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How to Cook Rice (VIDEO)

Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time. This is our go-to method to make fluffy white rice and it doesn’t get any easier. No more gummy or hard rice! To cook rice on the stove, all you need is a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Cooked white rice in a saucepan with spoon

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Watch How to Cook Rice:

Anyone can make this easy white rice! It is perfect for any recipe that calls for cooked white rice like our Fried Rice and is excellent served under saucy Chicken Broccoli Stir Fry.

  • Step 1: Add white long-grain rice, salt, and butter (if using) to a medium saucepan.
  • Step 2: Pour in water and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Step 3: Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover and cook with the lid on for 18 minutes.
  • Step 4: Check rice. If there’s any water on the bottom, cover and let it rest 5 minutes off the heat to absorb then serve.

How to cook rice step by step instructions

White Kind of Rice Should I Use?

This tutorial is written for long-grain white rice. Our go-to rice is Jasmine rice, but Basmati long-grain white rice will also work here. We prefer long-grain white rice because it stays fluffy and the grains remain separate after cooking.

Should I Rinse or Soak Rice?

  • Rinsing is optional and we usually skip that step. Rinsing removes the extra starch on the outside of the rice, making it slightly less sticky. To rinse, place rice in a fine mesh colander and rinse 20 seconds or until the water runs clear underneath.
  • Soaking Jasmine rice or white rice is not recommended because it is naturally soft and can result in mushy rice.

Jasmine white long grain rice in a measuring cup with rice surrounding the base

How do you know when the rice is cooked?

  • Set a Timer: For consistent perfectly cooked rice every time, our best advice is to set a timer while cooking. Fully cooked rice will be fluffy and tender all the way through.
  • Listen for Simmering Sounds: You should hear the rice simmer and hiss while the lid is on and when the sounds stop, the rice has absorbed the water and should be removed from heat.
  • See that water is Absorbed: When you take off the lid, fluff with the fork and you should not see any pooling of water at the bottom. If you see any water, cover with the lid and let rest 5-10 minutes off the heat until water is fully absorbed.

Perfectly cooked white rice on a serving spoon

How to Freeze Cooked Rice:

Having portioned rice in the freezer is great for quick weeknight meals like Shrimp Fried Rice. Frozen cooked rice can be heated directly from frozen without needing to thaw. Here is the process we use to freeze rice.

  • Cook and Cool rice to room temperature.
  • Portion into freezer-safe zip lock bags, removing as much air as possible.
  • Freeze, laying flat, for up to 3 months in the freezer. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of water over the rice and reheat portions covered in a microwave-safe container for 2-3 minutes.

To Cook 2 Cups of Rice:

1 cup of uncooked rice will yield 3 cups of cooked rice. If you need more, you can easily scale the recipe up or down, just keep in mind the rice to water 1:2 ratio (1 cup rice to 2 cups water). To double the recipe, use 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water.

Can I Substitute the Water?

For more flavorful rice, you can substitute water with chicken broth or vegetable broth. We love to use chicken broth in our Creamy Chicken and Rice recipe to amp up the flavor.

Cook’s Tip: My mother’s rice was always so buttery and wonderful growing up. You can amp up the flavor of rice by stirring in softened or melted butter to taste after the rice is cooked.

Frozen and reheated white rice in a serving bowl with fork garnished with chives

What to Serve with White Rice:

Rice is so versatile. You can put it into rice soup, serve it as a plain buttery side, and it’s also amazing served under stir fry. Some of our favorite recipes to serve over rice are:

How to Cook Rice (Easy VIDEO Tutorial)

5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
How to cook white rice in a saucepan on the stove

Learn how to cook rice perfectly every time. This is our go-to method to make fluffy white rice and it's so easy. To cook rice on the stove, all you need is a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Author: Natasha of
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $1-$2
Keyword: how to cook rice, how to cook white rice
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Calories: 194 kcal
Servings: 4 people (makes 3 cups cooked rice)


  • 1 cup long grain white rice (we used Jasmine rice)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter optional, or added to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup rice, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp butter (if using) to the pan.
  2. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat.
  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 18 minutes. You should hear faint simmer and hissing sounds while it's cooking.
  4. After 18 minutes, remove lid and check rice. If there is any excess liquid on the bottom, remove from heat, cover and let it rest 5-10 minutes to absorb then serve hot.
Nutrition Facts
How to Cook Rice (Easy VIDEO Tutorial)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 194 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 324mg14%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 89IU2%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you make this recipe, I’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag them #natashaskitchen

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Daryl-Lynne Jarrett
    May 30, 2020

    Hi Natasha
    Love your cooking videos!
    I have always cooked my rice this way but lately I have been adding a can of coconut milk and adding enough water for the required amount of liquid. It is so good. I also grew up with my Mom putting butter on the rice and love it. Thanks for all your delicious recipes and your fun videos.


    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 30, 2020

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad you’re enjoying our recipes and videos! That’s so great!


  • Cynthia Stanko
    April 13, 2020

    re Perfect rice….Exactly as Natasha says, but put it in a lidded dish in microwave for 20 Min. And let stand maybe 10 Min. Never burns or sticks.


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 13, 2020

      Thank you for sharing those tips with us Cynthia!


  • Ken
    April 10, 2020

    Hi please send me the recipes how to cooking chicken biryani in a rice cooker please thank


    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 10, 2020

      Hello Ken, I don’t have a recipe for that yet but I’ll take that as a suggestion!


  • Clara Ines Mora de Bonilla
    April 8, 2020

    Hola Natasha, tu arroz luce delicioso! Otro tip es ponerle un ajo picadillo y si quieres una cebolla de verdeo picadita, solo la parte blanca. Se sofrien en la mantequilla o aceite y luego el arroz y el agua y se cocina a fuego bajo.


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 8, 2020

      Great idea! Thank you for sharing that with me, Clara!


  • Natalie
    April 8, 2020

    You can’t mess this rice up! It’s perfect, fluffy, & great for so many recipes!


    • Natasha's Kitchen
      April 8, 2020

      Super love it! Thanks for your short but sweet and awesome review!


  • Laura Reese
    April 8, 2020

    Shared this my college son! Learning to make rice is a very important skill! Thanks for the easy recipe.


    • Natasha
      April 8, 2020

      I’m so glad this rice cooking tutorial was helpful! I agree – and I love how easy it is.


  • April
    April 8, 2020

    Thanks for the tips!


    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 8, 2020

      You’re welcome! I’m so glad that was helpful!


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