How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker

how to cook rice in a rice cooker

How many blog posts do I start with, “I grew up in Japan”? White rice is one of my favorite foods. The basic staple can accompany most foods and I’m a happy kid. My parents had this small little rice cooker that was so simple. It had one lever, a lid that didn’t clamp, just sat atop of the pot. I think they still have it, knowing them. It looks like this one here. (aff link)

I have had a couple rice cookers since being on my own. My current one is an Amazon knock off of the holy grail Zojirushi here. For whatever reason, the Amazon one I have is gone – so now I’m here wondering, is mine a hazard? Lol.

Anyway, Mine doesn’t play a song, except the one in my heart. I decided to have a few basic posts to teach fundamentals – because sometimes we build a house on top of sand. Anyway, I digress.

Cooking white rice is a relatively simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook white rice:


Follow your rice instructions here, but for me I use Botan rice and it’s 1.5c to 2c water. It’s pretty standard to do 1:2 ratio usually.


  1. Rinse the rice: Rinse the rice under cold water to remove any excess starch. Place the rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse until the water runs clear. You can also grip the rice grains in your hand and rub them together to help the starch process.
  2. Measure the rice and water: Use a measuring cup to measure 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water. The ratio of rice to water is generally 1:2, but you can adjust it slightly based on your preference.
  3. Soak the rice (optional): If you have time, you can soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes. Soaking helps to improve the texture and shorten the cooking time. However, this step is optional.
  4. Cook the rice:
  • Stovetop method: In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the rinsed rice and salt (if desired) to the boiling water. Stir it once to ensure the rice is evenly distributed. Reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Avoid lifting the lid or stirring the rice during cooking.
  • Rice cooker method: Transfer the rinsed rice into the rice cooker pot. Add the measured water and salt (if desired). Close the lid and set the rice cooker to the regular or white rice setting. Let it cook until the rice cooker automatically switches to the “keep warm” mode.
  1. Fluff the rice: Once the rice is cooked, let it sit for a few minutes undisturbed with the lid on. Then, use a fork or rice paddle to fluff the rice gently, separating the grains. This helps to release excess steam and ensures even texture.
  2. Serve and enjoy: White rice is a versatile staple that can be served alongside various dishes. You can enjoy it with stir-fries, curries, stews, or any other dish of your choice.

That’s it! You have now cooked white rice. Adjust the cooking time and water amount according to the specific type and brand of rice you are using, as it may vary slightly.

You might see my “knuckle” method in the video, I can understand if this worries you, so don’t fret doing it right away. But trust, that method will never let you down!

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