How to strain rice? (6 Ways how)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to strain rice?”, and how to prevent the rice from boiling over?

How to strain rice?

If you do not have a sieve or colander to strain the rice, do not worry, we have got your back. Following are the 6 ways how you can strain rice without a colander or a strainer.

Cheesecloth or Lewis bag

The fine pores of the cheesecloth or lewis bag help maximum starch and water. You can adjust the stretchy cheesecloth or lewis bag across the top of the rice cooker.

 Tip it over to drain the water. Use oven mitts or potholders to flip the rice cooker or pot so you do not burn yourself. If you do not have any of these things, use a regular mesh bag instead. 

The cooking pot’s lid

You can use the lid of the rice cooker or any other pot that can cover the pot.  By placing the lid against the top edge of the pot using oven mitts or pot handlers, you need to slowly tip the pot sideways to allow the water to gush out from both sides. 

Strongly hold the pot or else the hot water can prove to be hazardous If the pot is dropped in the sink. Also, make sure you tip the pot slowly to keep the rice from pouring out along with the water.

Coffee filters 

Garb two bowls and place them side by side. Place 2-3 coffee filters in one bowl. Place this bowl in the sink. Now take the rice cooker and pour its contents into the bowl with the coffee filters.

When the filters are ¾ fully filled, lift the filters out of the bowl. Let the water drain completely from the rice. Then transfer the strained rice to the empty bowl.

A large serving spoon 

This method takes time and It works better If the spoon is large. Slowly tilt the spoon to one side and hold it on the side of the pot for a few seconds to drain the water. When maximum water has been strained and the rice does not fall off the spoon, scoop the rice into an empty bowl kept aside the sink.

A dishtowel 

First of all, adjust a dry kitchen dish towel in a large empty bowl. Pour the contents of the rice cooker into this bowl. Slowly. When the dishtowel is ¾ covered, grab it by its edges and lift it to drain water. Remove the strained rice into an empty bowl.

Paper towels 

Use only heavy-duty bleach-free paper towels for this method. Tear off 6-7 paper towels all at once from the roll. Roll them lengthwise and place them in a bowl. Pour the contents of the rice cooker into the bowl. 

When the paper towels are filled ¾ of their capacity, grab them by their edges and lift them. Hold for a few seconds to strain the water. Transfer the rice to an empty bowl.

Other FAQs about Rice which you may be interested in.

How much rice for 50 people?

How long does vacuum sealed rice last?

What is the best way to store rice?

How to prevent the rice from boiling over?

Wash your rice before cooking

Washing your rice not only prevents the rice from boiling over by removing excess starch but also keeps the rice from sticking. Pour the rice in a bowl or a colander and wash it with plenty of cold water. 

Use your hands to put a little pressure or punch the rice so that the rice grains rub against each other and water to get rid of excess starch. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. Washing your rice followed by soaking in cold water for at least 30 minutes has been linked to shorter cooking times and fluffier rice. However, this step is optional.

Using your rice cooker 

Use your rice cooker right away. Filling the basin of the cooker with excess water will lead to boiling over. Use the correct ratio of water and rice. It is given in the article below.

Add oil or butter to the rice 

Adding oil or butter to the boiling rice will keep the rice from sticking. Not only this, but It will also push the bubbles down by forming a layer on top. Use coconut oil for a mild coconut-y flavor in your Asian-inspired dishes. Olive oil is also a healthy choice. Butter and olive oil are also great options.

Try a different kind of rice 

Each variety of rice has varying amounts of starch content. For example, brown rice, sticky rice, and short-grain rice have rich rich starch content as compared to the white long-grain rice variety. Therefore, try using long-grain white rice like Jasmine rice for your meals.


In this article, we answered the question “How to strain rice?”, and how to prevent the rice from boiling over?