In this post, I want to teach you how to cook brown rice in a rice cooker. I’ll share my foolproof tips for delicious fluffy brown rice every time. Do you want to make ahead and freeze rice ahead of time? Great! I’ll share those tips too!
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I am abnormally excited to share with you my basic rice cooker recipe for brown rice. Why? Because I think it will make your life so much easier.
I make a lot of brown rice. A LOT! Every week or so, I break out my rice cooker and make a big batch to use in all kinds of recipes.
If I don’t have a specific recipe in mind, then I keep brown rice in the fridge to use as a healthy side.
Sure, I can make this on the stove-top, but who has 45 minutes to watch a pot of rice cook. Not me! In this rice recipe, you just set it and forget it.
Reasons you’ll love this cooking method
- It’s completely hands-off. It takes less than 5 minutes to add all the ingredients to the rice cooker. Then, turn it on, and you don’t need to think about the rice again until it’s done cooking.
- The recipe options are endless. I use brown rice in stuffed peppers, stir-frys, one-pot meals, bakes, and all recipes that include cooked rice.
- Meal prep superstar – Brown rice stores and reheats perfectly, so making it ahead of time for easy healthy dinner recipes is a no-brainer. You can also freeze rice! I’ll offer more storage tips later on.
Brown rice – I purchase a 4lb bag of organic long-grain brown rice for under $8 at BJ’s wholesale, so that’s what I use in all of my recipes that use brown rice.
Long grain rice doesn’t have as much starch as short grain, so it doesn’t stick together like short grain and is better suited for the recipes I use.
Chicken stock – Rice is a blank canvas and will soak up any flavor it’s cooked in. Chicken stock is my preferred liquid when cooking brown rice.
However, you can undoubtedly cook brown rice in water; it just won’t have that additional flavor layer.
Seasoning – I’m all about flavor when cooking a simple batch of brown rice. For this recipe, I use a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.
You can play around with all kinds of different spices, but for rice used in various recipes, that’s the spice combination I prefer.
Olive Oil – I add 1-2 tablespoons for flavor and to help prevent sticking.
Essentially, brown rice is healthier than white rice. However, it depends on your needs.
If you’re focused on calories, then the rice is tied. So, it comes down to your own health concerns.
White rice is more processed and has a higher glycemic index, causing your blood sugar to rise, giving you that crash and burn effect.
With that said, white rice is more comfortable to digest. So, if you struggle with digestion issues that eating white rice might work better for you.
However, if controlling your blood sugar is an issue then I’d skip the white variety.
Brown rice hasn’t been stripped of the bran and germ, making it higher in protein, fiber, and nutrients. It also takes your body longer to digest, which means you’re full longer and won’t experience a spike in blood sugar.
If the health goal is to keep your blood sugar in check, then eating brown rice is the better choice.
Since brown rice is less processed than white rice, it needs more liquid to cook. Most rice cookers come with a measuring cup and cooking chart, but if you’ve lost both (like me), here’s the formula I use.
The rice to water ratio is 2 cups of water or broth per 1 cup of brown rice.
Brown rice needs more water and a longer cooking time than white rice. There’s both a white and brown rice button on the rice cooker to assure you’re using correctly cooking the brown rice.
No, I’ve never soak brown rice before cooking it, and it’s been fine. Soaking brown rice for too long can result in gummy rice.
Before cooking rice, I rinse it first to remove extra starch. This step helps to prevent the rice from sticking together and also develops a fluffy texture.
To cook the perfect batch of rice in a rice cooker, these are the four cooking tips I follow.
Rinse the rice first. If you want fluffy rice that doesn’t stick together, I recommend rinsing it before cooking it.
This step removes the extra starch from the outer layer, helping it to cook without sticking together. The result is fuffy delicious rice.
To remove the starch, place the rice into a bowl and add water. Stir the rice a few times until you see the water get cloudy; this is the starch removing from the grain.
Pour the rice into a mesh strainer, rinse with water, and drain.
Cook in a broth – Cooking rice in broth adds a delicious flavor that you won’t get with water. My favorite broth is chicken broth, but any broth will work.
Don’t forget the salt – Using salt during the cooking process is essential! The salt absorbs into the rice as it cooks, giving it a better flavor than if you salted afterward.
Let it rest – After the rice finishes cooking in the rice cooker, I let it rest for another 5-10 minutes. Allowing the rice rest helps all of the liquid evenly absorb.
Fluff it – The last step is to fluff the rice. This step separates the grains and prevents the grains from sticking and clumping together.
