August 18, 2020

How to Cook White Rice

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. No more gummy or undercooked results!

Jump to Recipe Leave a Review

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

When your cooked rice turns out fluffy and each grain is distinct, you know you did it right. However, so many times it turns out mushy, under-cooked or overcooked for others.

Rice is easy to find, it’s inexpensive and works great with combination of our favorite meat dishes such as Pork Meatballs and Chicken Drumsticks. Choose any fresh salad on a side and you’ve got a complete meal.

Perfect Basmati Rice Recipe:

In the past, I have always used a rice cooker to make pilaf and other similar dishes. I had a slightly older version of this Aroma Cooker (click for link). Then one day it started burning my dishes at the bottom and I realized it was time to let it go. 

Our favorite method is the pilaf method – toasting rice in butter before adding water. It’s easy and simple and you need only 4 most common ingredients that you already have on hand.

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

Ingredients For White Rice:

  • Basmati rice – our go-to type, but you can use jasmine or any long-grain rice.
  • Cold water – we boil the water before adding remaining ingredients, but you’re welcome to start with boiled water to shorten the process, but keep the cook time the same.
  • Unsalted butter – gives extra flavor; you can use salted butter and reduce the salt amount.
  • Fine salt – for flavoring and can be adjusted to taste.

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

How to Cook White Rice:

  1. Rinse in water. Place the rice into a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water until water runs clear. This will remove the dusty starch that can lead to gummy grains.
  2. Boil the water in small saucepan. In a small saucepan (covered with lid), bring cold water to a boil over high heat.
  3. Toast in butter and salt. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt unsalted butter. Add the rinsed rice and salt and stir for about 4-5 minutes, until rice is coated with butter and smells toasted.
  4. Add rice, butter and salt. Simmer covered. Stir in the toasted rice into boiled water and cover the pot with lid. Bring back to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed, 13-15 minutes.(You should hear hissing while it’s cooking and it will get quiet once done). Stainless steel saucepans will cook rice faster (take a quick peek at 12 mins).
  5. Rest off-heat, then fluff. Remove from heat and let the rice rest covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

Do I Need to Rinse or Soak White Rice?

  • Rinsing is required and we never skip this step. Rinsing wastes away loose, powdery starch that can stick to the grains while cooking, making it less sticky. To rinse, place rice in a fine mesh colander and rinse for 30 seconds or until the water runs clear underneath. 
  • Soaking Basmati rice or white rice is not recommended unless you’re preparing it for pilaf, which is usually recommended. Long-grain white rice is naturally soft compared to brown rice and can result in mushy rice.

What is the Best Rice to Use?

This how-to tutorial is written for long-grain white rice. Our primary is Basmati rice, but Jasmine will also work here. We prefer long-grain because it stays fluffy and each grain is distinct after cooking. Both, basmati and jasmine rice deliver excellent results in all the dishes. 

How to Know When Rice is Cooked?

  • Set a Timer: For perfectly cooked rice every time, start by setting a timer while cooking. Cooked rice should be fluffy and soft all the way through.
  • Listen for Hissing Sounds: You should hear the rice hiss and simmer while the lid is on and when the sounds stop, that means rice has absorbed the water and should be removed from the heat.
  • Water is Absorbed: When you take off the lid after the 10 minutes resting, fluff with the fork and you should not see any water at the bottom of the saucepan. If you see water, cover with the lid and let rest for additional 10 minutes off the heat until water is fully absorbed.

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

To Cook Bigger Portions of Rice:

In this recipe, 1 cup of uncooked rice will make 3 cups of cooked rice. If you need more, you can easily double the recipe or scale down for smaller portion. Just keep in mind the rice to water 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water). To double the recipe, use 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water.

How to Freeze Rice:

Having cooked rice in the freezer is great for quick meals to use with Marinated Baked Chicken Tenderloins (our favorite combo). Frozen cooked rice can be reheated directly from freezer without needed it to thaw. 

