How to Save Undercooked Brown Rice: Your Rice Rescuer

Last update:
Raw brown rice in a pot and at the bottom of the pot with a text "How To Save Undercooked Brown Rice"

Undercooked brown rice used to be a big issue for me. Over the years, I’ve learned that you have to treat brown rice with special care. Brown rice is tougher to cook than white rice because it still has the bran layer and germ. So, it makes sense that it takes longer to cook.

The good news is, even if you messed up, you can still save your undercooked brown rice. Don’t fret—I’m the rice rescuer, and I’ve heard your call for help!

There are many methods for fixing undercooked brown rice. Here, I’ve listed the top 5 techniques to try out. Remember to use fresh, good-quality rice from a trusted source. Also, ensure you cook the rice long enough and with enough liquid.

Check the FAQ section at the bottom of this article for more info.

How to Fix Undercooked Brown Rice

First, I recommend reading our article on why brown rice is harder to cook and how to avoid mishaps. But what if you have a pot of undercooked brown rice crying for help?

Cooking rice soup with brown rice in a pot, bubbles appear due to heat.

Here are several ways to fix undercooked brown rice:

1. Add more liquid and cook brown rice longer. Start by adding ¼ to ½ cup of water and cooking it for another 5-15 minutes (or until you’re happy with the texture). Don’t worry about adding too much water—you can drain the extra water from the rice later.

2. Don’t serve brown rice right away. Cook brown rice for at least 35 minutes, then taste it to see if it’s done. Cook it another 5-10 minutes if needed. Then, turn the heat off and leave the rice covered for 10 minutes before fluffing and serving.

3. Steam it. If letting your brown rice sit with the lid on doesn’t work, you can transfer the rice to a steamer basket or heat-proof bowl. Place it in a bain marie or double boiler with the lid on the pot, and steam the undercooked rice for 10-15 minutes or until it reaches your desired tenderness.

4. Finish cooking in the oven. Transfer the undercooked brown rice to an oven-safe dish and add boiling water (about ½ cup per 1 cup of uncooked rice). Then, cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked and tender.

5. Break out the Instant Pot. Transfer the undercooked rice to an Instant Pot and add the required amount of liquid. Continue cooking the rice on the correct setting until it’s nice and fluffy. This method also works with a rice cooker if you have one.

Make brown rice in blue pan.


Now that you have the tools to save your undercooked brown rice let’s address some common questions.

How do you know when your brown rice finishes cooking?

Brown rice is cooked when it’s chewy and tender. Undercooked brown rice is crunchy and hard. Remove the lid from the rice pot when your timer goes off to check whether it’s done.

If you used a proper water-to-rice ratio, it will have absorbed all the liquid. It’s okay if there’s a bit of water at the bottom of the pot. If there’s a lot, just drain the excess water from the rice.

How long does it take to cook brown rice?

The cooking time can vary depending on the type of brown rice. Medium grain and long grain brown rice take 35-40 minutes to cook, while short grain brown rice takes 45-50 minutes. Brown basmati rice only takes 15 minutes to cook (and it’s the fluffiest).

Is it OK to eat slightly undercooked brown rice?

If you use fresh, good-quality brown rice, chances are you’ll probably be fine. But, undercooked brown rice can cause food poisoning. Most of the bacteria on rice die at high temperatures, but Bacillus cereus can survive and even multiply after cooking. This contamination possibility is why it’s crucial to store rice properly.

Why is my brown rice mushy?

If your brown rice is looking mushy, chances are you didn’t increase the heat to a boil fast enough. If the rice spends its cook time wallowing in warm water, the result will be mushy, unappetizing rice.

This issue is a common one when using the baked rice method. Remember to add boiling water to the rice before placing it in a preheated oven. Then you’ll be golden.

Saniya Baxi Avatar


Leave a Comment