How To Cook Rice Without Rice Cooker

Most of the time, we use rice cooker to cook rice because it is easy, efficient and it can automatically cook a perfect consistency of cooked rice in which it is neither overcooked or uncooked rice. But there are instances when there is no rice cooker available for use, do not panic as there are other ways that you can do so that you will still be able to cook rice. That is why this post talks about how to cook rice without rice cooker.

Cook Rice Without Rice Cooker

Knowing how to cook rice without using rice cooker is simple but there are times that you have to go through some trial and error at first but as you become more familiar with the cooking process you will be able cook perfect rice even without using the rice cooker.

Before that, you have to know and understand a few things that will affect the quality of the cooked rice as each rice slightly differs as well as other questions such as whether or not should rice be rinse and how to rinse the rice.

Common Rice Varieties

The most common rice variety includes Jasmine rice, Basmati rice and brown rice. Although there are also other varieties of rice such as red rice, sushi rice, black rice or Arborio rice.


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Rice are also categorized according to its grain length: short grain, medium grain rice and long grain rice and each category has its own texture and are used in different dishes.

Short grain white rice is usually used for making sushi, while long grain white rice are commonly used for in fried dishes and used for in steamed rice dishes.

Rinsing rice

Should we rinse rice and if so how should you rinse rice? These are the common questions that people would normally ask. It is not necessarily required to rinse rice before cooking but it is recommended. Doing so will removes the excess starch so that the grains of rice will separate when cooked. Rinsing rice also prevents a sticky and mushy rice instead of a fluffy rice.

Rinsing the rice for the very first time can be tricky and requires practice, you do not want to allow all the grains to drain all at once. If you were used to cooking rice using a rice cooker, how to rinse the rice is basically the same process. Even if you cook a rice with a rice cooker, it is still recommended to rinse and wash rice to remove excess starch.

A traditional way to rinse rice is to fill the pot with rice and then add water. Stir the rice a few times to loosen excess starch and then drain out excess water. Repeat the same process until the water becomes clear, maybe 3 to 4 times. Although for a quicker way to rinse rice, there are also other another way such as directly pouring the water over a sieve with rice on it. Running the water for a 1-2 minutes while at stirring rice at the same rime.

Rice to Water Ratio

The Rice to water ratio usually depends on the rice variety. Listed below are the recommended rice to water ratio for each variety of rice:

  • Jasmine Rice : 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4-1 3/4 cups of water
  • Basmati Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 1/4-1 3/4 cups of water
  • Brown Rice: 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water
  • Sushi Rice: 1 cup of rice to 1 cup of water
  • Wild Rice: 1 cup of rice to 3 to3 to 4 cups of water

If at some point your rice becomes uncooked because there was lack of water used, you can simply add at least 1 or 2 tbsp. of hot water and allow rice to steam on low heat. You can easily adjust the rice to water ratio depending on how you want the texture of your cooked rice to be. If you want a chewy and form rice, use less water however if you want a more softer and mushy rice, use more water.

Cooking Time

Similar to the water to rice ratio, cooking time for rice varies with the type of rice variety you are cooking. There are several things that depends on the time you cook you rice such as brand of rice you use and the amount of water added. So as not to get confused and be overwhelmed with the cooking time of your rice, once you’ll get used to it you can easily set your own timing. Say for example, most white rice takes about 15 t 20 minutes for a perfectly cooked rice.

Though for references, the recommended cooking time for each rice variety are as follows:

  • Jasmine Rice : 15- 20 minutes
  • Basmati Rice: 15- 20 minutes
  • Brown Rice: 30-40 minutes
  • Sushi Rice: 25-35 minutes
  • Wild Rice: 40-45 minutes

Proper way to cook rice

As mentioned, the cooking time and the ratio of rice to water highly depends on the rice variety you use, however, cooking rice on a stovetop will always be the same regardless of the the type of rice. Basic method of bring the pot with rice to boil, lower heat, put lid on the pot and wait for it to cook and then allowing it to simmer for a few minutes.

If after cooking the rice and yet the right texture of the rice has not been reached, you can always make some necessary adjustments by adding more water (for uncooked rice and all the water was already absorbed) and cook for another few minutes.

If you will get a mushy rice, it means that the amount of water is beyond the expected amount. Always remember that you can easily save an uncooked rice than an overcooked rice. For uncooked rice, adding extra spoons of water and cooking for a few minutes can help.

Instructions for cooking Rice

When measuring how much rice you want, you should always remember that measurement. Although there is no need to use any measuring tools, you can simply use the any cup or mug. Pour the rice to the pot, rinse and wash rice until water becomes clear.

Once water becomes clear, pour the same amount of water to the amount of rice (cup or mug of rice) or you can use the water to rice ratio that was previously discussed above.

Place pot with rice and water over a stove top and start cooking using medium high heat. Make sure to cover the pot with a lid.

As soon as the liquid in the pot comes to a boil, lower the heat and cook again according to the cooking time mentioned above (varies with rice variety used).

Cook rice without a Rice cooker recipe

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  • Total: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Rice of choice
  • Water

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Measure the amount of rice you want to cook using a cup or a mug. A measure tool is not required.

  2. Pour rice in the cooking pot and then add water

  3. Wash and Rinse rice until water becomes clear.

    You can also use a different method by running water over the rice on a sieve while stirring at the same time.

  4. Add new water to the cooking pot with water.

    The amount of water should be the same at the amount of rice or depending on the variety of rice you used, refer to the recommended water to rice ratio above.

  5. Place the cooking pot on a stovetop over medium high heat.

  6. Cover the pot with lid and bring to boil.

  7. Once pot is already boiling, lower the heat to low and cook for a few minutes (refer to cooking time for each rice variety mentioned above).

  8. After the cooking process, do not open the lid yet and allow cooked rice to rest and continue to simmer.

Tips when cooking rice on a pot

  • When using cast iron pot, cook for 12 minutes and cook for 15 minutes when you are using a regular pot.
  • If possible, use a transparent lid to cover the pot. That way you can easily watch the water when it boils or starts to boil for you to anticipate the cooking process.
  • When the rice is still hot, you can break rice grains to help remove the excess water thereby preventing it to settle down at the bottom of the pot.

How long will rice be good to eat

Generally, you can still eat cooked rice for up to 5 days if placed in a fridge, or it can lasts up to 6 months when in the freezer. Make sure to place leftover rice in a sealed container. Leftover rice means within or after 2 hours of cooking (allowing rice to completely cool down- Cold rice).

When placing rice in the fridge, it tends to harden and dries out. Although you can use the dried rice when making fried rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cook rice without a rice cooker?

Yes, aside from using a rice cooker you can still cook rice using different methods such as in an Instant Pot, a microwave and in the oven (oven-baked). The method in this post is cooking rice using the stove top.

What will happen if you do not rinse rice before cooking?

If rice grains are not washed and rinse before cooking, the starch will not be removed. As a result, it will gelatinize when in contact with the hot water and will make rice grains to become sticky.

How long will the rice cook when on a stove?

For a cup of white rice, it usually takes about 17 minutes to get a perfect rice but more rice may actually take longer. After the cooking process, leaving the rice still covered and simmered will help absorbed remaining water as a result of a more fluffier and perfect rice.

Final Thoughts

If you are used to cooking rice using a rice cooker, the basic skill for preparing the rice is basically the same as when rice cooker is not used for making the rice. The rinsing process is the same and water to rice ratio, the only difference is the method of cooking (rice cooker between over a stovetop) and when cooking over a stovetop you will actually wait for the water to boil and adjust the heat while with rice cooker all you need to do is to wait for the rice to cook.