Say "goodbye" to sticky rice, undercooked rice, or dry, overcooked rice. This video shows how to cook rice perfectly every time.

By Real Simple Editors
Updated January 02, 2020
Advertisement

Learning how to cook rice is like riding a bike. Once you know how to make fluffy, perfect riceevery time, you easily repeat the process over and over and wonder how your rice ever turned out any differently. Brown or white riceor any other kind you prefer—is a staple in countless dishes, so knowing how to make perfect stovetop rice yourself is a pretty important skill.

Many white and brown rice recipes make cooking it look so simple, but everyone I know has burned rice at least once (or, in my mom’s case, every time). To master the cooking feat once and for all and make sure your water-to-rice ratio is always on point, follow our step-by-step guide for how to make rice right on the stove. We promise this is the only easy white rice recipe you'll ever need—and once you nail it, you’ll never wonder how to cook rice again.

What You Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Saucepan with lid
  • Salt
  • Rice
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fork

Follow These Steps

  1. Boil water and add salt
    After you rinse your rice, pour fresh water (for every cup of rice, use 1¾ cups of water) into a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil. Mix 1 teaspoon salt into the water.
  2. Pour in rice
    Add the rice to the boiling water.
  3. Stir once, or just enough to separate the rice
    Use a wooden spoon to separate any clumps. Don’t over-stir: That can cause the rice to become sticky.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer
    Be sure the lid fits tightly on the pot. Turn down the heat to its lowest setting. Let rice simmer for about 18 minutes, then remove from heat and allow the rice to steam in the pot for another 5 minutes.
  5. Fluff rice with a fork
    Just before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains. And after you've cooked up your perfect rice, might we suggest some chili to go with it?

    Tip: Don’t uncover the saucepan or stir the rice during cooking. If it’s done before you’re ready to serve it, place a folded towel over the saucepan, replace the lid, and set aside. The towel will absorb excess moisture and condensation, helping prevent overcooked and mushy rice.