How to cook brown rice

How Do You Cook Brown Rice?

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_8563I spent two weeks trying to figure out the best way to cook brown rice. The first week was very frustrating. You see there are hundreds of recipes or instructions on how to cook brown rice and more than 50% didn’t work for me. One of those methods say: “add four cups of water for every cup of brown rice; boil for 25 minutes and then drain” I tried it four times but it just didn’t work for me. I ended up with some mushy and terrible looking stuff. And anyway that week I had guests and I wanted to cook 5 cups of brown rice so that would be 20 cups of water (=5 litres). I don’t have an 8 litre pot in my house. I grew up eating white rice, got married and continued eating white rice and suddenly in 2013, I wanted to start eating brown rice (LOL). I love the taste and smell of Basmati. I can’t trade it for anything. Brown rice will only get one slot a week. This method, described here, worked best for me. I am now happily eating brown rice, once a week (ouch!).

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_8564Please respond to this post only if: you’ll educate me on how to make better brown rice or if you know of a perfect recipe for cooking brown rice or you’ll educate me on when to stop cooking brown rice: should it be al dente in texture or mushy? I prefer mine al dente. Have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

  • Ingredients
  • 400g (2 cups) brown rice
  • 3 cups water or three cups stock (omit salt if using stock)
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • 2 green onions finely chopped (optional

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_8535Please assemble all ingredients before you start

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_8539Wash and drain the rice (optional)

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_8541In a medium sized pot, combine rice, water and salt (if using). Bring the rice and water to a rolling boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid. Turn off the heat, and leave undisturbed for a further 10 minutes. You can leave it longer if you want your rice to continue cooking (another 5-10 minutes) 

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_0711Lift the lid, fluff the rice and serve. (if using green onions add before fluffing the rice)

How to Cook Brown Rice myfavouritepastime.com_0717Serve the rice

How to cook brown rice

Preparation Time: 5 minutes; Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes; Yields: 5 cups cooked rice.

Ingredients

  • 400g (2 cups) brown rice
  • 3 cups water or three cups stock (omit salt if using stock)
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • 2 green onions finely chopped (optional)

 Instructions

  1. Wash and drain the rice
  2. In a medium sized pot, combine rice, water and salt (if using). Bring the rice and water to a rolling boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid.
  3. Turn off the heat, and leave undisturbed for a further 10 minutes. You can leave it longer if you want your rice to continue cooking (another 5-10 minutes).
  4. Lift the lid, fluff the rice and serve. (if using green onions add before fluffing the rice)

Points to Note:

  1. Add 1½ cups water for every cup of rice.
  2. You can add a knob of butter to the rice and water at the beginning.
  3. You can add some fresh herbs at the fluffing stage.1 cup brown rice yields 2½ cups cooked rice.

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

62 thoughts

      1. I showed it to my friend. I’ve always known that brown rice is unmilled rice, but culinarily speaking it is so completely different from white rice that I consider it to be a different grain altogether. That’s what I tell people when they cook brown rice for the first time: “don’t look at it like it’s rice. Look at it like it’s barley or something else.” If you try to cook things with brown rice like you would with white rice, it’s going to cause nothing but frustration.

        1. Mmm that’s kind of interesting. I just consider it rice in all aspects but cooking it right was my problem. I found a foolproof method and now I happily eat it at least once a week. I have never cooked barley or most of those ancient grains like quinoa etc, so my comparison would be nil. Anyway thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. The other day I found an oven method that worked beautifully as well. I shall be posting it soon. Have a wonderful day and best wishes!
          Liz

  1. I never knew you didn’t have a rice cooker. It just proves you’re really great with food since you to cook rice the traditional way and they come out like that. 🙂 We use the rice cooker for both brown and white rice. The water-to-rice ratio we use for brown rice is similar to yours.

    1. I keep on saying, I’ll buy a rice cooker but I never seem to do it. I like adding a lot of ingredients to rice. Maybe one day I’ll stop procrastinating and buy one!
      Liz

  2. I’ve been reading these posts with interest because I have not had good results with brown rice. A little flavor trick to add to the rice once it’s cooked is to brown a little butter and pour over the rice, it imparts such a nice nuttiness and sweetness to the rice. I find that when I cook it, I’ve tried stove top, rice cooker and slow cooker methods, and it’s sometimes too chewy, gluey or little flavor. (I couldn’t come up with a word to rhyme)! Grin!

