Table of Contents
Cooking white rice is very simple and a great skill to know if you regularly eat it, but cooking brown rice success can be a bit harder to achieve on the first few tries. Because the bran of the grain is intact, it takes longer when cooking rice thus making it a bit more difficult to get the texture just right, and many of us have definitely encountered a pot of mushy brown rice. When it comes to brown rice, you’re looking for a chewy texture that is neither soggy nor crunchy.
Adding more brown rice to your diet is much healthier than white rice and learning how to achieve evenly cooked grains can help you add more whole foods to your daily diet. By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to making perfectly fluffy brown rice every time. Here’s how to cook brown rice on the stove, in a rice cooker, and in the oven and come out with perfectly cooked rice no matter what.
Short-grain rice, when cooked, becomes sticky so the grains clump together much like white rice. Cook brown rice like this when you’re looking for something that can easily be picked up with chopsticks and where you want the rice to stick together such as sushi.
Slightly longer than short-grain, medium-grain brown rice is a type of brown rice that is a great all-rounder that is slightly stickier than long-grain, but not as sticky as short-grain.
Long-grain brown rice does not stick together as much as its shorter counterparts, but still has some slight stick and comes out fluffy when cooked. Long-grain brown rice is a favorite to use when cooking up fried rice.
Brown basmati rice is a type of long-grain brown rice that is the least sticky variety and is the ideal partner for dishes like curry or stir-fries.
All too often, people who are unused to making brown rice have found that their cooked brown rice turned up mushy or only partially cooked. Mushy rice happens when the rice cooks for too long or has too much liquid. On the other hand, partially cooked brown rice happens when the cooking time isn’t long enough or you cook rice with not enough water, which can often be a mistake when you’re accustomed to making white rice. The secret to understanding brown rice cook time and getting perfect rice to cook evenly is knowing what type of brown rice grain you’re cooking.
A good rule of thumb for cooking brown rice is to follow a 2 to 1 water to rice ratio. Unlike white rice, brown rice takes longer to cook and will need more water if you want perfect rice and don’t want it to come out dry. For 1 cup of rice, use 2 cups of water. When in doubt, check the package directions for the optimal amount of cups of water for short, medium, and long-grain.
Swap out the water as you cook brown rice for chicken stock, add a bouillon cube, or use vegetable stock for vegetarian recipes. However, be sure to adjust the seasoning to compensate for the broth’s sodium content.
Sauté the rice in olive oil before cooking to toast the grains; this will make brown rice have a toasty, nutty flavor which is perfect for stir-fries.
The best brown rice recipe will often include aromatics. While you’re toasting grains, add ingredients like chopped onions, garlic, shallots, ginger, or spices before proceeding with cooking.
Cooking brown rice with salt is essential for flavorful grains, but you can also infuse more flavor by adding olive oil and butter, swapping in garlic salt, or adding different spices.
Turn brown rice into a fast side dish by adding shredded cheese, grated parmesan, salsa, canned beans, or chopped, cooked veggies.
Amp up brown rice recipes with different types of vinegar, soy sauce, chili crisp, or hot sauce.
Being able to cook brown rice is a pretty essential skill, especially if you’re looking to add a bit more of a healthier option to your everyday diet and want to replace your typical white rice. We love brown rice because of how well it goes with anything, but getting this cooked rice to become perfect brown rice every time can be a little more challenging.
By following the steps we laid out, you’ll be able to cook brown rice perfectly in no time.