Brown Rice Cookers
In this post we are going to be talking about brown rice cookers. Most cheap rice cookers struggle when it comes to cooking brown rice, however there are some really good ones that will cook it to perfection. Today we will be discussing what features you should look for when choosing a machine to cook your brown rice, and then we will be checking out some of the top rated models you can currently get. You can skip onto the recommended rice cookers section if you already have an idea of what to look for by going here
What features should you look for in a rice cooker?
With such a large range of rice cookers on the market, it becomes somewhat difficult trying to pick one out. However there are some important features you should keep in mind before you decide on a particular model.
One of the most important things you should consider is how much rice the unit can cook. Most models tend to mention how many cups of uncooked rice they can make, so be sure to take note of this. If there is no mention of uncooked rice, then you should assume that the mentioned capacity is of cooked rice. Most budget models will take around 3 cups of uncooked rice, and some of the more expensive units can cook up to 10 cups of uncooked rice.
If you plan on buying a cheap unit, then there are other features you should keep an eye out for. One of these is the keep warm function. This allows you to keep the cooked rice at a warm temperature until you want to eat it. Another good feature to keep in mind is programmable controls. Most units provide different settings for white rice, brown rice and other food you can cook in there. So remember to make sure your chosen machine has a setting to make brown rice cooking as easy as possible.
A timer is another good feature to look out for. This would allow you for example to set the timer to begin cooking at a certain time in the day. For example, You could set the timer in the morning, then when you arrive home in the evening or at lunchtime, you would walk in to a freshly pot of cooked rice. This is great for those people who like to have set meal times, as your rice will be freshly prepared and available at your desired time.
Why are some models cheaper than others?
Next you will need to decide what kind of cooker you want to invest in, as there are three different types on the market right now. The first kind are the basic conventional models, these are the cheaper ones which tend to cost under $40. They work by cooking rice based on a set timer. Some of them provide good results, but the two other kinds we will talk about below definitely provide better cooking results.
The second kind you will find are the models with fuzzy logic technology incorporated into them. These units work similarly to conventional cookers, but the built in technology allows them to cook the rice in a better way. The technology works by analyzing the rice as it is cooking, and adjusting the temperature and cooking time so it can be cooked to perfection. These cookers work much better than conventional machines, although they do cost quite a bit more.
The last kind are induction rice cookers. Induction stoves have become very popular in recent years, and now the technology has become incorporated into brown rice cookers. These are the most advanced kinds of rice cookers available, and the induction technology provides the ultimate rice meal. There are some advantages to using an induction rice cooker, as induction technology uses electromagnetic waves to heat the food. Conventional and fuzzy logic cookers are heated using a heating element at the bottom of the unit, whereas a induction cooker allows the entire cooking pot to be heated, and not just the bottom area where the heating element is located. This means better and more efficiently cooked rice. Induction technology provides instant heat, so the technology is more responsive than fuzzy logic as the built in heat sensors can instantly adjust to the required temperature to cook the rice much faster. The downside is that induction cookers are the most expensive of the three, however if you are a rice fanatic then you will notice the difference when using these types of units compared to a cheaper one.
Now lets take a look at some of the better models you can currently get.
Recommended model – Aroma ARC-1010SB
The market is flooded with cheap conventional rice cookers, but one of the better models is the Aroma ARC-1010SB 10 Cup Cooker. As the name implies, this has a big capacity of 10 cups of uncooked rice. It has numberous digital controls, including settings for white & brown rice, steaming, simmering and keeping food warm. This isn’t only a rice cooker however, as you can also stew or steam meat and vegetables while your rice is cooking. It has a 15 hour timer, and comes with a steam tray, measuring cup and spatula. The inner cooking pot is nonstick, and can be used in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. This is definitely one of the best cheaper models you can get, and has a retail price of under $40. You can check the many positive user reviews and pricing of this unit on Amazon by clicking here.
Recommended model – Zojirushi NS-LAC05
If you think a fuzzy logic rice cooker is better for your needs, then a really good choice would be the Zojirushi NS-LAC05 3 Cup Rice Cooker. This model can cook up to 3 cups of rice, however it also comes in larger 5.5 and 10 cup varieties if you need more cooking capacity. It comes in a stylish stainless steel design with black or white trimmings. It has a variety of programmable settings for white and brown rice, sushi, and porridge. It also has a built in warmer function, and it comes with a retractable power cord. The main feature of this unit is the fuzzy logic technology which allows you to cook rice very effectively. It has with a timer for delayed meals, and has a stick free cooking bowl for easy cleaning. Included with this set is a spatula & spatula holder, and a measuring cup. This is a great looking rice cooker, and really does a good job at cooking a variety of different rices. With over 1000 five-star customer reviews on Amazon, it is quite a popular choice. You can find out more about this model and read some of the many user reviews over on the product page.
If the NS-LAC05 unit is a bit small for your needs, then you can also take a look at the larger 5.5 cup NS-TSC10 model or the even bigger 10 cup NS-TSC18 model.
Recommended model – Zojirushi NP-HBC18
We have saved the best for last, as we come to the Zojirushi NP-HBC18 10-Cup Rice Cooker. This is an induction rice cooker, and is one of the best ones you can currently get. It will cook 10 cups of rice, and has a variety of settings to cook many different kinds of rice, including brown rice. There is also the option to cook sushi or porridge with this particular model. The NP-HBC18 is fully stainless steel, and the picture on the right hand side really doesn’t do it any justice unfortunately.
Like most cookers, this comes with a timer, and a keep warm function. The induction functionality on this model is the highlight. It cooks rice fast, and provides excellent results every time. The Micom (Microcomputer) technology constantly monitors the cooking temperatures, and adjusts itself based on many different factors to create the best rice possible. It comes with a spatula & holder, and a measuring cup.
This machine does cost quite a bit, but the fantastic performance of this model definitely justifies the cost. You can check the current pricing and see the many 5-star customer reviews on Amazon over here.