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Topic: Do you use Boil-in-Bag rice?

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Subject: Do you use Boil-in-Bag rice?
Date Posted: 2/26/2009 5:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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And, if so, why? Here's the situation.

I went to visit my sister last weekend. My sister makes a pretty good gumbo. Don't ask for the recipe, I never make it myself. The roux is way too much trouble. Now, in my family, gumbo just isn't eaten without crackers and rice. And, since my sister doesn't believe that I know how to cook, she sent a box of boil-in-bag rice home with me.

I reheated some of the gumbo today. And, since I had it, I made the boil-in-bag rice. I just don't understand why people use that stuff. It's not as good as regular rice. It's more expensive than regular rice, a lot more. It takes almost as long to prepare. And, it's tricky to open. (The steam scalded my fingers a bit.)

Why don't people just use real rice?



Subject: That stuff is FOUL.
Date Posted: 2/26/2009 5:58 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2008
Posts: 15
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My husband grew up on that minute rice nonsense. He hated rice until he came to my family's place, where we eat rice daily. Frankly, the boil in the bag stuff is disgusting, and there is no reason for it to exist. It's not like rice is all complicated and mystical to make!
Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/19/2007
Posts: 1,028
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I think people hesitate on real rice because of the time and watch factor.  Boil in bag is basically hassle free.  I, personally, don't feel comfortable cooking with plastic.   I don't get those steam in bag vegetables that are out now, either.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 9:23 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,287
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I use both.  When I need rice as a side dish and it needs to be quick then I go for the boil-n-bag.  I then steam some veggies, mix together and violia! 

When I have more time then I will use the regular rice.  Some of my nights are crazy with activities the kids or DH are going to and I maybe only have 30-45 minutes to get a meal together.

Date Posted: 3/2/2009 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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I use it sometimes, probably not even half of the time, but I keep it on hand for when I need something quick.  Why?  Because I am a FT working mom of 2 school-aged children, that's why!  Unless I can plan meals ahead right down to the very last detail (and I do try, as much as possible), there are just those times that I don't have half an hour to put rice in the steamer to cook.  And I won't do it on the stovetop, because I'm usually trying to do about 12 other things at the same time, and have burned it too many times to trust that method.  Steaming it is foolproof and carries less risk, so that's what I go with.  But if I'm absolutely pressed for time (try, just try, getting a decent, healthy meal that your kids will actually eat on the table in 20 minutes or less!) I do rely on the boil-in-bag rice.  No, it's not as good as the real thing, but it will do in a pinch.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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guess you'll really hate me! I buy the little containers you nuke for a minute :-)  hey when I'm hungry I'm hungry..no time to jack around with cooking it the long way..plus I don't think rice has much taste anyways.I just eat it every so often to have my starch with a meal.

Date Posted: 3/3/2009 11:32 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I was just wondering and not making value judgements. To each their own and all that.

I asked my sister and she claimed time was the reason. That's what confused me originally. The boil-in-bag rice takes 10 minutes to cook. Cooking rice on the stove takes 14 minutes.

Admittedly, I have it timed down to the second. I use one specific pot on one specific burner. I just pour in the rice with the stove set to low, put the on the lid and set the timer for 14 minutes. When it goes off, the rice is done. It comes out perfectly every time. Since I don't have to watch or stir the rice, I'm free to make the rest of the meal with the time.


Date Posted: 3/6/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2008
Posts: 21
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  I use minute rice occasionally mostly for the pets.  But usually will try to use whole rice and brown rice. 

Date Posted: 3/16/2009 7:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2006
Posts: 1,069
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I don't think some people have ever tried to make real rice so they don't realize how easy it is to make. I think they go for the convenience factor and they think it is going to save a lot of time because they don't have to stop and measure it.  Another plus for real rice is that it  is actually cheaper and tastes better.

Subject: Never cook in plastic bags or any manufactured bag
Date Posted: 3/25/2009 8:07 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2008
Posts: 42
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Full of bad-for-us chemicals. Easy to look up for proof.

Date Posted: 5/5/2009 12:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2009
Posts: 4
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This is a very interesting discussion. I grew up on Minute Rice and personally, I still love it. I can't stand Uncle Ben's rice - too slippery. My husband, trying to be "healthy" bought the Boil-in-a-Bag rice and I think it's pretty good.

However, you all have inspired me to go ahead and try some "real" rice. I always heard it took 40 minutes and good lord, I don't have that much time! My sister-in-law has a rice cooker and I think it still takes her 40 minutes. But now I'll look around and see how other rice is.


Date Posted: 5/5/2009 2:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2008
Posts: 428
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I don't think I've ever had Uncle Ben's rice. I get the cheap brand. The last rice I bought was a brand called Alphonso's. I think it was $1.98 for 3 pounds of rice.

Rice cookers are fairly slow. I used one when I was in high school working for a seafood restaurant. They're easy to use. I'll give them that, but not much for speed. And, even though I like gadgets, I don't like to rely on them in the kitchen. With that in mind, here's how I cook rice. Please note that this isn't the only way to do it. It's just the way that I personally like.

Take a small pan and put in 2 cups water. Put it on the stove and set the burner to 3 or 4 (Scale is 1-10). When it starts to boil, turn to 1. Pour in 1 cup of rice and stir once. Cover with a lid. Cook for 14 minutes. Remove the pot from the burner and pour the rice immediately into a bowl. If the rice sticks a bit, use a spoon to loosen it. And, you're done.

It's important not to remove the lid while the rice is cooking. It slows down the cooking process and the rice will get gummy. It's also important to remove the rice from the pot as soon as it's finished cooking. The pot is hot and will scald the bottom if the rice isn't removed.

These instructions work perfectly with the equipment that I have. On your stove and with your pans, you might need to alter them slightly.

Subject: Boil-in-bag rice or cooking in any plastic (including microwave in plastic)
Date Posted: 5/5/2009 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2008
Posts: 42
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Cook in plastic and then eat the plastic in food?

Don't think so.