The Spatula Test Every Risotto Expert Knows To Check For Doneness

Homemade risotto is one of those savory meals that rarely disappoint. You know, the kind of dish you crave the moment you begin cooking. Whether you're making parmesan, mushroom, or broccoli risotto, your impatience may flare up the moment you smell butter and onion wafting through your kitchen. Start grating the cheese for your risotto, and it's safe to assume that, yeah, okay, you're getting hungry now. 

Cooking can often prove an exercise in patience, especially for more labor-intensive meals like risotto that require quite a few steps. Unfortunately, there's no quick skip to making risotto in a flash, but there is one easy trick to discern whether your risotto is actually ready. Try the spatula technique, which is as simple as it sounds. If your risotto flows past your spatula, it's time to eat. As for how and why this trick works? Well, it's all about testing your risotto's texture.

Use a spatula to see if your risotto has thickened to your desired consistency

The hallmark of any successful risotto is its unique and complex texture. An ideal risotto will be thick and creamy, but not quite mushy. In fact, many recipes call for home chefs to crisp up the rice ahead of cooking, so it will taste more nuanced than standard Arborio. Likewise, in the spirit of true Italian risotto-making, it's ideal to take it off the stove when the rice is still al dente. Sound like a lot to juggle? 

Luckily, the spatula method caters to your rice's texture. Simply move your spatula around your pot of cooking rice. If the rice flows back to fill the gap left by the spatula, it's ready. However, if it doesn't, that means the texture isn't there yet. With this tip, you'll avoid having to pick up the spoon to check whether your risotto is ready. Gone are the days of burnt tongues on piping-hot meals. If you're ready to test out this technique, try making our creamy mushroom and roasted garlic risotto recipe that's full of umami goodness.