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How to Cook Brown Rice in Microwave

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Are you looking for a quick way to cook brown rice? Using the microwave, it’s possible to reduce cooking time from 50 minutes to 30 minutes. 

Even though brown rice can be made through an instant pot or rice cooker, cooking rice in a microwave is super quick, and no need to spend time monitoring the meal prep.

How do cook brown rice in microwave? Prepare 1 cup of brown rice by washing, rinsing, and draining. Put 1 cup or washed brown rice in a microwave-safe bowl with a half teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of water.

Cover with a vented lid and microwave for 5 minutes on high heat. Lower to medium heat or 70% power level, and microwave for another 20 minutes. 

Allow the rice to settle for 5 minutes and fluff with fork. Serve with a drizzle with olive oil or melted butter.

Brown rice contains a bran coating covering the kernels. The germ and bran layers are left intact after harvesting, which is higher in fiber compared to white rice. 

As a result, it helps in regulating the digestive system. Additionally, it is rich in potassium, zinc, manganese protein, B vitamins, all of which are essential for bone growth and curbing heart diseases.

The art of microwaving brown rice is different from cooking white rice using the microwave. Consider the extra layers of germ and bran, and allow enough time to cook through using the proper method and water to brown rice ratio. 

However, microwaves vary in terms of settings and strength, so ensure to check the power level of the microwave and adjust as this can affect the cooking time. Furthermore, cooking rice in a microwave rice cooker turns out perfect every time.

In this article, we are going to share tips and techniques to cook brown rice in the microwave for best result. Answered below are frequently asked questions about microwave cooking brown rice so that it turns out perfect every time.

Can you cook brown rice in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook brown rice in microwave. In fact, cooking brown rice using a microwave is relatively quick and easy to do. 

The proper way to cook brown rice in the microwave depends on the ratio of water and the amount of brown rice to cook with. This will result in fluffy and delicious rice that you can easily add to any meal. 

Is it safe to cook brown rice in the microwave?

Yes, it is safe to cook brown rice in the microwave. However, it is only safe when using a microwaveable bowl. 

We recommend to cook brown rice in a microwave-safe container and cover the dish with a vented microwaveable lid. However, a microwave rice cooker makes cooking rice so much simpler and faster. 

To safely cook brown rice, combine 1 cup of brown rice with 2 cup of water in a large microwavable bowl with a lid. 

Cook on the highest power setting for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to medium power for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

What is the ratio of water to brown rice in the microwave?

The general rule of thumb of cooking brown rice in the microwave is 2 parts of water to one part rice, which results in approximately 3 cups of cooked brown rice. 

For instance, 1 cup of brown rice requires 2 cup of water. Similarly, 2 cups of brown rice needs 4 cups of water to cook properly in the microwave. 

The water to rice ratio is important because it can affect the doneness of the rice. Too much water and the cooked rice will turn mushy, while not enough water and the rice will be crunchy, chewy and not fully cooked.

When it comes to microwaving brown rice, the rice to water ratio is quite specific. There is a noticeable change when you shift from white rice to brown rice; the significant difference depends on the type of rice you are cooking. 

Brown rice tends to be more sensitive to change compared to other types of rice where cooking rice in the microwave isn’t as different.

Tips & Tricks

Using a microwave to cook brown rice is pretty easy and straightforward. Whether you are using microwave rice cooker or regular microwave-safe bowl, the rice and water ratio does not change.

So, how to cook brown rice properly? Here are helpful microwave tips to cook brown rice to accomplish nutty and buttery rice for everyone to enjoy: 

  • Use a microwave safe bowl when cooking brown rice using a microwave appliance. A microwave safe symbol on the cookware will indicate that the dish has been tested for heating in the appliance.
  • Cover and cook for 5 minutes on high heat, then microwave for an extra 20 minutes on medium power level.
  • Avoid opening the microwave immediately after the rice is ready; let it sit for 5 minutes to allow time to absorb any remaining liquid.
  • After cooking, season with a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of olive oil or melted butter to taste.
  • Fluff with a fork to ensure all grains are ready and not overcooked. The grains should not break.
  • Consider using a large bowl to allow the rice to expand and water to boil without spilling over. With the correct ratio, test various bowls to pick the most appropriate for your portion size.
  • Rinse and drain the brown rice and do not cook the rice with the rinsed water. Instead use 2 parts of fresh clean water to cook the 1 part of brown rice. 

Best Way to Cook

Cooking brown rice in microwave saves time and produces the same taste result as stove top, rice cooker, and instant pot made rice. Microwave is the best way to cook brown rice when in a hurry and have limitation of cooking equipment or space. 

Measure out the brown rice, rinse it under running water.

When picking a microwaving bowl for cooking brown rice, consider that rice expands during cooking and requires a container large enough for the rice to double in size. Pour 2 cups water in the 1 cup of rice, and season with a half teaspoon of salt.

Cover the bowl with a vented lid and place in the microwave. Nuke for 5 minutes on the highest power setting.

Change the power to medium setting and cook for additional 20 minutes.

After cooking time is over, allow the rice to rest in the closed microwave for 5 minutes. This carryover cooking will allow for steaming and soaking up of more moisture to cook the brown rice with the remaining heat trapped inside.

Carefully remove the bowl with oven mitts and cautiously open the lid. Take a fork or rice paddle to confirm all grains are cooked and plump. 

Serve the rice or cool down to store it in the fridge for up to seven days.

How to cook brown rice in microwave

More Helpful Information

Cooking brown rice using a microwave is a big-time saver, especially if you are in a hurry or rarely have the opportunity to prepare brown rice. 

Following the steps in this article, you will quickly cook brown rice in the microwave and end with fluffy and clump-free grains.

All you need is the appropriate ratio of 1 part brown rice to 2 parts water so that it turns out perfect each time. 

Use the right side of the bowl as the rice is likely to double in volume after cooking. The bowl should be large enough to allow water to boil and rice to expand.

Prepare the brown rice by rinsing and draining with cold running water. Place 1 cup of rinsed brown rice and 2 cups of clean water into a microwave-safe bowl.

Cover the bowl and microwave on full power for 5 minutes. After the initial cooking time, adjust the power to medium setting and continue to microwave for 20 minutes. 

Let the brown rice sit for 5 minutes in the microwave and then carefully remove and fluff with a fork to serve. 

Depending on the amount of rice you are cooking, consider experimenting with various bowl sizes, but the water to brown rice ratio should always stay the same when microwaving brown rice.

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