Brown rice still has its outer hull, which is what gives the grain its namesake color and nutty, chewy flavor and texture. Because of this hull, cooking brown rice often requires more water than white rice, and a soaking time. Cooking brown rice in a slow cooker depends largely on the type of slow-cooked dish you are making, and the characteristics of your slow cooker.
To cook only brown rice in a slow cooker, you have two options:
- Cook on a high setting; or
- Cook with a rice or brown rice function.
To cook brown rice without a dedicated function, set the slow cooker to high.
Add the required amount of rice and water. The amounts needed for dry brown rice are:
- 1 cup rice to 2 cups water
- 2 cups rice to 3 2/3 water
- 3 cups rice to 4 3/4 cups water
Less water is needed when cooking brown rice in a slow cooker because of the long cooking time needed for a slow cooker. It can take anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours.
Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil to the rice for seasoning and to prevent it from sticking to the cooker.
To cook brown rice with other foods, for example, adding it to a stew, chili or soup, you don’t need to worry about how much liquid to use, as a soupy texture is desired, so too much water is less of a concern. In general, add your brown rice to the slow cooker:
- 2 hours before your dish is finished if cooking on a high setting; or
- 2 3/4 hours before your dish is finished if cooking on a low setting.
In all cases, plan on adding a minimum of 2 cups more of liquid for the brown rice to absorb during cooking.