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No matter what recipe I try, whenever I toast rice it comes out unevenly brown (it always skips past the golden brown stage), it lacks any nutty smell and smells and tastes partially burnt.

I tried to toast it with fat, no fat, high heat, medium heat - it all comes out the same. I tried brown, Thai, and Basmati. I have used non-stick pan in all my tries.

  • I know you can toast nuts in a popcorn air popper. If you put some screen down so the rice couldn't fall in, it might work for rice, too. – Joe Jun 28 '16 at 12:00
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Considering the results you're getting with medium or high heat, I would suggest you try low heat. If it skips past the stage you're looking for, it's probably cooking much too quickly - you might occasionally take it off the heat as well, to further draw out the window of when you can find it to be just toasted, not burnt.

In addition, look for other indicators of when it's done. If there's a time component in whatever recipe you're using, (ie, the recipe says toast 6 min) try keeping to it, even if it doesn't look golden brown yet. Maybe keep checking throughout for that nutty scent, and pull it off the heat when you do find it. Some foods keep cooking for a while after they're off the heat, and I'm not sure how 'brown' toasted rice can be expected to look (one of the recipes I saw mentioned "pearly rather than browned"). If the color is paler when 'done' than you're expecting, it will be very easy to overshoot.

Depending on what recipes you're using it for, you might try using rice that has been toasted for only a few minutes, see how it affects your recipe, and working your way up the amount of time you're toasting it for to get the results you want - after all, under-toasted rice should still be usable, while over-toasted sounds unpleasant.

  • It also cooks unevenly and the rice grains get clumped together. – Bar Akiva Jun 28 '16 at 10:54
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    @BarAkiva - I'm not sure why it would be clumping, especially when you're not using fat... the recipes I looked at are starting with dry raw rice, and cooking it after it's toasted, so there's no moisture to pull the dry grains together and they skitter about in the pan. Maybe toasting less rice at a time and stirring more frequently? you might also accept a pan of "toasted rice" is going to have some grains more done than others, but after its finished cooking the whole dish benefits. – Megha Jun 28 '16 at 11:05
  • Do you toast the rice after rinsing the starch? I toast after rinsing it clear (no cloudy water) so I wonder if its the culprit. – Bar Akiva Jun 28 '16 at 14:48
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    @BarAkiva - I would pat the rice dry after rinsing (or even let it air dry), since toasting is a dry cooking method... you're right, though, I should have thought of that as a reason why the clumping and uneven browning might occur - I'm not sure the recipes I looked at mention drying, but the extra heat needed to drive off the water would change cooking times, so I assumed. Maybe try it and see if it will help? – Megha Jun 29 '16 at 2:32

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