Cook Your Best Risotto Yet!
There's no denying, risotto can be a difficult dish to master. To help you on your journey to cooking the perfect risotto, we've compiled together a list of some of the biggest mistakes you can make while cooking risotto, so you can try to avoid them!
Buying The Wrong Rice
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while cooking risotto, can actually happen before you even turn on the stove! The most important ingredient in risotto is rice, but it's easy to pick the wrong rice. Skip the sushi rice and brown rice, because they don't offer the best texture or creaminess to make a good risotto. The best types of rice to use are arborio, carnarolli, or vialone nano
Rinsing Rice With Water
Just like sushi, risotto needs to retain its sticky consistency. Washing the rice strips off the starch that’s the key element to maintaining that classic creamy texture.
Choosing Butter vs. Oil
Once you pour your risotto into a heated pan with garlic or shallots, the next step is deciding whether to use butter or oil. The best way to choose between the two is to look at the ingredients you're using, if you're making a seafood risotto we recommend using oil, but if your risotto is vegetable based you should opt for butter.
Toasting The Rice Too Long
Once you add your rice to your pan with either butter or oil, you should let it toast to help create a better texture and bring infuse the risotto with more flavor. You don't want to under-toast your rice, but you certainly don't want to over-toast it or burn it either. When you over-toast your rice you can give it an unsavory, bitter flavor. You should aim to only toast your rice for 1-2 minutes, any more than that and you risk ruining your risotto.
Risotto should be cooked to an al dente texture. Often home cooks mistake the creaminess of risotto, as the rice being extra soft. Overcooking your rice will leave you with a mushy texture that is not true to a classic risotto. When you're cooking your risotto, the process should take about 30 minutes, maybe even less! Any longer than that 30 minute mark and you're likely venturing into overcooked territory.
According to Chef Antonio Salvatore, "Overstirring is one way to quickly ruin a risotto’s texture. With the right cooking temperature (a medium bubble), the rice will continue to move on its own, so you only need to stir to ensure the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot."
Skimping On The Dairy
The best part of risotto is it's creaminess! I If you don't fill your risotto FULL of parmesan and butter, you're taking away the classic, creaminess and decadence associated with the Italian dish. Risotto’s appeal is its texture and it's considered a luxury dish for a reason— don't ruin it by skimping on the cheese and butter!