Often when cooking rice a lot of it ends up sticking to the bottom of the pan and gets wasted. I'm using a frying pan with a non-stick surface. Is there a way to get all the rice out of the pan easily?

  • 1
    What kind of pan are you using?
    – senschen
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 16:27
  • frying pan with a non-stick surface
    – Mah noor
    Commented Nov 6, 2018 at 16:47

11 Answers 11


Other things you can try:

  • add a tablespoon more water at the start
  • reduce the cook-time by 2 minutes
  • let the rice sit for a minute or two with the lid on, sort of "steaming in its own juices"

The idea is that if the rice is just a bit damp, it won't stick.

  • 2
    I do the "let sit for a few minutes with a lid on" trick, it works for me every single time.
    – Jane S
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 1:59
  • The last point is the key one. Turn the heat off (or very low) well before the rice is fully cooked; with a lid on to keep the heat in, it will continue cooking just fine, but without further heat from the burner, there’s no sticking on the bottom. For cooking white rice in a heavy pan or a heavy hotplate, I usually turn the heat off straight as soon as the rice first comes to the boil. In a light pan on gas or an induction hob, I’d turn the heat to very low at that point, and then completely off a few minutes later when the rice is mostly cooked.
    – PLL
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 13:18
  • Sometimes when the rice first gets soaked, it can adhere to the bottom of the pan. If you leave them there, they won't come off without scraping even if you don't overcook it. Once the water comes to a boil, I take a fork and stir the rice briskly to make sure it's free then turn the heat down and cover.
    – JimmyJames
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 19:13

I find that a silicone spatula is frequently better at getting the pan clean than a stiff spatula like a wooden one. If your rice is slightly burnt into the bottom, you might have to use both - scratch it off with the wooden spatula, then collect with the silicone one.


Try putting a spoon of fat (oil, butter, etc) in the beginning... it will melt and coat the rice/bottom of the pan. I used to always have some rice stuck to the bottom of my pan when I moved into my new home with gas stoves instead of electric. This trick works very well, and now my rice all comes out of the pan clean and easily.


When making sticky-rice I use a rice cooker with a non-stick surface on the inner pot. This works tremendously effectively. If you are using a frying pan with a non-stick surface then my immediate reaction would be that the contact point heat is too high. My second reaction would be to make sure you were rinsing your rice before cooking it (this helps with the extreme stickiness issue)

  • 1
    was going to say the same, never faced any problems with burning or sticking since I started using a rice cooker. the rice clumps together and comes out in almost one piece
    – Pixelomo
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 1:20

Cook it in the microwave. It never sticks because the heat is applied evenly throughout.

Place one cup of rice with one cup of boiling water in a glass bowl with a tablespoon of oil.

Heat on full power for 6 minutes.

Stir the rice, add another cup of boiling water and heat for another 6 minutes. Then fluff it up once finished.

Once you cook it this way you will never go back.


I guess it depends on what you expect from your rice, but my recipe is this:

  • Heat up a pot with some (not too much) oil until the oil is quite hot.
  • Put some volume of rice into it, and vigorously scrape/mix it with whatever large implement you have around (big spatula).
  • Smell it a lot. At some point the rice will start to roast (ever so slightly), it may smell like nuts or something like that.
  • As soon as that smell changes, put in two volumes of cold water.
  • Let it get to boiling and immediately lower the temperature until it stays at an almost-boil. Stir occasionally (like every few minutes). Let it cook until the water is about gone.

For whatever reason, the rice never sticks, at least not more than can easily be swooshed off with a spatula (without any force, without getting any black burned residue).

I usually do that in stainless steel pots (very smooth surfaces). Occasionally I do it in a big wok with a noticeably rough surface, and there it works the same. So it should also work in a pan. I have not tried it in my cast iron pan.


I'm going to go contra to pretty much all the advice so far, but this is how I've been cooking rice for 25 years...

Clear-lidded pans make this far less guesswork.
Don't use a frying pan, use a heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, 3 times the volume of your finished rice.
Don't rinse the rice, you don't need to.

Use your coolest, most even burner - this is not necessarily the smallest. Sometimes the tiny ones generate bad hot-spots that a medium one wouldn't.

Boil the kettle.
Pre-heat the pan on high.
Add rice to your pre-heated pan. Salt as required.
Immediately add 1.75 x the volume of water, not double.

That should immediately hit a rapid boil because of the pre-heating.
Stir once, just enough to ensure the grains are separated.
Drop the heat to minimum [on gas this is near instantaneous, you might need to wait a second on electric]
Put the lid on.
The contents should foam almost to the top but not go over - lift & replace the lid if it looks like it will go over, otherwise leave alone.
Simmer at this minimum temperature for 12-15 mins [depends how low you can get the heat]
Don't lift the lid to "see if it's done". Learn when it's done by repetition.
'When it's done' btw, is when all the water is gone; you might be able to hear a slight crackle as the last bit dries.

After the required time, switch off the heat, leave the lid on.
Allow to rest for another 15-20 minutes.

Fluff briefly with your spatula; no great effort should be required at this stage.
The rice will be separate & fluffy, none will be stuck to the bottom.

This works for pretty much any rice type - long grain, basmati, or short-grain, glutinous [short grain, of course, will not separate in the same way].

  • "Don't rinse the rice, you don't need to.", you buy processed rice in bag of 500gr to 1kg right? Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 13:54
  • If by processed you mean 'ordinary' rice from a supermarket, yes; in 1 or 2kg bags normally. I usually have 4 or 5 different varieties at any time & will apply this same method to all of them. I never use that peculiar par-boiled 'easy-cook' stuff, if that's what you mean.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Nov 7, 2018 at 13:58

I agree with the suggestion of adding a very small amount of oil. I pay attention to the taste and freshness of the oil I use, however small the amount, it influences the taste of the result.


Sticking rice usually happens because of a very high cooking temperature. Your pot should be slightly boiling with the cap closed.


Let it cool and it won't stick, then you can scrape it out with a spatula rather easily.


Do what sushi chefs do when cooking rice, which is to use something like cheese cloth inside the cooking pot. I bought one specifically made for rice, it's big enough to fit inside the pot folded over the rice and the water. AS the rice cooks and the water boils away, the net catches all the rice. When the rice is cooked you grab the ends of the netting and pull the whole thing out of the pot. voila, all the rice in the net.

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