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How to Cook Perfect Rice Every Time

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It’s a side staple that appears at so many of our tables, and while it may not be the star at dinner, it’s certainly a supporting act. However, we don’t want a side to weigh down main entrée, so here’s some tips from the USA Rice Federation to make your rice as light as can be—creating the perfect go-along.


  • Leave room: Keep in mind that rice triples in volume when cooked. So make sure whatever you cook it in has plenty of room.
  • Baking rice: If you’re baking rice in the oven, boiling water should be used to start the cooking process.
  • Stovetop Cooking: If you want the grains to be more separated, then sauté the rice in a little butter or margarine before you add any liquid to the pan.
  • Don’t stir: Also, resist the urge to stir the rice while it cooks. Stirring releases starches and makes rice sticky.
  • Keep it covered: Keep the lid on tight to prevent steam from escaping while cooking rice. This releases heat, which can affect the cooking process.
  • Getting fluffy: Once it’s cooked, fluff the rice with a fork or slotted spoon, these are better than a solid spoon because they allow steam to escape and help separate the grains of rice.


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I didn't know you could make rice in the oven! This will be an option I will definitely take advantage of because when I have other things in the oven, I can just put the rice in there, too, and set a timer. Otherwise, although I like to cook, I have to watch it on the stove and I'd rather be enjoying the company of my friends and family than in the kitchen when I'm not making dinner for just myself or preparing it ahead of time. I will also have to check out that sauteeing in butter trick, too, to keep grains more separate.


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