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Jan 19, 2007 02:13 PM

What NOT to do with brown rice....

I have been happily using the Cook's Illustrated method of cooking brown rice in the oven for quite a while now with usually spectacular results but the other night, pressed for time, I thought "wonder if it would work in the microwave?". The answer is a resounding 'NO!'

It literally took twice as long and twice as much water in the microwave. The rice was good when it came out (a bit more sticky which I like) but not even remotely worth it.

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  1. Have you tried a rice cooker? I make brown rice in mine all the time and it comes out perfectly every time. It only takes about 40 minutes and you can do other things while it's cooking and not worry about it. My rice cooker does 10 cups and only cost about $20 at kMart, and it's honestly the best $20 I've ever spent.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AmyH

      In a standard non-fuzzy-logic rice cooker, what ration of water to brown rice do you use? I've been having problems w/brown rice in the cooker.

      1. re: litchick

        Oh my, I have no idea about fuzzy logic. I just bought a cheap rice cooker. THe instructions didn't say how much water to use, but to use more than the standard ratio for white rice (which is 1 1/4 cups water to each cup of rice). So I usually throw in that much water and then add another 1/4 cup or so of water per cup of rice. It's always come out good that way.

        1. re: litchick

          I've had very good luck with 1 to 1 and add an additional 3/4 c. water. its a fuzzy logic cooker though but i imagine the ratio should be about the same. It will all depend how much water excapes as steam.

      2. A heads up on the rice cooker--if you buy a fuzzy logic one the brown rice cycle will typically take longer than 40 minutes. (It sounds like AmyH has a standard RC, not a fuzzy logic one?) In my Sanyo, it is very much worth the wait, and well over an hour. Perfect brown rice. The oven method works great if you don't have a RC, though.

        1. Thanks for the advice but in a tiny NY kitchen there's no room for another gagdet. The oven method really is brilliant and easy.

          1. Pressed for time. Aren't we all? Brown rice freezes great!
            I always cook extra and keep it on hand in a ziplock for when I need just one serving in a hurry. The frozen chunk or loose grains from the freezer steam right back in the microwave in a minute or so.
            And I'm with you, krissywats! There's a moratorium on appliances in my kitchen.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MakingSense

              Actually, because I'm a lazy slob, I buy my brown rice frozen and chuck it in the microwave. I've found one brand that's really great--they stock it at whole foods but it is not the whole foods brand (their frozen brown rice is not that great). Nice in a pinch.

              1. re: Heatherb

                Trader Joe's sells this too. It's become a staple in my kitchen.

            2. Yup on baking
              Yup on freezing

              in case you're wondering though, brown rice does not keep in the fridge for a week (it won't kill you, but it won't be fun either).

              freeze it, makingsense is making sense

              if you double your baked rice recipe and replace the second half of the rice with brown/green lentils, it's super-yummy and more substantial, and a good protein replacement.