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1qt or 2qt pot for cooking 1/2 c (dry) rice on stovetop?

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I'm considering either a 1qt or 2qt Le Creuset enameled cast iron round dutch oven/pot for cooking rice (mostly basmati and jasmine) and quinoa. I usually cook about a 1/2 cup of rice at a time (1/2 c is the measure of the dry rice, pre-cooked). Which size pot would be most appropriate or does it not matter?

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  1. A half cup of rice will take a cup of water so the smaller the better. (A quart is four cups.) But why on earth would you pay that kind of money to just make rice????? Just trying to ask politely.

    5 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      Rice and quinoa have become staples, so it would get frequent use. I do have a 1 1/2 qt stainless steel All-Clad sauce pan but I have to put a soup can on top of the lid when making rice - and it still turns out better in cast iron. I have a 2qt Lodge dutch oven (raw cast iron), which makes great rice. However, it is hard to keep that seasoned b/c the rice seems to absorb the seasoning. Also, 2qt seemed like overkill for 1/2 c of rice.

      1. re: kimbers324

        I cook on induction and wanted a second 1 quart sauce pan. I bought the cheapest dang thing I could find (maybe $5?) and it works great.

        1. re: kimbers324

          If you're willing to pay that much and its exclusively for grains, why not a donabe which is designed to be used as a stove top rice cooker???
          http://toirokitchen.com/products/kama...
          The one rice cup donabe is the exact price of a 1 quart Le Creuset. Keep in mind that 1 rice cup is equivalent to about 3/4 cup. This seems to be the perfect size for you. This is the same pot that was featured on the cover of Japanese Hot Pots by Tadashi Ono.

          Here it is being used to make sushi rice though it will work fine for basmati, jasmine,and quinoa:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYQlW5...

          1. re: GOJIRA

            Hi, GOJIRA:

            Only compatible with gas cooktops, I see.

            Do you have one? Do you recommend them?

            Aloha,
            Kaleo

            1. re: kaleokahu

              Unfortunately, im just waiting for my rice cooker to break. But it seems that the only way that will happen is if I were to have an "accident".

              Im actually debating on whether to go with this donabe or upgrade to a top of the line zojirushi rice cooker. The only reason I would go for the donabe is to save counter top space. If I want the "okoge" aka caramelized rice crust, many rice cookers have a scorch setting for that. Usually appliances sacrifice quality for convenience, but in the case of rice cookers, they are often capable of cooking rice with much more precision (nowadays rice cookers are now being made with induction heating, make adjustments according to heat, weight, and moisture, and pressure levels as opposed to just temperature alone.) Even in the top sushi restaurants, you'll find them using rice cookers. And these are people who take their rice seriously. When training to make sushi some will spend at least 3 years just learning to wash rice properly as it is the "heart of sushi", only to follow that by putting the rice in a rice cooker. But if I were to choose a stovetop pot for rice cooking, it would definitely be a donable as it most emulates the rice cooker, especially with its double lid system which pressure cooks the rice. Apparently, according to Zojirushi, by pressure cooking rice, it helps convert beta starch to alpha starch, making it softer. Do I believe that? Not really as that happens every time you cook rice but I do believe it makes it more efficient. Though saying that, I believe you'll get similar results just cooking rice in a pressure cooker.

      2. I would do the 2 quart, just to give you a bit more "space" if you ever need to double the amount. Just a more versatile cooking vessel size.

        1 Reply
        1. re: autumm

          I have one and two (and more) quart sizes. Sometimes I really need the smallest saucepan.

        2. You dont need a Le Creuset dutch oven to make rice....its overkill. Just use a simple pot.

          1. A one qt. pot will do. Get whatever pot you like, without apology. I've never used enameled iron to cook rice, but expect it will do a fine job.

            4 Replies
            1. re: GH1618

              Try it! It does a fantastic job of cooking rice.

