This simple cooking trick ensures delicious results every time, y'all.  

Photo: Howard Lee Puckett

Sick of gummy, gluey rice? There’s a simple trick to getting a pot full of light and fluffy yet separate grains every time. And this tip works for any type of rice cooked on the stovetop, from Basmati to brown.

Once you have cooked the rice according to the package directions, cover the pot with a lid and move the pot off of the heat so that the rice can continue to steam for about five minutes. Don’t uncover the pot and let out the trapped steam; it will help the rice finish cooking.

After a few minutes, uncover the pot and let the rice sit, uncovered, for another minute. This will allow the rice to “dry out” a bit, which prevents it from turning gummy and sticky.

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Finally, use a fork to gently fluff up the grains, then serve. That’s it! These simple steps also work for other types of cooked grains like farro and quinoa and steamed starches, like couscous.

There is one caveat: This trick works if you cook your rice correctly in the first place, so be sure to read the package directions. If you add too much water or do not cover the lid while the rice is cooking, you’re likely to mess up the rice and no amount of fluffing will be able to save it.

If you’re looking for new ways to use your perfectly steamed pot of rice, we’ve got plenty of delicious ideas. This endlessly versatile pantry staple can take center stage in a hearty dinner bowl or satisfying casserole or play a back-up role in a stir-fry or jambalaya. And of course, leftover rice can be put to good use in a bowl of fried rice or creamy rice pudding.