Boil-in-bag – a bemused rant

What exactly is so b****y convenient about boil-in-bag rice?

We received some samples recently and have been testing them, and the one advantage over un-bagged stuff we have found is that you can use the same pot to boil both rice and vegetables. I don’t think that makes up for the drawbacks, however.

Supposedly Good Thing # 1: It takes a shorter time to cook than conventional rice.
True, unless you normally use the fast-cook stuff, but honestly, I’m used to putting the rice on before starting anything else, and I’ve never perceived it as a problem that it takes “so long”. If I need something “instant” I use couscous. And with boil-in-bag there is the drawback relating to cooking time that I never remember to check the time when I throw the rice (or pasta, or anything else) into the boiling water, so I go by “feel” and check the rice (pasta, whatever) when I think it might be done. Question: How do you check the doneness of bag-encased rice?

Supposedly Good Thing # 2: Less washing up.
Bull. I don’t burn rice as a rule, so a pot is not particularly difficult to clean after boiling conventional rice. And I do wash the pot after boiling the boil-in-bag rice (normally we end up “decanting” the rice into the pot once it’s finished boiling anyway), do the producers imagine you wouldn’t feel the need to wash it?

Supposedly Good Thing # 3: Conveniently packaged.
Well, except it means you better fit with the producers’ idea of serving size, as boiling half a bag is rather difficult.

Also, despite the bags having so-called “cool corners” this doesn’t change the fact that you somehow have to handle, open and empty bags of steaming hot rice. I haven’t burnt my fingers yet, but I have gotten uncomfortably hot and cursed because I’ve dropped the bag.

Not to get me started on the excessive packaging thing, of course. The plasic bag ay not be that big in the great scheme of things, but they are still there. Or the fact that switching to non-fairtrade rice again after using fairtrade rice exclusively for at least six months is not really something we’d want to do anyway.

One thought to “Boil-in-bag – a bemused rant”

  1. I hear ya loud and clear sister, boil-in-bag is very high on my list truely pointless inventions list. Possibly top one.

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