1 Cook Brown Rice Microwave
What to know

How to Cook Brown Rice in Microwave

People usually eat brown rice, particularly those who eat rice as a staple part of their meals, in order to lose weight or eat healthier.

Dieters and weight watchers add brown rice to their diets for the same reasons as well.

With that said, you can use the following recipe in order to undo the stigma regarding how microwaves aren’t good cooking devices and are more useful as TV dinner machines or reheaters of leftovers. 

Yes, you too can cook brown rice in the Microwave and in minutes when all is said and done.

It’s an easier task than you think! 

You may also like: How to Cook Rice in Microwave

What You Need 

Here are the things you need to cook brown rice in your microwave.

  • Microwaveable bowl.
  • Microwave oven (we used a 900-watt unit).
  • Cup used to scoop rice (comes with the rice cooker).
  • Raw brown rice (we used 99 Ranch’s Mogami Long-Grain Organic Brown Rice).
cook brown rice 7
Raw Brown rice


Steps to Follow for Microwaving Brown Rice

Here are the steps you should follow in order to properly microwave and cook brown rice to perfection.

Take Note of Microwave Wattage

Because all microwaves feature different power levels, wattage, and settings, it’s important to note that for this recipe we used a 900-watt microwave.

Therefore, if you have a 600-watt to 700-watt microwave, please take note of this and adjust accordingly by slightly lengthening the cooking time.

The less wattage a microwave has the longer it will take to cook things, which is why cooking dishes like rice is best done incrementally.

Use the Right Scoop

Usually, the cup you can use to cook brown rice is the one that comes with your rice cooker since it already gives out the right measurement.

A dry measuring scoop or cup offers 217 grams of measurement. A liquid measuring cup, in contrast, offers 250 grams of measurement.

In the kitchen, the liquid and dry measuring tools shouldn’t be used interchangeably to avoid cooking portion mishaps.

Use Dry Measuring Cup for Rice and Liquid Measuring Cup for Water

Some folks might wave this off as unnecessary, but in order to err on the side of caution since the volume of rice and water don’t scale up in a linear fashion, use the right scoop for both.

Use a dry measuring cup for the rice and a liquid measuring cup for the water to lower the chances of discrepancies for both. Otherwise, use one cup but add an extra cup of water just in case.

The Rice Cooker Rule of Thumb

For those who regularly cook rice on the rice cooker, the rule of thumb is to match the amount of cups of rice to the cups of water (using the same rice cooker cup) on the cooker then add one extra cup of water to make the rice really nice and fluffy.

Weighted measurements are done here to make it easier to follow the right portions and ratios per cup of rice versus water.

Water to Rice Ratios

This is the ratio that works best with microwaving long-grain brown rice according to our personal kitchen experiments.

For every 178 grams or 1 dry measuring cup of long-grain brown rice, you need 1¾ liquid measuring cups or 14 fluid ounces of water.

For every 2 dry measuring cups or 356 grams of long-grain brown rice, you instead need 2½ cups or 20 fluid ounces of water. Every half-cup is a serving per person. Adjust rice to water ratios accordingly to family size.

Cook brown rice

Preparing Your Rice

You don’t just dump the rice and the water by ratio though. You need to wash the rice first, drain the water, and then put in the correct ratio of water to rice.

The rice should be rinsed with running water and you can even use a strainer to make it easier to transfer from cup to bowl.

The bowl could be made of ceramic or glass. Keep in mind that the rice will expand while cooking so make sure the bowl is big enough to accommodate its expansion. Your rice could potentially double in size.

Microwave at High or Top Power Level

The top of the rice should be flattened to ensure even cooking all throughout. From there, while it’s uncovered, microwave the brown rice on the highest setting or the top power level for about 10 minutes.

For my 900-watt microwave, this is power level 10. Some microwaves don’t have power levels. This means their default level is at the highest. After 10 minutes, check the results of your microwaving the rice.

Microwave on Medium While Covered

If there’s still water there, don’t worry. Brown rice, in contrast to white rice, takes a lot more water when cooking it.

