To stop a rice cooker from boiling over choose a low starch rice like basmati, jasmine or white long grain rice, rinse the rice and measure the water accurately. Adding double the water of the amount of rice you add to a rice cooker will reduce the chance of the starch mixing with the water and forming foamy bubbles that boil over.
Rice cookers are a fantastic small appliance that I use in my kitchen around 5 times per week. To prevent the rice cooker from boiling over and making a mess it is good to understand why this happens and how to prevent it.
This article will explore both of these topics so you can have delicious rice and a clean bench after cooking.
Why rice cookers to boil over
Here are the top reasons why a rice cooker will boil over at home.
Starchy rice mixing with water
The top reason why rice will form large, soapy looking bubbles and boil over is because of the starch content. Rice that contains a lot of starch like risotto rice have short grains and a large surface area where the carbohydrate, starch will sit on the outside.
This excess starch will mix with the water in the rice cooker as it boils, forming bubbles which can expand like soap (even though they are not) and boil over.
Very starchy rice will create more bubbles and cause your rice cooker to boil over.
The easy solution is to rinse the rice first with water.
Too much water
Adding too much water to a rice cooker will cause it to bubble and boil over. Adding too much water which gets close to the top of the rice cooker can cause it to bubble out of the top, escape through the gaps on the side of the lid and onto the bench.
Check the capacity of your rice cooker and make sure you only add up to the maximum amount it can hold. You can add less but more will cause it to boil over.
This one below has a 4 cup capacity which is great for family meals.
Rice cooker is filled up too high
Filling up a rice cooker with too much rice and water will lead to the water boiling near the top of the cooker and boil over. Rice cookers only simmer gently so they rarely boil over unless they are filled with too much rice and water or mix with the rice starch.
It is important to know the capacity of your rice cooker and not to go above this. Mine at home is a 4 cup rice cooker but I have never even gotten close to this amount.
How to stop a rice cooker boiling over
To stop your rice cooker from boiling over and making a mess of the bench and the rice cooker there are some easy steps to follow below.
1. Rinse the rice first
The best way to prevent the rice from boiling over due to excess starch is to rinse it first. Starch will sit on the outside of the rice grain and will easily come off when rinsed in water.
One the excess surface starch is removed you will notice that the water is clearer and there won’t be the soapy white bubbles that grow and cause the rice cooker to boil over.
How to rinse your rice the easy way
The simplest way to rinse your rice is to rinse the rice directly in the rice cooker.
- Add the amount of rice you need for your recipe that night.
- Put cold water from your tap on the rice and cover it with water.
- Swirl the rice around until you see the water turn hazy.
- Carefully pour the water off leaving the rice in the bottom. You will not need to remove all of the water. You can also pour the rice into a sieve and run water over the top to remove the extra starch.
- Repeat this process 3 times or until the water becomes clear.
- You can then add the required amount of water on top and you are ready to cook.
These easy steps will help to remove the excess starch from your rice and get it ready to cook without boilinig over.
2. Measure the water to add the right amount
To prevent the rice cooker from boiling over due to adding too much water is to measure the water. Most rice cookers come with a small cup which will have easy measures on the side. I have found that these small rice cups are easy to use and around 1 small cup is enough for 1 hungry person.
Measure the same amount of water for the amount of rice you add to your rice cooker and you will be ready to go. I have actually found that adding a dash more water at the end, around 3 tablespoons makes basmati rice absolutely perfect when cooking.
Cups of uncooked rice per person
|People||Cups of uncooked rice|
3. Get a rice cooker the right size for your family
Rice cookers come in a range of sizes from tiny 4 cup capacity up to 10 or more. Choosing a rice cooker the right size will mean it will be quick to cook and you will stop it from boiling over by adding too much rice.
Large rice cookers can be a waste of space if there is only 1 or 2 people using it so choose one the right size for you and your family and don’t overfill.
4. Choose a low starch rice
Choosing a low starch rice is a great way to prevent the excess starch from bubbling up and boiling water. While rinsing can help, choosing a low starch rice will reduce the amount of bubbling straight out of the packet.
The best rice types to use in slow cookers are longer grained rise like Jasmine, Basmati and regular long grain rice as these will already be lower in starch.
My favorite is basmati as it goes great with curries and stir fry and is naturally low GI which means it will release energy slowly.
How to stop a rice cooker from boiling over | Summary
To stop a rice cooker from boiling over start by choosing a low starch rice, rinse it with cold running water and measure the right amount for your meal. Removing extra starch will stop the soapy bubbles from forming and spilling over the edges of your rice cooker.
I have been using my rice cooker a lot lately as I love curries and stir fry. We have a smaller rice cooker that is perfect for 4 but if you have a large family you might need a bigger one to prevent large amount of rice from boiling over and spilling all over your bench.
For more on rice cookers, check out my previous article: