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How Much Water Do You Need To Cook 2 Cups Of Rice? (Recipe)

How Much Water Do You Need To Cook 2 Cups Of Rice? (Recipe)

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You don’t have to live in Asia to  see rice around almost every culinary corner. This popular food has become a kitchen staple in most world cuisines. 

From fried rice and popular risotto to rice salads and sushi, you can incorporate it into almost any popular and delicious dish you can think of. 

However, cooking rice has some important rules that you need to follow if you don’t want to end up with firm rice on one hand, or mushy ones on the other. 

So, the question of the amount of water per 2 cups of raw rice immediately arises. 

However, I can not answer this question in one sentence because there are certain factors that also come into play.  All of them will be discussed in this article. 

The Right Amount of Water For 2 Cups of Rice

one glass of rice and water

Water is perhaps the most important ingredient when it comes to making rice because it is what makes it soft and sometimes creamy. 

However, if you use it too little, your rice will end up too firm. On the other hand, if you add too much, it will become mushy. 

For the perfect rice, you should use a 1:2 ratio in favor of water, i.e., for 2 cups of rice, you’ll be needing 4 cups of water. 

However, I have to emphasize that this is just a rough estimate based on the most used types of rice in the culinary world, as well as mostly used cooking methods and preferred results. 

There are many factors that influence this exact ratio. 

Factors To Consider

The most important one by far is definitely the type of rice itself. So, let’s take a look. 

1. Rice Variety: Different rice varieties have varying levels of starch content and absorb water differently during cooking. 

For example, long-grain rice tends to be less starchy and requires less water, while short-grain rice is starchier and needs more water to achieve the desired texture.

Below, we will discuss the perfect ratio for every type of rice. 

2. Desired Texture: The specific texture you want can determine the amount of water. 

Conversely, if you prefer firmer, separate grains, a lower ratio of rice to water is your best bet, and vice versa.

3. Cooking Method: The cooking method you choose can influence the amount of water needed. 

For example, cooking rice on the stovetop may require slightly more water to compensate for evaporation, while using a rice cooker might require slightly less water due to the efficient steaming process.

4. Pot Type: The type of pot or cooking vessel used can impact the rice’s exposure to heat and steam. 

A pot with a tight-fitting lid retains more steam, allowing you to use slightly less water, while a pot with a loose-fitting lid may require more water to prevent excessive evaporation.

5. Freshness of Rice: The age of the rice can also affect its water absorption capacity. Fresher rice tends to absorb more water, while older rice may require slightly less.

6. Personal Preference: Ultimately, personal preference plays a significant role in determining the rice-to-water ratio.

On the other hand, if drier and fluffier rice is what you prefer, you will reduce the amount of water, and vice versa. 

Different Types Of Rice And The Amount Of Water

Long-Grain Rice in a bowl

All of these factors are quite important, but the most important one is definitely the type of rice you use in your recipe. 

Short-Grain Rice

As already explained earlier, short-grain rice tends to be less starchy, so it requires more water per 2 cups of rice in order to achieve the desired texture, i.e., about 4 cups.

On top of that, it is always great to add at least ½ teaspoon of salt to make it perfect. 

Some of the most popular types of short-grain rice that require this amount of water include sushi rice and sticky rice (most commonly used in Asian desserts). 

Heavily Processed Rice

As with short-grain rice, heavily processed rice types also contain less starch due to the production process. 

As you can conclude, these types of rice also require more water, so the white rice that you usually use to make your favorite rice dish will also require around 4 cups of water for 2 cups of rice. 

Long-Grain Rice

These rice varieties have a lower starch content. 

Therefore, they all require less water. So, if you are dealing with one of these rice types, you should use only about 1 ½ cups of water per 1 cup of rice.

From this, it is easy to conclude that 3 cups of water will be enough for 2 cups of rice. 

Medium-Grain Rice

Medium-grain rice is somewhere in the middle, as you can conclude. So, anywhere between 1 ½ and 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice will do the job for medium-grain rice. 

Or if you are using 2 cups of medium-grain rice, it would be ideal to add about 3 ½ cups of water, so that you can achieve a deliciously fluffy rice. 

Some of the most popular types of rice that require this rule for proper cooking include calrose rice, arborio rice, Valencia rice, and carnaroli rice. 

Wild Rice

Wild rice is actually very similar to normal rice, but it is another type of grain. 

However, since some people prepare it similar to rice, and it bears the same name, I decided to cover it as well. 

Wild rice requires much more water than ordinary rice types. If you ever decide to cook this type of grain, you will need to use almost 3 cups of water per cup of rice, i.e. 6 cups of water for 2 cups of rice.

What Is The Cooking Time For 2 Cups Of Rice?

The cooking time is also a huge factor when it comes to the whole process of making a rice dish. All types of rice are most commonly boiled on the stovetop, so we will mainly discuss that cooking method. 

Below, I will reveal the boiling times for some of the most popular types of rice:

• Long-Grain White Rice: 15 to 20 minutes cooking time.

• Basmati Rice: usually takes about 10-12 minutes.

• Jasmine Rice: it takes a bit longer to cook, i.e., about 25 minutes, and it needs to rest for about 10 minutes for the desired texture. 

• Brown Rice: Typically requires 30 to 40 minutes due to its higher fiber content.

• Wild Rice: This takes around 45 to 60 minutes because it is not true rice but the seed of an aquatic grass.

What About Rice Cookers?

When it comes to cooking rice in this kitchen appliance, you shouldn’t worry too much about the cooking time because the process is mostly automated. 

However, if you really want to know, it usually takes around 30 minutes for the rice cooker to do the job. 

The right ratio between the rice and water is what is really important, and for most types, it is a ratio of 1 ¼ water to 1 cup of rice. 

This means that you will have to use around 2.5 cups of water for 2 cups of rice when using this kitchen appliance. This should get the job done. 

How To Cook 2 Cups Of Rice?

pouring water into a bowl with rice

How To Cook 2 Cups Of Rice?

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

I want to share with you the way I make my rice while using 2 cups of it. 


  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3.5 cups water


1. Rinse the rice in cold water. Use a medium saucepan and fill it with rice and water.

2. Then, bring the saucepan to a boil and once it starts to steam, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes without removing the lid.

3. After 10 minutes, the rice should be done, all the water should be absorbed, and you should let your rice rest for an extra 10 minutes. 

4. Now, remove the lid, season your rice, and fluff with a fork until no clumps remain in the grains.

Additional Tips To Consider

Rice is a truly versatile ingredient that can be used for making many types of dishes. You can use it alongside raw tuna and for delicious sushi, to make snow crab rolls, rice krispie treats, and many other dishes. 

It is therefore important to know some additional tips, besides the right ratio between water and rice, to make it perfect. 

• Rinse the Rice: Before cooking, rinse it under cold running water. This removes excess starch, which can make the rice sticky. Rinsing also helps to improve the texture and prevents the rice from clumping together.

• Salt the Water: Adding a pinch of salt to the water before boiling enhances the flavor of the rice. 

• Bring the Water to a Boil First: Start by bringing the water to a boil in a pot before adding the rinsed rice, as this ensures even cooking.

• Use the Right Pot: Choose a pot with a tight-fitting lid to trap steam and prevent it from escaping. This helps to cook the rice evenly and avoid excessive evaporation.

• Simmer and Don’t Lift the Lid: Once the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with the lid, and let the rice simmer. 

That’s all for today folks. I hope that you’ll enjoy your perfectly made rice with the right amount of water. Cheers!

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