How to cook brown rice on the stove, rice cooker or instant pot

how to cook brown rice

Many people have trouble preparing brown rice properly because it behaves a little differently than white rice. There are also many different options. We outline how to cook brown rice on stove, rice cooker or instant pot.


how to cook brown rice

Brown rice is untreated and unpolished rice that has been removed from the husk. The rice grain still contains the membrane and the seedling. Only the inedible husks were removed. Most of the minerals and vitamins are contained in the membrane. The natural rice is very healthy and tastes great. It has a higher proportion of fiber than white rice. Also read How to grow rice at home: complete guide

How long do you need?

When cooking rice, you should note that unpolished rice varieties take significantly longer than the white, polished rice varieties. You have to expect a cooking time of 40 minutes. Also read How to cook jasmine rice on the stove, in a microwave or a rice cooker

Simmer or absorbtion method?

Before cooking, wash the rice well in a colander with running water. When cooking brown rice, the simmer method should be preferred to the absorbtion method, as this can flush out toxins such as arsenic. The rice is boiled in plenty of water with salt until it is cooked. Then the water is poured off.


Brown rice is rich in nutrients and is one of the healthiest types of rice. This is due to the many minerals and vitamins that are still present in the seedling and in the silver membrane that is still present.

How to cook brown rice on the stove: 3 methods

There are several methods for how to cook brown rice on stove. We outline the best 3 methods below. Also read How to cook cauliflower rice: complete guide

How to cook brown rice stovetop Method 1

This takes around 35 minutes from start to finish (which is pretty quick for brown rice). This method works for both brown short grain and long grain rice.

  • In a saucepan with a lid, add brown rice and water at a ratio of 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Most of the time I make 3 cups of rice with 4.5 cups of water.
  • Turn the stove on and bring the rice and water to a boil without a lid. Then put the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer gently. If your pot has a steam valve, leave it closed and the rice simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Turn off the plate and let the rice sit in the covered saucepan for another 10 minutes. It is not a problem if you let the rice steep for more than 10 minutes (20 or 30 minutes), but definitely not shorter.
  • Eat and enjoy, but be careful when removing the lid (a lot of hot steam can escape).

How to cook brown rice on the stove: Method 2

  • Put the rice in a saucepan.
  • Wash rice to remove possible impurities that cannot be ruled out in a natural product.
  • Add water. Salt to taste.
  • Let rice soak for 10 minutes.
  • Set the stove to the highest heat setting and bring to the boil.
  • As soon as the water boils, set the stove to medium heat and let the rice simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid closed until the water has been completely absorbed.
  • Add a piece of butter if you like.

How to cook brown rice on the stove: Method 3

  • Put rice in a saucepan with 500 ml of water and a little salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Stir once and cook for about 15 minutes in an open saucepan over low heat until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Put a clean kitchen towel on the pot opening and put a suitable lid over it. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible level and finish cooking the rice in 10–12 minutes.
  • Take the saucepan off the heat and cover the rice for another 7 minutes, then loosen it up a little with a fork and serve.

How to cook brown rice in a rice cooker

Of course, a rice cooker is expressly designed for this task, but the steps for how to cook brown rice in rice cooker method are different to those for white rice.

Measuring and washing rice

Calculate how much rice you want to cook. It is usually easiest to use a cup to do this. For example, two people sharing a pleasant dinner might need two to three cups of rice, while a larger meal might require six to eight cups of rice. Using level cups makes it easy to calculate how much water is needed for perfectly cooked rice.

