Table of Contents
- Air Fryer Basics: Can Air Fryer Cook Rice?
- What are Whole Grains and Are They Healthier?
- Common Types of Rice & Their Characteristics
- Can Air Fryer Cook Rice?
- Bottom Line:
- Related Video
Air Fryer Basics: Can Air Fryer Cook Rice?
Can air fryer cook rice? This was definitely a question I had when I first purchased my air fryer. There are so many multicooker out there today that you start to wonder what cooking methods can they all do. But, as usual, this post has got you covered. Today we will be exploring some of the characteristics of rice and rice cookery. As well as figure out once and for all if your air fryer can cook rice.
What are Whole Grains and Are They Healthier?
A popular term you may hear being thrown around these days is ‘whole grain,’ but the ugly truth is that most people do not fully understand what this means. A whole grain is a grain with only its husk/hull removed. Any grain with any other part removed is no longer a ‘whole grain.’ Grains are sometimes polished or even milled to remove the bran, and germ leaving only the endosperm, a prime example being white rice. Such polished or mill grains are no longer considered to be whole grains.
Common Types of Rice & Their Characteristics
Rice comes in all form of colors and sizes on the market these days, each of which carries their own nutritional benefits and properties that it is important to understand when menu planning as well as during the cooking process. Among the common types are:
As mentioned earlier, white rice is an example of grain that is not whole due to the fact that it has undergone an additional milling process to remove the bran and the germ. Unfortunately, some of the vitamins and minerals that are in the grain are also removed during the process of trying to achieve the generally white and light texture that many people prefer. The three main types of white rice available on the market are:
This is a form of rice which has been coated in additional vitamins in an attempt to compensate for some of the nutrients that are lost during the milling process.
Short & Medium Grain Rice:
These rice grains, as the name suggests, are shorter in appearance, the kernels are more round and small. When cooked the grains stickier, making it perfect for creating rice molds, puddings, and even sushi.
Long Grain Rice:
The grains are slenderer than their counterparts which make them appear longer. When cooked, the grains become light and fluffy which makes it brilliant for use in entrees, or even as a side dish.
Instant or Minute Rice
One of the rice types that has become popular in recent times is instant rice, also referred to as minute rice. This is rice that has been precooked, then set to dry. This allows the consumers to quickly and easily re-prepare it after purchase. The downside to this, however, is that once it is re-cooked, it will not hold, it will quickly lose its shape, and the texture will become very mushy.
Parboiled rice, also referred to as converted rice is a type of long grain rice that has been specially processed. In this special process, it is partially cooked under a steam pressure as a whole grain, set to dry, and then milled to remove the germ and bran. Taking the extra step to partially cook the grain before polishing helps it to retain a higher mineral, and vitamin content when compared to your average white rice.
Another popular choice of rice is brown rice, and seeing that we have now gone through the different parts of the grain can you guess what makes this grain brown? You got it! The reason brown rice is light brown in color is due to the fact that it still has its bran intact. This also contributes to its nutty flavor and coarser texture.
Brown rice, like white, is available in short, medium and long grain variations. These grains, however, tend to take almost double the time to prepare due to the presence of the bran, and though this may be seen as a deterrent for many people, it is important to remember that though it’s a longer cook it does come with the added nutritional benefits in the bran.
This is a popular extra – long grain rice type that is used widely in India due to its strong nutty flavor. It is available in both brown and white varieties.
Here we have another popular long – grain rice. Jasmine rice was initially made popular by Southeastern Asian regions, like Thailand. In terms of flavor profiles, it is floral, delicate and fragrant in taste.
The final rice type we will review under this section is Arborio Rice. Traditionally made popular in Italy, this short- grain rice has made its mark on the restaurant scene in North America due to its characteristic of creating heavenly risotto.
Can Air Fryer Cook Rice?
When it comes to cooking rice and other grains, there are 3 main cooking methods that are commonly used. These are
- The Simmering Method
- The Pilaf Method, and
- The Risotto Method
So, Can My Air Fryer Cook Rice?
When we cook rice in an air fryer, however, we will mainly be using rice that was previously prepared using the simmering method. I say mostly as your air fryer can also be used to prepare a mean arancini which is essentially fried risotto balls.
Now that we’ve explored a bit more about rice, let’s dive into a simple yet tasty rice recipe that can be prepared in the air fryer.
Can Air Fryer Cook Tropical Basmati Rice?
Cooking Time: 12 Minutes
- ground sausage, ¼ pound
- butter, 1 teaspoon
- minced onion, ¼ cup
- bell pepper, ¼ cup minced
- fragrant basmati rice, 2 cups cooked
- canned crushed pineapple, 1 8-ounce, drained
- Shape sausage into 3 or 4 thin patties. Cook at 390°F for 6 to 8 minutes or until well done. Remove from air fryer, drain, and crumble. Set aside.
- Place butter, onion, and bell pepper in baking pan. Cook at 390°F for 1 minute and stir. Cook 4 minutes longer or just until vegetables are tender.
- Add sausage, rice, and pineapple to vegetables and stir together.
- Cook at 390°F for 2 minutes, until heated through.
Though your specific air fryer may not be able to prepare rice from scratch, it offers unique opportunities in spinning your leftover or precooked rice into new delicious dishes. Be sure to let me know below what your favorite rice recipes are that use the air fryer. Happy cooking!