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Why Is Risotto Hard To Make? 5 Main Reasons

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Risotto is a delicious meal that can be very versatile since you can add whatever you like to your risotto and this fact on its own can make risotto hard to make.

We grew up with our mothers making pilaf rice, which is very in Romania and has many similarities with risotto. So, maybe for us, it’s a bit easier to make a good risotto, but even so, I know many things can go wrong.

While researching this topic, I stumbled upon many articles that claim that it’s actually easy to make risotto. 

You just have to follow x number of easy steps with a few extra mini-steps. Like everybody who asks why it is hard to make risotto is a chef and felt like googling about risotto. The truth is that getting a good risotto is complicated, and you should know this before starting to cook.


Why is risotto hard to make?

Risotto is hard to make due to the fact that it has many ingredients with different melting and cooking points, so you would have to know very well when to add each ingredient to get the perfect texture out of your risotto.

Also, the thing that you can add almost anything to risotto after the main ingredients makes it more complicated. You can add seafood, chicken, beef, vegetables, and so on to risotto which can complicate the recipe quite a bit since not all of them will need to be cooked for the same amount of time.

This is the benefit of making risotto, it is versatile, and you can add anything you like, making it harder to get it done properly.

Let’s see a few more reasons why risotto can be hard to make:

Five reasons risotto is hard to make

-Choosing the best rice.

Choosing the rice is the first step you make when cooking risotto, so you must make sure you choose the right one. Here are a few kinds of rice that most people recommend: Carnaroli rice, Roma rice, and Arborio.

You have to avoid using long grain rice like basmati or jasmine since they will not have the same texture due to a lack of starch compared to the rice types listed above.

-Don’t wash the rice

I have an entire article about washing rice here, and I said there that most of the time, the rice should be washed before cooking unless you make risotto because you will take off its starch, and the texture of your risotto will not be as good.

-Quality of the broth and wine you use

When making risotto with broth and wine, which is recommended if you want to be as authentic as possible, it is crucial to choose a good quality white wine. A dryer wine will work much better since it will not add a sweet taste to risotto.

When it comes to broth, it is better to use a homemade broth or if you don’t have one, make sure you choose a good quality broth from the market.

-Adding butter and parmesan at the wrong moment

After the risotto is fully cooked and the texture is what you would like, you have to turn off the heat and let the risotto cool for a few minutes before adding the butter and parmesan to give the creamier texture your risotto.

You can add other cheese types to your risotto or substitute cheese with other vegetarian alternatives. Still, parmesan will always work great, while getting creative can go wrong sometimes, making risotto even harder to cook correctly.

-Over stirring and overcooking

Those two are kind of self-explained. You have to stir risotto from time to time but not constantly. You need to stir risotto enough to not stick to the bottom of the pan but not more than that.

stirring risotto

When it comes to overcooking, the risotto should be al dente, and the best way to ensure this is to taste it from time to time. When the rice doesn’t have a grainer texture, it’s easy to eat. It’s time to stop it from cooking.

This step is easy to mess up if you add too much broth to it because the rice will be overdone until the broth evaporates enough. The best thing you can do to avoid adding too much broth is to add it progressively.

-Don’t burn the onions

One of the first steps we didn’t talk about is to fry the onions gently, and we all know how tricky it can be to fry the onions just enough but not burn them.

You sit there stirring the finely chopped onions for several minutes. They look nice, you take your phone to check social media for a second, and when you look back to the pan, they are burned. If you didn’t experience this, I congratulate you but keep in mind that you are overdue.

Read Also: Can You Reheat Risotto ?


The conclusion is that risotto is pretty hard to make correctly. You must add each ingredient at the perfect time and watch them carefully since one ingredient that doesn’t get the perfect texture for risotto can ruin the entire recipe.

And as I said, every extra ingredient you want to add will complicate the recipe. Seafood risotto can be much harder to make than vegetable risotto, so do your research before cooking.

seafood risotto

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