how to keep rice from boiling over

We all know a meal won’t be entirely perfect if it isn’t served with that perfect bowl of hot rice.

However, this type of food can be quite tricky and messy to prepare and we often want to know how to keep rice from boiling over so we don’t end up with a muss in the kitchen.

Rice is the staple food for many cultures around the world. It’s a cheap and healthy way to get your daily dose of carbohydrates.

You can even find this at any grocery store, and you might be surprised to learn that there are more than 100 varieties!

Rice comes in all shapes and sizes, including short-grain brown, white long-grain, jasmine, basmati, and black sticky rice.

There are so many different types of this simple dish; it’s hard to pick just one best thing about it!

However, amazing as this staple ingredient may seem, the big downside to this is that it usually boils over when you cook it. 

Many people find this really annoying because it can leave a mess and even cause electrical hazards if not cleaned up.

Luckily, there are some simple fixes to this problem and you can still enjoy your favorite dish!

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In this article, we are going to help you figure out how to cook your valued white grains without the fear or annoyance of it boiling over.

So without any further ado, let’s get started!

The Reason Why Rice Boils Over

why rice boils over

Before we dive into the ways to stop your rice from flaring out it’s good to have an idea of why this happens in the first place so you can better understand the techniques that we are going to go over.

The main reason why rice boils out is because of air pressure.

As water comes in contact with it, it starts to steam and evaporates which causes the pressure inside of your pot or pan to rise above.

This increased air pressure pushes liquid from the bottom of the pot to the top, where it can escape in a variety of ways.

The most frequent way for this to happen is through the cracks and crevices on the pot or pan's edge, as well as any holes in the lid that enable steam to escape when cooking.

Another reason why your white grain may start to boil over is that this ingredient contains starch.

Starch when exposed to boiling water will create big bubbles that expand beyond the capacity of your pot.

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Luckily, there are ways to keep your grains from flaring up and we will talk about it in the next three sections below…

Excited? Well, we’re pretty sure you are!

So let’s start…

How to Keep Rice From Boiling Over in a Traditional Pot

traditional pot

Among the first-ever ways to make rice is through a big traditional pot and a stove.

This way of cooking is pretty popular in many countries around the world, especially in Asia.

People would take out a pot made of steel or clay and would fill it with water, place their grains in the pot and then bring it to a boil.

This process produces bubbles on top of the boiling water which will eventually rise up and go over the rim of your pot unless you do something about it.

Cooking rice through a traditional pot isn’t as popular as it was before since this modern world has already created appliances that aid in cooking these grains such as rice cookers, electric steamers, and pressure cookers.

But if you still insist on cooking your rice using a traditional pot then these are some ways to keep the boiling water from overflowing:

Tip #1.

Add just enough cold or room temperature water in the pot that is at least two inches higher than the level of where it needs to be.

Tip #2.

Pour in your grains and make sure that the water is still at least two inches higher than your rice and not enough to touch the rim of where you’re cooking.

Tip #3.

To stop it from boiling over, place a few drops of oil on the surface of your uncooked grains but be sure not to overdo it, or else you might end up with a bowl of greasy rice.

Tip #4.

After placing in the oil, cook for about 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and wait for it to finish cooking.

You might be puzzled as to why cooking oil can stop your white grain from over-flowing, but the answer to this phenomenon is that the oil will act as a layer of protection or barrier.

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Oil will help to form a boundary between the hot liquid with its steamy bubbles and the lid that tops off your pot, preventing these bubbles from growing too large and expanding beyond the pot’s limits.

New Learnings

new learnings

Rice is surely a type of food that seems to be something most people can’t live without (guilty as charged!)

Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with its messy preparation because you now have an idea of why it boils over in the first place and how to stop that from happening when using a traditional pot.

However, if you don’t have a traditional pot on hand and would prefer the comforts of a cooker, then don’t feel bummed because we still have some tricks up our sleeve!

Check out below to know more…

How to Keep Rice From Boiling Over in Rice Cooker

Rice cookers have become one of the things that every home cook needs to have.

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This is because they are easy to use and also make a lot of rice in one go.

The best thing about using a cooker is that not only will you be able to prepare your favorite dish in just a matter of a few minutes, but it'll save you the hassle of using your stove top too!

But just like the traditional pot, cooking your grains in a cooker can also be tricky.

To make sure your rice doesn’t boil overall you have to do is wash them before cooking!

Pretty simple right?

how to prevent rice cooker overflow

As mentioned above, rice is a starchy ingredient that produces bubbles when it comes in contact with boiling water.

If you don’t rinse the starch present in those grains, it will cause it to boil over and create a mess on your cooker.

Rinsing the grains before cooking will reduce this problem, as it’ll make sure that any starch present is washed away.

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For the utmost result, you may also submerge the grains in water for a few minutes prior to cooking.

This is actually one of the best and proven methods to cook your white grains without the worries of flare-ups.

The rinsing method originated from East Asia but many people in the US, as well as other countries, are starting to practice this habit as well.

Section Summary

In this section, we have learned that rinsing grains before cooking can reduce the risk of a potential mess on your cooker.

Rinsing also ensures that any starch present in the rice is washed away, which can cause an unevenly cooked batch of food if not dealt with beforehand.

With this in consideration, be sure to always rinse white grains before cooking for the best possible outcome.

Now that we’ve got that covered, it’s time for the next topic which is…

How to Keep Rice From Boiling Over in Microwave

You may seem surprised to know that rice can be cooked using a microwave, but this way of cooking is actually popular and used by those who just want an easy and quick meal.

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Cooking rice in a microwave usually involves placing the grain in a microwavable container with a lid (such as Pyrex), using enough water to cover the surface of the rice, and microwaving for about two minutes per cup.

However, just like the other ways to cook rice, there’s a tendency for it to boil over.

This is something that must never happen especially when you’re using a microwave because it can lead to electrical hazards or worse, fire.

rice in microwave

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to avoid this:

When first microwaving your grains, set it to high for 10 minutes. After, turn it to defrost and cook for an additional 9-10 minutes.

This method stops your rice from boiling over because it’s cooking at a lower heat the entire time, stopping the fast development of bubbles and air pressure which is the culprit of flare-ups.

Don’t forget to stir those grains occasionally during the process for more even heating and better texture.

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Now that we’ve gone over the microwave method, we can finally have…

Overall Understanding

Ain’t it great to learn how to easily cook your favorite grain without the worries of it boiling over?

In this section, we’ve discovered that you can use your microwave to cook your rice and it’s possible for it not to boil over by being careful with the heat you’re cooking your grains in.

boil over

Because of this, you can now easily cook your rice without worrying about anything else!

Now before you head out to do all the new things you’ve learned, let’s now have…

The Last Sayings

We can all agree to the fact that rice is one of the best things to have in a meal. Rice is such an important food because of how simple it is to prepare.

The next time you’re cooking your favorite dish that calls for white grains, don’t forget about this lesson since you finally know how to keep rice from boiling over (along with all sorts of other helpful things)

We hope that this article has made your cooking endeavors easier and more enjoyable.

Til’ next time!