How To Cook Rice Perfectly, 4 Ways

Rice and quinoa in wooden bowls on a blue wood table with tea towel and wooden spoon. Flat lay from directly above.

How To Cook Rice Perfectly, 4 Ways

While rice is most popular in Asian cuisine, it has also become a staple in other countries across the world. Even in the U.S., the average American eats almost 30 pounds of rice every year. Whether you make simple white rice or you use rice to make your own sushi, there are no limits to the ways you can include rice in your weekly meals. No matter what kitchen tools you have, there are several ways to cook rice perfectly at home.

Some people swear by using a rice cooker while others prefer the classic stovetop method. No matter how you prefer to prepare your rice, it’s a versatile food you can add to a variety of recipes. Keep reading to find out how to cook rice perfectly in four different ways.

White rice in bowl
There are various methods for making rice, but getting the texture right can take some trial and error.

Tips for Cooking Perfect Rice

Most recipes for making rice are pretty simple, but it can sometimes be challenging to get the right consistency. Even a simple method like making rice on the stove can lead to different consistencies depending on the ratio of water to rice and the type of stove you have.

Some cooking methods cause the water to absorb more quickly while other methods can leave you with watery rice if you don’t cook it long enough. No matter what method you choose, here are some tips for making perfect rice, every time:

  • Rinse your rice first
    It’s a good habit to rinse your rice before cooking, whether you’re making it on the stovetop or in a rice cooker. Not only does it get rid of any particles that may not have been filtered out during the production process, but it also helps make sure your rice has the right texture. Rinsing the rice removes the excess starch from the grains to keep them from sticking together during the cooking process.
  • Stick with the two-to-one ratio
    The tricky part about cooking perfect rice is finding the right ratio of rice to water. To cook rice perfectly each time, it’s best to stick to the two-to-one ratio. This means you use two parts water to one part rice. This ratio keeps your rice from being too watery or not cooking properly.
  • Add seasoning to your rice
    While you may not be used to adding extra seasonings during the cooking process, there are plenty of ways to make your rice taste delicious. Adding salt, pepper, and butter to the rice before cooking can be a simple way to make it more flavorful. If you’re looking for something a bit more flavorful, there are also plenty of recipes out there for seasoned rice.

Rice doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s also okay if it takes you a few tries to get it right. There are many different ways to cook rice, so you’ll likely find a favorite method and stick with it. Let’s take a look at the best ways to cook rice perfectly at home.

How to Cook Rice on the Stove

The most common way to prepare rice is the stovetop method. This method is easy to learn and is great if you don’t have access to a rice cooker or Instant Pot. Also, some people who have tried another appliance claim to still prefer the stove method! Especially if you’re using a gas stove, keep an eye on the water and rice since it can quickly boil over before you reduce the heat.

Here’s a simple way to make perfect rice on the stove:

  • Add your water and rice to a pot or Dutch oven and bring it to a boil
  • Add salt and butter to the water if desired
  • Once the water starts boiling, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low
  • Let the rice simmer with the pot covered for about 15-17 minutes
  • Check the rice after 15 minutes
  • If all the water is absorbed, turn off the heat and remove it from the burner

Once the rice is completely cooked, you can fluff it with a fork and let it sit on the stove for a few more minutes. The time it takes to cook the rice will depend on your stove and the amount of rice you’re cooking. Be sure to check it after 15 minutes to avoid overcooking your rice.

How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker

Using a rice cooker is another simple method. While you don’t necessarily need to have this appliance in your kitchen, it is a simple way to make rice without having to watch it on the stove to keep it from boiling over. Compared to the stove method, cooking rice in a rice cooker is pretty foolproof. Here’s the best way to make rice in the rice cooker:

  • After rinsing your rice, add the rice and water to the rice cooker
  • Place the rice cooker pot back into the rice cooker and turn it on
  • Let the rice cook for about 5-10 minutes
  • Wait a few minutes to let the remainder of the water evaporate
  • Open the rice cooker and fluff the rice 

The ratio of water to rice will be similar to other methods, but you may need to play around with your specific rice cooker first to get it just right. The ratio and cooking time can also vary depending on the type of rice you’re using. 

Sweet and creamy coconut rice pudding with honey, topped with grated and toasted coconut in a ceramic bowl
The Instant Pot method is a simple way to make delicious rice at home.

How to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot

The Instant Pot became a popular kitchen appliance, especially for busy families, because of how easy it is to use. One of the many exciting features of the Instant Pot is the rice cooker option. Like the rice cooker method, using the Instant Pot helps to keep things simple so you can prepare the rest of your dinner without having to worry about watching the pot on the stove. 

Here’s the best way to make rice in the Instant Pot or other similar kitchen tool:

  • After rinsing your rice, add your water and rice (in the Instant Pot, the ratio is 1-to-1 instead of 2-to-1)
  • Close the lid of the Instant Pot and make sure the vent is sealed
  • Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes
  • Once the timer goes off, do a natural release and let the pressure release for 10 minutes
  • Open the vent and release the remaining pressure
  • Add salt, pepper, and any other desired seasonings
  • Fluff your rice and serve

The main benefit of preparing rice in the Instant Pot is how fast it is. Keep in mind that it does take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, so add that to overall your cooking time.

Adding Rice to Your Weekly Meals

While white rice often gets a bad rap, there are actually many benefits to adding rice to your weekly meals. White rice is a good source of folic acid and potassium. It’s also a great way to help stabilize your blood sugar and get a dose of energy. Plus, white rice is gluten-free, which makes it a great option for those who are sensitive to gluten as well.

No matter how you choose to eat your rice, it’s great to include it as a side dish for meals, in soups, or even in your desserts. If you’re curious about the best ways to make rice at home, try out these four different ways to determine which method works best for you.

Best Rice Recipes

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