Sam is a trusted home cook.
I've found that brown rice needs more water than you think, and depends on the brand of rice.
Rice cookers are forgiving...if the rice is undercooked after the initial cooking, add just a bit more water and restart the cooker.
Also, a longer soaking time at the start helps.
Thanks so much for your response. Any particular brand of rice you recommend?
Not really...I get Mahatma, or 'china girl' at the supermarket tho. Still for me each bag seems to different in the amount of water it needs....almost every time I make it I always end up giving it a 'second cycle' with a bit more water to get it soft.
Another hint: if you're using wild rice in a rice cooker...cook a couple of tablespoons in the rice cooker with water until almost done, and then add more water and brown rice and restart the device. Wild rice and brown rice together need a bit more attention.
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I use the standard 2 parts water, one part rice. Sometimes long grain, sometimes short, and lately I've found some beautiful mixtures of rices from Thailand --- all brown. Even though the rice cooker steams like crazy, it works perfectly. And they're not fancy rice cookers -- I got one around 1975, very basic, and recently found one with a "menu" at a thrift shop for $5, which has a setting for brown rice. Both still work well.
This is the very best way to cook rice taught to me by my dad's wife from Hawaii. It doesn't matter how much rice you use, it works every time. Place the rice in the cooker, rinse, and place your pointer finger on top of the rice lightly. Turn on a light stream of cold water and fill up to the first knuckle of the finger. Keep your finger at the top of the rice. Put the lid on and flip the switch. I'm telling you that it has never failed me on over 20 years of making rice. I've converted so many people to this method. There is never any measuring (except with your finger). It works with any kind of conventional rice, not so much with wild or quick cooking. Good luck!
I'm from Hawaii, and that trick that Jenn.svobo states above DOES NOT work for Brown Rice. Born and raised in Hawaii, we always used the finger trick, but in reality "real Hawaiians" do not eat brown rice and really don't know how to cook it properly. The finger thingy does not work for brown.
I only make brown rice and it works well for me.
Wash and soak for 30mins, if you use 3cups of rice, put water till level 4
Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking
It depends on your rice cooker. I have an old fuzzy-logic model that was only meant for Japanese white rice, but I use it, without much alteration, for brown rice, wild rice, all sorts of blends. That may not work for you, but it's a good starting point. As Sam1148 says, you can always add a bit more water and cook some more.
Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
In case this is useful: How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice by Marian Bull
I refer to articles that are edited and tested when they seem useful... I hate reinventing the wheel! :-)
That's a pretty interesting article, though not for a rice cooker, and somewhat different than a lot of rice recipes--it suggests cooking brown rice sort of like pasta, with lots of water that you then drain. It was the method of choice for a neighbor I had once.
fooddork1 - Sorry! I missed that you were asking about brown rice in a rice cooker. The Food52 article I mentioned was for a stove-top version.
Also, just wanted to clarify... I love reading everyone's personal tips... I tend to refer often to articles or recipes here on Food52 or on other sites because they explain what I already do. And I think they've got it written down much better than I might. (And definitely with better photos!) But I love reading detailed input from other cooks.
Also, I would recommend germinated brown rice rather than the regular kind. Although I'm skeptical how much the extra GABA content brings in terms of health benefit (if any), germinated brown rice certainly cooks up better and more easily than regular brown rice, and you'll get a texture much more like white rice, with a pleasant aroma and slightly nutty flavor.
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