How To Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker


Everyone knows brown rice is healthier than white rice but can you cook it up in your new rice cooker?


Unfortunately, many people assume brown rice tastes inferior and don’t give it a chance. Today, then, we’ll be breaking down how you can start eating more healthily by switching to brown rice.

Before you get started, though, you’ll need to consider these two questions:

  • What type of rice cooker do you have?
  • Do you have the original rice cooker measuring cup?

Some rice cookers have a single standardized rice setting. Other appliances come with a dedicated brown rice setting. This, of course, makes life much easier. If you don’t have this brown rice setting, don’t panic. All you need to do is follow our guidelines below.

How about that measuring cup, though?

Well, for some reason, the measuring cups bundled with most rice cookers are non-standard sizes equating to perhaps 2/3 or 3/4 of a cup. Also, the water lines marked inside the rice cooker for your convenience are only accurate if you use the correct ratio of rice to water.

If you don’t have the measuring cup that came with the rice cooker, use this ratio:

  • 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice

With that groundwork laid, then, we’ll walk you through how to cook brown rice in a rice cooker.

Using a Rice Cooker to Cook Brown Rice

Here’s what you need as well as your rice cooker.


2 cups of rinsed brown rice

3 cups of water

Pinch of salt (optional)

Splash of vinegar (optional)

What To Do

Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be enjoying a much more nutritious accompaniment to your meals.

  • Measure the rice you need
  • Rinse the rice with cool water
  • Add rice to the rice cooker
  • Add the right amount of water
  • Activate the rice cooker
  • Allow the rice to rest
  • Fluff the rice before you serve
  • Clean your rice cooker

Measure the rice you need

First of all, measure the amount of rice you need, ideally in increments of whole cups. Stick with even quantities and it makes the math easier when you’re working out the rice/water ratio.

Before you get started, bear in mind that rice doesn’t keep well. Don’t cook more than you plan on eating. Leftover rice is a trap for bacteria when it’s reheated. Do yourself a favor and stick to what you need.

Use a dry measuring cup and portion out the quantity required.

Next, it’s time for some rinsing in order to remove excess starch. Don’t skip this step or the grains will be too sticky when they’re cooked.

Rinse the rice with cool water

Pop your rice into a sieve or strainer.

Open the cold faucet and rinse the rice, circling your strainer as you go. The water should have a slightly milky appearance as it drains off from the rice.

You should continue washing your rice until the water runs clear.

Before you go any further, carefully shake off all excess water.

Now, it’s time to get down to business.

Add rice to the rice cooker

Pop your freshly washed rice into your rice cooker. Ensure the rice is evenly spread so that it cooks consistently.

At this stage, add a pinch of salt or splash of vinegar to taste. This is entirely optional.

Make sure you don’t overfill the rice cooker. You should only cook what you need anyway. If you routinely find yourself needing to cook more than one batch, it’s time to upgrade to a large rice cooker.

Next, it’s time for water. Getting the ratio of water/rice is key to cooking brown rice the right way.

Add the right amount of water

If you’re cooking brown rice, consider using 50% more water than recommended for cooking white rice.

Why is this?

Well, brown rice is a lot tougher than white rice so needs proportionally longer to cook. They still have a fibrous layer of bran in place. This prevents water from penetrating as easily.

Use 1.5 cups of water for each cup of rice.

Note: Feel free to soak brown rice for 30 minutes before popping it in the rice cooker. This will expedite the process.

Activate the rice cooker

All you need to do now is hit the COOK button on your rice cooker and wait for fluffy brown rice to die for.

Follow instructions for your particular brand of rice cooker.

If you’re hunting for a new rice cooker and you’re not sure what to buy, you can’t go wrong with a Zojirushi.

Allow the rice to rest

Cooking brown rice properly is far from instant. Pack a little more patience now as you need to let your rice rest a while.

Wait 10 to 15 minutes before uncovering the rice. This allows it to absorb any residual steam.

The rice also starts cooling down to a temperature perfect for eating. In this sense, waiting for rice to rest is not time wasted. It’s simply too hot to eat.

Fluff the rice before you serve

Before serving, use a spatula or spoon to stir and fluff your rice like a pro.

Move inward from the edges and break down any clumps.

Under no circumstances use metal utensils to stir your rice. They can scratch and permanently damage your rice cooker.

You’re almost done, but there’s one crucial step you shouldn’t skip…

Clean your rice cooker

Once you’ve served your rice and enjoyed your meal, it’s time for the all-important clean-up. Neglect this, and your appliance will let you down prematurely.

Leave the lid off and allow the rice cooker to cool down completely.

Scrape away any vestigial rice with a plastic utensil.

Finish by wiping the inside down with a damp cloth.


Well, with any luck, you should now have a solid understanding of how to best create fluffy and healthful brown rice the easy way.

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