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Jul 11, 2011 02:58 PM

Risotto on Le Creuset enamel cast iron

I am looking for the best pot to make risotto (and polenta) without having it stick at the bottom.

I have been using my enameled cast iron Le Creuset french oven for this purpose, but I always end up with a layer of burned rice at the bottom (unless I over-stir the risotto, in which case it doesn't stick but it turns out gooey. I like each rice grain to be loose on a creamy sauce.) I made some polenta using the same pot, and once again I ended up with a thin burned layer at the bottom.

I am starting out with my gas burner set to medium (to heat the oil and fry the onions), and then I lower it to low while the rice is cooking.

I am wondering if anyone has any tips, in particular:
1) If you have good results making risotto on an enameled cast iron pan, what do you do differently? Is there any trick I should try next time?
2) What is the ideal pot one should have to make rissoto or polenta without burning? Teflon? (I've been avoiding cooking with Teflon given all the cancer talk around it).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Constant stirring and monitoring so it doesn't burn on the bottom and doesn't get gooey. I think an enamel pan would be fine, but I use stainless because it's what I have.

    1. I've always had luck making risotto in a LC round oven, 4.5 qt. I stir pretty much constantly on very low heat. I have never had a burning incident. I do not rinse the Arborio rice before I cook it. I've never used non-stick for risotto.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jay F

        Actually, in my opinion the most common mistake people make when cooking risotto is stirring too much. Constant stirring does in fact prevent the sticking, but results in gooey risotto.

        I've always been convinced of this, and a while ago I went to a cooking demo by Ethan Stowell where he happened to mention this fact. Since some of the best risotto I've had outside of Italy was in one of his restaurants, I tend to believe what he says.

        1. re: ethnicchower

          Call Ethan Stowell and ask him how to keep your risotto from burning, then.

          1. re: Jay F

            Mine doesn't burn as I stir intermittently over low heat in an enamel pan.