Many rice lovers are turning to brown rice options as an attempt to increase the health and nutrition of their staple food choices.
The great thing about brown rice is that it brings a whole new level of flavor and texture to your meals, making it an exciting transition for your tastebuds.
But what makes for the best brown rice? The best brown rice is rice that has not been over-processed, does not have any additives or preservatives, has retained its nutrients, and cooks easily. It is also important to choose brown rice that has the right flavor, texture, and length to suit your needs.
To help make your buying decision easier, we’ve researched all the brown rice options we could find and come up with a list of the 11 best brown rice brands on the market today.
We included all the best features, from instant satisfaction to depth of flavor, including different grain lengths and varieties of rice as well. Your new favorite rice is waiting to be discovered in the article below!
Brown Rice Vs White Rice
Brown rice comes in all the same shapes, sizes, and varieties as white rice. The only difference is that the brown rice is less processed, with the outer bran layers still intact and only the tough, inedible husk removed.
If you have a favorite type of white rice, try the brown rice alternative the next time you’re cooking for a more nutritious and hearty meal.
If you’re new to eating brown rice, it is important to know that the texture will be different from white rice, as it retains the outer bran layers, including the germ. Brown rice is typically chewier and nuttier than white rice, across types.
Different types of rice retain their signature characteristics, whether they are white or brown, though the brown variety will usually take longer to cook.
Jasmine rice, for example, will always be fragrant, long-grain rice will stay more firm, and short-grain rice tends to be stickier.
The bran and germ create a firmer texture and generally add a slightly earthy or nutty flavor to what is natural in the rice grain.
Benefits of Brown Rice
Beyond the flavor and texture, brown rice has higher levels of antioxidants than white rice, because they’re primarily contained in the bran and germ.
Brown rice also has a significantly higher amount of fiber and protein per serving, even though the calories and carbohydrates remain very similar.
Higher fiber and protein help increase the feeling of fullness and satisfaction you get from eating, potentially the amount of food eaten overall.
Brown rice also has a lower impact on blood glucose levels and can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels.
How to Cook Brown Rice
All brown rice cooks slightly differently depending on the variety and the length of the grain. It’s best to follow the directions on the package you purchase.
That said, brown rice takes 25–50% longer to cook than white because the outer bran and germ protect the grain inside.
The outer layers will always add a chewiness to the brown rice, but with added cooking time, the grain inside will cook up soft and fluffy, similar to the white varieties you can buy.
In addition to following the directions on your package, you can almost never go wrong rinsing, soaking, and resting your brown rice before cooking it.
The hopefully obvious exception to this recommendation is instant, ready-to-serve, or precooked brown rice.
11 Best Brown Rice Brands
Not all brown rice is created equal. Just as there are many varieties of white rice, there are equal varieties of brown rice and your personal preferences will impact which brand you choose.
If you have a favorite type of white rice, you can probably find it in a brown rice variety as well.
|1.||Lundberg Long Brown Rice||Organic, long-grain, chewy|
|2.||Seeds of Change Brown Basmati Rice||Organic, basmati, instant rice|
|3.||Iberia Brown Jasmine RIce||Long-grain, enriched, fluffy|
|4.||Pride of India Extra Long Brown Basmati Rice||Extra-long-grain, aged, 100% natural|
|5.||365 Everyday Value Organic Brown Rice||Organic, 20oz bags, natural ingredients|
|6.||Diamond G Brown Rice||Japonica rice, sticky, grown in CA|
|7.||Augason Farms Brown Rice||Long-grain, bulk option, pail package|
|8.||Good Reason Rice Brown Calrose||Organic, sticky, calrose rice|
|9.||Nishiki Premium Brown Rice||Japanese brown rice, fluffy|
|10.||Uncle Ben's Ready Rice Whole Grain||Instant rice, whole grain|
|11.||Minute Instant Brown Rice||Instant rice, non-GMO|
Our list above includes both ready-to-serve and traditional cooking varieties, as well as different lengths of grain and types of rice. No matter your preferences, there will be a type of brown rice that is perfect for you somewhere on this list.
1. Lundberg Family Farms Organic Long Brown Rice
Lundberg Farms is one of the leading premium rice brands in the US and their organic long brown rice is an expected favorite, especially when you can find it in bulk 25lb bags.
This long-grain brown rice has a meaty, chewy texture and an earthy, nutty flavor that will bring layers of flavor and added nutrition to your cooking.
- Long-grain brown rice
- Takes 1 hour to get the perfect chewy, satisfying texture
- Grown through healthy, eco-positive farming practices
Unless it’s instant or quite rice, all brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice because it has the bran and germ still attached.
