How to Cook Perfect White Rice on the Stove

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Let me get this out of the way right now: I could live on rice.

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Some people love pasta (meh). Some people love bread.

I love rice. Always have.

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I’ve had so many folks ask me about how to cook rice, I figured I’d post my basic method here.

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Different ways of cooking rice

There’s a couple of different ways to cook rice on the stove.

You can boil it in a big pot of water like pasta, then drain it. That will definitely work, though it takes longer, because you need the water to come up to a boil.

You can steam it, which I’ve never tried.

I think some people even make it in the oven.

I use the absorption method on top of the stove, which means that the rice soaks up all the liquid that’s in the pot.

Ratio of rice to water

Most types of rice call for roughly 2 parts water to 1 part dried rice.

Too much water, and your rice will be mushy. Not enough, and it will be chewy.

It’s obvious, but when in doubt, check your package of rice. It will almost always have cooking instructions on it.

How much rice should you make?

Count on about 1/2 cup dried rice per person for a side.

If the rice is a main part of the dish, increase accordingly.

1 cup of dried rice will yield *about* 3 cups of cooked rice.

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Rice cooking chart (ratio of rice to water)

Everybody I talk to seems to use slightly different ratios.

Here are the basic proportions of rice to water I use when cooking different kinds of rice.

(Are yours different? Leave a comment below, let us know how you do it!)

  • Long-grain white rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water
  • Japanese sushi rice—1 cup rice to 1 1/4 cups water
  • Brown rice (long-grain and short-grain)—1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water
  • Wild rice—1 cup rice to 4 cups water
  • Red rice—1 cup rice to 1 3/4 cups water
  • Jasmine rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water
  • Black rice—1 cup rice to 2 cups water

If you’re making any kind of par-boiled rice, follow the instructions on the package.

And finally, here’s a step-by-step of how I make Basmati rice.

Perfect, Fluffy White Rice

1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water or stock
Pinch of salt

Yields about 3 cups cooked rice

Approximate cooking time: 20-25 minutes

Rinse your rice

People will be arguing about whether to rinse rice until the end of time.

Some people swear by it. Some people swear they’d never rinse their rice. It’s up to you.

Rinsing your rice helps takes some of the surface starch off the outside of the grains, which will help keep it from clumping once it’s cooked.

Measure out your rice into a medium-sized pot.

Run cold water into the pot until the rice is covered.

Stir the whole business around with a spoon or a clean hand.

See how cloudy the water gets?

Dump the cloudy water out, and keep rinsing until the water is relatively clear.

Don’t make yourself crazy with this. A couple of rinses should be just fine.

Bring the pot to a boil

When your rice is clean, measure out your water and add it to the pot.

Toss in the salt.

Set the pot on the stove, uncovered, over high heat.

Bring the water to a boil.

Simmer with the lid cracked

When the water comes to a boil, knock the heat down low enough so that it just holds a simmer.

Cover the pot and crack the lid.

Simmer without stirring for maybe 10 minutes (depending on how hot you have the stove).

Keep a good eye on it until you get a sense for timing.

When a lot of the water has been absorbed and you see tiny steam holes appear on the surface of the rice, turn the stove off completely.

I didn’t circle all of them by a long shot, but here’s what I mean by steam holes.

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Leave the pot on the burner, and cover completely for maybe 10 more minutes.

The rice will absorb the remainder of the water during this time.

When your rice has absorbed all the water, it will look about like this.

Fluff and serve!

Right before serving, fluff the finished rice up by raking it with a fork.

And, voila! You just made rice.

Easy, right?

Serve and enjoy!

How do you like your rice?

Leave a comment below, let us know!

Perfect White Rice

Yields About 3 cups

Here's how to make perfect white rice on the stove every time. Easy, peasy.

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Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups water or stock
Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Measure out your rice into a medium-sized pot. Run cold water into the pot until the rice is covered. Dump the cloudy water out, and keep rinsing until the water is relatively clear.
  2. When your rice is clean, measure out your water and add it to the pot.
  3. Toss in the salt.
  4. Set the pot on the stove, uncovered, over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, knock the heat down low enough so that it just holds a simmer. Cover the pot and crack the lid. Simmer without stirring for maybe 10 minutes (depending on how hot you have the stove). Keep a good eye on it until you get a sense for timing.
  6. When a lot of the water has been absorbed and you see tiny steam holes appear on the surface of the rice, turn the stove off completely.
  7. Leave the pot on the burner, and cover completely for maybe 10 more minutes. The rice will absorb the remainder of the water during this time.
  8. Right before serving, fluff the finished rice up by raking it with a fork.
  9. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2013/06/27/how-to-cook-perfect-white-rice-on-the-stove/


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

94 COMMENTS

  1. I might have to try your method. I’m Japanese…born and bred on rice-cooker steamed rice but yours looks awfully tasty!! And I could also live on rice alone!

