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Rice cooker brown rice

  • Dax Jan 20, 2012 12:54 PM

I bought an Aroma fuzzy logic rice cooker from Costco some time back and I swear i can't make properly cooked brown rice (on the brown rice setting or quick setting) . It always comes out mushy. Typically I buy bags or sometimes from the bulk at wholefoods. I didn't think you had to wash brown rice much these days but maybe I'm wrong? I cook the dry rice with the amount of water and/or broth indicated and sometimes add a touch of oil to keep it from frothing up too much to clog the the pressure/steam thing at the top.

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong besides eating brown rice which is pretty darn boring?

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  1. With white rice, I found basmati is less likely to mush. What type of brown rice are you using? How much water to rice?

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      *I use brown rice from Chinese grocery in Boston. The type I prefer is "Botan Calrose", a Japanese short grain type, (grown and processes in California I believe). This tastes softer than long grain American rice. But I also have success with American long grain, white or brown.
      *If you pay more than $1 per lb, you paid too much. A 20 lbs bag Calrose brown rice in Chinese grocery cost me $17.
      *I never use Jasmine or Basmati rice. They are produced in Asian. Field and water are polluted there. I have seen some farmers processing rice. They lay if on concrete, or worse, on asphalt payment. Kids, dogs and chickens may run over the rice too.

    2. I have the Elephant brown, neurofuzzy logic or whatever. It cooks brown rice perfectly, (do NOT use quick setting for it!). Are you bringing the water up the the BROWN rice level instead ofthe white rice level? They require different amounts of water...

      1. I find that short-grain brown rice has a much nicer texture than the long-grain stuff, no matter how you cook it. It's a lot more expensive, though (at least where I live). Maybe see if you can find a bag of the short grain and test it out?

        2 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          Opposite opinion here. Unless I am making a creamy rice, risotto or a pudding, I prefer the texture of a longer grain.
          I love Lundberg brown rice, especially the basmati.

          1. re: wyogal

            It depends on how the poster defines nice texture. If it is toward sticky, sure.

        2. Add less water, the rice comes out firmer.

          1. I was having this problem with my Zojirushi so I emailed the supplier and they gave me some advice which has worked well.

            Basically, they said NOT to wash the rice, and to use less water - ie to use the white rice levels rather than the brown ones. This has definitely done the trick.

            2 Replies
            1. re: greedygirl

              Just cooked 2 cups of brown rice with water just about covering in my Zosirushi for 1.30 hr. on the brown rice setting.
              Looks good, grains seperated , not mushi but hard. Is this how it should be?

              1. re: Marfe

                Yes if you like it harder. Also when you use rice to make fried rice, people like it harder.

                But if you like it softer, try to add more water, like 1/4 cup, until you are satisfied.
                Also different rice (or new rice)will have different water requirement. Need to try out when you change rice.

            2. I have bought the same rice cooker from COSTCO. This product is excellent and cooks brown rice perfectly every time, for me anyway. You must following the following rules to cook a perfect brown rice

              1. Do not wash of rinse brown rice (or any rice). Rising will remove the good nutrition part of rice. Also water to rice ratio is very important for brown rice. Washing or rinsing will upset your water and rice ratio
              2. Measure one cup of rice flat, and add exactly 2 cups of water
              3. Start cooking with the above mentioned cooker
              4. Note: brown rice need about 110 to 120 minutes to cook. So if you eat at 6 00 pm, start cooking at 4 00pm. the latest. White rice takes 60 minutes to cook.
              5. In the future adjust your water amount up or down, 1 /4 cup each time to find out the best rice texture for your taste

              Dax, If you can get good brown rice by following above rules, let me know. I will buy your COSTCO rice cooker from you, at full selling price of $29.95 minus some wear and tear.

              6 Replies
              1. re: AsianGuy

                If you use short grain white rice, you have to wash it. Otherwise you will end up with a mess.

                You should wash until the water is mostly clear -- probably 5-6 times.

                1. re: calumin

                  I am sorry I disagree. Washing will take away the best nutritious part of rice, rice bran.
                  Short grain white rice may need somewhat less water. Try out decreasing water slowly.... to suit.
                  Make sure you have about at least 45 minutes of elapsed time, may be one hour for white rice.

