I have a problem. I can't make rice properly.

Every time I make rice it comes out mushy and clumps together. I actually really like rice like this, so at least there is that, but... Does anyone have tips for getting rice to cook properly and be fluffy with grain separation and everything?



Pegeen July 14, 2014
Burnt rice, on purpose! Persian Tahdig
Matt H. July 13, 2014
I support the Zojirushi recommendations. It's easy to use and has always produced good results.
trampledbygeese July 13, 2014
I second the rinsing part. It makes a huge difference.

My standard method for making rice on the stove is to use a thick walled pot, often pottery or stone, something that holds the heat well. Rinse the rice, then add water so that the level of the water is just above the first joint of my index finger (when I put the tip of the finger on top of the rice - 1.5 to 2 cm). Put pot on medium until it boils, then down to low until done. If you can get your hands on a dolsot (korean stone or ceramic pot) it makes fantastic rice - keep the heat medium low after it boils to make the crispy rice on the bottom of the pot, eat the tender rice, then add broth to loosen the crispy rice. Delicious. Fantastic breakfast.

You can also cook basmati rice like pasta. Extra water, stir once or twice while cooking, cook till done (tends to cook much faster, but without clumping) then strain. It's quite nice like that and especially good if you are using a stove or pot you aren't familiar with.
sarabclever July 13, 2014
I resisted a rice cooker for a long time. I figured I didn't like rice all that much and it was just another appliance. Turns out, I didn't like rice because I couldn't cook it well. The rice cooker is totally worth it. I got a cheap one that has a brown and white rice function and it's been great. It seems that if you buy an expensive one, it could almost replace a slow cooker--but since I already have two, I haven't bothered! :-)
Sam1148 July 11, 2014
My rice cooker advice: Get a simple one button type. The Salton is a bit too cheap. I really liked my old Panasonic (National) brand--which lasted me 20 years. I replaced it with a fuzzy logic type one..a Sanyo; which I'm not to wild about.

The lid on the fuzzy logic ones is a hinged lid...this gets rid of some of the usefulness of a rice cooker. With simple one button styles, you get a steamer basket that stacks which can be used to steam veggies, fish, or dimsum at the time the rice is cooking. You can't do that in a expensive hinged lid model.

I've given the Rival model one button model to friends and have received very good reviews. Those are cheep about 20 bucks or so from Target..etc. One thing to remember the 'cup' in rice cookers is a smaller cup size than an American cup--more like 1/2 cup. A 4-6 cup rice cooker is perfectly fine for 2-4 people. Go smaller rather than larger if you have doubt, as the larger the cooker the more the cooker "Needs" to have a large quantity of rice made in it to come out well.

Another advantage of the 'one button' model is that you can brown some things like mushrooms, onions, garlic, etc...then add the rice and water hit the button again to cook. Also, reheating is better as you can remove the inner pot for storage in the 'fridge and then add a bit of stock/water and hit the button to rewarm.
mainecook61 July 11, 2014
I use a zojirushi and I've never looked back. Electric rice cookers were invented in Japan, a rice-eating nation, needless to say, and one sees them everywhere there. Sure it's easy to cook rice on the stove (the way I prefer to do basmati). However a rice cooker can be set to turn itself on, a plus if you're working, and it makes the most perfect brown rice, which can be tricky to get right. I also my Zoji for short grain rice, jasmine rice, and sticky rice.
Carolyn Z. July 11, 2014
I like to make brown texmati rice. I do cheat. I've got a great fuzzy rice cooker.
However, rice can be made simply on the stove. Using any cup, measure 1 cup rice and 2.25 cups water or stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, covered. Let steam (turn off stove and don't uncover) for 15 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork. Enjoy! This seems complicated, but it's really not!--Carolyn Z
Herlinda July 11, 2014
Trust me, I'd LOVE a Zoji! But I am a single mom; we've had this for 7 years and it's been wonderful. Someday I'll hand this over to my daughter and get a "grown up" one but hey, my mom and dad made incredible food from all over the world with a quarter of the equipment I have. However, If a company or website (ahem) would like me to test drive a Zoji or other high end brand, I'm their gal. This one is a Hamilton Beach, no frills no muss.
Herlinda July 11, 2014
We use our rice cooker very frequently. It was $17! Brown rice, white, basmati, black japonica, mixed pilafs, quinoa, millet, even oatmeal cook perfectly; and I can walk away w no boil over. . Nonstick pan makes it easy to clean every time. And it doesn't heat up the kitchen like my stove does , which is nice on a warm California day. I've added everything from real chicken stock to vegetarian chicken broth powder to the pot; herbs, onion or garlic, cumin, cinnamon stick or nothing but water; 2-1. I even halve an artichoke and stick in steamer tray on top while rice cooks. Always perfect rice. And I don't have to worry about my daughter burning the house down when she makes a pot of rice either. Ingenious invention. Highly recommend for someone heading to college or first apartment too.
Jan W. July 11, 2014
$17 rice cooker might work alright - but once you try a Zojirushi model, you'll never go back - and it plays a SONG when it's finished cooking!
cookbookchick July 11, 2014
HalfPint is right: Add the rice to the liquid, give it one quick stir, then lower the heat, cover the pot, and leave it alone. And a rice cooker is great (I'm told) but I agree that it's unnecessary unless you eat rice frequently. A pot and a lid!
Regine July 11, 2014
To get fluffy and separated rice grains, it is 1 cup water per cup of rice, specifically long grain jasmine rice. I myself find that 2 cups is way too much; and I eat rice almost every day. Haitian white rice is seasoned. For every cup of rice, you add 1 tbsp EVOO or vegetable oil and some salt and garlic. Water is then tasted to make sure it is tasty. A flavorless water is a flavorless rice - at least in Caribbean countries where eating rice with no oil and salt is not conceivable. This being said though I do enjoy Asian food when the plain fat free and salt free rice since the meat that accompanies the rice is flavorful. As for parboiled rice, which will more easily deliver a fluffy rice, I use 11/2 cup water for each cup of rice.
Cookingly Y. July 11, 2014
General rule: 1 cup rice: 2 cups water, cook for 10min. brown rice needs longer.
CHeeb July 11, 2014
I am a fan of fluffy separate rice grains too. I blend ( for flavor ) Uncle Ben's Long Grain,Jasmine,and Zatarain's Louisiana rice in a bag. The Jasmine really adds a popcorn like flavor and the Uncle Ben's and Zatarains keep it fluffy. The proportions I use are 2.5 cups salted water to one cup blended rice.It cooks perfectly,covered and simmered in 20 minutes. I often double or triple the quantities and keep cold leftovers for fried rice,burrito stuffing,stuffed peppers,squash, and tomatoes...you get the drift.
HalfPint July 11, 2014
Properly cooked rice comes down to the type of rice you use because this dictates how much water you need to use. My experience has been mostly with white long grain rice (jasmine rice), which needs about 1cup water to 1 cup rice. Basmati needs 2 cups of water per cup rice. Brown rice needs about 2 1/4 cups water per cup rice. It's ok to be under, you can always add more water if needed, but you cannot remove (boil off water) if you use too much.

