Perfect Fluffy Brown Rice

Sherrill Salom Recipe

By Sherrill Salom RedHeadedElfie

15 Min
30 Min

I was raised on brown rice, but never liked the tough, chewy quality of it. Several years ago I had the bright idea of giving it a bit of a toast in the frying pan before cooking it. I used to use some oil, but now... a dry frying pan is all I use.
My mom was amazed when i shared this idea with her several years ago. She switched over to brown rice and my dad was none the wiser.
I've also shared this at our church vegetarian cooking class. I had no idea so many people needed this information!
Follow the basic directions below for perfectly fluffy brown rice. It will blow your mind.

pinch tips: How to Shuck, Cook, and Cut Corn


1 c
brown rice
2 c
cast iron skillet, dutch oven, or frying pan
rice cooker, lid for your fry pan, or kettle with a lid
1/2 tsp

Directions Step-By-Step

Heat an 8-10 inch cast iron skillet, non-stick frying pan, or dutch oven over medium-high heat. You want a nice hot pan, close to smoking. A few drops of water should sizzle, dance and evaporate almost immediately when sprinkled in the pan.
Put the brown rice into the skillet. You do not need any oil or butter. Now, stir or shake the skillet frequently over the medium-high heat. The rice will start to brown, and you'll hear popping noises. This process is called "dextrinization". The heat is breaking down the tough outer shell of the rice. This makes the fiber shell crack open and soften, so the rice will be fluffy when cooked. Also, rice is a grain like corn, and some of the grains will actually pop like popcorn. This is normal and actually adds to the fluffiness after its cooked.
Continue to stir over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until most or all of the grains have turned a rich brown color and a sweet nutty aroma is rising from the pan. I discovered that if I shake it instead of stirring it, the dextrinized rice moves to the outside of the pan, and the undextrinized moves to the center. That helps you see better when its ready to put into your kettle or rice cooker. its ok if a bit of smoke comes from your cast iron skillet, but not from a non-stick.
Now pour the dextrinized (browned) rice into your rice cooker or kettle, add 2 cups water and a few shakes of salt, cover and let it cook until done. This cuts your cooking time literally in half. I also find that when I use a rice cooker, it takes less than 2 cups water, but just a tad less. You will get a yield of about 2 1/4 cups of cooked rice, and it will be perfect for straight eating, fried rice, stuffed bell peppers or sushi, or any other rice dish. Don't tell your husband... he'll never know!

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Other Main Dishes
Regional Styles: Mexican, Asian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Healthy

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Jan 23, 2012
With your rice cooker, do you use the white or brown rice setting. You mentioned that rice treated this way cooks faster, so that's why I'm asking.

Sherrill Salom RedHeadedElfie
Jan 28, 2012
Hi Katherine,
Thanks for asking. You would probably use the white rice setting. I have an older rice cooker that does not have this cooks until its done. So, I would say use the white rice setting and see how it cooks up for you. Sorry I didn't get back sooner. Please let me know how it turns out for you, or contact me for more questions.
Jan 28, 2012
I ended up using the brown rice setting ... then resetting it to run the quick rice setting. Took awhile, but it was finally done. For me it's still a work in progress.
Sherrill Salom RedHeadedElfie
Jan 29, 2012
Hmmm...really? I am sorry to hear that. Like I said, I have an older cooker and the brown rice is usually done in about 20-25 minutes from first putting it in, about the same as for white rice. Have you ever tried cooking it on the stovetop? I actually used to cook on the stovetop before I got married. Please feel free to get back to me, as I'd be more than happy to figure this out. You browned it really well, till it was almost all completely brown? Get back to me if you need.... thanks...
Jan 30, 2012
I do need to try your recipe on the stovetop. I have had great results with regular, not pretreated, brown rice on the stovetop before. I'll let you know.
Lucy Adams Lucy_Adams
Jul 25, 2015
Okay so I actually did cook my brown rice using this method today. This was my experience: I heated a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and put in the rice but I think it was too hot. The rice browned very quickly. I turned down the heat but even then, constantly stirring and shaking the pan, the rice kernels appeared to be on the verge of burning. At 4 minutes I scraped the kernels into the rice cooker for fear it would be burned completely. I added 1 3/4 cups of water and flipped the cooker to on (I have an old cooker also which does not have a brown rice setting). Rice was fluffy and nice but very dry. I added 2 tablespoons of butter and stirred it in. However, while not burned, it did appear overbrowned. Next time, I will use lower heat when browning the rice. Other than that... a very nice method! Thanks!