How To Stop Rice From Boiling Over In a Rice Cooker?

How To Stop Rice From Boiling Over In a Rice Cooker?

The first time I used a rice cooker, I had to clean a starchy mess from the cooker and the countertop afterward – argh, there was starch water all over. But since I was new to using a rice cooker, I made a margin of error and kept trying until I learned to control this problem.

Here’s how you can also stop the rice from boiling over in a rice cooker:

Rice boils over in a rice cooker when its starch mixes with hot water, and the two form a soapy layer on top. Since this foam is lightweight, it boils over from under the lid or from a rice cooker’s vent holes – either way, it creates a mess. But when you use the correct water-rice ratio and pre-rinse rise grains to remove the excess starch, you can stop the rice from boiling over and getting soggy.

But if you’re trying to be a pro at cooking rice, you need to know a lot more than this. So, let’s dive deeper and get rid of this rice boiling over problem once and for all!

Why Does Rice Boil Over In Rice Cooker?

Uncooked rice contains 50-60% starch depending upon the grain type you use. These starch contents are lightweight and supposed to bubble when boiled. When the water inside the rice cooker reaches its boiling temperature and the rice grains absorb it, it inflates the starch and forms a layer of bubbles. Using too much water and not removing extra starch from the rice before putting it in the cooker are two primary reasons it boils over.

Starch content significantly reduces in cooked rice, which is why they are less sticky and soggy than the grains in the middle of a boilover.

When you overfill the rice cooker’s basic with water, it forms excessive steam that usually evaporates from the vent holes. But when there are rice grains besides the boiling water, their starch components form a layer over the cooker’s vent holes.

Now, if water boils inside a cooker whose vent holes are partially or fully sealed, the rice is supposed to boil over.

Besides these rice cookers, rice can also boil over when you cook it in regular pots. High temperature and excess water further aggravate this problem and leave a mess for you to clean.

Therefore, home cooks should avoid using too much water and keeping the cooker’s lid slightly lifted once the rice starts boiling.

If you’re cooking one scoop of rice, add two scoops of water to it, and it will come out just fine. Filling the rice cooker with extra water will make the grains mushy, and skimping with water will harden these grains.

How To Stop Rice From Boiling Over In Rice Cooker?

If you’ve had countless encounters with the rice boiling over and creating a mess in your kitchen, you’d be happy to know that fixing this problem isn’t that difficult.

our rice cooker is probably not faulty, and the rice you’re using is also just fine; you might only need some extra care to get rid of this problem.

Pre-Rinse the Rice

If you run your hands through dry rice grains, you’ll find a powdery substance on your skin – that powder is the extra starch that gets cooked along with rice grains.

Washing away this starch reduces the chances of the rice boiling over and keeps the grains from getting sticky. No, you won’t be losing any nutritional benefits by draining this starch out, so don’t worry.

Follow these steps to wash the rice before putting it in the cooker:

  • Measure the required amount of rice with a cup or the scoop you got with the rice cooker and add it to a large bowl.
  • Pour cold or room temperature water over the dry rice – there should be some extra water in the bowl above the rice.
  • Run your hand across the soaked rice, stir the grains around, and drain water into your kitchen sink.
  • You’ll notice that this water is either muddy or cloudy depending upon the variety you’re using.
  • Add some water to the bowl again, stir the rice, and drain the water out.
  • Repeat this step 3-4 times to ensure all excess starch is drained and the rice grains are thoroughly washed.

Following these steps will remove a considerable amount of starch from the rice and clean the grains before cooking.

Follow the Measurement Instructions

Rice cookers come with small measuring scoops that let you maintain an accurate percentage of rice and water. Usually, this percentage is two parts water to one 1 part rice; when you don’t follow this formula, chances of rice boilovers increase.

Adding extra water to the rice cooker will result in a boilover and a soggy rice porridge that you might not like.

Contrarily, adding less than required water can cause the rice grains to stick and burn inside the cooker – maintaining the balance is important.

What to Do if Rinsing Doesn’t Fix the Problem?

Many home cooks complain of the rice boiling over despite them washing it. If you’re facing the same problem, here are some quick fixes you can try to get over it:

Carefully Measure the Rice-Water Ratio

Assuming that the average cup in your kitchen equates with the rice cooker’s scoop is a mistake. These scoops are generally smaller than similar-looking cups.

If you’re using the scoop, maintain a ratio of 2 parts water to 1 part rice to prevent the rice from boiling over or sticking.

But if you’re using a regular cup, don’t exceed the marked line in your rice cooker that indicates a practical ratio of both ingredients.

Clean the Rice Cooker’s Vent Holes

Another reason the rice might be boiling over from your rice cooker is starch accumulation in the cooker’s vent holes.

Most rice cookers have pressure-release and vent holes in their lids that directly contact the rising foam and water vapors.

If you regularly use a rice cooker, closely observe its lids to know if there is any dried starch build-up. If you see white particulate in these holes, soak it in warm water and clean it with a brush.

Do this routine once a week to keep your rice cooker functional and clean!

Use Oil to Break the Foam Apart

This is a tried and tested trick to stop the rice from boiling over and keep the grains from getting soggy. When you notice a large amount of foam accumulating over the boiling rice, drizzle some olive oil on it.

The oil will quickly break the foam apart and cause it to settle back, so there’s no boilover; apart from preventing rice boilovers, olive oil is also helpful for keeping rice grains intact.

Try this tip and see the difference if you’re a fan of long, aromatic rice grains.

Use Less-Starchy Rice

Sure, searching for the right kind of rice is a hassle; it will save you a lot of cleaning effort and time.

Brown rice has a higher starch percentage than white (also called washed) rice grains, resulting in lower boilover accidents when you use the latter.

If you have tried the above-listed measures and you’re still facing rice and water boilovers from the rice cooker, finding less-starchy rice can help.

Cover the Cooker’s Vent Hole with Paper Towel

If you’re facing small spillovers and occasional boilovers with the rice cooker, something as simple as covering its vent hole can be of great help. Spread a damp paper towel about the lid’s vent holes to absorb the extra moisture and stop foam build-up in the cooker.

But be mindful that doing so can make the rice grains soggy – do this trick for a limited time while boiling rice and remove the towel as soon as the foam subsides.

If nothing of the above-listed methods stops the rice from boiling over, the rice cooker will likely be the culprit. You should contact the rice cooker manufacturer and explain the situation or thoroughly study its user manual to understand what you’re doing wrong.

And lastly, if you cannot do much to get rid of this problem, cover the rice cooker’s surroundings with disposable sheets of paper towels to limit the mess.

Final Thoughts

Having a functional rice cooker will make your cooking time easier and faster. Once you get the hang of this handy appliance, you won’t return to boiling rice on the stovetop for sure.

However, despite being practical and ergonomic, rice cookers can also test your patience sometimes.

You might experience rice boilovers, soggy rice that looks more like a pudding, or burnt rice grains that ruin your platter’s look when you’re new to using a rice cooker.

Therefore, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and read your rice cooker’s manual before you start using it. Thoroughly wash the rice before putting it into the rice cooker, maintain a healthy water-rice ratio, and keep the cooker clean to avoid rice boilovers.

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