brown rice

I thought I’d already nailed my favorite brown rice recipe, but over time, I found myself not using it. There were two issues I was having.  One was that it takes an hour and a half, and I don’t have that kind of foresight on an average weeknight.  The other problem is that it starts on the stovetop and is transferred to the oven, which sounds simple enough, but I could never remember the cooking times and didn’t want to check a recipe for a basic side dish.  I have too much else to do and think about; rice can’t be complicated.

In the comments of that baked brown rice post, I was pointed toward a recipe for rice cooked like pasta. Also, Stacy recommended basmati brown rice over other varieties, claiming that it’s more fragrant and flavorful. Because the nutty scent of white rice is one of my favorite aspects of it, I was eager to try any trick to get that experience with brown rice.

This worked. The basmati rice smells sweet and nutty while it boils, exactly how white rice smells while it steams. And the best part is that it’s so simple to make that even I can get it done on an average weeknight.  That means we’ve pretty much eliminated another refined grain from our diets, with very little compromise in terms of effort or flavor.

One year ago: Chicken Fajitas
Two years ago: Anadama Bread
Three years ago: Sichuan Green Beans

Printer Friendly Recipe
Brown Rice
(adapted from Saveur via Pinch My Salt)

This recipe can be scaled up or down as much as you want.

8 cups water
1 cup rice, rinsed
2 teaspoons salt

Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and salt; reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Drain the rice in a strainer and return it to the pot, off the heat. Cover tightly and let set for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; serve.

(This is Red Beans and Rice.)


  1. What an interesting method – I am intrigued! I rarely make brown rice because it never seems to come out right so I can’t wait to try this.

  2. I was just looking at the baked brown rice method in a CI cookbook and wondering how well it worked…and now this! I had heard about this one too, so now I’ll try both. The trouble is, there’s that insanely appealing sundried tomato jam right next to your other brown rice post, and I’m going to be obsessed with that for a while first…

  3. You know I feel strongly about the deliciousness of brown basmati, but that it an interesting cooking method! I might just go try that now (need day-old rice for a recipe tomorrow).

  4. This is the only way I’ll make brown rice now. It always cooks perfectly and is so easy to keep an eye on it. Plus…when I make it this way, the family eats it without complaining that I made brown rice!

  5. This is great! I was going to make regular white rice tonight but I am going to try this instead. I have had a bag of brown rice for a while now but never have the time to make it.


  6. Sarah says:

    Yawn. Thanks so much for the technique, but I can’t wait for your next actual recipe.

  7. Amanda says:

    Oh I love that you tried this!! 🙂 So glad to hear you liked the results. I use it with the brown basmati as well, and for all my grains now, actually (quinoa is especially good).

  8. You convinced me to dig out that bag of brown rice I had been ignoring in my cupboard. I used 6 cups of water instead of 8 but otherwise did everything as you said and holy cow, it was fabulous. I am not a brown rice fan, never have been but honestly the taste was incredible. I bought the bag knowing it was the healthier choice but now I will be buying it because its good too! I used brown Jasmine rice from Trader Joes, I have not tried basmati but I imagine it taste similar, I will pick up a bad next time.

    Thank you again, you have helped me convert!

  9. suzanne says:

    i love brown rice and can’t wait to try this! my favorite way to cook it is with a teaspoon-ish of chicken better than bullion, chopped basil and a teaspoon of butter cooked into it and then lime squeezed on top. so yummy!
    thanks for the technique. i appreciate them as much as the recipes! 🙂

  10. bridget says:

    suzanne – I’m so glad that SOME readers appreciate techniques in addition to recipes! 😉

  11. I just made this tonight and it may forever free me of my dependence on Uncle Ben!

  12. Thanks for this!! It came in really handy tonight when I realized I only had brown rice and needed cooked rice for a recipe!

  13. I have to try cooking rice, this way. We love brown rice and if I can make it easier to cook, I am all for it. Thanks.

  14. Wow, only 30 minutes!!!! Thanks for this method. It took over 2 hours for me to cook brown rice the white rice method and that was the last time I ever made it. I will try it this way.