4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Making Risotto
Risotto is a popular rice dish that has a reputation for being one of the harder-to-master Italian recipes. When done right, risotto is rich and creamy with al dente rice, a rainbow of seasonal veggies, a sprinkling of fresh herbs, and a blanket of parmesan. Take a wrong turn, however, and you’re left with an unappetizing mush.
What makes risotto so challenging to make?
It’s hard enough to cook perfect rice without a rice cooker, so it’s not too surprising that creating a perfect risotto can be difficult. Let’s take a look at the top mistakes that lead to a failed risotto.
Using the Wrong Type of Rice
One of the biggest mistakes people make often takes place at the grocery store: buying the wrong kind of rice. Avoid using long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine for risotto, as they don’t have enough starch content to achieve risotto’s signature creaminess.
The type of rice you should be using when making risotto is called Arborio rice, which is available at most supermarkets. Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that is capable of absorbing large amounts of liquid. As a result, it produces a creamy risotto with a hearty texture.
When cooking risotto on a stovetop, you’re required to periodically stir it to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Some people, however, stir it too frequently. This adds air into the risotto, cooling it down and making it gluey.
With the right cooking temperature, the rice will naturally move around in the pot. As such, when cooking risotto on a stovetop, you only need to quickly stir it every 30 minutes so that the rice doesn’t stick.
One of the most surefire ways to ruin risotto is by overcooking it. Like pasta, the rice should be al dente—just cooked with a little bite to it. If you can mold your risotto into a shape, you’ve cooked it too long. When cooking risotto on a stove top, taste it periodically to test its doneness.
Cooking at Too Low a Heat
Cooking risotto is a slow process, but if you cook it at too low a heat, it won’t cook properly. Adjust your stove’s temperature so that the rice maintains a steady medium bubble.
The Easiest Way to Cook Risotto
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when cooking risotto on a stovetop. A little overstirring or overcooking and your risotto could be a total bust.
An easier, more reliable way to get perfect risotto every time is by using an electric rice cooker or multicooker, such as the Aroma Digital Rice & Grain Multicooker. This all-in-one cooker has a patented technology called Sauté-Then-Simmer®, which cooks food on a high heat setting (as you would in a sauté pan) and then automatically switches to a simmer once liquid is added. This function makes whipping up risotto a breeze.
With Sauté-Then-Simmer, you won’t have to worry about temperature, overcooking, overstirring, or rice sticking to the pot—although it can’t prevent you from picking up the wrong kind of rice at the market!
To make a perfectly-cooked, creamy risotto using the Aroma Digital Rice & Grain Multicooker, all you have to do is:
- Press the Sauté-Then-Simmer button on your cooker.
- Add some oil, close the lid, and give the inner pot about five minutes to heat up.
- Add the ingredients you’d like to sauté to the pot and sauté them to the desired consistency.
- Pour the vegetable broth, rice, and other ingredients into the pot and close the lid.
- Within minutes, the multicooker will automatically switch to simmer.
- Then, just sit back and relax while it cooks for 30-40 minutes.
- After the cooker beeps and switches to KEEP WARM, add parmesan cheese and serve!