With that said, this particular rice takes an hour to cook to the right texture, which is a definite drawback if you forget to start your rice early enough.
On the flip side, it is perfect for slow-cooking dishes like soup, chili, and stew. Just make sure to start your rice early and the flavor will be worth the effort.
2. Seeds of Change Organic Brown Basmati Rice
Seeds of Change brings us a ready-to-serve pouch, but their brown rice is more than just a side dish.
Their organic brown basmati rice has a mouthwatering aroma and the nutty, unique flavor you expect from a brown basmati grain.
- Basmati brown rice
- Cooks perfectly in 90 seconds
- Organic and free from preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors
Because this is a ready-made product, if the package is damaged at any point from being sealed to when you receive it, there is the potential for spoilage.
If there is even a pin-sized hole in the package, bacteria can get in and grow on the previously cooked rice.
The good news is that this is rare and you can usually tell immediately, both visually and by the odor. If this happens, you can get in touch with the manufacturer for a replacement.
3. Iberia Brown Jasmine Rice
Iberia harvests and sources their jasmine brown rice from Vietnam, Brazil, India, and the US.
Jasmine rice is naturally tender and fluffy, so if you’re new to brown rice, this is a good place to start, as the texture is not as chewy as some other brown grains.
- Long-grain Jasmine brown rice
- Cooks more quickly than many brown rice varieties, ready in 20 minutes
- Great quality control for brown rice – very few husks found
This jasmine rice isn’t quite as flavorful or fragrant as some white jasmine options, but you can develop the flavor a bit more by toasting it in a dry, oil-free skillet before cooking it.
This will bring out more of the nutty flavor and start releasing the aroma more quickly when it hits the water.
4. Pride Of India – Extra Long Brown Basmati Rice
Basmati is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas, so it makes sense that it is a popular type of rice for Indian cuisine.
Pride of India can truly be proud of this particular type of rice, as it is not only an extra-long grain, but it’s also carefully aged for 2 years to allow the signature basmati flavor and aroma to develop.
Being thin, it cooks very quickly, especially for whole grain brown rice.
- Indian brown basmati rice
- Cooks quickly in 10-15 minutes, perfect for curries and simmer sauces
- Naturally grown without GMOs and aged for 2 years
Like with any product ordered online, sometimes packages may come to you damaged, as the seller cannot control what happens to the product on its way to you.
5. 365 Everyday Value Organic Brown Rice
365 Everyday Value by Whole Foods is well known for being a cost-effective brand that excels with organic and convenient foods, and this brown rice is no exception.
Another ready-made option, this brand is packaged in 20oz bags, which gives you significantly more per package than other instant rice options.
- Organic brown rice, whole grain
- Packaged in 20oz bags
- No preservatives, additives, colors, or flavors
The organic benefits of this product make it a great buy, but there is nothing extraordinary about this rice in terms of flavor or fragrance.
It’s basic brown rice that makes a good side dish or filler for a casserole or other type of recipe.
Another important aspect to note is that this ready-to-serve package can last a long time, but should be stored in your freezer, not in a cupboard.
6. Diamond G Brown Rice
Diamond G brown rice is grown in the Sacramento Valley of northern California through the Farmers’ Rice Cooperative.
The dedication to quality is carefully maintained through growing, harvesting, drying, and milling.
The goal is high-quality rice that is fresh and consistent, and they deliver on this promise with every bag.
- Short-grain brown rice of the japonica variety
- All rice grains cook evenly for a slightly sticky texture with just a bit of whole grain bite
- Product of the Farmers’ Rice Cooperative in Sacramento Valley, CA
This rice does take a little finesse to make sure it cooks the way you like it, which makes it ideal for stovetop cooking rather than in a rice cooker.
If you cook according to standard rice cooker directions, you may find your rice gets stickier than you want it to be. A quick fix for this is to microwave it for just a minute or two to remove some of the extra moisture.
7. Augason Farms Long-Grain Brown Rice
Augason Farms is committed to survivalists and preppers and provides a wide range of Emergency Food supply products, including this 24-pound pail of long-grain brown rice.
You don’t have to save this rice for an emergency, but it is packaged and designed to stay fresh and safe for up to 7 years.
- Bulk brown rice
- Packaged in a waterproof, airtight, bug, and rodent resistant pail
- Reduces waste and stays fresh for 7 years
Buying in bulk is great if you have space, but you still want your brown rice to be delicious when you’re ready to eat it.
