How Long To Cook Rice (And Why)?

How Long To Cook Rice (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12 To 18 Minutes

Rice is a staple food for many people worldwide, and knowing how long to cook can help one save time and energy. The general rule of thumb is that 1 cup of uncooked rice will produce 2 cups of cooked rice. 

Cooking rice is a basic skill that everyone should know how to do. Rice can be cooked in many different ways depending on the desired texture and flavor. Whether it is for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner, this article will give an idea of how long it takes to cook perfect rice every time. 

How Long To Cook Rice

How Long To Cook Rice?

White Rice12 to 18 Minutes
Brown Rice45 Minutes

Cooking rice takes about 12 minutes for white rice and 16-24 minutes for brown or wild rice.

Cooking a pot of dry grain–rice, bulgur wheat, quinoa–is a matter of heating it until the water begins to boil too vigorously to be stirred down with a spoon. From this moment on, the dish becomes entirely uniform in temperature from top to bottom. All parts are heated within seconds of each other. 

Cooking rice would take roughly approx. 12 to 18 minutes at normal heat levels to cook it, but the exact time may vary depending on factors such as what type of pot or dishes are being used and what size they are.

Short grain rice is round and plum. It has a high start level which makes the grains stick together. Long grain rice is longer and has lower starch content. Medium grain rice is somewhere between the short and long grain. 

Cooking rice is a great way to add both flavor and calories to otherwise bland grains. Basmati, jasmine, and brown rice are all types of edible rice. In addition, rice is an excellent source of carbohydrates and essential nutrients such as manganese, calcium, potassium, iron, and niacin (B3).

Rice can be purchased in many varieties, though most grocery stores offer only long white grain without the chance of accidentally picking up brown or black rice. 

These days one can find different brands that offer basmati rice that does not contain any oil for those on strict diets like veganism.

Why Would Cooking Rice Take So Long?

The reason rice takes a long time to cook is that the different cereal grain structures have different water absorption rates. The outer layers, which are more exposed to air and easily broken down by cooking steam, will have more gelatinized starch. 

Rice comprises two parts, the rice grains and the layer of starch towards the outside. Cooking rice is a delicate process because it needs to break down some of its outside layers while not breaking any grain components and creating a fluffy texture inside. 

One should also consider what type of rice they have before cooking it – brown or white – as they require different amounts of water.

With some types of rice, this can take as long as 20 minutes or longer. While it may seem like it is just boiling water, there’s quite a bit going on to get that perfect pot of cooked rice on the plate.

For example, cooking brown rice with a ratio of one part raw grain to two parts liquid, then four cups of raw grains would take eight cups liquid. Brown rice requires more water than white because the outer layers tend to be harder, so it takes longer for all the inner parts to sup. 

This means that more water is required for those grains to swell and break down into smooth, soft starch. Although white rice is less nutritious, it also has some advantages and cooks faster. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice.


One of the main things that a person needs to keep in mind is that white rice can turn out sticky or sometimes undercooked while cooking. With a perfect recipe and method, one can avoid this silly failure. Studies point out that humans can get 20% of their calorie intake from eating rice. 

That said, though, most brown rice sold at retail is precooked at the mill with the help of exposure to steam which partially breaks it down before shipping. Using this already-cooked variety – one should only need about 8 minutes of cooking time depending on the heat source.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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