I don’t know about you, but there are some convenience foods that I have missed since starting my Traditional Foods journey.
One of these is instant rice. I used instant almost exclusively before, because it was, ya know, instant.
Instant organic rice used to be almost impossible to find at the grocery store.
And when I could find organic instant rice at the store, it was way more expensive that regular ole instant rice. So it wasn’t always in my budget.
I also have some family favorite recipes that call for instant rice. And those recipes don’t work with not-instant rice.
So I didn’t make those recipes any more. Which made people cranky.
And while cooking not-instant rice is not a big deal, it can add considerably to the time it takes to get dinner on the table.
And for busy people, like we all are, that can be a big deal.
But now, through the magic of dehydration, you can make your own organic instant rice!
If you’re new to dehydrating foods, click here for more information. Click here for dehydrating resources.
Here’s the secret to making your own organic instant rice:
Cook organic rice. Dehydrate organic rice. Done. 🙂
And by “cook rice” I mean cook LOTS of rice.
Like, a whole bag of rice.
All at one time.
BIG pot. 🙂
Did you know that if you rinse the rice well before cooking it, it doesn’t stick together quite so much?
Cooking the Rice
This is great for both brown rice and regular ole white rice as well. I like ’em both and use ’em both. So I made ’em both. 🙂
For every cup of uncooked rice you have, you will need 2 cups of water. Since we are dehydrating it, don’t use anything but water.
When we use it later we can rehydrate it with something else, like homemade chicken bone broth or beef bone broth.
Start by measuring out your rice. Then measure out the amount of water that you need into a large stock pot or Dutch oven.
Lightly salt the water, throw in the rice, and bring it all to a boil.
After to reaches a rolling boil cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
You don’t want it to continue boiling, but you need it to stay hot.
Allow the rice to cook for 30-45 minutes.
I usually check at about 30 minutes to see if all the water is absorbed yet.
When the rice is cooked through and all the water has been absorbed, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit for 10 or so minutes with the lid on.
After those 10 or so minutes, remove the lid from the pot and fluff up the rice with a fork.
Don’t stir the rice, cuz that will make it a big pot of mush.
And ain’t nobody want that.
Just stick the fork in to the bottom of the pot and lift it up to sort of separate it all a bit.
Prepping the Rice for the Dehydrator
Then put the cover back on the pot and put the rice in the fridge to chill out.
I just stick the whole pot in there overnight.
You could, of course, take the rice out of the pot and into a big bowl (or bowls as the case may be) if you have a thing about pots in the fridge. I won’t judge. 🙂
I’ve found that the rice is easier to spread out on the dehydrator trays when it’s cold. But you can actually skip that whole rice in the fridge step if you really want to.
Put the Rice in the Dehydrator
After the rice is cold, I take about 3 cups and spread it out on each dehydrator tray.
I currently have an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator that I just love, but I had a round dehydrator before and that worked too.
Tray liners came with my dehydrator so I use those, but if you don’t have any you can line the trays with parchment paper.
So load up all your trays, put them into the dehydrator, close it up, and turn it on.
If you have some rice left over, just stick it back in the fridge until the first batch is done.
If you have a dehydrator that lets you set the temperature, 125-145°F is good for rice.
Drying time will vary depending on how thick the rice is on the tray and your current humidity level.
I like to check it every few hours and kinda break up any clumps, but that’s just my OCD kicking in and isn’t really necessary for normal people. 🙂
My Organic Instant Rice is Dry, Now What?
After your rice is completely dry let it cool and then store it in something fairly airtight.
Ya’ll know how I love my canning jars for storage, right?
I have some rice in a 1/2 gallon jar, and I also have some that I used my FoodSaver vacuum sealer on and sealed up in 1 cup packages.
I have found that when sealing rice, it’s best to put it in a paper lunch bag first and then seal in the vacuum sealer. Otherwise the rice can puncture the bag.
Which kinda defeats the whole purpose of vacuum sealing.
Random thought for the day: Vacuum is a really weird word. 🙂
Make sure you label and date the packages and add the re-hydration instructions.
How to Rehydrate your Homemade Instant Rice
I should probably give you the re-hydration instructions, too. 🙂
Of course, if you have a recipe that calls for instant rice, just use it as it is.
