How To Cook Brown Rice Quickly (no fuss guide)

Categories Food
how to cook brown rice quickly

Currently, we eat more white rice than brown in our family. I’ve tried to get my boys to like brown rice because it is far more nutritious. But they turn their noses up. They say that brown rice isn’t ‘fluffy’ like white rice is. Those are their very words!

White rice tends to be easier and quicker to prepare so their preference does actually make my life easier! The cooking time of white rice is far less than brown and I have perfected a way of cooking it that makes it extra fluffy so everyone is happy.

However, I would love to get them back on brown rice again. Perhaps without them even noticing! So I have looked for ways to cook brown rice quickly and have it nice and fluffy so they can hardly tell the difference.

Here are my findings in a nutshell (read on for detailed directions):

To cook brown rice quickly and produce the perfect fluffy rice use the ‘pasta’ method of cooking it. This involves cooking the rice vigorously in a big pan of water for thirty minutes. Then simply drain the water and let the rice sit in the covered pan to steam for ten minutes. If you presoak the rice for two hours or more you can reduce the cooking time by ten minutes. An even quicker way is to use a pressure cooker because you can have your rice ready in about twenty minutes flat.

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How to cook brown rice quickly on the stove (pasta method)

brown rice cooking in a saucepan

This method of cooking rice is known as the pasta method and is my new favourite way to cook rice. Previously I have used the absorption method whereby you add enough water so that when the rice is fully cooked all the water is absorbed and there is no need to drain it.

The downside to the absorption method is that it takes a bit of practice to get the timings and quantities just right. Plus you need to keep an eye on things. It is easy to burn the rice if you forget to check it.

The ‘pasta’ method that I describe here is much more reliable than the absorption method. You don’t have to measure out exact quantities, and there is much less chance of anything burning. It’s easy to make perfectly cooked fluffy rice that your family will love every time.

If you love to meal prep your rice, this is the perfect way to prepare it.

How long to cook each type of brown rice on the stove

Type of rice Cooking time on the stove (reduce by 10 minutes if you presoaked)
Long grain brown rice 30 minutes
Medium grain brown rice 30 minutes
Short grain brown rice 30 minutes
Brown basmati rice 14 minutes

Steps for cooking brown rice quickly on a stove:

Step 1 – Measure quantities

Generally, you need about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice per person. So to feed four people you would need about 1+1/3 cup of brown rice.

Step 2 – Soak the rice for two hours (optional)

This is an optional step. If you soak your rice for two hours or more it will cook in less time and will be fluffier at the end.

Step 2 – Bring a large pan of water to the boil

Add a generous amount of water to a pan and add a teaspoon of salt. Bring the water to a vigorous boil.

Step 3 – Pour the rice into the pan of boiling water

When the water is nicely boiling add your rice to the pan.

Step 4 – Boil the rice for 30 minutes (20 minutes if you soaked it)

Long, medium and short grain brown rice will need to be boiled for 30 minutes or 20 minutes if you soaked the rice. For brown basmati rice, cook for 14 minutes.

Step 5 – Drain the rice

Turn off the heat and then tip the pan of rice into a colander or sieve and drain out all the water into the sink. Give the sieve a shake to remove excess water.

Step 6 – Add the rice back to the pan and steam

Add the rice back to the pan and clamp on the lid. Let the rice steam for at least 10 minutes. There is no extra heat required, make sure the stove is turned off.

Step 7 – Fluff up and serve

Run a fork through the rice to fluff it up and your rice is ready to serve.

A really useful video

Here’s a super-useful video showing how easy and quick it is to cook brown rice on the stovetop or in the oven.

How to cook brown rice quickly in the oven

cooking brown rice in the oven

Cooking your brown rice in the oven is great if you want a hands-off method. There is no need to keep an eye on it. Simply set your oven timer and your rice is ready to eat about an hour later.

Step 1 – Measure quantities

  • Rice. Generally, you need about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice per person. So to feed four people you would need about 1+1/3 cup of brown rice.
  • Water. You need twice the amount of water as rice. So to feed four you would need 2+ 2/3 cups of boiled water.

Step 2 – Preheat the oven to 375f or 190c

If you have a fan oven, reduce the heat and you probably won’t need to preheat either.

Step 3 – Rinse your rice under a cold tap

Rinsing your rice beforehand is important when you cook using this absorption method because it will remove any dust/debris present in the raw rice.

Step 4 – Add the rice to an oven-safe dish

Add your washed rice to an oven-safe dish and optionally add some melted butter or olive oil.

Step 5 – Boil the water

Boil the water in another saucepan or kettle.

Step 6 – Add the water to the rice

Add the water to the rice and then cover the pan with a lid or with some aluminum foil making sure that it is sealed all around the edge of the dish.

Step 7 – Bake for one hour

With the dish sealed bake for one hour in the oven.

Step 8 – Remove from the oven and steam

Remove the rice from the oven and let it sit for ten minutes to steam and finish cooking. Fluff with a fork and your rice is ready to eat.

