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Rinsing risotto rice

I've read some recipes that specifically say to rinse the rice, and some say specifically "DO NOT" rinse the rice.

So what's right thing to do? and why if possible

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  1. I've never seen a recipe for risotto that included rinsing the rice. My guess is that it would take away some of the starch and the point of the slow cooking process is to bring out the starches which give it creaminess.

    1. No rinse. Rinsing will take the starch off the rice, which you absolutely want for the risotto.

      1. I concur with the above posters... the rices usually rinsed before cooking are Jasmine and Basmati.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Gio

          As do I. I've never seen a risotto recipe that called for rinsing the rice, for the reasons others have stated.

          1. re: Gio

            Which have you had the best results with ...
            arborio, carnaroli, vialone nano?

            1. re: TheDescendedLefticleOfAramis

              Between aborio and carnaroli I prefer aborio because I think it's creamier. I've never used vialone nano, but now I must find some and compare. Thanks for the inspiration!

          2. Thank you all very much...no rinsing it is.

            And just for the heck of it, i'll try to find that recipe that called for rinsing.

            1. Here's the one, but on second look, there are some other oddities with this recipe, so I'll just ignore it...haha


              1. I tried rinsing the rice for risotto once, just since it was a habit....and the rice didn't saute properly, it stuck to the pan. No more rinsing after that.

                1. One other risotto related question I have, cast iron, stainless, teflon, what type of pan should i use? or does it matter?

                  9 times out of 10, I prefer not to use teflon if i can help it.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: JBethell

                    I use my LC dutch oven, which is enameled cast iron. If I didn't have that, I'd use a heavy duty stainless steel sauce pan.

                    1. re: MMRuth

                      so you definitely would not use an uncoated cast iron pan? The only reason I ask so many questions, is because I'm making it at my mom's house this evening, and I'm not 100% sure what they have, however I do know they have cast iron.

                      And for the poster below, what's anolon?

                      1. re: JBethell

                        I don't know one way or the other how cast iron - wish I could be more helpful - hopefully someone else will chime in - just haven't tried it and don't know enough about it's properties to recommend it (or not).

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          Hey, no problem, I definitely appreciate the help.

                          I'll just see what's available, and use some common sense. That works on occasion doesn't it?? haha

                  2. I use a anolon skillet it turns out great every time I love to stand over the stove and cook risotto and I would never rinse it.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Analisas mom

                      i've never made risotto in an unenameled cast iron pot, but if it's seasoned it should not be a problem. just don't let it dry out, keep stirring and adding stock and it should be good. Making risotto is a great skill to have, since you can be quite creative with the ingredients once you have the basic technique down. Never ever rinse the rice though.

                      1. re: chuckl

                        With the caveat - I think - not to use tomatoes in a cast iron pan. One of my favorite risottos is tomato, basil and smoked mozzarella.

                        1. re: MMRuth

                          If the tomatoes are added toward the end, it wouldn't be an issue. The problem with tomatoes and uncoated cast iron is that the iron can impart off flavors to long-cooked acidic foods.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            Thank you - I wasn't sure. I usually add some chopped tomatoes about half way through, then more just at the end.

                          2. re: MMRuth

                            I think one could use tomatoes in a cast iron pot if the risotto was taken out as soon as it was done. I use my cast iron skillet with tomatoes all the time....just don't leave it to absorb that metallic flavor. Apparently it's also bad to leave acidy food in Calphalon pans.

                            Btw, one of the banes of my existence is my husband's dislike of polenta, risotto and couscous! How I can stay married to this beast I'll never understand! I guess it's that he is completely into trying new things and eats everything else. This leads to me ordering a dish with polenta every time we go to an Italian restaurant. Sigh.

                      2. Well, I used my stepfathers Lodge dutch oven (bare cast iron). The texture was fine, no sticking, but there was a very off taste.

                        It tasted almost of burnt oil maybe. which is what the pan smelled like when I heated it. My first thought was that maybe it was whatever type of fat he wiped it with before storing, but he told me he stores it dry.

                        The last thing cooked in the over was braised short ribs, and he said they were fine, with no off taste. Could the white wine have reacted with the cast iron maybe?

                        Who knows, either way, texture was great. Flavor? Not so much.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: JBethell

                          It sounds like the risotto was imbued with the taste of rancid oil. I suspect that since braised short ribs have such a strong flavor, it might have masked that, where as a risotto is more delicate.

                          1. re: JBethell

                            yes, white wine is acidic and would have brought out any off flavors from the pan, esp since ww is usually added at the beginning of the risotto.

                            i've learned the hard way not to use my cast iron for stuff with white wine or tomatoes.