Every cup of dehydrated rice will yield 2 cups(ish) of cooked rice.
If you are re-hydrating, boil 1 cup of salted water, or homemade chicken bone broth or homemade beef bone broth for every 1 cup of instant rice.
You can even throw in some butter if you want. I use about 1/2 Tbsp butter per cup of rice.
And by “throw in some butter”, I mean place some gently in the pan. Because throwing butter would just be wrong.
After the liquid has come to a boil and the butter has been
thrown in carefully added, remove the pan from the heat, add the rice, and cover.
Let that sit for 10 minutes or so. Fluff with a fork, season if necessary, and serve.
Gotta love it!
I use this instant rice when I make my Rice Pilaf with Preserved Lemons and Feta Cheese, and for my Easy Italian Sausage, Peppers, and Rice skillet meal.
This has been another installment in my Pantry Replacement series. What’s in your pantry that you would like a whole foods replacement for?
If I ground this up, could I mix it with water to use as baby rice cereal? It is protocol to use rice cereal in a bottle for the little girl I babysit. I hate feeding her the chemical cap though, and its freaking expensive too.
Absolutely! We like the cream of rice cereal and use it that way as well.
Thanks for the tutorial! I am looking for ways to make my own instant meals and instant rice is new to me. We don’t know any instant rice in my country and it really can’t be bought here 🙂 I love basmati rice that cooks just for 10 mins so drying won’t save time but it can be used when not at home. I’ll give it a try!
That sounds like a great idea. Let me know how it goes. And thanks for stopping by. 🙂
This is just what I was looking for! Thanks so much for sharing.
I am currently prepping a bunch of freezer meals for the slow cooker, and one of the recipes called for instant brown rice. I had never used it and didn‘t know what it was, so I googled to see if I could make it at home.
Incidentally, I have a 9 tray Excalibur as well, which is now happily humming along, loaded with 5 trays of long grain brown rice straight from the rice cooker.
I did not cool it beforehand, as it spread out very easily while hot. I‘m excited to see how it will turn out! Thanks for the awesome idea, and the detailed instructions.
Hi Swa! Wow, what a great idea! I’m so glad you found the post helpful. I just love my Excalibur, it runs practically all summer and fall.
Thanks for stopping by!
I used some of that rice for the first time today in a simple skillet meal with ground beef and veggies, and it was so good and really quick! Thank you again. I never would have even thought about buying anything like instant rice, but it‘s a real convenience when time gets a bit tight. Especially since regular (brown) rice takes a fair amount of time to cook.
It‘s funny how I am getting into „convenience“ foods now in my 30s, through blogs. They were never part of my life growing up, and now I get to use the real food homemade versions of them, skipping the commercial/industrial varieties entirely. Hooray for inventive and savvy bloggers like you!
Swa, thanks for the kind words! I’m so glad that you found the recipe and so happy for you that it worked out well! Blessings!
This is so helpful I will try it this week thank you
Thanks Donna! Happy dehydrating!
František Večerník says
Hello, it Is nice idea! I Will try it. Do you think that it would works on peeled barley?
Hello Frantisek! It should work just fine with barley. Blessings!
Hi, so glad I found your site! If I use the FoodSaver canning jar attachment and store the dehydrated white rice in ball canning jars, how long do you think it’s shelf life would be in the pantry? Appreciate the help 🙂!
I’m glad you found me too! 🙂
The shelf life is going to depend on a couple of things. First, is your pantry dark? Second, is the temperature fairly constant?
Both light and heat play a big role in the shelf life of things. That being said, I keep a jar in the pantry myself. I found one shoved all the way to the back that was dated over a year ago and the rice was turned out fine.
It isn’t going to go bad unless moisture gets into the jar. Hope that helps!
I didn’t realize it was that simple. Thank you for explaining the process. Do you think silicone baking sheets would work for this? My dehydrator does not have liners for small things. Laurie
You’re welcome. 🙂
I think the silicone mats would work just fine.
Bless you, Cery, for your expertise and sense of humor! Made my day, and now I can make the rice. 😍
Hey there Joyce!
So glad you enjoyed it. And yay for instant rice!!