How to Cook Rice Without a Rice Cooker

Cooking rice without a rice cooker involves attention to timing.
Cooking rice without a rice cooker involves attention to timing. (Image: Blue Jean Images/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Many people settle for instant rice instead of cooking rice the traditional way, especially if the thought of cooking rice from scratch is intimidating. If you don't have a rice cooker, but want to make rice without settling for instant or boil-in-bag varieties, there are several steps and tips to keep in mind. The method to cook rice without a rice cooker will vary slightly depending on the type of rice you are cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Lidded cooking pot
  • Chicken broth (optional)
  • Butter (optional)
  • Olive oil (optional)

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Measure out rice into a cooking pot and add water to the pot. For every cup of long-grain white rice, use 1 1/2 cups of water. Brown rice requires slightly more water and short-grain varieties require less.

Turn the burner to high. Bring the water and rice to a boil. Cover the pot as soon as the water boils and reduce heat to a simmer.

Simmer the rice for 10 to 12 minutes, or the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.

Remove the pot from the heat. Let the covered pot sit for at least 5 minutes, and up to 30 minutes. The resting time allows the moisture to redistribute evenly, for more uniformly tender rice. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork or chopstick.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you wish your rice to be less sticky, rinse it in a few changes of cold water before cooking.
  • To add flavor, use chicken broth instead of water, or add butter or olive oil and salt to water.


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