Instant Pot Brown Rice is one of the absolute best ways to use your pressure cooker. The texture is perfect, it never boils over, and you can set it and forget while you prepare the rest of the meal.
Brown rice is surprisingly tricky to get right on the stovetop.
I am embarrassed by the number of times I have tried to cook rice on the stove, only to end up with rice burned to the bottom of my pot, mushy rice, or a big mess of starchy water overflow.
The answer: pressure cook your brown rice!
- A pressure cooker like the Instant Pot can act just like a rice cooker, without the need for a separate appliance.
- While there is an Instant Pot rice setting, you don’t need to use it. The regular pressure setting is the best way to control the cooking and know you’ll have great results.
- Just add the brown rice, water, and a pinch of salt. Set your pressure cooker for 22 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- It’s foolproof and will give you perfect rice every single time.
Instant Pot Rice to Water Ratio
For every 1 cup of brown rice, add 1 1/4 cups water.
You will end up with double the amount of cooked rice as uncooked rice.
- 1 cup brown rice + 1 1/4 cups water = 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 1/2 cups brown rice + 1 2/3 cups water = 3 cups cooked rice
- 2 cups brown rice + 2 1/2 cups water = 4 cups cooked rice
- 2 1/2 cups brown rice + 3 cups water = 5 cups cooked rice
- 3 cups brown rice + 3 3/4 cups water = 6 cups cooked rice.
If you are a rice texture purist, cooking 2 cups or more of Instant Pot brown rice does give it the best texture.
- If you cook less than 2 cups of rice in the instant pot, it will turn out slightly mushier.
- That said, I almost always make just 1 cup because we are a smaller household, and we are very happy with it.
My other big tip: Add a pinch of salt to rice before cooking to season it.
- Salt makes the flavor of the rice pop, not taste salty (the same is true of Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats).
Instant Pot Rice Cook Time
- For brown rice, pressure cook on high for 22 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release any remaining pressure, carefully open the Instant Pot, stir, and use your rice as you please.
- The pressure will take about 10 to 15 minutes to build, at which point the 22 minutes will start counting down.
This makes the total pressure cook time for brown rice 45 to 50 minutes:
- 12 minutes building + 22 minutes cooking + 15 minutes release = 49 minutes.
- While not faster than the stove top brown rice, this Instant Pot brown rice recipe is easier to make and has a better final texture.
How to Make Perfect Brown Rice in the Instant Pot
Of all of the Instant Pot recipes on my site, brown rice is what we make in our pressure cooker the most!
You can toast the rice in oil for a few minutes using the sauté function if you like, but I find that as long as I add a little salt, the rice tastes excellent.
- Rice. With its slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture, brown rice brings more to the table than just its ability to deliciously soak up sauces and fill our bellies. It’s also rich in fiber, vitamins, magnesium, and partial protein.
- Water. The water-to-rice ratio is critical for achieving the fluffiest, most perfect rice.
- Salt. Helps boost the flavor of the rice.
- Stir the rice, water, and salt together in an Instant Pot.
- Pressure cook brown rice on HIGH for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Fluff and DIG IN!
How to Freeze Instant Pot Brown Rice
Cooked grains like brown rice are easy to portion and freeze.
Go ahead and make a big batch in your pressure cooker, then freeze the rest for later, using these steps.
- Spread the cooked, cooled rice on a baking sheet.
- Freeze until solid.
- Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months.
- Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating or use directly from frozen.
Also, you can simply transfer the cooked, cooled rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag without the pre-freezing method. The extra step just helps ensure your rice freezes flat for easy storage.
Ways to Use Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Stir Fries. Serve this rice with Broccoli Tofu Stir Fry, Bourbon Chicken, Korean Beef Bowl, or any of these other stir fry recipes.
- Bowls. Use Instant Pot brown rice as the base for a Chipotle Bowl with black beans or Egg Roll in a Bowl.
- Burritos. Instant Pot brown rice is the perfect addition to a Vegetarian Burrito or Instant Pot Chicken Enchiladas.
- Casserole. Use the rice in this Chicken and Rice Casserole or Stuffed Peppers.
- As a Side Dish. Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken, Crock Pot Pepper Steak, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Chicken Cacciatore would all be tasty with a side of brown rice.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. Perfect for making this rice.
- Wooden Spoon. What I use to stir the rice before cooking.
- Measuring Cups. This set has all the sizes you’ll need.
I sometimes joke that our Instant Pot is mostly a fancy rice cooker, but there is a little truth to it.
Enjoy your perfect Instant Pot brown rice and see if you feel the same!
Frequently Asked Questions
The water to rice ratio for Instant Pot brown and white rice is the same. The pressure cook time, however, is different.
22 minutes is the amount of pressure cook time for brown rice. For white rice, reduce the time to 8 minutes. For both types, after the time has elapsed, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
While this recipe was designed just for the rice by itself, you can find other recipes on my site that include additional ingredients. See my Instant Pot Chicken and Rice.
Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 2 cups long grain or short grain brown rice* brown jasmine and brown basmati rice work too; DO NOT use white rice or instant rice; it will be obliterated
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In the bottom of an Instant Pot, stir together the rice, water, and salt (I do not rinse my rice first, because I like it a little sticky; if you’d like less starchy grains, go ahead and rinse it first in a fine mesh strainer).
- Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure (manual mode) for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, or until the pin drops.
- Carefully open the lid. Fluff with a fork and enjoy!
- *I find that in a 6-quart instant pot, 2 cups cooks the most evenly; that said, I’ve also done as little as 1 cup with decent results. Simply divide the recipe in half.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate rice in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Spread the rice on a baking sheet, freezing until solid. Transfer the frozen rice to an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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