I don’t know about you, but making brown rice on the stove has rarely worked out well for me and lord knows, I’ve tried. It always seems no matter how long it cooks, it still feels like I’m grazing on Grape Nuts once I finally give up and eat. It can also be challenging to have a burner running for 45-60 minutes, when there are other things to do away from the kitchen. Rice cookers are safer to use and are wonderful, but not many people have one, and truthfully, I think they do better at white rices than brown.
Thankfully, the fine folks at the Food Network have geniuses in their midst, chief among them, Alton Brown. One day, in desperation for a way to have edible brown rice without overspending on those frozen packages, I stumbled across his recipe for baked brown rice on the network’s website…I have never looked back. The results of his method are tender and fluffy brown rice every time without fail. That said, I have experimented here and there and learned that some riffs on the original work better than others. I’ve never had good luck attempting to double the recipe or with using flavored alternatives to water, such as chicken stock or seasoning mixes. And you really do need a shallow ovenproof container for baking, a loaf pan does not qualify, or so a “friend” told me. I have a 8 x 8-inch ceramic dish that I love for this, a glass pie plate works well too. I use a little less salt and omit the oil/butter he calls for, instead just using a little cooking spray on the pan itself. If you are trying to switch to brown rice for health reasons, give this a try, when the rice is this tender you don’t feel like you’re missing out on all the pillowy fun that white rice has to offer. If you’re already a fan of brown rice, I hope you love this as much as I do…and if you ever see Mr. Brown out on the street, give him a high five from all of us!
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice, rinsed
2 1/2 cups boiling-ish water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oil or butter, optional
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Coat your baking dish with cooking spray and spread the rinsed brown rice out evenly on the bottom.
- Heat your water to boiling-ish (close is close enough). I usually put hot tap water and salt into a glass measuring cup and microwave it for 3-4 minutes. Add the oil or butter, if using, and stir.
- Pour the water over the rice and combine, again making sure that rice stays in a near-even level. Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place on the oven’s middle rack.
- Bake for one hour.
- Carefully remove foil from the pan, there is will steam, and fluff the rice with a fork.
- If not using right away, re-cover the pan the foil, otherwise serve and nosh!
Makes about 3 1/2 cups cooked