Few meals are complete without a grain to wrap everything together. Personally, I love rice, quinoa  pretty much when it comes to any carb, you can count me in. But could it be that we’ve all been cooking grains wrong?

There are two ways to cook grains effectively, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which grains need which method; either the absorption method or the pilaf method.

To show you how both methods work, America’s Test Kitchen experimented on a serving of long grain rice. We’ve broken down each technique below but make sure to watch the video at the bottom of the post to see both in action!

1 . THE ABSORPTION METHOD

This method is great for cooking a grain without excess flavor  great for plain recipes, such as white rice being served with stir-fry.

STEP 1: Start by rinsing off the grains. On most grains, there’s a lot of starch, so you’ll want to put the rice in a strainer and rinse it off until the water runs clear. You might not have to do this for some grains, such as short grain rice.

STEP 2: Check the box to see how much water you should simmer the water in. Add the grain with the specified amount and some salt. Bring it to a boil over a medium heat.

STEP 3: When the water comes to a boil, bring the heat down to a simmer and put a tight lid on top.

STEP 4: After it’s simmered for a few minutes, put the grain off the stove but with the lid still on for 10 more minutes to finish cooking.

STEP 5: Use a fork to fluff the grain before serving.

2. THE PILAF METHOD

This method starts by cooking the grains in an oil. This gives your grain a rich, nutty flavor that’s difficult to acquire otherwise.

STEP 1: Start by heating butter or oil in a pot over medium heat.

STEP 2: When the oil is heated, stir in the grains. Make sure to keep moving them around for at least three minutes.

STEP 3: After about three minutes, add the specified liquid and some salt. Crank up the heat so the liquid comes to a boil.

STEP 4: Once the liquid is boiling, bring it to a low simmer and let the moisture get absorbed.

STEP 5: Take the pot off the heat to finish cooking for about ten minutes.

STEP 6: Fluff before serving.

Do you have any insights on how to cook rice easily? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.