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When making rice there is a multitude of variables at play. Each of these can determine whether your end result will come out nice and fluffy or horribly dry or gloopy. One of the most fundamental and often overlooked aspects of this process is the amount of water you should use. Most of the time you’re likely to only be using two cups of rice. This however begs the question, how much water for 2 cups of rice?
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How Much Water For 2 Cups of Rice? The Perfect Rice To Water Ratio
The water to rice ratio you should use will vary depending on various factors. However, if in doubt, a good rule of thumb when cooking rice on the stove is one and a half cups of water per cup of rice. This means that for two cups of rice, you would use three cups of water.
When using this method you will create just over three cups worth of rice. When cooking rice with these proportions it is best to use medium-grain white rice, rather than a long grain like basmati rice.
How Much Water for 3 Cups of Rice?
When increasing the portion of rice, the methodology for calculating the water used in this method is quite simple.
Fundamentally, all this method calls for is one and a half cups of water per cup of rice. As such for three cups of rice you would use for and half cups of water and six for four cups. The formula stays consistent throughout, no matter how much rice you plan to make.
Does This Ratio Change for Different Rice Grains?
Depending on the type of rice you are preparing, the rice-to-water ratio will inevitably change. This level of variation can range from a ratio of one to one to potentially even two to one in favor of water to rice.
For some of the other most common types of rice, using the following water-to-rice ratios is advised:
- Long grain white rice: two cups of water per one cup of rice.
- Short grain white rice: one and a quarter cups of water per one cup of rice.
- Sushi rice/calrose rice: one and a third cups of water per one cup of rice.
- Long grain brown rice: two and a quarter cups of water to one cup of rice.
- Parboiled rice: two cups of water per one cup of rice.
- Indian Style rice (such as basmati rice or jasmine rice): a one-to-one ratio of rice to water.
One thing to note about these ratios however is that it is important to wash the rice first in order to remove excess starch. When doing so, however, ensure that you only use cold water since warm water will begin to cook the rice, which can lead to it becoming gloopy or smelling bad. If you elect to not wash your rice first the ratio of water you use should increase slightly to compensate.
Would I use These Ratios For a Rice Cooker?
When using rice cookers, some ratios for cooking rice will change. An advantage of using rice cookers is that they drastically simplify the process. Additionally, they will ensure that you consistently end up with nicely cooked rice.
Generally, slightly less water is required when using a rice cooker than with cooking rice on a stovetop. As such a ratio of one and a quarter water to one rice will be suitable for most medium-grain rice types. However long grain white rice will still require more water than medium or short grains of rice.
Looking for the best rice cookers and combinations cookers? We can help with that.
What is The Finger Method for Making Rice?
If using the 1 cup rice, 1 and 1/2 cup water method sounds too involved, then there’s an even simpler method that you can use.
The finger method involves as the name suggests using your finger to measure how much water you should use. Specifically your index finger.
When using this method, first wash your rice, and add it to a pot whilst ensuring the top is level. Then with an outstretched index finger, rest your fingertip atop the rice. Following this fill the pot with water up to your first knuckle joint.
Following that, you are done. This can work for any type of white rice grain from long-grain jasmine rice to shorter sushi rice.
However, this doesn’t just work for white rice as even long-grained brown rice comes out perfect. The only thing you have to remember is that brown grains require an extra fifteen to twenty minutes of cooking time.
How to Cook Rice
Now you’re familiar with how to achieve the perfect rice-to-water ratio, the next step is to cook your rice. How to cook it though can be either a simple or slightly complicated process. Although this depends on if you own and are planning to use a rice cooker or a pot on the stove.
For this guide, we’ll assume that you’re using the hob since rice cookers pretty much do all the work for you.
- Wash your rice: This first step will remove any excess starch from the rice. This starch can cause your rice to be gloopy and potentially smell. To wash rice, simply pour your rice into a bowl with cold water and stir until the water takes on a starchy white color. Once this has happened, pour the rice and water into a sieve/strainer to remove the starchy water.
- Add the rice and water to the pot: By now you should have a solid grasp on how to measure the correct amount of water to use for rice. Simply follow the instructions mentioned earlier, either the cups or finger method will work.
- Bring the rice to a boiling temperature: Turn the hob to a high heat setting until the water is boiling. Then give the rice a gentle stir to break up any clumps.
- Allow the rice to cook: Once the water is boiling and the rice has been stirred, turn the hob down to a lower temperature setting and cover with a tight lid. Whilst the length of time you should the rice will vary, for something like white rice twelve minutes should be long enough. Long-grain brown rice, however, should be left for roughly half an hour. During this time leave the rice on the stove alone and do not remove the lid as this will cause the water to escape and your rice won’t be steamed properly.
- Allow the rice to rest: Once you’ve left the rice on the stove it’s time to let it rest. To do so, take it off the stove and leave it on a counter-side for at least ten minutes. When doing so, do not remove the lids from your rice as is it still being steam by the water vapor.
- Fluff the rice: Once the ten minutes have passed, remove the lid and fluff your rice with a rubber paddle to separate your rice. All this really involves is that you gently stir the rice with the paddle.
- Serve: Once these steps have been successfully followed it is time to serve your rice. If you wish to keep the rice warm whilst preparing other parts of the meal simply cover the pot until ready. However, just be sure to not leave warm rice out in the open for a long time as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
When cooking rice the following notes are important to remember. If not adhered to the rice will inevitably come out in a poorer state than it otherwise would.
- Use a heavy and well-fitting lid: this is crucially important as a lighter or poorly fitting lid will allow steam to escape or be displaced by overflowing water.
- The right-sized pot: when making 2 cups of rice, whether white rice or brown you should use a saucepan. For 3 cups or more, however, using a proper pot will be most appropriate. The reason for this is that rice cooked in the wrong size pan or pot will not cook evenly and may be sticky at the bottom of the pan.
- Do not boil with a lid on When boiling, keep the lid off the pot, as this will help the rice to cook more evenly.
- Leave the lid alone whilst it cooks and rest: Once again taking the lid off will prevent the rice from cooking evenly. Also, it will prevent the rice from fluffing properly.
- Allowing it to rest is essential: Rice immediately off the hob will still be somewhat sticky. As such allowing it to rest will mean it finishes cooking and become fluffy rather than sticky.
- When fluffing, don’t use a fork: Using a fork will break apart longer grains. For this reason, when fluffing it is best to use a rubber paddle or wooden spoon.
If all these steps were followed correctly, you will have consistently perfect rice, and won’t have this guy making fun of your efforts. Now all you need to do is decide what you’re going to have it with and what kind of rice you should be using.