Is Uncle Ben’s Rice Gluten free? Info and Tips

  • Uncle Ben’s originated in 1943.
  • Uncle Ben’s is an American brand. 
  • Uncle Ben’s rice is gluten-free.

Is the famous American rice brand Uncle Ben’s gluten-free? Are all its types of rice gluten-free?

With going gluten-free becoming the trend for many, it is essential to be careful about what you eat and what ingredients the dishes have. Going gluten-free has its benefits of nutritious diets, rich nutrients, and high fiber. Even though it is very tedious and meticulous, many people prefer it for various beneficial reasons. 

Among the daily foods, rice is one such ingredient that plays a vital role in your meal. Uncle Ben’s rice is one of the most famous rice brands, fortunately, gluten-free. Well, let’s dive right in to find out more about Uncle Ben’s gluten-free rice! 

Uncle Ben’s Rice

Is Uncle Ben's Rice Gluten free
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Uncle Ben’s rice is famous for different kinds of rice, especially parboiled rice. It is an American brand owned by Marcs, Inc. today and was the market ruler till the 1990s. In 2020, the brand changed its name to Ben’s original even though it still goes by Uncle Ben’s among the regular users. 

Uncle Ben’s is an international brand with worldwide exports, and it has four key product lines of sauces, dry rice, rice pots, and microwave rice. Rice is a traditional food ingredient in many Asian countries and plays an essential role in western cuisines. 

Different types of rice have other forms of nutrients and aid for various reasons. Uncle Ben’s range of rice is very comfortable and easy to cook. They grow rice sustainably across the fields of Mexico, Texas, and almost every other farming ground of America. All their rice variety happens to be gluten-free. 

Is Uncle Ben’s rice gluten free?

Uncle Ben’s rice is naturally gluten-free, and it provides all the taste and benefits of grains without any contamination of gluten substances. The only exception would be the rice pot, as they come in various flavors. And these flavors might contain gluten-loaded ingredients, which can impact your gluten-free diet. 

What are the products available under Uncle Ben’s rice?

There are three main categories of rice available under Uncle Ben’s rice: plain, dry and flavored rice. Fortunately, all of them are gluten-free, and exceptions are few flavored rice packets that might contain gluten flavors.

All the types of rice come in various sizes and also in microwavable pouches for easy handling. Under each category, there is a wide range of rice available. 

  1. Uncle Ben’s Plain rice
Is Uncle Ben's Rice Gluten free
  • Brown and wild rice 
  • Parboiled rice 
  • Brown rice
  • Brown Red and Wild rice medley
  • Basmati Rice
  • White rice 

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2. Uncle Ben’s Dry rice

  • Coconut dry rice
  • Long grain white rice 

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Uncle Ben’s Flavoured rice

  • Mexican style rice
  • Coconut chili and Lemongrass rice
  • Golden vegetable rice
  • Indian style spiced rice
  • Lightly flavored garlic rice 
  • Poke Bowl of Coconut and lemongrass rice
  • Poke bowl of Soy and Ginger rice
  • Poke Bowl of Wasabi style rice
  • Quinoa and Beans Tex-Mex style rice
  • Savory chicken flavor rice
  • Special fried rice
  • Sriracha rice 
  • Korean Barbeque rice
  • Peri-Peri rice
  • Teriyaki rice
  • Tomato and Basil rice
  • Vegetable Pilau rice 

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What are some alternative cooking methods for whole grain brown rice?

There are so many ways to cook Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown rice. Here are a few methods to make yummy and rich nutrient-filled, and gluten-free whole grain brown rice. 

Steamer

  • If you are using a steamer, take the amount of rice you require and add hot water to it in the steamer. 
  • Add salt and butter to the steamer. 
  • Cover the vessel and use 14 pounds of pressured steam. 
  • Keep it covered till most of the water is used up by the rice. It can roughly take 20 mins. 
  • Stir the rice and drain it from the steamer and serve hot. 
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Rice cooker 

  • A Rice cooker is the easiest method to cook Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown rice. 
  • Add the rice to the rice cooker and add precisely measured water to the rice cooker. 
  • Remember, it is always ¼th less than the top of the range method.
  • Turn on the cooker, and if it’s automatic, the cooker will automatically turn off. 
  • The standard calculation is 21/4 liquid to 1 part of rice. 

Pressure Cooker

Uncle Ben’s rice is rich and healthy. It contains many nutrients and has high fiber content, so a pressure cooker is not recommended. While cooking in the pressure cooker, foam is developed, and the rice might lose its texture. 

Oven 

  • If you are using an oven, combine the rice with hot water in the pan. 
  • Add salt and butter to the shallow tray and stir it together. 
  • Cover the pan and place it in the oven. 
  • Bake at 400 F for almost 25 minutes till the rice is cooked. 
  • Remove the pan, and it’s good to serve. 

