Cooking rice should not be a mystery. Learn from these 5 common mistakes people make while cooking rice and become a kitchen expert!
Growing up in an Asian household taught me to cook rice using the knuckle method and a cooking pot. It was a lovely childhood that exposed me to the culinary world.
When rice is too dry, just add little water and a pinch of rock salt on top of the pot and let it steam on lowest heat for 10 minutes.
I never learned the scientific explanation of this trick, it was passed on from generations and it works; like all the time.
It was a pretty old-school trick and quite scary but yes, it made me a rice expert though! 😛
Years later, I got my very first rice cooker when I started working and that was when my life became easier. It was just a conventional type but we had been together through a lot of milestones.
This was when I thought about writing this post. I know a lot of friends who still prepare a hit or miss rice at home. And so, I decided to list down the 5 common mistakes people make while cooking rice.
5 Common Mistakes People Make While Cooking Rice
Cooking rice is very intimidating for beginners since there are so many things to learn. But, as you go along and better understand rice and its varieties, you’ll surely get the hang of it.
You don’t have to memorize all the rice variants to become an expert, you only need to be familiar with each kind and off you go!
To help you start off better, read this post to learn more.
5. Rinsing or Soaking Rice
Rice experts say that rinsing the rice before cooking helps remove all the milling by-products such as talc, dust, and dirt.
Washing helps eliminate excess starch and any unwanted leftovers, especially from imported brands.
Locally grown rice may have less talc but those varieties such as basmati may have been processed with it to preserve the grains.
How to Wash Rice
- Measure rice according to how much you desire to cook
- Place it in a large bowl and wash it under running water
- Keep washing and rinsing until the water becomes clear
Some say that washing rice three times is enough, so you’ll still get adequate nutrients especially when using white rice. NEVER rinse risotto rice because this variety highly depends on the starch of the grain that gives it extra creamy when cooked.
Aromatic rice varieties such as basmati and jasmine are best cooked when pre-soaked. Soaking helps release the oils that hold their aroma.
Apart from releasing aroma, soaking also helps reduce cooking time for these varieties.
When using basmati rice, soak it for a minimum of an hour to a maximum of 24 hours for the best quality.
NEVER soak sushi rice in water as most recipes say, authentic Japanese sushi masters advice that you should only drain sushi rice in a colander after rinsing and let it sit for an hour before cooking.
4. Water Ratio
When I was beginning to learn how to cook rice, I often have two choices: burnt rice or a mushy one. I didn’t know where I went wrong since I was only following a recipe.
As I went along with my rice-capades, I learned that the amount of water added on a certain rice variety is crucial.
So for you to avoid the same mistake, I made a list of the correct rice to water ratio per rice variety.
Remember that rice doubles its size when cooked so it needs a sufficient amount of water to cook the grains properly. The thicker the grains are, the more water is needed.
Rice Type and Water Ratios
- Long-grain White Rice – 1 and 3/4 cups of water to every 1 cup of rice
- Medium-grain, White Rice – 1 and a half cup of water to a cup of rice
- Short-grain, White Rice – A cup and 1/4 of water to every cup of rice
- Long-grain, Brown Rice – 2 and 1/4 cups of water to every cup of rice
- Parboiled Rice – 2 cups of water to a cup of rice
- Basmati and Jasmine Rices – Use the 1:1 ratio if you have soaked the rice prior. Otherwise, use a cup and 1/2 of water to every cup of basmati and jasmine rice.
3. Stirring and Opening the Lid while Cooking
Never stir the rice when it’s cooking unless you are making risotto.
Stirring will break the rice and will release more starch leaving you with a bowl of sticky cooked rice.
Opening the lid from time to time also affects cooking consistency.
Lifting the lid will let the steam out and may not evenly cook the rice.
As long as you have used the correct rice type and water ratio, let the rice do its job.
2. Wrong Heat
Another common mistake we make is cooking the rice at a high temperature. I’m actually guilty of this because I wanted the rice to cook quickly and not thinking about the quality.
The best way to achieve perfect, fluffy rice is to let it boil under medium heat and reduce the flame to its lowest temperature until all water is absorbed.
Cooking it at high temperatures will result in uneven rice, the outside might be cooked but the middle part is still raw and hard.
1. Fluff and Let it Rest
The biggest mistake people make when cooking rice is not fluffing it. We often just leave the rice inside the cooker or the pot after it has been cooked.
I was really confused when I first made my rice and it was dry on top and a little moist in the middle. I wondered what went wrong when I followed all the instructions.
That was then I realized that I did not fluff the rice. Fluffing helps the excess steam trapped in the rice to spread out to ensure that all parts of the pot are well-distributed.
