Cooking rice without a rice cooker is super simple, anyone can do it

Cooking rice without a rice cooker is super simple, anyone can do it
Source: Shutterstock
Source: Shutterstock

When it comes to making rice, a rice cooker is often the appliance of choice for easy, fluffy rice. But not having a rice cooker is no excuse to not make great rice! All you need is a pot and a stovetop to cook rice the way it was prepared long before you could plug in a machine to make it for you. Here's how to cook rice without a rice cooker. You're welcome. 

Rice is nice.
Source: 
Giphy

White Rice

Rinse your rice

Start by rinsing your rice in cold water. Put uncooked rice in a sieve or small colander and run it under your faucet. This will remove any extra starchiness that could lead to a gummy rice clump after you cook it. 

Know your rice to water ratio

Long grain white rice, jasmine rice, arborio rice, basmati rice and other types of rice all require slightly different water to rice ratios. A good ratio to start with is 1:2, rice:water, with a sprinkle of salt in the water, if you prefer.  

Boil water

While some may add rice and water to the pot at the same time, treating rice like pasta and adding it to boiling water is a better way to cook rice, according to Real Simple. Rice absorbs water as it cooks but can only absorb so much water. If the rice absorbs all the water from the start, instead of absorbing boiling water, it won't cook properly. 

Simmer your rice on the stovetop

The temptation to mix a hot pot is evident to any cook, but go against your instincts and let your rice simmer after stirring it into the boiling water. Turn your stove to low, cover the saucepan and let the rice cook for the recommended 16-18 minutes

Let the cooked rice steam

When your rice is done, remove it from heat but keep it in the covered pot. Let it steam an additional 10 minutes to get that perfect texture you thought only a rice cooker could create.  

Fluff it up

Once your rice has steamed, use a fork to fluff up your perfectly cooked rice. It's ready to eat! 

Brown Rice

"Any rice can be 'brown,' just as any rice can be milled to be 'white,'" meat-free cooking guru Mark Bittman explains in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. Whole grain brown rice, rice that is unmilled and has both the the germ and bran still in it, is more nutritious. Because it is more dense than white rice, it also takes longer to cook. 

Start by rinsing your brown rice

Just like with white rice, you'll want to remove any extra starchiness.

For extra flavor, toast the grains

If you want to add nuttiness and depth to your brown rice, stir it in a hot saucepan with a drizzle of oil for a few minutes until it starts smelling toasty.

Add water

Unlike with white rice, you'll want to start cooking your brown rice in water before it boils. Though the ratio for some brown rice is still 1:2, expect to add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup extra water to your pot of brown rice, depending on the grain. 

Boil and reduce to a simmer

Again, don't touch your rice once it starts cooking. After the covered pot comes to a boil, reduce the stovetop heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Check your rice

If there's excess water but your rice tastes cooked, drain it out. If not, no worries, you did great!

Let the rice sit

Just like with white rice, you're going to want to let your brown rice sit covered for about 10 minutes to steam. 

Fluff it up!

You made brown rice! Yum! 

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Melissa Kravitz

Melissa Kravitz is a contributor for Mic. Her work has appeared on Thrillist, Mashable, Elite Daily, Time Out, Refinery29, Gothamist, Racked and more.

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