japanese brand that offers reliable products like the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18. Many people love the quality of those products.
You can also find out the top brands by researching the company’s websites and feedback from customers, expert reviewers and authoritative review sites.
The capacity of a specific rice cooker indicates the maximum amount of uncooked rice it can hold. This amount will generally produce twice as much cooked rice. For instance, both Breville BRC600XL and Aroma ARC-150SB have a capacity of 10 cups of uncooked rice and 20 cups of cooked rice.
Knowing the capacity will help you to identify the best brown rice cooker that will meet your demand. Moreover, you might want to find a bigger rice cooker to prepare multiple dishes at the same time.
Majority of the products we have reviewed feature multiple preset settings and modes for cooking different types of dishes in different ways, keep-warm function to keep your food hot for a while, and a timer to delay cooking time to a more convenient time. While these time-saving programs yield more precise results, they are not everyone’s preference. Some buyers would rather have a brown rice cooker that can cook and warm food without the complexity that may come with advanced features.
If you are looking to create masterpieces with your rice cooker, consider the Midea MB-FS5017, which is great for advanced users thanks to the multiple programs. On the other hand, you might be searching for something simple, like the Rival RC61. It is an amazing model with a steaming basket and useful accessories included.
Ease of use
Apart from pricing and size, one other reason that some buyers may shy away from advanced models is the initial learning curve, which can be long. This is why controls that are easy to figure out and one-touch operation that reduces human errors is a key factor to consider when choosing the best small rice cookers for brown rice. Not everyone wants to waste time figuring out how to start the unit. Especially when there are many appliances with intuitive interfaces.
The importance of knowing the dimensions of your prospective unit is to help you compare its size to the space available on your counter, especially if the cooker will be operating alongside other sizeable appliances. Next, the size of the unit is important if you are going to move it quite often. You might want to take a closer look at our Editor’s Choice, the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18. It has an average-sized footprint but still won’t take much space.
Make sure to have some free space above the unit, since you will want to open the lid to get access to the pot. Moreover, it gets hot while operating, so avoid placing it near curtains.
Just like with any appliance, you want to make sure that you get an undamaged and fully operating unit.
From our research, we found that majority of the top rice cookers for brown rice come with warranties that cover them for 1 year, although you may find exceptions like the Cuisinart CRC-800 that has a 3-year limited warranty, or Rival RC61 which comes with an additional incentive of 30-day money return period.
When you are searching for the best brown rice cooker, you will likely find the accessories like scoops/spoons, cooking books and measuring cups included in the package. These are essential measurement tools that enable you to use the correct portions for water and rice when cooking brown rice. Since programmable products come with preset cooking settings based on their respective measurement devices, manufacturers will always remind you to use the specific measuring tools for their respective rice cookers for accurate results.
You may also get a steaming basket with units like the Panasonic SR-DF101 as well as multiple cooking options.
Other useful features
Non-stick coating – The majority of the rice cookers for brown rice we reviewed also come with a removable inner pot with non-stick coating for easy cleaning.
Dishwasher safe parts – some parts of the units can be cleaned in a dishwasher. That saves a lot of time and effort. All the removable parts of Cuisinart CRC-800 are dishwasher safe.
Power cord – Consider a long cable for extensive reach and a retractable one that minimizes storage space.
Computerized rice cookers for brown rice with advanced features and several programmable settings, such as the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18 and the Zojirushi NS-YAC18, will cost more than their more basic counterparts. At the price tag around $200, you will get premium models with multiple settings.
If you don’t need that many functions, then the Panasonic SR-DF101 might do just well. Although it features 7 built-in programs, Fuzzy logic technology and auto shut-off, it is still within the pricing range of other budget-friendly models in the market, costing somewhere near $60.
There is also a more affordable option, the Aroma ARC-150SB, that doesn’t lack functions or reliability, and offers you a large capacity at $40.
Brown rice will generally take longer to cook than white rice, but the estimated cooking time will range from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on a specific model. Each brown rice cooker comes with an instructional manual that details portion measurements and cooking time and temperature for various dishes.
If you want to reduce cooking time, you can try making smaller portions. That way, you will enjoy your fresh brown rice each time. Moreover, if you don’t have that much time, you can find a model with a programmable timer. Simply set the timer by the time you come home next time, and your delicious dinner will be ready.
Brown rice is much thicker than white rice, so you will need more water to cook it. Compared to white rice, which needs 1½ to 1¾ cups of water for 1 cup of rice, brown rice requires more water, about 2 cups of water for 1 cup of uncooked brown rice, to seep through the bran layer. Consider investing in the best rice cookers for brown rice that come with preset settings and guided measurements to eliminate all guesswork.
You should always clean your rice cooker after every cooking session. To do so, unplug it and remove detachable components like the inner pot, lid, steaming tray and measuring tools. You can clean them with dishwashing detergent or dish soap. If those parts are dishwasher-friendly, you can place them there instead. Clean the cooker with a soft soapy cloth and wipe it with the dry towel. Make sure you don’t plug it in until it is completely dry. It’s recommended that you follow the manual instructions on cleaning your specific model for detailed guidance.
So, it’s time to make a conclusion. Here we have our top 3 picks.
Our clear winner is the Zojirushi NS-ZCC18. This is an energy-efficient yet powerful product with preset cooking programs, keep-warm mode, reheat cycle and an LCD display with a delay timer. It can cook delicious brown rice with Neuro Fuzzy logic technology that controls the cooking temperature.
Next, we have the budget-friendly Aroma ARC-150SB. It is a 3-in-1 appliance that excels in sautéing and simmering rice and risotto while the stainless steel body optimizes heat retention and distribution.
Lastly, the Tiger JBV-A10U-W trumps the rest with Tacook synchronized cooking function that allows you to prepare rice and another dish simultaneously without transferring flavor from the plate to the rice. A 10-cup version of this model is also available.
We hope that this article helped you find the best rice cooker for brown rice. Now it’s time to explore new recipes and try them with your new device!