No more rice cookers or constant surveillance over the stove top. No more dry, mushy, or burned rice. For perfectly cooked, easiest brown or white rice, baking the grains in the oven is my go-to method.
Since discovering this technique in a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook I barely make rice another way. You simply combine boiling water and rice in an covered container, place in a preheated oven, and walk away for an hour (less for white rice). Roast some chicken or fish and vegetables at the same time, and you’ve got dinner covered.
Oven Baked Rice
I prefer to use fish or chicken stock in place of water to increase the nutrition and digestibility of the grains. Follow the same instructions for both brown and white rice, but note the different rice to liquid ratios. To double the recipe, use a larger baking dish, but baking times remain the same.
1 1/2 cups brown rice (long, medium, or short grain)
2 1/3 cups boiling fish or chicken stock, or water
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups white rice
3 1/2 cups boiling fish or chicken stock, or water
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
2 teaspoons sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Spread rice in an oven safe container; an 8 inch square glass baking dish, an oven safe stockpot, or dutch oven all work.
3. Stir in boiling stock or water, oil, and salt. Cover baking dish tightly with foil or lid if using a pot.
4. Bake until rice is tender, about one hour for brown rice, about 35 minutes for white rice.
5. Remove rice from oven, fluff lightly with a fork. If not serving right away, cover the dish with a clean kitchen towel.
Note: If you soak your rice before cooking, measure the amount of water you are soaking the rice with. Soak. Before baking, strain the soaking water into a measuring cup to calculate how much water was absorbed by the rice. Subtract this amount from the liquid amount called for in the recipe. You will only need to do this once if your soaking times are consistent.
One of my favorite flavor variations on plain rice is to add 3/4 teaspoons of cumin seeds and one cinnamon stick to all the ingredients before cooking (adapted from a Gourmet Magazine recipe, Cinnamon-Spiced Rice).
Try frying one onion in the oil or butter until softened and combine with the rice and remaining ingredients.
Add 1/2 cup of finely chopped fresh herbs, grated lemon zest, and freshly ground black pepper to the cooked rice.
If you are looking for a grain-free rice alternative don’t miss this recipe for Cauliflower “Rice”.
How do you like to flavor your rice?