The Rice Pot Matters--Thank-you Sleevendog!
I'm not a big rice fan, and I'm picky about it when I eat it. I have some die hard rice eaters, however, who will take it cooked any way. Local rice (California) has a lot of arsenic from the soil so should only be consumed judiciously. I generally try to find rice with less likelihood of significant heavy metals, and cook just enough for the meal so I don't have to be creative with the leftovers (I can always find a use for any amount of pasta...).
There was a learning curve for different kinds of basmati to get the results relevant to different cuisines, made worse by my small pots, which by design aren't steam tight, and needed to be plugged. That's not even mentioning the differences for all the other kinds of rice (though I seem to find risotto remarkably easy--just the vagaries of fate, I guess--but that doesn't count).
Eventually, that all gave me an excuse to buy a little John Pawson/Demeyere, 1.5 qt. Dutch Oven style, at a Zwillings sale. It's a perfect size for little things like making rice, and does a fine job, while being so beautiful in an architectural way. It's a fine little pot for making a little rice in, and so much easier!
The other day, however, I needed a bunch of rice for a casserole. I was using my 4 qt. Staub Dutch oven that Sleevendog showed us on sale (also at Zwillings?) a year ago, ostensibly for baking high hydration bread in. I tried it for the bread and had sorry fails (I can bake every other kind of bread I've put my hand to, but the dump wet dough in hot Dutch oven just eludes me. OTOH, I couldn't turn down the remarkable price for Staub quality when I didn't have a pot in such a useful size and shape (I had a long handle 3 qt. and an oval 5 qt. for tall sided pans near that size).
Anyway, you guessed it, I made the rice in the Staub. It's the bestest of best rice I've ever made! White basmati--nothing special. The trick, I'm sure, is the drip bumps inside the Staub lid. As the condensation forms, the bumps encourage it to bead and drip back into the pot. The high sides around the lid may also help keep in the steam, but I don't know enough physics to be sure on that. I didn't have to intercede about anything. The pot did it all. Finished with some EVOO, herbs and seasoning. So fluffy! So sweet! So didn't have to bother with it! So good!
Thank, Sleevendog! I've been getting a lot of very good use out of this pot, and it's now my go-to rice pot, too!