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Rice cooker: avoiding crust

Olivia Jun 4, 2008 01:18 PM

I always get a crust on the bottom when using my rice cooker, whether it's brown, jasmine, or sweet rice.. For the most part I don't mind, but there are times when it would be preferable not to have one.

I use a Zojirushi (sp?) basic model, with a flip switch (warm/cook).

Any tips? TIA.

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  1. f
    Finsmom RE: Olivia Jun 4, 2008 01:36 PM

    I just bought a new rice cooker and am having the same problem!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Finsmom
      torty RE: Finsmom Jun 4, 2008 02:31 PM

      Well could y'all just send that crust my way- can't get one if I try. Course mine is a really old Zojirushi with early fuzzy logic I think.I only get a hint of crust if I do coconut rice and I attribute that to the oil in the coconut milk.

      1. re: torty
        Mellicita RE: torty Jun 4, 2008 05:16 PM

        I was gonna say... carmelized crust is a problem!?

        Try this recipe:

        Quote from the blog:
        "The rice at the bottom of the pot will form a delicious golden crust, crunchy and flavored with saffron. This is the part Persians all desire, the gratin, the duck skin, the crust on a leg of lamb. They call it tah-dig. "

    2. r
      ricepad RE: Olivia Jun 4, 2008 02:37 PM

      Are you letting the rice rest a bit after it switches to 'warm'? Give it about 15 minutes to allow the crusty bits to rehydrate and soften. Alternately, you can learn to love the 'koge' (ko-geh, Japanese for 'burnt')...my kids fight over it, but unfortunately, our rice cooker doesn't burn it enough, so I make rice on the stovetop.

      1. m
        Magnificat2005 RE: Olivia Jun 4, 2008 06:15 PM

        Mmmmm...that's my favorite part!

        1. k
          kc72 RE: Olivia Jun 4, 2008 06:23 PM

          Not enough water?

          Sanyo makes a couple of rice cookers that have a crusty rice mode now (dol sot bi bim bap).

          1. a
            another_adam RE: Olivia Jun 4, 2008 07:33 PM

            Are you washing your rice enough? For some rices, the coating that they're mixed with is an edible cereal coating; if you've accidentally left some of it on the rice, I think some of it may sort of rinse off during cooking, settle on the hot bottom of the bowl, and cook on. (This is a completely unscientific and uninformed diagnosis, I've just noticed that certain rices that are very hard to rinse totally clear also happen to be more prone to browning on the bottom of the cooker)

            1. w
              Wagamama80 RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 05:53 AM

              I know this is what you are trying NOT to achieve, but when i'm making persian rice in my rice cooker, i press the Cook button several times to achieve an even crustier, golden brown and crusty rice. Yummy!!

              1. ipsedixit RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 05:58 AM

                You either are not adding the right amount of water or your rice cooker is not working properly, especially if it is a Zojirushi model.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit
                  cornflower55 RE: ipsedixit Jun 5, 2008 08:26 AM

                  that is correct. since you bought a japanese rice cooker, try japanese short grain rice. make sure you use the cup measure that came with the cooker (it is smaller than a full one-cup measure), then add water to the water line on the cooker. if you still have a crust, then the nonstick coating on the rice bowl has probably eroded. it shouldn't happen.

                2. alanbarnes RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 09:03 AM

                  I also have a basic Zojirushi cooker, and it creates a fair amount of crust. I always assumed that this was by design. You can avoid it by removing the insert as soon as the cooker clicks from "cook" to "warm." Keep the lid on, and let the rice continue to steam for 10 minutes or so before fluffing and serving.

                  1. Karl S RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 10:10 AM

                    Follow the helpful hints others provided. Just know that the crust is sorta the bonus gift in many cuisines - it seems it is only in America that it is universally associated with a failure to cook rice properly....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Karl S
                      another_adam RE: Karl S Jun 5, 2008 06:40 PM

                      Maybe, though I've also encountered in Asian contexts the idea that it's bad manners to scoop rice from the top in the rice cooker (i.e., you should scoop by taking "vertical" portions so you aren't just taking the nicest softest part off the top and leaving the browned or crusty part on the bottom) That might be more of a southeast Asian thing, though...

