Have you ever forgotten about a pot of rice on the stovetop for a minute too long, only to end up with a scorched and overflowing mess? Or maybe you're team rice cooker, but aren't a fan of cleaning it and don't want to give up precious countertop real estate? Well, what if we told you that all those problems disappear when you make rice in your microwave?
With Anyday, you can steam up a batch of fluffy white rice with just the beeps of a few microwave buttons. The secret is in our glass and silicone lid, which tightly seals in moisture to ensure even heating and cooking. (Translation: No gluey grains here!) The silicone knob has vents that allow just the right amount of steam to escape so that pressure doesn't build up. Just set it and forget it. The end result? You guessed it. Perfect rice every time.
So, why should I make rice in my microwave?
Microwaving rice is faster and more foolproof than other methods. Shave off 10-15 minutes from the process just by following these instructions.
Another major plus? In households with a microwave, there's no need for a purely rice-centric appliance taking space on your countertop. (Even Chef David Chang admits that his rice cooker is getting a little dusty now that he has Anyday.) "Arguably, it's better than properly cooked rice in the rice cooker — as crazy as it sounds," he said, while demonstrating his microwave rice method on Instagram.
With Anyday, you can serve the rice directly in the dish that it was cooked in. Store leftovers by popping on the lid, pressing down the knob, and putting your Anyday in the fridge. (Fewer dishes to wash? That's going to be a yes from us.)
Here's how to make perfect rice every time:
Rice is the foundation of countless meals worldwide, so it's no wonder why it's one of our most popular and oft-searched for recipes. From nutty and savory Turmeric Rice Pilaf with Almonds to simple and satisfying Buttery Herbed Rice, we've perfected a method that works for all types of white rice (short or long grain, jasmine, and basmati, etc.) so you can cook the kind you love with ease. Just keep in mind these tried-and-true tips:
1. Rinse your rice first.
Measure out your preferred quantity of rice (we recommend 1 cup max in the Medium Deep Dish and 2 cups max in the Large Deep Dish). Then use a fine mesh strainer to rinse the rice under cold water until it runs clear. This rids any excess starch from the grains' exterior which can build up during processing. If you skip this step, your rice might end up clumpy and gummy.
2. Use a Deep Dish.
When cooking grains like rice, make sure your vessel is the right volume to give plenty of room for the grains to expand and the starchy water to bubble. That's why we recommend either the Medium Deep Dish or Large Deep Dish — so that your rice has room to do its thing. No one wants a bubbling mess in their microwave!
3. Get the right rice-to-liquid ratio.
Our recipe development team has tested (and retested) countless ratios in various types of microwaves to ensure that the instructions are pretty much foolproof. (But of course, every microwave has its quirks.) Follow these guidelines in the chart as a starting point, based on your machine's wattage. Add cooking time in increments of 2 minutes if the rice isn't quite done yet. Once you get the rice to the doneness you like, you can use the same cooking time to make perfect rice every single time. For quantities not listed in the table, use a rice:water ratio of 1:1⅓.
For High Altitude Cooking: When cooking rice at high altitudes, you will need to adjust the cook time and water ratios. Try adding 1 minute of cook time for every 1,000 feet above sea level. You will need to do this because the boiling point of water is lower at higher altitudes, forcing longer cook times.
When cooking at altitudes between 3,000-5,000 feet, follow the standard ratio: 1⅓ cups of water for each 1 cup of dry long-grain white rice. For altitudes above 5,000 feet, increase the water by 2 tablespoons, adjusting the amount upward as you go up in altitude. This may take some trial and error to achieve the perfect rice, but once you dial in your method your rice will be perfect every time.
4. Add flavors and proteins to your rice (if desired)
Some like their rice plain and simple, but sometimes you need a recipe that’s going to complement other dishes on the table. You may consider adding herbs, spices, nuts, and other flavors to jazz up your rice as a side dish. Looking for a complete dinner? Add proteins like chicken, sausage and fish that can cook in the same dish. Just hit the ‘Start’ button and walk away — preparing a filling and flavorful meal could not be easier.
Try these recipes for flavor-packed rice dishes:
- Tomato Rice (Cook Time: 20 mins)
- Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage (Cook Time: 30-33 mins)
- David Chang’s Salmon Rice (Cook Time: 26 mins)
- Buttery Herbed Rice (Cook Time: 22 mins)
- Chicken and Rice (Cook Time: 21 mins)
Above: Chicken and Rice
5. Adjust your microwave's power level.
Don't skip this step! Seriously, don’t even think about it. Think of it this way: When you cook rice on the stovetop, you turn the heat down to a simmer, right? The same goes for your microwave. To avoid ending up with the dreaded "petrified rice puck" or worse, you will need to adjust your machine's power level down a few notches.
The key to this is knowing your microwave's settings. Once you determine your microwave's wattage (here are our handy instructions on how), you can then decide what power level to proceed at. We have instructions on how to change your power level, too. (It's often as easy as entering the cook time and then pressing the power level button.)
Here's where troubleshooting comes in. If as the rice cooks, you see that the liquid is overflowing and bubbling over, adjust the power level down by 1. On the other hand, if it's taking forever, increase your power level by 1.
6. Let the rice rest.
Once the timer goes off, there might be a bit of residual liquid that hasn't yet been absorbed. (If there's too much liquid, though, it might need more cooking time.) If there's only a small amount, pop the lid back on, push the knob down, and let the rice rest for 5-10 minutes. In the meantime, the rice will continue to (gently) steam and soak up the liquid. The Anyday lid will keep the rice warm until you're done prepping the rest of your meal and you're ready to eat.
7. Fluff it up.
After the rice has rested, remove the lid and take a fork or rice paddle and gently fluff the rice. This will help to separate the grains and ensure that it's not one single clump. Let the rice breathe! And now... enjoy.
How do I reheat rice in the microwave?
Now that you've meal prepped a batch of rice, you're going to want to enjoy it all week long. The only problem is, reheating rice in the microwave often leads to less than desirable results. After sitting in the fridge for a while, the rice begins to lose its natural moisture. When microwaved, even more moisture can be lost if you are not reheating your rice properly. However, there are a few things you can do to properly reheat rice:
Cover the rice when you cook it: To avoid steam/moisture escaping from the rice, it’s best to keep it covered. We recommend using a glass dish with a tight-fitting lid (like Anyday’s airtight lid) to prevent as much moisture from escaping as possible. It is never recommended to microwave plastic (Source: Harvard) as harmful chemicals could leach into the food.
Introduce more moisture: If your rice is a few days old, it may need more help to freshen up. Introduce a small amount of water to create more steam in the microwave by sprinking a teaspoon over the top of the grains.
Use an Anyday: Just pop on the lid, lift the silicone knob, put your bowl in the microwave, and heat for 1 minute (or slightly more or less, depending on the amount of rice you have left). The lid helps to trap just the right amount of steam, so your rice will stay moist. We love using our small dish for heating up single servings of leftover rice.
Are you ready to level up your rice game? Try these recipes for making rice in the microwave:
- Mushroom Risotto (Cook Time: 23 minutes)
- Golden Fried Rice (Cook Time: 9 mins)
- Turmeric Rice Pilaf with Almonds (Cook Time: 25 mins)
- Chicken Biryani (Cook Time: 27-29 mins)
Lauren is the Marketing Manager at Anyday and a former editor at Food Network Magazine and The Kitchn. She is based in New York City where she enjoys long walks on the High Line and in Trader Joe's.