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New saucepans = inability to cook rice...what am I doing wrong please?!

(51 Posts)
SlinkyB Mon 08-Feb-16 13:30:21

I used to have Tefal non-stick pans. They were cheap from Argos about 7yrs ago, and the non-stick had been scratched and they were looking old and sad, so I splashed out on some stainless steel ProCook ones recently (£90 for four).

Since then, every time I try to cook rice, either long-grain or basmati, it just sticks to the bottom and ends up like rice pudding sad I never used to have this problem! I always rinse rice, add to gently boiling water and stir frequently. Cook for time stated on packet. Pop in sieve and run boiling water from kettle over to get rid of any remaining starch. Fluff with fork.

Anyone got any cures please?

Seeyounearertime Mon 08-Feb-16 13:34:39

Hmm? i'm not sure.

I make rice slightly different.

Saucepan, 1/2 teaspoon salt
55g or rice per person added to pan
boil full kettle
pour water into pan and turn heat on
slowly stir for a minute
leave to reach boil
turn down to simmer.
stir occasionally.

perfect every time and that's in a saucepan older than Gods. smile

DeathMetalMum Mon 08-Feb-16 13:40:45

Google the absorption method. I take the rice off the heat completely half way through cooking plonk the lid on until all the water is absorbed. If I don't I get rice pudding and half the rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. We have stainless steel pans.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 08-Feb-16 13:41:38

It might be worth "seasoning" your new stainless steel saucepans. Put a cm of cooking oil into each (only for this job, throw away after) and slowly raise the heat from lowest to highest over 15 minutes. Then empty and wipe (not wash) and leave to cool. Wash by hand for the first couple of weeks.

It's a traditional old-wives hack, but it's one way of giving them a patina of use.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 08-Feb-16 13:41:49

Never stir rice shock (unless you want rice pudding)

One part (unrinsed) rice to two parts COLD water (by volume) and salt to taste.


Put on highest heat until boiling, then turn to lowest heat. Check occasionally, when most if the water has gone (poke a hole if you are not sure) turn off and heat and leave to sit with lid on for 5-10 mins.


BertieBotts Mon 08-Feb-16 13:44:41

Your new saucepans - are they thicker bottomed than the old ones?

FlatOnTheHill Mon 08-Feb-16 13:46:44

I have had the same problem with stainless steel. I cant get i
On with them. Non stick deffo better.

MrsJayy Mon 08-Feb-16 13:49:02

If the pots have a rounder bottom water gets under and it keeps cooking so goes stodgy I do the absorption method perfect rice every time and I use value rice

SlinkyB Mon 08-Feb-16 13:51:03

Yes my new pans have much thicker bottoms than the old ones; does that mean they get hotter quicker/retain more heat or something?

Why should I not stir rice? confused I've always given it the odd stir and it's been fine!

I've never done absorption method; always worried I'll use too much water and it won't work (and that it will all stick to bottom)..

I avoid salt as have a 2yo and 5yo.

Sgt I will try that - thanks. Tbh I think I ruined the biggest pan straightaway by reheating mash potato too long and it all stuck to the bottom?! And have been putting them on the bottom of the dishwasher since new (had them a few weeks now). Do you think it's too late for the oil trick on that pan? Worth a shot though I suppose.

ouryve Mon 08-Feb-16 13:53:10

What sort of hob do you have? I used to cook rice in thin bottomed pans and it was so much easier. I now have an all induction hob. I add more water than the rice needs (after giving the rice a wash), no salt at this point, bring to the boil as quickly as possible, stirring, then turn the heat right down to the gentlest simmer, with the lid on (takes a little trial and error) and set the timer for a little less than the time on the packet.

After that time is up, I gently stir in a little salt (don't want to break the grains), assess how far off cooked it is, and leave it until it's just at the point of being cooked. I then strain, using the lid (I'd use a colander if I was making a large quantity) and leave in the pan with the lid on for about 5 minutes to rest and finish.

MrsJayy Mon 08-Feb-16 13:54:39

Yeah they retain heat I think so keeps cooking take it off theheat 5 minutes before you think it's ready leave the lid on when you see little pits on top its ready

ouryve Mon 08-Feb-16 13:54:58

And I've never managed to "season" a pan with oil. It just leaves them sticky.

Sgtmajormummy Mon 08-Feb-16 14:00:44

I'd give it a go, especially if you've been using metal scouring pads to clean the pans- any tiny scratches need "polishing over" and then the food won't stick.

SlinkyB Mon 08-Feb-16 14:03:52

I might just use my manky old thin-bottomed pan to do rice then!

Will try your way too ouryve; thanks. Def need to reduce cooking time/leave off hob with lid on.

Oh, it's a gas hob and fairly new too. It has one tiny useless ring and one mahoosive ring, neither of which are used really. My sister has induction and it took her months to get used to how quickly it heats up!

MrsJayy Mon 08-Feb-16 14:26:05

Oh I hated my induction hob I burnt everything for weeks I'm used to it now

ouryve Mon 08-Feb-16 14:38:35

I couldn't use anything else, now I'm used to mine.

Bin85 Mon 08-Feb-16 15:33:22

Or use a rice cooker in microwave
Works for long grain and basmati.
Boil water in kettle 1st
10 minutes on high in microwave
Much less messy

CremeBrulee Mon 08-Feb-16 19:02:30

Definitely get a microwave rice steamer - £6 for a Sistema one on Amazon. Dead simple, quick and perfect fluffy rice every time.

Oh and don't try and season your pans, stainless pans aren't meant to be seasoned you, it will wreck them!

Sgtmajormummy Mon 08-Feb-16 19:17:59

I beg to differ, CremeBrulee

Normandy144 Mon 08-Feb-16 19:29:49

It'sallgoingtobefine has the method spot on. I use it to cook basmati. Never stir! The only thing I do differently is soak the rice in water for about 15 mins prior to cooking, and then rinse. If I don't have time to soak then I'll give it a thorough rinse before adding to the pan.

averylongtimeago Mon 08-Feb-16 19:36:28

Use the absorption method as above - rinse rice well, drain, add cold water and bring to the boil. Then put the lid on and turn the heat off. I cover the lid with a folded t towel then leave it for about 5-10 mins. Fluff with a fork and serve. After a couple of times you will be able to judge the amount of water and standing time.
Never stir rice btw, the stirring action releases the starch from the grains which is what makes it like rice pudding.

zzzzz Mon 08-Feb-16 19:40:37

Never stir rice it makes it stodgy.

Put full kettle on
Scoop rice into pan (I use a 1/2 teacup per person)
Add a couple of cardamom pods if you like the smell (or your rice is old)
Pour DOUBLE the volume of boiling water into pan and stick the lid on
Boil till water is gone (12 mins wink )

(Nb Tilda IS nicer than the others at the moment)

ZiggyFartFace Mon 08-Feb-16 19:45:14

I always used to use the absorption method but now I have a sistema microwave rice cooker. £8.

CremeBrulee Mon 08-Feb-16 19:46:03

I use Stellar Professional stainless steel cookware and their advice is than you only season pans used for searing or frying. Certainly wouldn't want to use a seasoned pan for boiling rice!

Palomb Mon 08-Feb-16 19:54:34

It's amazing how many different methods of cooking rice there are.

I just put the rice in a saucepan and pads cold water with a cm or so clear then bring to the boil and turn down to simmer. Then when the water has disappeared turn the pan off and leave for ten minutes without touching. Perfect rice every time smile

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