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20 Mar 2011

How to: Pressure cooker brown rice

Cooking perfect brown rice using the pot-in-pot method

Last year I got a big, beautiful WMF pressure cooker and I’ve been using it to cook beans, veges, soups and stews in record time.

Choosing a pressure cooker

Pressure cooker brown rice - pressure cookingIf you don’t have a pressure cooker but are thinking of getting one, here’s a couple of tips:

  • Go for a stove-top model
    They generally outlast electrical appliances and you can use it as a regular stock pot too.
  • Choose a large capacity pot
    Although the pot might seem very big, it’s more versatile and you’ll need the extra room to allow for bubbling/frothing (in the case of cooking beans for instance), otherwise you risk blocking the pressure valve. Ours is an 8.5L but a 6L would be OK too.

Time and energy saver

I seriously can’t believe how much time (not to mention electricity/gas), a pressure cooker saves me. I wonder why I hadn’t found out about the advantages sooner. I mean, chickpeas in 10 minutes and black beans in less than that!

I’ll post about pressure cooking beans in the future, but lately my praise for the pressure cooker has been for its ability to make perfect brown rice.

The pot-in-pot method

Microwave rice cookerI knew many people used their pressure cooker for brown rice but unlike cooking beans, there didn’t seem to be a great deal of time saved so I just stuck to using a microwave rice cooker. I’ll admit though, using the microwave was messy and often the brown rice would be dry or under cooked.

I started researching the best way to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker. I didn’t want to risk the rice being burned to the base of the saucepan and a few YouTube videos and blogs recommended the pot-in-pot method, where rice is cooked in a bowl within the pressure cooker. I later bought a copy of Lorna Sass’ Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure and she covers this too as well as another method.

So I purchased a steamer stand and stainless steel bowl to fit inside my pressure cooker and, even though the pot-in-pot method sounded a bit more fiddly than using a microwave, I decided to give it a go.

I’m now a convert! My old microwave rice container has been retired as it just cannot produce the fluffy, soft rice that I get when I use the pressure cooker.  There’s less mess to clean-up too :)

So without further blather, here’s a step-by-step guide on how I cook my brown rice…

The setup

Pressure cooker brown rice - what you need

  • Pressure cooker (duh!)
  • Steamer stand, tripod or trivet
  • Stainless steel bowl (fits inside the pressure cooker, but get one that leaves a gap of about 1.5cm all round)
  • Foil (save and re-use the same piece each time)

Ingredients and method

Time: ~40 minutes all up

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 4¼ cups water

Place the steamer stand and 2 cups of water in the pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker brown rice - steaming setup

Rinse the brown rice in a sieve and drain. Place the rice and 2¼ cups of water into the stainless steel bowl (you could add a pinch of salt here but I never bother).

Cut a piece of foil long enough to wrap around the bowl and fold it into a strip. This foil will act as handles to allow you to get the bowl in and out of your pressure cooker. Make sure you save this for reuse each time.

Pressure cooker brown rice - foil

Using the foil, lower the bowl of rice and water onto the steamer stand inside your pressure cooker.

Pressure cooker brown rice - before steaming

Lock on your pressure cooker lid and heat on high until the gauge reaches pressure.

Turn down the heat and leave to boil at pressure for 20 minutes.

Pressure cooker - at pressure

After this time, turn off the stove and leave the cooker standing for another 20 minutes.

During this time the cooker should depressurise naturally… Don’t be tempted to release the pressure early! Just go make the rest of your dinner or something.

Once fully depressurised, unlock the lid and lift out the bowl by the foil handles.

Pressure cooker brown rice - after

Fluff up your rice with a fork and serve. There you have it, perfectly cooked brown rice!

Pressure cooker brown rice - fluffy rice

It’s a bonus that there’s little washing up to do too. Rice can be stored in the cooking bowl (mine came with a plastic lid), and the pressure cooker just needs to be drained and wiped.

Enjoy :)

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  1. thank you that is brilliant. Have only had my pressure cooker 3 days and have managed to burn my brown rice twice so was beginning to dispair!

    lisa — July 4, 2012

  2. Thanks Lisa! Glad I could help. Enjoy using your pressure cooker :)

    miscdebris — July 4, 2012

  3. I also have a pressure cooker and stumbled upon your blog now as I was searching how to cook brown rice in a pressure cooker.

    The end of the month I am buying myself a stainless steel bowl to fit in my pressure cooker and trying out this method!

    Will keep you posted… thanks :D

    Chantell Horn — July 30, 2012

  4. Thanks Chantell! The tricky bit for me was finding a bowl that left a bit of room near the sides of the pot. Hope you find the perfect size for your pressure cooker :)

    miscdebris — August 1, 2012

  5. Honee……..this method is terrific! You’d laugh at my mom’s OLD pressure cooker (at least 60 years old) but it worked nonetheless. I still had the trivet for the bottom but used a Pyrex bowl since I didn’t have a metal one that small. Using the aluminum foil for a “lifter” is a stroke of genius. The end product is definitely a sticky rice but no hard interiors. I might experiment with less water next time! Thanks soooooo much!

    Sammy G — February 26, 2013

  6. I came across your website while trying to research how to cook rice in my pressure cooker. I didn’t want to buy a new rice maker only for it to sputter all over my kitchen. I have a wmf pressure cooker too. Do you mind sharing what brand of inner pot you use? Thank you!

    Kerri — December 26, 2016

  7. Hi Kerri, I wish I could tell you a brand name but I bought my inner silver bowl at a discount shop. It was very inexpensive, lightweight and didn’t have a brand on it. I will say that since my original post, I have sometimes used my small glass Pyrex bowl in place of the above one, and despite my worries it may crack, everything was fine and my rice cooked the same. I made sure there was absolutely no pressure left in the cooker before opening the lid, as I had read accounts of Pyrex breaking.

    miscdebris — December 26, 2016

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