It's not easy to make perfectly consistent rice on the stove -- sometimes the pot of rice comes out too mushy, burnt, or crunchy. That's why you might want to adopt celebrity chef Alton Brown's method of rice cooking.
Photo by allaboutgeorge.
Instead of adding rice to the pot of water, Brown toasts the rice in a skillet and separately boils water in a kettle. Then he adds the boiled water to the pan, stirs, and lets sit on low heat for 20 minutes. After 5 minutes of resting (the resting time is important), you've got fluffy, perfectly cooked rice.
The Detroit News points out a few benefits of this approach:
There are a few reasons why this method works. Toasting the rice enhances its flavours -- just like when we toast spices or nuts -- and I personally find it improves the finished texture of the dish. Secondly, by boiling water separately and then pouring it over the rice to simmer, you eliminate any guesswork. One of the problems I find with rice is that, depending on the size of the pot and the strength of the burner, the amount of time it requires to come to a boil can vary greatly. This means the overall cooking time is going to vary significantly, as a result. Brown's method means cooking time is the same, no matter your stove. (Brilliant, right?)
Personally, I need a dedicated rice cooker, but if I had to do it on the stove, this seems like the smart way to go.