Most of my friends told me that to prevent the rice from sticking at the bottom of the rice cooker pot (as shown in the picture below) and to prevent the rice from becoming very hard at the bottom of the rice cooker port, I have to do the following:

  1. Decrease the cooking time
  2. Adding more water and
  3. Using high quality and expensive rice (e.g. Paw San Fragrance rice)

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Currently, for each cup of rice that I added, I add two cup of water. The current cooking time is about 1 hour for two cup of rice and the rice use is the normal plain rice.

Would appreciate if anyone can confirm that I should decrease my cooking time to 30 minutes and add 4 cup of water for each cup of rice and the use of high quality and expensive rice?

  • 2
    Soaking and rinsing rice is often the key part most people miss. BTW a rice cooker is a pointless gadget, just use a pot on the stove
    – TFD
    Dec 2, 2011 at 5:46
  • @TFD, Actually, I rinse my rice depending on how many cup of rice that I put into the pot - basically, 2 rinse per cup of rice. So, if I put 3 cup of rice, I will rinse it 6 times. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:53
  • @TFD, I think it is the soaking step that I miss. Next time, I will soak the rice depending on the number of cup of rice that I put into the pot - basically, soak for 20 minutes for each cup of rice. So, if I put 3 cup of rice, I will soak them for 1 hour. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:59
  • 1
    @AndersonKaru No, there is no need to soak 3 cups of rice for one hour. I don't think that makes sense. Soaking time is 20 minutes. Rice quantity shouldn't matter since if you increase the rice quantity, the water quantity will also be increased. IMO 20 minutes is enough. Dec 2, 2011 at 9:32
  • 1
    For plain white rice, I never soak my rice. It also usually never takes more than 20-30 minutes. I rinse until the water isn't murky and then add enough water that it'll all get absorbed no more. I've never had a rice cooker that didn't provide markings on the inside. I add 2 cups of water, add up to the 2 cup line. Rice cooker done in 20 minutes. shrug
    – talon8
    Dec 2, 2011 at 16:41

3 Answers 3


This is what I do for cooking ONE cup rice:

  1. Soak one cup rice in one and a half cup water for 20 minutes. This should be done after rinsing the rice properly since, the water used for soaking is NOT to be thrown away.
  2. After 20 minutes put the vessel with the existing water on the gas stove (with a loose lid on) on a high heat.
    When the water reaches the boiling point (indicator: water starts to pour out of the top of the vessel), reduce the gas to a minimum.
  3. After 4-5 minutes check whether the rice is done by taking the lid off sightly. Keep it on the minimum gas till the water bubbles on the top of the rice vanish completely.
  4. Switch off the gas.
  5. Let the rice vessel (with the lid on) be on that switched off gas for 15 minutes. The inherent heat of the gas helps in setting the rice properly and reduces the chances of the rice getting stuck at the bottom.

Also, using a thick bottomed vessel for cooking rice is a must. In a thin bottomed vessel, the food is more likely to get burnt if less water is used.

  • Thanks Anisha. I believe that the method you use when there is no rice cooker devices is around or no electrical outlet was available. I am also quite enlighten that I can also cook rice on a gas stove. I have to upvote this interesting method. I will mark your answer as correct if there are no better answer to make the rice soft and non-stick. Thanks. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:10
  • @AndersonKaru Actually, I had the rice cooker too previously, perhaps since it was a different model, there was no facility in it to control timing and temperature, and the resultant rice always used to be somewhat hard and sticky, and it took quite an amount of time too. I hated it. :) Dec 2, 2011 at 5:48
  • Wow, now I am amaze that you actually come out with a solution by not using a rice cooker. That's good cause I am going to use this method. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:50
  • @AndersonKaru If you do, then make sure you use a heavy/thick bottomed vessel, and also it is very important to simmer the gas to the minimum once it reached the boiling point (otherwise the water will evaporate and rice will remain uncooked). It will be done within minutes, so if you don't pay much attention, the rice will get burnt. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:54
  • OK. I will pay all my attention to prevent the rice from getting burnt, hard and gummy. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:57

I'm sure Anisha's method works quite well for cooking rice in a pot. However, your question was specifically in regard to a rice cooker. So:

The answer to your problem (hard, gummy rice at the bottom of the pot) can be simple and inexpensive:

  1. Use the rice cooker's standard time for white rice
  2. You don't need fancy rice, but don't use cheapest-you-can-find either.
  3. Rinse and drain the rice twice.
  4. Then add an equal amount of water as the amount of rice in the cooker (i.e. 1 cup for 1 cup)

Reasons for the above:

  1. I've never seen a rice cooker whose standard time for white rice was an hour. Are you sure you're using it right? It should be more like 20-30 minutes.
  2. Really cheap rice tends to have a lot of broken and abraded grains which release their starch and turn to a gummy mush on the bottom of the pot.
  3. In the bag, rice will have a lot of "dust" from processing. This is actually loose starch; if you don't rinse it off, it makes the rice at least sticky and at worst gummy.
  4. Rice cookers require very little water for their rice since it's all absorbed. The amount of water you are using is too much even for rice cooked in an open pot.
  • Hi FuzzyChef, thanks for the many useful tips. To answer your question on my rice cooker - yes, I did use right - the rice cooker had only one button - cook and when it cook, it will cook for 1 hour. I think it is time to change a new rice cooker. I like the word hard & gummy that you use to describe my current state of rice. Dec 2, 2011 at 5:17

For me, the whole point of a rice cooker is that it's easy and forgiving to use. It probably helps that we have rice almost every day, so we get lots of practice.

As others have mentioned, you have to rince your rice - for white rice I rinse it at least twice, more if I don't think the water is clear enough. Additional rinsing does make the rice less sticky, but it takes longer.

For adding water, I'm a bit less accurate than the other people who've answered. We rarely make "a cup of rice," we just pour in as thick a layer in the cooker as we think we'll need. If we want leftover to fry the next day or if we have a dish with a lot of sauce, we'll do more. "A small amount" is a layer about a cm deep in the cooker, a "larger amount" is a bit more than 2 cm, and "a lot" is probably 4 or 5 cm deep. After rinsing and draining most of the rinse water, fill the cooker until the water is a bit less than twice as deep as the rice. i.e. if you put in a cm of rice, the water should be a 2cm deep. Once you get to about an inch of rice, the water can be a bit less, so not quite 2 inches.

For brown rice, I put in about an extra cm of water.

If it were me, and my rice cooker didn't just work, I'd assume it was busted and get a new one. We have one that just has a single button that you push down to start the cooking cycle, and it takes about 1/2 hour to cook an inch of white rice. We also have a newer cooker than has both a Normal and a Fast setting, the Fast setting would take about 20 minutes to do the same amount.

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