The Easy Tip For Cooking A Large Batch Of Rice In The Oven

Learning to cook rice on the stove is a skill all on its own. Forgetting to fluff it can cause overcooked rice, boiling the water can lead to a sticky mess, and even following recipes to a tee can be a mistake. Luckily, as with many other dishes, your oven can step in to save the day. Instead of sweating it out for upwards of 45 minutes while you make sure your cooking water doesn't go above a simmer — you can take a step back and let your rice cook itself in the oven. All you need to do is place your uncooked grains in a baking dish with boiling water, salt, and butter or oil, cover them, and let them bake. 

Not only is this method more relaxing, but it's extremely helpful if you're making rice for a crowd and don't own a rice cooker. You may not think of the grains as party food, but they can serve as the base for everything from pilaf to fried rice to build-your-own burrito bowls. Instead of laboring over a massive pot, sticking your grains in the oven is a hands-off method that will come out right every time. Plus, you'll free up some extra minutes to focus on cooking the other elements of your meal.

Tips for making rice in the oven

So is making rice in the oven really as simple as placing it in a covered baking dish? Pretty much, but there are a few guidelines you can follow to make sure it comes out right every time. You can make any type of rice in the oven, but make sure to adjust baking times depending on if it's brown, white, basmati, or another variety. It's important to spread your grains in an even layer in the baking dish and then pour in water that has been pre-boiled on the stove or in a kettle. You'll still want to rinse your grains beforehand, just like you would with other cooking methods.

However, the ratio of rice to water may be a little different when baking versus cooking, so make sure to follow an exact recipe here. Once you've added in your fat component and salt, it's crucial to cover your dish tightly with foil so that the grains have a chance to steam. As an alternative, you can use a baking dish with a lid, like a Dutch oven. Depending on what you're using your rice for, you can also season it before it goes in the oven by sprinkling spices or herbs over the grains. Then sit back, relax, and wait for perfectly fluffy rice to bake.