How To Keep Rice From Boiling Over

Cooking rice is very easy and simple, however there are times when during the cooking process it boils over the pot. It can be a frustrating experience because aside from it’ll make the pot messy due to the spills but can also be hard to clean up. In today’s post, we will teach you different ways on how to keep rice from boiling over and what causes it to boil over.

There are different varieties of rice, and each variety has its own sensitivity to heat, that is when the starch from the rice is released that can cause foaming. As a result of the increased in volume caused by it, thus boiling over occurs.

Basically, when rice is boiled it releases starch. The starch content is then changed into water molecules and it goes back to the rice grains, as a result rice grains to expand, replacing the water. By this time, there is now an increased volume of rice. Also, while cooking the starch will start to foam when it boils. The foam will then accumulate more volume causing the boiling rice to boil over from the pot. And since the foam is what’s causing the rice to boil over, basically it is actually the foam that spills out.

Causes of rice boiling over:

Listed below are the causes why boiling over still occurs even when rice cooker is used.


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  1. Too much starch: the main reason why boiling over occurs. If there’s too much starch content on your rice, combined with water will create foam bubbles causing the rice to boil over.
  2. Excess water: if more than enough water is added to the rice it can also cause the rice to boil over the pot. Make sure to use the correct water to rice ration to avoid rice to boil over.

Different kinds of Rice

Since the starch causes the boiling over when cooking rice, it is recommended to use rice that has less starch such as Long Grain white rice (Carolina, Basmati, and Jasmine), Medium Grain rice (Black, Arborio and Japonica), Short Grain Rice (Spanish, Pear and Sushi rice). While Long grain rice are less likely to boil over as compared to Short grain rice that boils over easily. On the other hand, Medium grain rice boils over more easily compared to long grain rice.

Water to Rice Ratio

It is important to know the correct ratio of water to rice as it can help prevent and avoid boiling over during the cooking process of the rice. The correct ratio for water to rice should be two parts water to 1 part rice. So for example, if the recommended cup of rice for 3-4 persons is one cup, therefore cook the rice in two cups of water. Too much water can cause your rice to become soggy and mushy.

How to cook rice (prevent it from boiling over)

In a large pot, mix one cup of rice and two cups of water (1:2 ratio). Bring to oil and separate the grains once boiled. Allow to pot with rice to simmer.

Once rice starts to simmer, stir it once in awhile. Stirring prevents the clumps though not too much stirring as it can use the rice to become mushy.

Usually, the total cooking process for white rice is 20 minutes for it to be properly cooked, while with brown rice on the other hand it would normally take 30 minutes.

How To Keep Rice From Boiling Over

Now that we already have an idea on why rice boil over, let us now go through the different methods on how to prevent it.

Place a Bamboo spoon on the pot with boiling water

Bamboo spoons are used to prevent boiling over of the rice since these type of spoons absorbs heat. Although this method will work, it will not work every time because of a factor such being attentive all the time with no distractions since you must be there as soon as it boils.

Make sure to use wood because plastic melts and metal can get hot when placed in boiling water.

Put a wooden spoon across the pot

Another method to prevent boiling over while cooking rice is to place a wooden spoon across the pot. Make sure the pot is large enough or the wooden spoon is long enough for it to lay on. There have been reviews that this method actually works, but at some point if the rice that you are cooking has too much starch in it, it will still boil over.

Use a rice cooker

Nowadays, people are using rice cookers or Instapot for cooking rice. Rice cookers are kitchen appliance that is used to boil, steam and cook rice. Aside from rice cookers are convenient to use, it is specifically designed to not boil over during the cooking process of your rice. Most rice cookers have features that prevent boiling over.

Soak Rice before cooking

Since it was mentioned that starch becoming a foam is what’s causing the boiling over problem, then it is best to remove excess starch as possible on your rice. There is no other way to do this but to soak. washing rice first before you boil it.

Place rice in a bowl and add water. Stir the rice and then strain. Repeat this until the water runs clear. So, if starch is removed there will be no foaming. When there is no foaming, there will be no boiling over.

Simmer the rice gently

Gently simmering the rice means lowering the temperature of the heat. It helps in reducing or stop boiling over.

Use a Larger pot

This applies to all variety of rice simply because when using a bigger pot the chances of spillage caused by boiling over will not only be reduced but is prevented. The foam cannot escape and spill out from the pot.

Add oil or Butter

If you want to keep rice from boiling over, adding oil or butter while the rice is boiling can help since the rice will not stick to the pot used for cooking. Aside from not sticking to the pot, rice will not also stick together. The oil or the butter will act as a barrier therefore foam will not formed then there will be no boiling over.

The recommended oil to use is the coconut oil because it will add flavor to the rice that is good when paired with Asian inspired dishes. Olive oil is another option to use too.

Although you can also use Butter, but for some people allergies with dairy products it is not the right choice.

This method is not advisable for health conscious individuals since oil and butter contains fats and calories not suitable for those who are on a special diet.

Use a different rice variety

As previously mentioned above, rice has different variety and each variety has different starch content. If you are experiencing boiling over, try to cook a different rice to check if there’s a difference with the boiling over problem. Long grain rice are less likely to boil over.


How to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot

To keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the bot, it is best if you allow the rice to rest and sit. Here are the steps to do it:

  1. When rice is already cooked, carefully remove the pot away from the flame and place on a surface. Let the pot sit (with lid on) for 10 minutes. Keeping the lid on helps the rice absorb the steam resulting to a more fluffier cooked rice.
  2. Fluff the rice grains using a fork to evenly distribute the rice.
  3. Scoop the rice out using a slotted spoon that can either be plastic or wooden.
  4. Serve the rice and enjoy your meal.

Conclusion

Boiling over usually happens during the cooking process of rice. The methods mentioned about can help this problem from happening such as rinsing the rice several times until water runs clear, using a large pot, allowing rice to simmer by lowering the heat temperature.

Now that you know how to stop boiling over while cooking rice, try the methods above and let us know what works for you.