Skip to Main Content

All About Cooking Rice

Rice is the most popular grain globally, supplying energy, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Over half of the world's population relies on rice as a staple food. Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming and absorbs water while cooking.

Basics of Cooking Rice

  1. Combine 1 cup rice, liquid (see chart below), 1 teaspoon salt (optional), and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine (optional) in a 2 to 3-quart saucepan.
  2. Heat to boiling; stir once or twice as it begins to boil. Lower heat to a simmer; cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Cook according to time specified on chart. If rice is not quite tender or liquid is not absorbed, replace lid and cook 2 to 4 minutes longer. Stir and serve.

As a general rule, 1 cup of uncooked rice will equal about 3 cups of cooked rice.

1 Cup Uncooked Rice


Cooking Time

Long grain rice

1 ¾ to 2 cups

15 minutes

Medium or short grain rice

1 ½ cups

15 minutes

Brown rice

2 to 2 ½ cups

45 to 50 minutes

Converted rice

2 to 2 ½ cups

20 to 25 minutes

Instant rice; flavored mixes

Follow package directions



Leftover rice can be used later in the week to make things like fried rice or chicken rice casserole. A good tip for reheating rice is to add 2 tablespoons of liquid per cup of rice. For reheating on range top, cover and heat about 5 minutes until heated throughout. Use low heat for best results. The amount of time may vary slightly depending on how much you're reheating. Fluff with a fork. For microwave reheating, cover and cook on high about 1 minute per cup.

Types of Rice

Brown Rice is a whole grain that has a mild nutty flavor. It is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. It is a good source of fiber and many B vitamins.

White Rice is the name given to milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. White rice is usually enriched with vitamins, but does not have as much fiber as brown rice.

Converted Rice is rice that has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling, producing extra fluffy and more separate looking rice.

Instant Rice is white or brown rice that has been completely cooked and dehydrated after milling. This process reduces the time it takes to cook the rice. This type of rice usually costs more than regular rice.

Long Grain Rice has a long, slender kernel. When cooked, the grains are separate, light, and fluffy.

Medium and Short Grain Rice tends to be stickier and works well when using chopsticks.

Wild Rice is technically not a rice but the seed of the grass Zizania palustris. It has its own unique texture and flavor. It is high in protein and fiber and low in fat.

To Top