Brown rice is an edible whole grain with the outer hull removed. The fiber-packed superfood, brown rice, is a great alternative to white rice, especially for those who are on a weight loss journey. Though it takes longer in cooking brown rice, its nutritious value makes it worth the time spent in preparing it.
Generally, while cooking rice, these steps are followed: Boiling water, adding a bowl of raw rice, adding salt, covering it with the lid and cooking it at low flame until rice is cooked. And if you are following the same recipe to cook brown rice, then you might not be preparing it the right way.
Right Ways Of Cooking Brown Rice
Below we have mentioned a few tips to cook brown rice in a way that will preserve its nutrient content.
1. Rinse Them Properly
Rinsing brown rice should be the first step. The main reason is to remove dust particles. After rinsing, drain it and put it in the pot you will be using to cook it. Now add water. The water level should come up to “the first line of your middle finger,” considering the tip of your middle finger is resting on the surface of the pan.
2. Use Right Sized Pot
Use the right-sized pot or pan for cooking brown rice instead of a pressure cooker. Avoid using a small-sized pan and make sure that the pan is large enough to accommodate the quantity of rice you’re cooking.
3. Pay Attention
The third tip that you must take into consideration is to pay attention while cooking and don’t ‘set it and forget.’ As soon as you keep the pan for cooking rice, boil it without covering it with a lid. Then on a medium flame, cook it for some more time without covering it. Now, cover the pan and let it cook. Keep checking until your rice is cooked and make sure rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
4. Short Grain Rice Takes Longer To Cook
This may sound odd, but short-grain rice takes longer to cook. As brown rice is usually short grain, it will take time for cooking. Pay attention while cooking brown rice.
5. Leftovers Are Beneficial
Don’t throw the leftovers. You can fry them by adding different veggies. You can also add eggs, tofu, and even nuts to make it more nutritious.
Things To Avoid While Cooking Brown Rice
Below we’ve mentioned some of the tips to not do while cooking brown rice
1. Steaming Rice
You don’t want to let your rice steam when cooking. It’s known as ‘carry over cooking in the kitchen. If your rice is done cooking, make sure you serve it or take it out of the pot to begin to cool, or it will overcook and turn to mush and give it a nice fluff when done. It’s good to fluff it to cool it down more quickly to avoid steaming and overcooking.
2. Directions On The Package Are Not Very Necessary To Follow
The directions on the package are a road map, not a law. There are too many variables in cooking to rely solely on a recipe from temperatures, to pan sizes, and even humidity and altitude. Read through the directions to get an understanding of them and use your eyes, nose, and ears to be the best judge.
For instance, if your flame is higher or if you use a 10″ wide pan versus a 6” wide pan, your water will evaporate at a quicker rate, he says. And starches tend to absorb humidity, so on very humid days you might need a touch less liquid, and on very dry days you might need a touch more, he adds. Cooking times tend to increase in higher elevations, as well.
3. Do Not Stir
Let your rice be. Stirring will help break down the rice and knock off the exterior starch a bit. When steaming rice, this will create a layer of starch in the bottom of your pan causing sticking and burning. Yet there’s one exception: risotto. The ratio of liquid is higher for risotto and the starch that is released during stirring helps to thicken the liquid creating the classic texture of risotto.
4. Cooking Brown Rice At Too High Temperature Is Not Good
Give your rice a more moderate flame. “Rice should be cooked at a medium temperature. Cooking it at a high temp will probably leave your rice raw in the middle,” he says. As the starch falls away from the rice, it will most likely stick and burn on the bottom of the pan, as well. That means, goodbye pan (or hello large cleanup!) and some pretty bad-tasting rice.
5. Do Not Keep Lifting The Lid
It’s hard to be patient and trust, but losing that extra heat and steam will greatly affect how your rice cooks “You need all of that steam to remain trapped in your pot to cook the rice, though. If you remove the lid before it’s done, your ratios are now incorrect,” he says. It is very difficult to adjust the time and amount of liquid after that, so just keep the lid on until it’s one.
Brown Rice VS White Rice
Brown rice is a whole grain. The outer hull is still on there. It’s got the germ and bran, as well. These things give it more fiber, a slightly nutty flavor, and a chewy texture. Brown and white rice are not the same. Brown rice cooks more like a whole grain than refined white rice. Brown rice requires more cooking time and more liquid. If you treated brown rice the same as white rice, it wouldn’t cook through and would still be raw.
The hull, germ, and bran have been removed from white rice. That makes it cook pretty fast as little as 15 minutes. But brown rice can take up to 45 minutes to cook. That’s the other big difference.
Some Other Tips
- Start the rice at a hard boil over medium-high heat with the lid on. When you hear your pot hissing or the lid jittering, immediately turn the heat down to medium-low, or as low as you can get it yet still have the liquid simmering. Rice likes it nice and easy.
- Lower heat ensures tender, evenly cooked grains. And it discourages the liquid from boiling over and making a mess. Every stove is different, and it might take a little fiddling to get to the ideal nice and gentle burner heat on yours.
- Look for steam holes. Right after the rice reaches that initial hard boil, set your timer for 35 minutes. When it goes off, lift the lid and check for doneness. Steam holes scattered through the surface of the cooked rice indicate it’s fully cooked. No, and brown rice does not like to be rushed, either. Patience makes brown rice fluffy. Let It Rest After Cooking
- If you don’t plan on serving it to sop up sauce or flavorful cooking liquid, you may want to add 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every cup of dry rice.
Pro Tips To Troubleshooting Brown Rice
1. Watery Rice
There’s too much liquid. Strain out the excess liquid, return the rice to the pot, and let it sit on the lowest heat for 10 minutes with the lid on (if the rice is still hard) or the lid off (if it’s on the mushy side).
2. Mushy Rice
The rice had too much liquid added to it or cooked for too long. Probably both.
3. Crunchy or Dry Rice
There was not enough liquid, or it didn’t cook long enough. Did you let it passively steam for 10 minutes after turning off the heat? Oftentimes, that final rest will fix everything. If it’s still too crunchy, add a little more liquid and cook it 10 minutes on low, then steam for 5 minutes.
4. Burnt Rice
The heat was too high, or there wasn’t enough liquid or both. Presumably, only the rice on the bottom of the pot is burnt. If the remaining rice is edible, remove it without disturbing the burnt rice. Then fill the pot with water and let it soak for a while so you can scrub out and discard the burnt rice.
The difference between okay rice and perfectly cooked rice is letting it sit for 10 minutes and passively steam after it’s done simmering. This is something 95% of package instructions neglect to tell you, but it’s really important.
Learn more such tips from our website.