How to Fluff Rice
- When all the water is absorbed and the rice is almost done, turn off the heat and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Halfway through resting, get a fork and carefully move it around the rice and going in the middle.
- Cover the lid back and let it sit for another 7-8 minutes
Using a fork for fluffing is better than using rice spatula because a fork goes through the grains easily without crushing or breaking them.
Absolute Method for Cooking Rice
I bet that once or twice, you were also a victim of wrong impressions about rice cooking. I was also intimidated at the beginning, but when you get to learn more about it, you will soon realize that cooking rice is a fun process after all!
These 5 common mistakes are easily avoided when you found the perfect kitchen partner. As for me, I have finally overcome failing rice cooking by using a rice cooker.
What Kind of Rice Cooker to Use?
You can actually use a conventional type of rice cooker if you have one.
However, if you are planning to invest in a quality rice cooker, take a closer look at Zojirushi NS-ZCC10.
Introducing the Neuro-Fuzzy Logic System
Zojirushi is a trusted brand when it comes to kitchen equipment. One of their well-loved rice cookers is powered by Neuro-fuzzy logic technology.
Neuro-fuzzy is an artificial intelligence (AI) system that is integrated with fuzzy logic technology. In simple terms, they added modern system inside the rice cooker to allow it to work on its own.
Yup! Working on its own, meaning, this rice cooker is equipped with “brains” so it will cook your rice perfectly.
Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 Features
Apart from the powerful cooking technology this brand is using, there are other outstanding features you will also love!
- It has a multi-menu selection like Automatic Keep Warm, Extended Keep Warm and Reheat Cycle
- Cooking Settings include Regular White rice or Sushi rice (Soft or Hard option), Sweet rice, Porridge, Musenmai rice or No-rinse and of course, brown rice.
- Comes in 2 different sizes: 5.5 cups and the 10-cup capacities
- Modern, sleek design with easy to carry handles
- It has an LCD clock and timer display with retractable cord for easy transport
Advantages of Using Zojirushi NS-ZCC10
Talking about advantages, Zojirushi NS-ZCC10 got a handful of it.
What I like best with having a rice cooker at home is the convenience to cook rice without paying much attention. Like a plug-and-play!
I know we’re all concerned about having too many kitchen appliances at home especially when you have small countertops.
If you are looking for minimal gadgets but with more benefits, I highly recommend owning a rice cooker.
Rice cookers come in different sizes so you can choose which one fits your needs. More than that, most modern rice cookers have a removable cord so you can practically bring it anywhere you want to!
You can never go wrong with a fuzzy logic rice cooker. Quality rice is of its topmost concern and its excellent advantage. No more burnt or undercooked rice!
A perfect bowl of rice awaits you and your family when you know your cooker does the task effectively.
This is a perfect gift for mommies and even for beginners! Bring out your loved-ones desire for cooking come to life!
Recipes to Try on your Rice Cooker
Although its name suggests cooking rice alone, rice cookers can actually do so much more! At first, I thought I can only cook boiled eggs apart from rice.
I struggled juggling a lot of pans and pots in the kitchen until I came across cooking different recipes in the rice cooker.
Surprisingly, you can prepare a lot of your favorite dishes in the rice cooker. Here are some of the recipes we tried:
- Fried Rice
- Rice Pudding
- Sushi rice
- Rice Burger
- And many more
Is it Worth Buying?
Buying kitchen appliances is not the same as buying a new pair of shoes. You cannot just simply purchase a new one when you already have the same device at home. Unless of course, you need replacements.
My goal here is to help you gain more by choosing the right equipment that would make your life easier and more productive.
Like me, I am too busy at work during the day and I do not have much time preparing for some home-cooked meal for my family.
What I did was invest in having a quality rice cooker that I can depend on!
Imagine going home tired from work and still need to prepare dinner.
Having a rice cooker is a big help. I can just toss in the rice and set the correct setting, then I’m off with another task. You too can do this!
Assess your needs at home and then decide if buying a rice cooker will be worth it.
Watch this video on how science explains the reasons behind rice fails!
Cooking rice is a very basic chore yet has the most mistakes. I guess these mistakes are due to little information about the different rice varieties, correct water ratio of each kind, and the heat requirement.
If everyone will get the chance to know these tiny details, I bet no one will make a mess in the kitchen! You can definitely enjoy your rice more when you have a partner you can truly rely on, like investing in rice cookers.
Rice cookers have immense benefits such as avoiding these 5 common mistakes people make while cooking rice. You will have peace of mind that you won’t be making any of these mistakes because your cooker does all the tasks for you.
You can share this post too so more people can read it and everyone can become rice experts!