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How to Cook Rice Without a Rice Cooker

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No rice cooker? No problem! This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through how to cook rice without a rice cooker. No timer needed either! Perfect, fluffy rice every time. 

Cooked white rice in a bowl

Having an electric rice cooker can be very convenient. However, cooking rice over your stovetop can be just as easy. Some find it even more convenient than using a rice cooker as it is one less kitchen appliance to manage.

The key to cooking rice using this easy method is to use a pot with a heavy base that retains its heat well. I use a Visions cookware pot or a Corningware Covered Casserole. I love using these because I can see the rice cooking through the glass. You can use any pot with a heavy base that has a lid.

Please keep in mind that this guide only applies to WHITE rice. It will work with short grain, medium grain or long grain white rice.

Click HERE for a tutorial on how to cook BROWN rice on your stovetop.

If you use a regular measuring cup, one cup of uncooked rice will yield about 3 cups of cooked rice. This measurement does not have to be exact, but it helps to know approximately how many servings it will yield. If you’re comfortable with it, you can just eyeball the amount of rice you’ll need.

(Side note: If you happen to use the measuring cup that came with your rice cooker, it will yield slightly less as it is typically about 3/4 cup; not the full 1 cup that you would get with a standard measuring cup). 

How to cook rice on your stovetop

1. Pour 2 cups of uncooked white rice into a pot with a heavy base.

Uncooked white rice in a clear pot

2. Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the rice, then run your fingers through the rice. Swirl the rice around in the pot to help loosen the starch.

Washing rice in a pot

3. Drain as much of the water as possible. Pour the water out slowly to avoid pouring the rice out as well. Repeat 3 to 4 times or until the water is less murky.

Pouring water out of pot after rinsing.

4. Fill the pot with 3 cups of fresh water.

Alternatively, here’s a more traditional way to measure the water needed to cook your rice: Place your middle or index finger right over the top of your rice. Your fingertip should barely be touching the rice. The water level should be right around the first crease line on your finger where your first knuckle is. I happen to have really small hands so I make sure that it’s about 2mm or so above the crease on my finger.

Measuring the water level to cook rice

5. Place the pot on your stovetop over medium-high heat and allow it to boil uncovered.

NOTE: Continue to keep an eye on your pot as it boils; don’t walk away. If you find that medium-high heat is too high and it is boiling too rapidly, turn down the heat to prevent burning. 

boiling rice on the stove

6. After a while, most of the water would have been absorbed by the rice or evaporated. When you can see that the water has absorbed just past the surface of the rice (as shown in the picture below) and little “craters” have formed on the rice surface, place the lid on the pot.

craters on the surface of rice on the stovetop

7. Allow it to boil with the lid on for about 10 – 20 seconds or so, then TURN OFF THE HEAT. Leave the lid on to allow the rice to cook. NO PEEKING!!

The rice will be done in approximately 15 minutes.

steaming rice on the stovetop

8. When the rice is fully cooked, use a pair of chopsticks or rice paddle to “fluff up” the rice. This step gives the rice a nice, “fluffy” texture.

fluffing up rice with a pair of chopsticks

What I normally do is to boil the rice when I’m about to start cooking the rest of my dishes. As soon as I turn the heat off for the rice, I just leave it covered until I’m just about ready to serve, and I keep preparing the rest of the meal. I don’t have to set a timer to remind myself to take the rice off the stove. I just leave it there until I’m ready.

That’s all there is to it. Perfectly cooked rice every time!

Happy cooking!

Cooked white rice in a bowl
This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through how to cook rice on your stovetop if you don't have an electric rice cooker.

How to Cook Rice Without a Rice Cooker

Char
No rice cooker? No problem! This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through how to cook rice without a rice cooker. No timer needed either! Perfect, fluffy rice every time. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups rice uncooked
  • 3 cups water plus more for rinsing

Instructions
 

  • Pour uncooked white rice into a pot with a heavy base.
  • Fill the pot with just enough water to cover the rice, then run your fingers through the rice. Swirl the rice around in the pot to help loosen the starch.
  • Drain as much of the water as possible. Pour the water out slowly to avoid pouring the rice out as well. Repeat 3 to 4 times or until the water is less murky.
  • Fill the pot with 3 cups of fresh water.
  • Place the pot on your stovetop over medium-high heat and allow it to boil uncovered. If the heat is too high and it is boiling too rapidly, turn down the heat to prevent burning.
  • When you can see that the water has absorbed just past the surface of the rice and little “craters” have formed on the rice surface, place the lid on the pot.
  • Allow it to boil with the lid on for about 10 – 20 seconds or so, then TURN OFF THE HEAT. Leave the lid on to allow the rice to cook. NO PEEKING!! The rice will be done in approximately 15 minutes.
  • When the rice has cooked, use a pair of chopsticks or rice paddle to “fluff up” the rice.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 103kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 2gSodium: 8mg
Tried this recipe?Tag @wokandskillet on Instagram or Facebook!

Here are some Fried Rice recipes you may enjoy:

Pineapple Fried Rice

Bacon Fried Rice

Shrimp Fried Rice

Indonesian Nasi Goreng

This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through how to cook rice on your stovetop if you don't have an electric rice cooker.
This easy step-by-step guide will walk you through how to cook rice on your stovetop if you don't have an electric rice cooker.
Recipe Rating




Mark

Wednesday 27th of March 2024

I just tried this method and it came out perfectly. I used an enameled cast iron saucepan. No burnt rice on the bottom.

Char

Thursday 28th of March 2024

Awesome, Mark!! :)

Kee

Thursday 27th of October 2022

Hi. I’m attempting (soon) to cook Thai rice in a Visions cookware but I’m a little hesitant because I don’t know much about cookware made of heavy glass. I’m asking about the rice and water ratio prior to cooking the rice. It seems from your description that it’s one cup of rice to 1 1/2 (same) cup of water? Or I don’t need to use this cup + extra water measurement and directly use the “fingers measurement” - but this latter measurement may use less water…I have yet to experiment this.

In the long term, I hope to use a Visions pot as a claypot but for now, I will learn first how to cook rice in a Vision pot. Have you tried using a Visions pot as a claypot? I really like to know if you have.?

Char

Saturday 29th of October 2022

Hi Kee! Yes, you can use either method to measure the water. You are correct - it's best to experiment with it as these measurements are just a rough guide. It will depend on the type of rice you are cooking and how fluffy/sticky you prefer your rice. For example, when I cook calrose rice, I add just a touch more water compared to when I'm cooking jasmine rice. After a few times experimenting, you will know your exact ratio for your perfect rice. I have not personally used a Visions pot as a claypot. I imagine it would have some minor differences but it should work! You got me curious so I did a quick search and came across this interesting article: https://bestcookingsets.com/ceramic-vs-clay-pot-for-cooking/ (visions is glass-ceramic so it's very similar to the ceramic pot described in the article)

Holly

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

I tried to to cook rice in a vision pot and it burned the pot so bad. Can't even scruff off the burn no matter what I tried. Now I just destroyed an expensive pot. Have to throw away the pot.

Char

Wednesday 11th of December 2019

Hi Holly..Oh dear..sorry to hear that! Hopefully you won't have to throw the pot away. Try soaking it with warm water and baking soda. that usually helps for me if I get burns on my pot.

Soda

Sunday 27th of October 2019

I followed this method. I also use a glass visions pot. My rice burnt quite a lot on the bottom. Does yours burn?

Char

Thursday 31st of October 2019

Hi Soda, Sorry to hear that! No, it should not burn. Try turning down the heat to see if that helps. Feel free to email me if you still encounter this issue and we can troubleshoot more together.