The Great Rice Debate?

Rice, rice, rice, rice, rice. More rice. Then more rice. We eat a lot of rice. We were eating brown rice (more nutrition, way more flavor), until I noticed a correlation between some lingering symptoms and my brown rice consumption. So out with the brown, in with the white rice. Ugh. I think cardboard has more nutrition, and definitely has more fiber. But at least the white rice picks up other flavors nicely. I’m getting used to it. I always have cooked white rice in the fridge, for a quick side, an emergency lunch, or a rich, sweet snack (heated, drizzled with honey, to die for!)

Tenille at Gluten Free Frugal (a great blog, check it out!) asked me if I use a rice cooker. Actually, I think that’s the one electronic kitchen gadget we don’t own. Between the crock pot, waffle iron, cappuccino maker, bread maker, steamer, dehydrator, and other assorted toys, I think it’s safe to say that I’m not afraid of kitchen gadgets.

But I have to admit, I’ve never seen the point of a rice cooker.

Maybe if I’d been introduced to one at a younger age. I think I was well into my twenties before I knew such a thing existed.

Or maybe if I hadn’t learned to cook rice at the tender age of eight or so. I’ve heard about other people’s issues with rice, and I can’t help but think, “But how do you burn rice? I don’t understand!” Honestly, I’ve never had a problem with it. I’ve cooked rice on the crappiest stoves, in the cheapest, crappiest pans you can imagine. I’ve also cooked in on decent stoves, in decent cookware, and I get the same results. Perfect rice, every time.

Here’s my method, if I haven’t already bored you to tears with this post:

White rice (sticky): Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. When the water boils, drop the heat to the lowest setting your stove has (leave it on, but just barely). Add 1 cup of regular (not converted, parboiled, or quick) rice to the water, and put the lid on the pan. Set a timer for 18 minutes and WALK AWAY. Whatever you do, don’t lift the lid, stir the rice, or molest the pan in any way. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat, take the lid off the pan, and fluff the rice with a fork. This recipe doubles nicely.

If you prefer a dryer rice, use 1-3/4 cups of water to each cup of rice.

For brown rice: Same as above, except use 2-1/2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice, cook for 45 minutes, then let rest for 5 minutes (heat off) before fluffing. You may need to cook this one a little longer, depending on your stove. Don’t forget, while it’s cooking, no peeking!

Jasmine, basmati, arborio, forbidden black, Bhutanese red, or any other styles of rice out there: follow the directions on the package.

I have a confession. I admit it, I burned rice once. Only once. I forgot to turn down the heat before setting the timer and walking away. Maybe I should get a rice cooker…

I have another confession. I think that maybe, just maybe, the steamer could be used to cook rice. I’m not sure, it was David’s from before we got married, and I’ve only used the thing twice, for veggies. But it just dawned on me that maybe it could be used for rice. I’d have to read the instruction book. Someday. Eventually. Maybe. Maybe not…

About Li

A writer, runner, and Gluten-Free Zealot, I’ve been helping others navigate the gluten-free lifestyle for many years. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and when you’re gluten-free, it’s even better!

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8 Responses to The Great Rice Debate?

  1. Tenille says:

    Totally printing this out. This is not at all how I make rice and mine always, always ends up just a twee bit crunchy. Thanks for this. I still want a rice cooker, though. 😉

  2. Tenille says:

    Totally printing this out. This is not at all how I make rice and mine always, always ends up just a twee bit crunchy. Thanks for this. I still want a rice cooker, though. 😉

  3. Li & David says:

    I’ve known several people who totally swear by their rice cookers, so maybe there’s something to them…

    Let me know how the rice turns out!

  4. Li & David says:

    I’ve known several people who totally swear by their rice cookers, so maybe there’s something to them…

    Let me know how the rice turns out!

  5. Ellen says:

    Hi Li,

    I gave in and bought a rice cooker about six months ago and there’s no turning back for me. I love it. I throw the rice and water into it, turn it on, and walk away. Perfect rice every time. And per gluten free girl, I’ve made fancier rice by adding fresh garlic, ginger, rice vinegar and butter – it goes into the cooker with the rice and water. Definitely a must have for the gluten free kitchen!

  6. Ellen says:

    Hi Li,

    I gave in and bought a rice cooker about six months ago and there’s no turning back for me. I love it. I throw the rice and water into it, turn it on, and walk away. Perfect rice every time. And per gluten free girl, I’ve made fancier rice by adding fresh garlic, ginger, rice vinegar and butter – it goes into the cooker with the rice and water. Definitely a must have for the gluten free kitchen!

  7. Li & David says:

    Hi Ellen, love your blog!

    I’ve had good luck adding things to my pot while cooking rice, too. Butter, garlic, broth, vegetables, just no tomatoes. Something about the tomatoes stops the rice from absorbing water.

    I’m glad to hear you love your rice cooker. Don’t you hate it when you buy a gadget and it ends up gathering dust (like my dehydrator)?

    ~Li

  8. Li & David says:

    Hi Ellen, love your blog!

    I’ve had good luck adding things to my pot while cooking rice, too. Butter, garlic, broth, vegetables, just no tomatoes. Something about the tomatoes stops the rice from absorbing water.

    I’m glad to hear you love your rice cooker. Don’t you hate it when you buy a gadget and it ends up gathering dust (like my dehydrator)?

    ~Li

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