Chefs and people who work with styling food often prefer white rice because it looks more appealing. That may be true, but studies show that brown rice has significant benefits over white rice. The carbohydrates and calories in both types of rice are about the same, but the difference is mainly in the nutritional value and processing. Rice is the diet staple of many countries around the world, and global agencies and research groups are recommending the use of brown rice instead of the refined white rice.
3 Best Rice Cookers for Brown Rice On The Market Today
Although brown and white rice seem fairly easy to cook, people find that they cannot get it just right. This is when rice cookers come in handy. We have conducted a thorough research to decide what is the best brown rice cookers available on the market today. We reviewed technical characteristics of different rice cookers, collected feedback from professional cooks and from customers, added our own experience and ended up with a list of top 3 best brown rice cookers. Three top models of rice cookers are:
1. Zojirushi NS-TSC10 Micom Rice Cooker
This rice cooker uses MICOM (microcomputer) technology with fuzzy logic. This means that the chip inside enables the cooker to think and adjust the time and temperature according to the rice. For example, if the pot heats up to fast, the cooker will lower the temperature. If you set it for brown rice, it knows the adjustments that need to be made and does so accordingly. It has an automatic keep warm and an extended keep warm function, as well as an interchangeable beep signal and melody that alerts you when the rice is finished cooking. This cooker comes with a steamer and you can even bake cakes with the cake menu setting. The outside of the cooker is stainless steel and easy to clean. A measuring cup, spatula and spatula holder come with the cooker.
Amazon customers rate this product 4.5 out of 5 stars. JayHan calls it the Mercedes Benz of rice cookers. Kyle Robson says it makes tasty rice and keeps it warm and tasty with the keep warm function, is stylish, has a steamer tray, and is a good size. MarquessaX says it is a jack of all trades.
2. Zojirushi NS-PC10 Electric Rice Cooker and Warmer
This is a rice cooker and warmer with a locking lid and steam cap which keeps moisture in and keeps your rice fresh and warm even if you are not ready to eat it right away. You can cook up to 5 cups of rice in approximately 30 minutes. The Zojirushi NS-PC10 is easy to operate with a single control for the cooking process. Indicator lights will let you know when the rice is finished cooking. The cooker is made of white plastic, making it durable and cool to the touch, and the non-stick pan makes cleaning easy. Accessories included are a spatula holder which hooks onto the side of the cooker, a spatula, and a measuring cup. The NS-PC10 handles brown rice extremely well and can also cook white rice.
Customers rate this product 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon. David Bland was pleased that it cooked brown rice so well and he has tried it with other exotic rice like black rice, red rice from Bhutan, and wild rice. Top Notch Critic said it is a quality product with an elegant look. Other customers say it is a good product and well worth the money.
3. Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Deluxe Rice Cooker
The Hamilton Beach Digital Simplicity Deluxe is a rice cooker and steamer which accommodates brown rice perfectly well. In addition to cooking brown rice, you can use it to prepare steamed vegetables, soups, beans, and flavored rice mixes. Make macaroni and cheese or pasta and steam your veggies at the same time. This is one-touch cooking – just press the button and the cooker does the rest. You can cook up to 20 cups of rice. Accessories include a rice paddle, measuring cup and soup ladle. The inner lid is detachable and dishwasher safe.
Amazon customers rated this product 4.0 out of 5 stars. AllStr8Talk liked the quality, the steam outlet and other features but thought the steam basket was a bit too shallow. Mrs. Wilson had a similar comment. She was pleased with the fact that her rice came out perfect and not gummy, but she too thought the steam basket was flimsy. Several customers said the cook time was a little slow. Overall, customers were pleased with this product.
White Rice vs Brown Rice
White rice: Pros and Cons
When the germ, husk and bran have been removed from rice it is called milling. The rice is then polished which is what you see – a shiny, white grain known as white rice. Although milling frees rice from impurities, it also changes the flavor and texture of the rice. In addition, it helps prevent the rice from spoiling so that it can stay on the shelf longer.
Milling does have some benefits, but during the milling and polishing process, important nutrients are removed. People who have a diet based on unenriched white rice are prone to the neurological disease called beriberi, which is the result of a deficiency in thiamine (vitamin B1). In the United States it is required by law that white rice be enriched with B1, B3 and iron which are the nutrients that are removed through milling. This enrichment puts back only a small portion of the nutrients that have been removed from the rice. A Harvard School of Public Health study team recently found that the risk of diabetes increases if you eat five servings a week of white rice.
Brown Rice: Pros and Cons
Brown rice is unmilled and still in the hull. It is more nutritious and chewier than white rice, but it will also spoil quicker because of the germ and bran. Brown rice can be kept on the shelf for about six months and that can be extended by refrigeration or freezing. You get plenty of fiber with brown rice because the bran is not removed. Other nutrients in brown rice are manganese, zinc, magnesium and Vitamin E.
Many people especially in the United States, still prefer white rice because of the flavor and how well it blends with other foods. Brown rice has a nutty taste and it is harder to digest. Also, preparation of white rice is easier when cooking.
Cooking White Rice without a Rice Cooker
White rice does not require much in terms of preparation when cooking. The first step is to simply boil water. Two cups of water to one cup of rice is recommended. When the water comes to a boil, add the rice. You can also add a small amount of salt and butter if you choose to. Put a lid on the pot and turn the stove down to simmer. Let the rice cook until all of the water is absorbed into the rice. This is how you can tell it is done. It usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. You may need to stir once or twice during this process, but if you stir too much, the rice will turn gummy. Be careful about leaving the rice pot on the hot stove because even if you have turned it off, the rice will continue to cook until the stove cools.
Cooking Brown Rice without a Rice Cooker.
It is recommended that you rinse brown rice using a strainer or sieve. If you want softer rice, soak the rice in cold water for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. This will soften up the layers of bran and enable the water to penetrate. Put in about 2 to 2 ½ cups of water to one cup of brown rice in a pot. Add about a teaspoon of salt and stir. Bring the pot to a boil, lower the stove to simmer, and put a lid on the pot. Brown rice usually takes about 40 to 50 minutes to cook. Check the rice in about 30 minutes to make sure it does not burn. The rice is finished cooking when all of the water has been absorbed. Let the rice sit on the stove for about 5 minutes after cooking. After about five minutes fluff the rice with a fork – it should be light and fluffy.
We hope that our reviews of best brown rice cookers and our rice cooker selection guide will help you make the best choice for your needs and budget.