Slow cooker

  • A slow cooker might take a long time to cook Uncle Ben’s rice. 
  • Take butter and apply it to the bottom sides of the slow cooker. 
  • Add 1 cup rice and 2 2/3 cups of water to the slow cooker. 
  • Add salt if you desire. 
  • Cover the cooker and let it cook for 2.5 to 3 hours. 

What is the nutritional value of Uncle Ben’s rice pouch?

Per 100g 

  • Energy: 664 kJ
  • Fat: 2.2g
  • Saturates: 0.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugars: 1.1g
  • Fibers: 1.2g
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Salt: 0.43g

How to cook Uncle Ben’s flavored rice?

All the flavored rice of Uncle Ben’s is cooked in the same way. Every pouch of Uncle Ben’s serves two people. Taking Mexican style flavored rice as an example:

Steps

  1. Take the rice pouch and shake it well. 
  2. And place it in the microwave for 3 mins. 
  3. Squeeze out the rice and serve it hot. 

For a hob

  1. Cook the rice in the open pan. 
  2. Squeeze the pouch in a pan. 
  3. Add 30 ml of water and cook it on sim for 3 mins. 
  4. Stir rice thoroughly and serve it hot. 

Stir Fry

  1. Squeeze the rice out of the pouch in a pan.
  2. Stir fry the rice till you desire. 
  3. And serve it hot.
Is Uncle Ben's Rice Gluten free

How much water is to be used for large proportions of Uncle Ben’s gluten-free rice?

Rice needs to be cooked with a precise amount of water to make it taste yummy and delicious. Uncle Ben’s rice is very refined and smooth, but when you cook in large quantities, the water needs to be precisely added. More water can make the rice soggy and soft, and it loses its texture.

So here are a few proportions for cooking Uncle Ben’s rice. This applies to all types of rice:

  • For every 3 ½ cups of rice, add 7 cups and 1 tbsp of salt for taste. It serves 25 people. 
  • 2 lbs of rice need 8 ½ cups of water for 38 servings. 
  • 6 cups of rice require 12 cups of water with 2 tbsps of salt and serve 50 people. 
  • 12 cups of rice need 24 cups of water for 100 servings.
  • 19 cups would consume 36 cups of water to serve 150 servings.

The standard ratio would be 1: 2 of rice and water, but when you cook on a large scale, reduce two cups of water, on the whole, to keep the rice fine and non-sticky. 

If you feel too much water, fear not, excess water can quickly be drained away. 

If you feel the water is less or evaporated fast on high flame, you can add water and cook a bit longer. The texture would not be disrupted. Use a fit pan rather than a small or big one. 

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How to overcome cooking problems?

Uncle Ben’s rice is a cleanly refined and cleaned rice. The gluten-free rice needs to be cooked in the correct ratios with the right amount of water. But sometimes the rice is not cooked or overcooked. To avoid these kinds of cooking problems, let’s look into a few issues and the reasons behind them. 

  • Hard/ firm rice 

Reason 1: if less water is added, the rice is not cooked correctly and becomes firm and hard. 

Reason 2: using larger pans can make water evaporate faster and leave the rice uncooked. 

Use the right amount of water and cook the rice in a smaller pan to avoid water evaporation. 

  • Sticky or Mushy rice

Reason 1: too much stirring of rice during cooking time can smash your rice. 

Reason 2: too much water in the cooking pan. 

Reason 3: cooked beyond the cooking time. 

Reason 4: holding a large quantity of rice in the pan after it’s cooked. 

The best way to avoid mushy rice is by sticking to the precise cooking time. Do not stir while cooking, and make sure you drain excess water immediately after the rice is cooked. 

  • Watery Rice

Reason 1: incorrect measurements are done for both water and rice. 

Reason 2: Cooking heat might be low during the simmering step.

Reason 3: cooking methods might not be suitable. 

Make sure you use standard proportions of water and rice while cooking. Keep it on high flame during the simmering stage. If you feel the rice is still watery, remove the cover in the last and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes before the water is completely absorbed or evaporated. 

What is the best way to cook Uncle Ben’s flavored rice?

Usually, all Uncle Ben’s rice pouches are microwavable. They can quickly be cooked in a microwave and can be directly served out of the pouch. But the best way to cook the rice is without the pouch. 

All you need to do is remove the rice paste out of the pouch into a pan. Use 3 to 4 cups of water depending on your needs, and let it cook for 10 mins. For best results, remove the cover in the last 5 minutes. Drain excess water and add butter or salt if you like, and serve it hot. 

Can multiple Uncle Ben’s flavored rice pouches be cooked together?

