How to get Spanish rice to stop burning?

So I make this Spanish rice that includes 2 cups, a can of cubed tomatoes, peppers, onions, black beans, and basmati rice. We use a medium sized metal pot to cook it in and actually use a little more than 1 cup of rice because we like the rice to be more dry. The thing is, the instructions tell me to bring it to a boil. I'm not sure what setting I'm suppose to put it on (we turn it up to the highest flame). I also don't know how long I'm supposed to boil it and it always starts to smoke and burn shortly after we turn the heat on high. The rice is fine when we bring it down to low and cover it to continue cooking but it leaves a thick burn crust at the bottom that is super hard to scrape off. Am I adding too much rice or turning the heat up too high? How do I keep the rice from burning?

  • Posted by: CeliaCmp
  • November 14, 2019


boulangere November 15, 2019
I just had a thought, celiacmp. If you don't have a heavy-bottomed pan, you don't necessarily need to rush out and buy one. I'm devoted to the idea of using what you have and making it work. Instead of cooking your rice on the stovetop for its entire time, while you are prepping your ingredients, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the rice has come to a boil, remove it from the heat and transfer the covered pot to the oven. Baking large quantities of rice in the oven or a commercial steamer is a common restaurant and caterer's practice. By placing your rice in the oven, the entire pot is heated, not just the bottom, so the likelihood of scorching is greatly reduced. Set a timer for 30 minutes and check for doneness. Add time in 5-minute increments until it is done.
Kristen W. November 17, 2019
Excellent point - hadn’t thought of that!
Kristen W. November 15, 2019
One other thing: your rice will be less likely to burn if you cook it in a decent quality, heavy-bottomed pot, which will regulate the distribution of heat better and will be less likely to produce a burnt crust. I don’t know what you are cooking your rice in but it’s harder to make good rice if the bottom of the pot is thin.
boulangere November 14, 2019
Here is the sequence of events that should help you get better results.
1. Sauté the onions and peppers in some oil over medium heat. When the onions are translucent and the peppers fragrant, add the rice. Stir to make sure all the grains of rice are coated with oil.

2. Add the water (I'm guessing that's the 2 cups you mention), tomatoes, black beans (drained and rinsed, Cover the pot and bring it to a slow boil.

3. Your recipe neglects to tell you to reduce the heat once the mixture boils. Once it does, immediately reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook, covered, until done, about 30 minutes.

No one needs to eat burned food.

boulangere November 14, 2019
P.S. Speaking of neglected information: season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
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