This brand has a higher than average amount of husks remaining in the rice. When you’re ready to cook it, it’s a good idea to soak the rice to soften the hulls and then rinse it well a few times to clean up any residue.
8. Good Reason Rice Organic Sprouted Brown Calrose Rice
Calrose rice is medium-grain rice with origins in California.
It is soft and rather sticky rice that works fantastic for sushi.
Good Reason Rice offers not just great Calrose rice, but an organic, sprouted variety that has added nutrition and a light taste and fragrance.
- Sprouted brown rice
- More nutrient-dense than standard rice, even brown rice, and those nutrients are more easily absorbed
- Cooks firm and does not go mushy, though it does get sticky
Because this rice has been sprouted, i requires a bit more care than other versions. Use less water and less heat when cooking this rice.
9. Nishiki Premium Brown Rice
Asian cuisine is well-known for being rice-heavy. While traditionalists might find it difficult to transition away from white rice, this premium brown rice from the Japanese brand Nishiki can make it a bit easier.
It does take up to an hour to cook, but when it’s ready, it has a nice light and fluffy texture that works well as a substitute for white rice in your Asian cooking.
- Japanese brown rice
- Lighter in color and texture than most brown rice, great for transitioning from or substituting for white rice
- Mild, sweet flavor and fluffy texture that is only slightly sticky
It comes in a package that is designed to be resealable, but it does not always live up to expectations. It has a tendency to leak rice grains in your pantry.
For the best storage results, it is a good idea to transfer the rice to an airtight storage container.
10. Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice: Whole Grain Brown
Brown rice does take slightly longer to cook, on average, than white rice, and we all know that convenience is key in a busy kitchen.
Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice is the perfect solution. This whole grain brown rice just needs to be warmed. It’s precooked and ready to serve to fill out any meal.
Of course, Uncle Ben’s is also a leading name in regular rice and you can also get a 2 pound bag of brown rice that requires standard cooking.
- Ready-to-serve brown rice, takes only 90 seconds
- Microwavable in the package, makes cleaning easy
- Made without preservatives, additives, or artificial flavorings or colors
Many people are concerned about microwaving in anything that has plastic in it, like one of these microwavable packages.
Even if you aren’t concerned about the health implications, it does create a slight odor that is hard to ignore if you’re not used to it.
If this bothers you, a very easy remedy is to transfer the rice from the pouch to a microwave-safe dish with a cover and warm it this way.
11. Minute Instant Brown Rice
Minute is a well-known brand in households that constantly need quick, healthy, and easy meals.
The instant brown rice is precooked but doesn’t come in a pouch like the other ready-to-serve options on this list.
Instead, it is cooked and then dried so it can be stored like traditional rice, but it only takes about 10 minutes to reconstitute and warm it for serving.
- Instant brown rice
- Cooks in 10 minutes stovetop or the microwave
- Non-GMO and certified gluten-free
The rice is pre-parboiled, so actual cooking times may vary if you’re very particular about the texture and consistency of your rice.
If you like your brown rice to retain its firm and chewy texture, you may want to use a bit less water and check it after about 7 minutes of cooking. It’s also not ideal for cooking in a rice cooker.
How to Season Brown Rice?
If you’re new to brown rice, you may find the flavor takes time to get used to, especially if you were previously a fan of white rice.
Brown rice is naturally nuttier than white rice, but otherwise can be used, flavored, and seasoned exactly the same as you would with white rice.
Favorite seasonings for brown rice include:
- Garlic or garlic salt
- Salsa or hot peppers
- Sweet peppers or paprika
- Butter or ghee
- Soy sauce
To help disguise the flavor, you might try adding bouillon cubes to the water when you cook the rice, or simply cook in broth instead of water.
Depending on what your final dish is going to be, you can even try cooking your brown rice in coconut or almond milk for a creamier flavor.
Is Brown Rice Good for Weight Loss?
Brown rice can be a useful food item in an otherwise healthy and balanced weight loss program, especially if it is used as a replacement for white rice.
Brown rice has more protein and fiber than white rice, which can help reduce overall calories consumed by allowing you to feel full faster and stay satiated longer.
It has also been shown to have a more stable effect on blood sugar, helping to reduce energy spikes, cravings, and hunger cues.
Of course, rice of any kind is carb-heavy, which should be factored into a weight loss diet plan accordingly.
It’s relatively low in calories, however, so when paired with other healthy foods, it can provide you with plenty of nutrition to support your weight loss goals.
What Is Brown Rice Syrup?
Brown rice syrup is a sweetener made from brown rice. It is a simple sugar, though it is almost entirely glucose rather than fructose, the natural sugar found primarily in fruit.