  2. I may have to try this method soon. Whenever I cook rice, I can’t seem to make that perfect softness that I want. My family is used to chewy rice by now thanks to me. But I’m going to surprise them with this. Thank you very much for this article.

  3. This is how I was taught to cook rice. Except I don’t rinse (I like it a little sticky) and I add about a teaspoon of butter. If you’re using Basmati, and add the butter, it almost smells like popcorn when you left the lid. =)

  4. Thanks for the step by step recipe for cooking rice. I learned a long time to cook rice so that it remains crumbly and does not stick together. It’s not easy 🙂

  5. In our family we use 1C. Basmati-2C. Water-1tbsp. Olive oil-1tsp. Better than bullion (chicken flavor). Toss all together in a pan on high heat and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to low. Lave (without peeking) on low heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, fluf and enjoy. The bottom can get a little brown, and that’s the best part!

  6. I love rice too. I always rinse white rice because it usually has talc on it which I prefer not eating. Also, some researchers found that there is less arsenic in rice when you rinse it first–search for a Chicago Tribune article to read about that.

  7. Hello, i am about to try your method but do you bring the water up to a boil and then add the rice or do you add the rice and water together?
    Thanks,
    Cassie.

    • From all that I’ve heard about cooking rice, you have it in the pot at the beginning with the water & boil them up together, unlike pasta. 🙂

  8. After HOW MANY PAGES have I searched for the best way to make rice, and this one is the best page I have found. Sometimes it takes step by step, exact detailed instructions for some of us. I’m not wasting money on a rice cooker and I do NOT want to do instant rice. Thank you, Mouse, for making this article!

  9. I had to laugh at the matter-of-fact and practical demonstration of cooking the perfect pot of rice! It is precisely the way I have been doing for so long. I emailed this to a young friend who asked ‘how?’
    Great stuff! Thank you very much.

  10. This is the way I was taught by an acquaintance from Vietnam. It works every time, it really is stress free rice cooking! I love rice too! But pasta ain’t “meh”! O Mouse!

  11. Thanks!!im a Krishna devotee living in Mayan caribe mexico(Tulum)and I accidentally bought beans that containe meat,I’m a vegetarian so that wasn’t gonna work!!i traded my neighbor for some rice. He also gave me a lil cheese and some salsa. I made wraps!!! And offered them to Krishna!!yummy prasadum (sacred food) thanks for the recipe

  12. Cooking on a stove is much better than a rice cooker, IMHO.

    After the rice is cooked and it appears to have absorbed all the water, I like to turn off the heat and leave the lid on for 2-3 hours so the rice can evenly absorb all the water. Maybe even put a wet towel on top to trap in the moisture.

  13. Hey there, took a day off from work, was feeling lazy, tried cooking rice several times earlier but it got mushy wet all the time but tried ur method perhaps I was using too much water earlier … u know what? I got it this time 🙂 my wife would be happy when she gets back from work 🙂 thanks alot.

  14. Couldn’t remember the rice to water ratio thank you very much. I personally like to use boiling water to start with, but very much appreciate your help.

  15. I noticed you used the same measuring cup for both the rice and water. Measuring cups for liquid and measuring cups for solids are not interchangeable, they measure different amounts. Liquids are measured by weight (a cup of water is 8 oz) while solids are measured by volume (a cup is the amount that will fill a certain amount of space.)

    • Hi Slayton I was wondering if 1 cup of water was 8 oz how much does 2 cups of rice measure? not in weight but in volume according to the cooking description?

    • Im gonna have to disagree with you on this one. Working jn professional kitchens for over 10 yrs. I can say this is not correct. Liquids were measured by volume and solids were measured by weight. If we had things such as sugar, salt or things such as, we measured in the same vessels that we measured liquids. We never had any problems with measurements or recipes.

  16. I’m Filipino. We don’t use precise measurements. But we use jasmine rice, wash it until the water is almost clear, then fill it up to your first knuckle on your middle finger for a smaller woman or pinky knuckle if you a a bigger man. If you cook it in a pot you set it on high until it boils stirring it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Once it starts boiling you put the flam on really low for 20 minutes. We don’t add salt or anything else when cooking. There’s plenty of that in the dish being eaten with rice and the rice balances out the food nicely without salt. Rice and water is the Asian way when cooking. I’ve even seen Caucasians frequently use butter on their rice. That’s disgusting.

  17. Ive never cooked rice before and your article was by far the easiest to understand and do. Im letting the rice simmer now. So in about 8 mins ill do the rest lol xD again id like to say thank you for not complicating the whole process. (The pictures help too.)

