by Olena

Instant Pot Brown Rice

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Olena Osipov
5 from 9 votes

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Instant Pot Brown Rice comes out perfectly fluffy every time using my failproof pressure cooker recipe. Slightly chewy, soft, nutty, and simply THE BEST! Learning how to cook brown rice in Instant Pot is a basic skill for any home cook because rice is such a food staple in many homes. It’s cheap, you can make many meals from it, and it’s highly nutritious and naturally gluten-free! Just look at it!

Learning how to use the Instant Pot for simple 1 ingredient recipes is an easy way to learn to save time and money later on and the tips and tricks for cooking things like beets in an Instant Pot or Instant Pot corn on the cob, or even black beans or chickpeas, are great ways to make your life easier in the kitchen in ways you never imagined!

perfect instant pot brown rice on a fork

Perfect Instant Pot Brown Rice Recipe

Brown rice is like a humble best friend. A strong silent partner who doesn’t say much but is always there to support whatever the main dish is on the plate but it’s also so much more than that! The versatility of brown rice knows no bounds because it’s also used in main dishes like Tex Mex rice and beans or Instant Pot rice and beans for a complete meal in one. Or a dessert like this brown rice pudding and all kinds of yummy baked treats. It can be left plain or seasoned to your preference, and it is a mild flavour that easily picks up the flavours of whatever else is being served.

As amazing as brown rice really is, there are still many variables to think about when you cook rice on the stovetop. Is my rice to water ratio just right? Will I burn the rice? Is my rice going to be perfectly cooked or undercooked? Rice isn’t overly complicated but there are a number of things to think about in order to get it just right. Learning how to cook brown rice in Instant Pot takes away ALL of that wondering and gets you perfect brown rice without even having to watch it at all!

Pressure cooker brown rice still takes the same 45 minutes as it normally would but the freedom you have to not worry your pot is going to overboil (because dried starchy, saltwater splatter is annoying) or your rice will be undercooked, or burnt, is absolutely worth it. So, even though the overall time is the same, you end up still saving time because you can get other things done while you wait!

Rice is super budget-friendly, not only because rice itself isn’t expensive but also because when you make it, it’s usually enough or more than one meal. It is filling, full of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin B and Magnesium, and can complete almost any meal. It’s naturally gluten-free and is a great choice when looking for a healthier alternative to white rice.

Make a big batch of brown rice and portion it out to help with meal prep for dinners throughout the week, package some away to take some for lunch, and freeze whatever you don’t use for later on.

Why This Recipe for Brown Rice in Instant Pot Works?

  • Hands off, no babysitting, super easy, and fuss free.
  • One batch makes a lot, but you can also adjust the amount to suit your needs.
  • Meal prep magic! Batch cooking, portioning and make ahead meals made easy.
  • Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen for months.
  • Brown rice is naturally gluten-free and high in vitamins and minerals.
  • A healthier alternative to white rice.
  • Takes the guess work out of making rice with this simple, easy to follow, guide.
cooked pressure cooker brown rice

Types of Brown Rice You Can Cook in Instant Pot

I am super happy to report that pressure cooker brown rice doesn’t discriminate! The following 3 types of brown rice came out perfect – not mushy, fluffy, and no leftover water. I was blown away myself that even short grain brown rice was perfectly cooked with a bite.

  • Basmati brown rice
  • Long grain brown rice
  • Short grain brown rice

How to Cook Brown Rice in Instant Pot

  • Rinse rice: My grandma always told me to rinse rice to remove extra starch. It helps to avoid each cooked rice grain clumping together and to keep them all separated. I recommend this for my Instant Pot chicken and rice, too!
  • Water to rice ratio: 1 cup of brown rice to 1 cup of water. This is because in a pressure cooker liquid does not evaporate like on the stove.
  • Season rice: I believe a touch of salt is all that is necessary. Salt helps flavours of any food shine.
  • Cook for 20 minutes on high pressure. Do not use the Rice button as it cooks on Low pressure and is good for white rice.
  • Release pressure only with Natural Release: This ensures the brown rice sits and absorbs any remaining liquid and becomes perfect. Takes about 15 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork: Never stir cooked rice to make rice mushy. Separate the grains by fluffing it with a fork.
rinse rice for Instant Pot brown rice
ratio of water to brown rice for cooking in instant pot
brown rice in Instant Pot

Still on a fence about Instant Pot? Check out which one I recommend to buy from my experience. Own one but still not 100% confident around it? Read my Instant Pot guide.