Wash the rice in cold water
  • Place the brown rice in a wire strainer or colander and hold it under the faucet.
  • Move the sieve in a circular motion under running water. This will cause most of the starch to flow away and prevent the rice grains from sticking during cooking.
  • Keep washing the rice until the water is clean. You may find that the water draining from the rice is slightly cloudy. It is normal.
  • Drain off the excess water as much as possible before cooking the rice.
Transfer the rice to the rice cooker.
  • Put the freshly washed rice in the bottom of the machine and distribute it. If you cook a large amount of rice at once, it will be evenly distributed to ensure that the rice is cooked evenly.
  • Do not add more rice than the rice cooker can cook at one time. If you have to cook a lot of rice, do it in batches.Enter the correct amount of water. The general rule of thumb when cooking brown rice is to increase the recommended amount of water by 50%. While you typically put a glass of water in a glass of rice, consider using a glass and a half of water to make up for the difference in texture with brown rice. Brown rice is harder than white rice and takes longer to cook.
  • Unlike white rice, brown rice grains still have a natural fibrous bran layer. As a result, they do not absorb water as easily and need to be cooked longer to reach the ideal temperature.
  • The amount of water you need to put in your rice is directly related to the cooking time. Once all of the water has evaporated, the internal temperature of the rice cooker will rise, signaling that the machine should be shut down.
  • While not necessary, soaking brown rice for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking can improve the cooking process. If you plan to soak the rice, consider using one cup of water for every cup of rice.
Start the rice cooker
  • Make sure the cooker is plugged in and ready to use. Then click the “Cook” button and finish the job. The stove takes care of the rest!
  • Most rice cookers only have two settings: “cook” and “heat”.
  • If the model you are using is more advanced, make sure you have it set to the correct setting before cooking. Check the operating instructions for the recommended settings.
Let the rice stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • After cooking the rice, wait a while for the right consistency to be achieved. If you wait a few more minutes before opening the lid on the rice, the remaining steam will be reabsorbed and begin to cool and reach a temperature that can be eaten. Do not open the lid of the cooker while the rice is resting.
  • Uncooked brown rice is often crispy and tasteless.
  • Do not skip this stage. If you’re hungry you might want to dip right into the meal, but it’s definitely worth waiting for the rice’s flavor and texture to set in.
Fluff the cooked rice before serving.
  • Using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, stir the rice in from the sides. Use the edge of the tool to spread out clumps. Now you can serve wonderfully cooked velvety brown brown rice with vegetables, a wok dish or fried fish.
  • Never use metal tools while picking or lifting the rice. This can leave permanent marks in the rice cooker.
  • For those who regularly cook rice, a shamoji can work. Modern versions of this traditional Japanese tool are made from soft plastic and are used specifically for mixing and serving rice.
Cleaning the rice cooker
  • Leave the lid open. This lowers the internal temperature of the device and makes cleaning easier. As the heat escapes, it dries out the sticky residue in the stove. Then you can easily scrape that residue off.
  • Do not touch the rice cooker while it is hot. Let it cool completely before attempting to clean it.
  • When you’ve finished your meal, the rice cooker will be cool enough to be cleaned.
  • Scrape off the dried grains of rice. Remove dried scraps of rice by running the edge of a spatula (or just your fingers) over the walls and bottom of the stove. Throw these directly in the trash or in the garbage disposal machine. Take as much as you can with your hand. All that is left is to wipe the stove thoroughly.
  • The inside of rice cookers is often given a non-stick coating that makes cleaning a breeze.
  • Again, stay away from sharp, pointed or abrasive tools and brushes. The effectiveness of these tools does not justify the damage they cause.
  • Wipe the inside of the cooker with a damp cloth. Moisten the cloth with warm water to dissolve the stuck starch. The remaining particles and the starch layer are removed immediately. Allow the inside of the cooker to dry on its own, then close the lid and lift it up until you need to use it again.
  • If you need a more effective solution to stubborn residue, scrub the stove with a soft-bristled dish brush or the green part of the kitchen sponge.
  • For safety reasons, pull the plug out of the socket before pouring water into or around it.
Tips for how to cook brown rice in a rice cooker
  • Make sure to clean your rice cooker from head to toe every few times.
  • Keep the machine door closed while you eat to prevent uneaten rice from drying out.
  • Look for rice cookers that have a special setting for cooking brown rice.
  • To make the rice softer and more stringy, add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt before heating.
  • Brown rice can get sticky and lumpy if you don’t wash it properly.
  • Eating rice that has been left at room temperature or has been reheated several times can cause severe food poisoning.

How to cook brown rice in instant pot

There are a few things you should know about how to cook brown rice in instant pot pressure cooker method:

  • It takes longer to cook than white rice. While white rice can have a minimum pressure cook time of 4 minutes, high pressure brown rice takes at least 17 or up to 23 minutes to cook.
  • The ratio of water is better if it is increased a little. For white rice, a 1: 1 ratio generally works for fluffy rice. For brown rice, use a ratio of 1: 1.25. 2 cups of brown rice, 2 1/4 cups of liquid.
  • We recommend rinsing rice (other than arborio) before putting it in the pressure cooker.
  • As soon as you open the lid, the rice looks a bit watery. It’s absolutely fine. Go ahead and shake the rice and the liquid will magically go away.
  • Chicken broth can replace water if you want a more flavorful rice.

How long should brown rice be cooked in the instant pot or pressure cooker?

As an experiment, we cooked brown rice under high pressure for 17 minutes and 23 minutes. Both produced deliciously similar results, although we preferred the longer cooking time a little longer. So if you’re short on time, 17 minutes of high pressure and 10 minutes of natural release is fine. Also read How to make rice milk recipe

  • Put the rinsed brown rice, water and salt in the pressure cooker.
  • Cover the pressure cooker and set it on high pressure for 17 or 23 minutes. Make sure the valve is set to “Seal”.
  • When the cooking time is up, allow the pressure cooker to naturally deflate for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to “deflate”.
  • Once all of the pressure has been released, open the lid and fluff the rice with your fork. Serve with your favorite food.

genevieve dumas new Genevieve Dumas is a design, fashion, food and style writer who has worked on major magazines and mastheads in the United States and Europe.