One of my goals this year is to eat more whole grains. Yes, this means using whole wheat flour (as well as other grains like spelt and einkorn), but it also means making the subtle switch of white rice to brown rice.
Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of brown rice. It takes way too long to cook and it tastes like cardboard.
But then I made Instant Pot brown rice and fell in love!
To be fair, I’m not sure if the awesome flavor is because of the Instant Pot or because of the type of brown rice I picked, but I’m calling it a win in either case.
(By the way, I bought brown basmati rice because that’s what Costco had. I’ve always purchased my rice from Costco because they have the best deal per pound, hands down. Now that we’ve switched to brown rice though, I need to research my local stores and online stores to double check that this is still the case!)
Instant Pot Brown Rice
Let’s talk about the Instant Pot for a moment.
First, I bought mine a few months ago. I chose the 8 quart Instant Pot because 50% of my family have yet to hit the teen years… meaning their appetites are only going to get bigger.
I also own this 6 quart slow cooker, and on a handful of occasions, it’s not big enough. I wanted to err on the side of my Instant Pot being too big, than it being too small.
I wrote an articles on 20+ things to consider before buying an Instant Pot that I highly recommend reading if you haven’t purchased an Instant Pot yet and are still on the fence (including being unsure of what size to get).
Second, it makes brown rice CRAZY fast. As in, it takes just 22 minutes to cook!!
If you’re new to the Instant Pot, you might not know that it takes time for the Instant Pot to come to full pressure BEFORE your food actually cooks. And it takes time to come back down AFTER your food has cooked too.
A good rule of thumb is whatever the cook time is, that’s how long it takes to come to pressure.
So while this Instant Pot brown rice will cook in 22 minutes, it will take closer to 44 (ish) when you include coming to pressure, plus another 3-5 minutes as the pressure comes down.
Still, this is MUCH faster than any previous brown rice I’ve ever made.
And did I mention the fact that when you make Instant Pot brown rice, it’s pretty much idiot-proof?
I’m referring to myself here.
You see, I’m notorious for turning a burner on and leaving the room to do something else… and then coming back to an empty pot or a scorched pot or ruined dinner. On some occasions, it’s all three!
But cooking brown rice in the Instant Pot means I can dump it all in, hit a couple buttons and walk away CONFIDENTLY.
The pot will beep at me when it’s ready, and then I can walk over and flip the pressure release valve and open up the pot to perfectly cooked brown rice.
Really, it’s the multi-tasker’s saving grace.
One more reason to make Instant Pot brown rice – you can make TONS and freeze it for later.
This concept is part batch cooking (when you make multiple batches of something at one time) and part freezer cooking (when you cook something for the freezer).
Brown rice – or any rice for that matter – freezes BEAUTIFULLY.
I measure 4 cups into plastic freezer bags. Seal, lay the bag flat to evenly distribute the rice, then open the bag slightly and suck out all the air. (You can use a vacuum sealer if you have one, but I don’t.)
Lay the bags in the freezer flat to freeze, then you can store them vertically like bookshelves. That’s the best way to maximize your freezer space. And don’t forget to label the bags!!
To thaw, place a bag in the fridge overnight. If you need the rice faster, place it in a sink full of hot water. Then serve or use in a recipe as desired!
- 4 cups brown rice (I used brown basmati)
- 5 cups water
- 4 Tbsp butter (optional)
- 2 tsp salt (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in the Instant Pot and stir gently.
- Hit “pressure cook” or "manual" and make sure "high pressure" is selected.
- Set the time for 22 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, turn the pressure release valve to quickly release the pressure.
- Serve warm.
Have you tried different varieties of brown rice? Which kinds do you like best? Have you tried brown rice in the Instant Pot?