Burnt Rice? Never Again, with #SmartCooking!

Although it is very unpopular with the healthy eating crew, rice is one of my favourite things. I use it with most of my dinners. But it’s always such a pain to cook! It takes forever, and I either burn the rice or in trying to prevent the burn, I stir it too much and it turns to mush. Not great!

The mush I can deal with – but in my reduced energy drive, I’ve become acutely aware that the rice is on the stove for a long, long time and that hot plate is eating through my electricity like a starving Oliver Twist at the end of a long day of begging. So – cue the internet, and questions to my friends who make a living from spending time in the kitchen.

Firstly – what have I been doing wrong, that results in the rice burning and becoming mush? Well – simple – my stove is too hot, I stir the rice too much and I don’t use a lid. All this results in a much longer cooking time, a pot with burnt rice stuck to it and mushy rice with dinner.

Here’s what you need to know: burnt rice

  1. Use a thick-bottomed pot. A pot with a thin bottom doesn’t spread the heat out evenly, so you get hot spots where the rice will burn and stick to the pot.
  2. Use a lid! This has been my biggest downfall – letting the heat escape makes for longer cooking times and wasted electricity.
  3. The convection in the pot that keeps the rice cooking close to the water surface is dissipated every time you lift the lid and stir. Prevent this by keeping that lid on!
  4. Once your water is boiling, put in your rice and bring that water back up to the boil and replace the lid. Don’t let out the heat by constantly agitating the rice.
  5. Rinse your rice before cooking to remove as much starch as possible – you’ll know you have rinsed enough when the water coming off the rice is clear!
  6. Once that pot of rice is boiling, you can reduce your heat from 6 to 3 – as long as that lid stays in place, your water will keep on boiling – and won’t spill over onto the stove.

It’s THAT simple! Six little ways you can ensure your rice is perfectly cooked, your pots are not ruined – and – bonus! – you’re using less electricity.

Sounds like a winning formula! I’d love to hear from you how you go about making the perfect rice – please share your ideas, tips and tricks in the comments below!

© Dave Luis 2015. All Rights Reserved.

I was prompted to write this as part of my effort to reduce my monthly bills and so I joined the #SmartCooking campaign as part of an energy efficiency drive. This is a sponsored post.

Image by Porah at freeimages


13 thoughts on “Burnt Rice? Never Again, with #SmartCooking!

  1. I have to say, I’m a very lucky cook when it comes to rice. And, as you know, my big smart cooking trick is to make it in advance and freeze portions of it. I’ve actually just taken some out of the freezer for our one-pot lamb curry tonight!

  2. I’ve only ever been able to make rice in the microwave. But, for some reason I only get it right with my own appliances… bizarre.

      1. I’ve had the most success worth brown rice so far… I used to make white rice when I was a teen, but I have not managed to get that right with any of my adult life microwaves. To prepare:

        1 cup brown rice
        3 cups water
        Guesstimate of salt

        I have a 900W micro, so I cook it on high without the lid for 6mins. Then I put the lid on, switch it to medium power (450W) and cook for 35mins.

        If I’m making a one-pot dish that has rice in it, I would add it raw and just let it cook with the food to absorb all the yummy juices.

  3. I cook mine in the microwave… but if you’re up for a little bit of planning ahead time-wise, use a Wonderbag to cook rice or pasta. My mom also cooks her rice (she just cooks for one) by putting the washed rice and boiling water into a flask and leaving it to stand.
    Rice also freezes really well, so if you cook more than you need, and freeze it in portion-size ziplock bags, it defrosts quickly if you pour boiling water over it, or nuke it in the microwave for a minute or two. Or, take the ziplock bag out of the freezer when you leave home in the morning, and it will be defrosted when you’re ready for supper.

    1. These are BRILLIANT suggestions! I’m actually busy looking at the Wonderbag’s amazingly simple tech as we speak!
      Not a huge fan of the microwave, but as far as energy efficiency goes, it makes sense to use this, rather than the stove.

  4. I hate cooking rice. I always mess it up! My trick is to get my husband to make it 😉

    Recently though, I fry the rice in a bit of oil for a few minutes before adding the water, stirring once, putting on the lid, bringing to the boil, turning it down to simmer and then leaving it until the water is gone. Other than a thin layer of stuck rice on the bottom, it actually comes out well. (probably need a thicker bottom pot).

    Usually though I make my husband do it!

    1. That’s a neat trick, the husband part!
      My brother also recommends frying the rice – but AFTER you have cooked in water. Obviously that then becomes a two pot and pan affair, and is not what I am after in the drive to reduce time and energy in the kitchen.

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