There is a trick to cooking brown rice that sometimes gets lost from the pack of the package to the pot. The grain needs special attention, and the best brown rice cookers incorporate this into their design. A few considerations include the cooking method and time, and the price is a part of the equation that is seldom overlooked. For a rundown of the best brown rice cookers on the market, take a look at my list of favorite brands and models that do the job right.
If you are a fan of brown rice for its nutrients, then the Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT is the go-to model that has you covered. The sleek, top-of-the-line machine has two settings for making brown rice; one for Gaba rice, and a quicker option that uses its technology for basic brown rice.
The Gaba setting takes longer as it cooks brown rice slower and at lower heat, bring out the nutrients and amino acids that are stripped away in white rice. Once, the Gaba rice is “activated,” the machine hits its stride and kicks into high gear.
The brown rice setting is quicker as it doesn’t sweat the small stuff, cooking the rice with induction heating and using a sophisticated computer to monitor and adjust the temperature and time that it takes to cook.
This is where Zojirushi’s quality and craftsmanship kick in. Instead of cooking by a central source under the pot, the whole bowl is heated, cooking rice under pressure and infusing each grain with moisture. While the NP-GBC05’s complex settings and systems take longer to produce a hearty pot of brown rice with either of the methods mentioned, the results make it worth the time.
Brown rice comes out tender and not chewy while keeping the nutrients that other grains lack. The induction system and pressure seal in the flavor, and the keep warm function keeps rice and grains at temperature for hours without sacrificing taste or texture.
Other settings let you cook white rice, sushi, and a slew of other grains without hassle or sacrificing taste or texture. The machine comes with a manual, measuring cup, and spatula.
The major complaint about the Zojirushi rice cooker, apart from the price, is the cooking time. Other brands cook brown rice faster but lose the health benefits that the slow cooking method brings to the table.
The Final Say
The Zojirushi NP-GBC05’s features and design make it the choice for those who want brown rice that’s tender, full of nutrients, and ready for the table without a lot of hard work. Its price might not fit the bill for those who cook rice occasionally, but if you depend on brown rice for your carbs, it’s the machine that gives you the most nutritional bang for your buck.
First Runner-Up – Cuisinart CRC-400
The inexpensive model doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of the Zojirushi models.
However, it does a good job of cooking brown rice without toughness and takes a quarter of the time to finish.
The CRC-400 is a simple machine, having two cook settings and giving you brown rice that doesn’t skimp on the flavor.
Some people complain that the lack of custom functions takes the nutrients out of the brown rice, but for the money it delivers.
Second Runner-Up – Aroma 8-Cup
The top model from Aroma takes longer to cook rice than the Cuisinart, but has a dedicated brown rice setting that takes the worry out of getting it right.
Features include a delay timer, a condensation catcher, a food warmer, and comes with a steamer for vegetables.
Some who bought this product site repair issues with the brown rice function and complain that there should be a longer warranty.
Another discrepancy to note is that the rice cooker makes 8 cups of cooked rice and 4 cups of uncooked grain.
Third Runner-Up – Cuckoo CRP-G1015F
The model uses pressure to cook rice at a higher temperature, and the texture of the rice is lighter than other models on this list.
This is a good option for those who make a lot of rice frequently and want results that come in above the budget options.
The solid build holds up to the pressure, and the features compete with higher-end models, meeting or beating their capacities.
The Cuckoo is made in Korea, making some of the instructions hard to follow. The spoken language of the rice cooker is in Korean, also causing some confusion when warnings or alarms go off.
And The Winner Is – Zojirushi NP-GBC05XT
While the runners-up on my list hold their own and deserve their spots, the features and setting of Zojirushi’s NP-GBC05XT put it way ahead of the pack.
The machine’s Gaba setting, its quick cook feature, and dedicated basic brown rice function set a new standard. When paired with its innovative induction cooking system, this is the machine for you if you want brown rice that rivals your favorite health food restaurant.
The other machines on the list get the job done. Each makes brown rice that beats the traditional stove or oven cooking method and delivers tender, nutritious rice that isn’t chewy or overcooked.