The Never-Fail Technique for Making Fluffy Stovetop Brown Rice

updated Feb 14, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Faith Durand

Brown rice has long been my rice of choice: I love the nutty, earthier flavor it adds to dishes. The fact that it also has more fiber and nutrients is simply an added bonus. However, for years, I couldn’t figure out how to cook brown rice well. The simmer-and-steam method I used for white rice never got it as fluffy and tender as I wanted. I was feeling like I might have to eat mushy brown rice for the rest of my days. That is until I discovered a 100% foolproof method for cooking brown rice: Boiling brown rice like pasta.

The Pasta Method is the Best Way to Cook Brown Rice

If, like me, you’ve never been able to make brown rice well on the stove, the pasta method is the answer. Cooking brown rice like pasta — in a large pot of boiling water — is not only easier (there’s no need to measure the water or the dry rice), but it results in perfectly fluffy rice every single time. It eliminates any risk of the rice cooking up into a gummy, mushy mess. And there’s no worry about grains scorching on the bottom of the pot. Instead you get easily separated, perfectly al dente grains that taste like they came out of a professional kitchen’s rice cooker. Here’s how you do it.

How to Boil Your Brown Rice

Bring a large pot filled with several quarts of water to a boil — just as if you were making pasta. Then measure out the amount of rice you want. (A cup of dry rice makes about three cups cooked.) While the water is coming to a boil, rinse the rice well in a fine-mesh strainer under cool running water. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the rice and give it a stir. Then let it boil, uncovered, until the grains are tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 to 35 minutes. You can give the pot a stir here and there while it’s cooking if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.

Once the rice is cooked, drain it through that same fine-mesh strainer (we love the one below) then pour the drained rice into the now-empty pot. Cover the pot, set it off the heat, and let the rice steam for 10 minutes.

When you take off the lid you’ll be greeted with perfectly cooked brown rice — just fluff it with a fork and season it to taste with salt and pepper.

Read more: A No-Fuss Method for Cooking Almost Any Whole Grain