Photo: Elizabeth Laseter
Active Time
5 Mins
Total Time
50 Mins
Serves 5 (serving size: about ¾ cup)

Learning how to cook brown rice is like scrambling eggs or cooking a juicy chicken breast—it’s one of those essential culinary skills that every home cook should master. When gently simmered on the stovetop, brown rice makes a perfect whole grain base for veggie-packed burrito bowls, stir fries, and stuffed peppers. It’s also an endlessly versatile side that pairs well with just about any protein or vegetable.

Follow our basic stovetop method to make ultra-fluffy brown rice, every single time. But first—take these 5 trusted tips for perfect rice to heart:

Stick to the Ratio. The secret to cooking perfect brown rice lies in one easy ratio: 1 cup brown rice to 2 ½ cups liquid. Swear by it, and you’ll never make sad, mushy rice again. (Our recipe uses a combo of chicken stock and water, but you can also use vegetable stock.)

Simmer Means Simmer. Keep your rice humming along at a steady simmer to prevent the bottom from burning. You’ll know if you need to crank the heat down if you notice excess steam escaping through the lid of the pan.  

No Peeking. Resist the urge to remove the lid while your rice is cooking—doing so lets out precious steam that helps gently cook the rice.

Choose the Right Pan. Use a saucepan that’s too small, and the liquid is likely to spill over during cooking. For 1 cup of rice, a 2-quart, medium-sized saucepan does the trick.   

Don’t Forget to Rest. The same resting rules for chicken or steak also apply to rice. Allowing the rice to cool for several minutes with the lid on gives it a firmer texture (and prevents it from burning the roof of your mouth).

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add oil, swirling to coat pan. Add rice and toast until fragrant, shaking pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Add water, broth, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cover.

Step 3

Simmer until water has evaporated, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat, keep pan covered, and let rice cool about 10 minutes.

Step 4

Fluff rice with a fork, mix in parsley, and serve.

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