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Rice is a foundational food around the globe and is one of the most ancient culinary delights cultivated by human beings. With so many different types of rice found and grown everywhere, it might seem strange that there isn’t one tried and true method to get the perfect batch of rice. If anything, there are several, but fret not: Here are some secrets to making rice without a traditional rice cooker.
1. Wash your rice
First things first, wash your rice. Do so until the water you pour back out from the pot you’re washing it in is barely foggy, with loose starch. Getting there may take a few rinses, but doing so will give you a more restaurant-style pot of rice. Be sure to carefully hold the lid tightly to the rice pot when draining your rice into the sink.
Rice cooked in more starch will be stickier than thoroughly washed-out rice. In the end, it’s more about style and preference, but you should wash your rice at least once for cleanliness’ sake.
2. Shake the pot and add rice
Shake the pot until the grains evenly distribute across the bottom of your rice pot. Take a look at your wet, drained rice. Use your index finger and look at the first line from your fingertip. This line on your finger should be your stopping point when you add water. Just barely touch the very top of the rice puddle in your pot, then add water.
3. Add just the right amount of water
Too little will make your rice undercooked or even uncooked. It can also make your rice dry, hard, crunchy, or burnt. However, too much water will give you a soggy mush of rice porridge. However, these rules reflect preferences, not hard rules. Remember how you like your rice and learn what makes you happiest by trial and error. A ratio of one cup of rice to between one and a half to two cups of water is ideal if you prefer to measure when you cook.
4. Cook your rice
When making rice, you should use the largest burner on your stove at medium heat to get your pot boiling. The larger radius of this burner will more evenly distribute heat across the bottom of the pan, which will give you a more texturally consistent pot of rice. With this amount of heat, you should be actively watching your rice. Try not to let your rice reach a rolling boil – a steady simmer is better.
5. Count down for two minutes
Once you see bubbles begin to rise to the top, start a countdown for two minutes. Make sure your lid is on the pot, just enough to cover the rice while allowing water to evaporate out.
At the end of these two minutes, turn the heat all the way down, but not off. Let your rice cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Grab a spoon and have at a few grains to make sure it’s to your liking. Save any rice you don’t eat as leftovers – rice lasts quite a while when stored in the fridge in an airtight container.
Have you followed any of these tips to cook fluffy rice without a rice cooker? Share your thoughts in the comments!