If you’re like most people, you probably think that cooking rice is pretty simple – just add water and wait for it to boil. But if you want perfect rice every time, there’s a little more to it than that.
In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how to cook perfect rice, whether you’re using white or brown rice. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of rice cookers and help you decide if they might be the perfect solution for your home!
Why is rice so difficult to cook?
Have you tried to cook rice and ended up with a mushy, sticky mess? This is because rice absorbs water at different rates. The amount of water you’ll need depends on the type of rice you’re using, as well as how long it’s been stored for.
White rice (like basmati or jasmine) has a higher starch content than brown rice, so it needs more water to cook properly. Brown rice takes longer to cook and requires less water.
Older rice also requires more water – if you’re using rice that’s been stored for a while, you’ll need to add more liquid than usual.
Rice cookers are an essential item for any kitchen and make cooking rice a breeze. Not only do they cook perfect rice every time, but they can also be used to assemble tasty one-pot dishes; just add meat, vegetables, and broth or sauce, and your complete meal will be ready in no time.
Best of all, modern rice cookers come with programmable settings that allow for hands-off cooking – so you can set it before you head off to work and have freshly cooked rice waiting when you get home! With its multitude of uses and convenience factor, it’s no wonder why the humble rice cooker is becoming a must-have kitchen appliance.
Pros and cons of rice cookers
Rice cookers can be a game changer in the kitchen, allowing you to make rice with one push of a button. They are also great for making other dishes, including oatmeal and quinoa, as well as steaming vegetables.
While they can save time and energy, there are drawbacks to using a rice cooker. For one, these appliances tend to be bulky, which takes up counter or cupboard space. Plus, if you don’t cook rice very often, then they are going to be an expensive outlay for infrequent use.
Overall, while they can certainly come in handy if you’re attempting a multi-tasking dinner session or simply want perfect results every time, there’s no denying that making the switch from stovetop will require some compare-and-contrasting before committing.
Cooking rice without a rice cooker
If you don’t have rice all that often or don’t have the counter space for a rice cooker, then you can use a stovetop pot to cook your rice. It might take some trial and error before you get it right, but once you’ve mastered the technique then it’s just as easy as using an electric appliance.
Here are our four top tips for perfect rice every time!
1. Rinse your rice before cooking to remove any dirt or impurities.
Cooking rice is a lot more involved than just pouring it into boiling water and waiting for it to be done.
An important step that can make a big difference in the quality of your finished rice is to give it a good rinse with cold water before cooking. This helps to dislodge any dirt or impurities that might have been stuck to the grains during shipping, storage, or handling — without a thorough rinse, your cooked rice could contain all sorts of unexpected foreign matter.
Taking this extra step also rinses away any excess starch on the surface of the grains, which can result in sticky, overcooked clumps when the grains are boiled.
2. Use the correct amount of water – 1 cup of rice needs 2 cups of water
It is important to use the correct amount of water when preparing ingredients like rice. Too much water will create a soggy mess, while too little can result in dry, crunchy grains.
A good rule of thumb is 1 cup of uncooked rice to 2 cups of liquid. To ensure that your finished meal or side dish is perfectly cooked, add the exact amount of liquid and bring it to a boil before reducing the heat and allowing it to simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
To make sure your rice is light, fluffy, and flavorful every time you cook it, be sure to measure out the correct amounts for every tasty dish you prepare!
3. Bring the water to a boil before adding the rice
According to professional chefs, you should always start the process of cooking rice by first bringing the water to a boil. Doing this ensures that your finished product has the right texture and flavor.
Pay attention to the timer if possible – it can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes for a pot of water to properly come to a rolling boil, depending on how much you have and what type of burner or stove top you’re using.
4. Stir once!
After adding the rice, gently stir once until combined, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer over low heat for 18 minutes. Once the time has elapsed, turn off the heat and let the rice sit undisturbed for another 5 minutes before fluffing it with a fork. Following this method will yield delicious results every time.