How To Cook Brown Rice

How to Cook Brown Rice

How to Cook Brown Rice

The secret to cooking perfect brown rice lies in getting the water to brown rice ratio correct. Once you get that correct, it's only a matter of turning off the heat when the rice is done.

The method I use to cook perfect brown rice every time is called the absorption method. I find it's the easiest and most consistent way to cook brown rice, and it eliminates the guesswork.So, what's the water to brown rice cooking ratio?

1 cup of brown rice to 2 cups of water.


  1. Put 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water in a saucepan with lid.
  2. When water starts to boil, turn heat down to a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and there is no water standing at the bottom of the pan.
  3. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve.
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18 Responses to “How To Cook Brown Rice”

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  1. geet says:

    this method is for white rice and not brown rice , it seems u don’t know how to cook

    • Donna says:

      LOL! Actually I cook every day, I’ve got about 20 years experience as a chef, and the one thing I’m really bad at cooking is, ironically in the context of your comment, white rice. This photo is of brown rice, I cooked it, I took a photo of it, and then I ate it, perfectly cooked. I’m very picky about rice. Now, as I say I’m not too good at cooking white rice, but I think it only takes 15 minutes to cook, so if you cook it for 30 minutes as in this recipe then cover and leave to sit for a further 10-15 minutes, wouldn’t you be left with paste? Anyway, thanks for making me laugh!

    • Candace says:

      You’re probably just not cooking it right because this is the same way I cook my brown rice, and it comes out nice and fluffy and delicious.

    • sandy says:

      Normally the package tells you how to cook the brown rice. I have been cooking brown rice a long time. I am 73. What I do is pour 2 cups of water into a pan. Let the water come to a boil. When it starts to boil, then I pour in 1 cup of brown rice. I turn the fire down and then take the lid off and let the rice boil down with the reduced heat.

      Taking the lid off allows the brown rice to remain as separated as possible without becoming pasty. When it has boiled down, I turn the fire off and take a fork and further separate the rice with the fork. Then put the lid on. Delicious and not sticky. I hope this helps.

  2. naz@cookware says:

    Brown rice is very good for the health. In fact there are some special recipes in Indian cuisine that particularly taste good with brown rice. I think your recipe is perfect all right.

  3. bernadette says:

    thanks for putting this up Donna!! about to go do it now!!! Will let you know how it comes out!

    • Donna says:

      Hey Bernadette, great! I tend to have better results when I use only a cup of rice (as opposed to two cups), I’m not sure why. But it’s still nice using 2 cups. I love the absorption method because the rice doesn’t come out too soft or sticky. And you know it’s done when the water is gone! Do let us know how it works out for you!

  4. Star says:

    Geet, you are an ignorant human being. This recipe is not for white rice therefore, YOU must be the one who doesn’t know how to cook. Who are you to comment on donna’s post anyway? If you don’t have anything nice to say then keep your mouth shut. I’m not a fan of rudeness or bullying but your an ass.

    Ps- white rice is the same amount of water and rice. Ex: 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of water.

  5. Stuart says:

    I use Donna’s method for brown rice also. Brown rice will always have a more chewy texture than white rice.
    As for white rice, the ratio I use is 1 cup of white rice to 1.5 cups of water and the following method:
    melt 1/2 a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a saucepan, throw in rice and stir on medium-low heat until rice is coated and becomes translucent. Add the water, bring to a quick boil, put on the lid, reduce to lowest heat possible and cook for 15 minutes then let stand for 5 minutes. At no time during cooking or standing should you remove the lid – this will ruin the rice. Remove the lid after standing and fluff with a fork. There should be no rice stuck to the bottom and it will be light and fluffy.
    I adapt the white rice method (following) for brown rice, altering the cooking time and quantity of water as per Donna’s recipe.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Stuart! That sounds great with the addition of butter. I often put butter or a bit of olive or coconut oil in my brown rice too.

  6. Michelle says:

    Here’s an awesome brown rice recipe I made the other day. Enjoy!

    BROWN RICE RECIPE (Australian)


    1 Cup Brown Rice
    3 Spring Onions
    1 Red Capsicum (Diced)
    1/3 Cup Currants (Not sultana’s)
    1/2 Cup Cashews (Roasted)
    2 Tbls Sunflower Seeds (Roasted)
    2 Tbls Parsley (Finely chopped)


    4 Tbls Sunflower Oil
    2 Tbls Soy Sauce
    1 Tbls Lemon Juice
    1 Clove Garlic (Crushed)
    Salt & Pepper

    Cook rice in boiling salted water (30-40 mins)
    Roast sunflower seeds and Cashews in oven while cooking rice
    Put rice in a bowl while still warm
    Add Spring Onions, Capsicum, Currants, Cashews, Sunflower Seeds and Parsley
    Mix dressing together and stir through



  7. Janice says:


  8. Nicole says:

    The rice was WAY underdone. I had to cook it for a full 45 minutes, like it says on packages. It’s just frustrating when you have to let the heat escape every time you open the lid to check on it. I did use brown rice and followed the instructions exactly, in case anyone wants to know. I’m not trying to be mean, but I think others should know these are not good directions.

  9. drbendover says:

    No set recipe works for everyone. A lot has to do with you and your stove. I used to cook on a gas stove and I hardly ever had trouble cooking rice. Now I cook on an electric stove and it all depends on heat set and how much water and how many times you remove lid to check. What might be low or simmer on one stove might be warm or med low on another. The more you cook it, the more you’ll get the feel of “your” stove, and the better your rice will come out. In addition to that, everyone has different ideas on taste and doneness. It all depends on what you like.

    • Donna says:

      You’re so right drbendover! The altitude where you are cooking it makes a big difference too. I find the strain and type of rice makes a difference. Sometimes I have to add a little more water, or remove the lid for a while towards the end. But you’re absolutely right, it takes some practice and adaptation to get it right… but that’s what cooking is all about 🙂

  10. jan jones says:

    I finally found a fail proof brown rice recipe, and my son accidentally made it even easier. You use 2 1/3 c water (boiling), 1 1/2 c brown rice, 2 t butter and salt to taste. Place the rice and salt in an oven safe casserole dish. Pour water over the top, and put pats of butter on top. Cover with double foil. Bake at 375 for 1 hour. When done, carefully remove foil to avoid getting hit with steam, and fluff with a fork. My son did not know you had to boil the water, in fact he used cold water and it still came out. But I generally use hot water myself. Also, I have doubled the recipe with the same excellent results. I think my problem with making it on the stovetop is with the temp, not the amount of rice/water, and time. I have never been able to cook rice on the stove.