Cook Rice Perfectly

White steamed rice in black round bowl
Ah, the elusive bowl of white rice. It seems so simple at first glance… just a pile of fluffy grains, what could be so difficult about that? Many of us grew up learning the 2:1 water-to-rice ratio for how to cook rice, but if you’ve ever tried making a pot yourself, you know that it’s not quite so simple. Many times I’ve ended up with rice that was way too gummy, stuck to the bottom of the pot in clumps like you wouldn’t believe. Other times, in an abundance of caution, I’ve way under-cooked my rice and been left chomping down on hard bits of grains, wishing I had been more patient waiting for my rice to fully cook. Have you been there before? If so, you’re going to want to check out these 8 tips and tricks for achieving a perfectly cooked bowl of rice. They’re not hard to follow — in fact, many of them are “duh” ideas I felt I should have known before — but these tips are sure to make your rice cooking experience much less of a guessing game in the future. When all else fails, get the best rice cooker, that should do the trick.

8 Simple Tips for How To Cook Rice Perfectly:

  1. You can definitely start with that 2:1 ratio mentioned earlier as a jumping off point. Just use two cups of water for each cup of uncooked grains, as a general rule. However, you may want to experiment with this a bit, since some rices, like brown rice, require more water, while shorter-grain rices require less.
  2. More water = softer, stickier rice. Less water = firmer rice. Depending on your taste preferences and intended use, you’ll want to choose your own desired amount of water.
  3. Rinse your rice a few times in cold water before cooking. This helps remove loose starch, making the rice less sticky.
  4. If you’re using older rice from your cupboard, just let it soak for about 30 minutes before cooking. This will make the grains less brittle and prone to breakage. If you’re using freshly purchased rice, there’s likely no need to soak it at all.
  5. A tight-fitting lid for your pot is key. If your lid fits loosely, put a clean kitchen cloth between the lid and the pot.
  6. Keeping the pot closed for the entire cooking time is essential… no peeking! If you sneak a peek, the steam will escape and you’re just adding on to your cooking time.
  7. To add flavor to plain rice, try cooking rice in different broths, fruit or vegetable juices, tea or coconut milk.
  8. If you aren’t going to be serving your cooked rice right away, fluff the rice with a fork, then drape a kitchen towel over the pot and close it. The towel will catch the lid’s condensation so the rice doesn’t get gummy.