  • Cool cooked rice to room temperature.
  • Divide into freezer-safe zip lock bags, making sure there is as little air left as possible.
  • Freeze (laying flat) for up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat over low heat in a nonstick skillet with tablespoon of butter or oil if desired.

Substitute Water for Broth:

For flavored rice, you can substitute water with vegetable broth or chicken broth. Our favorite way to enjoy rice is to stir in extra butter and enjoy with a bowl of homemade salad and any meat. Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken on a bed of basmati rice is another one of our favorites.

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

Rice Uses in Meals:

Rice has many uses and can be easily used in many meals. Very often we like to use it for our Easy Chicken and Rice Soup by stirring in the rice at the very end once soup is cooked. You can serve it as a plain side dish or as bed for any chicken, pork or beef meat. Some of our all time favorites are:

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

Secrets to Perfect Rice on Stove:

  • ALWAYS rinse uncooked rice under cool water, no matter what type of rice or method you’re using. It washes away loose, powdery starch that can stick to the grains while cooking.
  • Add salt and butter to avoid bland rice.
  • Keep the lid on while steaming the rice. No peeking!
  • Let the rice rest for 10 minutes off heat once cooked, with lid covered.
  • Gently fluff up with fork before serving.
Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. #howtocookrice #whiterice #longgrainrice #basmatirice #jasminerice #olgainthekitchen #rice #sidedish #howto

How to Cook White Rice

5 from 17 votes
Servings: 3 cups cooked rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Learn how to cook perfect rice every time. This is our go-to simple, but reliable stove-top method of How to Cook White Rice to achieve perfectly tender and fluffy texture every time. No more gummy or undercooked results!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup uncooked basmati rice into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water until water runs clear. This will remove the dusty starch that can lead to gummy grains.

  2. In a small saucepan (covered with lid), bring 1 1/2 cups cold water to a boil over high heat.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt 2 tbsp unsalted butter. Add the rinsed rice and 1/2 tsp salt and stir for about 4-5 minutes, until rice is coated with butter and smells toasted.

  4. Stir in the toasted rice into boiled water and cover saucepan with lid. Bring back to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the water is absorbed, 13-15 minutes. (You should hear hissing while it's cooking and it will get quiet once done). Stainless steel saucepans will cook rice faster (check at 12 mins).

  5. Remove from heat, and let the rice rest covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Cooked rice is good in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes

  • Rice: this tutorial is written for long-grain white rice. Our go-to rice is Basmati rice, but Jasmine long-grain white rice will also work here. We prefer long-grain rice because it stays fluffy and the grains remain separate after cooking.
  • Rinsing: is required and we never skip this step. Rinsing wastes away loose, powdery starch that can stick to the grains while cooking, making it less sticky. 
  • Soaking: basmati rice or white rice is not recommended unless you’re preparing it for pilaf, which is usually recommended. Long-grain white rice is naturally soft compared to brown rice and can result in mushy rice.
  • Freeze Rice: cool cooked rice to room temperature. Divide into freezer-safe zip lock bags, making sure there is as little air left as possible. Freeze (laying flat) for up to 3 months in the freezer. Reheat over low heat in a nonstick skillet with tablespoon of butter or oil if desired.
  • Smaller or Bigger Portion: 1 cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups of cooked rice. If you need more, you can easily double the recipe or scale down for smaller portion. Just keep in mind the rice to water 1:1.5 ratio (1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water). To double the recipe, use 2 cups of rice and 3 cups of water.
  • Broth: for flavored rice, you can substitute water with vegetable broth or chicken broth. 

© Olga in the Kitchen owns the copyright on all images and content and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site, unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to republish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my FAQ and Copyright Policy.

Leave a Comment or Review

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Victoria

    This is the easiest recipe I have read about preparing white rice.
    The instructions are directions are easy to follow.
    Thanks also t for sharing. I plan to prepare this recipe over the weekend for my family.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Victoria! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Vera

    This is an amazing tutorial and rice turns out beautiful every time. I only do it this way from now on.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for the wonderful review, Vera! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe!

