How To Cook Perfect White Rice

How To Boil Perfect Rice – Rice Cooking Chart 

Learn how to cook perfect white rice with these easy stove top instructions using the absorption method.

The challenge to cook the perfect pot of fluffy white rice has eluded many cooks.  Following the below stove top instructions known as the absorption method for basic rice.  I will take you through this technique, step-by-step, on the cooking equipment to use, water to rice ratio, heating methods, and allowing the rice to rest as the final stage to achieve fluffiness.  I have also provided a matrix on cooking tips for different types of rice and quick microwave instructions.

Rice cookers also work great as an option for cooking rice and are commonly used in Asian countries where rice is a main staple of their diet.  These cookers can be an expensive investment if you do not frequently cook rice and you also need to experiment with the water to rice ratio to work with your favorite type of rice.   Learn more about cooking rice in a Rice Cooker.

More delicious Pasta, Rice, and Grain Recipes.




Perfect White Rice Recipe:

How To Cook Perfect White Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serve Many


2 cups long-grain white rice
3 to 3 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt

Equipment needed:

Heavy-bottomed saucepan with tight fitting lid*
Metal strainer (optional)**

* It helps to use a heavy bottomed saucepan to help prevent the rice from sticking and scorching to the bottom of the pan.  A nice tight fitting lid will trap the steam in the pan to help with cooking the rice.  If your lid is too loose, you can layer a kitchen towel between the lid and the pot.

** As an option you can use a metal strainer that can fit inside the saucepan during the final resting period for the rice.



Rice Preparation:

Storing Uncooked Rice:

Store white rice in a sealed container in a dry, dark cool place.  Rice should keep without losing quality for 1 to 3 years.  Brown rice can only be stored for 1 to 6 months due to the bran content.  You can also store in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.

Ratio of rice to water absorption for cooking:

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of water to 1 cup of uncooked rice.

By the time the rice has completed cooking, the water should be completely absorbed into the rice.  The leftover steam trapped in the pan finishes the cooking process for the rice.  You may need to experiment to find the consistency you like.  The more water used will result in a softer, stickier rice and the lesser amount of water will make a firmer rice.


How Long To Boil Rice:

Stove Top Preparation:  In a medium saucepan, add rice and cover with cold water until about 2 inches over the top of rice.  Drain out the water to help remove the starch and talc from the rice.  Removing the starch will make the rice less sticky.  Repeat this process a couple more times until ending with the water completely drained out of the rice.

Add 3 cups of fresh water, butter (or oil) and salt to the rice in the saucepan.  Over medium-high heat, bring rice and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid, and let simmer for 15 minutes.

Option 1 Resting Period:  When rice is nearly done, but still a little wet, turn off the heat and move rice to an unused burner.  Cover the rice with a lid and let the rice rest and on the stove for 5 more minutes.  The resting period will allow the moisture to evenly redistribute uniformly in the rice so the bottom layer will be as fluffy as the top.  Fluff the rice with a fork and scoop into serving dish and enjoy.

Option 2 Resting Period:  When rice is nearly done but still a little wet, drain the rice in a metal strainer and rinse with cold water.  Add about 1 inch of water to the pot that the rice was previously cooking in.  Place the strainer full of rice on top of the pot and cover with lid.  Let the rice rest and steam on the stove over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.  The resting period will allow the moisture to evenly redistribute uniformly in the rice so the bottom layer will be as fluffy as the top.  Fluff the rice with a fork and scoop into serving dish and enjoy.


Microwave Preparation:  (Based on 1200 watt microwave oven) – Following ingredient list above, combine rice, water, butter or oil and salt in a deep 2 to 3 quart microwave-safe bowl and cover.

Step 1:  Cook on high till boiling – approximately 5 minutes

Step 2:  Cook on medium (power level 5 or 50% power) Long Grain:  15 minutes Parboiled: 20 minutes Brown Rice: 30 minutes

Step 3:  Let rice rest in microwave to absorb water – 5 minutes

Step 4:  Using oven mitts or towel, remove rice dish from microwave and carefully remove cover.  Fluff with fork and serve.  Store leftover rice in covered container in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.


Troubleshooting tips:

If rice is not quite tender enough and liquid is not fully absorbed, cook for 2 to 4 minutes longer.

If rice is crunchy, add 1/4 cup of additional water, cover with lid, and cook on medium low heat until grains are tender.

Do not stir rice during cooking.  Stirring releases starch which results in sticky rice.


Reheating Rice:

For each cup of cooked rice, add 2 tablespoons of water.

Stove Top:  Cover and heat on stove over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until rice is heated through.

Microwave:  Place rice in microwave safe dish and cover. Cook on high for about 1 minute per cup of rice.

Frozen Rice:  If rice is frozen, cook rice on high for 2 minutes per cup. Fluff with fork and serve.


Rice Cooking Chart:

In all types of rice listed below, add rice and water to a pot then bring water to boil.  Next cover with lid and reduce heat to medium low to let simmer.

Type of RiceWater to Rice RatioSimmer TimeYields
White long-grain2 cups to 1 cup18 to 20 minutes2 cups
White medium-grain1 1/2 cups to 1 cup15 minutes3 cups
White short-grain1 1/4 cups to 1 cup15 minutes3 cups
Sushi rice (Calrose)1 1/3 cups to 1 cup18 to 20 minutes2 1/2 cups
Brown long-grain1 3/4 cups to 1 cup40 to 45 minutes2 1/2 cups
Brown medium, short-grain2 cups to 1 cup50 minutes3 cups
Basmati1 1/2 cups to 1 cup15 to 20 minutes3 cups
Texmati1 3/4 cups to 1 cup15 to 20 minutes3 cups
Jasmine1 3/4 cups to 1 cup15 to 20 minutes3 cups
Converted rice (par-boiled)2 1/4 cups to 1 cup20 minutes3 to 4 cups
Black Japonica2 cups to 1 cup50 minutes3 cups
Wild rice2 cups to 1 cup45 to 50 minutes2 1/2 cups
Barley4 cups to 1 cup45 to 50 minutes4 cups
Quinoa2 cups to 1 cup15 minutes3 to 4 cups



US Rice Federation:  US Rice Federation
Betty Crocker:  Timetable For Cooking Rice And Other Grains

Perfect White Rice




Cooking Lessons - Cooking 101    Rice    Rice Hints & Tips   

Comments and Reviews

3 Responses to “How To Cook Perfect White Rice”

  1. Dana R. Sprague

    Can eggnog be heated to a scald to use in rice pudding??

  2. Yasar Ali

    Thank You for these easy to understand guideJust waiting for it to be prepared. – Yasar

  3. Mayra

    If it still comes out being sticky and you didn’t stir it once, how do you fix that?


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