How to Cook Brown Rice: 4 No-Fail Methods

Nutritious brown rice is easy to make—it just takes a little longer to cook. Follow our cooking tips for tasty results.

Chipotle Copycat Brown Cilantro-Lime Rice

Tasty, nutritious brown rice has only the inedible hull removed, which means that its nutrients, including B vitamins and fiber, are preserved. The bran layers left on the grain give it a tan color and a nutty flavor with a slightly chewy texture. It takes longer to cook than white rice, but the cooking methods are much the same. Read on to learn how to cook brown rice four ways including on the stop, in the oven, in a rice cooker, and in the Instant Pot. Plus, our Test Kitchen shares the best ways to store brown rice.

How to Cook Brown Rice

One cup uncooked long grain brown rice yields about 3 cups cooked rice. It can be eaten plain, used as a base for stir-fries, or as an ingredient in pilafs, soups, casseroles, salads, and desserts. Substitute cooked brown rice for white rice in most recipes.

How to Cook Brown Rice on the Stove

In a medium saucepan bring 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boiling. Slowly add 1 cup long grain rice and, if desired, 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, and return to boiling. Reduce the heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Once the rice returns to boiling, reduce the heat to low. If the heat is too high, the rice will burn on the bottom of the pan while the rest of the rice is still not done. Cook for about 45 minutes or until rice is tender and water is absorbed. Do not remove the lid during cooking since proper cooking relies on the development of steam inside the pan. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork before serving.

Test Kitchen Tip: You can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of instant chicken bouillon granules for the salt if you like.

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

This is a convenient and failproof way to cook brown rice. Since cookers vary, follow the directions that come with the cooker, including how much rice and water to add. As with the saucepan method, do not remove the lid during cooking. Many cookers also have a keep-warm setting that comes on automatically when rice is done cooking.

How to Cook Brown Rice in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a 1-quart casserole combine 1 1/2 cups boiling water and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine. Stir in 3/4 cup long grain rice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bake, covered, for about 1 hour or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork before serving.

How to Cook Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

To cook brown rice in an Instant Pot, you'll need equal parts rice and water. Place 1 cup of rinsed brown rice and 1 cup of cold water in the Instant Pot. Cook on high for 16-18 minutes depending on how firm you like your rice. Allow to Natural Release for about 5 minutes and then quick release. Open the lid carefully and fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Storing Brown Rice

Like white rice, brown rice is available in short, medium, and long grains. Long grain rice produces fluffy grains that separate easily and contain less starch than short grains. Quick-cooking and instant brown rice save cooking time and should be prepared according to package directions. Because the bran is intact, brown rice turns rancid more quickly than white rice. Be sure to check the package for a use-by date. Store brown rice in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year. If refrigerated after being opened, it will keep for up to 6 months.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles