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How Much Rice and Water to Put in a Rice Cooker By Rice Type

Getting the perfect batch of rice can be somewhat daunting for some people. I know that sometimes I want to make rice and don’t know how much water or rice to put in it. This is important because not only does the rice determine how much you need, but also the amount of water. This post will help you understand what you need to do to make perfect rice every time.

The ratio of water to rice in a rice cooker is 2:1. This means that you add 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice or 2 grams of water for every 1 gram of rice. Weight is much more accurate when doing measurements since volume can vary among rice types.

Ratios of water to rice for a rice cooker:

Type of RiceRatio Water to RiceAmount/RiceAmount/Water
White Rice2:11 cup2 cups
Basmati1.5:11 cup1.5 cups
Jasmine1.25:11 cup1.25 cups
Brown2.25:11 cup2.25 cups

It is important that you get your ratios exactly right when making rice. This will make sure that not only your rice turns out great, but you will be able to save money when making it. The rest of this article will tell you how.

Woman pouring rice from a jar into a cooker

Getting Rice Measurements Right

To start with, you simply have to have the right amount of water. It’s much better to err on the side of a bit too much rather than too little (unless you like really firm rice).

Typically, the amount of water you put in should be around twice as much as the rice. You don’t want to put too much in because if anything goes wrong, then you end up with mushy rice that we all know is not good. Similarly, there is no point putting in too little because then the rice won’t cook properly and comes out hard and crunchy or even burnt!

Your best bet is to check the directions on the package of the type of rice you are using and follow those directions for the ratio of rice to water, which, in most cases, will be the 2-to-1 ratio of 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.

Types of Rice Cookers

There are many types and brands of Rice Cookers on the market. I was surprised at the number of different models there are. But, the two main types of Rice Cookers are the electric models and the microwave cookers.


The electric microwave cookers range in price from this Aroma Housewares Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer to this Cuckoo CRP-JHVR1009F Pressure Rice Cooker. Click to see them on Amazon.

One of the top budget sellers offered by Amazon is this Instant Pot Instant DUO60 6 Qt Programmable Pressure Cooker (IP-DUO60), which provides 7 different functions, including a rice cooker.

There are many other models and prices in between, and even models that sell for over $3,000!


The other type of rice cooker is the microwave cooker which offers the benefits of microwave cooking which is fast with easy cleanup and, once you get the hang of it, perfect rice every time. Here you also have many options, but my favorite is this little Home-X – 10-Cup Microwave Rice Cooker.

Both microwave and electric rice cookers offer the benefits of perfect rice without all the fuss of cooking rice on a stovetop. However, please note that for the purposes of this article, we have used a microwave rice cooker, and any time you use any rice cooker, microwave or electric, always consult the instructions for your specific rice cooker and the package directions for the type of rice you are preparing.

How to Cook White Rice in a Rice Cooker

To get the perfect amount of rice and water in your rice cooker, there is a simple formula that I have found that will help you. The formula is roughly a 2 to 1 weight ratio for your typical white rice.

In other words, 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice, or 2 grams of water for every 1 gram of rice. I find that this should be measured as accurately as you can, but this is the general rule of thumb that most expert cooks follow.

It also depends on how much you want to cook and what type of rice you are making. More on that below.

Measurements for Other Types of Rice

Several Arborio Rice Bags

Here are some examples of how much water and rice to put in your rice cooker for a variety of different types of rice.

How to Cook Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker

Basmati rice is different in several respects. Basmati rice has a different cooking time than white rice because of its longer grains. Cook Basmati rice for 12 minutes and let it stand for 10 minutes before opening the cooker.

And, Basmati rice requires a different ratio of water to rice than white rice. If you do a 1.5:1 ratio, you will generally be fine. For example, that would be 150g of water for 100g of rice or 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.

A third difference is that Basmati rice should not be rinsed before cooking. If you do rinse, adjustments must be made to the amount of water used in cooking the rice. Normally, that adjustment is to reduce the amount of water for rinsed rice by 2 tablespoons per cup of rice.

How to Cook Brown Rice in a Rice Cooker

To cook brown rice in a rice cooker, you need to use a higher ratio of water to rice than white rice. In this case, that would be 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.

Brown rice requires a longer cooking time than white rice, and for 1 cup of rice and 2.5 cups of water in a microwave rice cooker, it will take approximately 45 minutes to cook, the same as the traditional stovetop cooking method.

Rice cooker: 150g suggested amount – 270g in my case – should produce perfect brown rice (continuous steam function) after one hour. However, please bear in mind that the time will vary depending on the quantity and quality of your brown rice being used, as well as on how large or small you make your batch.

How to Cook Jasmine Rice in a Rice Cooker

Like Basmati rice, Jasmine rice also has several cooking differences from white rice. Jasmine rice requires a different cooking time because it is softer. Cook 1 cup of Jasmine rice and 1 cup of water for 25 minutes in a microwave rice cooker and let stand for 10 minutes after cooking before opening the cooker.

Also, Jasmine rice requires a different ratio of water to rice than white rice. You should use a 1:1 ratio or the same amount of water and rice. For example, that would be 100g of water for 100g of rice or 1 cup of water for 1 cup of rice.

But, unlike Basmati rice, Jasmine should be rinsed before cooking.

How to Cook Wild Rice in a Rice Cooker

Cooking wild rice is very similar to cooking brown rice because both types are in a more natural state and have not been processed as much as white, basmati, or jasmine rice. You should use 1 cup of wild rice to 2.5 cups of water or stock, add salt and butter (optional), and cook for approximately 45 minutes in a rice cooker.

How to Cook Sushi Rice in a Rice Cooker

Sushi rice is short-grained rice that can be cooked very well in the microwave.

  • First, wash the sushi rice by pouring rice into a bowl and covering it with cool water. Swish with your hand several times before pouring the rice and water through a strainer. Rinse at least 3 times.
  • You should use a ratio of 3:2, or 2 cups of sushi rice, to 3 cups of water.
  • Place rice and water into the microwave cooker and cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Pour the cooked rice onto a large flat surface and cut or separate sections with a wooden spoon.
  • Make a dressing from 3/4 cup of rice vinegar, 1/3 cup of raw sugar, and 3 teaspoons of sea salt, whisking until all ingredients have dissolved and completely combined.
  • Add dressing, 1/3 cup at a time, to the rice and toss rice after each addition and place in a covered container until ready to use.

How to Cook Sticky Rice in a Rice Cooker

For sticky rice, you should use a variety of rice that is labeled sweet or glutinous rice. Other varieties will not work.

  • You should soak 2 cups of the sweet rice in water for 4 to 10 hours.
  • Place a colander or steamer basket inside the microwave rice cooker and add water just below the bottom of the colander.
  • Drain the rice and add to the colander or basket, making sure the water does not touch the rice, and close and lock the lid to the cooker.
  • Set the microwave or cooker to cook on high for 12 minutes.
  • Allow the cooker to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes after cooking.
  • Unlock the lid but leave it on slightly ajar until ready to serve.

Serve warm within 15 minutes of cooking.

The cooking time should not be any shorter than the one for Jasmine Rice and Basmati Rice, as you want to ensure that the grains are separated as much as possible.

General Tips for Cooking With a Rice Cooker

Multi-Function Rice Cooker
My trusty rice cooker.

Here is a list of some other things to keep in mind when preparing rice in your rice cooker:

  1. Always start with cold water- If it is already hot, the temperature will drop while you are cooking, and the rice may get mushy or stuck together. The rice will usually turn out gummy and unappetizing.
  2. Get the order right- Remember to always add rice first, then add water.
  3. Use a wooden spoon for stirring the rice- If you stir with something other than wood, it can scratch your cooker pot.
  4. Let your rice rest in the cooker for a while after cooking- Letting the rice rest in its own steam will make it fluffier. Also, you can leave it in the cooker on “warm” so that you can eat it later without needing to reheat it.
  5. Do not reheat cooked rice- Reheated rice will become hard and crunchy. It is best to cook as much as you need for the day because rice can absorb flavors.

How Do I Make Fluffy Rice in a Rice Cooker?

You should ensure that you use enough water for cooking your rice. If you do not have enough water, the rice will not be fluffy. Another factor is to use the rice cooker at the appropriate temperature and time.
Make sure to let the cooked rice sit for about 10 minutes before you serve it. This will ensure that the rice is fluffy.

Why Is My Rice Sticky?

There are a number of reasons why rice can become sticky:

  1. Too much water- If you use too much water, the rice becomes wet and can be sticky.
  2. Starting with hot water- Cold water is recommended, but if it is still cold from the tap, heat up the water in a microwave for a few seconds before adding it to your rice cooker.
  3. Using the incorrect cooking time- The cooking time will vary with brands and models of rice cookers as well as individual cookers. Make sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Also, you should always use at least 125% more water than what is recommended by the appliance’s manufacturer.
  4. Forgetting to rinse- Make sure you rinse rice before cooking, or it will be sticky and more prone to clumping together. This does not apply to Basmati rice, as rinsing that type of rice will make them sticky.

How Do I Make Special Dishes Like Fried Rice With a Rice Cooker?

Many people use their rice cookers for making fried or mixed dishes (for example, Spanish paella or fried chicken) in addition to making plain boiled or steamed white rice. If you are planning to cook rice for these types of dishes, it is a good idea to lightly chop or crush spices just before adding to the cooked rice. This will make the dish taste more flavorful and interesting.

How Do I Keep Rice Moist and Soft? Storing Rice

Since you want your rice to stay fluffy once cooked, you should always let the cooker’s inner pot (or a bowl) with your rice cool down slowly after cooking so that excess steam can be released from the pot without causing the rice to expand too much.

Since typically there is no air circulation in a regular kitchen (i.e., a closed kitchen with a running dishwasher and/or clothes dryer, etc.) you should then store your rice in a tightly closed or sealed container.

The best choice for storing cooked rice is a well-made glass or ceramic bowl that either has a tight-fitting lid (e.g., Pyrex) or can be tightly covered with aluminum foil.

Typically, when you keep the lid on a wooden bowl, it does not seal off perfectly, and the rice will pick up some of the wood’s aroma, which does not make for good-tasting rice! You can also use zip-lock bags to store cooked and cooled-down white rice.

Final Bite

Keep in mind that water-to-rice ratios are very rough estimates and only an indication of how much you should fill your rice cooker with. As mentioned before, it is down to your personal preference and how you like the texture of your rice.

It also depends on what type of rice you are making. Where it originated from can even matter.

However, if you just stick to the basic ratios I listed above, you should be okay.

For more, don’t miss How Many Cups of Cooked Rice Are in a Pound of Uncooked Rice?