How to cook brown rice quickly in a pressure cooker

cooking brown rice in a pressure cooker

I love my pressure cooker. But I have to say I have never attempted to cook brown rice in it. But actually, I’ve found that it is super-easy and is actually the quickest method of them all for cooking brown rice!

Here’s how to cook your brown rice quickly in a pressure cooker:

  1. Rinse 250g rice in cold water.
  2. Add to your pressure cooker along with 300ml water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  3. Lock the lid in place and bring it up to high pressure.
  4. Reduce the heat and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  5. Quickly release the pressure and your rice is ready to eat.

Thinking of getting a pressure cooker? Read this first – Are Pressure Cookers Worth Buying?

How to cook brown rice fast in the microwave

microwave

Cooking your brown rice in a microwave is a super-fast way to get it cooked and fluffy.

Here are the steps for cooking brown rice in the microwave:

Step 1 – Wash and drain

Wash your rice under a tap using a sieve or a colander.

Step 2 – Add to a microwave-safe bowl

Put your washed and drained rice in a microwave-safe bowl.

Step 3 – Add cold water

Add twice the amount of water as rice. So for cooking one cup of rice you would add two cups of cold water.

Step 4 – Cover and microwave

Cover the bowl with a vented lid.

I love these collapsible covers because they take up minimal space in the kitchen.

Cook on high heat for five minutes and then reduce the power to 70% and cook for another twenty minutes.

Step 5 – Allow the rice to steam

When the cooking time has finished, allow the rice to steam for a further ten minutes. Then fluff it up with a fork and it is ready for eating.

How to cook brown rice using the absorption method

Step 1 – Measure quantities

  • Rice. Generally, you need about 1/3 cup of uncooked rice per person. So to feed four people you would need about 1+1/3 cup of brown rice.
  • Water. You need twice the amount of water as rice. So to feed four you would need 2+ 2/3 cups of water.

Step 2 – Rinse

Rinse your rice in a colander under the tap. Doing so will remove dust and debris in your rice.

Step 3 – Add the rice to a saucepan

Put your washed rice and drained rice in a saucepan and add twice the amount of cold water.

Step 4 – Cook

  • Put a lid on the saucepan.
  • Bring the rice up to a boil.
  • Simmer for about 30 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.

Step 5 – Steam

  • Turn off the heat.
  • Let the rice steam in the saucepan for a minimum of ten minutes.

It’s absolutely fine to let the rice sit for longer than ten minutes. The rice won’t go soft if you leave it for longer.

Brown rice vs white rice

  • Brown rice is a whole grain. This is because it retains the germ and the bran. White rice has had those parts removed.
  • Brown rice has a nuttier and chewier texture than white rice. White rice is lighter and fluffier than brown rice.
  • Brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice. If you are in a rush then white rice is best for you because it can cook in about 10 minutes. Brown rice takes between 30 minutes and an hour to cook depending on the method you use.
  • Brown rice is more difficult to overcook. White rice can become sludgy and glutinous when it is overcooked. However brown rice retains its texture even when you cook it for a bit longer than you need to.

Related reading:

Why is brown rice healthier than white rice?

Brown rice helps you to keep fuller for longer than white rice.

Brown rice is a whole grain. Unlike white rice, it retains the germ and the bran. This makes it more fibrous which results in a longer digestion time and less of a spike in blood sugar.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to soak brown rice before cooking?

You don’t need to soak brown rice before you cook it. However, doing so will reduce the cooking time and the cooked rice will be fluffier.

Here’s the science bit: Soaking brown rice helps to reduce phytic acid in the grain. Removing phytic acid in rice will help to make it more digestible, reduce the cooking time and produce a better texture when cooked.

How long to soak brown rice?

Soak your rice for two hours or more or, or overnight.

How to get tender brown rice?

Brown rice will cook more quickly and be more tender and fluffy if you soak it before you cook it. Soak brown rice for 2 hours or overnight.

Should you rinse brown rice before cooking it?

Rinse your brown rice to remove any dirt/dust. I recommend always rinsing your brown rice when you use the absorption method to cook it.

If you use the ‘pasta’ method to cook your rice there is no need because the rice is rinsed in the boiling water when it cooks.

White rice needs to be rinsed several times to remove the starch. I find if I don’t rinse white rice, the cooked rice is too glutinous and you don’t get a fluffy texture.

What is the brown rice to water ratio?

For cooking brown rice using the absorption method the brown rice/water ratio is 1/2. So for every cup of uncooked/raw rice, you would need 2 cups of water to cook it.

Using the ‘pasta’ method whereby you cook the rice in a large amount of boiling water, you can use as much water as you need to cook the rice. There is no ratio required.

How much brown rice for one person?

It all depends on how hungry you are of course but the general rule of thumb is that one person would need 1 cup of cooked rice per serving. This would mean that you would need to prepare about 1/3 of a cup of uncooked rice per person because of course the volume increases when you cook it.

This article and its contents are owned by SparklingPenny and was first published on 21 January 2022
SparklingPenny

Penny | SparklingPenny

Hi, I'm Penny. A busy mum of two boys and one dog, with the aim to enjoy life to the full.