                2. re: AsianGuy

                  brown rice cooks in my cooker, or on the stove , in 40 minutes.

                  1. re: magiesmom

                    I have not achieve this. I hope it is not para-boiled rice. I never touch para boiled rice. It is washed away rice, just starch, no nutrition.

                    1. re: AsianGuy

                      Ugh, I thought I didn't like brown rice because I was brought up eating Uncle Ben's parboiled rice.

                      Whoever invented that...substance...should be put in prison and forced to eat it for the rest of his miserable life.

                  2. re: AsianGuy

                    Rinsing only removes nutrients from white rice if it is fortified. Often white rice is coated or "fortified" with vitamins to replenish the nutrients lost due to the bran being removed. It's not even a big deal unless one is eating nothing but rice.

                    Since brown rice retains the bran layer, there is no need to fortify it. The bran is a tough layer, it's the reason brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. A brief rinse will not leech nutrients out of the bran.

                    As for the Aroma rice cooker, independent reviews have confirmed that it's not so good for brown rice. It does a decent job but there are far better alternatives.

                    http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-b...

                  3. I've found that with most varieties, I need to rinse the rice. This will make a huge difference. You can achieve loose, tender brow rice by giving it a quick rinse, or go all the way, rinsing over and over till the water is clear, and polishing the rice in the japanese style, I've found even using brown rice this gives loose rice kernels, sticking together but not gummy.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: iheartcooking

                      I have different ideas. Brown rice is very nutritious. Washing will defeat the purpose of eating brown rice. To me food has to taste good and more importantly nutritious.

                      If you like loose tender brown rice, use American grown long grain brown rice. You cann get it from American grocery stores. I get it from BJ's. It may need a little more than 2 cups of water to one cup of rice. could be 2.25 cup
                      If you like more sticky brown rice, use American grown short grain rice, Botan Calrose Brown Rice. You can buy it in most Asian grocery stores. For 20 or 25 lbs bag, it costs not over $20.
                      In the past, I have also have bought imported Australian brown rice from Walmart stores. Its character is in the middle of long grain and short grain rice. Any brown priced over $1.40/lb is overpriced.

                      You also will note that I only mentioned American and Australian grown rice. Even though I am an AsianGuy, I try not to eat Asian imported rice. When I was young in China, I have seen how smaller farmers processing rice, and at where they process rice grain. Yes you need to rinse rice from Asia. Better yet, I simply do not use Asian rice, period. US rice is processed in large quantity without touching human hand and with no additive procedures. . Believe me, most Asian countries have no comparison to US in mechanization. Often they use Talc to polish rice to make it appealing to consumers.

                      Then the next, using proper water to rice ratio, and the rice cooker I bought from COSTCO for 110 minutes cooking time, I can have nice eating brown rice each time. Adjust water-rice ration up or down, little each time, you will get the texture you like. Different rice will need different water to rice ratio but starts at 2:1 is a good bet.

                      I am new to Chowhound. I will write more later about automatic rice cooker for brown rice, why do not rinse rice, nutrition comparison brown vs white rice; why para-boiled rice and instant noodles are no good for your body.

                      1. re: AsianGuy

                        Your post intrigues me. I have an Aroma rice cooker, and while I don't know exactly what "fuzzy logic" means, I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that the cooker apparently determines the doneness of the rice by weight in some way.

                        I just finished cooking a blend of wild and brown basmati rice that I have never successfully cooked in my rice cooker. I use a half cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, and when it's finished cooking, the rice is still raw. I assume this means I need to add more liquid, or is this type of rice never going to be cooked properly in a rice cooker?

                        1. re: GaKaye

                          I never mix my wild rice with other rice. I like it "popped," so I cook it separately in 3 changes of water. (bring to a boil, simmer a bit, then drain, add fresh, etc)

                          1. re: GaKaye

                            Important: Water ratio and time. You need both to cook rice especially the brown rice.
                            To start: 1 rice and 2 water. Up or down a little to suit.
                            Time required;
                            Brown rice 120 minutes total. Let sit on "keep-warm"
                            White rice, at least 45 minutes. Let it sit on "keep-warm" after the switch has popped.

