Rice-and-Roni Cooking Demonstration to Teach Heat Transfer Methods

October 6, 2015 No Comments


I cook a version of Rice-and-Roni to demonstrate heat transfer and cooking methods to my introductory class, Food and Nutrition. It’s easy, inexpensive, and students always remember what they can smell, touch, and taste!

Homemade Rice-and-Roni


  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz thin spaghetti, broken
  • 2 C long grain white rice
  • 5 C water
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 t dried rosemary
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook ground beef in skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Sauté the onion until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir in spaghetti pieces until slightly brown.
  4. Add rice, water, parsley, and bouillon cube.
  5. Bring to boil.
  6. Reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Notes: I cooked this in my electric pressure cooker (Amazon link to the one I own). It is so handy for demonstrations because I do not have a stovetop on my counter. It also cooks food very quickly which makes demonstrations easier to fit in to class. To adjust this recipe for a pressure cooker, instead of bringing the mixture to a boil, lock the lid in place. Manually adjust the cooker to 8 minutes and release the pressure immediately after the time is up.

Discussion Questions

Which of these ingredients were cooked using conduction?

Which of these ingredients were cooked using convection?

Why dry heat cooking methods were used in this recipe?

What is the difference between pan-broiling and frying? Which ingredients used these techniques?

Which ingredients needed to absorb water as they cooked?

How did heat affect the food? (Color, flavors mingling, texture, aroma)

This makes a big batch of Rice-and-Roni to provide a small sample for each student. Adjust the flavorings as you would like, or encourage your students to help!


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I’m Kayla Pins – Health and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher to high school students in rural Iowa. Welcome to my online home where I share lesson plans, activities, and inspiration with fellow teachers.


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