    1. Thank God I’m not the only one who has had problems with cooking brown rice. I always wonder how chewy it should be and if you add to much water it never seems to absorb, This method worked best for me so far. I think the addition of sizzling brown butter is delicious. I’ve since made two brown rice recipes. I hope to share them soon. Thanks Sandy for your contribution. Enjoy the holiday!
      Liz

  3. I can’t help educate you but I’m going to reply anyway. Generally i prefer my rice al dente, but mushy white rice also works for me on its own with some soya sauce. Have a great day. 🙂

  4. Brown rice is hard to perfect – and I’ve found that altitude affects it too. I received a rice cooker for a birthday a fees years back and haven’t looked back!

    1. Hi Laura,
      I guess a rice cooker is the way to go. Why haven’t I ever thought of buying one? I’ll try my level best! Thanks for the tip. Have a great week ahead!
      Liz

        1. I want to experience what everyone with a rice cooker is experiencing. I have had so many beautiful testimonies. Thanks again! Best wishes!
          Liz

  5. I always cook rice the same way, whatever kind it is. 1 cup rice, 2 cups water, a bit of salt. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to lowest and cook until the water is absorbed. Stickiness depends on the kind of rice and how it has been treated.

    1. Hi my dear,
      You are so lost..should I say Belated New Year Greetings? Thanks for the tip on cooking rice. I used to use 2:2 ratio many years ago, but now I find it doesn’t work with all varieties of rice available on the market today, so I vary between 11/2 to 2 cups depending on the rice. Have a wonderful week ahead!
      Liz

  6. Hi Liz!
    I actually use my slow cooker. If you look online, there are recipes for slow cooker brown rice, and generally they are the same. The ratio is 2.5 cups per cup of rice; add salt to your liking, but roughly 1 tsp per cup of rice. I don’t like brown rice to be too salty, so I use about 1/4 tsp. per cup. Set on high and after three hours, you will have nicely cooked brown rice. Good weekend to you!

    1. Hi Dave.
      Omg I never ever knew I could cook rice on a slow cooker. That’s very interesting. At least I have a slow cooker that’s gathering dust somewhere in the basement. Time to dust if off and make use of it. I shall give you a feedback. Thanks so much for the tip. Have a great week ahead!
      Liz

  7. I’ve not been able to do a good brown rice on its own either and will try your recipe to see if it works for me at my altitude.

    I’ve been known to combine 3 parts Basmati rice with 1 part brown rice (total 1 cup), then add 2 1/2 cup in liquid… sometimes water and sometimes chicken or vegetable broth. Then I season with Cavendar Greek spice. Cook for 20 minutes or so until liquid is absorbed. Then let rest for a few minutes to finish steaming. I like mine a little al dente… no mush here. And you still get some brown rice.

    1. What a great idea to combine the two. I’ve never thought of combining. I will try this the next time I’m cooking rice to see how it works out. Thanks for the tip!
      Liz

      1. Hi Liz,
        I hope I had the liquid measure right. I think it’s close. I don’t measure often and guessed at that but think its close. Oh, I forgot… I always add a bayleaf too for flavor and brown a little orzo in oil first for a nutty flavor before adding the rice.

        1. This sounds like a very interesting recipe. I’m eager to try. Thanks so much for the information. I wish you a fantastic week, ahead!
          Liz

    1. Dear Chad,
      Thank yo so much for the link. I shall definitely try it next week and give you a feedback. What brand of rice did you use? Have a wonderful weekend!
      Liz

  8. Hi Liz, my preference is for all things Japanese, so we eat loads of Japonica rice and I use a (cheap, unfancy) electric rice cooker. Japanese rice a short to medium grain. It requires a bit of washing & “polishing” to get rid if excess starch, and 30 mins soaking. Then the ricecooker dictates the ratio of water and does the magic! When I do Japanese-style brown rice I use a medium grain, and the key is soaking it for at least 2 hours. It doesn’t need washing & polishing, just a rinse and a really good soak. Again the rice cooker does the rest – the water ratio is slightly higher. It’s my most useful appliance, my rice cooker!

    1. Marley,
      I’ve never really understood why I’ve never bought a rice cooker. I just cook rice the old fashioned way. Maybe it’s time I invested in one. I soak my basmati white rice for 30 minutes, always, I’ve never soaked the brown rice. I shall try soaking next time I make brown rice. Thanks so much for sharing and have a lovely weekend!
      Liz

  9. Recently when making sushi , the recipe called for brown rice (I am also trying to eat healthier so am making the switch), it said make as per rice instructions, I had bought it bulk so no instructions, said cook 3 cups rice and add additional cup of rice water (total) so I used 3 cups then added the extra cup or total 4 C water. also the extra cup is suppose to help make it sushi worthy. I cooked for 40 minutes, bring to boil then turn down to simmer or about 250 degrees. I have induction tops so able to really control temp. It turned out great and I know it was way to much as still able to use everyday for lunch, good thing I love sushi, but easy to add different veggies and what have you. Hope this helps, BTW mine wasn’t mushy at all.

