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Instant Pot Brown Rice is one of the absolute best ways to use your pressure cooker. The texture is perfect, it never boils over, and you can set it and forget while you prepare the rest of the meal.

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Brown rice is surprisingly tricky to get right on the stovetop.

I am embarrassed by the number of times I have tried to cook rice on the stove, only to end up with rice burned to the bottom of my pot, mushy rice, or a big mess of starchy water overflow.

The answer: pressure cook your brown rice!

  • A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can act just like a rice cooker, without the need for a separate appliance.
  • While there is an Instant Pot rice setting, you don’t need to use it. The regular pressure setting is the best way to control the cooking and know you’ll have great results.
  • Just add the brown rice, water, and a pinch of salt. Set your pressure cooker for 22 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
  • It’s foolproof and will give you perfect rice every single time.
Instant pot brown rice being stirred with a wooden spoon

Instant Pot Rice to Water Ratio

For every 1 cup of brown rice, add 1 1/4 cups water.

You will end up with double the amount of cooked rice as uncooked rice.

  • 1 cup brown rice + 1 1/4 cups water = 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice + 1 2/3 cups water = 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups brown rice + 2 1/2 cups water = 4 cups cooked rice
  • 2 1/2 cups brown rice + 3 cups water = 5 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups brown rice + 3 3/4 cups water = 6 cups cooked rice.

If you are a rice texture purist, cooking 2 cups or more of Instant Pot brown rice does give it the best texture.

  • If you cook less than 2 cups of rice in the instant pot, it will turn out slightly mushier.
  • That said, I almost always make just 1 cup because we are a smaller household, and we are very happy with it.
Grains in a pressure cooker

My other big tip: Add a pinch of salt to rice before cooking to season it.

Instant Pot Rice Cook Time

  • For brown rice, pressure cook on high for 22 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure, carefully open the Instant Pot, stir, and use your rice as you please.
  • The pressure will take about 10 to 15 minutes to build, at which point the 22 minutes will start counting down.

This makes the total pressure cook time for brown rice 45 to 50 minutes:

  • 12 minutes building + 22 minutes cooking + 15 minutes release = 49 minutes.
  • While not faster than the stovetop brown rice, Instant Pot brown rice is easier to make and has a better final texture.
A wooden spoon stirring Instant Pot brown rice

How to Make Perfect Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

Of all of the Instant Pot recipes on my site, brown rice is what we make in our pressure cooker the most!

You can toast the rice in oil for a few minutes using the sauté function if you like, but I find that as long as I add a little salt, the rice tastes excellent.


The Ingredients

  • Rice. With its slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture, brown rice brings more to the table than just its ability to deliciously soak up sauces and fill our bellies. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamins, and magnesium.

Substitution Tip

This recipe works well with long grain brown rice, short grain brown rice, brown jasmine rice, and brown basmati rice. You can use whichever kind you prefer.

As written, this recipe will not work well with white rice or instant rice. If you only have white rice on hand, see the FAQ section below for my tips.

  • Water. The water-to-rice ratio is critical for achieving the fluffiest, most perfect rice.
  • Salt. Helps boost the flavor of the rice.

The Directions

Water and grains in a pressure cooker
  1. Stir the rice, water, and salt together in an Instant Pot.
  2. Pressure cook brown rice on HIGH for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
Fluffy Instant Pot brown rice in a pressure cooker
  1. Fluff and DIG IN!

How to Freeze Instant Pot Brown Rice

Cooked grains like brown rice are easy to portion and freeze.

Go ahead and make a big batch in your pressure cooker, then freeze the rest for later, using these steps.

  1. Spread the cooked, cooled rice on a baking sheet.
  2. Freeze until solid.
  3. Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
  4. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or use directly from frozen. 

Also, you can simply transfer the cooked, cooled rice to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag without the pre-freezing method. The extra step just helps ensure your rice freezes flat for easy storage.

A bowl of easy Instant Pot brown rice

Ways to Use Instant Pot Brown Rice

Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe

The Best Instant Pot

Forget taking up precious storage space with a rice cooker, slow cooker, and Instant Pot, this model can do it all!

A bowl of Instant Pot brown rice

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked the recipe.

I sometimes joke that our Instant Pot is mostly a fancy rice cooker, but there is a little truth to it.

Enjoy your perfect Instant Pot brown rice and see if you feel the same!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use This Recipe for White Rice?

The water to rice ratio for Instant Pot brown and white rice is the same. The pressure cook time, however, is different.

22 minutes is the amount of pressure cook time for brown rice. For white rice, reduce the time to 8 minutes. For both types, after the time has elapsed, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.

Can I Cook Other Things with the Rice?

While this recipe was designed just for the rice by itself, you can find other recipes on my site that include additional ingredients. See my Instant Pot Chicken and Rice.

  • 2 cups long grain or short grain brown rice* brown jasmine and brown basmati rice work too; DO NOT use white rice or instant rice; it will be obliterated
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • In the bottom of an Instant Pot, stir together the rice, water, and salt (I do not rinse my rice first, because I like it a little sticky; if you’d like less starchy grains, go ahead and rinse it first).

  • Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure (manual mode) for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, or until the pin drops.

  • Carefully open the lid. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!

  • *I find that in a 6-quart instant pot, 2 cups cooks the most evenly; that said, I’ve also done as little as 1 cup with decent results. Simply divide the recipe in half.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate rice in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave. 
  • TO FREEZE: Spread the rice on a baking sheet, freezing until solid. Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Serving: 1cup (of 6)Calories: 228kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 138mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg

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