How to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker – A Simple Guide

The process of cooking rice can often be intimidating for individuals who are new to the kitchen or lack experience in this culinary endeavor. However, with the assistance of a rice cooker, it becomes straightforward and convenient.

Regardless of your level of experience in the kitchen, knowing how to cook rice in a rice cooker is an essential skill that can save you time and effort. This comprehensive article will delve deeply into the detailed process of preparing rice in a rice cooker and provide tips to achieve perfectly fluffy rice.

Before we explore the details, let’s briefly touch on the various types of rice that can be effortlessly cooked in a rice cooker. Whether you prefer short-grain, long-grain, brown rice, or aromatic Basmati rice, a rice cooker can handle them all. So, no matter your rice preference, you can rely on a rice cooker to deliver consistent results with minimal fuss.


How a Rice Cooker Works

How a Rice Cooker Works

A rice cooker is a countertop appliance that simplifies the rice cooking process. It consists of an outer pot, an inner cooking pot, a heating element, and a thermal sensor. The heating element, controlled by the thermal sensor, adjusts the temperature to ensure the rice is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

Once you add the desired amount of rice and water to the rice cooker and initiate the cooking process, as the water in the pot reaches its boiling point, it starts to convert into steam. The steam rises and is absorbed by the rice grains, allowing them to cook and soften.

The thermal sensor constantly monitors the temperature inside the rice cooker. Once it detects that the temperature has reached a certain threshold, it automatically reduces the heat or switches to a “keep warm” mode to prevent overcooking or burning the rice.

The rice cooker’s design and functionality make it incredibly user-friendly. You must measure the rice and water, select the appropriate cooking settings (such as white rice, brown rice, or quick cook), and let the rice cooker handle the rest. It eliminates the need for guesswork and guarantees consistent outcomes, making the cooking process hassle-free.

Various types of rice cookers are available in the market, ranging from basic models with simple on/off functionality to advanced ones with multiple cooking modes and programmable timers. For an in-depth comparison of the best rice cookers in the Philippines, refer to our article.


Cooking Rice in a Rice Cooker

7-Step Process to Cook Rice with a Rice Cooker

how to cook rice in a rice cooker

Now, let’s walk through the process of cooking rice in a rice cooker step by step:

Step 1: Measure the Rice

Start by measuring the desired amount using the cup that usually comes with the rice cooker. Typically, one cup of uncooked rice yields about three cups of cooked rice when using a rice cooker.

Step 2: Rinse the Rice

Rinse the rice thoroughly with cold water to remove extra starch and improve its texture. Delicately stir the rice with your fingers as you rinse it, ensuring that you continue until the water runs clear.

Step 3: Add Water to the Rice Cooker Pot

In this step, it is recommended to use the water level markings inside the pot. Generally, it is commonly advised to use a 1:1 water-to-rice ratio for most rice varieties. That ensures a balanced and well-cooked outcome. However, different rice varieties may require slight adjustments, which we’ll discuss later.

Step 4 (Optional): Soaking the Rice (For Some Rice Varieties)

Soaking rice for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking can help improve its texture. This step is particularly beneficial for long-grain and Basmati rice but is unnecessary for most short-grain rice.

Step 5: Select the Cooking Settings

Depending on the model that comes with your rice cooker, you might have options for “white rice,” “brown rice,” or “quick cook.” Select the appropriate setting for the type of rice you’re cooking.

Step 6: Close the Lid and Start Cooking

Close the rice cooker lid securely and press the start button. The rice cooker automatically adjusts the cooking time and temperature based on the selected setting.

Allow the rice to remain in the rice cooker for around 10-15 minutes after it has finished cooking. That allows the steam to redistribute and ensures even cooking.

Step 7: Fluff and Serve

Gently fluff the rice with a paddle or fork to separate the grains. Serve the cooked rice immediately or keep it warm until ready to serve.

Incorporating a Timer Feature

how to cook rice in a rice cooker

Many rice cookers are equipped with a timer function that enables you to set a delayed start time, so you can have freshly cooked rice waiting for you when needed. To use the timer feature, follow these steps:

  1. Follow steps 1 to 5 mentioned earlier to measure and prepare the rice.
  2. Instead of immediately starting the cooking process, set the desired delay time on the rice cooker’s timer. That can be done by pressing the timer button and adjusting the hours and minutes using the control panel.
  3. Once the delay time is set, close the lid and leave the rice cooker undisturbed until the designated start time.
  4. When the timer reaches the set time, the rice cooker will begin the cooking process automatically. Follow step 7 to let the rice rest, fluff it, and serve it when ready.

Cooking Different Types of Rice

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

Preparing brown rice in a rice cooker is a simple and convenient method that yields delicious results. Follow these steps to cook brown rice in a rice cooker:

  • Rinse the brown rice under cold water to remove any debris.
  • Measure the desired amount of brown rice and add it to the rice cooker pot.
  • Use a 1:2 water-to-rice ratio for brown rice. For instance, when cooking 1 cup of brown rice, adding 2 cups of water to the rice cooker is recommended.
  • Select the “brown rice” setting on your rice cooker.
  • Close the lid, start cooking, and let it rest before fluffing and serving.

For more in-depth information on cooking brown rice in a rice cooker, including detailed instructions, cooking tips, and advice on storing and reheating brown rice, refer to our comprehensive guide on “How to Cook Brown Rice”.

