Here’s how to cook rice on the stove perfectly! Memorize this rice to water ratio so it comes out fluffy every time.

How to cook rice

Here’s a skill every home cook needs to know: how to cook rice on the stove! Sure, it seems like a simple task. But there are so many variables: what’s the right rice to water ratio? Should you rinse your rice? Do you cook it covered? As seasoned home cooks, we’ve researched all the best practices and have got them for you right here. No need for a rice cooker or Instant Pot. Here’s what you need to know for perfectly fluffy rice!

The rice to water ratio

Memorize this ratio and you’ll know how to cook a perfect pot every time! The rice to water ratio is to use 1 ½ cups water for every 1 cup white rice. Simply multiply the cups of rice by 1.5 to find the water quantity. If you’re making 2 cups rice, use 3 cups water. This ratio is for white rice only. (For brown rice, go to How to Cook Brown Rice.)

How much does 1 cup dry rice make? 1 cup dry rice equals 3 cups rice cooked. That’s six ½ cup servings.

How to Cook Rice

How to cook rice on the stove

Step 1: Rinse the rice.

Why rinse rice? This practice is a little contentious in the cooking world. But it makes the best pot of rice! Throw it in a strainer and run under cold water for 15 to 20 seconds. Rinsing rice removes starch from the outside of the grains. This prevents getting a gooey, sticky, gummy pot of rice. Side benefit: there can sometimes be debris in rice: the wash gets rid of that too.

Step 2: Simmer it covered.

Add the rice and water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, turn it down to a simmer and cover it. How long to cook rice? 1 cup white rice takes 13 to 15 minutes to cook. Simmer until the liquid is completely absorbed. Larger amounts of white rice can take slightly longer, so check and pull the rice back with a fork to see when the water is absorbed.

Step 3: Rest, then season.

Here’s the important part about how to cook rice: let it rest for 10 minutes after cooking! This step finishes cooking the rice by steaming it, making the grains fluffy instead of gluey or water-logged. Don’t skip this step!

How to Cook Rice

How to season rice!

We prefer seasoning rice after it’s cooked to get the best bang for your buck: we don’t even add salt until after it’s done. (This is another contentious rice practice: everyone does it a different way!) Once you’ve got that pot of bare rice, you can go to town. Here’s how to season rice in a basic way, then a few other ideas for seasoning:

  • Butter and salt: Straightforward and classic! Add ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Cilantro lime: Make Cilantro Lime Rice by adding ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 teaspoon lime zest.
  • Coconut: Make Coconut Rice by adding 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil to impart a tropical flavor.
  • Herbs: Add ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs like basil, thyme, oregano, or chives.
  • Turmeric: Make yellow rice by adding 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric with the water. (Note: yellow rice can leave a residue on the inside of the saucepan; simply wash your pan in hot water and rub it with a rag to remove.)

Want more creative ways to use this grain? Go to 15 Rice Recipes to Make on Repeat or 12 Great Leftover Rice Recipes.

More ways to cook rice

There are lots more methods and types of rice! This way to cook rice on the stove works for white rice. But there are a few other methods and types of rice we cover in separate articles:

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How to cook rice

How to Cook Rice


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups (6 ½ cup servings) 1x

Description

Here’s how to cook rice on the stove perfectly! Memorize this rice to water ratio so it comes out fluffy every time.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 cup white rice (any grain size)
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Rinse: Rinse the rice in cold water in a strainer for 15 to 20 seconds, then shake it dry. (Here’s why to rinse rice.)
  2. Simmer covered: Place the rice in a pot with the water and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, cover the pot and simmer for 13 to 15 minutes, until the water is completely absorbed (test by pulling back the rice with a fork). Remove from the heat.
  3. Rest, then season: Cover and rest for 10 minutes (this allows the rice to steam and firm up in texture). Stir in the salt, and the butter or olive oil if using. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Rice
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: How to cook rice

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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