Whether you're looking to edit your cooking gadgets for a more organized kitchen or just have yet to purchase an automatic rice cooker, you can still cook the perfect riceto accompany any meal. So go ahead and clear out your cupboards; none of your meals or cooking skills will suffer for it because we're bringing you simple instructions on how to cook rice the old-fashioned way – with a saucepan, your stovetop, and a few grains of cooking know-how!
What You Need to Cook the Perfect Rice on the Stovetop
You likely already have everything you need to cook the perfect rice on your stovetop. First, find a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. For cooking just about any type of food, but especially rice, it's best to select a high-quality saucepan with at least a 5-ply construction. This will ensure your rice cooks evenly, does not burn and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
A medium saucepan (between two and four quarts capacity) is usually adequate unless you plan to make a large portion of rice. If you're preparing rice for a large group of people, you can cook the rice in a stock pot. Generally, most varieties of rice will triple in size while cooking. So, for example, one cup of raw rice will yield about three cups of cooked rice. Select your saucepan accordingly.
You will also need a bowl (large enough for rinsing your uncooked rice). Plus, gather any seasonings you desire for cooking. While rice cooks up just fine without any unique additions, a pinch of salt or grated garlic bloomed in a tablespoon of butter will give plain rice a more developed flavor.
Before You Begin, a Note on Water to Rice Ratio
The water to rice ratio can be tricky to master. The exact ratio varies depending on the type of rice you're cooking and rice texture (soft, fluffy, sticky, or with a bite) you desire. Use the following ratios as a guide, adding more or less water based on your preference of rice texture:
- Regular White Rice - 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
- Brown Rice - 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
- Wild Rice - 4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice
For these types of rice, instant rice, or other rice varieties (jasmine, short grain, medium grain, or long grain white rice), refer to the package instructions whenever available to achieve the best results and your preferred rice texture.
How to Cook Rice on the Stove in 6 Simple Steps
1. Measure and Rinse the Rice
Although many cooks skip this step, rinsing your rice will remove extra starch, leading to excessively sticky rice. Additionally, rinsing the rice ensures you find any excess particles floating around with your grains, as sometimes small bits of milling stones will wind up in a bag of rice.
Measure out your desired portion of rice and put it in a bowl with twice the capacity. To rinse, fill the bowl with cold water until the water level is at least one inch above the rice. Stick your fingers into the rice, and swirl them around. When the water is cloudy, drain it off. Repeat two or three times until the rice is clean, and then either strain the water from the rice using a fine-mesh strainer or your hands.
2. Boil the Water
Select an appropriately sized saucepan or stock pot and add the correct amount of water, either as indicated by traditional rice to water ratios or your rice's package instructions. Then, bring the water to a boil on your stove.
3. Add the Rice and Seasonings
Once boiling, add your desired number of cups of rice to the water and any additional seasonings to taste. When you add the rice, it will naturally cool the boiling water. Allow the water to return to a boil.
4. Reduce the Temperature, Cover, and Simmer
As soon as the water boils with the rice, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and reduce the heat to a simmer so that the top of the water bubbles gently but does not boil over. Simmer one cup of white rice for about 18 minutes. If you're cooking more than one cup, it will need a little more time. Simmer until the grain is tender.
5. Remove from Heat and Rest
Once the rice is tender or has simmered to the package directions, turn off the heat and remove your pan from the hot burner. Keep the pot covered and allow it to rest until the rice has absorbed all the water. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes for one cup of rice.
When the water is absorbed, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. This will prevent the individual grains from sticking together and make your rice soft and fluffy!
Enjoy Perfectly Cooked Rice in Perfect Pans with Every Meal!
Rice is the perfect addition to just about any course at every meal. Whether you serve it as a well-seasoned side, use it to balance a spicy entree, invite it to soak up the excess sauce, or serve it with coconut milk and mango, properly prepared rice is always a crowd-pleaser. Plus, with the right set of high-quality, stainless clad cookware, you can get your rice recipe right every time you cook.