How to Burn Microwaveable Rice

When I turned 15, my mother banned me from cooking in the kitchen by myself. As ridiculous as it sounds, the banishment was not entirely uncalled for due to an unsettling incident involving rice, a microwave and the near-destruction of my home. Now, you may be saying, “Burning rice in a microwave? Preposterous. That is far too difficult for me to accomplish.” False. Burning rice can be achieved by following a series of specific steps that I happened to learn from experience. As a fellow HelloGiggles member, I feel that it is my duty to inform you of these requirements so that one day you may achieve the same level of greatness.

Step 1: Make sure that it is Monday

Garfield had the right idea. Mondays are positively miserable. Bad luck gravitates towards Mondays like young girls gravitate towards Justin Bieber. Mondays bring as much joy as a crying baby brings to a tired mother. The extent to which people love Mondays is inversely proportional to how much Hitler loved dogs. December 21st, 2012 is probably a Monday (it’s actually a Friday but the idea still stands). In conclusion, deciding to burn rice on a Monday will exponentially increase your chances of success.

Step 2: Cook when nobody is home to help you

Cooking alone is a key component to destroying once edible concoctions. The more qualified your parents or roommates are to help you, the more inclined you should be to push them out the door (i.e. if your dad is a retail worker, letting him sleep upstairs during a cooking endeavor is perfectly acceptable; if your dad is a firefighter or chef with a specialty in rice cooking, put him in a box and send him across the country for the best results). Luckily, when I decided to prepare my favorite rice pilaf dish, my mother (nurse) and step-dad (firefighter) had already left the premises, leaving me free to ignite whatever foods I fancied.

Step 3: Don’t read the instructions carefully

In order to properly create a dangerous chemical reaction, it is important to completely ignore suggested container sizes. Thankfully, I have a natural talent for overlooking information. I’ll say this up front: I’ve never been the biggest fan of numbers. (According to Wikipedia, this is actually a real psychological problem called arithmophobia which is not really that important in the long run but will probably be the winning answer on a future episode of Jeopardy at some point, so you’re welcome.) Unbeknownst to me, numbers are kind of important in cooking. They help determine the proper balance of ingredients in order to ensure that lasagna will not explode and cookies will not turn into muffins (a concept that I learned the hard way…more on that in future columns…). They also are apparently important in labeling container sizes, which I tend to skip over, so therefore, it should not be surprising that I put an entire packet of rice in a cereal bowl.  Hey, put those judgmental looks away, I have arithmophobia for God’s sake. Have some sympathy.

Step 4: Leave the cooking food unattended

Food does not need a babysitter. Whoever came up with the idea of actually watching food cook obviously did not have less important things to become distracted by. In my situation, after I put the bowl in the microwave and set it for 2 minutes, I trotted off to the basement to continue watching snippets of High School Musical on YouTube (again, with the judgmental looks). Now, in my defense, one would think that a bowl of rice, microwaveable rice, would be able to handle itself on its own. Therefore, I had no qualms about shamelessly watching Zac Efron dance across my television screen while my dinner cooked upstairs. How was I supposed to know that all of the water would evaporate in a matter of seconds and end up scorching my dinner? I didn’t. If you want to burn rice, I suggest you find a mundane or embarrassing hobby to pick up that will force you to leave the kitchen or you may actually end up making something edible and not destroying your house.

Step 5: Forget what you were cooking

Neglect is the greatest way to ensure success when it comes to burning rice. Make sure to discover an activity that will capture your attention so much that you will forget about your microwaveable dinner.

Step 6: Panic

At this point, your house should be flooded with black smoke. If it’s not, you’re doing something right, which is entirely unacceptable. In my rice catastrophe, smoke had infiltrated every corner of the first floor, leaving me blinder than usual and scrambling for my life. (Do not tell me I am being overly dramatic. You were not there.) In a panic-induced frenzy, I stormed through the wall of darkness, flung open the microwave hatch and proceeded to open every window and door in the house.  In order to become a true Rice Burning Master, your heart must beat a hole in your chest out of stress. True fact.

If you follow all of these steps exactly, you should have a smoky house and a destroyed kitchen in no time. Surely, I cannot be the only person with the power to burn everything I touch. Somewhere out there, someone is setting plain pasta on fire or scorching pudding on a stovetop. What ridiculous food items have you burned? Spinach? Potatoes? Cereal? (Anyone who can do that last one will officially be my new best friend.) Feel free to tell me because I’d be glad to know I’m not the only one with an inability to cook. Go ahead. Don’t be afraid. You won’t get any judgmental looks from my end.

