How To Steam Rice In A Pot?

Rice is a staple ingredient in numerous cuisines around the globe, serving as a versatile side dish or the base for a variety of recipes. Even though there are numerous ways to cook rice, including rice cookers and microwaves, the traditional stovetop kettle remains a popular and accessible option. 

Steaming rice in a pot may seem straightforward, but attaining that perfect, fluffy texture can sometimes be elusive. 

In this article, we will walk you through the steps of steaming rice in a pot, offering advice on rice-to-water ratios, cooking times, and techniques to ensure that you always achieve ideal results.

How To Steam Rice In A Pot?

Steaming rice in a pot is a basic cooking skill that’s incredibly useful for various cuisines. Here’s a simple guide on how to steam rice using a stovetop pot.

Time Required

  • Soaking Time (optional): 20-30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 23-25 minutes (excluding optional soaking)


  • 1 cup rice (white, jasmine, basmati, or your choice)
  • 1 3/4 cups water (for white rice) or 2 cups water (for brown rice)
  • A pinch of salt (optional)


  • Rinse the Rice: Place it in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse it under cold water until it runs clean. This eliminates surplus starch and prevents sticking.
  • Soak (Optional): For some types of rice, particularly basmati, you can soak the rice in water for 20-30 minutes to reduce cooking time and make the grains more elongated. If you choose to marinate, be sure to drain the liquid thoroughly.
  • Combine Ingredients: In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, combine the rinsed (and optionally soaked) rice, water, and a sprinkle of salt, if desired.
  • Bring to a Boil: Place the pot on the stove at medium-high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil.
  • Reduce Heat and Cover: Once the liquid has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover the vessel with its lid.
  • Simmer: Allow the white rice to simmer for 18 minutes and the brown rice for 40-45 minutes. Do not agitate the rice or remove the lid during this time.
  • Check for Doneness: After the allotted simmering time has passed, rapidly remove the lid and determine if the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed. If not, cook for an additional two to three minutes.
  • Remove from Heat: Once the rice is done, remove the pot from the stove but keep it covered.
  • Let it Sit: Allow the rice to sit, covered, for another 5 minutes to continue steaming. This will help firm up the grains.
  • Fluff and Serve: Use a fork to gently fluff the rice, separating any grains that may have stuck together. Your rice is now ready to serve.


  • The ratio of water to rice can vary based on the variety of rice and whether or not it has been soaked. Modify as necessary.
  • Ensure that the covering fits tightly to retain the steam, which is essential for cooking rice.
  • Stirring the rice while it is simmering can cause it to become gummy. Refrain from lifting the lid or stirring the food.
  • This recipe can be scaled up or down with ease. Simply maintain the rice-to-water ratio.
  • Add a bay leaf, a small knob of butter, or a dash of chicken or vegetable stock for additional flavor.
  • Don’t omit the final resting time; it helps the rice grains separate and harden.
  • Some varieties of rice, such as Arborio or sticky rice, benefit from not being rinsed. Before rinsing, it is important to identify the rice variety.

Is It Better To Steam Or Boil Rice?

Both steaming and boiling are efficient methods for preparing rice, but each offers unique benefits. Rice that has been steamed yields grains that are firmer, fluffier, and less likely to become soft, making it ideal for dishes where distinct grains are desired. 

Boiling rice is typically faster and requires less supervision, but the grains can become softer and stickier. The “best” method depends on the variety of rice used and the texture desired for a particular dish.

Bottom Line

Simple yet deft, steaming rice in a pot requires attention to detail, from measuring the right quantity of water to timing the cooking process precisely. By adhering to the guidelines and suggestions indicated in this article, you will be able to cook perfectly steamed rice on the stovetop. 

Whether you’re preparing long-grain, short-grain, or any other type of rice, mastering the fundamentals of stovetop rice preparation will enable you to produce consistently delicious rice that compliments any dish.

Read More: How To Make An Old Fashioned With Simple Syrup?

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