Cooked Rice in a pot

Cooking Basics

How to cook rice

Rice is certainly one of the most versatile foods on the planet and plays an important role in many cultures. Whether it’s used for sushi, paella, curry or egg fried rice – we can all agree that rice really is the perfect staple.

Therefore, knowing how to cook rice perfectly is a skill that comes in very handy if you enjoy cooking different dishes in your kitchen. You don’t want your rice to taste burned, nor to be too hard or too mushy. But don’t worry – we’ll help you cook the perfect rice, it’s not as difficult as it sounds!

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the different types of rice, the different methods for cooking rice and how long you should cook your rice for.

At the end, we’ll also give you some inspiration and show you our favourite rice recipes from our Just Spices recipe collection. We made sure to include something for every taste and diet – including vegetarian and vegan dishes!

If you’re not sure how to season your rice properly, just keep on reading! We’ve also created a list of different spice blends that go well with any rice dish. With our spice blends, you can make everyday life easier – while cooking delicious food!

Different types of rice

Before you start cooking, you should know what different types of rice you can choose from and which ones are best suited for your dish.

You can differentiate between three basic kinds of rice: short-grain rice, long-grain rice and medium-grain rice.

Among those basic kinds of rice, there are many more different varieties.


Short-grain rice can be recognised by its round and plump shape. It contains a lot of starch. That’s the reason why the rice is stickier and softer than other types of rice. It's often used for risotto, sushi or rice pudding.


Long-grain rice is elongated and narrow. Compared to short-grain rice, it contains less starch. That’s why the grains are lighter, dryer, firmer and don’t stick together as well. Some well-known long-grain varieties are basmati rice and jasmine rice. These rice varieties are often eaten with curry.


Medium-grain rice, as the name might already suggest, is not as elongated as long-grain rice, but contains a little bit more starch. Even though it is not as short and starchy as short-grain rice.

Different types of rice Different types of rice

What's the ideal ratio of water to rice?

No matter which type of rice, or whichever method of cooking it you choose, it’s essential to check that you have the right ratio of water to rice

This rule is one of the most important things to remember if you want to cook delicious rice:


For white rice the water to rice ratio is 2:1 . This is also the case for most other varieties.

This means that if you want to cook 1 cup of white rice, you have to cook it in 2 cups of water. If you want to cook more rice, you can of course simply increase the amount of rice and adjust the amount of water according to the ratio of 2:1.

Even though this rule counts for most types of rice, you should still read the instructions on the packaging. Other varieties like brown or black rice might have different water-to-rice ratios.

How to cook rice on the hob

You don’t have a rice cooker? No problem – you can also easily cook fluffy and tasty rice in a pan! Just follow these steps on how to make rice on the hob:


Always wash your rice! This first step is very important. By rinsing your rice with cold water, you can remove dirt, dust and also excess starch! That way you’ll prevent your rice from clumping together later. Rinse your rice with water a few times until the water gets a little less milky.


Now you have to decide how much rice you want to cook and use the right water- to-rice ratio! Remember the 2 to 1 water-to-rice ratio or read the instructions on the packaging.


Put a lid on your pot and turn your stove on full heat. Leave the stove on high heat until the water in your pot starts boiling and add a few pinches of salt. If you like, you can also add some butter or oil.


When the boiling point is reached, turn the heat down low until the water is simmering.


Let your rice cook without stirring it. How long your rice takes to cook depends on the type of rice and the quantity. You can approximately say that white rice takes around 15-20 minutes to cook.


When you see that all the water has evaporated, turn off the hob.


Your rice is ready! Take off the lid of your pot, fluff the rice with a fork and let it rest for a few minutes. Now you can enjoy your meal!

Rice in a rice cooker Rice in a rice cooker

How to cook rice in a rice cooker

Cooking rice in a rice cooker is one of the most convenient methods. The advantage is that you don’t have to keep an eye on your rice because it won’t burn. The special heating technique prevents the rice from burning and ensures that the rice is heated to the same degree on all sides and therefore cooked equally quickly. Another advantage is that you can keep your rice warm in the rice cooker.

The time for cooking rice in the rice cooker is pretty much the same as cooking rice in a pot and takes approx. 20 minutes. We recommend following the instructions that come with your rice cooker to achieve the best results.

How to cook rice in the microwave

If you want to cook rice in the microwave, the procedure follows the same principles as cooking rice in a pot or pan.


First you put your rice in a heatproof bowl. Then you add cold water. The water- to-rice ratio is 2:1, just like cooking rice in a pan.


Then you put your bowl (without a lid!) in the microwave and turn the heat on high. Let it microwave for about 10 minutes.


In the next step, you take out your microwavable bowl or dish and cover it with a microwavable lid. Continue microwaving the rice for 5 more minutes on medium heat.


Let your rice rest with the lid for 5 minutes. Now taste the rice! If you think it’s still a bit too hard, put it back in the microwave and test it every minute, until it’s as soft as you like it.


How long does rice take to cook?

As we’ve already mentioned earlier, there’s no straightforward answer to the question of how long rice needs to cook . The time needed is different for every type of rice and also depends on the amount of rice you’re cooking.

In general, we can say that whole-grain rice, like for example brown rice or wild rice, takes longer to cook than refined rice. In this case, you’d have to be prepared for it to take about 30-45 minutes of cooking time.

White rice like for example basmati rice takes about 15-20 minutes. This is because white rice is refined and its  outer layer has already been removed.

Best rice recipes

Enough of the theory, now it's time for practice! Here are some of our favourite rice recipes from all kinds of different cultures! If you can’t get enough of experimenting in the kitchen, take a look at our recipe collection for more delicious ideas.

Best spice mixes for rice

Spice up your rice in a few seconds with some of our special created spice blends! Whether you love Indian, Chinese or Mexican cuisine –  these spice mixes  have everything you need!

Choose your favourite spice blend:

Cooking basics with Just Spices

In this article, we’ve taught you how to cook rice the best way. Can’t get enough of experimenting in your kitchen? If you want to improve other skills in the kitchen, check out our Cooking Basics blog category. There you can find all kinds of tips and tricks like how to freeze chili con carne or everything you need to know about cooking eggs.