White Rice is generally my choice in rice (and I’ll explain why, below) but sometimes Brown Rice is the perfect thing. Especially when you want those nutty, slightly chewy grains to complement a dish. And making Instant Pot Brown Rice is a game changer.
Way back when, I used to simmer my brown rice and with my attention span (or lack of it!) often came back to the pot later than the 40 minutes or so it’s supposed to cook only to find all the water gone and the rice stuck or even worse, burned to the bottom of my pot. I’m also horrendously bad at soaking brown rice, too, as some brands recommend. Such a hassle.
About Instant Pot Brown Rice:
So at some point, I started baking my brown rice. Yep, baking. I discovered that method by accident when making my Vibrant Vegetarian Casserole with Perfect Brown Rice. That recipe, btw, is an updated remake of an old Veggie Casserole I used to make back in the late 1970’s. It is really good, and I mean really good not just in the sense that it’s good for a healthy meal good; it’s just good. But back to the Brown Rice.
At some point, I stopped making much Brown Rice. I think the main reason was the cooking and the sometimes lackluster Brown Rice. There were a few other reasons I turned to white rice, though. I like it better! I also don’t eat that much rice so the differences between brown and white don’t make a huge difference in my overall nutrition. Honestly, when thinking “healthy” I don’t think of rice at all. Total carbs, right? When I want “healthy” I’ll be making my one pot mash in the pan Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice. You can decide for yourself if the added benefits of brown rice are going to be a worthwhile part of your diet or if it’s really not that big of a deal.
So while I don’t fool myself into thinking any rice is really all that healthy, there are times I want that sturdier, nutty flavor that white rice just doesn’t have. I love chewy brown rice in salads and bowls (and in my Veggie casserole) and brown rice can really bring something “extra” to the party as a side or a pilaf. I’ll probably still be making my white rice (and mostly my Perfect Instant Pot Rice) for my Asian dishes and Fried Rices, but with the Instant Pot Brown Rice, I know I’ll be enjoying Brown Rice more often, too.
Making Instant Pot Brown Rice:
Whenever I make a recipe for my Instant Pot, I check out Amy and Jacky’s site. I love these two guys. They’re like the America’s Test Kitchen for the Instant Pot. That being said, I also love making and developing recipes and it’s getting to the point that every time I go to make something it’s already been done by them! Gheez, guys! But why reinvent the wheel?
So before you make your brown rice, definitely check out Amy & Jacky’s post on Pressure Cooker Brown Rice. I had a few adjustments and changes that gave me what I think is the perfect brown rice for me. Just a little bit chewy but cooked all the way through. I did end up going through a couple of batches of rice to get my perfect timing. Variable timing is one thing that no-one seems to want to mention in all their posts about the perfect this or perfect that for the Instant Pot.
There are variables to almost any recipe and those variables are multiplied with the quick cooking in a pressure cooker. The type of rice, the age of the rice, and your altitude all factor into the timing as well as the amounts of liquid. Think of it this way: If you’re cooking on your stove for 40 minutes, five minutes in time might not make a huge difference. If you’re cooking the same thing in your pressure cooker for 10 to 20 minutes, even a minute or two can make a huge difference.
Timing for Instant Pot Brown Rice:
Just like with Hard Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot, you might have to make a batch or two of Brown Rice to find your perfect time for just the way you like your rice done. If your rice is undercooked for your taste, I suggest you add two tablespoons of water and bring the pot back up to pressure for one minute, then quick release. While this seems like a hassle, it’s really not that much different than making adjustments the first time you make something in your oven or on your stove. The pot and rice are hot so it will take very little time to get back up to pressure.
I live at about 1,300 feet sea level and my cup of rice cooked perfectly at 17 minutes high pressure with a cup plus two tablespoons of water. So it seems that my perfect rice is right between Amy and Jacky’s method two and method three. Being a long time stove top pressure cooker user (since the 80’s, I think) and having spent a couple decades living in Colorado, I’m very much aware that altitude can play a difference in the amount of time and liquid you need to use a pressure cooker.
The rule of thumb is for any altitude over 3,000 feet, increase your timing by 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level That means you just take the amount of time (in minutes) and multiply by 1.05 if you live at 3,000 feet, 1.10 at 4,000 feet and so on. Then you’ll have your new total cooking time. If you want to read more about pressure cooking and altitude, there’s an excellent article by Mother Earth News.
Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 3/4 teaspoons, or to taste, salt
Add rice, water, and salt to Instant Pot. Set to High Pressure, 17 minutes. When finished, allow to go to Keep Warm Function for 5 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually.
from the kitchen of www.frugalhausfrau.com, adapted from the Amy & Jacky