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Cook Rice Without Heat? An Answer & The #1 Best Alternative

Can You Cook Rice Without Heat?

It is not possible to cook rice without some kind of heat. Rice must be cooked as raw rice may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning.

Cook Rice Without Heat?
Cook Rice Without Heat?

Cook Rice Without Heat?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to cook rice without at least a little bit of heat. And you cannot eat raw rice, so you have to cook any rice you plan to eat. Raw rice can lead to food poisoning because of the presence of Bacillus cereus, a bacterium that can make you very sick.

But we have some advice on preparing rice if you don’t have a stove or microwave nearby and need to eat.

Raw rice must be cooked prior to consumption as it may contain bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.
Raw rice must be cooked prior to consumption as it may contain bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Cooking Rice Without Heat

If you’re in a situation where you need to prepare rice but don’t have access to a stove or electricity, you don’t have to worry. There is a way to prepare rice and it’s actually quite easy: thermos cooking.

Although thermos heating requires a bit of planning or way of preparing hot water, if you know you’ll be without heat sources for a while, you can prepare quite easily.

It’s ideal for people who like to camp or spend time away from civilization. Thermos cooking basically only requires a really good thermos.

You’ll have to cook a bit of water that you can use to cook the rice, but that’s about it. Simple, right?

If you're in a place without a stove or microwave nearby, you can prepare and heat rice using a thermos.
If you’re in a place without a stove or microwave nearby, you can prepare and heat rice using a thermos.

How to Cook Rice With a Thermos

There are two ways you can use a thermos to cook your rice. Let’s look at them, shall we?

Method One

This is the method that requires a bit more planning and is more suited to non-emergency situations.

You have to heat your rice beforehand, and then you have to place it in your thermos. Generally, you have to leave the food in the thermos for anything between four and eight hours so it can really cook well.

Here are the most important factors you must keep in mind if you plan to use this method to cook your rice:

1. Plan Ahead

If you don’t plan ahead, you won’t get nicely cooked rice as it won’t have had enough time to reach the right consistency. You can’t put the rice in one hour before you want to eat and expect the rice to be ready.

2. Choose the Right Thermos

It’s really important that you pick the right thermos or things won’t work out as you hope. There are a few criteria that a good thermos must meet to be just right for cooking rice:

The Right Size

Depending on how much rice you wish to prepare, you’ll need to buy a decently-sized thermos.

Well-Insulated

A well-insulated thermos is better at retaining heat and will cook the rice much better.

Wide Mouth

A thermos with a wide mouth is just easier to use. Getting your rice in and out will be convenient and fuss-free.

Quality Made

Your thermos should be made of good materials so it can work well. Don’t use a plastic thermos, rather invest in a stainless steel option.

Choose the right kind of thermos to ensure that your rice will properly cook and heat.
Choose the right kind of thermos to ensure that your rice will properly cook and heat.

3. Cook Only Appropriate Foods

Although you might only care about preparing rice in a thermos, you can also prepare other foods in it. But don’t cook just anything. Here are some of the foods that are okay to cook in a thermos:

  • Rice
  • Spaghetti
  • Soups
  • Chili
  • Stews
  • Chicken/beef

Avoid the following:

  • Cheese-based dish
  • Multi-ingredient dishes
  • Food that must be boiled
Chili can also be successfully cooked and heated in a thermos.
Chili can also be successfully cooked and heated in a thermos.

4. Preheat the Thermos

You have to preheat your thermos before you place your food in it. Boil water and fill the thermos with it and put the stopper in.

Leave the thermos for a minimum of five minutes so it heats well. The thermos will lose heat when the cool/cold food is placed in it. Only pour out the water as soon as you put the food in.

5. Pre-cook Your Rice

Since you’re planning ahead, pre-cook your rice at least a little bit so you know it will be well-cooked in the thermos.

Method one may not be perfect for emergencies, so you may want to look at method two instead.

Method Two

This method is better for situations in which you don’t have access to stoves or microwaves. Here’s what you should do:

1. Preheat Your Thermos

Heat water on a fire and then place it in your thermos. Leave it in for about five minutes so there is enough heat spread throughout the entire thermos.

2. Measure Your Rice

While your thermos is heating up, measure your rice and get water ready for it as well. Cook enough water so it is hot enough to be used in the thermos for cooking your rice.

3. Add Rice

Now it’s time to add your rice. Once you’ve done that, close the thermos and screw it shut tightly. Make sure it’s not too tight, so you will have difficulty opening it later.

Give the thermos a good shake and then place it on its side for the amount of time the rice must be cooked (about 45 minutes). This way, there is more surface area so the rice can cook more evenly.

It is a good idea to shake the thermos often, about every 15 minutes.

You will feel a difference in how the thermos feels and sounds once the rice is ready.

And that’s it! That’s all you have to do!

Conclusion On Cook Rice Without Heat

Situations where you don’t have a stove nearby but need to prepare rice can happen and are not always planned. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, just think back to the advice shared here and bring a thermos with hot water along.

Frequently Asked Questions to Cook Rice Without Heat

Can You Cook Rice With Cold Water?

You can cook with cold water if you want to heat it up. Otherwise, that’s not really cooking, is it? It is, however, a good idea to soak your rice in cold water before cooking it so it can absorb the water and cook more evenly. Rice thrown into already boiling water won’t cook as nicely.

Can You Cook Rice Without a Stove?

If you have a microwave or other heat source, then yes, you can cook rice without a stove.

Can You Soak Rice Instead of Cooking?

While soaking rice can help speed up the cooking process and ensure better-tasting meals, it’s not a good idea to soak and not cook at all. Soak the rice and then cook it.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.