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Supermarket Showdown

 

Rice

Battle of the Rice

Traditional:

Prep: 26 minutes
Price: 10 cents per oz.

The price is nice, but traditional rice, while the most flavorful kind, can be sticky and heavy compared with quicker-cooking versions and is no more nutritious. In addition to prepping longer, you'll likely do some pot-soaking and scrubbing after dinner.

versus

Instant:

Prep: 11 minutes
Price: 19 cents per oz.

Light, clump-free grains that are super-speedy to cook? Welcome to the joy of instant rice! Pour the par-cooked rice into boiling water, turn off the heat, cover, and in 5 minutes you're good to go. The convenience and goof-proof results are worth the price.

versus

Boil-In-Bag:

Prep: 17 minutes
Price: 20 cents per oz.

This rice cooks up fluffy and fragrant, but the bag is more cumbersome than convenient. Sure, there's no measuring, but you do have to hold a perforated bag over a pot while you wait for the water to drain -- and good luck cutting it open without burning your fingers.

versus

Fully Cooked:

Prep: 90 seconds
Price: 26 cents per oz.

The idea of nuking a bag of ready-rice is appealing, but the result is less so. Oil keeps the grains from sticking together, but it also adds a greasy texture and 2.5 grams of fat per serving. Plus, this pricey rice is the blandest of the bunch.

And the winner is ...

INSTANT!

- Beth Janes