Bowls with different types of rice on a blue background

A Steam Oven Guide to Cooking Rice

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Let’s have a discussion about rice, shall we?

I have been going along thinking surely everyone knew how to steam rice, and using a steam oven to do so wasn’t much of a jump. Except it turns out a fair few of you have asked for help with this exact topic recently, and it’s brought to my attention the fact I need to write some more ‘how to’ posts so you can build your confidence and cooking repertoire with your wonderful steam ovens.

And so, a steam oven guide to cooking rice.

Rice is one of those things we should all be able to cook at the drop of a hat. Though the carb police might say otherwise, it’s a great way to bulk out a meal and is more easily tolerated by (most) peoples’ stomachs than bread or pasta. There are countless varieties of the stuff and if you can master cooking the main ones you’ll always have the base for a quick dinner or a simple but filling salad at hand.

Cooking rice in the steam oven isn’t much different to doing it in a rice cooker or by absorption in a pot (yes, that means you should give away your rice cooker now that you have a steam oven, you won’t be needing it anymore!). When you use the steam oven there are some variations for rice to liquid ratios and slight adjustment of cooking times but overall it’s pretty simple. Plus you’ll get the bonus of perfectly cooked rice without having to worry about lowering the heat of a pot on the cooktop enough, or scrubbing out the stuck-on layer at the bottom of your rice cooker after dinner (or maybe that was just my rice cooker…).

The guide below is not exhaustive but it covers all the major varieties of rice I ever cook in my steam oven. If there’s something not listed you’ll probably be able to figure it out based on one of the other types of rice. I hope you find the guide useful and can return to it over and over until you’ve memorised your favourites.

Happy steam oven cooking, see you here again soon.

PS Wait, I forgot to mention the video I made this week! Be nice, it was a first attempt at ANYTHING video related so there’s lots of room for improvement, but it’s a great quick-mix recipe to try in your steam oven. You can have a look at it right here, and if you want to see more videos, follow me on Instagram or Facebook, or sign up to the Steam & Bake mailing list. I’m planning more simple recipe tutorials in this style as they’re easy to follow and (relatively) easy to put together.

6 bowls with varieties of rice on a blue background

A Steam Oven Guide to Cooking Rice

A note about rice: the cooking times (and sometimes the quantity of liquid needed) for rice can vary according to how old your rice is and how humid your climate. I tend to buy and use rice within about 6 months at most (very old rice can be quite ‘dry’, requiring a touch more liquid and often longer cooking times).

And a note about cooking vessels: the below measurements work for rice cooked in a thin, even layer in a stainless steel tray. Most people will be able to use the solid trays which come with the oven for this. I use the smaller (1/3 size) tray for 1 cup uncooked rice, and the larger (2/3 size) for 2-3 cups uncooked rice.

A chart with a rice cooking guide

After some meals to show off your now-perfect rice? I’ll be posting a new rice salad recipe video on Facebook in a day or two, but in the meantime, try the Maple, Lime & Ginger Chicken or (one of my favourites) Asian Style Sticky Beef.

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29 thoughts on “A Steam Oven Guide to Cooking Rice”

  1. Can you substitute vegetable or chicken broth or coconut milk for the water? When would you add seasoning and/or vegetables to the rice?

  2. My black rice was excellent. Pork was already tender so I popped the lid on, put in the rice using the small perforated tray. Then turned down to a 100C, high steam, but not steam only. Pork had extra 45minutes slow cook and the rice was well cooked.

  3. Emily Rhodes

    I haven’t tried doing black rice at a higher temp, so I’m not sure. You’d definitely want to cover it if you try this, but I think my preference would be remove the pork and keep warm/covered elsewhere, while steaming the rice at 100C. Let me know if you try it at the higher temp, though – it would be great if you could do both alongside each other!

  4. Hi, I’m cooking a slow pork casserole (adobo) and the recipe accompanies it with black rice. Can I safely steam cook the rice at 150 C along side or is it best to cover the casserole and cook the rice in full steam? Or just remove and wait another 45minutes…
    I’ve only got one oven and would prefer to keep the cooking in this not revert to stove.

    I think it will be ok, but you don’t discuss in this article so thought I’d ask.

  5. Emily Rhodes

    You can cook essentially whatever quantity you like following these ratios. I do find as the quantities go up, I prefer to use two shallower pans rather than one deep one, as the texture of the rice is more even.

  6. Emily Rhodes

    Leigh, delicate filled pasta like handmade ravioli or tortellini would work well in the steam oven, but for dried pasta I stick with boiling as there’s no time saving doing it this way.

  7. I’ve just started a new job and they have this you-beaut steamer/roaster oven. Is it possible to cook pasta (say, macaroni) in it, or would it simply be easier and quicker to boil on stove?

  8. Emily Rhodes

    Double the quantities of rice and liquid, but the cooking time will stay the same. 🙂

  9. How about doubling and doing 2 cups of long grain? Double everything? Including the cook time?

  10. Donald Cant

    5 stars

    First time looking at your site. I have a Miele Steam convection and have always followed their book saying equal long grained white rice to water. It has always worked. Then I think, to be sure, I always add just a big more water. Whatever I do the rice is always perfect once fluffed. So my question is, is one to one not such a great idea. This is my only oven and I have to say, except for difficulty of cleaning, I love it. Best bread, pies, roasts, etc I have ever done. But I have really scratched the surface on what it is capable of and their cookbook is very over cooked German driven. It’s great to see a blog that devotes the time to helping us novices. Cheers

  11. Emily Rhodes

    Hi Johanna. I have done sticky rice successfully in the past, but I can’t find my notes on the ratio of liquid I used! From memory I worked to the same liquid quantity as an old rice cooker guide I’d found online, and didn’t bother soaking the rice, just washed it and cooked. I’d love to know if you give it a try. The next time give it a go I’ll update this post.

  12. Have you ever cooked sticky rice in your steam oven. I’ve just purchased a Neff steam oven and would appreciate some pointers with cooking this type of rice.

  13. Emily Rhodes

    I haven’t seen a steam convection/microwave combo before, but as long as it has a full steam feature (ie 100% humidity at 100C/212F), rather than just a bit of moisture added to a dry oven heat, you should be able to do all your steaming in it.
    You don’t really need a steamer basket, just some lightweight pans, which might be the ones your referring to which came with the appliance? Most steam oven appliances come with some combination of a perforated pan and a solid one. If there’s a solid one that’s an inch or so deep that should be just right to cook your rice. You won’t need a lid, just pop your rice and water into the pan and let the oven do its work.
    I assume Corning Ware would be ok, although I wouldn’t use it for steaming. Heat takes quite a while to penetrate the thicker ceramic and glass-type materials, so when you’re doing fairly quick cooking like steamed vegies, for instance, it will really throw off your timings.

  14. Kim Jaspers

    I, too, downloaded and printed off your guide above. Thank you.

    I just acquired a Sharp Super Steam Convection/Microwave oven and I am seriously intimidated by it. It only comes with 2 weird racks and enamel-coated pans, no steamer basket. The instruction manuals are very vague about how to cook vegetables and no information about cooking rice. I really would like to use the "steam" feature of the oven to cook rice, per your instructions above, but I don’t know what type of vessel to cook it in and whether or not to use a lid, etc. Can I use my Corning Ware in it?

  15. Thanks for sharing, I will print it off and keep it in the cupboard above the steam oven for a quick reference. I always forget how much longer it takes to cook brown rice.

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