Using a rice cooker is the easiest way to make perfect brown rice. With its nutty flavor, chewy texture, and nutritional benefits, you'll love this whole-grain brown rice recipe. In this guide, you'll learn all the simple steps to make both long-grain and short-grain brown rice.
You might have noticed that there are several different types of rice, like brown, white, basmati, and jasmine. It seems like here in the United States, white rice is the most popular, but brown rice is becoming more common. And this is great because brown rice is considered a healthy whole grain! (Check out the nutrition section for more info on why whole grains are so great).
Brown rice actually comes from the exact same grain as white rice, but it still has its outer bran layer intact. Not only does this give brown rice more nutritional benefits, it also gives it a bit of a nutty flavor. Having the outer layer also makes the rice have a longer cooking time.
Whole grain brown rice comes in several varieties, like jasmine, basmati, short grain, and long grain. Today we are going to focus on cooking two types of brown rice that have similar cook times and water ratio needs: long grain and short grain.
You should be able to easily find long grain brown rice on the shelves of your local grocery store. The bulk bins are a great place to find the more unique varieties of brown rice, like short grain, brown jasmine rice, and brown basmati rice.
Using a rice cooker is my favorite method of cooking rice. The best thing about it is that you can just turn it on and walk away without worrying that the rice might burn.
Let's get started!
All you need for this easy recipe is just two ingredients!
- long or short grain brown rice
You might be wondering what the difference between the two lengths are, and when you should use each. When cooked, short grain rice tends to be stickier, while long grain rice ends up having more individual grains.
Because it's sticky, short grain rice is great in sushi and for risotto recipes. Long-grain is great in pretty much anything else!
I purposely left this recipe very plain so that you can use your brown rice as a side dish to basically any of your favorite recipes. Check out the substitution section if you'd like some ideas on how to add more flavor to your rice.
It's a good idea to start by rinsing your uncooked rice with cool water under the tap. While this step is not completely necessary, it does remove any excess starch that has built up in storage. Extra starch makes your rice clump together.
Add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to the rice cooker pot. (You can cook more than just one cup of rice at a time*, just keep the water ratio at 2:1).
If your rice cooker has different settings, turn it to the brown rice setting. Place the lid on the rice cooker and press the button to turn it on.
Once your rice cooker alerts you that it is done, let the rice rest for 5 minutes to finish absorbing water. Then remove the lid carefully, watching out for steam. Use a fork or rice paddle to fluff up your rice. Your perfect brown rice is ready for eating!
Tip: Never remove the lid during the cooking process! This will cause the rice cooker to lose all its steam and you'll end up with crunchy rice.
*I find that in my rice cooker, 2 cups is the maximum I can fit. If you want to make more than that, consider using a pressure cooker.
Here are some ideas on how to jazz up your rice.
- Broth - instead of water, you can use vegetable, beef, or chicken broth to add more flavor.
- Spices - you can add a bit of spice, such as garlic or cumin, to the rice cooker at the beginning as well. Make sure the spices complement the dish you are serving the rice with.
- Salt, Pepper, and Butter- Once your brown rice is done cooking, adding a tablespoon of butter and a little salt and pepper makes it taste AMAZING! You could use olive oil instead of butter.
- Soy Sauce- drizzle a little on top of your cooked brown rice for an Asian flavor.
🥣 Storage and Reheating
Any leftover rice should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. The longer it is stored, the more dried out the grains will become, so I recommend reusing them as soon as possible.
The simplest way to reheat your rice is in the microwave. You'll want to use a microwave-safe container that has a lid. Add the rice and break up any large chunks of rice with a fork. Add a few sprinkles of water to help create steam and rehydrate the grains.
Cover the container and microwave for 1 minute. Remove the lid, (watch out for steam) and test the grains. If they are still cold or dry repeat until you're satisfied.
As mentioned before, brown rice doesn't mean the rice is brown in color. It means that the rice grain still has its outer layer on it, making it a whole grain.
One of the biggest reasons you might want to eat whole grains is because of the amount of dietary fiber they provide. A diet high in dietary fiber can lead to weight loss because it helps you feel full faster and longer, which helps prevent overeating. It also prevents constipation, aka tummy troubles, and helps lower the risk of heart disease.
Check out long grain brown rice's nutrition label:
Whole grains also have less of an effect on your blood sugar levels, which is great if you are a person with diabetes. Fun fact, long grain rice has a lower glycemic index score (65) than short grain (76). To read more about how brown rice affects your blood sugar check out "Brown Rice-The Healthier Hue for You".
✨ Top tips
- Every electric rice cooker is different, and if yours has a lot of advanced settings, you should consult your user's manual and follow any specific instructions it lists before following this recipe.
- Because each rice cooker is different, cook time may vary.
- Oftentimes rice cookers will come with a measuring cup, but they can vary in size. I recommend using a standard measuring cup to measure out the rice and a standard liquid measuring cup for the water for best results.
- One cup of uncooked rice usually makes about 2 cups of cooked rice.
- The average recommended serving size is ½ cup of cooked rice per person.
You really don't need a fancy rice cooker to make delicious and perfect brown jasmine rice. In fact, I've been using the most basic model for the last 15 years and it's still rockin'!
Just in case you are in the market for a new rice cooker, here is my favorite, as well as some highly recommended models from around the web.
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The ratio of water to brown rice in a rice cooker is always 2:1, meaning two cups of water for every cup of brown rice.
So if you are cooking 2 cups of brown rice, you'll need 4 cups of water.
Yes, because it still has its outer bran layer, brown rice is tougher and therefore needs more water to become soft.
The cook time will depend on how much rice you cook and also your rice cooker. More rice takes longer to cook. But one cup of rice generally takes about 45 minutes. Time may vary with different rice cookers.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
I hope this tutorial was helpful to you! Please give this recipe a rating, it really helps me out.
Perfect Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker
- 1 cup short or long grain brown rice see notes for the difference between types of grain.
- 2 cups water
- It's a good idea to start by rinsing your uncooked rice with cool water under the tap. While this step is not completely necessary, it does remove any excess starch that has built up in storage. Extra starch makes your rice clump together.
- Add 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to the rice cooker pot.
- If your rice cooker has different settings, turn it to the brown rice setting. Place the lid on the rice cooker and press the button to turn it on.
- Once your rice cooker alerts you that it is done, let the rice rest for 5 minutes to finish absorbing water. Then remove the lid carefully, watching out for steam. Use a fork or rice paddle to fluff up your rice. Your perfect brown rice is ready for eating!
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