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How To Fix Undercooked Rice In The Microwave

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Rice should be one of the easiest things to cook, but it is often the one part of a meal that we mess up! For something so simple, it really does not take a lot to undercook or overcook rice. 

Rice cooked on the stovetop often ends up in disaster, but if you have taken the rice off the stove and it is only undercooked, it can be salvaged.

There is not much to say for overcooked, mushy rice, but with undercooked rice, you can transfer it to the microwave to be saved.

How do you fix undercooked rice in the microwave? To fix undercooked rice in the microwave, add extra water to the rice in a bowl, cover with a paper towel, and cook for up to 2 minutes in the microwave. Avoid putting the rice back on the stovetop.

Once you know how to fix undercooked rice using the microwave, you no longer have to eat hard, shriveled rice, or land up throwing the whole batch away.

Fixing Undercooked Rice In The Microwave

If the rest of the meal is done, but your rice is undercooked, you can fix it with a few simple steps in the microwave.

It doesn’t matter if you cook the rice on the stovetop or in the microwave in the first place, it can all be fixed in the same place.

Here is exactly how to fix undercooked rice in the microwave:

  1. If the rice was cooked on the stovetop, empty the rice into a microwave-safe bowl. If the rice was cooked in a microwave-safe bowl, you can just keep it there.
  2. Wet two paper towels, squeezing some of the water out. The paper towels need to be slightly more than damp, but should not be dripping wet.
  3. Place the paper towels over the bowl of rice and place it in the microwave.
  4. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove the bowl of rice from the microwave. Use caution as it will be hot.
  6. Remove the paper towels from the top of the bowl, but once again use caution as the paper towels will be very hot.
  7. Fluff the rice up with a fork and it is ready to serve.

The wet paper towels covering the rice acts as a steaming mechanism to further cook the rice.

The additional water in the paper towels allow for the rice to have more moisture, which makes the rice light and fluffy, and as the paper towels are covering the rice, no moisture can escape as the rice steams.

Microwave Rice Steamers

If you want to avoid having to fix rice in the microwave using a microwave-safe bowl and some paper towels, you could look to purchase a microwave rice steamer.

These do pretty much the same thing that a bowl and some wet paper towels do, but just more effectively. Plus, they are much easier to use.

Having a microwave rice steamer is one of the best tools to keep in the kitchen, and if you get it right, you will never have undercooked rice again!

These steamers can also be used to fix undercooked rice that you made on the stovetop – you just follow the same instructions, with a little less water and a little less cooking time.

Here are some of our favorite microwave rice steamers/cookers:

1. Progressive International Microwave Rice Cooker

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This 4-piece set makes perfectly steamed rice in just a few minutes. It can cook all different types of rice to perfection, just with a few minutes in the microwave.

Included in the kit is the rice cooker with a locking lid, a rice paddle, a measuring cup, and extra cooking instructions. You are able to make up to 6 cups of rice in a few minutes.

The non-stick surface allows the cooker to be cleaned quickly and easily, and is made from BPA-free material and is completely dishwasher safe.

2. Homestyle Microwave Rice Steamer

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This is the ultimate little rice steamer to have on hand to cook up some rice or fix undercooked rice in no time. It is portable and perfect for steaming rice on the go – even at the office at work.

The microwave rice steamer optimizes heat distribution and gradually releases steam to ensure that the rice is cooked at the right temperature and that it is all cooked evenly. There is an overall capacity of 2.6L, so it is up to you to decide the portion of rice you want to be cooked.

Made of BPA-free durable plastic, it is dishwasher safe as well and super easy to clean.

It comes included with a handy rice spoon and is not only ideal for cooking rice in no time but reheating any leftover rice you might have from the previous meal.

3. New Tupperware Microwave Rice Cooker 

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This perfect little rice maker will give you the most delicious rice each and every time, you never have to worry about undercooked or mushy rice again.

You can cook almost any type of rice quickly and easily, and even better – mess-free. The New Tupperware Microwave Rice Maker is trusted by many, and for good reason. You can also use the little steamer to store rice in the fridge until you are ready to reheat it in the microwave again.

It is dishwasher safe and incredibly easy to clean. Don’t worry about scraping rice off the bottom of a pan again. Simply cook your rice from scratch, or finish cooking undercooked rice with this handy little kitchen tool!

Common Mistakes When Cooking Rice

There are many different mistakes that you can make when cooking rice, and even the smallest misstep can result in fairly inedible rice. Undercooked rice is one of the most common outcomes, but there are a few more.

Here are some common mistakes, and how to avoid them:

Burned Bottom

Cooking your rice on a pot that is too hot will definitely lead to a burned bottom, and ages spent trying to scrub your pan.

The simple way to avoid this is to turn your burner onto the lowest setting when cooking rice, at least for the last third of cooking – or longer.

The steam should be what is cooking the rice, not the actual burner. Make sure that you are using a heavy-bottom pot, as a thin pot will expose the rice to too much heat.

Mushy Rice

Mushy rice can be a result of using the wrong ratio of rice to water.

Here is a handy guide of how much water you need by type of rice that you can follow:

  • 1 ½ cup of water to 1 cup of short-grain white rice.
  • 1 ¾ cup of water to 1 cup of long-grain white rice.
  • 2 cups of water to 1 cup of brown rice.

Follow these guidelines to ensure the rice has just enough water to steam beautifully.

Crunchy Rice

To avoid crunchy rice, make sure that the lid is shut tight. If it is not shut tight, steam will escape the pot and not cook the rice properly. Keep a kitchen towel between the pot and the lid to prevent any steam from escaping.

Clumpy Rice

White rice can turn clumpy quickly.

To keep this from happening, rinse uncooked white rice in water. The white rice can rub together in the packet and the starch then rubs off to form a fine powder.

When this powder is in contact with water, it can become sticky and cause the rice to turn gooey. Rinsing the white rice before you cook it removes the starchy powder.

Related Questions

How Do I Prevent Rice From Undercooking?

The best way to prevent rice from undercooking is to ensure that the lid is closed shut so no steam escapes, ensuring the steam is all used to cook the rice properly.

You also need to make sure that there is enough water in the pot to cook the rice through evenly, and that you do not remove the rice off the heat too soon.

How Do I Prevent the Rice From Cooking Unevenly?

To prevent uneven cooking of the rice, you should allow it to rest.

Avoid digging into the rice as soon as it is done, and instead, let it sit for up to 15 minutes off of the heat. This allows the heat to distribute evenly and the rice to be more evenly cooked.

Why Is My Rice Bland?

The reason is simple, you didn’t flavor the rice.

To avoid bland rice, add in some olive oil or butter, as well as some salt when it cooks. You can also replace plain water with beef, vegetable, or chicken broth.

You can also cook the rice with onion, garlic, or other ingredients to add flavor to your rice. Or, you can always make a curry or sauce to go with it. Think of cooked rice as an ingredient like any other; you can add to it or dress it up as you like!

Fixing Undercooked Rice In The Microwave – Review

Fear not, your undercooked rice can be easily fixed by using a quick and simple method in the microwave. A microwave-safe dish and some wet paper towels will help you cook up the rice fully.

You should also consider purchasing a microwave rice steamer, to prevent any rice mishaps in the future, and to be on hand if you ever need a quick and simple way to fix undercooked rice in the microwave.

They really are great little tools to have in the kitchen!

Up Next: How To Reheat Rice In A Rice Cooker

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