Rice to Water Ratio for Every Rice Variety

Rice to Water Ratio for Every Rice Variety


Rice is a staple food in various countries and is considered a cornerstone in many healthy dishes. It’s inexpensive, easy to store, flexible enough to be used in many recipes, and is widely available in grocery stores. Due to this, it’s unsurprising why rice continues to grow in popularity. However, there’s a certain skill required when it comes to cooking rice. Cook rice incorrectly and you’ll be stuck with either mushy or charred grains.

While jasmine and arborio are both rice, how to cook them requires slightly different cooking methods, and 1 cup of rice of both varieties needs different amounts of water. How you cook jasmine rice isn’t how you cook arborio. Fortunately, cooking rice isn’t rocket science. To get that perfect fluffy texture, you’ll only need to determine the rice to water ratio of different types of rice.

How To Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker

Cooking rice is a straightforward process for the most part, though some rice varieties may require additional steps. Although the entire cooking process is automated when cooking rice in a rice cooker, there is one thing you must do by hand, which is to determine the proper rice-to-water ratio.

To cook your rice in a rice cooker:

  1. Measure out the dry rice using the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker.
  2. Rinse uncooked rice under running cold water using sa strainer or rice washer.  Rinsing rice is necessary to rinse out the excess starch, though if you want your rice sticky you can skip this step.
  3. Place the rinsed rice in the rice cooker and add the appropriate amount of water according to the variety’s rice to water ratio.  
  4. Set the rice cooker to cook after ensuring that the setting corresponds to the variety of rice you’re using.
  5. Once cooked, let the rice sit in the rice cooker for 10 minutes. Fluff with a rubber spatula before serving the cooked rice.

If you’re cooking brown rice, wild rice, or any similar varieties, soak rice in the rice cooker pot for at least 4 hours before cooking. You can add additional ingredients as the rice cooks, such as salt, soy sauce, or butter.

Why Use A Rice Cooker

No other device can compete with a rice cooker, which is designed to cook rice to perfection. While cooking rice on a stove takes a bit of practice, making the perfect rice is a breeze when you’re using a rice cooker. There’s little to no effort needed, and in this modern age where time is precious, the appliance is indispensable. 

What variety and the amount of rice you can cook depends on your rice cooker’s capacity and available settings, though most are capable of cooking all varieties of white rice. Some rice cookers even function as slow and pressure cookers, while others can only cook regular rice.

If you’re a beginner in the kitchen, having this gadget at your disposal is ideal. You don’t have to worry about accidentally burning your food since the rice cooker will do most of the work. This is also a great kitchen companion to have for experienced cooks and busy individuals who prefer to save time.

How To Cook Rice in a Stove

While cooking rice on a stove is a lot more challenging than cooking in a rice cooker, it can still be done, even by beginners. If you haven’t tried cooking rice before, the process might require a lot of practice, particularly when it comes to the water to rice ratio and the cooking process itself. While a rice cooker may have built-in settings for different varieties of rice, you’ll have to keep in mind the cooking time and the proper amount of water needed for your rice to cook properly.

To cook rice on a stove:

  1. Wash dry rice using a sieve or rice washer under cold running water. If making sticky rice, you can skip this step. Uncooked rice contains starch that might cause the water to bubble over and cause a mess, so unless you specifically need your rice to be sticky for sticky rice or any similar recipe, you’ll have to thoroughly rinse rice.
  2. Add rice and the appropriate amount of water to the pot.
  3. Place the pot on a stove on medium heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. To cook brown rice, simmer for at least 30 to 40 minutes.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 10 minutes
  7. Fluff the rice and serve.

Keep the lid close as the rice cooks to prevent excess steam from escaping. You’ll have undercooked rice otherwise. Also, never mix the rice while it’s cooking, unless you want your rice to have this unpleasant, gummy texture.

What is the Ratio of Water to Rice?

Determining the proper amount of water needed for every rice variety is probably the most crucial step in cooking rice. If there is insufficient water, the rice will burn at the bottom and remain uncooked at the top. If you use too much water, the rice will turn mushy or gummy. While the standard ratio is 1:1, there are over 40,000 types of rice in the world, and this ratio will not work for most of them.

Brown Rice vs White Rice

Brown rice and white rice, while cooked almost the same way, have different cooking times, with brown rice taking longer to cook than white rice. In terms of its composition, brown rice retains the bran on the rice grain, giving it a nutty flavor. This outer covering contains most of the grains’ nutritional value, making this type of rice healthier compared to white rice.

Brown rice becomes white rice once the husk, bran, and germ are removed. Aside from physical differences, their flavor is also distinct from each other. White rice doesn’t have the same nutty flavor and instead has a starchy, slightly bland taste.

