Nice and fluffy and evenly-cooked!
My family & I almost always have brown rice on hand. It's just so handy to combine with veggies and beans for a quick meal. We've used our rice cooker to prepare rice for many years but after using this oven-baked method for brown rice several times, I'm hooked!
I just love how this Simple Oven-Baked Brown Rice turns out so nice and fluffy and evenly-cooked throughout. In addition, the process is super simple. You can practically set it and forget it! After quickly bringing the rice to a boil, it's left alone in a preheated oven for 50 minutes. Rather than having to keep a close eye on the rice on the stovetop, this method leaves extra time for other tasks!
When making Simple Oven-Baked Brown Rice, you only need two ingredients: brown rice and water! The typical ratio of brown rice to water is 2 to 1 (2 cups water to 1 cup rice). Here, I'm cooking 2 cups of dry brown rice so I have 4 cups of water (4 cups water to 2 cups rice).
Next, you'll want to determine whether your rice needs to be rinsed. Brands do vary on this so be sure to refer to the packaging your rice came in. Rinsing helps remove any powdered starch on the surface of the rice. Removing this starch really helps to prevent your rice from being too sticky or gummy after cooking.
My family & I typically enjoy using a medium grain brown rice that is "no talc". This "no talc" rice does not need to be rinsed as much. The directions on my package simply say "rinse lightly". So, I just place the dry rice in a fine mesh colander and run some water over it for a bit. After rinsing your brown rice (if needed), be sure to allow most of the rinse water to drain out of the rice before moving on to the next step. The rice does not have to be completely dry. It just needs to have most of the water drained to prevent throwing off the rice to water ratio.
Prep your rice for a brief boil
Next, begin to preheat your oven to 350° F (about 176° C). While your oven is preheating, prep your rice for a brief boil. To do this, simply put your brown rice into an oven-safe pot and pour the water over the rice. Your oven-safe pot will need to have a tight-fitting lid. This lid will be used in later steps to maintain the moisture in the rice as it bakes in the oven.
Bring your rice to a boil
Then, stir the rice and water together. Keep the lid off the pot and turn the heat up to high in order to bring your rice to a boil. This will likely take around 5-6 minutes. As soon as the rice is at a boil, remove it from the heat, cover it with a tight-fitting lid, and place it directly into your preheated oven.
Bake in the oven
Next, allow the rice to bake, covered, in the oven for 50 minutes. No peeking! 😉 Leaving the pot of rice alone in the oven at this point helps to maintain the moisture balance it needs. If you were to open the pot at this point, quite a bit of steam would escape, putting your rice to water ratio off balance. You now have 50 minutes to relax or complete other tasks. Enjoy! 😁
Allow the rice to rest
This next step is very important! As soon as the 50 minutes baking time is up, remove the pot from the oven (keeping the lid in place) and allow the rice to rest, undisturbed, for 10 minutes (or up to 30 minutes). This resting time will allow the moisture to become more evenly distributed. This will result in a more uniform texture with the bottom layer of the rice being as fluffy as the top.
Fluff the rice with a fork
After allowing the rice to rest, covered, for 10-30 minutes, open the lid and fluff the Simple Oven-Baked Brown Rice with a fork. While fluffing, scoop the rice from the bottom of the pot.
The rice should fluff easily & be cooked evenly throughout the pot. Now, it's time to add any seasonings you desire, serve, and enjoy!
Try this delicious "Easy Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice" recipe to create a fantastic side dish!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
An alternative to an oven-safe pot with lid would be to place the rinsed and drained rice in a casserole dish, instead. Then, separately, bring your measured amount of water to a boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, pour it over the rice. You can then cover your casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil before placing it into the oven.
White rice has been stripped of its hull, its bran, and its germ. Only the less nutrient-dense white endosperm is left behind. With brown rice, only the husk is removed, leaving the remaining parts intact. Brown rice is a whole grain that is a good source of fiber as well as many micronutrients.
Simple Oven-Baked Brown Rice
- oven-safe pot with lid
- 2 cups brown rice
- 4 cups water
- Rinse your rice if necessary (follow package directions) to remove any excess starch that could make your rice more gummy when cooked. After rinsing, drain well before moving on to the next step.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- While the oven is preheating, place the rice and the water into your oven-proof pot. Then, stir, and place over high heat. Bring to a boil. This should take about 5-6 minutes.
- As soon as the rice is at a boil, remove from heat. Then, place your tight-fitting lid on the pot, and place the pot in your preheated 350°F (approx 176°C) oven for 50 minutes. Do not disturb.
- After 50 minutes in the oven, remove the rice from the oven, leaving the lid on. Allow the rice to rest, covered, for 10 minutes (or up to 30 minutes). This resting time allows the moisture to distribute more evenly so the bottom portion of the rice will be as fluffy as the top. No peeking! 😉
- After the resting time, fluff the rice by scooping from the bottom of the pot with a fork. Season as desired & enjoy!