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Cooking brown basmati rice in the Instant Pot yields perfect, highly consistent results — and it couldn’t be quicker or easier. That’s why it’s become my favorite method. Here’s how to do it.

basmati brown rice in two small bowls
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Why we love this recipe

Basmati rice is my favorite long-grain rice for virtually all recipes. It’s just as easy to make as any other type, but it has an almost magical taste and aroma. For years I made it in a pot, and that’s all well and good. But in the Instant Pot it’s:

  • Quicker
  • Even easier
  • More hands-off
  • Perfectly consistent

What could be better?

This is the water ratio and timing that works best for me. All brands of rice are different, and people’s preferences for rice texture vary, too — so I’ve provided some additional guidelines in the FAQs and recipe card below.

What you’ll need

You don’t need much to make this recipe. Here’s a look at the ingredients.

ingredients in bowls
  • Basmati brown rice is a whole grain. It still contains the parts of the grain that can spoil if kept at room temperature for too long. I like to store it in the fridge.
  • The butter is optional, but it adds flavor and also prevents foaming in the Instant Pot. You can leave it out if you really want, or substitute oil or vegan butter to make it vegan.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a perfect pot of brown basmati rice in the Instant Pot. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

step by step
  1. Place the rice, water, butter, and salt into the Instant Pot.
  2. Give it all a stir. Then position the lid and seal the vent. Cook on manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes.
  3. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before performing a manual release.
  4. Rice may be a little wet as the steam evaporates. Let it sit for a few minutes if you like. Fluff and serve or use in recipes.

Expert tips and FAQs

Can I double this recipe?

You sure can. In a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, you can double the recipe without making any additional changes.

My rice turned out a little too…

All brands of rice are a little different — some cook faster, some slower. Plus, people have different preferences.

If the type you’re using turns out a little softer or firmer than you’d like, you can try it a little differently next time. I’d say these are the bounds of decency:

If you like your rice extremely chewy, you could go all the way down to 1 cup of water per cup of rice. If you like it extremely soft, try cooking for 20 minutes and doing a full natural pressure release. You could potentially go up to 1 1/2 cups of water, too.

How long does cooked brown rice last in the fridge?

Stored in an airtight container in a nice cold fridge, basmati brown rice will keep for a week. Freeze it for longer-term storage.

Can you freeze cooked brown rice?

You sure can. Place cooked brown rice into a zip-top bag or other airtight storage container and freeze for up to a year. Defrost overnight in the fridge, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop and serve or add to recipes.

As with all frozen foods, the texture will soften a bit, but frozen grains hold up very well and shouldn’t give you any trouble.

More favorite Instant Pot basics

Here’s how to use your IP to make perfect:

basmati brown rice in an instant pot

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basmati brown rice in an instant pot
4.47 from 15 votes

Brown Basmati Rice (Instant Pot Method)

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
Cooking brown basmati rice in the Instant Pot yields perfect, highly consistent results — and it couldn't be quicker or easier. That's why it's become my favorite method. Here's how to do it.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown basmati rice
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) butter
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions 

  • Place all ingredients into the Instant Pot and give them a stir.
  • Position the lid and seal the vent.
  • Cook on manual, high pressure, for 15 minutes.
  • Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before performing a quick release.
  • Rice may be a bit wet as the steam evaporates. Let it sit for a few minutes if you like. Fluff and serve or use in recipes.

Notes

  1. You can use this method with other varieties of long-grain brown rice if that’s what you’ve got.
  2. Basmati brown rice is a whole grain. It still contains the parts of the grain that can spoil if kept at room temperature for too long. I like to store it in the fridge.
  3. The butter is optional, but it adds flavor and also prevents foaming in the Instant Pot. You can leave it out if you really want, or substitute oil or vegan butter to make it vegan.
  4. Stored in an airtight container in a nice cold fridge, basmati brown rice will keep for a week. Freeze it for longer-term storage.
  5. All brands of rice are a little different — some cook faster, some slower. Plus, people have different preferences. If the type you’re using turns out a little softer or firmer than you’d like, you can try it a little differently next time. I’d say these are the bounds of decency: If you like your rice extremely chewy, you could go all the way down to 1 cup of water per cup of rice. If you like it extremely soft, try cooking for 20 minutes and doing a full natural pressure release. You could potentially go up to 1 1/2 cups of water, too.
  6. To freeze, place cooked brown rice into a zip-top bag or other airtight storage container and freeze for up to a year. Defrost overnight in the fridge, reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop and serve or add to recipes. As with all frozen foods, the texture will soften a bit, but frozen grains hold up very well and shouldn’t give you any trouble.

Nutrition

Serving: 1, Calories: 66kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 6mg, Sodium: 250mg, Sugar: 1g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Grains
Cuisine: American
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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the detailed recipe. If you take into account the 10-20 minutes it takes for the instant pot to pressurize, the total cooking time is the same as preparing the brown rice on the stove, maybe even more. What’s the advantage of using the instant pot?

    1. Hi, Alain! More and more, I find myself choosing the Instant Pot for grains — even ones like rice without extensive cooking times — because of the consistent results. Since it’s a sealed environment, there’s no possibility of too much or too little liquid boiling off like there is on the stovetop. I also like that you can set it and forget it rather than having to keep an eye on things. In those ways it’s more similar to using a rice cooker than the stovetop. Of course, stovetop is great too!