Tips for Perfect Brown Rice

  • Water to rice ratio stays the same whether you cook 1 cup or 5 cups of rice.
  • Cooking time stays the same for any amount of rice.
  • Size of Instant Pot: You can use any as long as you don’t fill it more than 1/2 full.
  • Altitude: Pressure cooking time does differ very slightly based on the altitude where you currently are. As well, even the same type of rice can be of different quality or age. If your brown rice comes out a bit crunchy or mushy, add or reduce a few minutes to the cooking time. Not a big deal.

Just look at this perfect brown basmati rice in Instant Pot. And even the short grain rice is perfect! C’mon, get excited with me!

Add-In’s and Variations

  • You can add 1 tbsp of butter or olive oil before or after cooking. Also can use any low sodium broth or stock instead of water or use a combination of both.
  • Play around with different seasonings. Add a bit before cooking and then adjust to taste afterward. Some options could be Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, garlic powder, or a blend of taco seasoning.
  • I like adding a bit of salt to the water before cooking, but that’s completely optional.

FAQs

Can I use the rice button on my Instant Pot for brown rice?

The button is intended for white rice. Since brown rice and white rice have very different cook times, the low pressure used when pressing the button isn’t enough to cook the brown rice in the time given.

How much does 1 cup of brown rice make cooked?

Rice expands when it’s been cooked and has absorbed all of the liquid. Therefore, 1 cup of uncooked brown rice makes 3 cups cooked. So, lots!

Why is my brown rice mushy?

If you don’t properly rinse your rice to rid it of as much starch as possible, you could end up with mushy rice. You also need to make sure to follow the 1:1 ratio direction (1 cup of water for 1 cup of rice) exactly as directed.

Why is my brown rice chewy?

It goes back to how well you rinsed the starch off and how much (or how little) liquid you used to cook the rice. It’s important to follow the instructions because believe me, I’ve tested it over and over again and THIS is the BEST recipe for perfectly cooked rice.

Is brown rice hard to digest?

It definitely can be for some people. It’s less processed than white rice, which means it still has the bran and other original parts of the grain that make it super nutritious. This also means it can make it harder to digest. Some people recommend soaking rice ahead of time (like seeds or beans) for easier digestion, but with the Instant Pot you won’t need to presoak anything!

fluffy short grain and basmati brown rice cooked in instant pot

Serving Suggestions

I cook brown rice mostly to go with our favorite Asian dishes, but there are also so many other uses, you can never make too much!

Making Instant Pot Brown Rice in Advance

Cooling: Cool rice quicker by spreading it in a wide and shallow dish. Placing outside, if it’s cooler and no animals around, helps too.

Storing: Cook and cool. Store rice in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Freezing: Freeze rice in airtight containers or in a resealable plastic bag (let out as much air as possible) for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, take it out of the freezer in the morning and thaw on a counter.

Reheating: To reheat rice, add to a small pot with a splash of water and cook on low covered, stirring every few minutes. Add more water if necessary. Cold or frozen rice can be added to soups, casseroles and salads without the need to thaw first.

brown rice in containers to freeze

More Basic Instant Pot Recipes

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Instant Pot Brown Rice

Instant Pot Brown Rice {Any Kind!}

Instant Pot Brown Rice comes out perfectly fluffy every time using my fail proof pressure cooker recipe. Slightly chewy, soft, nutty, and simply THE BEST! Learning how to cook brown rice in Instant Pot is a basic skill for any home cook because rice is such a food staple in many homes. It's cheap, you can make many meals from it, and it's highly nutritious and naturally gluten-free! Just look at it!
5 from 9 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 5 cups
Calories: 275kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice rinsed and drained*
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  • In Instant Pot, add brown rice, water and a pinch of salt.
    Instant Pot Brown Rice
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF. And now it needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve.
  • Pressure Release for 6 quart Instant Pot: Do Natural Release by allowing pressure come down on its own for perfectly cooked rice. Do not do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position. Rice won’t be cooked.
    Instant Pot Brown Rice
  • Pressure Release for 8 quart Instant Pot: Do Natural Release by allowing pressure come down on its own for soft rice. If you like a bit crunchy with a bite rice do Quick Release after 10 minutes of Natural Release.
  • Open the lid and fluff rice with a fork. That’s it!
    Instant Pot Brown Rice

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

      Notes

      *I have tested long grain, basmati and short grain brown rice. All came out perfect with same cooking time.
      You can cook less or more rice with same 1:1 rice to water ratio and cooking time.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 275kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 204mg | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
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