  • Nicole

    My niece turned out so delicious!! THank you for this simple and tasty recipe.

  • Alexandra

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It came out perfectly. I always struggled learning how to make rice because my mom never used measurements. She always eyeballs everything and I’m more stick to the recipe person, basically I do better with exact measurements. 😁Using your tutorial, it came out perfect. Now mom asked me to teach her. Thank you!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it, Alexandra! Thank you for that great review!

  • Amanda T

    Turned out perfect! Fluffy, light and not sticky and mushy. Easy to follow directions. Thanks!

  • Ashley Kelly

    Excellent tips – nothing beats perfecly cooked rice!!!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Isn’t the best! Thank you for that great review, Ashley!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s so awesome, Sally! You’re very welcome 🙂

  • Merry

    This is quite helpful. Being in self isolation quite a distance from home, I inevitably needed a culinary companion. This site has been the guide I so much needed.

    Cooking rice is the combination of art and science. And would you get the same results if you used short or medium grain variety?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Merry! Makes me happy to hear that. This tutorial was written for long grain rice. I have not tested for short/medium, therefore I cannot confirm if it will work or what the results will be. We have always bought long grain and I never had a need to test others, but I will keep that in mind.

  • Tess

    The perfect rice recipe! We made it for Easter yesterday as a bed to use for your chicken tenderloins and it was the perfect meal. I love your website & recipes and appreciate all the effort that you put into it! Thank you. 🙂

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you for sharing that with us. Sounds like you had a delicious Easter. Thank you for the wonderful review, Tess!

  • Linda

    Learning to cook rice the proper way is very important and your tips are so helpful. After finding your recipe, we always have rice in freezer and our meals are made in 30 minutes :). Thanks Olga!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thanks amazing! Thank you for the wonderful review, Linda!

  • May

    You cannot mess this rice up! It’s pure perfection! Always fluffy and great for so many recipes!

  • Katy

    Thank you for this amazing tip! We had been eating rice like never before these days and your recipe turns out fluffy and perfect every time. We use this same recipe for basmati and jasmine.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      That’s wonderful, Katy! Thank you for the beautiful review!

  • Julie

    I FINALLY made rice that wasn’t CRUNCHY!!!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!! #myricerocks

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      You’re very welcome, Julie! I’m so happy to hear it turned out great:).

  • Catherine

    Can I use regular white rice with the same results, as opposed to basmati rice?

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Hi Catherine! From personal experience, this method works for basmati and jasmine. I use basmati most of the time. I did not test other versions yet. Hope this helps :).

  • Kristie

    Absolute perfection! Thank you for sharing. Your recipe had become my favorite side dish lately.

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thank you, Kristie! I’m happy to hear you have a favorite from my blog 🙂

  • Kelsie | the itsy-bitsy kitchen

    This is probably terrible for a food blogger to admit but I totally can’t cook rice. It’s always awful! My mom’s rice, however, is the best and it looks like the way she does it is similar to your method. I’m bookmarking this for the next time I make rice!

  • David @ Spiced

    Great post, Olga! White rice is such a basic recipe, but it’s easy to mess it up if you don’t know the tips and tricks. Rinsing the rice first is one that I always forget about. Thanks for sharing, and beautiful photos here, too!

    • Olga in the Kitchen

      Thanks David 🙂 the rinsing part is probably the most common mistake. Many assume you just throw it in like pasta.

  • Kristina

    Thank you for sharing. I said good-bye to my rice cooker last night after I made your recipe 😄 this is the best and fluffiest rice I ever made.

  • Dee-dee

    Thank you so much for sharing! I always had issues with my rice being sticky so I decided to try your method last night and it was a success. Now I’m definitely keeping this recipe.

As Featured On

  • Taste of Home
  • Food Gawker

Get recipe updates, tips, menu ideas and more straight to your inbox.