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Jun 2, 2010 01:38 AM

Doubling/Tripling a Rice Recipe - HELP!

Hello all - I'm hosting a dinner party this Saturday (the 5th) and I want to make a lovely oven-braised rice from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking - I have a question for experienced cooks about how to make a LOT....

The recipe calls for 1.5 cups of rice, 3 cups of boiling liquid, and 1/4 cup onion sauteed in 4tb of butter. The rice is brought to the simmer on the stovetop, and then is placed in a 375 degree oven (turned down to 350) for about 18 minutes. This serves about 4-5 people.

MY QUESTION: If I want to TRIPLE this recipe (my party has 15 guests), and I have a pot big enough, is it just ok to triple all of the above ingredients (rice/liquid, etc. ?). After that, how much time should I allow for cooking once it's in the oven? Any ideas on how long it would take? This would be with about 4.5 cups of rice...



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  1. It will take the same amount of time.

    1. You can triple everything. It may take longer to simmer on the stovetop, but the rest of the times should be fine.

      1. When cooked in a sauce pan on the stove, the water to rice ratio should decrease as the quantities go up. That's because the volume increases but the surface area, where evaporation occurs, does not. However, if the rice is cooked in a wider pan, say in a baking dish in the oven, the surface area increases, and you shouldn't have adjust the ratio.

        In short, the liquid to rice ratio depends not only on how much water the rice will absorb (which depends on the type of rice), but also on how much is lost to evaporation.

        3 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          Paulj has the right answer. Problem is there are must too many variables when using rice in these kinds of recipes to allow for a "one size fits all" solution. Based on your description of the recipe, I would reduce the total amount of water by about 2 ounces.

          1. re: todao

            America's Test Kitchen (Cook's Illustrated) found the optimal ratio of rice to water is 1 Cup Rice to 1.5 Cups Water. Furthermore, Alton Brown of the Food Network starts with this same ratio but recommends reducing the amount of additional water as the amount of rice increases:

            1 Cup Rice -- 1.5 Cups Water
            2 Cups Rice -- 2.75 Cups Water
            3 Cups Rice -- 3.5 Cups Water


          2. re: paulj

            Agree with paulj - do the oven part in a lasagna pan or dish(es) totalling a similar surface area.

          3. Normally 2 to 1 is the water/rice ratio. The are variations with the type of rice used. If the pot in the oven is covered, it should cook at about the same time as on top of the stove. If the vessel in the oven is uncovered (like paella) the liquid will evaporate sooner. Of course, you could start with a bit less water, and add more if the rice is not fully cooked when time is up. Adding a little water will not hurt anything. It will just steam away.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OldTimer

              Agreed; just make sure the water is at or very near a full boil when you add it late in the cooking process. You wouldn't want to impede the cooking process by adding water that was cooler than that.

            2. It might work, but for an event, I would definitely do a trial run a couple of days beforehand to make sure it works and that the results are acceptable. Safer would be to do it in 3 separate pots if you can, or at least just 2 times and stretch out the servings.