This post explains how to cook perfect brown rice that turns out fluffy and tender and delicious. 

Brown rice. I love to hate you.

I freely acknowledge that brown rice is more nutritious and hearty and good-for-me than its white counterpart but most of the time, it tastes like terrible, crunchy grains of inedible quality or is so mushy it’s disgustingified.

A white plate piled high with cooked brown rice.

The only way I’ve been able to really enjoy brown rice’s qualities is to bake it.

It turns out fluffy and tender and delicious. But sometimes, I just don’t have an hour plus to nurture brown rice to tasty proportions (or else my oven needs to be used for something else).

Imagine my delight when I found a better way to cook brown rice on the stovetop (the traditional method of cooking it like white rice, just with more water and longer, has never worked for me).

I was skeptical, so skeptical, but after trying it out, I am smitten again with the goodness of brown rice.

The true test was my kids – they growl when I serve stovetop-cooked brown rice because they just plain don’t like it (I can’t blame them). This version? Um, yeah, major hit. In fact, my 5-year old had thirds of rice with a bit of butter and salt and declared ownership of all the leftovers.

This really is a better way. I’m so happy that brown rice is in my life to stay.

A spoonful of cooked brown rice with a plate of rice in the background.

One Year Ago: Smoked Salmon Chowder
Two Years Ago: Chicken Pot Pie Crumble
Three Years Ago: Baked Brown Rice


How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice

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  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, optional


  • Bring water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. While the water is coming to a boil, rinse the rice under cold water for 30 seconds. When the water comes to a boil, stir in the rice and salt (optional), stirring once.
  • Boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  • Pour the rice into a strainer/colander set in the sink. Let the rice drain for 10-15 seconds then return it to the pot off the heat (it will still be a bit moist).
  • Immediately cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid. If your lid isn’t really tight, place a kitchen towel over the pot before nesting the lid tightly into the pot. Let the rice steam for 10 minutes before uncovering the pot and fluffing the rice with a fork. Season with more salt, if desired.


Rice: you can use any type of brown rice (long grain, basmati, etc.) If you make this and find the rice isn’t quite as tender as you like, add another minute or two to the boiling time.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 172kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 310mg, Fiber: 2g

Recipe Source: found via Pinterest on Pinch My Salt, originally from Saveur (I decreased the water amount in my version)