cooking rice

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by dougl, May 9, 2017.

  1. dougl

    dougl

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    I'm a bit confused about rice. Regular white long grained rice comes with instructions to boil with a water/rice ratio of 2/1. That's what I do, and it comes out great. But I see that rice cookers use 1.2/1 or even 1/1. Why the difference? In both cases, it's just rice getting heated with water. If I used 1/1 when cooking stovetop rice, I think I'd end up with crunchy rice.

    I'll ask a related question. I've just started trying to cook rice in a slow cooker. EVERYONE says to use 2/1 for a slow cooker. But when I do it that way, my rice comes out clumpy, sticky, and very much not fluffy. Any suggestions about how to make good rice in a slow cooker that actually work well?

    Cooking rice used to be as easy as falling off a log. It has become somewhat mysterious to me.
     
  2. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    2:1 ratio is too much water. I know all the bags say to use this ratio, the rice is too wet and does not fluff.
    A ratio of 11/2:1 makes for perfect rice on the stovetop. Add rice and water to the pot, bring to a boil, turn down to a low setting and cover. Don't look for 20 minutes, fluff with a fork and eat.
     
  3. french fries

    french fries

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    There are so many variables at play, it's hard to make a rule for all scenarios.

    Bomba rice for paella, which will cook uncover? Use a ratio 3:1 water to rice, maybe more!

    Jasmine rice, which will be served with a soupy curry? A ratio of 1:1 may be all you need.

    The quantity of rice you cook also affects the ratio to an extent. I may use a ratio of 1.5:1 for a certain type of rice when I cook 1 cup, but a ratio of 1.2:1 for that same rice when I cook two cups. Seems with less water evaporation happens faster or something. In any case that seems to work for me as I often need to cook small amounts of rice.
     
  4. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I agree too many variables to use a rice:water ratio.

    If I'm cooking rice with the intention of making fried rice, I use less water.

    More importantly I use a rice cooker or a pot with a lid, which means that the rice steams. But since it's cooked by steaming and not just boiling, you need less water as you scale up. The ratios don't work. I judge by water level above the rice.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  5. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I have a ricer steamer that nearly 100% of the time is perfect with a 1 to 1 ratio of rice / water. However, if I didn't have the rice steamer I think I would cook rice exclusively using the pasta method.. which is basically to cook it in a large quantity of water, testing for doneness along the way and then draining. I've tried that method and it works very well without having any ratios to consider.
     
  6. dougl

    dougl

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    I'll have to try 1.5/1 on the stovetop, but 2/1 on the stovetop has always worked fine for me. No way would 1/1 work on the stovetop.

    I think that may be correct that water evaporation has something to do with it. Allegedly in a rice cooker there is less evaporation so you don't need as much water. But evaporation is not going to scale with the amount of rice being cooked, so a simple water/rice ratio won't work. I think (but I'm not sure) that rice cookers keep the water temperature at a slightly lower temperature than boiling, such that there isn't as much evaporation. True?

    I will try 1.5/1 with the slow cooker. To the extent that my 2/1 rice in the slow cooker came out sticky and clumpy, that would suggest that there was too much water. It is just incredible that many many people online say that 2/1 in the slow cooker, just like the instructions say to use on the stovetop, is what works. I think this is probably another internet echo, where loads of people give one recipe, just because they once saw it in another recipe, and not because they actually tried it.

    You would think there would be a reputable and smart set of instructions for cooking rice somewhere. Granted, it must also depend on the kind of rice, but I'm just talking plain-jane white long-grain.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  7. eastshores

    eastshores

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    1 to 1 works with my rice cooker because it's not really 1 to 1.. I use a sort of double boiler.. so the bottom pot has any amount of water you want to add.. just needs to have enough to not run out. The top part is 1 to 1.. and it has vents that allow the steam from the bottom to come into the top. This way the rice can absorb more moisture if needed through the steam, but if it has basically absorbed the right amount it won't continue to soak up water like it would if if was sitting in water.
     
  8. dougl

    dougl

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    Thanks, but .... this isn't about rice cookers. I don't have a rice cooker, and I don't need one. The question is for stovetop or slow cooker. I accept that the ratio might be very different for a rice cooker, and it might be interesting to understand why, but that wasn't the question. I guess I just have to do some experimentation. Sounds like the 1.5/1 ratio is where to start.
     
  9. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    What more do you need to know? Why the interest in using a slow cooker?
     
  10. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    I read this early morning as pressure cooker.

    Don't cook rice in a slow cooker.
     
    bloodymary likes this.
  11. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Unless you're making congee (I hate autocorrect). That's my favorite way to make it overnight.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  12. dougl

    dougl

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    Very simply, a slow cooker offer me some advantages. I don't have to take up stove space while the meal is being prepared and, in my climate, which gets pretty hot, it's a pleasure to be able to cook rice outside on the patio. I really don't have room for a rice steamer, and I've never seen much value in a pressure cooker for what I cook. If you Google "rice" and "slow cooker" you will see umpteen rave reviews of cooking rice in a slow cooker. I guess I wanted to believe them. I had a question I wanted to answer, from folks who would probably be smarter than myself.  Well, I tried.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  13. eastshores

    eastshores

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    You asked why rice cookers use a 1/1 ratio and brought up the slow cooker as opposed to stove top - so I figured maybe you were looking at various ways to cook (the pasta method is still stove top). Good luck figuring out how to cook rice.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  14. french fries

    french fries

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    Could have fooled me. 
     
  15. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Get a rice cooker and use it on the patio. :~)
     
  16. bloodymary

    bloodymary

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    Personally, I loathe slow cookers. It only takes less than 20 minutes to make rice on the stovetop.

    I don't understand the physics behind water/steam ratio. I've never really thought about it. It seems like an odd question.

    For rice, I use the knuckle method.  It is perfect every time. You never need any measuring cups, or fancy cooking equipment.

    Pour the rice  into the saucepan. Level it out and place your right index finger in the rice so that your first knuckle is level with the top surface of the rice. Add enough water until it reaches your second knuckle. Cover and bring the water to a boil, then simmer on low heat until the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

    The trick is never open the lid to peek, and never stir the rice while cooking. Use a clear lid if you must.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  17. ilikered

    ilikered

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    to yield fluffier rice i'd wash the rice the previous day in a straining/perforated bowl , place it in the fridge overnight , cover in film , and let the water slowly drip off . put another bowl below it to let it collect the excess water . 

    the grain would tend to stretch longer by this method .  i haven't used a slow cooker before but for stovetop , i used to go by the finger method for white rice and it works.
     
  18. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    I change the ratio depending on what kind of rice I want.  For 'sticky' rice, maybe 1/2, for fluffy 1/1.75.  so many variables though, brand name, did you wash?, anything in the water besides salt?
     
  19. oldarpanet

    oldarpanet

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    Sure!  Sometimes the water is chicken stock, sometimes I add a chopped onion, sometimes a tablespoon or 2 of butter, sometimes a couple cardamom pods, cinimon and cloves...so variable!
     
  20. summer57

    summer57

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    What I do is soak long grain (basmati) rice in salted water for about 20 minutes. Pour off the water, add scant 1.5 cups water for every cup of rice. Cover, bring to the boil, turn the heat off and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  Don't uncover until the time is up.

    In my experience, different varieties and ages of rice need a bit more or less water/soaking/cooking time.

    To add flavour, I use a bit of sauteed Panch Phoran, a bengali mix which is really nice.