The Fool Proof Way To Cook Brown Rice

April 8, 2013   37 Comments

Do not fear brown rice. It may look a little different but it is easy to cook.

Simple Brown Rice

Why brown rice? It is a cheap way to add whole grain to your diet and a bunch of essential nutrients. It makes white rice look like candy!

The main difference between white rice and brown rice is the processing. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice the bran and germ layer are removed leaving mostly the starchy endosperm.

The processing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. Fully milled and polished white rice is required to be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3 and iron.

NO! You don't want to lose all those nutrients, do you? But, white rice is so easy to cook and eat (which is why we love it so).

Does brown rice taste like cardboard? It does take a little getting used to - but you might start to crave its nutty flavor. I add a little butter in the recipe for flavor as well. If you think you will hate it - try 1/2 brown rice and 1/2 white rice to start. Then, slowly, use just brown rice.

I NEVER cooked brown rice until I met my husband. He is great at cooking it in a pressure cooker.

My attempts at brown rice cooking have been...well...sad. I burn the pot, my rice comes out soggy (yuck), and many of my attempts have made it into the trash can instead of the waiting mouths of my family. So, I just let him make it.

BUT, I write this website and I am thinking that being dependent on someone else to make something so important is LAME.

I have tried a bunch of methods and now I am sharing with you my favorite. It was inspired by Alton Brown of The Food Network and it is so EASY that I can't mess it up. I am super busy so what I want is to cook a bunch of it and freeze the rest for a fast rice addition to any meal.

This recipe allows me to easily cook a ton - hardly any stirring, no watching the pot, no draining, etc. AND, the pot is super easy to clean (no burnt, caked on rice to scrub off!).

Eat it for breakfast mixed with raisins and nuts, add it to your packed lunch, or make a "rice salad" or "fried rice" with it. The only limit is your imagination.

Have you tried brown rice? Please share!


Easiest Brown Rice Recipe For A Crowd

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(makes 6 cups of rice)

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3 cups brown rice
5 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)


Preheat the oven to 375 F. Using a tea kettle or pot heat the water to boiling. Put rice into a casserole dish with a lid or use a baking dish that will hold it and use aluminum foil. Dot the butter into the rice and add the salt.

Add the boiling water, stir, and put in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cover and fluff the rice with a fork.

Serve or put in containers for freezing and save for later use.

Nutrition Facts

For 1/2 cup = 143 calories, 4.6 g fat, 22.9 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 1.8 g fiber, 179 mg sodium, 4 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Thanks for sharing! I just love brown rice!

I have been making my white rice in the oven for years and recently switched to making brown rice in the oven and It. Is. Amazing! I could never get either right on the stove. Thank you for sharing this so more people may switch over to healthier rice because it's SO easy!!

Can you use this method with basmati brown rice or does it have to be short grain brown rice? I'm a huge fan of basmati brown rice!!

Can you cut this recipe in half and still get good results? What size dish is required if you cook this full recipe?

Thank you!!! I only make brown rice now and have gotten better at cooking it but your method sounds sooooooo much easier. I cannot wait to try it!!!! I buy the brown basmati rice in a big bag at BJ's for like $5. It is amazing!!! Has a nutty pop corny flavor. Some brown rices are terrible and my first ever attempt at eating it years ago failed as it tasted like cardboard. It was years before I tried it again. The rice itself does matter. Lundberg also makes amazing brown rice.

Delicious and nutritious.....

Great idea! I will have to try this... Also, if there is only one of you in the household who will eat brown rice, Trader Joe's frozen brown rice is a good alternative too. Microwaveable packs are super easy & convenient.

I make mine in a crock pot and it turns out awesome! I just follow the instructions on the package and add about a 1\4 cup of extra liquid. Chicken or veggie stock gives it added flavor.

I cook all sorts of rice- brown, white, jasmine, basmanti, in a rice cooker. They are quite inexpensive and perfect rice every time. I even sub salsa or broth for some of the water for variety. Measure and press the button, no watching, make the rest of meal and voila perfect rice ready to go.

It's not for everyone as they are pricey but my Zojirushi rice cooker turns out brown rice that is aromatic, cooked perfectly, and so good we gobble it down with no additions. Plus I can set the timer and have it ready to eat any time I want. It's one of my favorite "gadget" purchases and I would recommend it without reservation.

This is my favorite way of preparing brown rice! I also often added shelled frozen edamame (or baby lima beans) and dry dill to the mixture right before placing it in the oven. It goes really well with salmon!

I was dreading making brown rice for dinner. I will be trying this tonight! Thanks

Sounds easy enough! What size pan do you need to cook this in? 13x9 baking pan? I don't have a big enough casserole dish.

I also have a zorirushi rice cooker and it is a great way to get perfect rice. It is programmable so you can go to work and it has a stay warm feature. I purchased a smaller model because for 2 or 4 people and it was not as expensive. Amazon has great prices. It alo works great with steel cut oatmeal and other whole grains like wheat berries. The Ultimate Rice Cooker cookbook has tons of great recipes.

Yikes, I sound like a commercial. Wait there is more........