  18. This was the most helpful cooking tutorial! I have been trying and failing at rice for ten years, and this method turns out perfect EVERY TIME. Thank you so much. 🙂

  19. I am making chilli and rice for 15 at a dinner soon…and I am panicking a bit about cooking rice for so many. Would this method work in a large pot for such numbers or would I be better dividing it into 2/3 batches. Thank you in anticipation!

  20. Hi. Thanks for tutorial. Have always used the cooker, but husband prefers stove. Made many mistakes, ur article helped tremendously.

    Thanx again.

  21. 1st – For long grain rice, the ratio is 1 rice to 1&1/2 H2O, and add at least a teaspoon of salt per cup of rice.
    2nd – If you “fry” the rice with the salt and a little oil before adding the water, it will be much better. Just stir the dry rice in the pot over high heat for a minute.
    3rd – On high, let the water boil and then lower the temperature to the minimum possible and cover. Do not uncover until it is done! in about 20 minutes.

    In many Latin American countries we make rice every day and that is what we do to get tasty fluffy rice. In the USA, I discovered sona masoori rice (Indian) that is delicious, similar to long grain and is cooked the same way.

  22. Thank you!!! I have failed over and over to make rice even though I’m otherwise a decent cook. I used your recipe and while it’s not 100% perfect I’m calling this a success and I think I just need to experiment with getting precisely the right amount of water. Thanks for these instructions!

  23. Here is my recipe for Zen rice. It’s your basic 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice. No need to rinse. Bring water to boil, add rice, turn down heat to simmer, let cook until the rice becomes one with the pan.

  24. I have tried this and many other rice recipes and they all seem to come out to wet for my taste. I use 1 cup rice to 1&1/2 cups water no salt no oil. Also I only use long grain rice at I wash it. When I have cooked longer than the suggested time the rice burns. I can’t figure out to make dry rice. Should I decrease the amount of water?

  25. This is exactly how my Japanese friend’s mum taught me how to cook rice. I’ve been doing it this way for over 30 years now. It’s utterly fool-proof.

  26. Indeed.

    Two small points:

    Firstly, in the US, what we have in the supermarkets is mostly, by law, “enriched rice.” Vitamins are added to the rice so that people who eat a lot of rice won’t be at risk for vitamin deficiency disorders like beriberi and pellagra. And you may laugh, but a hundred years ago, for people who ate bleached white rice at every meal, it wasn’t unheard-of.

    Dehusking or chemical bleaching of rice to create the white rice we see in supermarkets removes vitamin content. In the US, by law, bleached rice sold to the public must have these vitamins added back in. If you rinse the rice before cooking it, you are washing off the added vitamins–they are added in dry powdered form, and are highly soluble in water. This may matter to you, or not.

    Secondly, rice is a tremendously versatile. Put a scoop of it on your plate as a quicker, easier substitute for mashed potatoes. Serve a stir-fry dish on a platter of rice. Add rice to a soup or stew half an hour before the end of cooking and it will thicken and enrich the dish greatly. Heat up leftover rice in a big frying pan for breakfast, and add chopped onions and beaten eggs for a rice omelet. Rice is tremendously useful–if sealed it keeps for years, and is ideal as something to store for emergencies, as it requires minimal water to prepare. Just remember to rotate the stock as it can eventually oxidize and take on a rancid flavor.

  27. Thanks so much for this! I’ve always used my rice steamer, although I learned when I was quite young how to cook rice. I’d forgotten, though. This method is so simple, & thanks again for it. 🙂

  28. My, my! This is the VERY BEST instructions on how to make WHTIE RICE on TOP of the STOVE that I have EVER seen!! I think someone wore out the camera though! How nice to have all these examples of RICE and how to make it taste and look so good!

    I hope to let you know how it tastes after my PRODUCTION is over with! :o)

    Thank you, very muchly! I’ve NEEDED to know this way of making rice for more years than I care to admit to!

  29. I came across this post after doing a search for the water to rice ratio for white rice. You see, I put put my dry rice in a mason jar, but neglected to keep the directions for cooking. 🙂 So, anyway, I decided to do just as you instructed in this post, and I must say, it is the best rice I’ve ever made. It turned out perfectly! Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us how you make the perfect rice.

  30. i really never had any one to teach me how to cook and now that me and my husband of 25 years have moved out of state and out to the middle of the boonies in the country now we pretty much either have to depend on me cooking or we will starve lol. so i found your site by asking about water to rice ration which i found thank you . But now im very curious what is basmatic rice and jasmine rice and black rice?? I have only ever cooked white and i could live off of it too so now im interested in if i might like all of these other kinds. thank you in advance.

