When making rice, what is the proper ratio of water that I should use?

  • Do you want it congee style? Do you like yours fluffy? Jul 9, 2010 at 20:31
  • Definitely not congee; let's go with fluffy.
    – Donut
    Jul 9, 2010 at 20:33

9 Answers 9


Depends on the rice, of course - here are the most common types:

  • White rice: 2:1
  • Brown rice: 1.5:1
  • Jasmine rice: 1.1:1
  • Wild rice: 4:1, but immediately wash with cold water and drain when done.
  • 4
    You missed off Basmatti, which is also 1.5 to 1
    – Pulse
    Jul 10, 2010 at 17:11
  • 1
    Rice is so funny... I have been cooking what I consider the best rice in the world for many, many years, and my ratios are not the same as these: short white 1:1, brown Basmatti 2:1, regular long grain brown, 1.75:1. White rice is usually closer to 1.5:1, depending on how fresh it is. Jul 15, 2010 at 23:00
  • 3
    @nic: Obviously hobodave's answer is relevant as well; factors like the cooking method (rice cooker, boiling water, water heated from cold), water hardness, and how sticky you actually want it, affect the ratio you'll use. I've listed the "commonly accepted" ratios.
    – Aaronut
    Jul 15, 2010 at 23:27
  • 8
    What are those measurements by? Weight or volume?
    – Nick T
    Jan 24, 2011 at 20:21
  • @Nick: In practice it doesn't make a whole lot of difference - rice is pretty tolerant - but good question anyway, these ratios are by volume.
    – Aaronut
    Jan 24, 2011 at 20:35

There isn't really a simple answer to this question due to the many variables of personal preference, rice type, water hardness, etc.

I suggest buying a proper rice cooker: Zojirushi NP-HBC10 5-1/2-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer with Induction Heating System, Stainless Steel. (I love mine!)

The rice cooker has precise instructions and measurements for each type of rice, even the more obscure types.

  • 1
    Absolutely dependent upon the cooking method, type of rice, desired use, etc.
    – Kilhoffer
    Jul 21, 2010 at 13:50

You're better off going with 1" above the rice as a guide, if you're boiling long grain white rice, rather than a ratio of liquid to rice. (except minute rice -- my neighbor once asked me your same question, and I later found out she was cooking minute rice ... oops)

If you're going for paella, where it's a really wide dish, then I go with about 2:1, but some of that liquid might come from tomatoes.

If I'm cooking risotto, I tend to heat up twice the amount of stock as rice, but I might not use it all -- and if I think I might run out, after adding a ladle of stock to the rice, I'll add some water to heat up so it'll get a chance to warm up. (and it helps to have some extra liquid left over to deal with reheating leftovers)

And mentioning leftovers -- unlike @Dinah, I never cook less than 2c. of rice at a time -- leftovers come in handy for rice salad or nasi goreng (Indonedian-style fried rice), or to package up with whatever the main dish was for lunches the next day.


We typically eat jasmine rice. For 2 people we use 1/2 c rice to 3/4 c water. After boiling and letting the boiling settle, cook for 7 min.

  • 2
    You share 1/2 c of rice between two people? That's like a light snack!
    – Aaronut
    Jul 9, 2010 at 21:14
  • 4
    @Aaronaught: Look at Dinah's picture!
    – Vinko Vrsalovic
    Jul 9, 2010 at 23:52
  • 1
    @Vinko Vrsalovic: ha! @Aaronut: but that is 1/2 c dry not end product. We find that's enough for us. Admittedly, we have meat and veggie heavy meals with only small amounts of starch (unless we're eating pasta) -- not for any dietary reason; we just tend to like it that way.
    – Dinah
    Jul 10, 2010 at 19:01

Totally depends on the rice - I usually read the back of the bag or whatever.

  • This actually is useful. I know too many people who "can't cook rice".... Because they try just following a generic method instead of reading the package instructions. Apparently people don't always know they're there.
    – kitukwfyer
    Jan 23, 2021 at 18:04

For simplicities sake, I go for a ratio of 2:1. If there's still water in the rice after it's cooked, just keep it on the heat with the lid off for a while.

Also - If you're going to cook rice this way, it's important that you don't stir it whilst cooking.


I use a 1:1.5 ratio for boiling white rice, 1:2 for brown rice. The ratio depends on how processed the rice is and on cooking method used rather than rice type. My method is to add rice and water (salt) to pot, keep a lid on at all times, bring to a boil, leave on low heat and turn off heat 5-10 min before done. Aways successful that way, no stirring or draining needed. White rice done in 20min. Brown rice a bit more tricky but cooking on low heat for 40 min. should do the trick. Not using a lid would let more water evaporate, thus more water needed. You can fluff it up with a fork afterwards.


It also depends how you want to cook the rice. Steaming, boiling, in the oven, pilau...


A Serving Size of Long Grain White Rice

  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 1/3 cup water = 3/3 cup cooked dry rice; sticky in first hour
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 2/3 cup water = 3/3 cup cooked wet rice, cannot hold up chock sticks; sticky in second hour; dry rice in third hour
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 3/3 cup water = 3/3 cup dry rice paste
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 4/3 cup water = 4/3 cup wet rice paste
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 5/3 cup water = 5/3 cup extra dry porridge, can hold up chock sticks vertically
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 6/3 cup water = 6/3 cup dry porridge, can hold up chock sticks 60 degrees
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 7/3 cup water = 7/3 cup wet porridge
  • 1/3 cup raw rice + 8/3 cup water = 8/3 cup rice gruel, you can drink it

Porridge and Gruel moves one step towards Extra Dry Porridge every hour. Not sure the steps to become a Dry Paste skipping Wet Paste, but several hours.

Proportionally change for the different types. The fat in Brown Rice does not need water, so it takes slightly less water. If not using a rice cooker or pressure cooker, use more water for cooked rice.

Wash Rice to reduce Starch Gelatinization. Starch Gelatinization is what makes it become Paste, still edible but commonly used as Rice Glue by diluting it.

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