Every rice pouch of Uncle Ben’s is precisely mixed with gluten-free flavors and water. You can add more water if you are cooking in an open pan. But it is not recommended to cook more than 2 pouches at a time. 

Cooking two pouches or more will require a bit of extra water, and sometimes, more water can reduce the flavor and the texture of the flavored rice. The best way to cook Uncle Ben’s flavored rice is to either microwave all the required pouches or cook two pouches at a time on an open pan. 

Is Uncle Ben’s rice healthy?

Is Uncle Ben's Rice Gluten free

Different types of Uncle Ben’s rice vary in their nutrition depending on the type of rice and the flavors or ingredients added to it. Uncle Ben’s plain and dry rice is absolutely gluten-free. While a few of the flavored rice might contain gluten flavors, it is vital to check the label before purchasing a flavored Uncle Ben’s rice pouch. 

The whole grain brown rice and the plain brown rice have rich fiber and low fat. It is a perfect addition to healthy diets. It contains rich nutrients like iron, potassium, and B vitamins and no cholesterol, no saturated fat or trans fat. The brown rice contains very little sodium making it ideal for people suffering from thyroid or other diseases. 

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When it comes to flavored rice like Uncle Ben’s fried rice or Mexican-style rice, it contains higher fat and calorie content with rich sodium content. It is perfect for a cheat day, and the rice used in the flavored rice also contains rich fiber. Uncle Ben’s flavored rice is apt for any mid-day meal and late brunches. 

They contain high energy making it the perfect brunch dish. Remember, every flavored Uncle Ben’s pouch serves two people. Overeating flavored rice can increase sodium content in the body. 

What are the health benefits of the famous Uncle Ben’s brown rice?

Is Uncle Ben's Rice Gluten free
  • Top layers of brown rice

Uncle Ben’s brown rice is very healthy. The brown rice is made up of two layers, the bran and germ. These two layers contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals in the grain. Many manufacturers remove the top layers to make refined white rice, but Uncle Ben’s brown rice is an exception. It has cleaned layers of bran and germ, which makes it perfect for all healthy diets. 

  • May reduce the risk of diabetes.

Uncle Ben’s may reduce the risk of diabetes. Brown rice has a low glycemic index which means your blood sugar won’t spike up after consuming brown rice. It is scientifically proven that three servings of brown rice every day can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by almost 32%. 

  • May reduce heart diseases.

Uncle Ben’s brown rice has rich nutrients, and it is the source of dietary fiber, which reduces the high risk of heart diseases. Brown rice contains high levels of magnesium and potassium, which help to reduce heart strokes and illnesses. 

  • Better weight control 

Usually, consuming a small amount of brown rice is filling compared to the same amount of white rice. Brown rice has higher fiber content and less cholesterol, making it perfect for diet meals and athletes’ healthy meals. Brown rice will help obese people to shed few pounds and control their diets better. 

Nutrition value of half cup Uncle Ben’s brown rice

Half cup of Uncle ben’s Brown rice contains:

  • Calories: 108 grams 
  • Protein: 3 grams 
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 22 grams 
  • Fiber: 2 grams 
  • Sugar: 0 grams 

Brown rice is an excellent powerhouse of phenols, flavonoids, antioxidants and even reduces cell damage and premature aging. It also contains calcium, manganese, magnesium,  iron, selenium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), phosphorus, and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). 

How can you use the rice in different recipes?

Uncle Ben’s rice is absolutely gluten-free, making it best for any cuisine. It can be used as both side dishes and base ingredients. Uncle Ben’s rice is very fine and needs very little attention to make it a perfect addition to any cuisine. 

  1. You can either add it to soup for healthy carbs. 
  2. Cook some meat or tofu along with fried vegetables to add cooked brown rice to it. 
  3. Mix up a thick sauce of beans, salsa, greens, and even chicken to a rice bowl. 
  4. Combine the brown rice with ground beef and spices to make amazing stuffed bell peppers. 
  5. Take a cup of brown rice with some milk, sugar, and egg to make a perfect rice pudding. 

Conclusion 

Uncle Ben’s rice is naturally gluten-free, and all their varieties are precisely mixed and made. They come in three categories of plain, dry, and flavored rice.

Plain and dry are entirely gluten-free, while some flavors in the flavored rice range contain gluten. It is a must to check the label before purchasing the flavored rice. Uncle Ben’s whole grain brown rice is perfect for every diet meal and apt for any cuisine.

Well, what are you waiting for? Try out the best gluten-free Uncle Ben’s rice to have healthy meals! 

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About the Author: Diana

Foodie at heart, ever since I discovered I had Celiac, I completely changed my diet and eating habits, I enjoy writing and reading about recipes and actually cooking for my family