Brown rice is a healthier option than the popular steamed white rice. Make it at home any time. No rice cooker? No problem! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook brown rice on your stovetop!
Having an electric rice cooker can be very convenient, especially if you cook a lot of rice. However, cooking rice over your stovetop can be just as easy. Some find it even more convenient than using a rice cooker! It’s one less kitchen appliance to manage.
The key to cooking rice using this easy method is to use a pot with a heavy base that retains its heat well. I use a Visions cookware pot or a Corningware Covered Casserole. I love using these because I can see the rice cooking through the glass. You can use any pot that has a heavy base (that has a lid).
Please note that these instructions apply only to cooking brown rice. Click HERE for a step-by-step tutorial on how to cook white rice on your stovetop. Both methods are very similar, but brown rice does take longer to cook and uses more water.
It’s really encouraging to see quite a few restaurants now offering brown rice as an alternative to steamed white rice. Brown rice is much healthier – it is higher in fiber and packed with nutrients.
How to Cook Brown Rice on Your Stovetop
1. Pour 2 cups of uncooked brown rice into a pot with a heavy base.
2. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the rice, then use your fingers to swirl the rice around in the pot to help loosen the starch.
3. Drain as much of the water as possible. Pour the water out slowly to avoid pouring the rice out as well. Repeat 3 to 4 times or until the water is less murky.
4. Fill the pot with 4 cups of fresh water.
6. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the pot. This step is optional, but I find that the salt really does help add flavor to the rice.
7. Place the pot on your stovetop over medium-low heat and allow it to boil uncovered.
6. After a while, most of the water would have been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. When you can see that the water has absorbed just past the surface of the rice (as shown in the picture below) and little “craters” have formed on the rice surface, place the lid on the pot.
7. Allow it to boil with the lid on for about 10 – 20 seconds or so, then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on to allow the rice to cook. NO PEEKING!! It will take about 20 minutes to cook.
Note: Brown rice is a little trickier to cook than white rice. If you find that the rice is a bit undercooked (which can happen if the heat is too high and the water evaporates too quickly), add a splash of water to the pot, set it over medium-high for about a minute, then leave the pot covered for a few more minutes.
8. When the rice has cooked, use a pair of chopsticks or rice paddle to “fluff up” the rice. This step gives the rice a nice, “fluffy” texture.
What I normally do is to start cooking the rice before preparing the rest of the dishes. As I prepare the rest of the ingredients for the other dishes, I keep an eye on the rice to make sure it doesn’t boil over or burn. As soon as I turn off the heat, I just leave the pot of rice covered and turn my attention to cooking the rest of the dishes.
By the time the rest of the dishes are ready, the rice will also be perfectly cooked just in time to be served.
How to Cook Brown Rice Without a Rice Cooker
- 2 cups brown rice uncooked
- 4 cups water plus more for rinsing
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pour uncooked rice into a bowl with a heavy base.
- Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the rice, then use your fingers to swirl the rice to loosen the starch.
- Drain as much water from the rice as possible. Repeat 3 - 4 times.
- Fill the pot with 4 cups clean water, then add salt.
- Allow to simmer uncovered over medium-heat.
- When most of the water has been absorbed just past the surface of the rice (you'll also see little "craters" on the surface"), place the lid on the pot.
- Allow it to boil for about 10 - 20 seconds, then turn off the heat. Leave the lid on for at least 20 more minutes to allow the rice to continue to cook.
- When the rice has cooked, use a pair of chopsticks or a rice paddle to "fluff up" the rice.