How to Cook Perfect Rice on the Stove / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

How To Cook Rice:

This is it—the foolproof recipe for making perfect rice on the stove. If cooking rice makes you nervous, know that you are not alone.  Even really accomplished cooks get intimidated by plain old rice.

My mother had a friend who made extravagant, authentic Chinese meals, and then sent her husband to go pick up rice from the local Chinese restaurant.  Another friend of mine headed up one of the best test kitchens in the country, and when she has a chili party she asks one of the guests to bring the rice.

But we’re going to solve the rice-phobic issue today.  Rice is too awesome not to know how to make easily.  It’s the most perfect side dish for so many different meals, and soaks up sauces like a dream. Pair a scoop of fluffy rice with anything from Asian dishes like Chicken, Broccoli and Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry, Spicy Stir Fried Beef and Vegetables or Lemon and Scallion Chicken Stir Fry.  Or serve it with Mustard and Maple Pork Kebabs or Citrus Basil Shrimp Kebabs. There are few foods I can think of that don’t partner well with rice.

Kids and Rice

And if you have kids, you probably know how much kids like rice. I serve rice at least a couple of times a week, with dinner — it’s so easy to make, it’s perfect for soaking up sauces, balancing out a slightly spicy main dish, and when all else fails, it’s what a picky eater will eat.  Often I make brown rice….more often I make white.

What is the Ratio of Water to Rice?

The basic water to white rice ratio is 2 cups water to 1 cup rice. You can easily, double and even triple the recipe; just make sure you are using a pot large enough to hold the rice as it cooks and expands. Other rice varieties, like brown and Arborio, can be a little different in terms of proportions and timing, but this 2 to 1 ratio is how you’ll get perfect white rice every time.

What Does Simmer Mean?

Once you bring your water to a boil, and season it with salt and perhaps a bit of butter, you’ll add your rice and allow the water to just return to a boil.  Then you’ll quickly reduce the heat, cover the pot, and keep the water and rice at a simmer, which basically means just below the boiling point.   You want the top of the liquid to be bubbling, but gently, not at a full boil, which could also cause the water to bubble up out of the pot.

How Long Do You Cook White Rice?

A cup of white rice will take about 17 minutes to cook, but larger amounts may take a few extra minutes.  Leaving it covered on the stove for a few minutes after it’s tender will allow it to finish absorbing all of the water and then fluffing it with a fork will get your rice nice and …well, fluffy,

How to Cook Perfect Rice on the Stove / Mia / Katie Workman /

How Long Will Rice Keep?

Cooked rice lasts in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so you can make extra to serve later in the week, or to use in different dishes.

How Do You Reheat Rice?

To reheat cooked rice in the microwave, place it in a microwave safe bowl and  sprinkle a bit of water on top, then drape a damp paper towel over the top before heating it, to make sure it doesn’t dry out.  You can also reheat it in a pot:  give it a generous sprinkle of water, and heat with the lid on over low heat, stirring and fluffing frequently.  For more details, see How To Perfectly Reheat Rice On The Stove And In The Microwave.

But if you’re thinking about making fried rice (and there’s a recipe for that in The Mom 100 Cookbook) then cold rice is your friend.  Cold rice is also great in a frittata, and adds texture and heft to soups of all kinds.

Rice is too awesome not to know how to make easily.

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If you want a similar little bulleted list of info on brown rice, here is How to Cook Perfect Brown Rice on the Stove.

And if you’re in the mood for quinoa, check out How to Make Perfect Quinoa on the Stove or try How to Cook Perfect Farro on the Stove.

(And there are recipes!)

Also do check out the video showing how to make that perfect white rice we all crave!

Chicken Tender Skewers with Spiced Curry Rub / Sarah Crowder / Katie Workman /

Here are ways to use that perfect rice all week long.  Serve it with:

Pan Seared Pork Chops with Marsala and Mushroom Cream Sauce / Mia / Katie Workman /

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How to Cook Perfect Rice on the Stove

A foolproof recipe for cooking white rice.
Yield: 4 People
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil optional
  • 1 cup long grain white rice


  • Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the salt and butter and allow the butter to melt.
  • When the water has returned to a boil, stir in the rice. Let the water return to a light simmer. Stir again, cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Keep the rice simmering slightly, and keep the pot covered (you may have to peek after a few minutes to make sure the heat is at the correct temperature, but then let it cook, covered). Start checking to see if the rice is tender and all of the liquid is absorbed at about 17 minutes. It may take up to 25, especially if you are making a larger quantity of rice.
  • When the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and let it sit for another couple of minutes to finish absorbing any liquid. Take off the lid, fluff the rice with a fork and let it sit for another 2 minutes or so, so that some of the excess moisture in the rice dries off.


Nutrition Information

Calories: 193.91kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.98g | Protein: 3.33g | Fat: 3.15g | Saturated Fat: 1.88g | Cholesterol: 7.53mg | Sodium: 324.24mg | Potassium: 53.19mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 0.06g | Vitamin A: 87.47IU | Calcium: 16.7mg | Iron: 0.37mg

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      1. I never rinse plain white rice. It would remove some of the starch, and I guess make the grains more separate, but I’ve never had an issue with that with the right amount of water, and the right amount of cooking time!

  1. Does anyone know how to make sticky rice? The kind that doesn’t fluff out into individual grains…kinda clumps together. How would I go about scorching it, not to where it burns of course? I think scorching it would produce the same texture…

  2. I need to make a large pot of spanish rice, I have the ingredients, but am a bit nervous as my rice is also hit and miss. I was in Mexico, and they make a delicious rice, they put a whole onion in the pot and use a tomato Bouillon, sounds weird but it tasted delicious…I have been wondering about Regular pot, Crock pot, or Pressure cooker??? My rice cooker is too small.

  3. I was very confused using water to cooking Rice. But my problem is solved in the article. The ratio helped me. 2 to 1 is the best practice for cooking rice. Thanks for sharing.

  4. How would I go about scorching it, not to where it burns of course? I think scorching it would produce the same texture…

  5. My mother used this method. As a child in a family of 8, there was seldom leftover rice, but my mom would always cook extra and warm it for our breakfast. She added milk, sugar, brown sugar or honey and butter and cinnamon. It was a wonderful tummy warming thing!

  6. Rinsing removes the B vitamins that were added to prevent vitamin deficiency. White rice is missing the bran and rice germ which contained most of the vitamins.

  7. I usually rice fail every time I attempt to cook it. It was to the point where I resorted to just buying frozen rice. This recipe is the first time I managed to cook rice that didn’t snowball or burn. Thanks Katie!

  8. Thank you so freaking much, I’ve been wanting to buy a rice cooker I gave up on cooking rice because I always mess it up and I followed what you said and my rice came out so freaking soft and fluffy delicious thank you !

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