Instant Pot Brown Rice is one of the absolute best ways to use your pressure cooker. The texture is perfect (fluffy and tender), it never boils over, and you can set it and forget while you prepare the rest of the meal.
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Why You’ll Love This Pressure Cooker Brown Rice Recipe
- It’s Super-Duper Simple. Knowing how to make brown rice on the stovetop is surprisingly tricky. Instant Pot brown rice, however, is a piece of cake! There’s no need to make brown rice in a rice cooker when the Instant Pot can do the same thing (without the need for a separate appliance).
- Perfect Every Time. Chewy, fluffy rice that’s not mushy is yours with this method. It’s foolproof, won’t burn to the pot, and will give you perfect rice every single time.
- You’ll Make it on Repeat. Of all of the Instant Pot recipes on my site, brown rice is what we make in our pressure cooker the most. It’s a meal prep dream, pairs well with everything from stir fries to Indian recipes, and cooks hands-free.
- It’s Downright Delicious. The benefits of cooking brown rice in an Instant Pot are numerous, but the flavor is one of the most important ones. 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 as it is.
Instant Pot Brown Rice to Water Ratio
For every 1 cup of brown rice, add 1 1/4 cups water. That’s the formula for brown rice in the Instant Pot.
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.
Instant Pot Brown 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.
About 45 to 50 minutes is how much time it takes to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker:
- 12 minutes building + 22 minutes cooking + 15 minutes release = 49 minutes.
How to Make Brown Rice in the Instant Pot
- 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.
- Add Everything to the Instant Pot. Stir.
- Pressure Cook. Cook the brown rice in the Instant Pot on HIGH for 22 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes.
- Fluff. Serve and DIG IN!
- 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. Freeze rice in an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating or warm directly from frozen.
If you have lots left over and want to know how to freeze brown rice, it’s super simple! Spread the cooked, cooled rice on a baking sheet, then freeze until solid (this helps your rice freeze flat for easy storage). 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.
How to Use Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 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, and Chicken Cacciatore would all be tasty with a side of brown rice.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Brown Rice
- Stir Fries. Serve this Instant Pot brown rice recipe with Broccoli Tofu Stir Fry, Bourbon Chicken, Korean Beef Bowl, or any of these other stir fry recipes. Add a little soy sauce or coconut aminos if desired.
- Indian Dishes. Indian-style recipes like Chicken Tikka Masala, Chickpea Curry, and Slow Cooker Butter Chicken pair well with rice.
- Chicken. Serve rice with Cowboy Chicken, Peruvian Chicken, or Chicken Piccata.
- Seafood. Shrimp Tacos and Miso Salmon would be tasty with 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.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Add Salt. 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).
- Take Things Up a Notch. For an even richer flavor and added nutrition, use an equal amount of liquid broth like chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water.
- Natural Release Only. Don’t use a quick release when making this Instant Pot brown rice. The natural release ensures that your rice turns out fluffy and perfectly steamed.
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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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.
About 45 to 50 minutes is how long it takes to cook brown rice in the Instant Pot. Grains of brown rice include the whole grain and bran (unlike white rice), which makes it take longer to soften.
No, you do not need to soak the brown rice before making this recipe.