What's the Best Way For Cooking Brown Rice?

By Todd Mohr

Cooking brown rice can be very confusing if you pay attention to a written recipe or package instructions. There's more than one way to cook rice, just like there's more than one way to cook chicken, beef, or vegetables.

It is whole-grain rice that is less processed than white rice, giving it greater nutritional qualities than processed rice. Because brown rice has its outer hull left in tact, it is a more wholesome and natural grain.

White rice and this rice have a similar nutritional profile in the number of calories, protein and carbohydrates. The main difference between the two is created during processing.

When the outer layer or husk of an unprocessed grain of rice is removed, you get brown rice. When the next two layers, the bran and the germ, are removed, you get white rice. White rice is often polished, or par-cooked and re-dried.

On the way from brown rice to white rice, many vitamins and minerals are lost in the process. Vitamin B1, B3, iron and magnesium that occur in the outer layers of the grain are discarded.

However, in the processing of enriched white rice the vitamins are added back to increase nutritional quality of the final product.

Cooking brown rice is important to my boxing and conditioning Coach Nasser, he eats a lot of it. Nasser believes in whole grains for the best conditioning nutrition. The only problem is that every time he cooks rice, it comes out differently.

"Sometimes the rice is firm and crunchy, other times it's soft and starchy," he complains to me. "One batch of rice will taste very nutty, the next will be bland. What am I doing wrong?"

There's more than one way to cook brown rice, I tell him. A cold cook will give you different results than a hot cook. Have you ever noticed how the grains sometimes split on the ends, while other times they stay in tact? This is the result of the rice heating with the water or not.

You can try this experiment in your own home. Place two sauce pans of a similar size on your stove top. Add 10 ounces of water to the first pot and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches the boiling stage, put � cup of brown rice into the pan, reduce the heat to a soft simmer, and put the lid on the pan. This is a hot cook.

In the second pan, add 10 ounces of cold water and � cup rice. Place the lid on the pan and bring to a boil. Once at boiling point, reduce the heat to a soft simmer. This is cooking brown rice in a cold cook.

After about 30 minutes or so, you should find that the cold cook has a lot more moisture, is a bit softer and the ends of the grains are split. The hot cook will be much nuttier, drier, and chewier.

Which way of cooking brown rice is the correct way? There is no correct way, it's up to you as the cook to control the heat and arrive at the result you want. Whether chewy or crunchy, nutty or soft, the way you prepare this grain is within your control.

You can watch as it happens! See the entire cooking brown rice video.

About the Author

Chef Todd Mohr has a passion for helping people improve their cooking with simple cooking techniques that work! You can take a FREE Online Cooking Class and discover his unique methods for yourself. Your cooking will be transformed.

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