Every time I make rice it comes out sticky. Forget making rice pilaf. Could it be that I am cooking on an electric cooktop?
I'm sure that the electric cooktop is not the problem. Rinsing your rice may help. Also, in my rice cooker, for all except Japanese rice, I find that adding a little bit of oil keeps the grains separate. I want the Japanese rice to clump together a bit, so adding oil isn't an advantage.
The type of rice makes a huge difference to how the rice will turn out. Japanese short grain rice is starchier than jasmine or basmati. Rinsing the rice before cooking will help reduce goopiness because you're washing out the extra starch. Start with a ratio of 1 cup rinsed rice to 1 1/2 to 2 cup water (less water for basmati or jasmine, more for short grain) in a heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, give it a quick stir, cover and simmer for 20-30 min. Remove from heat (don't leave on your electric heated element) and let stand, still covered, for an additional 15 min or until ready to serve. (A heavy bottomed pot will distribute heat more evenly and also prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.)If all else fails, rice cookers are beautiful things! I have made hundreds of pounds of rice over the years and I tell ya, a rice cooker with a timer is the best thing since sliced bread :)
Here is an awesome article that was on this site a while back. I now make fluffy rice with none of that mushy texture. I follow the rinse, toast in oil and the steam, let sit, fluff and let sit again method that is described.
I also just discovered cooking rice in my slow cooker. It turned out beautifully. It took 2.25 hours on high. The method was unfussy and the rice turned out perfectly.
I forgot to add the link to the article about rice. Here you go.
I'm with you....I can make a multi-tiered wedding cake...but I can't make a pot of rice to save my life.