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I am trying to meal prep brown rice. The brand I have bought, with no particular thought other than calories/carb amounts is this Long Grain Brown Rice 365 Whole Foods brand. The way I cook the rice is put in about 2 cups of rice and 2.5 cups water/broth mixture into my instant pot. I then pressure cook for 15 minutes. Occasionally I have also added spices to the rice/water mixture before cooking. I then immediately transfer to a container and store it in the fridge. To reheat, I just put in the microwave for 2 minutes.

The problem is that the reheated brown rice is firm and unpleasant. I feel like I am eating pebbles. I know brown rice will be naturally firmer than white rice but there should be a way to make it palatable. I read somewhere that long grain brown rice contains more of something that when refrigerated causes it to crystallize, so short-grain/medium-grain rice is better. In addition to that, what else can I do to make the rice come out as soft as possible and maintain that even when reheated?

I know that most people here probably cook rice on the stovetop but I would really prefer to use the instant pot because it's extremely convenient and I don't have much time to cook other than a few hours on Sunday.

  • This thread, has a lot of good points that you may be able to glean something from as well. cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/12136/… – J Crosby Jul 3 at 21:07
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    Transferring hot food immediately into the fridge is a big no-no in food safety. Because the food is hot, it might very well be in the "danger zone" long enough to promote bacterial growth, as well as potentially heating up other, cold food around it past those levels. The USDA recommends no more than 2 hours between 40 and 140F for foods that need refrigeration. – John W. Jul 3 at 21:15
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When reheating any kind of rice, you will need to add water to it (with white rice, just covering the container with a damp paper towel works). However, brown rice does not reheat well at all; and from personal experience it is exactly how you describe it. So what we do when we cook rice for our meals, is we throw it in the rice cooker as we shower and get ready for the day to limit moisture loss as over the course of a day or night in a fridge.

However, when it comes to cooking it the first time, the easiest way is to use an actual rice cooker. The one I have has a separate setting for White, Brown (short and long grain) and steam (like for veggies). It was not expensive (like 40CAD). If you have a preference for the convenience of an Instapot, that would be my recommendation. You can add spices, herbs and other flavouring agents into it as well (just do it after you add the water and rice so it staying on top to remove when it's cooked, no one likes eating star anise by accident lol).

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