                      Anyway, these responses point out that the original question may have been ambiguous: is it a matter of the rice getting dried out on the bottom (in which case some extra sitting to allow moisture restribution/reabsorption seems plausible), or is it getting browned?

                    2. c
                      clafouti RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 11:33 AM

                      you simply must wait 10-15 mins after rice is done cooking (no need to use keep warm switch) before you uncover lid.

                      1. Olivia RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 02:33 PM

                        Thanks everyone. Adam, I have been lazy re: rinsing, so I will give that a shot, and it makes sense that un/poorly rinsed rice would crust more.

                        Again, sometimes I do like it, but it'd be great to choose whether or not to have it!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Olivia
                          cornflower55 RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 11:36 PM

                          I remember watching Yan Can Cook and he'd always say not to wash the rice but just give it a very quick rinse. I've found that not thoroughly washing rice (5-6 times) leads to really disgusting-tasting rice and a bad smell while cooking. Maybe it's also the cause of your rice crust.

                          1. re: cornflower55
                            alanbarnes RE: cornflower55 Jun 6, 2008 09:04 AM

                            Are you cooking enriched rice? Washing away the ground-up multivitamins that coat the grains may improve flavor and aroma, but if you prefer it that way, why not just buy regular rice in the first place?

                            1. re: alanbarnes
                              cornflower55 RE: alanbarnes Jun 8, 2008 09:27 PM

                              in my experience, you still have to wash regular rice coated with cereal ingredients (such as kokuho rose or nishiki). technically, it's not necessary (unlike in the past when rice was coated with talc) but it tastes and smells better that way. one rinse is not enough - you need 5-6 rinses.

                          2. re: Olivia
                            alanbarnes RE: Olivia Jun 6, 2008 08:58 AM

                            The reason your rice cooker forms a crust is that there's more heat than you want once the water is gone. Get the rice away from the heat and you won't have a crust. Rinsing should not make a significant difference.

                            Rinsing is a carryover from the days when rice was polished with talc or other substances. It really isn't necessary with high-quality rice sold in the US, and personally I never bother (although aged basmati always gets a pre-soak in lots of cold water, which kind of accomplishes the same thing).

                            1. re: alanbarnes
                              another_adam RE: alanbarnes Jun 6, 2008 01:20 PM

                              Yes, the new coatings are certainly edible, hence the post-talc education campaigns that only a quick wash is needed. (I think *some* sort of rinsing is anyway a good idea, to wash off the dusty and whatnot). Nonetheless, I find that the texture of the rice can change considerably with the amount of rinsing; some rice brands, especially, seem to come out kind of gummier or softer on the bottom, and even brown a bit on the bottom of my cookers (sanyo and zojirushi). I'm thinking of kagayaki brand california rice, in particular, though I find that even my favorite type, tamaki gold, benefits from a more thorough rinsing. My one exception is haiga rice, which requires somewhat gentler handling...

                              As I say, my speculation is completely subjective and unscientific, but I've suspected that somehow the amount of coating left in with the rice alters how it absorbs water, which incidentally throws off the neurofuzzy sensors a little (??)

                          3. Scrapironchef RE: Olivia Jun 5, 2008 04:17 PM

                            Where's Sam Fujisaki when we need him?

                            Contrary to what others have said in this thread, my Japanese ex-wife taught me to give the rice a quick fluff as soon as the rice cooker clicks off of cook mode. Let is sit and steam for 10-15 more minutes before serving.

                            I use a basic Zoji with non-stick pot, Kokuho or Cal rose rice and have never had a problem.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Scrapironchef
                              foodiemommy RE: Scrapironchef Jun 9, 2008 11:26 AM

                              Haha, I was also looking for a reply from Sam Fujisaki!!

                            2. Olivia RE: Olivia Jun 9, 2008 07:38 AM

                              Well, another_adam's suggestion that I rinse was the ticket. I rinsed pretty thoroughly last night, and for the first time, no crust.

                              Feeling kinda dumb for not realizing this earlier... <lol>

                              Thanks everyone!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Olivia
                                another_adam RE: Olivia Jun 9, 2008 07:45 PM

                                Glad to hear that rinsing did the trick!! I have to admit, no matter how many times I'm told that a quick rinse is fine, I'm still sort of assiduous about getting the water to run clear. I can't say for sure that it makes a big difference, but we're always happy with our rice, so why change! :)

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