Helpful Tips

Cooking Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker – The Do’s And Don’ts

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Cooking brown rice in rice cooker can be the perfect solution if you’re like me and can’t seem to manage cooking brown rice on the stove by boiling it. On the stove, brown rice can be difficult to get just right. Most of the time, you probably end up with rice that’s hard, too chewy, or too mushy. But using the best rice cooker to cook your brown rice from here on out will allow you to enjoy rice that’s cooked to perfection. So, if you’re tired of undercooked or overcooked rice, use the following technique for rice that’s tasty and fluffy every time.

Cooking brown rice in rice cooker is the perfect solution if you’re tired of eating overcooked or undercooked brown rice. In fact, these days, many new models of rice cookers come with a dedicated brown rice setting, which takes all the guesswork out of how to use your rice cooker correctly, for this specific type of rice. Instead of constantly checking on the rice to monitor its progress, you can essentially set it and forget it until the rice cooker’s timer goes off. Once the rice is cooked all you have to do is fluff it with a fork and it’s ready to be served.

The Truth About Brown Rice

Most people resist switching from white to brown rice because white rice is so much easier to cook, however, brown rice is a much healthier alternative. The fiber content in brown rice can help to lower cholesterol, and can also promote fullness, move waste through the digestive tract more efficiently, and can even prevent blood clot formation. It’s also considered a low glycemic index food. The glycemic index refers to how much a particular food raises the blood sugar level after eating it. While white rice has an average glycemic index of sixty-four, brown rice has a rating of just fifty-five.

Additionally, the minerals and phytochemicals in this whole-grain are closely linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. Whole grains can also help to reduce a person’s risk of type two diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Brown rice contains folate, an important B vitamin that promotes new cell formation. A high folic acid intake can also prevent certain types of birth defects, such as spina bifida. It’s also a great source of iron, magnesium, and selenium.

As you can see, you can enjoy a number of health benefits by switching from white to brown. If you’ve ever tried to cook brown rice and failed, the instructions below will walk you through how to use a rice cooker for perfect results every time.

Using a Rice Cooker


Some rice cookers will come with a dedicated brown rice setting, but most will have just the standard white rice or jasmine rice setting.

If the rice cooker you’ve purchased has a brown rice setting, then you’re in luck since it’s specifically designed to correctly cook brown rice. This means all you have to do is follow the included rice cooker’s instructions to make it. But if it doesn’t come with this type of dedicated setting, you can still cook brown rice the way it should be, simply follow the instructions I’ve included below.

Measuring Brown Rice

Most rice cookers will come with their own measuring cup, which usually isn’t the same size as a regular measuring cup. Because of this, if your model came with its own dedicated measuring cup, make sure you use it every time. Otherwise, you may end up adding too much or too little rice.

Water Level

Inside the rice cooker, you’ll find lines that are labeled with numbers. These lines will indicate how much water you should add, based on how many cups of rice you’re preparing. As an example, if you add one cup of rice, you’ll need to fill the water up to the line that has the number one on it.

Keep in mind, the water level lines are only considered accurate if you use the included measuring cup that came with your rice cooker. If you end up using a regular measuring cup, don’t use the water lines to determine the right amount of water that’s needed. Instead, you’ll follow the directions regarding the water to rice ratio on the rice package. Typically, most brands will tell you to use two cups of water for every one cup of rice.

The Perfect Serving Size

When you use your rice cooker to prepare rice, never use less than a cup of rice since a smaller quantity won’t cook very well in a rice cooker. I recommend making at least two cups of rice and adding four cups of water.


Adding salt can make a big difference in how your brown rice tastes, so always make sure you add it. I typically add the salt directly to the water inside the rice cooker and use approximately a quarter of a teaspoon per cup.

Rice Cooker Settings

Now you’re ready to set the rice cooker to the cook setting or the brown rice setting if your model has it. As the rice cooks, make sure you avoid opening the lid, which can negatively impact the cooking process.

Once It’s Ready

Once the timer goes off, check your rice. When it’s finished cooking take a fork and fluff it. This helps to separate the grains and gives it a great fluffy texture.


If you enjoy plain brown rice then your rice should be ready to eat. However, if you find plain brown rice too bland then now is the time to add some extra seasonings. You can add some seasoned salt, a salt substitute, lemon juice, or butter.

How to Pick Out a New Rice Cooker

A rice cooker can be one of the most useful kitchen appliances you ever purchase. It can do so much more than just cook rice, but obviously, rice is its specialty. These appliances are available in a variety of sizes, some are designed to cook just a few cups of rice at a time, while others can cook up to twelve or fourteen cups at a time. The Panasonic rice cooker is also a multi-cooker, which means it can steam veggies, cook stew, fish, or make a fresh pot of oatmeal. It comes with a wide range of presets, so you can cook any type of rice dish to perfection and it features an intuitive design that makes it very beginner-friendly. The rice cooker’s brown rice setting will take all of the guesswork out of making this healthy white rice alternative. Additionally, it’s also available at a price that won’t break the bank.

Related Questions

What is Cleanup Like with a Rice Cooker?

Most models come equipped with interior bowls that have nonstick surfaces. This means all you have to do is remove the bowl and wash it by hand in the sink. However, if you’ve overcooked your rice or another dish, then you may need to soak it and use to a little elbow grease to remove any overcooked rice that’s stuck to the bowl’s surface. To learn more, click here to read my article on how to clean rice cooker.

How Long Does Brown Rice Take to Cook In a Rice Cooker?

On average it should take twenty minutes for every cup of uncooked rice. As an example, if you’re preparing three cups of brown rice, then it will take one hour to cook. White rice cooks much faster at just ten minutes per cup of uncooked rice. Some types of brown rice may take even longer to cook, such as long grain. This is due to the extra bran layers on the grain.

Should I Rinse Brown Rice Before Cooking?

Because brown rice has a hull it’s actually much less powdery compared to other types of rice. However, you will still need to rinse the rice before you dump it into the rice cooker in order to get rid of any unwanted debris. If you’re not using a rice cooker, some home cooks recommend soaking the rice overnight in order to speed up the cooking time on the stove, however, whether or not this technique is actually effective is debatable.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to make perfectly cooked brown rice, you have no excuses when it comes to making the switch to a much healthier option.

Cooking brown rice in a rice cooker means you can enjoy perfectly cooked rice each and every time. If you’re trying to make healthier diet choices, then making the switch to brown rice can promote weight loss, can aid in digestion, and can even leave you feeling full between meals, which is a must if you’re on a diet and cutting calories. Overall, making brown rice in a rice cooker can save you plenty of frustration and time in the kitchen. No longer will you have to deal with overcooked or undercooked brown rice. Instead, you’ll enjoy brown rice that’s tender, fluffy, and delicious.