How To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker – A Beginner’s Guide

How to cook rice in a rice cooker

Rice is an excellent side to almost every dish—and it is extremely simple to make! If you know how to cook rice in a rice cooker, you can have fluffy, tasty rice whenever you want. It is quick, easy, and doesn’t require much effort. Keep reading to learn how to cook rice in a rice cooker.

Choose Your Rice

There are many different kinds of rice with different tastes and nutritional values. You can also choose your rice according to size:

Short Grain

This rice is as long as it is wide. The consistency is quite sticky, and the grains are pretty plump after cooking.


Medium Grain

The width is half the length. They are chewy and tender after cooking. Think risotto or arborio rice.


Long Grain

The width of the grain is one-fourth the length, and they are pretty light after cooking. For reference, jasmine rice is a long-grain variety.



Once you’ve picked the kind of rice you want, you need to rinse it. Fill the container with the rice with water until all the grains are immersed. Swirl the grains around and drain the water.

We rinse the rice to remove the extra starch and other debris from the rice. Rinse once if you want the rice to be a little sticky and twice if you want to remove all the starch.

The water from the rice will be cloudy when you drain it. This is normal; you do not need to keep rinsing it until the water runs clear.

Some American brands add powdered nutrients like iron to the rice. Rinsing will wash off these nutrients, so make sure to read the label of the rice you buy.


Water to Rice Ratio

How To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker

This is the step where most people mess up. If you want to make consistently delicious rice, you need to use a measuring cup. Also, use the same measuring cup for measuring both the rice and the water!

Whatever the length of your rice is, keep the ratio of rice to water 1:1. If you are making more rice, just multiply the ratio. This ratio produces fluffy rice with a slight stickiness—a perfect side for most dishes.

This ratio only works for white rice in a rice cooker. It won’t work for cooking rice on a stovetop or a microwave or for cooking brown rice.


Start It Up

How To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker

Once the rice and water are in the rice cooker pot, put them back in the rice cooker. If you have a basic, run-of-the-mill rice cooker, you probably only have a power button. Turn it on, and you’re good to go.

Fancier models will have different settings, so make sure to look through the manual to know what you’re dealing with. Either way, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes to cook.

Don’t try to open the cooker after pressing start. You will let out the steam. Almost all rice cookers have a little beeper or a light to tell you when the rice is done.

Some rice cookers also have a ‘keep warm’ feature that keeps the rice warm until it is served.


Let It Rest

Once the rice is done, let it rest in the pot for about 10 minutes. You can open it immediately if you are in a hurry, but it tastes better when you let it rest. Next, open the lid and fluff up the rice by turning it over with a rice paddle.


Water to Rice Ratio

How To Cook Rice In A Rice Cooker

If the rice turns out drier than you’d like, increase the amount of water and let it warm for 5-10 minutes. If it is too soggy, tough luck—you need to start over! Use less water this time.

If you are cooking new rice varieties, test it by starting with a 1:1 ratio and then adjusting according to the results. You can increase or decrease the ratio by one-fourth when you try to fix for dryness or mushiness.

What Else Can I Use My Rice Cooker For?

Other grains like quinoa and oatmeal can also be cooked in a rice cooker. You can also layer your veggies or meat on top of the rice to make mixed dishes. Some rice cookers have racks or baskets for steaming other ingredients and different settings to choose from.

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