How to Cook Rice on the Stove (VIDEO)
Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time. This is our go-to method to make fluffy white rice and it doesn’t get any easier. To cook rice on the stove, all you need is a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
Home-cooked white rice is a staple in our home. We love it for everything from Arancini Rice Balls to Shrimp Fried Rice, or just as a simple side dish with Baked Chicken Breast for an easy dinner.
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How to Cook Rice Video
Watch Natasha make this easy stovetop white rice. This is a recipe everyone should have in their recipe repertoire. It’s perfect for any recipe that calls for cooked white rice like our Chicken Fried Rice and is excellent served under saucy Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry.
How to Make White Rice
- Rinse the rice if desired and drain well. Add rice, salt, and butter (if using) to a medium saucepan.
- Pour in water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and cook with the lid on for 18 minutes.
- Check rice. If there’s any water on the bottom, cover and let it rest 5 minutes off the heat to absorb then serve.
What Kind of Rice Should I Use?
This tutorial is written for long-grain white rice. Our go-to rice is Jasmine rice, but Basmati long-grain white rice will also work here. We prefer long-grain white rice because it stays fluffy and the grains remain separate after cooking.
Different rice varieties require different cooking methods. If you’re looking for an arborio recipe, make sure you try our Risotto. For brown rice, be sure to check out our Instant Pot Rice (Plov).
Should I Rinse Rice or Soak Rice?
- Soaking your Jasmine rice or white rice for long periods is not recommended because it is naturally soft and can result in mushy rice.
- Rinsing rice is optional and depends on personal preference. There are some good reasons to rinse your rice though. Rinsing removes the extra starch on the outside of the rice, making it slightly less sticky and resulting in fluffy and separate grains. It also removes pesticides or arsenic so if you have a diet high in rice then rinsing is a good idea.
To rinse rice: place rice in a fine mesh colander and rinse 20 seconds or until the water runs clear underneath. Drain well in the colander before cooking.
How do you know when rice is cooked?
- Set a Timer: For consistent perfectly cooked rice every time, our best advice is to set a timer while cooking. Fully cooked rice will be fluffy and tender all the way through.
- Listen for Simmering Sounds: You should hear the rice simmer and hiss while the lid is on and when the sounds stop, the rice has absorbed the water and should be removed from heat.
- Water is Absorbed: When you take off the lid, fluff with the fork and you should not see any pooling of water at the bottom. If you see any water, cover with the lid and let rest 5-10 minutes off the heat until water is fully absorbed.
How to Freeze Cooked Rice
Having portioned rice in the freezer is great for quick weeknight meals like Shrimp Fried Rice. Frozen cooked rice can be heated directly from frozen without needing to thaw. Here is the process we use to freeze rice.
- Cook and Cool rice to room temperature.
- Portion into freezer-safe zip lock bags, removing as much air as possible.
- Freeze, laying flat, for up to 3 months in the freezer. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of water over the rice and reheat portions covered in a microwave-safe container for 2-3 minutes.
To Cook 2 Cups of Rice
1 cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups of cooked rice. If you need more, you can easily scale the recipe up or down, just keep in mind the rice-to-water 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice to 2 cups water). To double the recipe, use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. If scaling up, make sure you are using a pot that is large enough for the rice to expand as it cooks.
Can I Substitute the Water?
For more flavorful rice, you can substitute water with chicken broth or vegetable broth as we use in our Creamy Chicken and Rice recipe. If substituting with stock, you will want to add less salt or salt to taste.
What if my rice looks dried out?
If your heat is too high or your lid wasn’t tight enough, the moisture can evaporate too quickly resulting in dry rice. My sister Anna taught me this trick to make rice moist. Drizzle in 2 to 4 Tablespoons of boiling hot water and you can stir in an extra tablespoon of butter if desired, then cover with the lid and rest for 5 minutes. The rice will absorb the water and will become moist and fluffy.
Learning how to cook perfect white rice is so easy and this is one of those staple lunch or dinner recipes you’ll memorize and make over and over.
What to Serve with White Rice
Rice is so versatile. You can put it into rice soup, serve it as a plain buttery side, and it’s also amazing served under stir fry. Some of our favorite recipes to serve over rice are:
How to Cook Rice on the Stove
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time. This is our go-to method to make fluffy white rice and it’s so easy. To cook rice on the stove, all you need is a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.
how to cook rice, how to cook white rice
Cost to Make:
Servings: 4 people (makes 3 cups cooked rice)
long grain white rice, (we used Jasmine rice)
water, preferably filtered
unsalted butter, optional, or added to taste
Rinse your rice if desired and drain well. In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup rice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp butter (if using) to the pan.
Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat.
Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 18 minutes. You should hear faint simmer and hissing sounds while it’s cooking.
After 18 minutes*, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes with the lid on then fluff with a fork and serve hot.
*I like to open the lid and check the rice after 18 minutes. If there is a little excess liquid, the rice should re-absorb it as it rests. If it seems too dry, add a drizzle of boiling hot water and stir in a pat of butter then cover and let it rest for perfectly moist rice.
How to Cook Rice on the Stove
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Vitamin A 89IU2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.