how to remove burnt smell from rice

Covering a pan containing rice, close up


  • Take it off the heat as soon as you smell burning.
  • Start filling the sink with cool water. Plunge the pan into it (to just above where it has burned) to stop it cooking further.


  • You’ll only mix burnt with good rice!
  • If the top rice isn’t cooked yet at this point, then ladle the good rice into a new pan, add some more water, and cook a bit longer with the lid on.


  • Pop a slice of white bread on top. Keep the lid on for 5-10mins.
  • This should  absorb the burned odours and flavours. Any pale bread will do, not the end (crust) piece.
  • If this isn’t enough, follow our foodie suggestions for burnt rice food further down the page.

5-10 MINS WAIT : while the bread absorbs burnt flavours.

While you’re waiting – consider the costs,  time, stress & hard work to fix this burnt rice, not to mention the pan!

So while you’re waiting for the bread to absorb…have a quick look at what we found for you – for just the cost of a few coffees.

It’s your chance to stop the rice burning ever again !


  • Bin the bread, and ladle out the good rice into a new pot.
  • Carefully leave any burned pieces at the bottom, and we’ll deal with those later !
  • WHOOPS ! Now the acrid smell of that burned food lingers so the game will be given away if you don’t take the last step.
  • Weird how our minds work but If people smell the burn they will subliminally taste it too ! So, even if you get rid of the evidence, you will have to still get rid of the lingering odours.


  • Double bag any burnt offerings that you bin. Better still, take it straight to the outside bin.
  • Get the air moving so it can take the smell outside. Open windows to get some fresh air inside.
  • Turn on extractor fans or even use portable fans ( turn up high ! ).  That should mix the fresh air with the smoke. Point the fan out to a place where it can dissipate – in a direction far away from your dinner guests !
  • This should take about 10 minutes.


Next time, save time, stress, and save money too and have the right tools.

This is so worth it.  No more panic in our house !

or if you love pasta / spaghetti too check out

our reader’s other favourite solution 

A HUGE thanks to our readers

for introducing this cool microwave tool too ( we do notice what our readers buy – you cooks inspire us  too !).

I know my parents, and lots of students would love this – it even helps with the measurements which I always need help with for rice and  spaghetti… click the pic below.

check this neat solution out in your country

2 more quick actions to get rid of the initial odour.

  • Put out a bowl of water and vinegar.

It’s best to heat the vinegar ( 2 cups in a pan of water, boil then simmer for 15mins) .
Wet a small towel in the vinegar solution, and whirl it around in the air to absorb odours quickly. Move it around the main cooking area especially.
Dip a piece of bread in the vinegar water and leave the bread on a plate to absorb the burnt smell.

  • Spritz a simple lemon water mix

Put equal parts of water and lemon juice into a simple spray bottle. If the smell is really bad,  you can also use the solution to wash the surfaces around the cooking area. You might even wash the walls and floor too if the smell was really strong.

How to clean the burnt pan.

Tried and tested methods

First, use a wooden spoon to remove any stuck on rice from your pan.

We’ve heard of cleaning it with coke, however, we would stay with the usual vinegar or baking soda tricks.

If you have time to leave it for hours, or overnight there is actually a well known trick with a used clothes softener sheet… read on!

  1. Sprinkle baking soda into bottom of pan and add a few water to make a paste.
  2. Use a wooden spoon to help mix it on the burned parts to lift them a little.
  3. Now add more water to cover burnt parts by about 3cm. (use about 2 tablespoons to 200ml of water).
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and discard water.
  6. Use a non abrasive scrubber to take the burned bits off.

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