What Does Brown Rice Taste Like? (Taste, Texture + More)

As more and more people grow conscious of the food they eat, the more brown rice becomes an appealing alternative to the usual white rice that most people consume.

If you’re interested in transitioning to brown rice, you’ll naturally have questions about brown rice, particularly about what brown rice tastes like. I looked into it, and here’s what I found!

What Does Brown Rice Taste Like?

Brown rice comes in dozens of varieties, which means that brown rice doesn’t have a singular distinct flavor. Despite the many nuances that come with brown rice varieties. However, brown rice is generally nutty and chewy. Variants like Basmati brown rice will have a stronger taste and aroma while short-grain brown rice will be stickier and slightly sweeter.

In case you’re curious to learn more about the smell, taste, and texture of brown rice as well as how brown rice compares to other rice variants, keep reading!

Does Brown Rice Taste Like Normal Rice?

Brown rice doesn’t taste like everyday white rice. While white rice is usually bland with hints of sweetness, brown rice is mostly nutty.

Nonetheless, the nutty flavor of brown rice isn’t too strong so brown rice is not difficult to pair with a wide assortment of dishes.

Additionally, brown rice doesn’t absorb flavor the same way white rice does, but brown rice still works well with different sour, salty, spicy, and umami recipes.

Does Brown Rice Taste As Good As White Rice?

Since brown rice has a more distinct flavor than white rice, a lot of people may find brown rice to be less appetizing than white rice.

This is especially true if you’re comparing brown rice to aromatic rice variants like white Basmati and Jasmine rice.

However, when cooked correctly, brown rice can also be fluffy and neutral enough to complement the same dishes that are paired with white rice.

Why Does Brown Rice Not Taste Good?

There are many reasons why brown rice may not appeal to your tastes. Firstly, brown rice has to be cooked correctly for the brown rice to end up soft and fluffy.

Since a lot of people cook brown rice the same way they cook white rice, the result is brown rice that is hard, rough, and dry. As such, it’s important to soak brown rice before cooking.

Additionally, brown rice may not taste good to you because you’re not used to eating brown rice yet. Brown rice is often an acquired taste, and it will take getting used to before you appreciate brown rice.

Does Brown Rice Taste Crunchy?

Brown rice is not supposed to taste crunchy because when pre-soaked and cooked with enough water, brown rice will be soft and chewy.

However, when you cook brown rice the same way you would cook white rice, brown rice will usually end up too dry, hard, and even slightly burnt at the bottom.

Why Does My Brown Rice Taste Like Dirt?

Brown rice naturally tastes earthy, but brown rice shouldn’t taste like dirt. If your brown rice tastes like dirt, it could be that you failed to wash the brown rice thoroughly.

When rinsing the brown rice, you’ll notice dirt and debris coming off the grains. Removing the dirt and debris is integral in cooking delicious and safe brown rice.

What Is Brown Rice Supposed To Smell Like?

What Is Brown Rice Supposed To Smell Like?

Brown rice doesn’t typically have a strong aroma. At times, you may be able to detect a subtle earthy scent, but generally, brown rice should have a neutral aroma.

In case the brown rice smells excessively like dirt or there’s a rancid smell coming off the raw and cooked grains, consider throwing out the brown rice.

Does Brown Rice Smell Nutty?

Brown rice might smell a little nutty, but otherwise, the aroma that cooked brown rice gives off is bland.

However, you might notice a stronger earthy and floral aroma coming off brown rice if you buy the aromatic variant like brown Basmati rice.

Is Brown Rice Hard When Cooked?

Brown rice should be firm when cooked, but not hard. When cooked properly, brown rice should end up soft, chewy, and easy to eat.

When you cook brown rice and the brown rice ends up hard, it might be because you put too little water with the brown rice.

Why Is Brown Rice Chewy?

Since brown rice still has its bran and germ layer, cooked brown rice will end up chewy. Nonetheless, brown rice should still be soft enough to break easily when chewing.

Why Does My Brown Rice Taste Like Soap?

Brown rice can taste like soap if the rice cooker or saucepan you use has soap residues or they smell like soap.

While brown rice doesn’t absorb smells and flavors the same way white rice does, brown rice still absorbs enough of them during the cooking process.

Additionally, you have to make sure that the brown rice is rinsed thoroughly because the rice might’ve been previously exposed to all sorts of dirt and aromas.

Does Brown Rice Taste Earthy?

Brown rice has earthy undertones because of the bran and germ layer that is still on the grains. However, brown rice normally doesn’t taste too earthy that it’s overwhelming.

Why Does My Brown Rice Smell Weird?

Brown rice may smell weird for many reasons. Usually, brown rice adapts to the smell of the rice cooker or saucepan you cook the brown rice in.

If the rice cooker or saucepan smells weird, the brown rice will mirror that.

Furthermore, it’s possible that you haven’t rinsed the brown rice enough, or that the brown rice has started to spoil.

Check out our related articles to learn what long-grain rice tastes like, what fried rice tastes like, and what black rice tastes like.


Brown rice is known to be a healthy alternative to white rice. Nonetheless, people who are used to eating white rice may not immediately find brown rice to be appetizing.

Compared to white rice, brown rice has a firmer and more chewy texture. Additionally, brown rice has nutty undertones and is not as bland as white rice.

To fully enjoy brown rice, it’s crucial that you pre-soak brown rice, cook brown rice with enough water, and keep the brown rice in the rice cooker or on the stove long enough.

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