“Rice is life” is true for a lot of people and if you are totally behind this, cooking rice to the perfect fluffiness that you like is important.
Cooking rice is a matter of water-to-rice ratios. The amount of water depends on how much water the rice you’re cooking can absorb. This will also determine how soft and mushy the resulting cooked rice can be. In simpler terms, add less water and you will have firmer rice that’s drier and separates from other kernels. Add more water and you get softer rice that’s more sticky.
However, did you know that you can cook rice beyond the rice cooker? You can! You can cook rice in at least four different other ways! All of these techniques will result in cooked rice but the key is what is available to you. If the way you cook rice is not resulting in the rice you like, you have other ways to cook it.
1 Steam, not boil, rice.
Just to make this clear: steaming rice is not the same as boiling rice. Steamed rice is a technique used to commonly cook basmati rice. This involves the rice being cooked above simmering water. The result is fluffy rice that is firm, separate, and loose. Here’s how to do it:
- 1 Rinse rice as normal and drain using a strainer.
- 2 Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- 3 Place strainer with the rice on top of the boiling water and cover with a lid. (The bottom of the strainer should not touch the simmering water.)
- 4 Steam rice, around 15 minutes, until the rice kernels have fluffed, are cooked through, and tender.
2 Bake rice in the oven.
Cooking rice in the oven is easy as well. Just like most baking recipes, it requires little effort on your part once it’s in the oven. To bake rice in the oven, follow these steps:
- 1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C.
- 2 Rinse rice as normal and drain using a strainer. Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish.
- 3 Pour in hot water (or heated stock or broth to cook more flavorful rice) as desired.
- 4 Cover with foil and place in the oven.
- 5 Bake until the rice is fluffy and has absorbed all the liquid.
- 6 Remove from the oven.
3 Microwave rice.
We learned this neat hack of cooking rice in the microwave from Serious Eats. The theory is simple: add rice with water in a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and nuke it. It can be if you also note these tips on how to cook rice in the microwave:
- 1 Prepare 1 cup rice, rinsed, and at least 1 cup water or as desired, but add an extra 2 tablespoons water to compensate for the microwave’s powerful evaporation.
- 2 Place a kitchen towel, paper towel, or any non-tight fitting lid. You can even place a microwave-safe plate on top. A tight-fitting lid may cause water to boil over.
- 3 Microwave on High or 100 percent for 10 minutes, then 15 more minutes on Medium or 50 percent power.
- 4 Fluff rice and serve.
4 Cook rice on the stove.
This may be the easiest way to cook rice since most kitchens have a stove. You’ll need a pot or saucepan to do this in. Here’s what you do:
- 1 Rinse rice as normal and drain. Transfer to a pot and cover.
- 2 Place over High heat until boiling. Lower the heat to Low and simmer until all the water has been absorbed and no visible water is on top of the rice.
- 3 Once all the water has evaporated or absorbed, turn off the heat but keep it covered for at least another 5 minutes to allow the remaining steam to continue cooking the rice until fluffy.