We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Should I Cook Rice?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Cooking rice on the stovetop is an art form, but one well worth learning. While rice cookers are convenient, one may not always be on hand, or you may want to make a special recipe which uses ingredients that should not be added to a rice cooker, as is the case with coconut sticky rice. A few simple steps should be followed when you cook rice for perfection every time, although you may have a few false starts in the beginning. Whether you cook rice in a rice cooker or not, the steps for pre-treating the rice are the same, so do not skip them!

To cook rice, start by storing it properly in containers labeled with the type of rice and the date on which it was purchased. Store hulled rices like white rice in tightly sealed containers in a cool, dark place, and try to use them within six months. Brown rice should be refrigerated until use because the oils in the hull can become rancid. Ideally, brown rice should be used within three months.

When you are ready to cook rice, start by washing it thoroughly. While many Asian cooks are familiar with this step, some westerners are unacquainted with the reasons for washing rice. By washing rice before you cook it, you remove excessive starch, as well as any contaminants which the rice may have been exposed to, including pesticides and herbicides. Washing the rice will also help the grains to separate while they cook, creating a light, fluffy rice. When you wash rice, use multiple changes of water until the water runs clear.

After you have washed the rice, it should be soaked to relax the grain. If cooking a hulled rice like brown rice or Forbidden Rice, soak the rice overnight. If you are making sticky rice, plan on soaking it overnight as well. White rice can be soaked for thirty minutes to 12 hours before cooking; if you plan to cook rice when you come home, put some on to soak before you leave for work. When you cook rice that has been soaked, it cooks faster and usually has a better texture.

When you cook rice, use a heavy pot, preferably one which is enameled. Thin pots are more likely to burn the rice while cooking, especially on unreliable stoves. Drain your soaked rice and add fresh water: a scant two cups to every cup of rice. Using a ratio of exactly two to one will tend to make the rice soggy and mushy. With the rice and water together in the pot, turn the stove on high until you can hear the water beginning to boil. Immediately bring the burner down to the lowest possible temperature, cover, and cook the rice for between 12-20 minutes, depending on the type of rice. White rice will cook more quickly, while rice with a hull cooks slowly.

Do not lift the lid of the pot at any point while you cook rice. Lifting the lid will disturb the balance of heat and steam in the pot, and will change the flavor and texture of the rice. Until you get used to the cooking time for the rice you are using, you may slightly overcook your rice, but this is not a major cause for concern. The crust which forms on the bottom of the rice pot is delicious when sprinkled with sugar and butter for dessert or fried in oil and sprinkled over the main course.

When your rice is done, fluff it briefly with a fork and allow it to sit for five to 10 minutes before serving. Leftover rice should be put immediately in the fridge, and used within two days for fried rice or other dishes. While cooking rice properly may seem like an elaborate process, the flavorful results are well worth it. After you are comfortable making rice on the stovetop, consider adding ingredients such as sliced bananas, shredded nori seaweed, or coconut milk for extra flavor.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon189752 — On Jun 24, 2011

I'll give you some instructions to cook Diamond Pearl Basmati Rice.

1 cup of diamond pearl basmati rice

2 cup of water

1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt.

For best results, soak rice in cold water for two-30 minutes before cooking.

Rinse measured rice once or twice to remove extra starch and drain.

Place the drained rice, water, salt and oil in an open pan and bring to boil on high flame. Stir occasionally

As water reduces below rice level, lower the flame, place a tight lid over the pan and let the rice cook in the steam for 18 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

By anon188733 — On Jun 21, 2011

Washing rice until the water is clear = bye bye to the vitamins!

I learned how to cook rice in the Philippines, capital country of rice. The different types of rice require a different amount of ratio for water as well as cooking times. The best way to learn is to keep on trying yourself until you get it right!

By anon107521 — On Aug 30, 2010

how i cook rice on the stove top is pretty simple and it comes out great! i usually rinse the rice about three or four times with cold water. you can either rinse it the night before and then let it soak over night or rinse it on the day off and let it soak in hot water for about 30-45 min.

after then put the water inside the pot of rice. Lay your hand flat on the rice and make sure the water level reaches your knuckles. after that put it on the stove on high. let it boil until you can no longer see the water. then turn the heat all the way to low and let it slowly cook.

check on it once in a while until it has turned soft and a bit sticky, or until the consistency you want. when it is done turn off the heat and serve. Delish!

By anon73664 — On Mar 28, 2010

I finally learned how to cook rice and what I learned was to cook on high until boil and as soon as it boils turn to low and let it simmer until there is no water left. Unless you use too small of a ratio of water to rice it shouldn't be hard anymore.

By anon40878 — On Aug 11, 2009

most asians don't rinse rice because it rinses away minerals? so does washing off a tomato. if you're concerned about rinsing away minerals eat brown rice, but always wash!

By anon18889 — On Oct 01, 2008

anon1177, i wonder what elevation you are trying to cook rice at? if the elevation is high your water will boil at a lower temperature, and may not attain a temperature high enough to break down the cellulose in your rice. a pressure cooker might be the answer, because i assume that a rice cooker would experience the same difficulties. if you are not at a high elevation, something is hinky, and i don't know what.

By axelrose — On Jun 24, 2008

i remember one of the first thing my Philippino grandfather taught me was how to wash rice. i can still see his hand swishing it around in the pot. he was a cook for a living, and i can still taste his adobo years later!

By anon14823 — On Jun 24, 2008

Are you kidding me? Asians do not wash rice? Ask any Japanese or Korean Mama if they wash rice, and they will most likely answer 'until the water rinses clear'. My family and friends have always washed their rice, no questions asked. I may be a little OCD with my own, but my non-Asian friends always ask how I make such perfect rice every time, and the washing really makes their head spin.

By anon11861 — On Apr 24, 2008

most asians don't rinse rice, it removes mineral and vitamins.

By anon1177 — On May 19, 2007

I am having so much trouble cooking rice. I rinse it, Ive cooked it plain.... it always comes out still hard. I boil the water, then simmer it for 20 minutes like the oack says. NO good. I have simmered it for 45 minutes and have had success one day and failure the next....

signed - on the verge of using a RICE COOKER!

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Read more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.