How Long To Cook Rice

How Long To Cook Rice

Rice is a central part of many cuisines and can be an excellent side dish for any meal. However, cooking it perfectly can be tricky, even for skilled chefs. With a few easy tips, you can make sure you get the fluffiest and most delicious rice every time. Learn how long to cook rice, no matter which type you prefer.

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How to Cook Rice

Rice grains come in three lengths: short, long, and medium. Short-grain rice is high in starch and is stickier than other varieties. Long-grain rice is lower in starch and stays more separated when cooked. Medium-grain rice is somewhere between the other two varieties. Choose short-grain or medium-grain when you want stickier rice; opt for long-grain when you want it to be separate.

One of the most common mistakes people make when cooking rice is not double-checking the water-to-rice ratio, says registered dietitian Marisol Ortiz. Her tips will help you cook perfect rice every time.

Tips for cooking white rice

how to cook rice - white rice

  • White rice has been polished to remove the tough outer bran and germ. It is less nutritious than brown rice but also stores longer and cooks faster.
  • When cooking white rice, use the ratio of ½ cup rice to 1 cup of water.

Tips for cooking brown rice

how to cook rice - brown rice

  • Brown rice is a whole grain. It has a nutty flavor and is more nutritious than white rice.
  • When cooking brown rice, use the ratio of 2 ½ cups of water to 1 cup brown rice.
  • Here’s how to cook brown rice perfectly every time!

Tips for cooking black (forbidden) rice

how to cook rice - black rice

  • Forbidden or black rice has antioxidant properties and is also considered a whole grain. It actually turns purple after cooking!
  • When cooking forbidden rice, use 1 ½ to 2 cups of water to 1 cup of black rice.
  • Refer to package instructions for cooking times.

Tips for cooking wild rice

how to cook rice - wild rice

  • Wild rice is actually a grass, and it is one of the healthiest rice varieties you can eat. It is chewy when cooked and extremely aromatic.
  • When cooking wild rice, you will need 3 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.
  • Refer to package instructions for cooking times.

 

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Rice cooking techniques

how to cook rice - cooking wild rice

Here are three of the easiest ways to cook rice at home:

How to cook rice on the stove

Cooking rice on the stove is the most convenient method (unless you own a rice cooker), as long as you follow these steps.

  1. Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer. This gets rid of the extra rice “dust,” says Ortiz, which will make your rice too sticky. Run the rice under water for at least 20 seconds but ideally until the water is clear.
  2. Double-check the package to see how much water you need per cup of rice. Otherwise, stick with the ratios above.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Ortiz says her secret to perfect rice is “using a heavy-bottomed pan, such as a Dutch oven.”
  4. Once the water boils, add a dash of salt (optional) and stir in the rice.
  5. Bring the water back to a boil, then lower the temperature so the rice can gently simmer.
  6. Cover the pot and let it cook on low heat for about 18-20 minutes for white rice, 20-25 for forbidden rice, 30-35 minutes for brown rice, and 45-60 minutes for wild rice. Do not take off the lid, as this will release the steam that is cooking your rice. Getting the timing right depends on the type of rice, so double-check package instructions.
  7. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for at least 5 minutes before removing the lid. The steam will finish cooking the rice
  8. Once done, fluff rice with a fork and serve.

How to cook rice in the microwave

Microwaving rice is a little faster but not necessarily easier. Getting the rice perfectly cooked can take a few tries and requires you to watch the rice almost constantly. However, if you choose this method, here are the steps:

  1. Rinse your rice in a mesh strainer.
  2. Place 1 cup rice in a microwave-safe dish and add the appropriate amount of water.
  3. Place the dish uncovered in the microwave and cook on high for 10 minutes (for white rice).
  4. You will know the rice is ready when small holes appear in the surface of the rice and most of the water is absorbed.
  5. Once those holes appear, cover the dish and microwave for 4 more minutes.
  6. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and let stand for 5 minutes.
  7. For brown rice, microwave for 10 minutes, then stir and microwave for 20 more minutes. Check the rice every 10 minutes. Getting the timing right will take some practice and depends on your microwave.

How to cook rice in a rice cooker or Instant Pot

Using a rice cooker or Instant Pot is one of the easiest methods because it does all the cooking for you! Simply add the correct amount of rice and water, turn it on, and wait till the rice is done. Details will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions so make sure to read them.

“A rice cooker can be great to minimize the effort of cooking,” says Ortiz. “All you need is to have the right amount of water to rice, press a button, and voila!”

About

Mascha Davis is a registered dietitian nutritionist, humanitarian, and founder of Nomadista Nutrition, a private nutrition practice based in Los Angeles. Her writing and expertise have been featured in numerous media outlets including CNN, The Washington Post, ABC News, Men's Health, Refinery29, PopSugar, Reader's Digest, and more. Follow her on Twitter.

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