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Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time so it’s fluffy and soft. Say goodbye to sticky, mushy, undercooked or overcooked rice.
How To Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time
Even though cooking rice is a basic cooking technique, it’s easy to over- or undercook it. If you have ever cooked rice that turned out sticky, mushy, hard or it stuck to the bottom of the pan, you are not alone. Rice is really easy to screw up, but once you have the technique down, you can have a perfectly fluffy bowl of rice on the table every time.
I love cooking rice on weekends as part of my meal prep for the week. Rice it’s such a versatile side dish that can be added to a lot of meals.
Serve it with this Instant Pot Honey Sesame Chicken, Mahi Mahi or make this delicious Chicken Fried Rice.
Here is how to cook a perfect pot of rice on the stovetop every single time: Rinse, Cook, Rest and Fluff. Follow my tips below for best cooked rice.
Tips for Cooking Rice On The Stove
- Rinse the rice. Rinsing the rice removes dusty starch that can lead to sticky or gummy grains.
- Use the correct water to rice ratio. Generally, use the 1:2 rice to water ratio when cooking rice. Some types of rice require more water (like brown or wild rice) while other types of rice require a little bit less water (sushi rice). Check the section below for more details on the rice to water ratio for each rice type.
- Add rice to cold water and bring to boil. Some sources recommend adding the rice to boiling water but I find that the cooking rice this way, leaves it hard and crunchy plus it takes longer to cook. If you want soft and fluffy rice, you should add the rice to cold water and bring it to boil.
- Use a tight-fitted lid. Use a good lid so the steam and moisture don’t escape during the simmering cook time.
- Cook the rice on low heat. Cooking rice on low guarantees that you will have well-cooked rice that is not over- or undercooked.
- Don’t uncover or stir the rice during cooking. It’s very important not to uncover or stir the rice once it starts simmering because otherwise the steam will escape and the rice won’t cook properly. Be patient and don’t mess with the steam.
- Let the rice rest covered for at least 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, move the saucepan aside and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes. While the rice rests, its grains cool off slightly and firm up. If you stir the rice as soon as it’s cooked, while it’s still very hot and moist, the grains can break up and get mushy.
- Fluff the rice with a fork. After the rice has rested, you can fluff it up with a fork gently without squishing the rice. Keep it covered until you are ready to eat.
- Add a pinch of salt and butter, or cook in broth. If you want to add some flavor to your rice, you can add a pinch of salt, 1 Tbsp butter or even cook it in broth instead of water. This is optional but it guarantees delicious flavor!
What is the Rice to Water Ratio
Generally to cook rice, use a 1 to 2 rice to water ratio (for every cup of rice, use 2 cups of water). Different types of rice require slightly different water to rice ratio though.
- Long-grain white rice: 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water
- Brown rice: 1 cup of rice to 2 1/2 cups of water
- Basmati or Jasmine rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water
- Sushi rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4 cup of water
- Wild rice: 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water
If you like firmer, drier rice, reduce the water by a few tablespoons and reduce the cook time by a few minutes. If you like wetter, softer rice, increase the water by a few tablespoons. Also, depending on the type of rice, some of them require a little bit longer cooking time like wild rice and brown rice (about 40-45 minutes). See package instructions for exact cooking time.
How Long Will Rice Keep
You can store cooked rice in the refrigerator for about 4-6 days, and store it in the freezer for about 6 months.
Can You Freeze Cooked Rice
You can freeze rice for up to 6 months. Rice freezes well and holds up its texture even after thawing and reheating. You can either freeze the rice in a glass bowl, or in a plastic wrap. I found this tutorial on how to freeze cooked rice very helpful.
How To Reheat Rice
You can reheat leftover rice in the microwave or on the stovetop. Rice becomes dried out, tough and chunky after it sits in the refrigerator overnight. If you want to enjoy a soft and fluffy rice, you need to add some moisture to it when you reheat it.
Reheat Rice in The Microwave
Combine the rice and a splash of water in a microwave-safe plate, and spread out the rice in a thin layer. Use a fork to break up any large chunks of rice, and add a damp paper towel on top. Microwave for 1 to 2 minutes until the rice is heated through.
Reheat Rice on The Stovetop
Add the rice to a saucepan, add a splash of water, and using a fork break up any large clumps of rice. Cover the pan with a lid and steam the rice over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the rice is heated through.
Reheat Rice in a Skillet
You can also stir-fry the rice in a skillet to reheat it. Just add a little bit of butter (sesame or peanut oil work great too if you want to make fried rice). Using a wooden spoon, break up the lumps of rice so it heats through evenly.
How To Cook Rice
- 1 cup rice, rinsed
- 2 cups water , (or broth)
- 1/2 tsp salt, optional
- Add the rinsed rice, 2 cups water, and salt to a pot on the stove. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water is boiling, stir the rice once, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer rice, without uncovering the pot, for about 18-20 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and let rice rest covered for about 5-10 minutes to firm up.
- Remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Serve immediately or chill to store for later.
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