How to Cook Perfectly Fluffy Rice Every Time

Say "goodbye" to sticky rice, undercooked rice, or dry, overcooked rice in five easy steps.

Learning how to cook rice is like riding a bike. Once you know how to make fluffy, perfect rice, you can 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 rice recipes make cooking this ingredient look so simple (see over a dozen of our favorite rice recipes for reference), but everyone I know has burned rice at least once (or, in my mom's case, every time). So 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 to making rice on the stove. We promise this is the only rice cooking method you'll ever need—and once you nail it, you'll never wonder how to cook rice properly again.

Cooking Rice on the Stove Without a Rice Cooker

What You'll Need

  • 1¾ cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Boil water and add salt.

    After you rinse your rice, pour water (for every additional cup of rice, add another 1¾ cups of water) into a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and add salt.

  • Pour in the rice.

    Slowly add the rice to the boiling water, and be careful not to splash any boiling water out of the pot.

  • 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.

  • Cover the pot and simmer.

    Be sure the lid fits tightly on the pot and turn the heat to its lowest setting. Let the rice simmer for about 18 minutes, then remove from heat and allow the rice to steam in the pot for another 5 minutes. Don't uncover the saucepan or stir the rice during cooking.

  • Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

    Just before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains. If the rice is done before you're ready to serve it, place a folded towel over the saucepan, replace the lid, and set it aside. The towel will absorb excess moisture and condensation, helping prevent overcooked and mushy rice.

And after you've cooked up your perfect rice, might we suggest some slow-cooker vegetarian chili to go with it?

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