Rice is a staple in many healthy dinner recipes because it’s quick, easy to prepare, and affordable. It’s also a great building block for delicious meals that can be prepped ahead of time.
Because of this, many of us own a rice cooker to help us out with the preparation. And over time, both the instructions and rice cup that came with the box are long gone.
So, how do you make perfect rice cooker rice without directions or the handy cup that came with the cooker? Easy peasy. Check out this video where I show you how and read the rest of the post to learn more about rice to water ratio and other practical tips.
How to Make Rice in a Rice Cooker
The easiest way to make rice in a rice cooker is by using the provided plastic cup to measure out the rice into the cooker and fill it to the corresponding line with water.
Step by step it will look like this:
- Measure. Using the cup that comes with your rice cooker, measure out your dry rice into a colander.
- Rinse the rice (optional). Run the rice under water to rinse depending.
- Place in a rice cooker. Add the rinsed rice to the bowl.
- Add water. Add water until it matches the line of cups of rice measures. So, if you measured 4 cups of rice, you want the water to reach the 4th line on your rice cooker.
- Set. Make sure the rice cooker setting matches the type of rice you’re using, and set it to cook.
- Wait patiently.
- Fluff. When finished, the rice cooker will beep or set off an alarm. Then, using a rubber spatula, fluff the rice out of the rice cooker.
- Refrigerate. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days for easy meal prep!
Rinsing the Rice
Rinsing white rice is the secret to eliminating any extra “stickiness” and give cooked rice a sushi rice texture.
When you rinse white rice, you will see the water turn white. This is the extra starch being washed off. Without rinsing, the starch clings to the rice grains and creates a stickier texture.
When you rinse out rice, your rice will be slightly drier, the grains will separate, and it won’t be as sticky.
Rice Cooker Rice to Water Ratio for White Rice
When cooking white rice in an electric rice cooker, the rice cooker rice to water ratio is usually 1 cup rice to 1 cup water.
By white rice, I mean long-grain rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice. Medium grain rice, risotto, and sushi rice also fall in the “white rice” category.
Yes, the rice cooker rice to water ratio is different than what’s written on the packaging; those are directions for the stovetop. Check out this post for tips on cooking perfect stovetop rice.
White Rice to Water Ratio in Rice Cooker
|1 cup||1 cup||2|
|2 cups||2 cups||4|
|3 cups||3 cups||6|
|4 cups||4 cups||8|
How Much Is a Serving of Rice Per Person
Generally speaking, ½ cup uncooked rice per person seems to be the norm. If you have other ingredients being served with the rice, you can reduce it to ⅓ cup of uncooked rice per person.
Once cooked, rice will double in size and each serving will be twice the amount cooked.
Sticky Rice in the Rice Cooker
The best sticky rice in the rice cooker can be achieved by skipping the rinsing step and letting the starch stay in the water.
The water to rice ratio for sticky rice is also 1 cup rice to 1 cup water.
How to Cook Brown Rice in the Rice Cooker
You can cook brown rice or multigrain rice in a rice cooker but you’ll need to pre-soak the brown rice overnight, or at least 3 hours, if your rice cooker does not have a “brown rice” setting.
Many rice cookers have a brown rice setting that takes soaking into consideration; just know that it will take longer to cook brown rice. This time varies depending on your machine, so the best thing to do is google your rice cooker brand and find the timing instructions online.
Brown Rice and Water Ratio in the Rice Cooker
In general, to cook 1 cup of brown rice in the rice cooker, you will need to add 1 ½ cups of water to the bowl after you rinse the brown rice.
Brown & Multigrain Rice to Water Ratio in Rice Cooker
|1 cup||1 1/12 cups||2|
|2 cups||3 cups||4|
|3 cups||4 ½ cups||6|
|4 cups||6 cups||8|
What is the Best Rice Cooker to Cook Rice
The best rice cooker for cooking rice will depend on your needs and budget.
My first rice cooker was a simple model with an on/off button. This worked well for making white rice. Brown rice needed to be soaked overnight since the machine was internally programmed for white rice.
Now, I own an automated model with programs for cooking white, brown, sushi, multigrain, and other grains. It can also be set to start cooking later in the day and have the rice ready at a particular time.
Here are the four models I recommend:
- $ On/Off Simple Rice Cooker 3 or 5 cup
- $$ Automatic Digital Rice Cooker 2-8 cups
- $$$ Fully Automatic Digital Rice Cooker 5.5 cups
- $$$$ Fully automatic Digital Rice Cooker 10-cup
How to Make Rice in the Rice Cooker
- 3 cups white rice
- 3 cups water
- Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water until water runs mostly clear.
- Place rice inside the rice cooker and fill with water. Close lid and set the program to white rice.
- Once the rice is done cooking, fluff with a plastic spatula and serve.