How to Cook Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker

In this post I will explain how to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker. It turns out perfect every time and we don’t have to worry about burning the rice from heating it too long or over cooking it, or any of the common problems we used to have when we cooked rice.

We used to undercook it or overcook it

When we used to cook rice on the stove top it was hard to keep the brown rice from scorching. I think this was mostly because I am a super busy mom and don’t have time to sit and watch a pot for 40 minutes! That is about how long it takes to cook brown rice on the stove. If I didn’t get

enough water in the pot, it would not cook enough and we would have dry rice. Sometimes I would overcompensate and add too much water, so we would end up with rice soup 🙂

After a while of cooking brown rice on the stove I got pretty good at it, but I can’t beat the time and energy saver of a pressure cooker.

What we do first

Nowadays the first thing we do when we are going to cook rice is get out our Instant Pot. Actually to be honest, we either get out our Instant Pot ( the pressure cooker I have and love) or the rice cooker. We only have one Instant Pot right now so if it has some yummy soup or something cooking in it and we need rice to go with it, we go for the rice cooker. It takes way longer to cook in the rice cooker than the Instant Pot, so we start it when we begin prepping the meal.

Anyway, if we are starting rice in the pressure cooker we first measure out the rice and rinse it several times. I like to treat my grains and beans just like my produce. I like it all nice and clean and free of bugs and dirt:) It seems like the better the food, the more dirt is on it in the beginning. You know, if it is coming from the ground it is going to have some dirt on it! Rice comes from paddies, so it is pretty clean but still…

I do 3-4 cups of dry rice. My 6 quart cooker could do more but that amount gives us plenty for our meal and sometimes leaves some leftovers depending on how hungry my family is and what we are eating with it.


When the grain is all clean and drained, I add a little more than twice as much water as rice. So, for my 3 cups of rice I add about 6  2/3 cups of water. If I was cooking white rice it wouldn’t need quite that much water, more like 1  1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.

I like the brown rice because it is filling, has fiber, and because it is so full of nutrition. White rice is better than none at all, but brown is better.

My aunt likes to sauté a little bit of garlic in butter and add it to her rice. It is good but I actually prefer just plain rice. I don’t want to do too many steps. Simple is good 🙂

After the rice is covered with water

When the water and rice are in the pot we make sure the gasket is on the lid of the pressure cooker and that the release valve moves freely and is not stuck or anything like that. If you do a good job cleaning it after every time you use it you won’t have any problems. The cooker has safeties involved so problems are rare anyway.

We then put the lid on and make sure the knob on top is set to the pressure position.

Now for the cooking

At this point you can choose a couple of different options. If your cooker has a RICE button, you can push that and away your cooker will go.  I am speaking mainly of an Instant Pot because that is the one I know. You will have to look at your individual cooker instructions for how your buttons work.

The second way to cook the rice is to use the manual mode and set it for 22 minutes. When the manual timer is set for the Instant Pot, I can walk away at that point. It will pressure up for a few minutes, make a beep to tell you it is at pressure and start counting down the minutes.

When it is done

The rice is done when the pressure cycle is done and it has sat long enough to depressurize. You won’t be able to open the lid until then because it locks on.

For many recipes you have the option of manually letting the pressure out after ten minutes of cooling down, but not with rice. If you let the pressure release before it goes down on it’s own naturally, you run the risk of rice clogging the valve and that would not be good!

Cleaning up

Right when I have the lid off the pot and have checked that the rice is done nicely, I wash the lid with soap and water. I like to keep it clean and not have anything dry on making it hard to clean later. Then we enjoy the rice!

The rest of the pot is easy to clean. The inner pot just washes like a regular pot and the outer pot can be wiped down with a rag. It is very simple to take care of.

I hope this was helpful to you if you have never cooked rice in a pressure cooker. I highly recommend it if you haven’t! 🙂

Please comment below if you have comments or questions! (I love comments)



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Author: Elisa Wadsworth

Mom, Wife, Whole Foods nut, Gardener, and Music Lover

4 thoughts on “How to Cook Brown Rice in a Pressure Cooker”

  1. I love rice, I have had alot of problems with trying to master the perfect cooked rice. Although I never really tried a rice cooker before sounds great and also easy to clean which is also good for busy mums like me.

    Thank you for sharing this is very useful.

    1. Rice cookers are great, but the ultimate experience is a pressure cooker. My favorite is the Instant Pot. When I brown rice in the rice cooker it takes about 40 minutes, which is fine if I plan ahead. I have to worry about bubbling over if I put too much rice and water in and I don’t like dealing with that. the Instant Pot also cooks every other kind of food, so I like how versatile it is. I like having gadgets in my kitchen that serve more than one purpose.

      Yes, it is awesome for all of us who are so busy! It’s so helpful.

      Happy Healthy,


  2. Thank you for your blog post on how to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker. I also like to cook rice in my Japanese pressure cooker. It’s so easy because I just put in 1-3 cups of rice, and then I just fill up the water to the 1, 2, or 3 line inside the cooker. I usually cook white rice, so it usually comes out pretty soft and fluffy when I use my Japanese rice cooker. So if I’m cooking brown rice on a stove top, is the rule still 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice? I’ve never cooked rice on a stove top before. How do I prevent the rice from burning when cooking it on a stove top?

    1. The Japanese rice cookers are great but they are quite a bit different than a pressure cooker which can cook any kind of food in a fraction of the time it would usually take.

      To cook brown rice on the stove top, I would add a little bit more water than the 2/1 ratio. Then I bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling I turn down the heat to simmer and cover it with a lid. If you check it once in a while and stop the cooking when it looks like holes formed in the top of the rice from the steam and boiling, you should be just fine. It takes about 40 minutes. White rice only takes about 15 minutes.

      Once it all of the water has been absorbed from cooking it on the stove, turn the heat off and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then you fluff it with a fork and enjoy!

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