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Basic Guide to Cooking Perfect Brown Rice

Updated on August 6, 2010

Brown rice is a delicious food that is low in calories and offers you a number of different health benefits. It is simple to cook, albeit not as simple as Minute rice (which happens to not be nearly as healthy for you). You can even make decent brown rice using a microwave rice cooker. But how do you make brown rice so that it tastes absolutely delicious instead of just pretty good?

The first thing that you need to do is rinse off your dried rice. You want it to be clean, fresh and free of grit. This will allow for the shortest cooking time. It will also offer the best taste. This can easily be done by rinsing it in a strainer with small holes. Toss the rice in the strainer or stir it with your hand to make sure that the entire batch of rice that you're using is rinsed off.

Combine the rice with water in a pot. Although there are many recipes for cooking brown rice that tell you to boil your water first, you actually get the quickest cooking and best taste if you put the rice and water in the pot from the get go. You should use approximately two cups of water for every cup of rice that you use. So, if you add two cups of rice to the pot then you'll add four cups of water.

Turn the heat on underneath the pot. Use medium-high to high heat at the start of the cooking process. Keep the pot uncovered. Bring the water with rice to a boil on the stove top. You may want to stir it a few times as you are waiting for it to boil.

When the water in the pot has come to a boil, turn down the heat to medium or medium-low. Cover the pot completely with a lid. Allow the water and rice to steam together inside of the pot. Simmer the rice until the water is mostly soaked up into the rice. This typically takes about twenty minutes but varies depending on the type of brown rice that you choose (long grain vs short grain, etc) as well as the amount of rice that you are preparing.

When the water has been mostly absorbed by the brown rice, turn the heat off. Strain the brown rice in a strainer with small holes. You won't get a lot of water out of the rice since most of it has been absorbed. However this will help to remove any excess water that may remain in the rice.

Return the rice to the stove in the same pot. Cover the pot and let it sit on the stove. The stove should still be off. The purpose of this step is to allow for additional steaming of the rice. You should steam the rice for ten to thirty minutes. That's a little bit longer than it would take to cook your rice in a microwave rice cooker but it's well worth the wait. Note that the longer that you steam the rice, the mushier it is going to be so this step depends upon your texture preference for your brown rice. When you're ready, uncover the rice, stir or fluff it with a fork and serve.


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  • soni2006 profile image

    Rajinder Soni 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Excellent hub and this is just not the basic but the best guide to cooking perfect brown rice. Well done Kathryn. You rock.

  • GojiJuiceGoodness profile image

    GojiJuiceGoodness 7 years ago from Roanoke, Virginia

    Good hub. Very detailed directions. We cook brown rice most nights for dinner because it's healthier for you than white.