We all have our tried and true methods for cooking rice, whether it’s in a pot on the stove or zapping it in the microwave. But did you know your oven can actually make some of the best rice you’ve ever tasted?
Ovens can distribute the heat more evenly compared to a stove, too, which means your rice will steam better and become super fluffy. Plus, you don’t need to worry about the rice burning to the bottom of your favorite non-stick baking dish.
Here’s an easy technique for oven-baked rice that’ll produce flavorful results every single time.
How to Cook Rice in the Oven
You can use white or brown rice for this method. Either way, make sure to give your rice a good rinse with water to get rid of any dirt and dust that might be on the grains (because no one wants to eat that!). You just need to fill a bowl with water, pour the rice in, swish it around, and strain. Repeat this rinsing process about five times, or until the water is clear.
Hold on to the starchy rice water, too: It’s great for strengthening your hair, repairing sun damage to your skin, and can even make your windows sparkle like new! Pour it into a separate jar or container and keep it in the fridge for a week.
Once the rice is clean, pour it into a rectangular baking dish (Buy on Amazon, $19.99), add water, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Cindy Livesey, founder and editor of the blog Living Rich With Coupons, shares her recipe for oven-cooked brown rice in the video below.
If you find yourself with too much rice to eat in one sitting, you can always freeze it in a plastic bag and enjoy for up to six months. Otherwise, you now have an easy and stress-free method for cooking rice that’ll always yield perfect results.
3 Flavor Add-Ins for Your Rice
Although it’s already delicious on its own, there’s some simple swaps and additions you include that will take your oven-baked rice to the next level:
- Use stock or broth as the liquid instead of water. This will add a more intense and rich flavor to your rice. Also, it’s a pantry staple that instantly makes any starch you cook the tastiest side dish you’ve ever eaten (you have to try it with potatoes!).
- A few sprigs of herbs like fresh thyme, rosemary, or saffron are great additions because they pack nutritional benefits, like helping to improve your mental clarity and alertness. Not to mention, they’re must-have herbs for any home cook to keep in their kitchen. Sprinkle them into the baking dish before it goes in the oven and allow the herby scent to infuse the rice as it cooks.
- A knob of butter or a tablespoon of olive oil will provide some creaminess to the rice — making it something extra special to enjoy with any meal. Mix this into the piping hot rice after it comes out of the oven, then it’s ready to serve.
However you flavor it, this oven technique is a lot simpler than standing over the stove waiting for a pot of rice to cook. Give it a try and you’ll never want to go back to your old way of cooking rice ever again!
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