Brown rice is considered healthier than white rice because it includes more protein and dietary fiber, which helps lower the risk of heart disease and offers plenty of health benefits. Nonetheless, many people dislike brown rice since it is difficult to chew and digest. White rice, on the other hand, has a better texture. It is soft but not mushy, with the grains remaining solid and keeping their form. Additionally, cooking white rice is easier compared to cooking brown rice, mainly due to the latter’s longer cook time and the extra soaking needed to soften the grains.

To cook brown rice varieties, you need to add 1 ½ cups of water to cook 1 cup of brown rice. For example, if you want to cook 2 cups of rice, you’ll need to add 3 cups of water. To cook white rice, the rice-to-water ratio is typically 1 cup rice to 1 cup water.

Grain Length

Aside from the hull, rice is also differentiated by its grain length. This length is also an indication of the grain’s consistency when cooked. Sushi rice, for example, is a type of short-grain white rice and will have a stickier consistency when cooked compared to Basmati rice, which is a type of long-grain rice.

Long-Grain Rice

Long-grain rice might be more difficult to cook for some since their grains are longer than their short-grain counterparts. They typically have a longer cooking time and require more water for the rice grains to cook properly.

Because of the low amylopectin, which is a sticky starch that causes the grains to clump together when cooked, the grains separate and become fluffier when once it’s done cooking. This makes this variety ideal for stuffing or fried rice. Jasmine rice and Basmati rice are two examples of long grain rice.

Medium-Grain Rice

Medium-grain rice clings together when cooked, but not as much as short-grain rice. The grains have a significant amount of starch and retain their form, resulting in moist and soft cooked rice. Most rice recipes, such as risotto or paella, benefit from medium-grain rice. Carnaroli and Chinese black rice, also known as Forbidden rice, are examples of this type of grain.

Short-Grain Rice

Short grain rice is soft and somewhat sticky when cooked. It loses its shape when cooked due to its short, nearly spherical shape. As a result, the grains are more likely to stick together. Short-grain rice is required for dishes that require a little consistency, such as sushi, sticky rice, or rice pudding.

This sticky consistency is caused by the high amounts of amylopectin present in the rice grain. Japanese-style rice, also known as sushi rice, arborio rice, and bomba rice are three examples of this variety.

How Much Water Do I Add to 1 Cup of Rice in a Rice Cooker?

If you’re cooking regular white rice, achieve a ratio of 1:1 (that is 1 cup water to rice ratio), while brown rice typically will have a ratio of 1:1 ½ (1 ½ water to 1 cup rice). For other types of rice, you can follow the guide below.

Grain Length Rice To Water Ratio 
White short-grain rice  1 ¼ cup of water
Brown short-grain rice  1 ½ cup of water
White medium-grain rice  1 ½ cup of water
Brown medium-grain rice  2 cups of water
White long-grain rice  1 ¾ cup of water
Brown long-grain rice  1 ¼ cups of water

Water to Rice Ratio for Different Varieties of Rice

Listed below is the amount of water needed for 1 cup of rice:

Rice Varieties   Rice To Water Ratio 
Valencia rice  3 cups of water
Arborio rice  1 ½ cup of water
Carnaroli rice  1 ½ cup of water
Calrose rice  1 ¾ cup of water
Black rice  1 ¾ cup of water
Forbidden rice  1 ¾  cups of water
Basmati rice  1 ½ cup of water
Jasmine rice  1 ¾ cup of water
Jasmine rice (brown)  2 ⅓ cups of water
Sushi rice  1 cup of water
Red cargo rice  1 ½ cup of water
Wild rice  2 cups of water

Final Note

You don’t have to be a rice master to make the perfect fluffy rice. How to cook them, particularly when using a rice cooker, only requires a few easy steps. The only slightly difficult step would be determining the proper rice to water ratio and cooking time of each type of grain. Once you’ve mastered those, you’ll be making perfectly cooked rice for every meal.

Do keep in mind that it might take a few tries for you to cook perfect rice, even if you’re using a rice cooker. While you may have the rice to water ratio down pat, other factors such as the type of rice cooker you’re using or the variety of rice you’re cooking may play a role in determining the consistency of your rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much water do I use for 2 cups of rice?

Refer to the guidelines listed above and adjust according to how much rice you’re cooking. If you’re cooking 3 cups of short-grain brown rice, for example, you’ll need to add 4 ½  cups of water.

What is the best rice cooker to cook rice?

The type of rice cooker you need depends on your preferences and needs. A high-end rice cooker can function as an all-in-one kitchen device and can have features such as a delay timer, automatic keep-warm setting, and even induction heating. A budget rice cooker, on the other hand, might have fewer settings.  Larger households can benefit from a large capacity rice cooker, which allows them to cook rice in bulk. Busy individuals that live alone can purchase a mini rice cooker that can serve up to two people at most.

If you don’t have a rice cooker or you’re planning on buying one, it’s important to factor in your living conditions before purchasing.  You can check our detailed rice cooker reviews and guides here.