Instant Pot Brown Rice

5 from 2 votes
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This Instant Pot brown rice recipe is the best way to cook brown rice, hands-down. It comes out perfectly every single time. 

Cooked brown rice in a small bowl next to an Instant Pot

Cooking Brown Rice

Many people shy away from cooking brown rice because it can be more temperamental than white rice. Brown rice is considered to be a “whole grain” as it contains the bran and the germ of the rice. White rice is lighter and softer than brown rice because the bran and germ are removed, making it easier (and faster) to cook. However, that doesn’t mean brown rice needs to be more difficult to cook. It is actually really easy if you follow the right steps!

Why Use An Instant Pot?

By cooking the rice in the Instant Pot, the rice cooks evenly and comes out perfectly light and fluffy. I have tried any times to cook brown rice on the stove top and it just doesn’t come out as nicely as when I do it in the Instant Pot. Even cooking brown rice in the rice cooker doesn’t get the perfect consistency. Follow the easy Instant Pot Brown Rice recipe below to get the perfectly cooked brown rice every time. 

Cooked brown rice in an Instant Pot

Types of Brown Rice

The main types of brown rice are short grain, medium grain, and long grain. There is also a “light brown” rice that has half of the bran removed, making it more of a cross between white rice and brown rice than a full-blown brown rice. For this recipe you can use any kind of brown rice. Long-grain brown rice is typically the most common, but you can use any of these types using the same method below.

A liquid measuring cup with water and a cup of uncooked brown rice next to an Instant Pot

Should Brown Rice Be Soaked?

You CAN soak your rice before cooking but it isn’t necessary with this method because you will be cooking you rice with high pressure. By cooking rice in the Instant Pot, there is enough pressure to soften the rice adequately without having to soak it first. If using a stovetop or rice cooker method, I would recommend soaking your rice to help soften it more before cooking. 

What is the Ratio of Water to Brown Rice?

When cooking rice in the Instant Pot, you will simply use a 1:1 ratio of uncooked brown rice to water. For example, if you add 1 cup of uncooked rice to the pressure cooker, you will add 1 cup of water. This is typically less water than what you would use if cooking on the stovetop or rice cooker. If you cook on the stovetop you will want to use more water, closer to a 1:2 rice to water ratio. 

An instant pot with uncooked brown rice covered with water

How Long Does Brown Rice Take To Cook?

In the Instant Pot, the rice cooks for approximately 35 minutes. That’s about 5 minutes to come to pressure, 20 minutes to cook at full pressure, and 10 minutes to natural release. This is pretty close to the same amount of time that it would take to cook on the stove top. However, the rice will come out better because it is being cooked under high pressure. The heat is also evenly distributed in an Instant Pot. This makes it less likely to burn to the bottom of the pan.

Don’t Use the “Rice” Button

Don’t be tempted to use the “rice” button on your Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Usually the “rice” function is programmed to “low” pressure and only cooks for 12-15 minutes which is not long enough for brown rice. The rice function works best for white rice varieties only. Set your cooking time manually when working with brown rice.

A very close up view of cooked Instant Pot brown rice on a fork

What Can You Add to Brown Rice to Make it Taste Better?

The easiest thing to do to add more flavor to your rice is to switch up the liquid. Try adding chicken broth or vegetable broth for starters. You can also sauté your rice with some garlic, onion, or peppers in some oil before adding the water to cook. This will make for a more fragrant, flavorful rice. You can also season you rice to make Spanish Rice, Yellow Rice, or Rice Pilaf.

Recipes Using Cooked Brown Rice

Brown rice is so versatile and can be used in SO many different ways. Add it to stir fries, casseroles, and/or soups. You can also serve it as a side dish with chicken, beef, fish, or any other protein. Here are a few more ideas:

More Delicious Rice Recipes

Try some of these flavorful rice dishes or check out ALL of our rice recipes!

How To Make Perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice 

Brown rice in a small bowl next to an Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)

Instant Pot Brown Rice

5 from 2 votes
This Instant Pot brown rice recipe is the best way to cook brown rice, hands-down. It comes out perfectly every single time. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Instant Pot
Servings 6 servings

Equipment

  • Instant Pot (or Pressure Cooker)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups long grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water (or broth)
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Place 2 cups of rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well, agitating and swirling with hand, until water runs clear. Drain well.
    Brown rice being rinsed with water in a fine mesh strainer
  • Place rice in the Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) and add 2 cups of water.
    An instant pot with uncooked brown rice covered with water
  • Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and turn knob to the sealing position. Pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Natural pressure release 10 minutes, then quick release by turning the knob to the venting position.
    A measuring cup of uncooked brown rice next to an Instant Pot
  • Uncover and fluff rice with fork before serving.
    A very close up view of cooked Instant Pot brown rice on a fork

Nutrition Information

Calories: 229kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 5gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 170mgFiber: 2gCalcium: 23mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

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Comments

  1. It’s perfectly fluffy! I love cooking rice in chicken broth as you suggested, for the extra oomph of flavor!