Instant Pot Brown Rice

Instant Pot brown rice

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 22 mins
Pressure Release: 10 mins
Total: 37 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
82 Calories
1g Fat
17g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 82
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 58mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

My trusty Instant Pot has turned me into a brown rice lover. Brown rice is a healthful alternative to white rice thanks to less processing, which leaves the fiber-rich outer layer of bran on each grain. That bran layer makes the rice chewier and nutty tasting, which is nice, but it also means that brown rice takes longer (about 50 minutes) to cook than white rice, so it wasn’t always my go-to rice in the past. 

Why You Should Cook Brown Rice in the Instant Pot

That’s until I developed a way to cook brown rice in the Instant Pot. While cooking brown rice on the stove takes around 50 minutes, cooking it in the Instant Pot on high pressure requires just 22 minutes (plus a 10-minute natural release of pressure). The high pressure of the Instant Pot produces more tender rice than the stove top method, with all the same benefits and flavor. 

What Kind of Brown Rice to Use

This recipe works for all types of brown rice, including short grain, long grain, and brown basmati rice. Rinsing the rice thoroughly with cold water and draining it in a mesh strainer before adding it to the pot removes excess starch and moistens the rice, so don’t skip this step. 

Tips for Making Instant Pot Brown Rice

  • You can use water or broth for the cooking liquid. I like to add salt and a tablespoon of butter or olive oil to make it tastier, but if you’re employing salted broth, you may want to omit the salt.
  • This recipe starts with 1 1/2 cups of rice and it makes about 4 cups of cooked brown rice. I don’t recommend cooking less than this in the standard 6-quart Instant Pot as smaller quantities tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • For chewier rice, omit 2 tablespoons of the liquid. 
  • Do not skip the rice rinsing step. Not only does it rinse away some of the excess starch that can cause the rice grains to stick together, but it also adds just a touch more moisture, which ensures the rice will cook to perfect doneness.

“Using an Instant Pot for your rice is really handy if you want to save the money on a proper rice cooker. Brown rice is a great base for a lot of simple meals, especially if you're on a budget.” —Noah Velush-Rogers

Brown rice in an Instant Pot
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 cups brown short-grain, long-grain, or basmati rice

  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water or broth

  • 2 generous pinches salt, optional

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make Instant Pot brown rice

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Put the rice in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Fill the pot half full with water and swish the rice around in the water with your hand. Drain in a mesh sieve.

    Rinsed brown rice in a mesh strainer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Return the rice to the pot. Add the water and optional salt and butter or olive oil.

    An Instant Pot with rinsed brown rice, water, salt, and butter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Lock on the Instant Pot lid, and adjust the steam valve to the “sealing” position. Select the pressure cook function, and adjust to high pressure for 22 minutes. When the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. (Set a timer so you don’t forget.)

    An Instant Pot with cooked brown rice

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Carefully release any remaining pressure. Stir the rice and serve.

    A fork fluffing brown rice in an Instant Pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

How to Store

Cool the leftovers completely and store them in the refrigerator covered for up to 4 days (hello, fried rice!). The rice can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator or using the defrost function on your microwave. Reheat in a pan with oil over medium heat or covered in the microwave until piping hot.

Recipe Variations

  • To make spiced rice, add half a cinnamon stick, a few green cardamom pods, 1 whole clove, and a bay leaf. 
  • To make Spanish-style rice, add a pinch of saffron, and stir in 1/2 cup defrosted peas and carrots.