Combined Rice Cooking Methods
Dry rice is as versatile as it is affordable. In addition to the instructions on the package, there are so many ways to prepare and use dry rice that everyone is sure to find a method that fits their lifestyle and culinary practice.
What’s the best way to prevent burning rice?
Many people are unaware that rice can be cooked using the same technique as pasta. This technique is called the excess-water method and ensures you will never burn a pot of rice again. There is no need to measure the rice; you can make as much or little as you like.
Fine mesh colander
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. This should be at least six times more water than the amount of rice you plan to cook, or more.
- Add the desired amount of rice to the boiling water, reduce heat to a low boil and cook for time specified, until the grains are tender.
- Drain in a fine mesh colander for one minute or return to the hot pot to remove excess water. Fluff with a fork and stir in butter if desired.
How do I cook dry rice?
Note: A number of factors contribute to how quickly the water is absorbed with this method. Tighter-fitting lids and lower simmer temperatures sometimes result in water remaining in the pot after the recommended cook time is done. Turning off the heat and allowing the rice to rest in the covered pot for an additional five minutes will allow the remaining water to absorb. Constantly peeking or using poorly fitting lids may cause excess evaporation and result in rice that becomes crispy and sticks to the bottom. You can correct this if you notice it happening by adding a few tablespoons of hot water to the pot to compensate for the additional steam loss.
- Combine rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add butter and salt if desired.
- Reduce heat to medium or medium-low, cover and simmer for the time suggested above or until most of the water is absorbed.
- Set aside and let stand for an additional five minutes to absorb any excess water. Fluff with a fork and serve.
How do I cook dry rice in an Instant Pot®?
*Foodservice product only
Note: The preset “rice” function on the Instant Pot is designed for parboiled rice. Uncle Ben’s Original Converted Rice and Whole Grain Brown Rice will cook perfectly using this setting. Other varieties of rice may require time to be set according to the individual variety of rice.
1 Tbsp. of butter and a pinch of salt per cup of dry rice is optional.
Regardless of which variety of rice you’re cooking in the pressure cooker, the same rice-to-water ratio will apply. Use an equal volume of rice and water plus ¼ cup of water. For example, if you’re cooking 1 cup of dry rice, add 1 ¼ cup of water to the pressure cooker. For 2 cups of dry rice, add 2 ¼ cups water; for 3 cups rice, add 3 ¼ cups water, and so on.
The minimum amount of rice appropriate for a typical medium-sized pressure cooker is 1 cup of dry rice. The maximum quantity is determined by not exceeding a volume of rice and water that fills the inner pot more than halfway. Filling beyond halfway could result in an overflow as the rice expands during cooking.
Buttery Toasted Pressure Cooker Rice:
For more flavorful plain rice, add 1 Tbsp. of butter and a pinch of salt per cup of uncooked rice to the pot and use the sauté or brown setting to toast the rice for 4-5 minutes before cooking as directed above.
Savory Pressure Cooker Rice:
To add a meaty richness to your rice, simply replace water with broth or stock and cook as above.
Did you know you can cook dry rice in the microwave?
Microwave-safe dish at least 1 ½ quarts in size
Lid or plastic wrap
Note: This method is useful if you do not have access to a stovetop, but also makes surprisingly good-quality rice. Whether you are looking to make and eat your rice straight from the same container or you are just looking for an easy way to make perfectly separate and fluffy rice, give this method a try. Microwave power and performance varies widely, so take a flexible approach when you first attempt this until you get to know how your microwave will behave. Due to the risk of boil-over, it is not recommended to cook more than 1 cup of dry rice using this method.
- Combine rice and water in the dish and stir. Add butter and salt if desired. Microwave uncovered on high power for 10-12 minutes. Check the rice for the appearance of steam holes after 10 minutes and continue cooking, one minute at a time, until the steam holes appear.
- Once the steam holes are visible, cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap with a small vent hole. Continue heating for 4 minutes more.
- Allow the dish to remain in the microwave, still covered, for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from the microwave, fluff with a fork and enjoy.
How do you cook rice in the oven?
Lid or aluminum foil
Note: This method is most useful for preparing larger quantities of rice. It also is quite useful when you have many things cooking on your stovetop and have a little more time to let the rice cook uninterrupted.
- Combine rice and HOT (nearly boiling) water (190 °F) in a shallow oven-safe pan. Add butter and salt if desired. Stir.
- Cover and bake in a 350 °F oven according to the chart above, or until most of the water is absorbed.
