Why You Should Avoid Cooking Raw Rice In The Air Fryer

The air fryer is a device of many talents. Sure, it can make your breaded chicken tenders nice and crispy, but it's also ideal for whipping up unlikely delicacies like breakfast frittatas, fresh donuts, and even smooth melted chocolate. But for as versatile and effective as this appliance is, there is a list of foods you should never cook in the air fryer. And as tempting as it is to throw raw rice grains in your basket, you'll want to keep them out of your device.

The reason is essentially the same as why you can't make noodles in the air fryer: You need to boil water to do so. Although the air fryer tends to be a jack of all trades, it works by circulating hot air around a tray with holes in it, so not only will your water (and grains) fall through the perforations, but trying to heat it up to boiling temperatures can be a safety hazard. The liquid can come in contact with the electric parts of your air fryer (including the section that generates all that heat), which has the potential to break your appliance.

Pre-cooked rice is air fryer approved

So, is there any scenario in which rice can enter your air fryer? In short, yes, if it's cooked first. In this case, the air fryer is an ideal way to make dishes that call for already-cooked(or leftover) grains, such as fried rice. To make it, place everything inside an oven-safe pan that goes in the device's basket so that the grains and loose veggies don't spill out. You can also whip up stuffed bell peppers, poblano peppers, or tomatoes with leftover rice in the air fryer, along with bean and cheese burritos. Again, the key here is to make sure the grains are contained.

You can also use your appliance to reheat these types of dishes, and doing so is similar to the process of making them in the first place. With fried rice, for example, you'll want to pop the amount you're warming up back in the oven-safe pan and place it in the air fryer for about 8 minutes total, pausing to stir. If you use frozen rice packets, you can actually follow a similar process since they're already cooked and won't require liquid to get soft. Cover your pan with foil, heat it for 10 minutes at 320 degrees Fahrenheit, and you're ready to eat.