Here's How Much Water You Really Need To Cook Perfect Rice

Rice is something of a wonder food. It's warm, fluffy, and comforting when cooked just right, for one. And it can serve as a side, the backdrop to a main dish, or even as a key ingredient in other dishes like arancini or tahdig. But for the folks who are not fortunate enough to own a rice cooker, cooking the perfect pot of rice can actually be kind of tricky. Part of that complexity comes right at the beginning of the process, when a home cook must decide just how much water they're supposed to use.

Though different brands and varieties of rice might suggest different amounts of water, there's actually a simple formula you can use to ensure you have the right ratio to make perfect rice every single time. However, it does depend on what texture of rice you want. According to the Food Network, you should use twice the amount of water as rice to produce soft, fluffy grains. Reduce the ratio to one part water to two-thirds rice for a firmer, more "al dente" kind of texture.

This is another key component of making perfect rice

But before you even begin boiling your rice and water in the same pot, there's one step you should always take before cooking the rice. That's rinsing the grains, according to Bon Appétit. Rinsing rice allows the starchy powder you may see on the grains to be washed away. This actually has a rather significant impact on how your rice will cook. The starch often causes individual grains to stick to one another, which can result in pockets of rice that have cooked together in a bonded clump.

So make sure you always wash your rice before cooking it. You can do that by using a mesh strainer or by rinsing the grains in the pot and carefully pouring the water away. By following these two primary tips, you should have an excellent pot of rice every time you want one.