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How to Cook Rice on the Stove

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Discover the secret to achieving flawless, fluffy white rice with ease every time. Our foolproof method for cooking rice on the stove requires nothing more than a medium saucepan equipped with a well-fitting lid.

Fluffy white rice in a saucepanPin

White rice is a beloved staple in our household, serving as the foundation for a variety of dishes, from Arancini Rice Balls to Shrimp Fried Rice. It also pairs perfectly as a simple side dish alongside Baked Chicken Breast for a quick and satisfying dinner.

How to Cook Rice

Cooking rice on the stove is a simple yet essential skill that yields perfectly fluffy grains every time. Follow these steps to achieve delicious, restaurant-quality rice in the comfort of your own kitchen.


  • 1 cup of rice (long-grain, short-grain, or medium-grain)
  • 2 cups of water
  • Pinch of salt (optional)


  • Medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid
  • Fork or rice paddle


  1. Rinse the Rice:
    • Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve or colander and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
  2. Measure the Water:
    • For every cup of rice, use two cups of water. This ratio ensures that the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the water properly.
  3. Combine Rice and Water:
    • In the medium saucepan, add the rinsed rice and water. If desired, add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the rice.
  4. Bring to a Boil:
    • Place the saucepan over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. Cover and Simmer:
    • Cover the saucepan with the lid and let the rice simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  6. Let It Rest:
    • Once the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. This allows the steam to finish cooking the rice and makes it easier to fluff.
  7. Fluff and Serve:
    • After the resting period, uncover the saucepan and use a fork or rice paddle to gently fluff the rice, separating any clumps. Serve hot as a side dish or as a base for your favorite recipes.
Rice being cooked on the stovePin


  • Avoid lifting the lid or stirring the rice while it’s cooking, as this can disrupt the steaming process and lead to unevenly cooked grains.
  • Experiment with different types of rice, such as Basmati, Jasmine, or Arborio, to discover your favorite varieties and flavors.
  • For added flavor, substitute water with broth or coconut milk when cooking the rice.

Now that you’ve mastered the art of cooking rice on the stove, enjoy incorporating this versatile ingredient into your favorite dishes!

Medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lidPin

How to Make White Rice

  • If you prefer, you can rinse the rice and ensure it’s thoroughly drained. Then, in a medium saucepan, combine the rice, salt, and butter (if desired).
  • Add water to the saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer with the lid on for 18 minutes.
  • After the cooking time, check the rice. If there’s any excess water remaining, simply cover the saucepan again and let it rest off the heat for 5 minutes to allow the rice to absorb the remaining moisture. Then, it’s ready to be served.

What Kind of Rice Should I Use?

This guide is specifically tailored for long-grain white rice. While our preferred choice is Jasmine rice, Basmati long-grain white rice is also suitable for this method. We opt for long-grain white rice because it maintains its fluffiness, and the grains retain their individuality post-cooking.

It’s important to note that various rice varieties necessitate distinct cooking techniques. If you’re in search of an arborio recipe, we recommend exploring our Risotto recipe. Additionally, for brown rice enthusiasts, don’t forget to explore our Instant Pot Rice (Plov) recipe.

Rinsing rice under cold waterPin

Should I Rinse Rice or Soak Rice?

It’s not advisable to soak your Jasmine rice or white rice for extended periods as they are naturally soft, and doing so can lead to mushy rice.

While rinsing rice is optional and varies based on personal preference, there are valid reasons to consider rinsing it. Rinsing helps remove excess starch from the rice’s surface, reducing stickiness and yielding fluffy, separate grains. Additionally, it can eliminate any traces of pesticides or arsenic, making it a wise choice, especially for those with a rice-heavy diet.

Fluffing rice with a forkPin

How do you know when rice is cooked?

Here are some helpful tips for achieving consistently perfect rice every time:

  1. Set a Timer: To ensure consistent, perfectly cooked rice, it’s best to use a timer while cooking. Properly cooked rice will be fluffy and tender throughout.
  2. Listen for Simmering Sounds: While the lid is on, you should hear the rice simmering and hissing. Once these sounds cease, it indicates that the rice has absorbed the water and is ready to be removed from the heat.
  3. Check for Water Absorption: After removing the lid, fluff the rice with a fork. There should be no pooling of water at the bottom of the saucepan. If you notice any water, simply cover the saucepan again and let it rest off the heat for 5-10 minutes until the water is fully absorbed.

