Avoid These Mistakes When Cooking Brown Rice

Cook up perfectly fluffy whole grains every time

We all know we need to eat more whole grains, and one of the easiest ways to start doing just that is to swap out white rice for brown rice. Any recipe that calls for white rice can be made with brown rice (with some exceptions, like risotto). And in some cases, brown rice might even make your dish taste better. It has a toasty, nutty flavor that pairs wonderfully with ingredients like roasted vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, and hearty proteins like steak, salmon, and pork.

There is one downside to brown rice. It takes a little longer to cook, usually around 45 minutes, compared to the 25 to 30 minutes it typically takes to cook a pot of white rice. If time is an issue, look for frozen cooked brown rice or microwaveable cooked rice at the grocery store. Or follow these tips for fluffy stovetop brown rice:

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Don't Peek

Once the rice is simmering away in a pot on the stovetop, resist the urge to lift the lid to check on it. Set a timer and lift the lid at the end of the cooking time to make sure that all of the water has been absorbed and taste a few grains to check for doneness. It should be tender, but still chewy. Remember, brown rice has a firmer texture than white.

Let it Stand

Move the pot off of the heat, cover it with the lid, and let it stand. This will trap steam inside the pot, allowing it to finish cooking. This is also a good time to add a little extra salt and a few tablespoons of butter or a good glug of olive oil. After a few minutes, uncover the pot and let the rice continue to sit for a few minutes more. This will allow the rice to 'dry out' a little bit, which keeps it from turning gummy.

Fluff With a Fork

Before serving, fluff up the rice with a fork. Enjoy!

Switching from white to brown rice is a simple change that you can incorporate into your weekly meal routine without even thinking about it—other than reaching for the brown rice at the grocery store.

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