Are you planning to shift from white rice to brown rice? Do you wonder how to cook brown rice on stove properly? Is it cooked just like white rice?
Brown rice is one of the healthier alternatives for white rice due to how nutrient-rich it is.
However, after several trials, I have realized that brown rice can get a little complicated to cook due to its long cooking time, water requirements, and unusual texture. Once you figure out these three things, trust me, it is as easy as cooking white rice!
In this article, I have explained everything you need to know for cooking brown rice on a stove.
What Is the Difference Between Cooking Brown Rice and White Rice?
Many of us make the mistake of cooking brown rice just like white rice. This is truly a recipe for disaster because brown rice and white rice are pretty different from each other.
Brown rice retains its bran layer, whereas white rice is more polished and has the bran removed. As a result, brown rice requires a longer cooking time than white rice to soften the bran layer.
I have also observed that the presence of a bran layer in brown rice makes the cooked grains taste slightly chewy and nutty. On the other hand, cooked white rice turns entirely soft without any chewiness.
Therefore, you might end up with undercooked and hard brown rice if you cook it like white rice!
The table below discusses the main differences between brown rice and white rice. You can also check this YouTube video for a detailed explanation.
|Retains the bran layer.
|Does not have a bran layer.
|35 to 50 minutes
|20 to 30 minutes
|Two cups for one cup of brown rice
|Depends on the type of white rice
|Taste and Texture
|Slightly chewy texture and earthy taste
|Soft texture and mild taste
|More nutritious and fibrous
|Less nutritious and fibrous
Step-by-Step Guide to Cook Brown Rice on Stove
Coming to the main question: How are you supposed to cook brown rice on the stove if you can’t cook it like white rice?
Well, I have found two methods to help you cook your brown rice to sheer perfection. Let’s discuss each in detail.
Method 1: Boiling Brown Rice
This method is the most straightforward one for cooking brown rice. All you need is one cup of brown rice, two cups of water, and half a teaspoon of salt.
Here is what you need to do:
1. Add one cup of brown rice to a bowl.
2. Soak the brown rice in water for 10 to 15 minutes. This step is optional, but I recommend following it to remove any excess starch from the rice and achieve a non-sticky texture.
3. Rinse the brown rice until the water runs clear, as shown in the picture below.
4. Take a pot and fill it with two cups of water for one cup of uncooked brown rice. This 2:1 water-to-rice ratio works for both short-grain and long-grain brown rice.
5. Add half a teaspoon of salt for each cup of uncooked brown rice.
6. Place the pot on the stove, and turn up the heat to high. Then, bring the water to a boil.
7. Add the soaked and rinsed brown rice to the pot. Don’t forget to cover the pot with a tight lid.
8. First, let the brown rice cook on a medium-high flame for five minutes.
9. Once the water in the pot starts boiling, cook the rice on a low flame for at least 35 minutes.
10.. You can add four to five extra tablespoons of water if the grains have absorbed all the water and are still undercooked.
11. Check the rice after cooking it for 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the stove once the grains absorb all the water, look fluffy, and have a tender texture.
12. Transfer the rice to a bowl and fluff it with a fork before serving. Your delicious brown rice is ready to eat!
Remember that cooked brown rice will always have a chewier texture than white rice. This texture is not a sign of undercooked brown rice; it is just how brown rice naturally is!
Method 2: Pilaf-Style Brown Rice
This is my favorite method to cook well-separated and delicious brown rice.
In pilaf-style cooking, all you need to do is toast the rice grains with a few spices in oil. The extra toasting makes the rice taste nuttier and richer.
Below are the instructions to follow:
1. Pour one tablespoon of any neutral-flavored oil, like vegetable or sunflower oil, into a pot.
2. Add the rinsed and soaked rice to the oil, and toast it for two to three minutes.
3. (Optional) Next, toast extra spices like bay leaves, cardamom, or even cloves with the rice grains. This infuses a lovely aromatic scent and flavor into the rice.
4. Pour two cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt for one cup of uncooked brown rice into the pot.
5. Close the pot’s lid and let the rice boil on a medium-high flame until the water starts boiling.
6. Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat to low. Let the rice boil for at least 40 minutes.
7. Add a few extra tablespoons of water if the rice has absorbed all the water without fully cooking. (Optional)
8. When the rice grains look fluffy and have a tender texture, turn off the stove.
9. Transfer your aromatic brown rice to a bowl, fluff it with a fork, and enjoy!
Tips to Cook Brown Rice on Stove
Cooking brown rice is one of the easiest things to do once you take care of the little things.
The below-mentioned tips will help you avoid the common mistakes most people, including I, have made while cooking brown rice on a stove.
1. Don’t Open the Lid Too Often
I had this annoying habit of continuously opening the lid to check if my rice was done cooking. I did the same thing while cooking brown rice and ended up with crunchy and undercooked rice!
Opening the lid too often causes the steam to escape, leading to an increase in the cooking time and a change in the texture of brown rice. I recommend opening the lid only once every 15 minutes to check the rice.
2. Add Enough Water
There are a few chefs who suggest using just one and a half cups of water for one cup of brown rice. This measurement has never worked out for me, as the grains come out hard even after cooking them for a while.
As mentioned earlier, the best option is to add two full cups of water to each cup of uncooked brown rice.
3. Don’t Stir Brown Rice Frequently
Along with not opening the lid too often, you should also refrain from frequent stirring.
Stirring brown rice repeatedly releases more starch into the water, which might make the rice sticky. It may also break the grains and lead to a loss of texture.
4. Don’t Cook the Rice for Too Long
Brown rice takes twice as long to cook as white rice.. Yet, you should ensure that you don’t cook it to the point that it turns mushy.
In my experience, one cup of brown rice takes anywhere between 35 and 55 minutes to cook perfectly.
How to Cook Brown Rice – Recipe Card
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Servings: Two to three people
- 1 cup of uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups of water
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- First, soak the uncooked brown rice for 10 minutes.
- Rinse and wash the rice grains until the water turns transparent.
- Heat two cups of water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Add one cup of rinsed brown rice to the pot.
- Close the lid and cook the rice on medium-high.
- When the water starts boiling, turn the heat to low and cook the rice for at least 35 minutes.
- Turn off the stove once the brown rice has absorbed the water and turned fluffy.
- Transfer the brown rice to a bowl.
The biggest rule of cooking brown rice is to go low and slow. You cannot be hasty with brown rice, as it requires a long time to cook fully. Once you do wait, the result is quite rewarding in the form of various health benefits.