How to Make Instant Pot Brown Rice

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We’ve shown you a few different methods for making brown rice. In the oven. Boiling in a lot of water. And there’s always just making it on the stovetop. There are pros and cons to each, but I’ve recently started cooking brown rice in my Instant Pot. We’ve been hearing from a lot of people who got them for Christmas, wanting recipes, and rice is one of those essential ways that you can really put your Instant Pot to work. It’s about as fast as the method that involves cooking it in a lot of water, but I also feel like it’s more forgiving. It’s a lot faster than cooking it in the oven (although there are times that I really like that method; it’s very comfort food-y) and cooking it on the stovetop is always kind of iffy…things spill over…rice burns…I say bad words…the rice is either overcooked or undercooked. Basically, I just need to never do that.

The first time I cooked it in my Instant Pot, I used the Instant Pot directions (which are more along the lines of stovetop water to rice proportions). I wound up with mushy, waterlogged rice. The next time around, someone told me that I needed to cut way back on the water, which gave me perfect, fuss-free brown rice. So now I make it likes this a few times a week and freeze any leftovers for easy use in the future.

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You’ll need 2 cups of brown rice, 2 1/2 cups water (I use just shy of that because I don’t think I need that much at sea level elevation, but I think in higher elevations, 2 1/2 will be perfect), a little olive oil, and a little kosher salt.

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Use the sauté setting on your pan to heat the olive oil, then add the rice and stir for about 30 seconds.

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Add the salt and water…

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And use the manual setting to cook for 22-24 minutes (22 for low elevations, 24 for higher elevations). Allow the pressure to release naturally (so don’t turn the valve) for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

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Seriously, it couldn’t be easier! 

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How to Make Brown Rice in an Instant Pot
Failproof brown rice in a pressure cooker! It's perfect every time!
  1. 2 cups brown rice
  2. 2 1/2 cups water
  3. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Use the sauté setting to heat the olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 30 seconds. Add water and salt. Use the manual setting to cook for 22-24 minutes (22 for low elevations, 24 for higher), then allow the pressure to release naturally (don't use the release valve) for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Leftovers freeze beautifully for later use.
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  1. I’m so glad you posted this! I tried making brown rice in my instant pot and it was mushy and soggy. Now I know the right way and can finally get rid of my old rice cooker from college. Yay!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I also had a brown rice flop the 1st time in the Instapot which I was super disappointed about as cooking brown rice quickly was one of my main motivations for buying one. I tried the recipe tonight and it worked great with the full 2 1/2 cups of water at 24 min here in SLC.

      1. I am so glad to see it worked for someone at my same elevation! I’ll be trying this tonight with my curry!

  3. I’d never heard of the Instant Pot so I googled it. Imagine my surprise at finding out it was invented by a group of Computer Science PhDs living right here in my community! The downside is that the larger, more recent versions aren’t available in Canada but only in the United States 🙁 That could explain why it was still a secret here.

  4. This is probably a stupid question but if I increase the recipe size will it need to cook longer?

    1. I freeze my left over rice in induvidual serving sizes in ziplock bags and then reheat the whoe bag in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes when I want it. It works great!

  5. I’ve followed the brown rice recipe that came with my InstantPot and I’ve had perfect rice every time. It’s so funny to me that it turns out differently for each of us at one time or another. 🙂 I am in SLC, UT and I cook for 22 min on high pressure. Where I struggle is my chicken is mostly always dry in my IP… can’t wait for some suggestions to overcoming this… Love your site and your recipes. 🙂

    1. I always have to cook chicken breast or boneless skinless thighs fully covered in liquid to get tender chicken. The nice part is at least the liquid is then sort of chicken broth I can use in recipes and it freezes well.

  6. I just tried making my first brown rice in my 6 quart Smart duo PC. I tried only making one cup of rice , used one and 1/4 cups water, half a teaspoon of salt full tablespoon of the oil. I followed the rest of the recipe’s instructions. I got to within 3 minutes before it was going to kick over to warm and got the warning that the instant pot was too hot check to see if my food was burned. So I did a QR and yes it was scorched on the bottom. rice was of course undercooked. So now I’m a little timid to try the 2 cup 2 1/2 cups of water. But I’ll be brave, maybe just not today! LOL

  7. Thank you so much for this! I usually try and avoid rice recipes or end up eating it without or use white because brown rice takes so dang long to make and I never get it done in time! It’s like 2 hours in my rice cooker. 2 hours!!! I made this last night and it was perfect! Thank you thank you!

  8. I know this might sound obvious, but would this work as well with white rice? Or would you change the proportions at all?

  9. I tried this tonight and it worked pretty well. I live at 4700 feet and so I used a full 2 1/2 cups of water and cooked on high pressure for 24 minutes. The rice was cooked through, but was a little bit watery still. I took the lid off and let it sit without a lid for about ten minutes to let some of the steam evaporate off and the texture improved. I loved how quick it was to have brown rice on the table. Thanks for giving me the confidence to try rice in the Instant Pot. I had heard too many horror stories and had been scared to try!

  10. Do you cook it on the high pressure setting? How do you know when to use high or low pressure in general and does using lower pressure increase the cooking time?

  11. I just used the instant pot for the first time to make two cups of brown rice and was disappointed as it seemed now properly cooked. I think the vent release may have been open and lost liquid. I am trying it again and crossing fingers. My question is – is it 2.5 cups of the rice measuring cup of water or 2.5 regular measuring cups of water? This second batch turned out much better (I had the knob Set to sealed) using same measuring cup for water quantity: i did not use any olive oil so I will continue to experiment with water quantities especially at different altitudes (we travel full time in a motorhome.

  12. I used a cup of leftover tomato soup in once of some of the water, along with some onions and spices, and it worked out great. Served with chicken and green beans.

  13. Thank you! The rice was perfect. My husband who only eats white rice liked this. The recipe proportions was exactly right!

  14. The proportion of rice to water was perfect. I set the timer for 24 minutes and turned the Instant Pot off at the end of the cycle instead of letting it go to warmer mode. Best brown rice out of my kitchen. Thank you!

  15. My instant pot manuel setting has a low pressure and high pressure setting. I used the low pressure setting, 24 minutes and 2 1/4 cup water. I’ll try the full 2 1/2 cups water next time. I love that the Instant pot rice doesn’t burn on the bottom like my rice cooker is prone to do. I can use every last piece of rice!

    1. I like to sauté the rice before I add the water, and oil is necessary to keep it from burning and sticking. You can skip that step if you like. But. Oil isn’t the enemy, especially heart-healthy oils like olive oil. Especially in small quantities. You’re much more likely to run into trouble eating big bowls of rice. 🙂

  16. Hello 🙂

    Manual setting has high/medium/low… did you just leave it on high? (the way it is set when you push the manual setting)


  17. Kate, have you ever tried doubling the recipe? Wondering if it would work. LOVE this beyond belief and make it at least once a week. <3

  18. I too have had soggy brown rice in my InstantPot, so thanks! I’m in southern California at sea level, so would you decrease the water by a tablespoon or so, or more like decrease the water by a 1/4 cup?

  19. My Brown rice has never tasted better! Thank you! I purchased a large bag of brown rice from Costco and didn’t realize it was short grain vs long grain. Would I need to change the water to rice ratio and time?

  20. My question is why do you use the manual seeing instead of just passing the rice button and using the automatic program? I have not made rice in my IP yet but am curious to try!

    1. You just have way more control over the actual cooking times when using the manual over the automatic buttons, plus then if something doesn’t turn out perfect you’ll know how to best adjust.

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