If you’ve ever had trouble getting your rice “just right” on the stovetop, the first time you use a rice cooker will be a game-changing experience. These small countertop appliances are designed to cook up the perfect batch of rice every time – no more grains burned into the bottom of your pan, or lumps of overcooked mush.
Brown rice in particular tends to be trickier than other varieties. It often ends up too chewy, too clumpy, or undercooked (it takes about 3 times longer to cook than white rice). Read on to learn how to cook brown rice in a rice cooker with our step by step guide.
Benefits of brown rice
Unlike white rice, brown rice is a whole grain, meaning that it contains every part of the original grain. The most important elements of brown rice are the fibrous bran and the germ, both of which are loaded with nutrients. When brown rice is milled to white rice, these parts are removed, making it less nutritionally dense than it was when it was harvested. Some white rice may be enriched to replace some of the nutrients removed in milling.
Due to the fiber content of brown rice, this variety is known to keep you fuller for longer periods of time, which can help with weight management and maintaining your overall health. As mentioned above, it also takes longer to cook than other types of rice due to its outer casing (the bran and germ).
How to cook brown rice in a rice cooker
Using a rice cooker is one of the fastest ways to make a delicious batch of rice. At the end of a long workday, there’s nothing like setting up your rice maker within a few minutes and pressing the “on” button, knowing the result will be absolutely perfect. Follow this easy step-by-step guide and you’ll be a pro in no time! Here is our guide on how to cook rice in a rice cooker.
Step 1: Prepare your workstation
Do you have everything you need? This step is simple: gather your rice, your rice cooker, and a measuring cup (if your cooker comes with its own measuring cup, use that one).
Step 2: Rinse the rice (optional)
These days, most rice varieties that you purchase at the grocery store do not need to be rinsed. However, some people maintain that it is an essential step in the preparation process: rinsing removes excess surface starch, which can make for a less “gummy” result. If you do choose to rinse, simply combine your rice and water in a bowl, and use your fingers to agitate the rice. Repeat the process three to five times until the water runs clear.
Step 3: Add your ingredients to the cooker
Now is the time to place your rice napkin inside the pan, if you are choosing to use one. Then, according to your rice maker’s instruction manual, add the correct amount of water and rice to the pan. If the appliance does not specify its optimal rice to water ratio, a good rule of thumb is to use 2 cups of water for every cup of brown long grain rice.
Step 4: Start cooking the rice
Cover your rice maker with its lid and begin the cooking process according to the appliance’s instructions. While it cooks, you can take care of other meal prep tasks, like chopping vegetables or cooking your protein. Once the rice is ready, the cooker will automatically transition to warming mode, so you don’t need to worry about your rice burning if you’re not paying attention.
Step 5: Fluff the rice
Remove the lid and use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the rice (also called “fluffing”) – this quick step will give it the perfect texture.
Step 6: Serve and enjoy
Your cooker can keep your rice warm for hours, so you can either prepare it in advance or serve it immediately!
Easy brown rice recipe in a rice cooker
- 1 cup / 250mL Dainty Brown Basmati rice
- 1 1/2 cups / 375mL Water
- 2 Tbsp / 30g Butter
- 1/2 cup / 75g Deli Ham, diced
- 1 small head of Brocoli, cut into small florets
- 3/4 cup / 95g Cheddar, grated
- Salt & Pepper
Step 1: Place the rice, water, butter and ham into the rice cooker. Close the lid and cook. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Place the rice, water, butter and ham into the rice cooker. Close the lid and cook. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Step 3: When timer goes off, add the broccoli into the rice cooker, close the lid and continue cooking.
Step 4: When done, fold in the cheddar and mix gently until melted. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. Serve.
Take your brown rice to the next level with these quick and easy recipes. All you need is a few simple ingredients, a rice cooker, and a love of cooking delicious food!
- 1 cup/250mL Dainty Brown Rice
- 2 cups/500mL chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup/250mL corn kernels, fresh or frozen
- 2 cups/500mL kale leaves, stalks removed, washed and chopped rough
- 1 handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Step 1: Cook the Dainty brown rice in your rice cooker.
Step 2: Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil. Remove the sausage meat from the casing, and once the pan is hot, crumble the sausage meat into the pan. Sauté until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. This step can be completed while your rice is cooking, if you are making a fresh batch.
Step 3: Add the minced onion and garlic to the pan and continue sautéeing for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions have softened.
Step 4: Toss in the diced sweet potato and stir to combine. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the mixture to cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Stir in the cooked rice and chopped kale. Raise the heat back up to medium-high. Cook until the kale wilts slightly, about 5 minutes. If you find it a little dry, add in 3 to 4 tbsp more soup stock (or water).
Step 6: Stir in the corn and parsley. Allow the corn to warm up for 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat. Season with a generous amount of salt & pepper and serve hot.
Substitution option: Swap the sausage for 5 to 6 slices of bacon. Add a fried egg on top for a hearty breakfast.
Looking to discover even more recipes? Visit our rice recipe corner for endless inspiration!