To steam, boil, bake, or use a rice cooker? What’s the best way to cook brown rice? This foolproof boiling method produces light, fluffy, plump grains every single time. It’s easy, too!
Do you avoid brown rice because it lacks the same light, fluffy quality as white rice? Does it seem dense?
This brown rice will be light and fluffy with separate grains that have a hint of chew. It won’t be mushy, gummy, clumpy, soggy, or otherwise undercooked in the middle!
The following boiling technique has become my go-to method for preparing brown rice, whether long grain, medium grain, or brown basmati. Simple and reliable as it is, you may find yourself reaching for this high fiber whole grain more often!
Thanks to the nutrient-rich bran layer that is not removed during the milling process, brown rice has a harder hull than white rice. This can make it more challenging to cook than white rice. The following technique ensures evenly cooked grains that are plump yet light and fluffy.
Brown rice is best added to the water once it has come to a boil. Then maintain a gentle, rolling boiling throughout the cooking time.
When the rice is just a shade short of fully cooked, drain it very well, shaking to remove as much water as possible, and then return the rice to the pot and let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes. This rest allows the grains to finish cooking in the steam from the residual heat, during which time the grains will dry out and plump up.
The technique is incredibly simple and makes precise measurements unnecessary. In other words, it’s forgiving.
Did You Know?
Because brown rice includes the bran layer, grain for grain it provides more fiber and nutrients like magnesium, niacin, and phosphorus compared to white rice.
White rice, however, is lower in arsenic, a heavy metal that occurs naturally in the environment and in some foods. This should not be a concern if you eat a few servings of brown rice per week as part of a varied diet.
Brown rice grains are firmer than white rice grains. This makes brown rice an excellent choice if you’re making fried rice and don’t have time to refrigerate the rice overnight, which is typically recommended with fried rice dishes for best texture. ➡ Chicken Fried Rice ➡ Cauliflower Fried Rice (this longtime favorite recipe calls for brown rice and cauliflower…and broccoli, too!)
Best Way to Cook Brown Rice
Yield: Just under 3 cups
This foolproof boiling method produces light, fluffy, plump grains every single time. And it's easy!
1 cup (180g) brown rice – medium grain, long grain, or brown basmati
8 cups (64oz) water
There is no need to rinse the rice first, unless you’ve purchased it from a bulk bin and are concerned about cleanliness.
Bring the water to a boil in a medium-size pot over high heat. Add the rice, give it a good stir, return the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer.
Simmer until the rice until just short of fully cooked. (You want the rice to be a hint firmer than you’d like to eat as it will continue to soften as it rests.) – Medium and long grain brown rice: 25-30 minutes – Brown Basmati rice: 12-14 minutes
Important: Check several minutes early, as the cooking time will vary somewhat based on the precise level of simmer and even the brand of rice.
Drain the rice very well in a fine-mesh sieve or colander. Shake to remove as much water as possible, and then immediately return the rice to the pot, which should now be dry thanks to the residual heat. Put the lid on and place the pot back on the stove, which is now turned off. Rest in the covered pot for 10 minutes.
After the rest, fluff rice with a fork and enjoy.
Doubling the rice: If you double the rice, you won’t need to double the water. Twelve cups or so of water is sufficient for two cups of rice. Whatever the amount of rice, you simply want to ensure that the rice is covered with water until it is time to drain it.