How to Cook Brown Rice in the Microwave

At our house, we only use the microwave for 3 things: making popcorn, warming up leftovers and cooking white rice.

How to Make Microwave Brown Rice

I love cooking white rice in the microwave because it cuts down the time to 15 minutes and I don’t have to lug out my heavy rice cooker (though I still love her dearly).

Since you can cook white rice successfully in the microwave, why not brown rice? It’s the most requested recipe that I’ve gotten, so here we go. The technique for cooking brown rice in the microwave is a little different, as you have to take in consideration the extra layers of bran and germ to cook through.

How to Make Microwave Brown Rice

Normally, cooking brown rice on the stove top takes about 50 minutes. We can do it faster in the microwave – 30 minutes!

Watch the video to find out the trick to microwaving brown rice and chop off 20 minutes of cooking time.  

How to Make Microwave Brown Rice

How to Cook Brown Rice in the Microwave Video

And while we’re at it, we found a quick-cooking brown rice product at Trader Joe’s that cuts even more time off the process!! Down to just 15 minutes! Check out my review post for that product too: Trader Joe’s Quick Cooking Brown Rice

How to cook brown rice in the microwave recipe

Servings: 4

Prep Time:1 minute

Cook Time:30 minutes

Big thanks to the nice lady who answered Mahatma's rice crisis help line!

You can use any type of brown rice - if you are using fat short-grained brown rice, add 3 minutes to the cooking time at the end. IMPORTANT - Use a tall, pot-like container (like the one in my video) and if the lid is not vented, do not close the lid completely tight. Leave a space for steam to vent out. Corningware-type with glass lid works well too.


1 cup brown basmati rice
3 cups water


Wash rice, rinse, drain. Add rice and water to very large microwave safe bowl. Microwave uncovered at 100% power for 10 minutes. Reduce power to 50%, cover the bowl, and microwave another 20 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.