Can You Microwave Rice? This Hack Makes it Hassle-Free

It works for other types of rice, too.

Everyone’s talking about microwaving rice. It’s an internet cooking hack that actually works! Microwaving rice can help you get evenly cooked grains, save space on the stovetop, and is agreed upon by chefs and culinary experts as the best way to cook rice. Seriously! No rice cooker or special equipment required. And you’ll even save some time. Everyone’s microwave is different, so it may take a few tries to find the exact timing for your device and rice, but it’s worth a little trial and error to totally reinvent how you make this staple grain.


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How to Cook Rice in the Microwave 

This is the best way to cook rice in the microwave.

  1. Rinse a cup of white rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. 
  2. Pour rice into a microwave-safe bowl, and add two cups of water (the 1:2 ratio works for larger or smaller portions as well.) 
  3. Microwave rice for 15 minutes. If the rice has absorbed all the water, it’s done. If not, add 5 more minutes of cook time and check. You may need up to 25+ minutes to fully cook the rice, depending on your microwave and the way the bowl you choose retains heat.
  4. Once the rice is fully cooked, allow to rest for a few minutes and then fluff with a fork before serving. Keep any leftovers in a tightly sealed food storage container in the fridge for up to five days, and reheat in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy.

How to Microwave Different Types of Rice

All types of white rice can be cooked in the microwave, as can other varieties of rice. For more absorbent grains, like brown rice, you will want to add a bit of extra water. The New York Times suggests 2 ½ cups of water for one cup of brown rice. You can also cook black, red, or wild rice blends in the microwave, also by increasing the water and cook time by about 5-10 minutes.

Anyday, which makes microwave-specific cookware, also has a whole collection of microwave rice recipes that go beyond your standard pot of rice. Tomato rice, coconut rice, rice pilaf, risotto, and more can all be cooked successfully in the microwave. 

You can also modify the recipe yourself, by adding uncooked vegetables, such as spinach or broccoli florets, on top of the rice a few minutes before the cook time ends. This allows the steam to cook your greens, so you have a complete dish. Play around with seasonings and add-ins with your microwave cooked rice as well! Just a teaspoon of adobo, paprika, or garlic powder can change up the flavor profile while the rice cooks in the seasoned water. 

How to Reheat Rice in the Microwave 

Rice straight out of the fridge can be easily reheated in the microwave, and will taste fresh for days. Here’s how to do it:

  1. If your rice isn’t already in a microwave-safe container, transfer to a bowl. For each cup of rice you’re reheating, add an ice cube on top of the rice. You can also use 1-2 tablespoons of water per cup, but the ice cube requires no measurement tools.
  2. Cover to trap the steam, and microwave at full power for 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Stir to re-fluff and hydrate the rice. Reheated rice should reach a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal food safety.
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