                            1. re: GaKaye

                              Wild rice takes a really long time to cook- longer than brown or white.

                        2. Dax, you don't mention the proportions of rice to water which you're using, and that's the key. I'm looking around tonight to see if anyone else fell for the bizarre recipe on the back of a Nishiki "premium brown rice" bag, which says to use 3 cups water to 1 cup rice, if using an electric rice cooker.

                          I've NEVER used that much water to rice in about 30 years of brown rice cooking, including 15 in the rice cooker, but there it was in print, and I thought there might be something special about this particular rice.

                          HA! I couldn't bring myself to put quite 3:1, so to my 1.5 c rice, added 4 cups water, rather than their recommended 4.5 cups. And what happened? Horrible, soggy rice! I'm going to make a vegetarian loaf out of it with some mushrooms, cheese and eggs, I think.

                          Anyway, if you've been doing that, stop. As it's now 8 months after your post, you probably have. But here's what I like: about 2.25 c water to to a cup of rice. I also use a bit of butter, to combat foaming.

                          1. Depends on what you think is the proper ratio with WHITE rice, I guess. I've always found that white rice requires less than brown...but I prefer brown, so rarely have cooked white in the last 20 years. There's another thread here in which people recommend 1:1, 1:1.2 1:1.5 and 1:2 for white rice, but that's also for all kinds of different varieties: CA long grain, Japanese, basmati, etc. etc.!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: MariaJ.

                              Have used my rice cooker for years for brown rice, all types, short, long, basamati etc. While I have a different rice cooker than you (not even sure the brand, just an el cheapo) the ratio is always 1:2 (rice to water). The only thing I struggle with is using broth instead, I seem to get more evaporation with it, so I use a little more. I am also wondering if you are trying to cook too much rice at one time, I find with mine, 2 cups of rice is best, sometimes more and it gets a bit mushy, less and crunchy. I would not add any flavouring until you get the basics (ie. no broth, olive oil etc). season after done. Also, if possible, be sure to give it a fluff when it is done if you are not using right away. Also I never rinse.

                              re. cooking time, I am surprised at those saying 2 hours, how much rice is this for? For me, 2 cups takes about 45 minutes.

                              1. re: cleopatra999

                                I'm with cleopatra999. With a rice cooker, no rinse, double the amount of water for each cup of water and let it steam a few minutes at the end. Been making perfect brown rice for 30 years that way.

                                1. re: bdubay

                                  I am too like you.

                            2. We used to make brown rice several times a week until we read about the arsenic content in the consumer reports testing,

                              We recently got the same Costco cooker. I too found the brown rice too mushy even though I use less than two cups water. We just cook on the white rice setting ( as we did with our old cooker). It comes out perfect for us.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Rhee

                                I don't believe we have arsenic content in USA produced rice.
                                In China, water is polluted. recently, people in SW China ate rice with Cadmium. Factories had discharged cadmium into river streams.

                              2. I have an "Aroma" rice cooker from Costco as well, & all the rice I've cooked in it - white, jasmine, basmati, brown - comes out perfect.

                                I never rinse the rice or add oil or anything - just follow the basic directions. Perfect rice every time - even if it has to wait on the "warm" setting for awhile.

                                Go figure.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Bacardi1

                                  My Aroma rice cooker is probably the cheapest model...it was a gift, so I don't know for sure. I have a really hard time getting any rice to come out right. Generally I cook brown rice. Anyway, do you use the measuring lines on the cooker? I don't use those, because the cooker instructions said you had to adjust if using brown rice, so I've just experimented with different amounts of water, but without much luck....

                                  1. re: GaKaye

                                    To be honest, I don't recall. Whatever the instructions were/are in the booklet that came with it is what I've followed. My model was a gift as well. Came with a plastic steamer insert for steaming meats, vegetables, etc., as well.

                                    1. re: GaKaye

                                      Use measuring cup or coffee mugs to measure rice and water

                                  2. I remember having this discussion w someone last year...greedygirl I believe. In any event, I thought this seemed like a good thread to post an update.

                                    I purchased my Zoji fuzzy logic rice cooker last year and was having the same issue w brown rice. Everything else steamed to perfection. I've been experimenting ever since and was getting better results but definitely nothing to be excited about.