- Rice Cooker – I have the Aroma 8-cup rice cooker.
- Mixing Bowls – I have this set by Pyrex and it’s never failed me.
- Mesh Strainer – This comes in handy for rinsing rice and quinoa.
- Glass Storage Containers – I love this set from Ello.
- Souper Cubes – These silicone trays have become my new secret weapon with freezing meals.
How to Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker (step by step)
- Put 2 cups of brown rice into a medium mixing bowl. Cover the rice with water. The water should be about 1 inch above the rice.
- Stir the rice a few times until the water is cloudy. Pour the rice into a mesh strainer and rinse again with water.
- Place the rice into the rice cooker and add the broth (or water), olive oil, salt, and seasonings.
- Press the brown rice setting button. Do not open the rice cooker during the cooking process.
- When the rice cooker beeps, your rice is done cooking. Turn the rice cooker off and let the brown rice rest for about 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and then use it as needed.
How to use cooked brown rice
Quick healthy dinner ideas are endless when there’s cooked brown rice in the fridge or freezer.
I like to make:
- Casseroles and bakes
- Burrito bowls
- Stuffed peppers
We also love to use cooked brown rice for an easy side during the week. It goes great with pot roast, Mexican shredded beef, slow cooker salsa chicken, cheeseburger meatloaf, or sheet pan steak fajitas.
Here’s a list of my favorite brown rice recipes. These recipes are super easy to prep when the rice is prepared ahead of time.
- One-Pot Chicken and Rice
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Italian Stuffed Peppers
- Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers
- Turkey Taco Meal Prep Bowl
How to store brown rice
In the refrigerator
After I cook the rice, I either use it in a recipe, store it in the refrigerator, or freeze it.
To store rice in the refrigerator, place it into glass storage containers and then keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. If I’m using a recipe, I’ll prep the recipe and store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
In the freezer
Let the rice cool slightly before storing it in the freezer. You still want the rice to be warm when you package it up. This method helps retain its moisture and will result in nice fluffy and fresh rice when you reheat it.
Portion the rice out and place it in freezer bags. I measure my rice into 1 1/2 – 2 cup portions because that’s typically the amount in a recipe.
A space-saving tip is to flatten the rice in the freezer bags. Doing it this way makes the rice stackable or able to fit into small spaces.
Freezing into blocks using Souper Cubes is another way to portion out and freeze rice.
Cooked rice will last approximately 3-4 months in the freezer.
To thaw frozen rice, remove from the freezer bag, place it into a microwave-safe container, and warm it up for about 2-3 minutes. After it’s hot, then use the rice in your favorite recipe
How to Cook Brown Rice in Rice Cooker
- 2 cups long-grain brown rice
- 4 cups chicken broth vegetable broth, or water.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Add the rice into a mixing bowl and fill it up with water. The water should be about an inch above the rice. Using a spoon, give it a few stirs until the water is cloudy.
- Pour the rice into a mesh strainer and then rinse with water.
- Add the rinsed rice into the rice cooker insert with the chicken broth, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and olive oil. Give it a couple of stirs.
- Close the lid and set the rice cooker to the brown rice setting. Cooking time is between 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- When the rice is done the rice cooker will beep. Turn the rice cooker off and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Fluff the rice with a fork and then use as needed.
How to store brown riceIn the refrigerator After I cook the rice, I either use it in a recipe, store it in the refrigerator, or freeze it. To store rice in the refrigerator, place it into glass storage containers and then keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. If I’m using a recipe, I’ll prep the recipe and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. How to Freeze Brown Rice Let the rice cool slightly before storing it in the freezer. You still want the rice to be warm when you package it up. This method helps retain its moisture and will result in nice fluffy and fresh rice when you reheat it. Portion the rice out and place it in freezer bags. I measure my rice into 1 1/2 – 2 cup portions because that’s typically the amount in a recipe. A space-saving tip is to flatten the rice in the freezer bags. Doing it this way makes the rice stackable or able to fit into small spaces. Freezing into blocks using Souper Cubes is another way to portion out and freeze rice. Cooked rice will last approximately 3-4 months in the freezer. To thaw frozen rice, remove from the freezer bag, place it into a microwave-safe container, and warm it up for about 2-3 minutes. After it’s hot, then use the rice in your favorite recipe
Have you tried this recipe? If so, I’d love for you to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. We all learn from each other’s experiences. Also, it would be awesome if you could share a picture on Instagram and tag it #organizeyourselfskinny. I can’t wait to see it!