How to Cook Rice Perfectly 100% of the Time

How to Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time
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It can be challenging to cook rice perfectly every time. Rice can go with many meals, and it doesn’t take long to cook. We break down all the different ways to cook rice and the tips to making it come out perfectly each and every time.

Why Does My Rice Never Come Out Fluffy?

One of the common reasons people ask how to cook rice perfectly is because it doesn’t come out fluffy like it does in the restaurant you ate at on Saturday. The fluffiness test depends on how you make the rice and if you followed the directions correctly.

If you didn’t add enough water, that could be the cause. Another reason could be if you didn’t wash the rice before cooking.

What’s the Secret to Making Perfect Rice?

The secret you need to know in order to cook rice perfectly is washing before cooking. By washing the rice, it rinses and removes the extra starch that sits on top of the rice, which can make the rice stick together when it comes time to serve. It is a simple step that you can add to your nightly cooking routine without making the process take too much longer.

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How to cook rice perfectly
Credit: Pille R. Priske

What Is the Best Method for Cooking Rice?

There is no one best method for cooking rice. It all depends on what instrument you use. There are four different methods for cooking rice: steaming, boiling, pilaf, and risotto.  Each technique is specific to the type of rice so that you achieve the desired texture. However, if you want something quick and easy to make, the best way to cook rice is the boiling method.

What Is the Ratio of Water to Rice?

The water-to-rice ratio is two cups of water and one cup of rice, which applies to both white and brown rice. You can easily double or triple the recipe if you need to, depending on how many people you are trying to feed. If you stick to the ratio, the rice won’t come out being watered down or overcooked.

Basmati rice has a different ratio of one cup rice to one and a half cups of water.

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Should Rice Always Be Washed Before Cooking?

Yes, rice should always be washed before cooking.  Not only does rinsing rice remove the extra starch, but it can ensure that you don’t eat any remaining dirt or debris that might have been sealed in the bag.

How Do You Wash Rice?

  1. Measure the amount of rice you are cooking
  2. Place the measured rice into a strainer
  3. Ensure the sink is clean and doesn’t have soap or other food particles inside before placing the rice strainer inside
  4. Ensure the water is cold and place the strainer under the faucet
  5. While the water is running, use your hand in a claw shape to gently swirl the rice around to rinse everything off of the rice
  6. Rinse until the water running off of the rice is clear

How Long to Cook Rice Completely?

In order to cook rice perfectly, you will need to cook the rice between fifteen and twenty-five minutes. The amount of time it takes to cook white rice depends on the serving size and grain length. Rice grains can be small, medium, or long. Depending on the size of the grain rice, it will need a little more time to cook. You can tell it is done when the water is all the way absorbed by the rice.

How to Cook White Rice:

how to cook white rice
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  1. Rinse the white rice and set aside
  2. Add water to a pot using water-rice ratio
  3. Bring the water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt
  4. Add rice to the boiling water
  5. Maintain a simmer by lowing the heat and covering the pot with a tight lid
  6. Cook until the water is absorbed by the rice
  7. Fluff it out with a fork and place it on a plate for you to enjoy

How to Cook Brown Rice:

how to cook brown rice
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  1. Repeat steps 1-5 from our white rice recipe
  2. Simmer rice for forty five minutes
  3. Turn the heat off and let the brown rice sit for ten minutes before removing the lid and serving

How to Cook Basmati Rice:

How to cook basmati rice
Credit: Maria Ionova
  1. Repeat steps 1-4 from our white rice recipe
  2. Place the lid on when the entire surface is bubbly and foamy
  3. Turn the heat down to a low and let it cook for twelve minutes
  4. After twelve minutes, remove it from the stove and let it rest for ten minutes
  5. Fluff it with a fork before serving

How to Cook Rice in the Oven?

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  2. Pour rice into a prepared baking dish
  3. In a saucepan, add one tablespoon of butter, salt, and vinegar
  4. Stir together over medium heat
  5. Add water to the saucepan
  6. Bring water to a boil before pouring over rice and stir to combine
  7. Bake in the oven until the water is absorbed, and the rice is tender (about twenty to twenty-five minutes)

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How to Cook Rice in an Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker?

One of the ways to cook rice perfectly is by using a machine like a pressure cooker. The water-to-rice ratio is different in the instant pot. This ratio is one cup of cold water for every one cup of white rice. Cooking time is between three and ten minutes, depending on your instant pot or pressure cooker, which is the quickest method of cooking rice.

Once your rice is done, you will know because the pot will have a light that goes off or a timer that beeps when it is done.

How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker?

You will follow the same process for cooking rice in a rice cooker as you do for stove-top rice cooking.  Be sure to clean the rice beforehand and place it in the rice cooker with hot water. The ratio of water to rice will be 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. As we’ve mentioned, look for the cooker to signal it is done or when it moves to the “warm” setting.

