Easy Boiled Rice

Here's how to boil rice on the stovetop! It's an easy, fool-proof method that works with white or brown rice. Best for weeknight stir-fries, rice bowls, or as a simple rice side dish.

  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 or more cups of cooked rice


  • 1 cup or more long-grain white or brown rice
  • Water
  • Salt

Special equipment:


1 Fill a pot with water and add the rice. The rice should be covered by several inches of water (use a 1:4 ratio of rice to water if you're nervous). Add at least 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of rice. Stir a few times to make sure the rice and water are mixed.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

2 Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Let the water come to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat until it maintains a gentle bubbling simmer.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

3 Cook the rice until barely tender: White rice will cook in roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Brown rice will cook in roughly 20 to 30 minutes. Stir the rice a few times during cooking, when you remember. Taste it as you get toward the end of cooking to test its doneness. It's ready when tender and no longer crunchy, but still a touch too firm for your liking.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

4 Drain the rice: Set the strainer over your sink or a large bowl and strain the rice and cooking liquid. (The cooking liquid can be saved for other cooking projects.)

Shake the strainer a few times to fully drain the rice.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

5 Return to the pot, cover, and let stand: Immediately after straining, while the rice is still hot and steamy, transfer the rice back to the pot and cover with the lid. Let stand off the heat, for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam from hot rice trapped in the pan will finish cooking the rice and help give it a perfect texture.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

6 Fluff and serve: Uncover the rice, fluff with a fork, and serve.

How to Make Rice Without a Recipe

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Connie

    I tried this but my rice came out too sticky and clumpy. There was no water left after cooking for 10 minutes to drain so did I not use enough water? I made a cup of rice and a little more than a cup of water.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Connie! Yes, you’ll need quite a bit more water! You should add enough water to cover the rice by several inches. I’d use at least 4 cups of water or more — you don’t actually need to measure it. I’m going to modify the instructions slightly to make the amount of water more clear. Hope that helps!

  • Jasmine P.

    Wow! The first and only recipe that produced the type of rice I like – the edible kind! HAHA! Thanks so much for taking the time to post this! Much needed in my household.

    Additional Thought: I add about 3 tablespoons of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for a boost of savory flavor, and my rice comes out delicious EVERY SINGLE TIME.


  • michel

    One of the easiest & simple way to make a tasty rice. its not take to much time to ready. I liked it!!!
    Thanks you for sharing it!!!!!

  • Lesli

    It is my understanding that if you are at all concerned about the level of arsenic in rice, this is the cooking method for you. Pouring off the excess cooking water is said to remove about (read this somewhere!) 40-60% of the arsenic. That works for me!

  • Jack Burton

    1 Cup Jasmine Rice
    2 Cups Water
    3 Tbsp Cooking Oil(not Olive)
    1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
    1/4 Cup chopped Onion
    1/4 Cup chopped Scallions

    In large pot or rice pot heat oil on medium heat
    When oil gets hot add onions, scallions and garlic salt
    Cook for one minute but do not brown
    Add water and rice, stir to mix everything together
    Cook, uncovered, until some of the water cooks down
    Reduce heat to lowest, cover and cook for 25 minutes
    Taste, if rice is still too firm, test in 5 min intervals

  • Deborah Everette

    2 cups of water of every one cup of rice. Salt to taste stir once. Cover bring to boil drop to 1/4 temp. Cook for 20 min. Do not remove lid. I have cooked rice like this for 60 years with no problem. Everyone loves my rice.

    • Emma Christensen

      That’s great! Thanks for sharing!

    • David

      My Mom’s way was very much the same. 2 cups water to one cup rice. Bring to boil, stir put lid on and do not touch the lid until you are ready to serve. The difference is she shut it off after 15 min and left it on the burner for 5 more minutes. After the total time of 20 minutes you can then lift the lid fluff with a fork and serve or leave lid on until your ready then fluff and serve. I can still hear my mom, “DO NOT TOUCH THE LID”. I have taught this method to many and the secret is 2:1 and DO NOT TOUCH THE LID ! A tablespoon more water makes the rice softer or stick together more and a tablespoon less each grain is separated and obviously dryer. I have never made a bad pot of rice.

  • Chris

    A rule of thumb I have used before is to put your rice in the pot, then cover with water using your index finger as a measure. You place the tip of your index finger on the top of the layer of rice and adding water until it reaches the first knuckle of your finger. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer for 10 minutes, and usually no extra water is left, and the rice is perfect.
    I suppose your mileage may vary based upon finger size, but it’s always worked well for me (though I prefer my Zojirushi rice cooker nowadays).

    • Emma Christensen

      I’ve heard that Zojirushi rice cookers are the BEST! I think that if you make rice often and want it to be absolutely perfect every time, a rice cooker is definitely the way to go!

  • Antonio

    I agree with Susan
    It doesn’t take much more using a right amount of water, dipending of the result you wanto to obtain…


    • Emma Christensen

      I think to each his or her own with this! For me, this is the method that has worked consistently and helped me overcome my fear of cooking a bad pot of rice. If you’ve landed on another method that works consistently for you, then that’s great!

  • Susan

    I’m all for easy, but as a registered dietitian I must share that enriched rice loses nutrients when it’s rinsed or cooked in too much water which then gets drained away. Using the extra cooking water in other things, as you suggested, would put those lost nutrients to good use!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Susan! Thanks for the insight! Yes, the nutrient content was exactly why I suggested some ways of using up the liquid. This is a fairly traditional way of cooking rice around the world, but most cultures have established practices for putting the cooking water to good use and retaining all the nutrients. Cheers!

  • Gabor

    Perfect, very easy and very useful, you rock!