- Remove from oven, fluff with fork and enjoy.
Rice Tips to Cook Like a Pro
Find nearly everything you need to know about rice from the world’s biggest rice brand.
- It is not necessary to rinse good-quality long-grain rice purchased at major U.S. grocery stores before cooking. Washing milled white rice can reduce the amount of some important nutrients, such as iron, folate and thiamin.
- Converted®, or parboiled rice, has been partially cooked by the manufacturer to ensure the highest quality and nutrition and consistent cook times. This type of rice will be less sticky and more separate than non-parboiled rice.
- Brown rice is a whole grain. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of the grains we eat should be whole grains.
- The fiber and nutrients in the bran layer of brown rice promote digestive health, providing a favorable environment for healthy gut microbes.
- Rice is a naturally gluten-free and allergen-free food, is highly digestible and is a good source of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy.
- Rice is well tolerated by dogs and makes a great addition to pet food.
- Low and slow heat while cooking helps protect rice grains from splitting.
- Don’t peek when cooking your pot of rice. Leaving the lid on throughout the cooking process keeps the steam inside to gently cook the grains.
- Stirring rice while cooking it will release excess starch into the water and can result in a stickier pot of rice.
- Set-aside time, sometimes indicated in rice-cooking instructions, helps equalize the moisture within the grains, making them tender yet firm and separate, and it makes for easier cleanup by loosening any grains stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- Here are some easy ways to add a special touch and subtle flavor to your rice.
- Cooking with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of butter per cup of dry rice when cooking brings out a subtle richness and highlights other flavors in the foods it is served with.
- Toss a few whole cumin seeds, coriander pods, chili flakes, star anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks or other spices into the dry pan and toast for 30 to 60 seconds before cooking your rice, then leave them in the pot while the rice is cooked as usual for a flavor infusion.
- Naturally enhance the visual appeal of your rice dish by adding a small amount of naturally colorful ingredients. Try adding a pinch of turmeric, saffron threads, annatto seeds, or even flower petals from clean dandelions to brighten up your rice dishes.
Basic methods of preparing common rice dishes
Rice dishes are as unique and varied as the people who have been preparing them for thousands of years. Once you learn the basic methods for some of the most common recipe types, you will have everything you need to build your repertoire of dishes as you add new seasonings and ingredients. Here, you will find basic methods of preparing rice dishes that, once mastered, can become the backbone of your recipe framework of rice-based cuisine.
Storing and Reheating Cooked Rice
Cooking rice for later use is a great way to save time and money. Cooked rice easily stores in the refrigerator for use in a wide variety of dishes, such as fried rice, casseroles, soups, frittatas, rice bowls, burritos, rice pudding and more. To ensure your cooked rice doesn’t turn into a sticky glob, use top-quality parboiled rice. Uncle Ben’s® Converted® parboiled rice will remain separate and loose for storage and reheating, ensuring Perfect Every Time® results.
- Always cool and then store unused portions of cooked rice in a closed, preferably shallow, container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Never store cooked rice at room temperature unless it has been commercially prepared in a sealed package by the manufacturer for this purpose.
- Properly storing cooked rice will prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause foodborne illness.
- Discard any rice left sitting out at room temperature for more than two hours.
Refrigerator storage: Cool cooked rice at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Place into a tightly covered container or sealed plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Freezer storage: Spread out cool cooked rice evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the freezer until completely frozen, about one hour. Remove frozen rice, breaking any large clumps apart, and transfer to an airtight container or plastic bag. Return frozen rice quickly to the freezer and store for up to three months.
- Cooked rice that has been chilled is best reheated with a small amount of water added to refresh the starches that become firm when chilled.
- It is recommended to reheat all leftover or precooked foods to an internal temperature of 165o F to ensure safety.
- Never reheat cooked rice more than once.
Microwave reheating frozen rice: Add about 1 tablespoon of water per 1 cup of cooked rice to a covered microwavable bowl and heat for about 4-5 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Larger quantities of frozen rice will require longer heating times. Carefully remove from microwave and fluff with a fork.
Microwave reheating refrigerated rice: Add about 1 tablespoon of water per 1 cup of cooked rice to a covered microwavable bowl and heat for about 2 ½ to 3 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Larger quantities of refrigerated rice will require longer heating times. Carefully remove from microwave and fluff with fork.
Stovetop reheating refrigerated rice: Add rice and 1 tablespoon water per 1 cup of cooked rice to a saucepan. Cover and heat for 2-3 minutes, until the water simmers and rice is heated thoroughly.