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How To Cook Rice

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rice on a plate

Chelsea Lupkin

Just can't master the art of cooking rice on the stovetop? No stress—you're not alone. Many things can go wrong when prepping rice: too gummy, too hard, burnt. But, once you've got it down, it's simple to get it right every time. Before you know it, you'll have a steaming bowl of rice ready to be made into our easy Buddha bowls or topped with beef and broccoli for the easiest weeknight dinner

Follow our steps with our top tips and tricks to master rice on the stovetop every time: 

Follow our steps with our top tips and tricks to master rice on the stovetop every time: 

1. Rinse the rice.

Ugh, I know, rinsing is annoying, but it really is worth it to get rid of the dusty starches that may make the rice too sticky. Just place your rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear.

2. Remember the ratio. 

For most types of rice, you'll always use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 2 cups water, which you can scale up or down. (Double-check your rice packaging to be sure.) Feel free to swap in chicken or vegetable broth for more flavor.

3. Bring the water to a boil

Then, stir in your rice and salt. And if you want to add a tab of butter, too, go for it — your rice will taste 10x better.

4. Get a steady simmer.

After adding the rice, the temperature of your water will drop significantly, and it'll stop boiling. Let it come back to a gentle simmer (otherwise you run the risk of your water cooking off faster than your rice gets tender).

5. Don't take off the lid. 

Cover the saucepan and reduce heat to low. Though it will be tempting, keep the lid on! It's very important not to mess with the steam. 

6. Check at 18 minutes. 

For long grain white rice, I always set a timer for 18, knowing that it could need another minute or two. Let the rice be your indicator, not the water. If there's a little water leftover, it's totally fine! Just tilt the saucepan slightly to drain it out. (Cooking brown rice? Check at 30 minutes.)

7. Leave it alone. 

Turn off the heat, replace the lid, and let it rest for a few minutes in the steamy saucepan. Patience is a virtue, my friend. 

8. Fluff it up!

Use a fork to gently mix and lift rice to make sure that the grains don't stick together. 

If you have a rice cooker, the game is a lot easier. Use the same magic ratio and throw everything into the rice cooker, which does all the work for you. When the machine says it's ready, the same "leave it alone" and fluffing instructions apply.  


  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. white long grain rice
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • Kosher salt


Step 1

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring water to a boil. Add rice, butter, and a large pinch of salt.

Step 2

Bring pan back to a simmer then lower heat and cook, covered, 18 minutes, or until rice is tender and water is absorbed.

Step 3

Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

Yields: 4 servings Prep Time: 10 mins Total Time: 30 mins Cal/Serv: 194

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This post originally appeared on Delish and was published February 21, 2023. This article is republished here with permission.

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