Published May 1, 2004.
Forget the instructions on the back of the bag, unless you want scorched or mushy rice.
An ideal version should be easy to come by: Just throw rice and water in a pot and set the timer, right? Yet cooks who have attempted to prepare brown rice know it isn't so simple. Many people simply crank up the flame in an effort to hurry along the slow-cooking grains (brown rice takes roughly twice as long to cook as white), which inevitably leads to a burnt pot and crunchy rice. Adding plenty of water isn't the remedy; excess liquid swells the rice into a gelatinous mass.
Brown rice should be ultimately satisfying, with a nutty, gutsy flavor and more textural personality-slightly sticky and just a bit chewy-than white rice.
Cook the rice in the oven to approximate the controlled, indirect heat of a rice cooker. Using the oven gives more precise temperature control, and the oven’s encircling heat eliminates the risk of scorching. Use a ratio of 2 1/3 cups water to 1 1/2 cups rice, similar to that used for our white rice recipe, but falling well short of the 2:1 water-to-rice ratio advised by most rice producers and nearly every recipe we consulted. (Perhaps that is why so much brown rice turns out sodden and overcooked.) A small amount (2 teaspoons) of either butter or oil added to the cooking water adds mild flavor while keeping the rice fluffy.list of recipes