              1. re: kimbers324

                I am a complete convert to the "pasta" method of making rice. I make only brown rice so I cannot tell you what the timing would be for white. Regardless of amount of rice I make, I boil a copious amount of water in any old pot. Salt the water if you want to. When it comes to a boil, dump in the rice. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle, evenly-rolling boil, uncovered, for 30 min. Dump into a sieve, then put the rice right back into the hot pot, cover, and let it sit, off-heat, for 10 min. Perfect separate grains every time, no sticking or burning possible.

                1. re: greygarious

                  No kidding? This is too cool. Normally, we like our white rice slightly sticky, just a little clumpy. I can get that, every time, using the classic stovetop method. I can *usually* get nice fluffy grains when I give the rice a quick sauté before cooking. But it's not 100%, and when perfectly fluffy rice is needed, like for the lime cilantro rice I love, anything less is a fail.

                  Thank you! :-)

                  1. re: DuffyH

                    You're welcome. I learned it years ago from an Indian cooking show on PBS, Cooking with Kurma, but I am pretty sure it was also on one of Martha Stewart's shows.

            2. I do just that amount of rice regularly in a 1-qt. All-Clad Saucier covered with a small salad plate. Works fine every time.

              1. If you're going that small, I'd get their precision pour pan instead of one of the ovens. They used to have a 1 1/4 qt but looks like the new design has gone to 1 3/4

                3 Replies
                1. re: rasputina

                  I've been looking at the precision pour saucepan but it has vent holes in the lid. That wouldn't work for rice, right?

                  1. re: kimbers324

                    Did you see one in person? The online pictures don't show holes. Where are they located?

                    The Le Creuset website says: "A secure lid that locks in heat and moisture while cooking"

                    1. re: GH1618

                      The one I have, has one small vent hole in the lid. I've used it to cook rice without issue.

                2. 1 quart

                  I bought an extra 1 qt Revereware saucepan at a thrift shop because I find that size so useful for 1 or 2 person servings of rice, oatmeal, just about any grain.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tcamp

                    I bought an extra also. Just a little cheapie that's induction capable. I guess I just don't get paying a good bit of money for features that don't figure in to cooking a little rice.

                  2. Overstock has a pretty good price on this item right now. It's probably an earlier model of the current Precision Pour:

                    http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: GH1618

                      My mistake — it's a different brand. Nevertheless, a more affordable option.

                    2. Have you thought about a rice cooker? Le Creuset is great and I've got a wonderful enameled cast iron Dutch oven of theirs but for the money you'd spend on it, you could get a great fuzzy logic rice cooker.

                      1. 1 qt works nicely for the volume of rice you want to cook. Le Creuset may not be required (I've used all sorts of inexpensive cookware with success). But if you want a LC pan, in one of the sizes you've specified, might as well get the smaller one... if rice cooking is your most frequent use.
                        But for our household, of two adults, the 2-qt saucepan is the one which sees the most frequent day-to-day use.

                        1. OK y'all have convinced me to use the Zojirushi rice cooker that I own but have never used. But I still want 1-1.5 qt enameled cast iron pot or saucepan, so I will find another need for it! :-) Thanks for the input everyone!

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: kimbers324

                            Ya know it really works the other way around. You have a particular need and get the tool to do the job. Why would you buy something that you don't need?

                            1. re: c oliver

                              Mom bought me a Breville risotto/rice/slow cooker thing. It was ok for risotto, ok for rice and I already have 4 slow cookers. It was a big thing on my counter that wasn't outstanding at anything, so back it went.

                              I could see the OP not wanting to have a rice cooker sitting out.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                S/he said is going to use the rice cooker but just wants the other pot because. Or at least that's how I read it. I have and use a rice cooker but it's only out when I'm using it.

                            2. re: kimbers324

                              Yes, just buy what is fun for you.

                            3. Well, I bought the 1.25 qt a while ago, posted my experiments with it, and I found it perfect for just what you want. The most amazing thing is that I find I can cook oatmeal in the pot without stirring.

                              Buy what you like and don't pay attention to those who offer theoretical advice. You can cook rice in anything without holes, after all.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: law_doc89

                                @law_doc89, where are your experiments posted? Which 1.25 qt do you have?

                                1. re: kimbers324

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960502