Cooking Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker
If you have spent some time living in Asia, you will invariably notice that a rice cooker is one of the best ways to cook rice that has been invented. And that holds true whether you are cooking Japanese rice, or Indian long grain rice- the texture and the flavor will be as good as it can be.
There are some questions, however about other forms of rice and grains, like brown rice. Can they safely be cooked in a rice cooker without any problems? Here are the answers for brown rice and some other popular grains and legumes:
Brown Rice: Brown rice can be cooked in a rice cooker. If there is a question, it probably comes from people who wonder because brown rice is traditionally harder and takes a little longer to cook than white rice varieties. One of the best strategies is to follow the advice on the box or bag and then be ready to add water if the rice is still not done when the rice cooker claims that it is.
By adding water, the rice can continue to cook until it is done without any trouble. The amount of water to add should be not more than the original amount and should be added strategically after tasting the rice to see just how finished it is. The main advantage to cooking brown rice in a rice cooker is that you are retaining most, if not all of the nutrients because of the chamber that they are cooked in. When you use microwave rice, you will likely lose nutrition. Another advantage is that all of the seasonings and ingredients can be combined at once to blend in with the brown rice dish that you are making.
Pinto or Black Beans: Yes! Both pinto and black beans can be cooked in a rice cooker, but you have to throw the recipe timing out the window. In other words, with rice, if you add the right amount of water, you will know that it is done perfectly when the rice cooker sensor tells you it is done. With pinto or black beans, you will want to add enough water to allow it to boil for a long while, and then you can plan on adding water again at least two times after that in order to for your beans to cook thoroughly.
Bulgar: Bulgar is another rice-like grain that can be cooked in a rice cooker. With bulgar, the challenge is to find the presentable size pieces and ensure that they are being used in the recipe that you want them in. The cooking part is quite straight forward. Just follow the recipe on the bag or box for the amount of water. In most cases, you will probably end up with about 1.5 times the amount of water than what you would use with regular rice.
Overall, a rice cooker can be used for everything from a steak cooker to an excellent pasta maker. Rice, however is its forte. If you are willing to modify the recipes that you have for each type of grain or legume, you will find that you can likely end up cooking just about anything well. If you’re interested, we’ve found that the Zojirushi NS-TSC10 is perhaps the best Rice Cooker on the market today for cooking up delicious brown rice time and time again.