I basically follow @QueenSashy's method of cooking rice on the stovetop. Rinsing off the starch is good practice, since the starch can burn at the bottom of the pot and can make the rice more sticky. While it cooks, don't be tempted to stir the pot. Put the rice and water in the pot, turn on the heat, and leave it alone. Cooking rice is truly a hands-off technique.

Now, most rice tend to be sticky to a certain extent, except basmati rice (I believe it's because it has less starch than other rice varieties). Stickiness is a cultural preference. Any country that eats with chopsticks will almost always prefer a bit of stickiness in their rice. You gotta be able to pick a fair mount of rice with chopsticks, right? So if you want grain separation, stick with basmati rice and cook it properly.

You don't need a rice cooker. It's convenient especially if you eat rice often and it's not all that expensive (I had a 7 cup cooker that cost $30 and lasted me almost 10 years), but it is not necessary for making perfect rice. You can achieve it on the stovetop with a pot and lid.
Herlinda July 11, 2014
I adore my rice cooker. No more scorched bottom rice.
Brady K. July 10, 2014
The speed at which you cook it can have a strong influence on the consistency. As others have said, you want to cook it low and slow . . . if you try to do it too fast, it can clump or get sticky.
Regine July 10, 2014
Let me specify that i cook it on very low for 20 minutes. Then i remove pot and place somewhere else on stove that was not on and let it sit fo 20 more minutes.
Regine July 10, 2014
Ok, I am a big time rice maker, well cooked yet very fluffy, and EATER as the Haitian American that i am. Rice for me is a must. This is how i cook it. If it is white rice (my favorite is long grain Jasmine rice), i rinse it several times. For every cup of rice, i only use one (yes one) cup of water, and 1 tbsp evoo or vegetable oil, plus salt and garlic (fresh or powder). If it is parboiled, it is 1 1/2 cup water. I boil the water with the oil and seasonings, with pot covered. Then i put the rice and i stir. Now this is the part that many of my fellow Haitian cooks do. I first lower the stove to very low (i used 2 out of 8 on my gas oven) and put a clean white towel on top, place cover again, and wrap ends of towel or fold over the cover. You dont want to cause a fire. I like to use a non stick pot. I then let it cook for 20 minutes, place pot in another section of stove that is not warm, and let it sit there still covered for 20 minutes. My rices are always perfect. But i must say that good quality long grain rice is a must
Stephanie July 10, 2014
Check out this awesome roundup of tips! http://food52.com/blog/9937-how-to-make-great-fluffy-stress-free-rice
Susan W. July 10, 2014
For white rice, I rinse and drain it well. Then I toast it in a pan until it almost turns a little brown. For one cup rice, I add 1.5 cups water and let it bubble away until there are the beginnings of holes and gets a glossy layer on top. That usually takes 7 minutes or so. Then I cover the pan, lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit ten minutes. Fluff with a fork and let it sit, covered for ten more minutes. Fluff once more and gobble it. This method is from this site and is magical.

With brown rice, you rinse it well and cook at a brisk simmer for 30 minutes in 12 cups of water with 2 tsp of salt added. Think pasta. Then drain, but don't get rid of all the water. Dump it back in the pot, cover and let it sit ten minutes before fluffing and devouring. This is also from this site. I will never cook rice any other way.
QueenSashy July 10, 2014
Go for it and let me know if it worked. Cheers :)

Voted the Best Reply!

QueenSashy July 10, 2014
This is more or less standard procedure for basmati: make sure you rinse the rice thoroughly, until water runs clear. (Could it be the rinsing part?) For each cup of rice use two cups of water. Bring the rice and water to a boil, and as soon as it starts to boil decrease the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or so. Remove the rice and leave covered for another five minutes. Then uncover and fluff with a fork. It should be really nice and fluffy.
RespectThePastry July 10, 2014
Must be the rinsing part! I will have to test that out. :D
QueenSashy July 10, 2014
What type of rice are you using?
RespectThePastry July 10, 2014
I've used brown rice, white rice, basmati rice...not the quick cooking kind or anything like that.
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