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Scorched layer of rice at bottom of rice cooker -- always

r
Raeviola Apr 14, 2007 06:54 PM

I love using my rice-cooker for all kinds of rice. However, the bottom layer of rice always has a scorched, brown "crust" on it - as if the heat is too high so it's burning just a little.

I don't think it has to do with the proportion of rice to water, although it could... I have experimented endlessly with using more/less water to see what would help. For example, for a cup of sushi rice, I have tried using between 1 and 2.25 cups of water. Generally, using less water makes the problem worse... Perhaps I need to use even more water? That seems unlikely since my rice cooker directs just 1 c. water for 1 c. "sticky" rice.

I put the rice and water in together, turn it on, and check the rice as soon as it's done and goes to its "warming" state. And always -- brown crust at the bottom.

Help? :) Thanks.

  1. r
    ricepad Apr 16, 2007 09:32 AM

    I'm pretty sure it's your rice cooker, altho I would strongly recommend you try cooking a larger batch, just to be sure. Basic rice cookers shut off when the temperature of the pot rises above a factory-set temperature (I would guess that it's somewhere around 225F), indicating that the water has mostly boiled away and the temp of the rice inside is rising above the boiling point of water. If your cooker's setpoint is too high (not that uncommon with inexpensive cookers), it may not be shutting off until the rice is well into the 'burn zone'.

    I, too, love koge, but it sounds like what you're getting is beyond the 'nice, brown, crispy' stage and verges on the 'bitter, black, crunchy' stage.

    1. StriperGuy Apr 16, 2007 02:22 AM

      Definitely a rice cooker issue whether you like it or not. I have a fancy Zojirushi a friend got me and it has barely got any more doneness on the bottom.

      I kind of like rice crunchies myself, reminds me of the bottom of a properly done Paella (Socarrat.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: StriperGuy
        c
        Calling All Toasters Apr 16, 2007 04:45 AM

        You don't necessarily need a high-end model. My $20 Panasonic never scorches the rice. The heat setting must be accurate, is all.

      2. r
        RichardM Apr 15, 2007 06:07 PM

        Hi -

        This is a common problem. I was watching Simply Ming yesterday and he said to just turn out the pan onto a plate and scrape it off.

        Some rice types seem to brown more than others. I've found that thorough washing (atleast 3 times) and letting the rice soak for a while before starting the cooking cycle helps.

        Good luck.

        1. c
          Calling All Toasters Apr 15, 2007 09:30 AM

          I think you had it right the first time--the heat is too high. As the heat shuts off based on the water being absorbed, the amount of water will mostly change how mushy the rest of the rice is. The only solution seems to be: get another rice cooker.

          1. whs Apr 15, 2007 08:47 AM

            Throw your rice cooker out--use a heavy duty saucepan, fill with one cup of rice, two cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and put on the lowest simmer you can for 20 minutes. Perfect rice with no burnt bits.

            1. choctastic Apr 15, 2007 08:16 AM

              Generally this happens when you have an inner pot (where the rice goes) that is pretty thin. My el cheapo Aroma 7 cup rice cooker that I got from Target for $5 makes a light golden crust while my Korean brand one (I forget the brand since the thing is in storage) that had a really thick inner pot that never gave me a crust because it distributed the heat more evenly.

              I'm not sure that there is a solution to your problem except to go shopping for another rice cooker that has an extra thick inner pot. Those can get pretty expensive.

              If cleanup is an issue, what I do is stir the rice after cooking in order to separate the grains and then let it rest for I think 30 min with the power off or on warm. This rehydrates the rice on the bottom and it comes right out.

              1. m
                martasiete Apr 14, 2007 09:23 PM

                I think persians call it Tadik (or something like that) - I never knew it had a name - I just know I love it.

                1 Reply
                1. re: martasiete
                  s
                  SoCalVal Apr 15, 2007 07:54 AM

                  I don't know the name of it, but I once had a roommate who told it to me and said it was Persian for "bottom of the pot." She was amazed our other roommate was going to throw it out since in her culture (I think she was Iranian), the bottom crusty part was something of a delicacy.

                  I, myself, never cared for the brown hard part unless my mother turned it into fried rice. I've notice now that if I let the rice sit with the heat on in the rice cooker (after it's done cooking), the bottom will get a bit brown.

                2. w
                  wayne keyser Apr 14, 2007 09:10 PM

                  Okay, enough "you're supposed to like it" replies, don't you think?

