A good helping of rice is capable of transforming a modest vegetable dinner into a magnificent festival. Rice is easy to come by and not that expensive.
Plus it’s the ideal canvas for many dishes like stir-fried rice and butter chicken, among many others.
If you cook rice (and other grains) regularly and have the space to store it, but you don’t need any special equipment or ingredients to cook a pot of amazingly simple, tender, and fluffy rice.
If you have a rice cooker it’s good to know that different types of rice require different rice to water ratios, which I’ll talk about in this post.
The correct rice to water rice for your rice cooker should be 1:1, so that’s 1 cup of water for every cup of rice you want to cook. This holds try for most rice types and cookers, except Basmati rice which can be a bit trickier.
In this post we'll cover:
Water ratio for White Rice
For most rice cookers, the instructions we have here are very general and standard. Even so, before you start, it’s good to dig your manual out and double-check the instructions.
Many rice cookers use a cup of rice to a cup of water ratio. When cooking large batches, just use the same ratio to scale up.
Smaller amounts are also possible, but water will not absorb at the same speed, so you may need to experiment to find out what works best with your rice cooker, it might be a little less water to rice in very small portions.
Start by rinsing the rice under running water before it is moved to the rice cooker; this will wash away excess starch and render the rice less sticky.
Second, let the rice rest with the lid on before serving after cooking for at least 10 minutes. The time of rest allows the last of the steam to cook off and makes the rice fluffier with distinct grains.
And now on to our instructions. For white rice, use 1 cup of water per cup of rice, and make sure to add ½ tsp of salt per cup, if you wish.
Also read: these are the best rice cookers you can buy
- Place the rice in a large strainer or colander and thoroughly rinse it under cool water. Generally, at first the water running through the rice appears milky but then becomes clearer. It’s good if the water still has a touch of haze. Before cooking, there is no need to dry the rice; a little moisture on the rice is perfect.
- In the rice cooker, combine the rice and water. Remove the salt. If you have skipped the rice rinsing step, now add a few extra tablespoons of water.
- Cook the rice: turn on the rice cooker and select the right option to cook according to your rice cooker (check the manual). The rice cooker automatically cooks the rice and turns off when it is done. Check the estimated cooking times in your manual.
- Let the rice rest for 10 to 15 minutes in the slow cooker: let the rice rest for another 10 to 15 minutes after the rice is cooked and the rice cooker shuts off. Keep the lid on while the rice is sitting down. This helps prevent excessive stickiness or mushiness of the rice. You can also keep the rice in the cooker until it is ready to serve for up to 30 minutes or so.
- Use a wooden spatula to fluff the rice into the rice cooker, then serve straight from the rice cooker or move the rice into a serving bowl. Serve as hot as possible.
Water ratio for Jasmine Rice
Often called Thai fragrant rice (Khao hom Mali) is jasmine rice. It is considered long-grain rice and after being cooked it is only slightly sticky.
Jasmine rice is mainly cultivated in Thailand. Mom often said that Jasmine rice cost more than Indonesia’s long-grain white rice, which is grown locally.
In Southeast Asia, jasmine rice is consumed a lot. Because of its Jasmine-like scent and its white appearance like that of the Jasmine flower, it is called as such.
Jasmine Rice Storage
If properly stored, jasmine rice or almost any white rice can be stored fairly indefinitely. Jasmine rice, however, will over time lose its fragrance. Here’s what you can do to prolong your shelf life and maintain that amazing aroma of jasmine rice:
Avoid buying a bag that’s too big. I know it’s more cost-effective, but if you don’t eat it often, the jasmine rice will lose its delightful fragrance. It’s not a big deal if you don’t care much about it since it’s still edible.
For best conditions, make sure it’s stored in a cool and dry area. Regardless, using an air-tight container is a must. You can leave as is if the rice comes in a resealable bag. If not, I usually transfer it to a container that is airtight.
Whether you’re going to cook jasmine rice in a rice cooker, in an instant pot, on the burner, or in the microwave, the steps to prepare jasmine rice are the same.
- Rinse the rice. The rice must be rinsed in several water changes until the water is clear. It is important. If this is not finished, the rice will become more “sticky.”
- Jasmine rice should never be soaked before cooking. So, after you rinse the rice, make sure you drain the water immediately and don’t let the rice sit and soak, as it will interfere with our water to rice ratio later on.
- To drain the water completely, use a large stainless steel strainer. The use of a strainer is very useful to ensure that no more water is accumulated between the grains, as this will affect the end result and your rice will be too soft and mushy.
How to cook jasmine rice using a rice cooker:
- Place them in the inner pot of the rice cooker after washing the jasmine rice and draining the water.
- Water to rice ratio for the rice cooker. If you cook rice in a rice cooker, as opposed to cooking the rice on the burner, very little water is lost during the cooking process. Which is why for jasmine rice the ratio is 1:1 water to rice. Thus, for 1 cup of rice use 1 cup of water and similarly, for 3 cups of rice, you will use 2 cups of water. Just remember that you have to use the same cup to measure both rice and water. Don’t use different cups since the measurements would be different.
- Many rice cookers have multiple settings. I set mine to “white” rice when cooking jasmine rice as well. It usually takes around 20 minutes to cook.
- Once it’s done cooking, wait ten minutes before opening the lid so the rice finishes absorbing water. If you open the lid too soon, it might feel a little softer and wetter.
- The final step is to fluff the rice after it’s done cooking. Why do we do this? Fluffing the rice separates the rice grains so it doesn’t end up being all mushy. Most rice cookers come with a paddle for this but you can also use a fork, just be careful not to scratch the inside of the pot.
Water ratio for Basmati Rice
Basmati rice is thin, long-grain rice commonly used in Indian subcontinent cuisines, Central Asia, and the Middle East. Basmati rice has a strong nutty flavor, and its name means “fragrant.”
India is producing most of the basmati rice supply worldwide. Most of the basmati rice imported into the U.S. has been aged for a minimum of 6 months in order to intensify its nutty aroma. It is also common to see locally produced basmati rice from Northern California.
What I love most about the rice, besides its taste, is that once cooked, the grains can get incredibly long, about 3/4 inches in length. You need to soak the rice first and use the same water to cook the rice to get this distinct shape. Before I got it right, I had a lot of tries! Here are some tips on cooking basmati rice perfectly.
Wash the Rice
Rinsing the rice removes excess starch and helps to keep the rice from clumping once it has been cooked. The water will look milky when you first wash the rice (see photo above, left). Drain and wash the rice 4 more times with fresh water. The water will eventually look pretty clear (see photo above, right).
For basmati rice, things get a little more complex. We’ve had our share of experiences and with one rice cooker, it’s less water per rice so ¾ water to 1 cup rice, while on the other one is 1 ¼ water per cup of rice so it might be trickier to get it just right on the first try.
Recommended rice cookers
You might not always get the water to rice ratio perfectly correct. So in those cases, it’s good to know you can rely on your rice cooker. That’s why we recommend the Zojirushi Neuro Fuzzy NS-ZCC10 rice cooker.
This rice cooker makes Japanese rice beautifully and is good for other varieties, even if you mess up the proportions. Even though it’s a bit slow, it’s the most outstanding and foolproof cooker we’ve ever tried.
If you’re looking for an amazing pick that’s closer to your budget, we recommend the Hamilton Beach Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker.
This simple model is the fastest non-pressure cooker we’ve tested, making Japanese rice in about 35 minutes. Rice isn’t as perfect as our first choice, but it’s a great option on a budget for college students or anyone.