I'm sorry to be a Debbie Downer about rice. However, I learned that rice, particularly brown rice, can have dangerous amounts of arsenic in it. This article from Consumer Reports is worth the read... whether you believe them or not. My husband thinks it's all a load of hooey, but I at least try to limit rice consumption in our house. Here's the link to the article:…

I have been making my brown rice like this ever since you posted about this last year. I love it! So easy. I don't even add the butter anymore it's so good and perfect. After I make I freeze it in 1/2 cup serving sizes wrapped in plastic wrap then all of them in a freezer bag. It freezes really well and I always have what I need when I need it! So thanks :)

We made the switch to brown rice several months ago and we like it well enough, but the only way I've been successful at cooking it is in the rice cooker. Comes out very good that way; however, I've always made Spanish rice and I cannot seem to make it with brown rice. I would use the stove for this so I can saute onions and garlic first, and add all my seasonings, but the brown rice always comes out a soggy mess. We miss the Spanish rice! If anyone knows of a good way to do this and get fluffy rice, I'd love to know about it!

Thanks for these tips! Pinning to my Kitchen Tips board.

Thanks for the tip. I am going to try this in my bean pot!

I believe one of the necessary items for cooking rice successfully on the stove top is to have a good quality, thick bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Just make sure you turn the heat way down after it returns to a boil after adding the rice. If it looks like it's too dry and needs more cooking time, add small amounts of boiling water. I've cooked brown, white and wild rice for years and just used the regular pot.

I have used brown rice for 30 years-I have tried the rice cooker and it always came out gooey. My fool proof method involves a very heavy saucepan-cooked at a low temp for 50 minutes and then let it sit for 10 minutes. I never lift the lid to check on its progress as that affects the consistency of the rice. White rice is tasty, but after reading about the risk of diabetes in relation to white rice, I have purged my kitchen of that and have only basmatic and jasmine brown rice on hand.

Wow...thanks for the nutritional information on brown rice. I never realized how healthy it really was!

One thing my American cousin taught me to use in a rice cooker is to add a bit of vinegar so the rice doesn't bubble and spray out of the rice cooker. Works great:)

@Stephanie - I say go ahead and use basmati brown rice. I bet it will work.

@Judy - I have not tried cutting it in half. The ratios of water to rice are very important - I think it should work.

Thanks for your questions!

I maybe crazy, but I love the taste of brown rice especially the way Chipotle makes it. Yum! The key for me to not have half cooked rice especially if you don't have a rice cooker is, to let the water boil add the rice then turn it down to simmer for 15 minutes

This is THE BEST method for making great brown rice. The grains are perfect, with consistent texture throughout. No stickiness, crunchiness, or over-chewiness. My 5 year old nephew & 9 year old neice see it as a treat... and want to eat it right out of the pan, no waiting for mealtime.

I have made this several times since discovering this method. I have to say I was skeptical at first but one go around and I'm a believer! Even my hubby who is 1/2 Filipino and was a die hard white rice fan now enjoys brown rice as well. That's nothing short of a miracle!! This recipe is super easy and yummmmy!

I absolutely love the nutty flavor of brown rice and much prefer it over white rice. Funny thing is that my husband and I were just recently discussing (and researching) the benefits between brown and white. What would we do without Google at the dinner table?

I also heard on the news recently about the arsenic in rice that comes from the US. The rice is harvested from the lower Mississippi area which contains the runoff from fertilizer from upstream. It sounded like the levels are very low and the benefits outway...seriously, what else do we need to worry about in our foods?

One of my favorite recipes for leftover brown rice is rice pudding. It is so easy and can be made in the same pot right after dinner. My kids enjoyed this special treat!…

I have been baking my rice for many years. It is the only way to fix rice. It comes out perfect every time.

Thank you for this recipe. I tried brown rice cooked on top of the stove maybe a couple years ago and it went in the garbage along with the rest of the bag/box. Went back to white, whether it has no benefits or not, at least it is eatable. But, what I have been enjoying is the Minute Rice tubs you just microwave for one minute each. The brown rice in this is awesome. But, considering others comments, I will give this baked recipe a try and see if it works for me. I do have a couple of oven rice recipes that do work well so hopefully this will too. Thanks

I have been cooking my rice in the oven for years and could never go back. My method is slightly different but I love how the rice gets a much richer flavor! You will have lots of people thanking you for sharing this!

Pretty! Pinning this to try make sometime. Thanks!

Have you tried the already cooked brown rice? They come in personal serving portions that you just microwave for about 1-1 1/2 minutes.

Freezing brown rice is simple and it reheats so easily! I don't have a microwave so I just heat it with a little broth, water or rice milk in a stainless steel pan. This is truly the most economical and easy way to make it!

I moved to Az from Miami Fl and couldn't boil water & get the pasta table ready with the sauce any more. This led me to getting a Fasta Pasta from Amazon... Has changed my life for sure! Brown rice is just 28 min with 5 min to sit- and 1 cup of brown rice makes 2 1/2 cooked. There are 2 of us so this makes for 2 meals of rice. Bless y'all for the how to freeze directions- never thought of that... And we love the Costco brown rice & quinoa bags that cook in 90 seconds- So fast, easy & good.

That's the way I've been cooking brown rice for a while now. I also have trouble cooking rice on top of the stove, so this method has made things so much easier. Plus I think the rice tastes better when baked.

This recipe is FANTASTIC! I was never good at cooking rice on the stovetop but this is so easy and comes out PERFECT!! Makes alot so I will half it next time.

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