Friday, November 11, 2011

Stockup Recipe: Crockpot Brown Rice

It's that time of year. I don't know if it's the cold weather or watching the squirrels bury their acorns under the old oak tree in the back yard but suddenly I'm filled with the urge to stockpile food. As I write this my freezer is pretty much empty besides some summer vegetables, old hamburger buns, push-up yogurts, one container of leftover chili and a bread-pan lasagna. However, my pantry is brimming with uncooked staples like rice and beans, so I'm starting there.

This 32 oz. bag of brown rice from Wal-Mart cost me $1.28. It holds 5 cups of dried rice, which equals about 20 cups of cooked rice. For $1.28. That's a heck of a lot of cooked rice, you're right. Here's how I use it. I don't flavor it while it's cooking except for some salt. I used to make big batches of specific types of rice but then we got tired of eating it over and over. So instead, I keep the rice plain and add a little butter and salt or sugar (depending on your preference) at dinner time. I might also add some steamed veggies and flavor it with either beef or chicken bouillon paste and a little water. You can also use it to make:
  • Dirty rice.
  • Fried rice.
  • Rice and beans.
  • Green rice.
  • Stir-fry.
  • Chicken soup or with chili. 
  • Stuffed peppers.
  • Meatloaf mix.
  • Rice pudding.
  • Chicken rice casserole.
  • Crockpot Italian Chicken.
Just a couple of ideas. Rice freezes and reheats nicely. Best of all, when you use your crockpot you just throw it in and forget about it. Thanks to Stephanie O'Dea at A Year of Slow Cooking for a great idea.

Crockpot Brown Rice
32 oz bag of brown rice (5 cups)
10 cups water
1 1/2 Tb sea salt
butter

1.) Butter the bottom and sides of the crockpot.

2.) Add the rice.

3.) Add the water and salt and stir to combine. Cover with lid.

4.) Place the crockpot on the "high" setting and cook for about 3 hours. You'll know it's done when blammo the rice is puffed up to the top of the crockpot, the water is mostly all absorbed and the rice is tender. If there's a little extra water, that's good. Turn off the crockpot and let it finish soaking into the rice. Be careful not to overcook the rice or you'll end up with rice paste.
5.) Fluff the rice with a large spoon and let it cool. You can set the rice aside in the fridge and then bag it up the next day. However, be aware that the rice at the bottom of the pot might cool into a cake because the rice on top is weighing it down. I just broke it up with a big spoon.
6.) Measure out two cups of rice into a 1 quart freezer bag or container and press out all the air. Label your bag with the date, measurement and item and freeze it for later use. I got 8 bags of rice in the freezer and set aside another 2 cups for dinner that night for a total of 18 cups. Not bad!

Reheating: When it comes time to use that rice, just defrost it a couple of minutes in the microwave inside the bag so that you break up the block of rice into chunks. Transfer to a bowl, discarding the freezer bag, and nuke one minute at a time, fluffing with a fork. You can also add a teaspoon of water if you'd like.

14 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea. Especially since brown rice is not one of those things you can add quickly to your meal because of cook time. I am so going to do this! Thanks girl, you are so smart!

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  2. Thanks girl! I used some of the rice from the freezer last night and it turned out good. Nice not to have to cook it! :-)

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  3. Just made my brown rice in the crockpot today!!! I will be featuring this on Friday!! Hope you are doing well. I miss you!

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  4. I have been looking all over the net for how to cook rice in a slow cooker and there are horror stories out there! I think the trick that you may have inadvertently hit upon is to make a lot (as much as your crock can hold maybe). So of all of the advice I have been looking at I'm going to follow yours. Will report back.

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    1. Awesome, let me know how it works out.

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  5. I don't know, mine was a bit sticky but on the other hand much 'creamier' than I usually find that brown rice is in a pot. It tastes great, which is a good thing because I have a lot in the freezer now! I greased the pot with olive oil, so I don't know what difference that made.

    What I did not experience was the much described dual horrors of (a.) hard crust stuck to the side - I think the key to that is thorough greasing of the crock plus cooking in volume, though I had to read your post to be brave enough to go for it - or (b.) uncooked grains towards the center - absolutely not in evidence with this method, in fact I'm not even sure how people ended up with that, though on the net you read it a lot.

    Thanks for this.

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    1. You're welcome. Thanks for giving it a try AnnaZed. Enjoy your rice!

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  6. can this also be done with white rice? i like to make both and mix it together as my kids find just brown too different in texture.

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    1. Hi, I'm sure you could cook white rice the same way, though white rice cooks a lot faster than brown so keep an eye on it. I also wouldn't advise mixing the two dry and then cooking them together for the same reason. Good luck!

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  7. Just trying to figure out if I could do brown rice in the crock pot for dinner today--thanks for the guidance!

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  8. My name is Lauri. I have a couple bags of brown rice in the cupboard that I need to use! What quart size crock pot did you use? Thanks :-)

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  9. Thanks for sharing this. I had to make a lot of brown rice for a large crew. This is working out great. :)

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  10. What size slow cooker did you use?

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