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Instant rice

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What's behind our instant rice Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 5 models in instant rice to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Recommended models are standout choices with high scores for taste. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices among models, consider taste, as well as nutrition, and price.
  • Cooking time
    Times are for first method listed on package and include manufacturer's recommended standing time.
  • Cost per serving
    For most, 1 cup cooked; for Minute Instant, 2/3 cup cooked.
  • Fat per serving
    Nutritional information for most is based on 1 cup cooked; for Minute Instant, 2/3 cup cooked.

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Brown rice is a whole grain, with the bran layer of the rice kernel intact, so it has fiber and other nutrients, plus antioxidants not found in white rice, whose bran layer has been removed. If you're looking for information about instant rice, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ instant rice reviews will give you honest advice that you can trust. Use our instant rice buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and instant rice reviews to help you choose the best instant rice for your needs.

Instant rice buying guide

Instant rice buying guide

When it comes to rice, time is money. To be precise, shaving 40 to 50 minutes off cooking time can cost up to 90 cents per serving. The quick-cooking brown rices we tested take 1 to 12 minutes to prepare compared with 50 to 55 minutes for a regular brown rice. But they cost 17 cents to $1.08 per serving compared with about 15 cents for regular brown rice.

The good news: The quick-cooking rices were about as tasty as the longer-cooking rice we used for comparison. It makes sense to choose brown rice instead of white. Brown rice is a whole grain, with the bran layer of the rice kernel intact, so it has fiber and other nutrients, plus antioxidants not found in white rice, whose bran layer has been removed.

Regular brown rice has about 160 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, no sodium, and 2 grams of fiber. The quickest-cooking rices (1.5 minutes or less) have oil as an ingredient, adding calories and fat.

Our tasters also tried six chicken-flavored rice mixes and found that their quality varied.

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