How to Make Rice in a Pan

Rice is a staple in many cultures worldwide, and mastering the art of perfectly cooked rice in a pan is a valuable skill for any home cook. Whether you prefer fluffy white rice, aromatic Basmati, or nutty brown rice, this blog post will walk you through the steps to achieve rice perfection using a basic pan on your stovetop. Say goodbye to clumpy, overcooked rice and hello to a delightful side dish that complements a variety of meals.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Rice (white, brown, Basmati, Jasmine, etc.)
  • Water or broth (the ratio varies based on the type of rice)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)
  • A saucepan with a lid
  • A fork or rice paddle

Choose Your Rice

The first step in making great rice in a pan is selecting the rice you want to prepare. Different types of rice may require slight variations in cooking time and liquid ratio. Here are some common rice varieties:

  • White Rice: The most common type, known for its neutral flavor and versatility.
  • Brown Rice: A whole-grain option with a nuttier flavor and slightly longer cooking time.
  • Basmati Rice: Long-grain and fragrant, perfect for Indian and Middle Eastern dishes.
  • Jasmine Rice: Fragrant and slightly sticky, popular in Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Measure Your Ingredients

For perfectly cooked rice, it’s essential to measure your ingredients accurately. The general guideline for most types of rice is a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. This means for every one cup of rice, you’ll need two cups of water. However, this ratio may vary slightly depending on the type of rice you’re using and your personal preferences.

Rinse the Rice (Optional)

Rinsing your rice is an optional step but can help remove excess starch and improve the texture of the cooked rice. Place rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain thoroughly before proceeding.

Add Rice and Liquid to the Pan

Now, it’s time to add the rinsed rice to your saucepan. Use the appropriate measuring cup for rice and level it off for precise measurements. Then, add the measured liquid (water or broth) to the pan. If desired, add a pinch of salt for seasoning.

Customize for Different Rice Types

Different types of rice may require adjustments in cooking time and liquid ratio:

  • White Rice: Use the 1:2 rice-to-water ratio. For example, 1 cup of white rice requires 2 cups of water.
  • Brown Rice: Use a 1:1.5 to 1:2 ratio, depending on your desired texture. For 1 cup of brown rice, use 1.5 to 2 cups of water.
  • Basmati Rice: Use a 1:1.5 ratio. For 1 cup of Basmati rice, use 1.5 cups of water.
  • Jasmine Rice: Use a 1:1.25 ratio. For 1 cup of jasmine rice, use 1.25 cups of water.

Bring to a Boil

Place the saucepan with the rice and liquid on your stovetop over medium-high heat. Allow it to come to a gentle boil while uncovered.

Reduce to a Simmer and Cover

Once the liquid reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. This will trap steam and allow the rice to cook evenly.


Now, let the rice simmer and steam according to the type of rice you’re using:

  • White Rice: Simmer for 15-18 minutes, then remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes.
  • Brown Rice: Simmer for 40-45 minutes, then remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes.
  • Basmati Rice: Simmer for 15-20 minutes, then remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes.
  • Jasmine Rice: Simmer for 12-15 minutes, then remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes.

Fluff and Serve

Once the rice has finished cooking and resting, carefully remove the lid. Use a fork or rice paddle to fluff the rice gently, separating the grains. This step helps prevent clumping and ensures a light and fluffy texture.

Enjoy Perfectly Cooked Rice

Your rice is now ready to be served! Whether you’re enjoying it as a side dish, the base for a stir-fry, or as an accompaniment to your favorite curry, you can savor the satisfaction of homemade rice cooked to perfection in a pan on your stovetop.


Cooking rice in a pan on your stovetop is a straightforward and reliable method that yields delicious results. You can consistently achieve the perfect texture and flavor by understanding the right ratios and cooking times for different rice types. Say goodbye to the hassle of sticky or mushy rice and hello to a versatile and satisfying side dish that pairs beautifully with a wide range of meals. With this skill in your culinary arsenal, you’re well-equipped to elevate your cooking and enjoy rice dishes tailored to your tastes.

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