How to Use Your Rice Cooker

Rice Cooker
The Spruce
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings (serves 6)
Ratings (82)

A rice cooker works by bringing the liquid to a boil very quickly. This happens because the cooker environment is sealed, reducing the air pressure over the liquid so it boils faster. A temperature sensor monitors the heat inside the cooker; when it starts to rise above 212 F (the boiling point of water), that means that the rice has absorbed all the liquid and it switches to a 'warm' setting.

It's important to read the instruction manual that came with your rice cooker and follow instructions to the letter. These instructions were developed by the company so you get good results every time.

Please remember that different types of rice have different textures. Short grain rice, such as Arborio rice and sticky rice in Asian cuisines, has a lot of starch called amylopectin which is highly branched and tends to stick together so that rice will always be sticker and less fluffy. Long grain rice should be fluffy and not stick together because it has more amylose, a starch molecule that is long and straight so it doesn't get tangled together when the rice cooks. Medium grain rice should be fluffy but with a slightly stickier texture, since it has about the same amounts of amylose and amylopectin. 

Choose the rice you use for a recipe based on the finished texture you want.

What You'll Need

  • 1 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

How to Make It

  1. Follow the instructions that come with your rice cooker.
  2. For most cookers, combine 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid with 1 cup of rice; this will yield about 3 cups rice or enough for 6 (1/2 cup) servings.
  3. Turn the ​rice cooker on and let it cook according to the instructions.
  4. The smaller amount is for separate, drier grains of rice. The larger amount results in rice that is stickier. Most rice cookers can keep the cooked rice warm for hours without burning.
    Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
    Calories 116
    Total Fat 0 g
    Saturated Fat 0 g
    Unsaturated Fat 0 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg
    Sodium 196 mg
    Carbohydrates 26 g
    Dietary Fiber 1 g
    Protein 2 g
    (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)