Recipes & Cooking
6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Rice
Get a perfect pot of rice every time with these super simple tips and tricks!
Doing rice right
Who doesn’t love a big helping of rice? Whether it’s in a burrito, rolled up in sushi, served as a side with dinner, or any of the other seemingly million ways to use it, rice is the perfect way to bulk up a dish. While rice is relatively straightforward to cook, just adding it to a pot with water, it’s also incredibly easy to mess up. Here are some common ways that rice goes wrong, and how to make sure your next pot is absolutely perfect! Psst—check out these delicious ways to enjoy rice.
The problem: Burnt bottom
The solution: Turn your burner way down. A scorched pot probably means that the burner setting is too high. Set your burner to the lowest setting possible when cooking rice—the steam should be doing all the work, rather than the burner. Also double check that you’re using a heavy-bottomed pot, like a Dutch oven, as a thin pot will expose the grains to too much direct heat.
The problem: Mushy or hard rice
The solution: Double check your water-to-rice ratio. Here’s a handy guide:
- One cup of short grain white rice needs about 1 ½ cup of water.
- One cup of long grain white rice needs about 1 ¾ cup of water.
- One cup of brown rice needs about two cups of water. Watch out for these cooking mistakes that ruin your food.
The problem: Crunchy rice
The solution: Make sure your lid is tight. If the lid of your rice pot doesn’t seal properly, steam will escape the pot rather than cooking your rice. An easy remedy is to lay a clean kitchen towel between the pot and lid to keep steam from getting out. Just make sure the towel isn’t touching your burner.
The problem: clumpy white rice
The solution: Give white rice a quick rinse. When white rice rubs together in its package, some of the grain’s starch rubs off and forms a fine powder. When this starchy powder comes into contact with water, it becomes incredibly sticky and pulls grains together as water is absorbed into the rice to make a globby mess. Rinsing white rice before cooking removes this starchy powder, and with it, the threat of clumpy rice. You can also add a touch of oil or butter to your pot to help prevent sticking even further. These are some common mistakes you make while cooking chicken, too.
The problem: uneven cooking
The solution: Give your rice a little rest. As tempting as it is to dig into a pot of rice right when it’s done, letting your rice sit for ten or 15 minutes, off heat, lets the heat redistribute in the pot, leading to a more evenly cooked pot of rice.
The problem: always tastes bland
The solution: Add some flavor in! Toss some butter or olive oil, along with some salt and pepper, into your pot when pouring in your rice for a more flavorful end result. Another easy way to boost flavor is by replacing your cooking water with chicken, beef, or vegetable broth. You can also lightly toast your rice in the pot before adding your cooking liquid for a nutty taste. Next, read about these kitchen mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them.