  31. My grandma’s method is similar to yours (she was from Izmir, Turkey). Put about 1/8 of the rice in the pan dry. Add a little butter and brown it. Then put the rest of the rice on top, dry. Throw in one chicken bullion cube and two cups of hot water per cup of rice. (It will sizzle when it hits the hot pot bottom) The rest of the process is as instructed here: bring it to a boil, turn the heat down, let it simmer, and then let it rest in steam. I don’t know if this is gluten-free, chemical free, organic, non-gmo, dairy free, soy free, wholistic, free range, etc….. but it is good. No chicken bullion cube? Use beef. Or use canned chicken broth if your faith permits the slaughter and eating of animals. Also, try those tiny dried fish that you find in Asian food stores. I will not call the rice police on you if you add pine nuts.

  32. Heaven forbid. Rice isn’t difficult.

    Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, add a crumbled vegetable stock cube and a cup of rice per 2 people. Stir while it comes back up to temperature or a few grains will stick to the pan bottom.

    As soon as the water starts to bubble, set your timer for 8 mins. At 6 mins start tasting the rice. When it is al dente. drain it. Run a kettle of boiling water through it and leave it to steam in the colander with a tea towel over the top to keep the steam in.

    Fork it over at 2 mins and again at 5 mins. Serve in warm bowls.

    Rocket science, it ain’t.

  33. After trying alot of different websites I found you. I washed my rice until the water was almost clear it only took me 5 mins ( I use Tilda long grain rice ). Once the water was boiling it only took 4 minutes before the steam holes appeared and most of the water was gone. I fluffed the rice after 14 minutes and served it with homemade chilli con carne. Thank you it came out perfect at last I have been trying to do rice for along time and got fed up using boil in the bag rice 5* to you.

  34. My rice always sucked. It was either under cooked or sticky as hell and a large chunk was stuck to the bottom of the pan. These instructions were perfect. I can finally make good rice!! lol Thank you. It was my daughter’s birthday and she loves kielbasa on white rice (as do I, try it!) and my rice was always subpar. This is the first time they came out exactly like my sister in law’s who grew up making rice. Thanks again.

  35. Thankyou so so much for this article. I’m 33 years old so I’ve been trying to cook rice for a few years now & this is the first time that my rice has actually worked out properly. Well I’ve tried this way twice now & both times have been a charm. I am so so happy Thankyou Thankyou

  36. Tried this method today. Came out great! Cooking for one, I used 1/2 cup rice and 1 cup water. Gives me enough rice for two meals. Thanks for sharing.

  37. I live in the Tropics in PNG. High elevation is different, gas heat or electric or naked flame is all different. Soft or hard water is also important, the rice is it old, or fresh?? This condition plays a role, table salt, or rock salt? Tap water or rain water, filtered or bottled water? All have a slightly different ph balance.
    The following is what I use and how I cook rice on an average.
    1.5 cups water to 1 cup rice.
    Rice is put in water with the salt ( this is to taste, one fresh lemon juiced into the water, and extra virgin olive oil about two tbl spoon’s to one cup rice. Stirred once set on gas burner with top off until rolling boil. Heat turned down to simmer, cover tight with lid, if not tight fitting, I use aluminum foil to seal an refit lid. Simmer for twenty min. Remove from heat allow to rest for ten min. Fluff and serve.

  38. Found this rice recipe today and cooked my first ever perfect pot of rice. Yay! Thank you so much. I’ve been trying for years. Homemade bread I got but rice not until now. I’m so excited and so is my family.

  39. Splendid method and many thanks for sharing it with us. I’ve been cooking since before I can remember and have a couple of reataurants in San Francisco which our patrons enjoy. I use your method at home with homemade chicken broth and it turns out perfect every time. Well received, certainly.

  40. Thanks for the tip. I was never a big rice eater living in America but when I moved to Egypt some year ago. They eat rice as a staple food here alot cause its cheap. So I need to learn how to make it. Im going to try your way today and see how i do.

  41. Thanks I made it and it was a hit….I usually make it but no one eats it only me 🙁 but now everyone wanted some….thankk yu…

  42. Looks good, but I have never been able to get this recipe to cook properly. The water is absorbed within 5 minutes of simmering. If I increase the water to 3x rice, then it works out perfectly.

  43. [email protected]

    Thank you kindly. I grew up on homegrown beef and Mashed potatoes. I love bread! Rice has been a problem since I was in college and that was 1970’s. In retirement I am open to healthier food. I usually use instant rice but what I have is real rice. I am going to mix it with white canned beans and bake it in a buttered casserole with 2 bone in chicken breasts on top and chicken broth. Sometimes this comes out great. Sometimes rice is under/over cooked. £

  44. Thank you so much for posting this method of making rice!! I have been making rice on the stove all my life, but recently moved to an apartment with a finnicky stove top. I have tried countless ratios of rice to water as well as burner temperatures to no avail. I resorted to microwavable packets. Meh! Not to mention very disappointing to my Cuban husband. Lol. No more awful rice for us!!

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