How to Microwave White Rice

//cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0258/9324/0922/products/ANYDAY_Q1_2023_Basics_WhiteRice1_360x.jpg?v=1673036984 How to Microwave White Rice

Prep Time

5 min

Cook Time

22 mins

Free Time

to learn a new craft

 Caution! Before cooking grains of any kind, you absolutely must lower your microwave’s power level. If you skip this step (or fail to change your PL properly*) the rice will burn and you could severely damage your Anyday Dish. For detailed instructions on how to change your power level,  read our blog post on how to do it.

The microwave is an easy, hands-off way to make perfect white rice every time. This can be especially useful if you are trying to multitask or if you are short on time. No more burning your rice by forgetting it’s cooking on the stove! Plus, save space by eliminating a single-use appliance like a rice cooker.

Why Use An Anyday? A deep Anyday dish makes perfect, fluffy white rice by trapping steam with its special vented lid. The key is cooking your rice in the microwave on low power. Another plus: put the lid on and store leftover rice in the fridge using the same dish you cooked it in, then pop it back in the microwave for perfectly reheated, moist rice.

What You’ll Need

What You’ll Need

The Medium Deep Dish

$35
The best dish for 1-2 portions of grains, veggies, mac and cheese, ramen, and more.
The Anyhand Mitts

The Anyhand Mitts

$25
Handle hot Anyday dishes with care with these microwave mitts that double as trivets!

Please select a product

Select your serving size and microwave wattage in the dropdown. The recipe will change accordingly.

1/2 cup rice

Select your microwave wattage in the dropdown. The cook times in this recipe will automatically change accordingly.

[[video-wattage]]

To find your microwave’s wattage, look at the front panel, the side of the door, in the back, in the user manual, or Google the model number. If both an input and output wattage are listed, use the output.

Wattage translates to how powerful the microwave is. The higher the wattage, the faster your food will cook. The lower the wattage, the longer the cook time.

When in doubt, start with less time — you can always add more.

Microwave oven by power - 700w
700w

Ingredients

  • ½ cup white rice
  • ¾ cup water

Preparation

  1. Add rice to an Anyday Deep Dish. Rinse and drain. 
  2. Add water and spread rice in an even layer. Cover with the lid (knob lifted).
  3. Cook in the microwave at Power Level 4

    Certain foods cook best in the microwave at lower power levels. 

    [[video-power]]

    Different microwaves have different settings. See your microwave manual (or look it up online) to learn how to change your microwave’s power level.

    For many microwaves: enter the cook time, press the “Power” (or “Power Level”) button, and select a number between 1-10. Other microwaves may require selecting the Power Level first, and then entering the cook time.

    Microwaves list power levels in different ways. Here’s a guide to help you adjust:

    PL 10 = 100% = High (default)

    PL 9 = 90% = High

    PL 8 = 80% = Med-High

    PL 7 = 70% = Med-High

    PL 6 = 60% = Medium

    PL 5 = 50% = Medium

    PL 4 = 40% = Med-Low

    PL 3 = 30% = Med-Low

    PL 2 = 20% = Low

    PL 1 = 10% = Low

    You will know if the power level has been successfully changed if you hear periodic changes in the microwave’s tone after it begins cooking.

    for 22 mins, or until the water has been absorbed and rice is tender (try one!). If rice is still too hard, add more time at the same power level in 2-minute increments.
  4. Rest for 5 minutes with the lid on to allow rice to finish steaming. Fluff rice before serving.

Serving suggestions & tips

  • Cook a big batch of white rice and use it in multiple meals throughout the week!
  • Toss in some nuts, dried fruit, herbs, diced shallot, and lemon for a delicious rice salad.
  • When the rice is hot, add a shake of garlic powder, a tablespoon of butter, and some lemon zest for a flavorful side dish.
  • Spoon leftover rice into Anytime Freezer Trays to have perfect 1/2-cup portions for whenever you’re ready to eat!

Recipe notes

  • Important: Always use an Anyday Deep Dish to cook grains (the water will likely overflow in the Shallow Dishes).
  • If the rice is taking longer than expected, increase the power level by 1. If it’s bubbling over, decrease the power level by 1.
  • To cook quantities not listed in the table, use a rice:water ratio of 1:1⅓.
  • Microwave ovens vary, even with the same wattages. Adjust cooking times as needed.

Microwave Match Up: White Rice

See for yourself— microwaving rice is simply faster, start to finish.

Appliance Cook Time
Microwave in an Anyday dish 22 mins
Oven* 38 mins
Stovetop* 26 mins
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker)* 25 mins
*Includes preheat time

Step-by-Step: Microwaving Rice

Add water to rinsed rice

Cover with the lid (knob lifted).

Microwave at Power Level 3 for a 1000w microwave

Rest for 5 minutes. Fluff rice & serve.

All you need to know about microwaving rice

How long does rice take to cook in the microwave?

Ingredient Water Power Level Cook Time
1/2 cup white rice 3/4 cup water 4 22 mins
1 cup white rice 1 1/3 cup water 4 22 mins
1 1/2 cups white rice 2 cups water 4 24 mins
2 cups white rice 2 2/3 cups water 4 25 mins
Cook time calculated for 700w microwave

The amount of time it takes to cook white rice in the microwave will depend on the quantity of rice you are cooking and the power of your microwave. White rice takes about 22-25 minutes to cook in a 1000w microwave. If the rice is taking longer than expected, increase the power level by 1. If it’s bubbling over, decrease the power level by 1. For lower wattage microwaves, use the same cook time but increase the power level by 1. For higher wattage microwaves, subtract 2-3 minutes of cook time and check your rice before adding more cook time.

Is there a faster way to cook rice in the microwave?

Yes! Cooking rice on full power for less time results in a faster cooking method. However, this method can only be used with 1 cup of rice to avoid spillover. Refer to Dave Chang’s Speedy White Rice recipe for the full instructions.

How to tell when rice is cooked through

Rice is fully cooked when the grains are tender with no crunchy grains. Fluff the rice with a fork and look for hard or chalky grains, which means the rice is undercooked. If the bottom of the rice is watery, this means the water has not been fully absorbed by the rice. Continue to cook the rice for a few more minutes until the grains are fluffy and tender.

Do I really have to change the power level to cook rice in the microwave?

Yes! It’s so important to change your power level when cooking rice in the microwave. Rice needs to absorb moisture slowly to become fluffy and tender. When you lower the power level, your microwave will turn its heating function off for short periods of time to slow the cooking process. If you were to cook your rice at full power, it would bubble over and burn. Seriously: Change your power level when cooking rice!

I changed my power level but my rice still overflowed or burned!

Chances are that you may not have set the power level correctly on your microwave! Different microwaves have different settings. For some microwaves, you have to set the power level first and then set the cook time. For other microwaves, it's the reverse! Take a peek at your microwave model number online or check the user manual for how to change power level.

How to freeze and thaw microwaved rice

To freeze rice you cooked in the microwave, first let it cool completely. (This will avoid the risk of raising your freezer’s temperature and melting adjacent food). Portion the rice into a freezer tray with large cups (like the Anytime ½-Cup Freezer Trays LINK). Put the lid on the tray, and then put the tray into the freezer. Store for up to 3 months. To reheat the rice, pop out the amount of rice you’d like to eat, add it to an Anyday dish, cover with the lid (knob up!) and microwave on full power for 1-3 minutes depending on the amount of rice, or until warmed through.

Can I cook any type of white rice with this method?

Yes! You can cook many long grain varieties such as basmati, jasmine, and other types of rice in the microwave using this method. Make sure to rinse the grains thoroughly prior to cooking!

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