Brown Rice Cooking Time
I decided to time my Aroma rice cooker for Nishiki medium grain brown rice, and it looks like about 1 hour and 45 minutes, using the brown rice setting, for three cups of uncooked rice. The time normally only indicates the last portion of cook time, so I needed to check the clock in order to see the actual total time. The user manual suggests 45 minutes to one hour, so it seems like it is much longer than it should be. The texture is fine when it is done, so perhaps it is just my rice cooker. Is this your experience with brown rice?
I've got a Zojirishi, too, and use it almost exclusively for brown rice. The issue with that extra long time is that it SOAKS the rice first. Try using the "Quick Cooking" setting-- that gets going faster, although it still takes a bit longer than the stove method. Then again, it also neither boils over nor burns-- both worthy tradeoffs for a little extra cooking time!
By the way-- I find that brown rice can foam like mad sometimes, and it's really hard to clean out of that mysteriously-designed lid. If I put a knob of butter or a bit of oil in with the rice, though, the foaming seems to be quelled.
Alton Brown's technique of baking brown rice gives a perfect result every time.
* 1 1/2 cups brown rice, medium or short grain
* 2 1/2 cups water
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Place the rice into an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
Bring the water, butter, and salt just to a boil in a kettle or covered saucepan. Once the water boils, pour it over the rice, stir to combine, and cover the dish tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove cover and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve immediately.
That's my experience too, but last year I decided to cave and finally get a rice cooker. It cooks different kinds of white rice in 20 to 30 minutes or so, which is not terribly different from use a pot on the stove, but this is quite a lot more time to trade for the convenience of using my rice cooker.
I don't like my brown rice cooked to death, so It takes me 25-30 minutes stovetop and gives me some chewiness. What type of brown rice does the rice cooker manual base it's timing on? I bet it's based on long grain. Medium and short grain take longer to cook. Soaking brown rice for an hour or so beforehand shortens cooking time. Try that technique in your rice cooker.
I don't know about your cooker or the OP's, but the one I have (and in fact have not used in several years) is activated/de-activated by weight: when the mixture of rice and water falls below a certain weight, the rice is deemed to be done, and as I recall it usually is.
I do all of mine stovetop now; 25 minutes for white, 40+ for brown, plus ten minutes or so on the hot tray with a clean towel over it.