How to Freeze Cooked Rice

Keeping pre-portioned rice in the freezer is ideal for preparing quick weeknight meals such as Shrimp Fried Rice. Frozen cooked rice can be reheated directly from frozen, eliminating the need for thawing. Here’s our method for freezing rice:

  1. Cook the rice and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Portion the rice into freezer-safe ziplock bags, squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing.
  3. Lay the bags flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. When ready to use, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over the rice and reheat portions covered in a microwave-safe container for 2-3 minutes.

To Cook 2 Cups of Rice

When cooking rice, keep in mind that 1 cup of uncooked rice typically yields 3 cups of cooked rice. If you require a larger or smaller quantity, you can adjust the recipe accordingly while maintaining the rice-to-water ratio of 1:2 (1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water). For example, to double the recipe, use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water. When scaling up the recipe, ensure that you use a sufficiently large pot to accommodate the rice as it expands during cooking.

Can I Substitute the Water?

To enhance the flavor of your rice, consider substituting water with chicken broth or vegetable broth, as demonstrated in our Creamy Chicken and Rice recipe. When using broth as a substitute, it’s advisable to reduce the amount of salt added, or adjust according to taste.

What if my rice looks dried out?

If your heat is too high or the lid isn’t tightly sealed, moisture can evaporate too rapidly, leading to dry rice. Here’s a handy tip I learned from my sister Anna to ensure moist rice: simply drizzle 2 to 4 tablespoons of boiling hot water over the rice. If desired, you can also stir in an extra tablespoon of butter. Then, cover the pot with the lid and let it rest for 5 minutes. The rice will absorb the water, resulting in moist and fluffy grains.

Cooking on a stovetop

Mastering the art of cooking perfect white rice is incredibly simple, making it a staple recipe for lunches or dinners that you’ll effortlessly commit to memory and prepare time and time again.

What to Serve with White Rice

Rice is incredibly versatile. You can use it to create comforting rice soup, serve it as a simple buttery side dish, or as a delicious base for stir-fries. Here are some of our favorite recipes to serve over rice:

  • Chicken Stir Fry: Easy and packed with flavor.
  • General Tso’s Chicken: A restaurant-inspired favorite.
  • Beef Stroganoff: Creamy sauce pairs perfectly with rice.
  • Air Fryer Salmon: Featuring the best glaze for a delightful meal.
  • Beef Stir Fry: Loaded with bell peppers and mushrooms.
  • Vegetable Stir Fry: A medley of saucy veggies that complement rice perfectly.

Faqs About Cook Rice

how to cook white rice ?

Rinse rice under cold water until clear.
Combine with water (1:2 ratio) in a pot.
Bring to boil, then simmer covered for 18-20 mins.
Let rest, fluff with fork, and serve.

how to cook jasmine rice ?

Rinse Jasmine rice until water runs clear.
Use 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water.
Boil, then simmer covered for 15-20 mins.
Let rest for 5 mins, then fluff and serve.

how to cook rice ?

Rinse the rice under cold water until clear.
Combine with water in a pot (typically 1:2 ratio).
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered.
Cook for 18-20 minutes (adjust for different rice types).
Let rest for a few minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

white ricePin

How to Cook Rice on the Stove

Discover the secret to cooking perfect rice every time with our foolproof method. Achieve fluffy white rice effortlessly using just a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid on the stove.
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Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 peoples
Calories: 194kcal


  • 1 cup of long-grain white rice we used Jasmine rice
  • 2 cups of water preferably filtered
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter optional, or to taste


  • If desired, rinse the rice and drain well. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of rice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of butter (if using).
  • Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 18 minutes. You should hear faint simmering and hissing sounds while it cooks.
  • After 18 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes with the lid on. Then, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.


I prefer to check the rice after 18 minutes by lifting the lid. If there’s a slight excess of liquid, the rice typically re-absorbs it as it rests. However, if it appears too dry, you can drizzle a bit of boiling hot water over it, stir in a pat of butter, cover, and let it rest for perfectly moist rice.


Calories: 194kcal | Fat: 3g | Protein: 3g | Carbohydrates: 37g

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