If you want a healthier brown rice option for dinner during a busy week, but need a hands-free cooking method, then this recipe is for you. It will show you how to cook the perfect brown rice just right every time, and all you need is a rice cooker!
Over the years, I’ve cooked different types of rice and grains in various ways: in a rice cooker, on a stove over a pot, brown rice in an instant pot, white rice in an instant pot, in the microwave, in a steamer, and even quinoa in a rice cooker. Brown rice is somewhat trickier to cook because it can take a long time to get perfectly fluffy and moist grains.
While you can make brown rice in a pot over the stove or even a microwave, you can also use a rice cooker for an easier, hands-off method—something I definitely prefer.
Types of brown rice
Just like white rice, there are different variants of long grain and short-grain brown rice. The differences between these two types of brown rice varieties are similar to the white rice differences in that the long grain brown rice is less sticky and its final texture has more distinct grains.
The short-grain brown rice is slightly stickier, but still has a nice chew to its texture after cooking. For this recipe, I used Mogami long-grain brown rice and Botan brand Calrose short grain brown rice.
Water to brown rice ratio
There are different measurements and weights for each type of brown rice grain in order to properly cook them. For this recipe, I specifically weighed each dry measuring cup amount to get a foolproof ratio for each type of brown rice variety.
While each type of rice cooker comes with its own scoop, sometimes the scoops may vary in size. I’ve tested two different scoops from two different rice cookers and they varied by at least 14 grams—this is a huge discrepancy.
To clear up any uncertainties about measurements, I like using a traditional dry scoop for the rice and a liquid measuring tool for the water, and I do not use the scoop that comes with the rice cooker. Or you can use a scale for the rice, for predictable results each time. Here are the ratios I use for each type of brown rice grain:
- 1 dry measuring cup short grain brown rice (191 grams): 10 fluid ounces water
- 1 dry measuring cup long grain brown rice (178 grams): 10 fluid ounces water
Please note, all these measurements are specifically for just one cup of brown rice. If you want to scale up, you may need to adjust to add for more water.
How long does it take to cook brown rice?
It’s important to note that the rice cooker I use is a National brand rice cooker, so, my timing may differ slightly from other types of rice cookers. With my rice cooker, one cup of brown rice usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to get perfectly cooked brown rice in the “normal” setting. To get the best results, I would follow your machine’s manual for brown rice settings.
It’s important to note that you should never open your rice cooker during the cooking process. Only open it once the cooker has indicated it’s ready. Opening the lid early may affect the texture and doneness of your rice. I even like to let the rice rest in the cooker for about five minutes before opening it. This allows excess moisture to absorb into the rice grains and gives you a nice and plump texture.
Brown rice cooking tips
- Use either a standard dry measuring cup (and liquid measuring cup) or use a scale to always get accurate measurements. Not all scoops are made equal, or rather, with the same measurements, so using a standard like the measurements above helps to prevent adding too much rice or water.
- Do not prematurely open the rice cooker or you may end up with undercooked rice.
- Leave the rice cooker closed for 5 minutes after it finishes cooking to get even more plump grains. Then, use a rice paddle to fluff the rice.
How to store and reheat cooked brown rice
If you have excess cooked brown rice, you can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. For more info on how long does cooked rice lasts, read my post here. To reheat, just add it into a bowl with a few sprinkles of water, and cover with a damp paper towel. I like to heat it up in 30-second intervals depending on the amount I am heating up to prevent it from drying out.
Learn how to cook rice in other ways here:
- jasmine rice in an Instant Pot
- white rice in a rice cooker
- brown rice in a rice cooker
- white rice in a microwave
- brown rice in a microwave
- white rice in an Instant Pot
- brown rice in an Instant Pot
- how to cook sticky rice
- how to make sushi rice
- Instant Pot basmati rice
- Aroma Rice Cooker Instructions
- 4 Easy Ways To Reheat Leftover Rice
- Korean purple rice
How To Cook Brown Rice In A Rice Cooker (Perfect & Fluffly Results!)
Short grain brown rice
- tap water for rinsing
- 191 g (1 c) short grain brown rice
- 10 fl oz (1.25 c) filtered water
Long grain brown rice
- tap water for rinsing
- 178 g long grain brown rice
- 10 fl oz filtered water
- Measure out the rice and place it in a strainer. Rinse the rice in the pot under cold running water. Use your hands to move the rice around gently to clean the grains. Pour out the water once it starts to change color. Repeat this process 2 times. Make sure to drain all the water when finished.
- Add the rice in the rice cooker pot.
- Add filtered water into the rice cooker, swirling in the pot if necessary so the grains of rice are level and no grains are sticking to the sides of the pot.
- Press start on your rice cooker. sure your rice maker is on and follow the manual instructions. Our rice cooker provides a “quick” setting along with a “normal” setting. I more often than not choose “quick” because it gives me the same results for a shorter amount of time. While the rice is cooking, do not lift the lid so as not to lose steam.
- Once the rice is done, leave the cooker closed for an additional 5 minutes.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a rice paddle.
- Serve rice onto bowls and enjoy.