                                    Fast forward to last weekend. While visiting an Italian market, didn't I see some Tilda brand brown basmati rice. I've only ever seen their white basmati up to that point and btw, it's my absolute favourite basmati. Anyway, I figured I'd give their brown basmati a try. Well guess what...brown rice perfection!!! Light, fluffy, brown rice. Every grain distinct. I squealed with joy. I didn't rinse it btw but I did use the recommended quantity of rice and water.

                                    I hope others are able to give this a try and enjoy the same results. I know how frustrating this is. Now I love my Zoji even more!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      I like Lundberg brown basmati, works great, too.

                                    2. At the risk of pooping in the punchbowl, I'll suggest googling
                                      "arsenic in rice" which will yield scary results. Weigh their significance for your own eating habits but note that there's consensus that there's more arsenic in brown rice than white, that rinsing helps a little, and that cooking rice, pasta-style, in large amounts of water which is then drained off removes much of the arsenic. For that method, simmer/boil
                                      for 30 minutes, drain through a sieve, dump the rice immediately back into the hot pot, cover, and let sit off-heat for 10 minutes longer, as the rice absorbs the water remaining on the exterior of the grains. This yields separate grains of fluffy rice. My standard is brown jasmine, which comes out very well this way.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        I did google it and found this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gary..., which states that arsenic in servings of rice is below what drinking water standards allow.

                                      2. I have exactly the opposite problem with brown rice in my Salton rice cooker. It comes out too firm, way past al dente. They are almost like tiny tan pebbles. Is the solution just more water?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: thelazycook

                                          I would only use cooker with Brown Rice setting.
                                          Correct rice to Water ratio and time will get good cooked rice.
                                          Salton is only for white rice.

                                        2. *I use Aroma fuzzy logic rice cooker from Costco with Brown rice setting
                                          *I use raw brown rice from grocery. Rice produced in USA is very clean. I never use imported Asian rice due to additives. import from Australia is OK.
                                          *Do not wash rice. It will upset precise rice to water ratio. No one washes wheat before it is milled into flour.
                                          *Measurement: 1 cup rice and 2 cups water(and a little more like 1/2 cup). This is always good for me. White rice is definitely 2 cups of water.
                                          *Press Brown rice, or Delayed-Brown rice
                                          **Two (2) important factors for good brown rice; 1) Precise rice-water ratio, 2) time required 90 to 110 minutes.
                                          *If you like rice to be softer, up the water by 1 /4 cup each time to suit.
                                          *Let rice sit on keep warm until total time elapsed 100 minutes. You need it for good cooked rice.
                                          *You always can use delay-Brown rice to get it started early. *If delay is set at 3 hours, the rice will be ready in 3 hours. If delay is 2 hours, the rice will start cooking immediately because time elapse required is about 120 minutes.

                                          1. I never had much luck with any electric pressure cookers, and ended up returning the couple of ones I bought. I had much better results from an electric steamer, since the heat was all indirect and there was no scorching.

                                            I also make it in the oven (or a toaster oven). I put a cup of brown rice and a cup of liquid in an 8x8 baking dish, then cover it tightly with foil. Then put it in a non-preheated oven at 350 degrees and cook it for about an hour. Don't open the oven or the foil cover at all during the cooking.

                                            1. I am the person who follows that "strange" recipe on the back of the Nishiki Brown Rice bag. I buy the 20 pound bags of rice for $18 at BJ's. 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water. It makes a sticky, soft rice. I happen to like it that way. I've always found Brown Rice to be hard and too crunchy for my tastes. If I'm using the rice in another recipe, I'll cut back to 2 cups for each cup of rice.

                                              It reminds me of a funny story. When I was in Japan a couple of years ago, we were on a tour and the tour guide was taking us by a rice paddy. I was talking to him about different types of rice. I mentioned the "Uncle Ben's" rice that is non-sticky and that Americans like their rice "fluffy" and with distinct grains that don't stick together. He looked at me with a mix of horror and confusion on his face. He says to me "why would anyone eat rice that doesn't stick together??"

                                              But, when I cook it in the cooker I have, it takes a good 90 minutes to cook, which seems to be about twice as long as on the stove.