Boil-in-bag rice is essentially a bag of instant rice. It cooks faster because it has been processed and wrapped in a plastic bag. Now, wait a minute? Boiling plastic? Doesn’t it sound unhealthy?
Well, actually no. These plastic bags are food grade and BPA free. I will get to it later. Bagged rice is processed, so its flavor and texture are altered. It is also more expensive as a result.
Rice is cooked by dropping the bag into boiling water. As soon as that’s done, you can split open the bag and serve the rice. Rice of this type usually requires a shorter cooking time than regular rice. Not to mention, there is no risk of undercooked or overcooked rice.
On the other hand, regular rice is just…rice. You are better off buying regular rice if you can invest in a rice cooker, and you eat rice daily. So, both are essentially rice. One is parboiled and put in a bag while the other one is your ordinary grain.
Rice that is sold in plastic bags can be purchased from many grocery stores, as well as directly from the companies that process them. If you are the budget-conscious type, buy regular rice instead.
What Is Boil-In-Bag Rice?
There isn’t much to this product other than the fact that it is marketed as convenience food. A plastic bag is used to store the parboiled rice. The home cook simply gets the water boiling and plunges the bag into it.
After that, the package instructions dictate how long it should be cooked. The rice is able to absorb the correct amount of liquid by allowing the boiling water to enter the bag through tiny slits. Once the rice is ready, the bag is sliced open, and the rice is served.
Parboiled rice is sometimes also known as converted rice if you’ve never tried it. In contrast to pre-cooked rice, this rice is partly boiled within its husk, not because it is already cooked. And that is how it got its name. It’s also different from instant rice.
Types Of Boil-In-Bag Rice
Rice that is cooked in a bag is available in two basic types. The first type uses parboiled rice. You will need to boil it again to eat it. But it has a shorter cooking time.
It takes longer to cook than instant rice, even though the cooking process is shorter. There’s also one that’s made with instant rice. This is rice that’s been fully cooked before being dehydrated.
It is typically cooked in boiling water in a perforated bag for around 10 minutes. You don’t have to do anything else. You simply drop the bag in boiling water and wait.
Serve the rice right from the bag or fluff it up in a bowl and let it sit for a few minutes while it cools down. Boil-in-bag rice can also be microwaved. Before you put your bag of rice inside your microwave oven, check the label to see if it is safe to do so.
The instant rice only needs to be rehydrated and heated a few minutes before it can be eaten. While it has a distinct flavor and texture, it lacks nutritional value, unless it is enriched, compared to other rice varieties.
If you prefer the taste and nutritional value, but still want to use boil-in-bag rice, go with Uncle Ben’s original boil-in-bag rice that is enriched.
What’s The Point Of Boil In The Bag Rice?
Well, it is quicker. Making rice on the stovetop takes 20 minutes. Rice cooked in a microwave or boiling in a bag takes a maximum of 10 minutes to prepare and serve. Traditional methods of doing things are not always feasible for most people. People prefer convenience over traditional methods.
You should get a rice cooker if you consume a lot of rice and don’t want to or cannot cook it on the stove. If you rarely eat rice and are not a big fan, and if you are not even sure how to cook rice, boil-in-bag may be the most convenient option for you.
Boil-In-Bag Rice Vs Regular Rice: What Is The Difference?
The answer to this question depends on what you consider regular rice. There really isn’t a big difference between instant rice and boil-in-bag rice.
In general, both types of rice lose some of their flavor and texture when they are pre-cooked, processed, and packaged. Regular rice aka long-grain white rice, that you buy in bulk from Asian general stores takes 20 minutes to cook.
Yes…there is a huge difference between plain long-grain white rice and bagged rice. Regular rice grain holds its shape better. It can also be used to cook other ingredients. Also, there is a huge difference in their cooking method.
Simply put, cooking your meal using regular rice gives you more control over the outcome, while it also has more flavors and nutrients intact.
In addition, you can select from a variety of types of rice. You are not bound to just the long-grain variant or the occasional variation. It is really about control and flavor.
By soaking the rice for a long time, the cooking time with regular rice can be shortened to be similar to boil-in-bag rice. Before cooking the conventional rice, the starch along with any other contaminants, such as pesticides, should also be removed.
That is why it is important to wash rice no matter how they are packaged. However, this isn’t always feasible for everyone. Some of us don’t have the time to do all of that.
Is Boil In The Bag Rice Healthy?
It is basically just parboiled rice without any additional ingredients. The packing material is mostly made using heat-resistant plastic. Check the label to make sure the package is food safe.
Also, BPA is probably not present in the packaging materials. This is also the case with packages used to package frozen foods. This is also true with boil-in-the-bag rice.
However, it’s safe to assume that the majority of plastic packaging you’ll find has a similar composition. The question of whether BPA or those other chemicals are harmful is still debatable. But we’ll talk about that another time.
If you’re feeling a bit unsafe, feel free to buy quick-cooking rice from your local grocery store that does not require boiling. Alternatively, bagged rice that doesn’t require boiling is a great choice as well.
As for their storage, as long as it is kept cool and dry, this type of rice is also rather shelf-stable. To discourage the growth of bacteria in rice, it should be eaten or refrigerated once it has been cooked. The rice should be eaten or discarded within one or two days of being cooked.
How Many Cups Of Rice Is In A Boil In Bag?
Most boil-in-bag rice contains rice worth two to three cups, depending on the brand. 1 serving contains 1/2 cup cooked rice. Approximately 1 cup of rice is made per bag. This means that you can get almost 2 servings from one boil-in-rice bag. To put it simply, you can make rice for three people per bag.
How Do You Know When Boil In Bag Rice Is Done?
Using hot water, you can prepare this dish in just a few minutes, as it is precooked. You simply need to boil the rice and follow the instructions on the package. You do not need a microwave to do this.
Additionally, you will save time and energy by not having to measure and clean up every time you want to cook rice. The boil-in-rice bag means you can enjoy cooking without having to worry about overcooked or sticky rice.
Can You Get Food Poisoning From Boil In The Bag Rice?
Umm, no. These are just precooked rice. Nothing is added. If you are worried about boiling plastic, well, you have got nothing to worry about. They usually come in a BPA-free package.
Perforated boil-in-bags can be sat in warm water without causing any problems for up to 30 minutes after cooking. It won’t affect your taste at all. When other parts of your meal take longer to cook than you expected, this can come in really handy.
Could Regular Rice Be Substituted For Boil-In-Bag Rice In A Recipe?
It is likely that any white rice will do. You can also find quick rice if you are pressed for time. It takes longer to prepare than instant rice, but not the same amount of time as regular rice since it has been partially cooked and dehydrated.
You only need to use boil-in-bag rice if you’re in a hurry. It’s best for those who don’t have the time to cook or who are too lazy to actually learn how to cook.
The rice cooks in 10 minutes and is naturally low in fat. Regular rice, on the other hand, takes more time to prepare. However, you are free to customize the way it is served. It is always a good choice, nonetheless.