  • Michelle Vendetti

    You forgot to mention the multiple phone calls you placed to both your mom and step dad claiming the house was on fire! Awesome article, and unfortunately all true statements!! Love you!! :)

  • Kerry Campbell Sutherland

    HeheheHahahaha!! I saw the evidence ….I remember your mother bringing me onto the deck to show me the bowl….still full of rock hard black rice that smelled like some kind of nuclear aftermath!! I think Hello Giggles is my new Sunday favorite! Thanks for the laugh and I’m very glad you made it out alive! :)

  • Sasha Sirozh

    Hahahaha! My flatmate did the exact same thing! Our microwave timer is broken, so when she set the rice to cook for 5 mines, it ended up being in there for half an hour. She followed all of your stepos, however, I think that her triuph over rcie was even greater than yours to be honest, because as well as flooding the entire flat with a dense black smoke, she managed to destroy the plate, and the shriveled, fossilised amorphous former rice mass looked like something that had survived a metior landing that destroyed the dinosaurs. There was a brown stain under and behind the microwave, and the inside looks a little like the nuclear reactor in Chernobyl.
    Oh, and the poor thing is traumatised… It still smells like burnt rice whenever we turn it on (the incident occured in December…)
    You are not alone!

  • Jessy Dolensky

    Also never put an egg in a cup of water in the microwave! My fiend and I did it onceto cook the egg. Result the microwave door blast openeed the cup fell down and there were scramblles eggs all over the kitchen

  • Miguel Arbusto

    I once found a way to burn soup. All of the thick ingredients settled to the bottom and began to harden. Evidently a hard, sticky film at the bottom of soup is the perfect environment for fire. I felt like I was watching one of those videos of the Kilauea’s lava under water. Little tiny bubbles kept rising to the surface and when they popped there was smoke and sadness inside, as though the soul of my soup was evaporating away wisp by tiny, gray wisp….

  • Brian Stanley

    Do this at the beginning of any relationship. Your partner’s new four favorite words from then on: “Let’s go out tonight” or “I’ll cook dinner, honey”

  • Korionna McKinnon

    I dedicate this one to my friend angela espinoza for trying to make chocolate pudding and instead made chocolate scrambled eggs and ive also made a weird muffin cookie before I was very confused on how I did that maybe if I write it down like you I can explain what happened

  • Kelsey Taylor

    I set microwave popcorn on fire. We had gotten a new microwave and apparently 3 minutes to cook popcorn was ridiculously long, which I did not know. The popcorn bag was actually on fire, I had to grab it and fling it into the sink to put out the flames and then stop the smoke alarm. It was probably a Monday.

  • Katy Cole

    I got a microwavable hot dog to explode. Truth.

  • Yahaira Hernandez

    This is the absolutely sadly truth about the day I in a way burnt water.One day I was boiling water for tea and I totally forgot that it was boiling. All the water evaporated and the inside of the pot turned black. Therefore I am probably the only one that has burnt water. My mother from that day on swore that it was her mission to make sure I learn how to cook before I get married. LOL!

  • Ellen Birdy Murray

    I also am guilty of having burnt water. My dad still reminds me about the pot i ruined.

  • Alex McKelley

    I burnt one of those microwaveable single-serving mac n cheese cups…I was completely distracted while cooking and apparently forgot to actually put water in the cup before putting it in the microwave, leaving smoke and charcoal noodles. Oops. I also didn’t notice my toaster was set o the highest setting possible before trying to make a poptart…yeah, that didn’t end so well….

  • Kelly Noelle

    I burnt instant pudding. Little did I know you are not supposed to cook instant pudding until it was too late.

  • Laine Leard

    Hey, don’t feel bad. I graduated from Culinary School, and work in a kitchen for a living, but still manage to burn every bag of microwave popcorn I make. Go figure.

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  • Tamara Lewis

    my friend has burnt cereal before! she used to have microwaved special k for breakfast (add milk to cereal and microwave) and one day she put it in without the milk so the cereal burnt. this will make her your best friend 😛

  • Sarah North Youle

    Does microwave porridge count as “cereal”? Oatso-Not-So-Simple! :S

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