How to Cook Microwave Rice?

Microwaving rice is probably the easiest way to cook rice because it is quick and uses few kitchen dishes. The water to rice ratio is a little different based on the way it cooks in the microwave. The ratio here is two and one-fourth cups of water to one and a half cups of rice.

  1. Scoop the rice into a microwave-safe container
  2. Add water
  3. Microwave for five minutes at full power and fifteen minutes at fifty percent power
  4. Let it rest for five minutes before eating

Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?

You will want to let the cooked rice cool down before preparing it to go in the freezer, but yes you can cook rice perfectly and enjoy it weeks later this way. Be sure to store it in a labeled freezer bag and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Store it flat to ensure you can have a faster defrost later on. 

How Do You Reheat Rice?

The key to cook rice perfectly and enjoy for days is to add more water when heating it up. This actually helps the rice steam again and keep all the moisture inside the dish.

  1. Open the storage container and place the amount of rice you want onto a plate or bowl
  2. Add one or two tablespoons of water to the rice and cover it up
  3. Place it in the microwave and heat it for three to four minutes
  4. Serve warm

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Do You Season Rice Before or After Cooking?

You will want to season the rice before cooking it. It will help deeply infuse the flavors into the rice while cooking. If you season after, the flavors don’t have a chance to cook into the rice. When you season the rice before, the flavors can soak in and the rice will absorb the seasoning like the water.

What Do I Serve Rice With?

You can serve plenty of things with rice, like chicken, steak, or rice soup. Rice can go with anything, and it will make a great, filling meal. These three recipes are easy meals to make and don’t require a lot of effort or prep time.

Vegetable Rice Soup 

Vegetable rice soup
Credit: David Thielen

Time to Cook: 15 minutes


  • 4 carrots chopped 
  • 1 onion diced 
  • 4 stalks of celery chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • ½ cup rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups of broth (beef, turkey, chicken, or vegetable works) 

Cooking Steps: 

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it is hot and thins out
  2. Add the carrots, onion, and celery once cut up and cook for three to four minutes while stirring occasionally
  3. Add broth and water and bring that to a boil
  4. Once the water is boiling, add the rice and cover the pot with a lid
  5. Cook for fifteen minutes or until the rice is tender

You can use any vegetables you prefer. This recipe includes our suggestions for what we choose to use. 

Rice and Bean Burrito

Time to Cook: ~25 minutes


  • 1-1/2 cups of water
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked instant brown rice
  • 1 medium green pepper diced 
  • ½ diced chopped onion 
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can rinsed black beans
  • 1 package of flour tortillas warmed up
  • 1 cup salsa

Cooking Steps: 

  1. In a pot, add the water and bring it to a boil
  2. Add the brown rice
  3. Reduce heat and cover the saucepan while it simmers for five minutes
  4. Remove the rice from the heat once the water is absorbed
  5. In a large skillet or saucepan, place the green pepper, onion, and olive oil
  6. Sauté until the vegetables are tender (three to four minutes)
  7. Add garlic and let it cook for a minute longer
  8. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and pepper flakes until they are thoroughly combined
  9. Open the can of beans, place them in the saucepan and add the rice
  10. Let the rice and beans cook while you stir for about four to six minutes
  11. Stir in salsa and then remove the saucepan from the heat
  12. Assemble your burrito by grabbing about a half cup of filling and placing it in the center of the tortilla
  13. Fold the sides of the tortilla over and roll it up to serve

You can use any beans that you like whether black, baked, or red. For our recipe, we used black beans.

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Chicken and Rice Dinner

Time to Cook: 50 minutes


  • 1 pack of chicken wings 
  • 2 cups of rice (your choice)
  • 4 packs of Sazon Goya seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of oil 
  • 4 cups of water 

Cooking Steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees
  2. Take the wings and place them on a rack with a cooking pan underneath
  3. Take the Sazon Goya seasoning and pour it all over the wings making sure you cover both sides
  4. Place the pan inside the oven and cook for thirty minutes
  5. After thirty minutes, bring the oven temperature down to 350 degrees for about thirty to forty-five minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and crispy
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 5-10 minutes while you cook the rice
  7. Take the rice and wash it, getting rid of any extra starch
  8. Place the rice in a pot with the four cups of water and let it boil
  9. Once the water comes to a boil, add a teaspoon of salt and olive oil
  10. Stir the rice and cover the pot with a lid for about fifteen to twenty-five minutes
  11. Grab a plate and fluff up the rice before adding the chicken and serve

You can make the chicken any way you like, but this recipe is a quick and easy way to make it and pair with rice.

When it comes to learning how to cook rice perfectly, the best thing to remember is that it will become second nature the more you make it. Everyone likes different types of rice, so it’s also about finding which type of rice you prefer and then you can make it perfectly 100% of the time. With a little research, creativity, and practice, rice will become a restaurant quality staple in your kitchen.

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