Bake the Rice, Toss the Cooker: Perfect Brown Rice

When you bake brown rice there’s no such thing as the sticky, dense mass that often passes for cooked brown rice. Instead, each grain is separate and fluffy, a nutritional splendor that outshines white rice on every scale. This recipe works with any type of brown rice, but I prefer the nutty aroma of Basmati rice. I love this way of making rice so much that I stopped buying white rice and I hardly ever use the rice cooker any more.

Earlier this summer, I needed white rice for something I was making so I dragged out my rice cooker and rummaged through the utensil drawer, looking for the little plastic measuring cup that goes with it. When I couldn’t find it I blamed everyone in the family for their creative way of storing items, but after a while I remembered doing some spring cleaning and finding a strange little plastic cup that I got rid of because I didn’t know what it belonged to. I’d forgotten that it went with the rice cooker because I hadn’t made rice that way in over seven years.

If you don’t have a covered casserole dish or oven safe pan, make sure you tightly crimp the foil around the edges before you place it in the oven so that the steam doesn’t escape. Use heavy-duty foil or a double layer of regular foil. You’ll get best results if you use foil and a lid, however.

Oven-Baked Brown Rice

Serves 6, adapted from “The Best Light Recipe”

1 1/2 cups (360 ml) long, medium or short grain brown rice
2 1/3 cups (560 ml) water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt

Place the oven rack in the middle and preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C).
Place a casserole dish with a lid near the stove, along with a piece of foil large enough to cover the top of the dish. Put the rice and olive oil in the dish and stir until the grains are evenly coatedBring the water and salt to a boil and immediately pour it over the rice. Quickly stir it and cover the dish with the foil, followed by the lid if you have one. Tightly press the edges of the foil against the dish and place it in the oven. Bake for 60 minutes.

Remove from the oven, uncover the rice and fluff it with a fork. Cover the rice with a clean towel and let it stand for 5 minutes. Remove the towel and let the rice sit for another 5 minutes before serving.

16 thoughts on “Bake the Rice, Toss the Cooker: Perfect Brown Rice

    • Everyone has a couple of key recipes and this is one of mine- it turns out every time and the difference from regular brown rice is amazing.

  1. *smile … have a good friend, chef at 1*Michelin Restaurant in Scotland – he does his wonderful risotto in the oven. Have asked how he does it – he doesn’t want to share. *smile – we did rice in our ovens at work. They cost more than a new car (Rational ovens) and it works perfectly. Great blog.

    • I would never have guessed that restaurant ovens were that expensive! But artists like your friend need the right tools to do their magic. Thanks for the feedback, Viveka.

  2. What about the scare of eating rice with high levels of arsenic? Do you have any cooking tips to avoid high levels of arsenic? Thanks

Comments are closed.