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I usually cook risotto in a wide-based, shallow pan. It always seems to take longer than the recipes would suggest.

I've just seen a chef using a deeper saucepan. Would this help speed things up?

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3 Answers 3

If you really want to speed it up you can use a pressure cooker, although the problem I'd envisage there is that there is a greater risk of overcooking because 2-3 minutes too long in the cooker is a much bigger problem than when cooking conventionally.

Update: Pressure cooker works very well, use about 210% stock compared to the rice, i.e. if you use 300g rice, use 630 grams stock. Cook for 7 minutes at full pressure. I.e. start timing after full pressure have been achieved. Cool quickly (using water on the outside) and open lid. Check if the rice is cooked enough, continue cooking until you have reached the level you want. Add your butter/parmesan and everything else you would add in the end of the cooking.

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@Stefan : Is 'Stefan' the same person as 'Stefano'? (perhaps who lost their original password?). If not, it'd probably be better to add this as a comment or a new answer, rather than modifying someone else's answer. –  Joe Nov 7 '12 at 11:44
    
Nope, it's not me; I approved the edit though, seems okay to have that info in the answer rather than a comment. –  Stefano Nov 7 '12 at 11:46
    
just didn't want someone attributing something to you that you might not've been aware of. –  Joe Nov 7 '12 at 11:53
    
how do you stir the risotto to achieve the creaminess in the pressure cooker? I would assume shaking it while cooking would help, but is there anything else? –  Joe Nov 7 '12 at 11:54
    
No, you don't stir at all; the Modernist Cuisine guys found minimal differences between PC risotto and conventionally cooked. The stirring thing is a bit of a myth, have a read of the Serious Eats article posted in the answer from Franko there for more detail on that. –  Stefano Nov 7 '12 at 11:58

Yes.

A wide pan will have a lot of evaporation, which reduces the surface heat. A narrower pan will have less evaporation, so the process will speed up.

If you want to speed it up, just a little more, between stirring, put a lid on the pan. Every bit helps.

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Kenjii at the Serious Eats blog covered risotto last fall here:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/10/the-food-lab-the-science-of-risotto.html

Exploring the science behind it might help explain why your method works the way it does. I also thought he covered a method to make it more quickly, but I can't seem to find it right now, sorry.

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