    1. Hi there Jan,
      Thanks for that correction.. I read this post several times and was confused. Now I understand. So If I cook 2 cups of rice I add 3 cups of water so that would be 11/2 cups water per cup of rice; If I cook 4 cups rice, I add 5 cups water and that would be 11/4 cups of water per cup of rice. Did I get i right? please confirm! Thanks so much for this information!
      Liz

  10. I’m wondering if it’s in getting the amount of water right as well as the temperature after it comes to a boil. Rice is hit or miss for me so if you figure it out, I’m all ears. 😉

    1. It’s getting both the temperature and amount of water right. I suspect I probably didn’t get the temperature right in the recipe that said, add four cups of water per cup rice!
      Enjoy your weekend
      Liz

      1. I realized that you can cook brown rice in an electric rice cooker too. Same ratio of water, I cook it that way sometimes, I have a recipe for beetroot fried rice on my blog too. Sorry, it took me this long to suggest this!

        1. Let me search for it. Sorry I couldn’t find it. Please give me the link. Maybe I can try making it. Thanks!
          Liz

    1. Hi Anna,
      Do you know 5kg of white basmati costs about $7 during sales and 1kg of brown basmati cost about the same price. Brown rice is generally more expensive. Occasionally I buy the basmati one but it doesn’t have that basmati smell. Have a lovely weekend, Anna.
      Liz

  11. I make brown rice exactly like I make almost all grains and legumes. That is, I use my Nissan-Thermos vacuum bottle. How? Preheat the vacuum bottle. Put in 1/4 cup of whatever you are cooking per one cup of volume in the vacuum bottle. Add boiling water until it is full. Put the top on it and leave it alone for about four hours, or more. Start it early in the morning, then you don’t have to worry about it all day. It will stay hot. Test it about half an hour or so before you think you will want to eat it. If it isn’t done enough (unlikely), then steam it in a double boiler-type steamer until it is exactly how you want it.

    This method works for almost any grain or legume. Works well for presoaking beans, too, but will not really cook them to doneness. As you try different items, you will get a feel for the minimum amount of time needed, but just remember that extra time is rarely deleterious to the food, thus it waits happily for you to need it.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    1. Dear Judie,
      Sorry I spent a bit of time trying to understand what a vacuum bottle is but after looking at google images I discovered it’s the normal vacuum that I know and use for keeping liquids hot. I use one to carry my masala tea to the library sometimes. I didn’t know one could cook in a vacuum. it’s all new to me. I shall try your method and give you a feedback. I don’t have a Nissan thermos but I have the brand thermos from India, I believe. My son has a tournament the whole weekend so I have to hit bed early tonight. We leave very early in the morning. We shall talk later. Have a good night. Thanks for the thermos method. Very interesting and new to me! I am itching to try.
      Virtual hugs to you too!
      Liz

      1. Many vacuum bottles that are branded only as Thermos will not keep the foods hot enough to cook them. I have at least a dozen vacuum bottles, and ONLY the ones labeled as Nissan Thermos will actually cook foods. The secret is in the air space between the two layers of metal in a Nissan. The Thermos brand does not have this extra layer, and/or is glass-lined, which means that you will likely be disappointed in the results. I have been doing this for many years – and know there is a big difference in results depending on the choice of vessel to be used.

        1. Hi Judie,
          My Thermos brand from India keeps my tea very hot for several hours. The one I bought in Canada (Walmart) is also called Thermos but is definitely not the same quality because it doesn’t keep things hot beyond one hour. I shall try and see. If it doesn’t work I’ll happily look for the Nissan Thermos. I’ll give you a feedback next week. Thank you so much for this information, I hope you enjoyed your dinner tonight.
          Virtual hugs!
          Liz

  12. I enjoy brown rice too. It is hard to choose it over basmati or jasmine, but it is healthier. For the life of me I can’t remember my rice to liquid ratio right now, but I know once it boils I cover and simmer for 40 minutes. It is al dente at that stage. I don’t like mushy either! Enjoy the weekend.

    1. Mama D,
      Please if you remember the ratios, the next time you coo it, let me know. I hear you: we should eat it because it’s healthy. Have a wonderful weekend!
      Liz

  13. Please respond to this post only if: you’ll educate me on how to make better brown rice or if you know of a perfect recipe for cooking brown rice or you’ll educate me on when to stop cooking brown rice: should it be al dente in texture or mushy? I prefer mine al dente. Have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

Please join the conversation.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.