Why Is My Rice Bubbling? (Causes, Prevention + Other Related FAQs)

Cooking rice is often uneventful since you usually turn on the rice cooker or the stove and wait. However, there are also times when something alarming happens, like the rice bubbling and spilling.

If your rice has never bubbled before, you might be concerned that something is wrong with your rice and wonder why the rice is bubbling? I looked into it, and here’s what I discovered!

Why Is My Rice Bubbling?

Rice bubbles during the cooking process because the starch content of the rice is reacting to the heat. When the starch is being gelatinized, the starch continuously releases air that turns into bubbles. While there are ways to stop the bubbles from overflowing or displacing the lid of your rice cooker or pan, rice will always bubble while being cooked.

In case you’re curious to learn more about what causes the rice to bubble and how you can cook rice without the rice bubbling ever again, keep reading!

Is It Normal For Rice To Bubble?

It’s normal for rice to bubble while the rice is being cooked. Since rice contains starch and sometimes excessive amounts of starch, the rice becomes bubbly at one point while cooking.

Additionally, some rice doesn’t bubble a lot while some rice bubbles so much that the water spills over and the lid is rattled. Both situations are normal and shouldn’t cause alarm.

Why Is My Rice Bubbling In The Rice Cooker?

If the rice bubbles over in the rice cooker, it’s rarely because there’s something wrong with the rice cooker.

Rice bubbling is a normal occurrence, and what you’ll want to address is excessive bubbling. To avoid excessive bubbling, rinse the rice thoroughly and don’t use too much water.

How Do You Stop Rice From Bubbling?

While it’s possible to stop the rice from bubbling so much and making a mess, the rice can’t cook without bubbling even a little.

Long-grain rice, which is known for having fewer amounts of starch compared to short-grain and medium-grain rice, will also bubble a little when cooked.

To stop the rice from making a mess, rinse the grains to get rid of the excess starch. Afterward, add just enough water to the rice and cook the rice on low heat.

Consequently, the rice will cook at a slower pace, but this will ensure that there’s not enough heat to make the rice bubble and the water spill.

What To Do If Rice Boils Over?

If you notice the rice boiling over halfway through the cooking process, you can either turn down the heat a little or just make sure that the lid isn’t displaced.

Additionally, you’ll want to check on the rice to make sure that there’s enough water to cook the rice. Otherwise, the rice will be partially or wholly undercooked.

Why Is My Rice Boiling Over In The Microwave?

Rice boils over in the microwave because the temperature gets too high. Often, people cook rice with the lid on, and this causes the heat to be trapped in the container with the rice.

Furthermore, there could be too much water or too much rice in your chosen container, or the container itself is too small for the amount of rice you plan to cook.

How To Stop Rice From Boiling Over In The Microwave?

How To Stop Rice From Boiling Over In The Microwave?

To stop the rice from boiling over in the microwave, you can displace the lid a little to allow the steam to escape. Additionally, you can use a lid that has a designated hole for the steam.

If no such lid is available, you can instead turn down the heat to lower the temperature and stop the rice from boiling over.

Furthermore, you can get a bigger container and make sure that you’re cooking the amount of rice and using the amount of water suitable for that container.

Why Is My White Rice Bubbling?

White rice is more prone to bubbling because white rice generally has a higher starch content than a lot of rice variants.

As such, you must wash white rice thoroughly so that any excess starch coating the grains will not result in the rice bubbling over.

Why Are There Bubbles In My Rice?

If you’re done cooking the rice but there are still bubbles in your rice, this could indicate that you weren’t able to wash off the excess starch on your rice.

Just as likely is that your rice is undercooked or you added too much water to your rice. If the rice is not completely mushy, it is still possible to fix the rice. 

Why Does Rice Need To Be Boiled?

Boiling is known to be one of the most efficient ways to thoroughly cook most kinds of rice.

Although boiling may aggravate the bubbling of your rice, boiling rice is a sure way to get rice that has the right texture and taste.

Can You Cook Rice Without The Lid?

While it’s recommended that you cook rice with the lid on, it’s not always necessary. However, cooking rice without a lid requires you to pay more attention to your rice.

One perk of cooking without a lid is that the rice is less likely to bubble and spill over although there are cases wherein bubbling and spilling can still happen.

To successfully cook rice without using a lid, you’ll have to let the rice boil as usual and then lower the heat. Afterward, allow the rice to simmer for around five minutes.

Check the rice and stir to distribute the remaining water. Once there’s only a little water at the bottom of the pot, stop cooking the rice and let the rice absorb the remaining water.

If you want to learn why your rice is sticky, why your rice is crunchy, and why your rice is mushy, read our related articles.


Rice naturally bubbles when it is being cooked. While you can reduce the bubbling of the rice, there’s no way to cook the rice without the rice bubbling even a little.

If you want to cook rice without making a mess, you’ll have to rinse the rice thoroughly to flush out the excess starch that may be coating the grains.

Additionally, make sure that you’re using just the right amount of water, and that you either don’t cover the rice or use a lid that has a hole where the steam can escape.

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