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Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice

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Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice
Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice
Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice
Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice

No more sticky, mushy, wet brown rice. Perfectly fluffy brown rice is easy to make, once you stop cooking it like rice. The secret? Cook brown rice like pasta and you’ll get fool proof fluffy brown rice every time!

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My dad always made Perfect White Rice.

But we never had brown rice, or at least I don’t remember my dad ever making it. Brown rice is simply white rice before the side hulls and the bran are removed. Because brown rice still has these components, it’s nutritional information differs from white rice. It has more fiber and is richer in manganese.

But I’m not here to give you a full nutritional lesson on brown rice or convince you that brown rice is better than white. We eat both in our house. I figure if you’re reading this post, it’s because you want to know how to make it. And make it well.

Since I’ve already shared how I make Perfect White Rice, today’s post is about how to make Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice.

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You might think that because I grew up cooking rice and learning tips and tricks from my father, I might have the golden rice “touch” and be able to produce a great pot of brown rice. Not so. When I started making brown rice years ago, I knew it was different than cooking white rice and that, at the very least, it would take longer to cook.

So, I dutifully followed the package directions for water to rice ratios and cooked the rice. Needless to say, I never ended up with a pot of rice that was cooked properly.  It was either mushy and wet, or sticky, or not fully cooked through.

I kept wondering what I was doing wrong. I changed water/rice ratios and cook times to no avail.  It never met my expectations.

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Then, I had a breakthrough and learned an entirely different way to cook brown rice. Instead of cooking it like rice, I learned this little secret from Saveur……cook it like PASTA!  What?!? Yes. Cook it like pasta!

You know how to cook pasta, right? Lots of water. That means, there’s no 2:1 water rice ratio. Instead, break out your big pasta pot, and bring about 12 cups of water to a boil.

Once you have an idea of what that 12 cups looks like in your pot, I wouldn’t bother measuring again. I would just make a mental note of how high the water level is and fill the pot to about that same level each time.

Or measure it every time, if you’re more comfortable with that. I’m so used to my no measure white rice process, I like using as little measuring as possible with brown rice.

Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice

Rinse your rice, just as you do for Perfect White Rice, and when the water comes to a boil, add your rice to the pot and stir briefly, just as you would with pasta to make sure nothing sticks together when it hits the boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes. Then you drain it, just like you do for pasta.

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Let it drain for about 10 seconds, then throw it back in the hot empty pot where it was cooked. Cover it with a tight lid and let it sit, off the heat, to steam for about 10 minutes. (This part is not like pasta ;)


When you lift off the lid, you will be greeted by a pot full of Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice. Not sticky, not mushy, not wet or under cooked.

You will cheer because you will have finally mastered how to cook that tricky little grain. And if you’re me, you’ll make a big batch of Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice so you’ll have extra to freeze.

I always, always make more rice than I need whether it’s brown or white and I always, always freeze the extra. Rice freezes beautifully and heats up perfectly in the microwave.

No one likes mushy, sticky, wet, poorly cooked brown rice. Yes, the struggle was real.

But this? This is pretty much a fool proof process. It hasn’t failed me even once and I’ve been doing it this way for a good 7 years now. Cooking rice like pasta? What can I say?

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It just works.

Would you rather make white rice? Click below to make Perfect White Rice!



5 from 22 votes

Perfectly Fluffy Brown Rice

Servings 4 cups of cooked rice


  • 1 cup of uncooked whole LONG grain brown rice not instant, not quick cooking
  • 12 cups water


  1. Bring 12 cups of water to boil in a large pot.
  2. Meanwhile rinse the rice in a strainer for about a minute. When water is boiling, add rice to pot and stir once to insure grains are separate and not stuck together.
  3. Boil for 30 minutes or until desired tenderness, uncovered.
  4. Drain the rice in a strainer for about 10 seconds, then return to the pot, off the heat.
  5. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let sit for 10 minutes. The rice will steam during this time.
  6. When the 10 minutes is up, remove the lid, fluff with a fork and serve.

Recipe Notes

*I have used up to 2 cups of uncooked rice in the 12 cups of water. Just remember, if you cook 2 cups of uncooked rice, you need a strainer large enough to handle straining 8 cups of cooked rice.

*Store rice covered in refrigerator up to 3 days. To reheat, sprinkle a spoonful or so of water over rice, cover and reheat in microwave. The bit of added water will help create steam in the reheating process. Use your judgment on how much you need. If you've reheated and your rice seems a bit dry, add a bit more water and heat long enough to create some steam.

* For longer storage, place cooled rice in a zipped freezer bag, pressing the rice flat and removing all the air. Freeze up to 3 months. I don't like to reheat in plastic, so I usually just heat the bag briefly in the microwave until I can break it up. I then transfer the rice to a bowl, sprinkle with a spoonful of water, cover and reheat in the microwave. It comes out hot, steamy and fluffy as if you've just made it.

Recipe Source Saveur 2008

The Merchant Baker Copyright © 2015


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