It should suck off the remaining water over the next cooking period. The water at this juncture should be half an inch above the rice.

Cover the rice bowl (plate if it doesn’t have its own lid and lid if it does) then microwave on medium for 15 minutes. You can also cover the rice bowl with a dish towel to cook the rice on medium power or level 5.

Rest a Bit While Keeping the Rice Covered

After the cooking is done, don’t open the microwave just yet. Let the hotness cook the brown rice as splendidly as possible.

Allow it to stay in your oven for an extra 5 minutes so that it can get cooked further through steam.

Let the rice granules soak up all that moisture, resulting in plumper brown rice when push comes to shove.

You’ve just cooked the rice roughly the same amount of time as you would with a rice cooker.

Fluff and Serve the Brown Rice

Use the rice paddle or a fork to fluff up your rice. This should ensure that all the grains of your brown rice are plumped and cooked properly and equally. These granules should still remain intact during the fluffing process.

This indicates that they haven’t been overcooked to the point of looking like mush or oatmeal in brown rice form. Serve this rice as-is for consumption.

cook brown rice

The Importance of Fluffing for Water Absorption

Fluffing allows you to make your rice soak up into its other grains of any water found on the bottom of the bowl.

Allow the rice to cool while uncovered on the counter for about 10 minutes. It’s all about making the brown rice absorb as much of the water as possible without going to mush.  The leftovers can be placed in the fridge for storage for a week.

Reheating Cooked Brown Rice

You can reheat cooked brown rice straight from the refrigerator for consumption at a later time.

Reheating the rice requires you to drizzle out a little water, barely a dash from a cup before placing it on the microwave for 30-second intervals as required.

Typically, you can also simply heat it up for about 2 minutes straight at top power for a quick reheating. Otherwise, heat them up for 1-2 rounds of 30-second reheating.

Too Much Water?

If you’ve put in too much water because you had a devil-may-care attitude regarding rice-to-water ratios, you need to adjust the water amount in the future, when you decide to make more brown rice.

If your water line is above the top layer of the rice after microwaving it for over 30 minutes then you’ve screwed up.

To remove the excess water, keep microwaving the soppy brown rice in 1-minute increments on medium power but be careful in not overcooking the rice. It’s a careful balance.

Undercooked Grains?

If the grains are undercooked and crunchy, add two tablespoons of water in a gradual manner to the rice.

Afterwards, keep cooking the bowl of brown rice at 1-minute increments on medium power until the desired texture and fluffiness are reached from your rice.

It’s actually easier to troubleshoot wrongly cooked rice due to brown rice’s tendency to require loads of water to get cooked properly. The real danger is to overcook the rice and have it become a soppy mess afterward.

How Much Water Is Needed?

You need 1¾ cup of water on the liquid measuring cup for a cup of long-grain brown rice on the dry measuring cup. In turn, you need 2½ cups of water for 2 cups of long-rain brown rice.

If you’re using just the rice cup, learn to estimate properly and remember the portions that way since it won’t be as exact as two separate measuring cups for liquid and dry content. Reheating brown rice only requires a drizzle of 1-2 teaspoons of water.

Other Things You Should Notice

Brown rice is a variety of rice that’s healthier and nuttier than its white rice counterpart. It can be quite delicious and when paired up with the right diet, extremely effective in helping you lose weight.

Sure, you can always invest in a rice cooker or cook it on the stove, but if you’re in a pinch and you only have the office microwave on hand, you can still prepare brown rice on hand without having to order it online or something.

Actually, using a microwave to cook brown rice is super quick and you don’t even have to watch it that closely compared to stovetop rice cooking.



  1. How to Cook Brown Rice in the Microwave“, SteamyKitchen.com, October 1, 2017
  2. Microwave Brown Rice“, EatingonaDime.com, May 18, 2020
  3. Huy Vu, “How to Cook Brown Rice in the Microwave“, Hungry Huy, February 3, 2021

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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