How To Stop Your Pot Of Rice From Bubbling Over

In the culinary world, there are few staples as versatile as good old dependable rice. Whether layered inside a burrito, scooped into a fragrant curry, or fried up with veggies and soy sauce, this grain is a pantry must that has come to the rescue of many a dinner, whether planned or improvised.

Given its ubiquity and the fact that all you need to cook it is a pot, water, and salt, one would think that making rice would be a breeze — but as many a home cook has discovered the hard way, turning out perfect rice is actually a bit tricky. Too much water? Your rice will come out too mushy. Too little, and it'll come out crunchy. If you stir your rice, it will come out "gloppy," notes Bon Appétit. And another fiasco that seems to beset us every other time we make rice? The pot boiling over and leaving a starchy mess all over our stovetop. Read on to find out how to stop this irritating problem once and for all.

Stick to low heat for rice success

Cooking rice is far trickier than it might seem: too often, it seems, this staple grain is prone to turning out mushy, crunchy, not fluffy, or underseasoned... the list goes on. And as if those weren't enough problems to contend with, we've all likely dealt with yet another rice-cooking saga: that of the pot boiling over and leaving a mess all over the stove. According to Allrecipes, this common problem can be attributed to rice's composition: it's full of starch.

When cooked in boiling water, that starch forms large bubbles that push up against the pot's lid and all but demand to erupt. To avoid this issue, first give your rice a quick rinse in cold, running water, the site suggests, a step which will rinse excess starch from the surface of the rice and reduce the strength of those big starch bubbles. Then, once you've transferred the rice to the pot with the measured-out boiling water, drop the temperature as low as it will go while still maintaining a gentle simmer; this will also ensure that the pot doesn't bubble too aggressively. (Several Redditors also suggest adding a few drops of oil to the water.)

Finally, once most of the water has been absorbed into the rice, finish cooking it by turning off the heat, draping a tea towel between the pot and the lid, and allowing the rice to steam for an additional five to 10 minutes. These steps will produce flawless rice — and, as a bonus, keep your stovetop mess-free.