orzo sticking to pan

Joined Feb 13, 2008

What do you say, that before getting serious, we start with your description of how you're cooking the orzo? Along with some information recounting how much sticks and when you notice it?

As a threshold FYI, like most pastas orzo is usually cooked in plenty of liquid (water, court boullion, stock, etc.), so much so that the orzo is drained when finished. As a rule, it is not cooked like rice -- i.e., with the exact amount of liquid necessary to hydrate.

Let us know,
Joined Oct 8, 2009
I put 2 cups of orzo with about 8 cups water and plenty of salt. I cook it for about 8 minutes. When I drain it out there is always a bit of orzo sticking to the bottom of the pan. I than rinse it off with cold water to stop the cooking process.

What am I doing wrong?

Joined May 26, 2001
Like any other pasta, it needs to be stirred from time to time during the cooking. The key to boiling any pasta is to use lots of water and to make sure that the pasta keeps moving around in the water.

That said, you may be doing it right. But when you pour it out of the pot into a colander to drain, very often a few pieces will stick to the pot. Nothing you can do about that, just pluck them off or rinse them off with cold water, esp. if you are going to rinse the whole mess of pasta anyway. Although I am not a fan of rinsing pasta if I am then going to sauce it and serve it hot right away. Just drain, add to the sauce, toss, and serve.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Nothing. You're not doing anything wrong. You've just run into a "that's the way it is" situation.

You can try adding a little oil to the cooking liquid, about 2 tbs to your 1 gallon. Italian nanas swear by it, while on the other hand it's an article of faith among professional cooks that it does nothing. Try it, what can it hurt?


Stir the orzo a few times during the cooking process, to make sure everything shifts and nothing cooks on to the bottom of the pan.

Drain the orzo into a colander or other drainer, then use a metal spoon to get what's left and willing to come out easily. If there are still some unpersuadable orzo grains, put some liquid in the bottom of the pan to soak whatever's left off and make it easier to clean after dinner.

Enjoy and be merry,
Joined Feb 1, 2007
Is the water at a full boil when you add the orzo?

If not, sometimes what happens is grains fall to the bottom with just enough activated surface starch so they stick.
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Just as an aside, does orzo = rissoni?

But I agree, lots of rapidly boiling water, get it back to boiling whilst stirring, keep it boiling, lid off, stirring it to keep it not sticking.

If you are going to rinse it in cold water for later, it can help to toss a little oil thru it so it doesn't form a lump :)
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Yeah, we always are told that it does nothing. I can't really say I'm sure- I've added oil and not added oil.

Best advice I have is also to make your to stir it occasionally, especially in the first few minutes. Use a silicon spat and be sure you're hitting the bottom.
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