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How to Cook Rice Without a Lid

author image Suzanne S. Wiley
Suzanne S. Wiley is an editor and writer in Southern California. She has been editing since 1989 and began writing in 2009. Wiley received her master's degree from the University of Texas and her work appears on various websites.
How to Cook Rice Without a Lid
Rice is in an open lid rice cooker. Photo Credit: venusphoto/iStock/Getty Images

Typical instructions for cooking rice on the stove include covering the rice after it boils. This steams the rice in addition to simmering. However, covering the pan and trapping the steam can also lead to bubbles forming in the starchy water, and these can multiply to the point that they push the pot lid up and boil over, even if the heat is set on low. If you’ve been unable to prevent this bubbling and boiling over from happening, you’ve likely resorted to cooking the rice without a lid. This makes the rice, especially the top layer, dry out rather quickly. Keep an eye on the rice to avoid burning it onto the pot’s surface.

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Step 1

Rinse the rice if necessary -- the manufacturer’s instructions will confirm this -- and add water and rice to a pot per those instructions. Different rice varieties require slightly different amounts of water, and adding too little or too much will leave you with rice that isn’t fully cooked or that is a mushy mass.

Step 2

Boil the water and rice without a lid as usual. Once the water boils and you reduce it to low to simmer the rice, leave it for about 5 minutes.

Step 3

Check the water level. Some white rice absorbs water very quickly. Stir to even out areas that are becoming higher and approaching the surface of the water.

Step 4

Stir the rice occasionally and fold the top layer below the rest of the rice as the water level lowers. This helps keep the top layer from drying out.

Step 5

Dig into the rice and check the bottom layer to see how much water remains once you no longer see water above the top of the rice. Stop cooking when you see a little bit of water left at the bottom; the bottom of the pot will look like it has a creamy or starchy layer on it. Do not let all of the moisture evaporate while the heat is on because the rice will absorb the remaining moisture as it cools.

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