Do you want to know how to cook brown rice? You know, rice that’s not sticky, mushy or wet? 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!
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.
How to Cook Brown Rice
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.
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.
What is the “Pasta Method” for Cooking Brown Rice?
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?!? Pasta?!? Yes! Cook it like pasta!
What is the best ratio of rice to water?
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.
So, your basic rice to water ratio is 1:12. That’s 1 cup of rice to 12 cups of water. I know. That’s a LOT of water, so sometimes I cut that in half and go with 1 cups of rice for 6 cups of water.
You can play around with the ratio a bit to see what you like best.
The most important thing is that your rice has lots of water to swim around in while it’s cooking. In other words, just get rid of the 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice ratio. That ratio has never, ever worked for me.
Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking
Rinse your rice, just as you do for Perfect White Rice.
Rinsing the rice removes starch. Starch makes rice stickier. I rinse until the water starts to run almost clear.
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 or until your desired level of tenderness.
Drain the rice
Then you drain it, just like you do for pasta.
Let it drain for about 10 seconds, then throw it back in the hot empty pot where it was cooked.
Let the rice steam covered in the pot
There should only be a bit of moisture left after you strain the rice.
Cover the pot 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.
How to Freeze Rice
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.
To freeze leftover rice, make sure it has cooled. Then, portion rice into zip top freezer bags and flattening the rice into a shallow slab and pressing out all of the air.
Freezing the rice into a shallow slab will make it easier to thaw since it won’t be in a huge chunk. Also, if you only want a small portion of rice, it makes it a little easier to crack a piece of the slab off.
Then, place the rice in a microwave safe bowl, add a spoonful of water and cover with plastic wrap. Heat until steamy and hot! It will taste just like it was freshly cooked!
It’s a fool proof process!
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?
THIS is how to cook perfect brown rice.
It just works.
Would you rather make white rice? Click below to make Perfect White Rice!