How to Cook the Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker

How to Cook the Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker
Cre: A Pressure Cooker Kitchen

Basmati rice pairs exceptionally well with a variety of flavorful dishes. It perfectly accompanies classic curries like dal, Chana Masala, or Chicken Curry. Additionally, it brings a delightful touch to fusion cuisine, elevating dishes such as Spicy Cashew Chicken and Chicken Shashlik to new levels of flavor and enjoyment. The fragrant and fluffy texture of Basmati rice enhances the overall dining experience and complements these dishes beautifully.

Cooking basmati rice Indian style is incredibly easy with the proper technique. Follow these simple steps to achieve perfectly cooked basmati rice:

  • Rinse the rice: Rinse the basmati rice once to remove excess starch. Discard the rinsing water.
  • Measure and add water: Add 2.5 cups of water to the rice basin for every cup of rice. If desired, add one teaspoon of salt for a slightly salted flavor. However, keep in mind that the curry will also add flavor to the rice.
  • Cover and cook: Cover the rice basin with the lid and place it in the rice cooker. Once you have switched on the rice cooker, it is essential to let it operate undisturbed. Avoid the temptation to open the lid or stir the rice while it is cooking to ensure optimal results.
  • Fluff and serve: The basmati rice will be cooked once the water evaporates. Use a rice cooker spatula to fluff the rice and serve it hot and gently.

How to Cook Long-grain Rice in a Rice Cooker

How to Cook Long-grain Rice in a Rice Cooker
Cre: Now Cook This

Achieving perfectly cooked white rice is quick and easy with this recipe. Say goodbye to mushy and overcooked rice! Follow these steps for fluffy, separated grains:

  • Measure the desired amount of white rice and wash it at least two times with warm water. Drain the rinsed rice.
  • Pour the rinsed white rice into the rice cooker’s inner pot.
  • Add 2 cups of water into the pot, adjusting the quantity based on personal preference, and add salt to enhance the taste according to your liking.
  • Switch on the rice cooker and refer to the instructions for your model for cooking white rice, ensuring you follow the recommended settings and cooking time.
  • Allow the rice cooker to work its magic, and cook the rice until it is perfectly done.

It’s important to note that different rice cookers may have slight variations in cooking times and water ratios, so it’s always a good idea to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific guidelines.


Additional Tips for Perfect Rice

To ensure consistently delicious rice, here are some helpful pointers to keep in mind when using a rice cooker:

Tips for Making Perfect Rice in a Rice Cooker

Use the right measuring cup: Most rice cookers have slightly smaller measuring cups than standard cups. Stick to using this cup for measuring rice and water to maintain the correct ratios.

Adjust water ratios if needed: While the general water-to-rice ratio is 1:1, certain rice varieties may require more or less water. For example, sticky rice may need slightly more water, while parboiled rice may need less. Refer to the specific rice variety’s instructions or adjust the water amounts based on personal preference.

Let the rice rest before serving: After the cooking cycle, allow the rice to sit in the cooker for 10-15 minutes. This resting period helps to distribute the moisture evenly and ensures fluffier rice.

Tips for Making Perfect Rice in a Rice Cooker

Fluff the rice with a fork: When serving the rice, use a fork or rice paddle to fluff the grains gently. That helps to separate the rice and prevent clumping.

Experiment with additional ingredients: Rice cookers provide an excellent opportunity to infuse flavors into your rice. Consider adding herbs, spices, vegetables, or even broth to enhance the taste of your rice. Just adjust the water-to-rice ratio accordingly to accommodate the additional ingredients.

How to Avoid Common Mistakes

Avoid opening the lid during cooking: Refrain from lifting the lid during the rice cooking process, as this can interrupt the cooking process and lead to unevenly cooked rice. It is advisable to resist the temptation to check on the rice and let the rice cooker do its job.

Avoid overfilling the rice cooker: To prevent the rice from overflowing during the cooking process, avoid filling the rice cooker pot beyond the recommended capacity. As the rice cooks, it expands, and leaving enough room allows for proper circulation and even cooking.

How to Keep the Rice Warm After Cooking

If you’re not ready to serve the rice immediately, most rice cookers have a “keep warm” function that automatically activates after the cooking cycle ends. This feature keeps the rice at a warm temperature for an extended period without overcooking it.



Mastering the art of cooking rice in a rice cooker opens up a world of possibilities for creating perfectly cooked rice with minimal effort. A rice cooker can handle everything from basic white rice to more exotic varieties like brown rice and Basmati rice. By following the step-by-step instructions and tips to master how to cook rice with a rice cooker in this article, you can achieve fluffy, delicious rice every time.

how to cook rice in a rice cooker

Remember to select the appropriate setting on your rice cooker, adjust water ratios if needed, and exercise restraint and resist the temptation to open the lid while the rice is cooking. With the added tips for perfect rice, such as letting it rest, fluffing with a fork, and using the “keep warm” function, your rice will consistently impress.

We encourage you to give cooking rice in a rice cooker a try. It’s a convenient and foolproof method that guarantees satisfying results. For more recipes and resources, be sure to check out our website,, where you can explore a variety of rice-based dishes and find additional tips and tricks for cooking with a rice cooker. Happy cooking!



Karyn is an IIN Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since 2021, with a passion for cooking and exercise, especially yoga. She brings her expertise in Nutrition and Fitness to Hometoppicks, leading both the Kitchen and Home Gym sections to provide credible product recommendations. Karyn is committed to guiding readers on their healthy living journey with her expert tips and trusted product suggestions. You can find more about her here.

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