How long does rice take to cook?

Rice is a staple food in many households around the world. Whether you’re making rice pilaf, stir-fries, or just a simple side dish, cooking white rice to perfection is crucial for any delicious meal. But how long does rice take to cook? Is there such a thing as the perfect time for cooking rice?

All these questions about cooked rice will be answered in this post. I will also provide some tips on how to know when your rice is done cooking and the fastest way to get perfectly cooked rice every time. Read here: Rice to water ratio using different cooking methods.

Related: How to cook white rice on the stove

What is the fastest time to cook rice?

How long does it take rice to cook

While some types of medium grain, long grain white rice and also basmati, and jasmine may be done within a short time in about 15 to 18 minutes on the stove with proper measurements and water ratio. Other varieties like brown rice or wild rice may take a bit longer to cook, let’s say at least 30-40 minutes before they get perfectly tender.

Knowing how long it takes to cook white rice comes with regular practice, attention, and patience. Some types of rice tend to cook faster than others. For example, white rice generally cooks faster than brown, black, and wild rice because it has had its bran and germ removed.

There are also shortcuts like parboiled rice or instant rice that have shorter cooking times about say 5 minutes. However, there are dozens of factors and techniques that can affect how long it takes your rice to cook, and some of the factors are explained below.

Using the correct water-to-rice ratio

How long does it take to cook rice?
How long does it take to cook rice?

Too much water in the rice can result in a longer cook time and you may risk turning your dish into a soggy mess; not enough water and your grains will remain tough and uncooked on the inside.

For most types of white rice, you’ll need to use a 1:1.5 ratio of rice to water and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. While some types of rice may require a 1: 2 ratio of rice to water and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You just have to follow the instructions on your package or use the right recipe in other to get the best results.

Rinsing the rice grains beforehand

Rinsing of rice under a running tap to remove excess starch
Rinsing of rice under a running tap to remove excess starch

Rinsing your grains makes all the difference; not only does it get rid of any unwanted debris or dirt particles, but it also helps remove excess starch from the surface of each grain because excess starch can make your rice clump together and take longer to heat through.

Soaking the rice first in water just before cooking

Does rice cook faster when soaked?
Soaking rice in water just before cooking

I love soaking my rice, most especially basmati rice just before cooking it. When you soak the rice first, it helps to soften the grains and allows them to absorb water more easily during cooking. This means that once they hit the boiling water, they don’t have to spend as much time sucking up moisture before starting to cook.

Starting the rice with boiled water

Make sure to bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the rinsed rice to cook, this allows the grains to immediately absorb moisture and soften up evenly  without taking too long
Make sure to bring the water to a rolling boil before adding the rinsed rice to cook, this allows the grains to immediately absorb moisture and soften up evenly without taking too long.

You want to make sure your water first comes to a boil before you add the rice. If the water is not first heated and you add in the rice, it will take longer for the water to come to a boil and thus increasing the overall cook time.

Using a lid while simmering

Covering your pot with a lid throughout the cooking time also helps to trap steam inside the pot, allowing the grains of rice to absorb moisture evenly without drying out or becoming mushy.

The type of appliances used

The above cooking time is only applicable when making white rice on the stove. If you’re using an Instant Pot or rice cooker to cook your rice, your cook time will be much shorter. Usually, it takes between 10 to 13 minutes with these electrical appliances, and you will have perfectly cooked rice in no time at all compared to using the stovetop.

It’s important not to rush the cooking process as undercooked rice can have an unpleasant texture and taste.

How long does rice take to cook?

How long does it take rice to cook

Regular white rice cooked on the stove on medium heat usually takes about 15 minutes to get done with about 10 minutes resting time after removing from heat. However, if you’re cooking brown rice, it should take about 35 to 40 minutes for it to get perfectly tender. The amount of time will definitely vary depending on the amount of water used and how much rice you’re cooking at once. All these factors can affect how long it takes your rice to get cooked.

How will I know when my rice is done cooking?

How to know when rice is done cooking

Knowing when your rice is done cooking can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new to cooking. Below are a few signs that will help you know when your rice is perfectly cooked. You will need to take note of the texture, taste, and water level.
For the texture, pick a grain of rice and press it against your fingertips to check for doneness. If it is still hard in the middle while the water has dried up, it is not yet read. Sprinkle a little more water over the rice and keep simmering until all grains are tender.

Another way to check if your rice is done is by tasting it. Take a small spoonful and see how soft or firm it feels in your mouth. Ideally, you want each grain to have some bite without being too hard or crunchy.

Also, check for any remaining water in the pot. You will need to pay attention to the water level in your pot. When the water has been fully absorbed by the rice and small holes start to appear on the surface of the rice, your rice is done cooking. But if there’s still quite a bit left over after your suggested cooking time has passed, give the rice an extra few minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Once you are sure your rice has finished cooking, use a fork to fluff up your finished product, this separates any clumps of starches that may have formed during cooking.

Does rice cook quicker if soaked?

Does rice cook faster when soaked

Soaking rice for at least 20 minutes before cooking can actually reduce its actual cooking time by nearly half. Soaking allows for water absorption and softens up those tough outer layers. This leads to more efficient heat transfer during cooking which speeds things up quite a bit.

What’s the fastest way to cook rice?

The quickest way to cook rice is by using the parboiling method or pasta method. This involves boiling the rice partially for 10 minutes before draining off the water and finishing it off by steaming or simmering it until fully cooked. Another way is by using a pressure cooker or rice cooker- these devices work well by increasing cooking times so that food cooks faster than normal methods like boiling or baking.

You can also cook your rice faster in the microwave. Place the rice in a microwave-safe dish after rinsing it then pour 2 cups of hot boiling water over it with a pinch of salt and microwave it on high for 12 minutes. After the set time has elapsed, take out the bowl and put a lid on. Allow your rice to sit for an additional 10 minutes before fluffing it with a fork.

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