Don't Give Up On Overcooked Rice. Save It By Turning On Your Oven

Rice is one of the most popular foods in the world, with National Geographic reporting that it serves as a major part of the diets of more than 3.5 billion people across the globe. This longstanding grain is the base of delicious dishes, from cultural entrees like fried rice to tasty desserts like rice pudding. Still, rice can't seem to shake its reputation of being notoriously difficult to cook. 

Whether you're using a rice cooker or just a saucepan on a stove, it's easy to cook rice incorrectly. Not keeping it on the burner for long enough will leave you with hard and crunchy pieces, while cooking it for too long will turn your dish into a gummy mess. But if you're someone who tends to overcook your rice, there's good news. You might not have to start all over or suffer through the mushy texture. Instead, the help of your oven can restore your rice.

Turn back time by turning up the heat

When rice is overcooked, it absorbs too much water and releases extra starches that cause the grains to clump together. There is certainly such a thing as too far gone, but if your rice is only lightly overcooked, you may have a chance to save it. This attempt to turn back the clock on your rice cooking process starts with removing some of the excess water. 

You can either try to evaporate the water from the saucepan by continuing to cook the rice uncovered for a few additional minutes, or you can filter out as much of the water as possible by running the rice through a fine mesh strainer. Then, you'll want to spread the rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and dry it out by cooking it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for a few minutes. Keep a close eye on the oven, though, because cooking it for too long can quickly take your rice from too wet to too dry.  

So next time you're faced with mushy rice, let your oven come to the rescue. And, because none of us are immune to kitchen mishaps, check out these tips for how to save burnt rice.