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May 23, 2005 12:05 PM

Overflow when I cook rice

  • c

I've noticed that whenever I cook rice, the water bubbles and spills out of my lid and down the outside of my pot (and onto the stove). I thought this was a problem with my old pots because of the ill-fitting lids, but this just happened with my new Calphalon saucepan. I'm careful to follow the box instructions regarding the rice:water ratio. Anyone have any tips?

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  1. Use a bigger pan? Also, you may be cooking the rice at too-high heat. After bringing it quickly to a boil – uncovered – you should turn it down to barely a simmer and cook it – covered – until done.

    1. Is your stove electric? Mine overflows because my horrid stove can't drop the temp fast enough. If so, the solution is to pull the pan off the eye for a few minutes until it cools to low.

      3 Replies
      1. re: danna

        Another (somewhat cumbersome) solution for cooking rice on electric stoves is to use two burners (if they are not otherwise occupied).

        Boil the water on one burner at high, and then after you add the rice move it to another burner that has already been set for simmer temperature. This way, the second burner doesn't have to drop the temp down, it's already there.

        When I moved into my house, it had an electric stove. Was I ever glad to see it go.

        1. re: danna

          No, it's gas.

          1. re: Chorus Girl

            If your stove is gas, you are not turning down the heat. THAT IS ALL YOU DO to prevent spillage.

            2 cups water
            1 cup rice

            BRING TO BOIL uncovered

            Immediately reduce heat to simmer and cover pot of rice.

            Cook 15 minutes for white rice. Turn off heat. Let sit for 10 minutes or until rest of meal is ready.


        2. When I'm at the point where I am ready to turn down the heat, I take a washcloth reserved for this purpose (several sheets of paper towel would do), place it over the top, and then fit the lid on. I do this to prevent steam from condensing on the lid and then dripping back onto the rice and making it clumpy. I believe that this would solve your problem also.

          Or you could try using a larger pot to make the same amount of rice.

          1. Cook your rice in the oven instead. Preheat oven, add boiling water to rice in a pyrex, cover with foil.
            No mess and perfect rice.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Pablo

              Making rice in the oven is indeed easy and pretty much foolproof. But I always find it too much trouble to mess with the oven, preheating and such, just for a pot of rice.

              I agree that the problem is not reducing the heat enough, or quickly enough -- it should simmer, not boil. You may have been told never to lift the lid on the rice, but it's really no big deal: if you see the pot starting to boil over, you can remove the lid and stir the rice until it cools to a simmer, then re-cover.

              1. re: Pablo

                Yes, this method makes the best rice--particularly for short grain. Heat the water to boiling on the stove, put the rice in the pot, turn off the heat and then transfer to an oven for 15 minutes or so. The oven doesn't have to be all that hot--I usually just put it in at whatever temperature I am cooking other dishes.

                1. re: Pablo

                  I cook rice uncovered until it comes to a boil/gets those airholes coming up through the rice. Then turn it down to low, wait til the cooking slows to a simmer and then cover. You wont have overflow if you follow those steps.

                  I have problems with overflow with OTHER dishes, like beans!

                  1. re: Pablo
                    JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                    Be careful adding boiling water to a Pyrex dish. The sudden change in temperature can make the dish shatter.

                    1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                      Good point for the home cook! We use hotel pans at at work so this is not an issue. Rice is cooked in the oven mainly because stove stop space is usually more valuable.

                  2. this is how my mom cooks rice before we bought a rice cooker..

                    the second the water comes to a boil, remove the lid. keep on high flame until about a minute or so after all water has boiled down (longer depending if you want a nice brown crust.) and then turn down the flame real low and place lid back on pot until rice is ready to eat.

                    after our meal, we'd scoop up the remaining rice and add water to the brown crust, heat up the water, can bring it to a boil if you choose. and we'd have "fan jew" (cantonese.)