                  I believe the most accurate answer so far is "cook a larger batch of rice". It won't stop the scorch (boiling dry and sensing the sudden heat change is how a rice cooker is triggered to turn off) but it will give you enough rice to eat, and leave the scorched part.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wayne keyser
                    m
                    ML8000 Apr 14, 2007 09:19 PM

                    No one said "you're supposed to like it", rather many people do like it. As for "accurate", that's an interesting concept.

                  2. m
                    ML8000 Apr 14, 2007 08:54 PM

                    Seems universal to rice eaters if Persian dig it too. That stuff is good. My mom use to serve with butter like popcorn.

                    Any way, I thought any kind of burning or scorched rice was engineered out of rice cookers a long time ago. Even my cheapo National never leaves it crispy..only a goopy mess.

                    Frankly I surprised no high end maker like Zojirushi hasn't figured out a "crispy" setting given people like it and it is used in hot and sour soup and the like (which now comes in pre-made packages..sort of like dried ramen).

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: ML8000
                      k
                      kc72 Apr 15, 2007 07:44 AM

                      actually, Sanyo has a model now that has a setting for something similar to Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap (sp?).

                      ML8000, I've seen your posts on the Bay Area board.. I've been trying to locate one of these Sanyos -- most likely will have to head to SF J-Town.

                      1. re: kc72
                        m
                        ML8000 Apr 15, 2007 12:07 PM

                        KC, that makes sense someone invented one...didn't think of bi bim bop though.

                        SF J-town makes sense might also you might try Mitsuwa in the South Bay or maybe Koreatown in Oakland (Telegraph Ave, around 40th to 30th St.) If you're in LA, I'd check out Marukai/Little Tokyo and Koreatown, there seems to be huge stores with everything down there.

                        If you find one I'd be interested in how it works. I think a lot of people would be.

                        1. re: ML8000
                          k
                          kc72 Apr 15, 2007 12:31 PM

                          Have checked a couple of places in Oakland C-town and Koreana Market.

                          I'll probably try Yaoya-San in El Cerrito before heading out to J-Town. Or possibly even look for it online.

                    2. m
                      monkfanatic Apr 14, 2007 08:21 PM

                      what kind of rice cooker you have? the tradinational kind or the improved one?
                      also you are not suppose to check the rice once it goes to warn, it needs to sit for at least 10 minutes before you open the lid.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: monkfanatic
                        f
                        foodstorm Apr 15, 2007 02:58 PM

                        My rice cooker instructions say to "stir and loosen the rice as soon as cooking is done to prevent it from hardening or getting sticky." Guess it depends on the rice cooker.

                        1. re: foodstorm
                          j
                          justagthing Apr 16, 2007 10:36 AM

                          Actually, it also depends on the rice, but you should never open it or lift the lid on the pot to check on it until it is DONE! I've had friends that yell at other friends that don't understand this cooking rule for rice.

                      2. Sam Fujisaka Apr 14, 2007 08:13 PM

                        You must have a high end model for Japanese people. We fight for the "koge" you're talking about!

                        1. a
                          Alan408 Apr 14, 2007 07:57 PM

                          I have a National, it came with a flat round insert with holes. When I use it, I don't get the "crust".

                          I think you notice it more than others because of the small amount of rice you are cooking (i.e., 1 cup of rice), your rice to crust ratio is higher than if you cooked 2-3 cups of rice.

                          Another thought, IIRC, my cooker has a minimum, 2 cups of rice.

                          1. ballulah Apr 14, 2007 07:22 PM

                            OHMYGOSH! I'm with tokyorosa, the crust on the bottom is the best part. In Persian cuisine I believe that it's served to an honored guest at the dinner table, it's considered such a delicacy.

                            1. t
                              tokyorosa Apr 14, 2007 06:57 PM

                              Help? Are you kidding? That stuff is delicious!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: tokyorosa
                                r
                                Raeviola Apr 14, 2007 07:00 PM

                                Ha. :) Not the reply I was expecting! :)

                                Perhaps it is delicious to some -- to me it just tastes scorched. Like burnt popcorn or burnt... anything. Not a personal 'favorite flavor' but I suppose your answer implies that this may be normal and the problem is me, not my rice cooker. :)

                                1. re: Raeviola
                                  t
                                  tokyorosa Apr 14, 2007 07:19 PM

                                  No, honestly, I've had rice cookers that stick--and usually they're the very inexpensive models, like the under $20 models. In Japan, the more expensive models (and I'm talking in the $200 range) don't seem to stick as much. But I haven't got that kind of dough!

                                  1. re: Raeviola
                                    f
                                    foodstorm Apr 16, 2007 08:31 AM

                                    There's nothing wrong with you, Raeviola . I think there is something wrong with your rice cooker.

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