Why Is My Rice Crunchy? (Causes, Solutions + More)

Cooking rice is supposed to be easy, but as you experiment with different rice variants and cooking methods, you’ll discover that preparing the perfect rice is trickier than you think.

If you cooked rice recently and came up with hard grains, you’ll want to know what you did that made your rice crunchy. I looked into it, and here’s what I found!

Why Is My Rice Crunchy?

Rice turns out crunchy if the rice is undercooked or was cooked with too little water. When this happens, the rice grains didn’t get enough moisture to soften. Additionally, if some of the rice is soft and some aren’t, there could be a problem with the pan or the rice cooker you’re using, likely something that affects the distribution of heat.

In case you’re curious to learn more about what makes rice crunchy and how you can remedy crunchy rice, keep reading!

What Does Crunchy Rice Mean?

Crunchy rice is an indication that the rice is undercooked. In this scenario, there are plenty of likely reasons you can consider.

Firstly, you may not have cooked the rice in enough water. Depending on the type of rice you buy, the amount of water they need to thoroughly cook can be more or less than normal.

Additionally, you may be using heat that is too high or unequally distributed, which often happens with faulty rice cookers or low-quality saucepans.

How Do You Soften Rice?

To soften crunchy rice, all you have to do is to add a half cup of water to the rice cooker or saucepan, put the lid back on, and wait for the rice to cook some more.

Moreover, refrain from increasing the heat because if the water evaporates too soon, there won’t be enough moisture to soften the rice grains.

How Do You Fix Crispy Rice?

If the rice is crispy not because the rice is slightly burnt, softening the rice is not an option.

Fortunately, crispy rice can be used to make a lot of delicious dishes like Naem Khao Thawt and Crunchy Rice Pilaf with Pistachios and Orange.

What Can You Do If Rice Isn’t Fully Cooked?

If the rice isn’t fully cooked, add half a cup of water and put the lid back on the saucepan or the rice cooker.

Basically, the goal is to create enough steam so that the grains will gradually soften and become fluffy enough to enjoy.

In case your rice is undercooked because you’re using high heat, lower the heat first before remedying the problem. Otherwise, the water you add will just evaporate too quickly.

Why Is My Rice Hard The Next Day?

When leftover rice is stored in the fridge overnight, the rice hardens because the rice’s starch content reacts to the change in temperature.

Normally, if the rice is properly cooked and hardened only because of the fridge’s cool temperature, the rice will easily soften when reintroduced to heat and a little water.

How Do You Know If Rice Is Overcooked?

Overcooked rice can either end up burnt or mushy. If you put too little water in the saucepan or the rice cooker, the rice will turn out hard and the bottom portion will be charred.

Meanwhile, if you used too much water, the rice grains will split and the rice will either be too sticky or have the consistency of glue.

How Do You Fix Crispy Rice In Jambalaya?

Crispy rice in Jambalaya can either mean the rice is undercooked or the rice is so overcooked that some of the grains are burnt.

To fix undercooked rice in Jambalaya, make sure that you’re using medium-low heat and that you’re not taking off the lid now and then.

However, if the rice is crispy because the rice is burnt, remove the rice from the heat and consider adding some seasoning to make up for any smoky aroma or flavor.

How Do You Fix Crunchy Rice In The Microwave?

How Do You Fix Crunchy Rice In The Microwave?

To fix crunchy rice in the microwave, start by transferring the undercooked rice to a bowl and adding some water to the rice. Afterward, cover the bowl with a paper towel.

Usually, it would take only two minutes for the rice to soften in the microwave. However, if the rice still ends up hard, redo the process until the rice becomes softer.

Moreover, make sure that you’re adding enough water and that the heat isn’t too high.

Can You Stir-Fry Undercooked Rice?

You can stir-fry undercooked rice and end up with softer and chewier rice in the process. If not, the additional ingredients and seasoning will make the crispy rice appetizing.

How To Fix Undercooked Rice On Stove?

Regardless of the rice is completely undercooked or just partially undercooked, fixing crispy rice on the stove only requires that you let the rice cook a little longer.

Generally, the safest amount of water to add to uncooked rice on the stove is half a cup. If the rice is still slightly hard afterward, add more water and keep the lid on the saucepan.

Why Is My Rice Crunchy In The Middle?

If your rice is crunchy in the middle, that means that the rice is partially undercooked. To fix this, check if there’s water in the rice cooker or on the saucepan.

In case there’s water at the bottom, don’t add more water to the pan. Simply let the rice cook some more on medium-low heat.

Otherwise, add a little water and be careful that the rice doesn’t become overcooked in the process.

Why Is My Brown Rice Crunchy?

Just like white rice, brown rice can turn out crunchy if you don’t cook the brown rice with enough water.

To come up with brown rice that’s soft and chewy, you’ll have to add more water to the rice than you do with regular white rice.

Furthermore, brown rice normally takes longer to cook. If you use the same cooking time as white rice, you’ll likely yield brown rice that’s too hard to eat.

Take a look at our related articles to learn why your rice is mushy, why your rice is bubbling, and why your rice is blue.


Rice can end up crunchy for a variety of reasons but generally, the rice is crunchy because the rice is undercooked.

However, rice can also be crunchy when it’s overcooked and some of the grains have begun to turn golden brown or black.

Fortunately, there are many ways to fix undercooked and overcooked rice so that the rice can still be enjoyed.

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