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​​How to Cook the Perfect Rice in a Rice Cooker

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Rice cookers have made preparing cooked brown or white rice and your favorite dish/cuisine efficient and fuss-free. You can enjoy eating a warm cup of fluffy white rice with dishes like stews and soups after a long and tiring day. As easy as a rice cooker is to use, however, there are still some guidelines to follow on cooking the perfect rice in a rice cooker.

Ever tried to cook white rice but just can’t seem to get the texture you want? Below is a detailed guide to help you through the cooking process.

Why Use Rice Cookers to Cook Rice?

How to Cook the Perfect Rice in a Rice Cooker: Rice Cooker with Open Lid

Although you don’t need a rice cooker for cooking rice, it does provide a simple hands-off cooking experience that yields excellent results compared to the stove-top method.

A rice cooker is a must-have in your kitchen if you consume a lot of rice with your meals or if you’re planning on cooking plenty of rice meals in the future. You can also try out a more complicated recipe with a long cooking time using a rice cooker without worrying about fire risks.

A cooker is all about making your kitchen ventures simpler. Rice cookers are wonderful for cooking a variety of dishes quickly for a single meal or gatherings, almost the same as an instant pot.

Learning how to use this kitchen gadget may be challenging to some, particularly if you’re cooking sushi rice, glutinous/sticky rice, and other dishes like yogurt and rice pudding. There are plenty of cookers that offer multi-functionality, like a Cuckoo, Hamilton Beach, or Zojirushi rice cooker.

How Do You Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker?

Cooking time: Approximately 15 minutes (depends on unit)

  • Using cold water, rinse rice grains using a strainer or a rice washer and put the drained rice in the rice cooker. You can also use the inner pot of the rice cooker to rinse the rice directly.
  • Drain until there’s no excess water. This step is not required, but unrinsed rice tends to have a more sticky texture.
  • Add 1 to 1 ½ cups water for every 1 cup rice to the pot (or a rice and water ratio of 1:1½ ). Swirl the rice slightly to distribute evenly.
  • Begin cooking the rice in the rice cooker. When the rice is done cooking, the rice cooker will automatically switch to the ‘keep warm’ setting. Before serving, let the rice sit for 5 minutes in the pot with the lid closed.
  • Fluff the rice with a rice paddle and serve with another recipe of your choice,

Cooking Tips:

  • After you rinse the rice, you can save a second or third wash. Excess starch can do wonders to your soup or broth recipe. The first wash is usually cloudy water with all the dirt, so better throw it out.
  • Make an easy dinner by adding fat-rice meat and some spices to the rice pot while the rice cooks.
  • You can also try measuring using your index finger. Poke the rice and use your thumb to measure where the rice is on your finger. Move the tip of your finger to the top of the rice and fill water until it reaches the line you’ve measured with your thumb.
  • Wipe the bottom of the rice cooker pot with a dry kitchen towel to avoid “popping” sounds while the unit is cooking. This mostly applies to conventional rice cookers.

How to Cook Brown Rice and Other Type of Rice

Cooking Time: Approximately 15 minutes (depends on unit)

  • Using cold water, rinse rice using a strainer or a rice washer. Wash until the water runs clear.
  • Put inside the pot. Refer to the guide below for the right water to rice ratio (e.g. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice)
  • Cook the rice in the cooker. When done, the rice cooker will automatically switch to keep warm. Let the rice sit for 5 minutes with the lid closed.
  • Fluff the rice with a rice paddle and serve with another recipe of your choice.

The secret to cooking great brown rice, whether long grain or short grain, in a rice cooker is to get the dry rice to water ratio right. This is to ensure that your rice comes out fluffy, soft, and tasty. 

If you have a brown rice recipe in mind and the procedures call for the stovetop method, why not try to adjust the recipe so that you can cook it in a rice cooker? Not only are you able to enjoy the majority of the long waiting time instead of fretting over the stove, but you also get cooked rice with higher quality.

How Do You Make Rice Not Mushy in a Rice Cooker?

You’ve probably tried cooking white rice on the stovetop but it never seemed to go well for you. Either the rice comes out partially uncooked, mushy, or straight up burnt. While a cooker might be easier to use, it can’t magically make fluffy rice. 

The first thing you should always remember when making rice is to never put too much water in the cooker unless you’re making porridge. It’s also important to note that you should cook within your rice cooker yield, e.g. 3 cups for a 3-cup cooker. 

It may take a few tries until you finally get the results you want, especially if the type of rice you’re cooking is difficult to cook in the first place.

What is The Ratio of Rice to Water in a Rice Cooker?

Rice texture depends heavily on the water you add to cooking. In a rice cooker, the usual rice and water ratio is 1:1. This equates to 1 cup rice to 1 cup water. You can use the measuring cup to scoop uncooked brown or white rice and add water to the pot if you prefer to be more accurate. 

This ratio works best for long-grain white rice; it also appears to work well for other long-grain white rice varieties, such as basmati or jasmine rice. 

For a general idea of how many cups water you should put in the cooker for 1 cup of any type of brown or white rice, follow the list below:

  • White, Long grain rice (jasmine or basmati rice) –   1 ¾ cups
  • White, Medium grain rice – 1 ½ cups
  • White, Short grain rice (Japanese rice/sushi rice)1 ½ cups
  • Brown, Long grain rice2 ¼ cups
  • Brown, Short grain rice – 2 ½ cups
  • Quinoa2 cups
  • Parboiled rice2 cups

The inner pot of your cooker comes with a measuring guide already etched on the inside, so it’s easier to use if you ever lose your measuring cup.

How Much Water Do I Add to 2 Cups Of Rice in a Rice Cooker?

More rice means more water to add for cooking. You can still use the 1:1 rice and water ratio (which is the same ratio above) for any grain size, though this is not applicable to all the rice varieties. If you’re cooking 3 cups of rice for example, you can add 3 cups of water.

When cooked, this should provide fluffy but somewhat sticky cooked rice grains, and this water to rice ratio works nicely for any number of cups in a rice cooker, though you’ll have to adjust the amount of water depending on the type of rice. Adding slightly less cups of water can leave you with looser grains after you fluff the rice.

Rice is a great staple to have in the kitchen, particularly if your household has a preference for preparing rice dishes. It pairs well with any savory recipe and is a great source of carbohydrates. Since it keeps really well in the pantry, you can have uncooked rice on hand in case of food shortages or cravings. 

Whether you eat rice on a daily basis or you’re currently experimenting with different rice recipes, you can’t go wrong with exceptionally cooked rice.

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Hui Yin

Hui Yin moved from Hong Kong 🇭🇰 to the USA 🇺🇸 when she was just 8 years old. Now in her late 20's she enjoys writing and taking long walks in the park to burn off the copious amounts of rice she eats for dinner.

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