How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice

Short Grain Brown Rice

I love brown rice, but I have to tell you that more times than not, I am unhappy with the texture when I cook it at home.  I have no problem turning out batches of perfectly steamed white rice, whether it’s on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the rice cooker.  But up until yesterday, every method of cooking brown rice seemed to come up short.

After searching the Web for ‘Perfect Brown Rice,’ I found a wonderful little article at Saveur.com with a rice-making method that sounded like the perfect solution to my brown rice dilemma.  I tried it immediately with some Brown Basmati and turned out my very first batch of perfect brown rice! The rice was tender but certainly not mushy. And the grains were separate rather than being stuck together.

The only thing that bothered me was the fact that Saveur told me to use 12 cups of water for one cup of rice.  It just seemed wasteful.

So, I tried again, this time with short grain brown rice.  On my second attempt, I reduced the amount of water to four cups per cup of brown rice and the results were once again perfect!  So if you’ve ever had problems cooking brown rice or if you’re curious about switching to whole grain rice but aren’t sure the best way to prepare it, I really suggest giving this method a try!

And don’t forget to read the short article about cooking brown rice at Saveur!

How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice
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Ingredients

brown rice (whichever type you prefer), as much as you want

water - use at least four cups of water for every one cup of rice

salt - to taste

Instructions

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds, swirling the rice around with your hand. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a large pot over high heat.

When water boils, add the rice, stir it once. Turn heat to medium and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, pour the rice into a strainer over the sink. Let the rice drain for 10 seconds, then return it to the pot, off the heat. Immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and set it aside to allow the rice to steam for 10 minutes (if your pot lid isn't extremely tight, place a piece of aluminum foil over pot then place the lid on top of foil for a tighter seal).

After ten minutes, uncover rice, fluff with a fork, and season with salt to taste.

Notes

The original Saveur recipe instructs you to use 12 cups of water for one cup of rice. This seemed wasteful to me and after trying a few times, I decided that four cups of water for each cup of rice works perfectly fine. You can cook as much rice as you want, just try to stick to that general ratio.

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264 Comments
  1. S.N

    This recipe came out perfect!!!!! Thank you so much!!!

    4:54 pm  Jan 20th, 2015
  2. Jewel

    I can empathize with the comments about undercooked and overcooked brown rice. I have already cooked some today but I will try the above method the next time. I usually soak my rice and today after soaking I rinsed in a sieve under a cold running tap. I did not measure the water but I made sure the water was about 3/4 inch above the rice. I added a stock cube, some oinion and a clove of garlicto the water which I made sure was boiling before I added the rice. I cooked for 30 minutes with lid on and then removed the lid to let the remainder of the water to evaporate.

    9:09 am  Apr 19th, 2015
  3. Darcy Nadel

    Love the website– very individual friendly and whole lots to see!

    12:20 am  Jun 13th, 2015
  4. jared

    Worked nearly perfect at 9,000ft; a little al dente, so the next batch I boiled for an additional 3 min.

    What about long grain white rice? I haven’t been able to even get white rice this good. Half the boiling time, same procedures??

    Thanks.

    2:23 pm  Jul 10th, 2015
  5. Suzette

    I just made this per the instructions (using chicken broth instead of water) and it turned out GREAT!! Thanks. Super easy and the texture is perfect.

    8:54 am  Oct 10th, 2015
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    […] How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice – Pinch My Salt – I love brown rice, but I have to tell you that more times than not, I am unhappy with the texture when I cook it at home. I have no problem turning out batches of … […]

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    […] How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice – Pinch My Salt – I love brown rice, but I have to tell you that more times than not, I am unhappy with the texture when I cook it at home. I have no problem turning out batches of … […]

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  8. Whitney

    Still using this great recipe to make perfect brown rice – hasn’t failed me yet!

    4:06 pm  Feb 12th, 2016
  9. Lynn kirk

    Has anyone used this recipe using 2 cups rice?

    2:55 pm  Apr 23rd, 2016
  10. Joan Emberg

    I cook both brown and rice in an iron pot on the stove top. For white rice, double the amount of water, e.g. one cup of rice and two cups of water. Bring the white rice to a boil, put the lid on the pot and turn the heat right down and let it barely simmer for about ten minutes. Turn the heat off and let it stand for about five minutes with the lid still on.
    The method is the same for brown rice except the ratio of rice to water is about one cup rice to three cups water. Brown rice takes longer to cook, so give it about 30 minutes. Then take a look…if the water is not all absorbed, cook it for a bit longer.

    6:31 pm  Apr 30th, 2016
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    1:14 am  May 17th, 2016
  12. LisaJ

    FINALLY perfectly textured brown rice!!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    9:18 am  May 29th, 2016
  13. Brown Basmati Rice

    Nice post, Brown rice is good healthy alternative of white rice. And your recipe make it easy to cook now. Thank You for sharing !!

    2:58 am  Jul 8th, 2016
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