How long does rice take to cook? The simple guide to perfect rice every time

There are several different types of rice in supermarkets, from the ever-popular basmati, to sushi rice and easy-cook varieties. While some may avoid the perceived hassle of cooking rice by buying a microwave packet, cooking fresh rice at home is incredibly rewarding. Read on for tips on washing rice, timings and methods for making lovely rice every time.

Does rice need to be washed before cooking?

When cooking many types of rice, including long-grain varieties, the rice needs to be washed first.

The starch needs to be washed off these grains in order for the end result to be fluffy and non-stodgy.

Rice should be rinsed in a fine sieve until the water runs clear, or some recommend soaking rice in cold water for at least 30 minutes for best results.

Other types of rice like paella and arborio rice are cooked in a different way to long grain varieties.

For example, to cook risotto, arborio rice is usually fed with stock at regular intervals over the cooking period. This process allows the rice to release starch.

It’s this starch which contributes to the rich and velvety texture of many risottos.

Cooking other rice types, like black rice and glutinous rice, will require different preparation methods too, so check the packaging before cooking.

How long does rice take to cook?

How long rice needs to be cooked will be dependent on the grain being cooked.

Typically, brown rice takes longer to cook than white rice when boiled in water over the hob.

To cook white basmati rice, many recipes suggest it needs to be cooked for about 10 minutes.

Packages of rice should include individual instructions on the optimum cooking time for the variety of rice.

How do you cook rice?

BBC Good Food has shared a simple recipe online for making the perfect basmati rice.

All that’s needed is a cup of basmati rice or 75g per person, but you may want to add a knob of butter or half a tablespoon of oil to separate the grains.

Start by measuring out the rice you need and rinsing it in cold water until the water runs clear.

Add the rice to a pan over a low heat. At this point, you can add the butter or oil if using.

Add double the amount of water for the amount of rice you are cooking, adding some salt if you would like to.

So if you use one cup of rice, use two cups of cold water, or if you use 75g for one serving of rice, use 150ml of cold water.

Bring the rice to a boil, then stir it to make sure the rice is distributed well in the pan.

Stick a lid on the pan and turn the heat down to as low as possible for 10 minutes.

You can check whether the rice is cooked and if the rice is cooked, the pan can be taken off the hob and the rice can be served.

The rice can also be covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes, as this allows any residual water to be absorbed.

Just fluff the rice with a fork and it will be ready to go!