How To Make Perfect Basic White Rice

White rice is a simple staple that every cook should know how to prepare well. After all, it takes little more skill than being able to boil a pot of water… But even so, you might have found your previous attempts result in mushy grains or a burnt bottom layer and finally, a vow from you to rely on the rice cooker forever more. But never fear. We’re here to show you how to get the perfect pot of stovetop white rice, every time. It’s just a matter of following a few simple steps.

First, rinse your rice. This removes the outer layer of starch (as well as any lingering debris) and prevents your rice from becoming gummy or clumping together. Just place the grains in a colander and rinse them thoroughly under cold water.

The second step is simply to bring your water to a boil. It’s helpful to remember that for long grain white rice, the ratio is one cup of rice to two cups of water. (This makes three cups of cooked rice.) Once the water boils, you stir in some salt, the rice, and if you’d like, a half teaspoon of white vinegar. White vinegar is a totally optional addition, but it does help prevent the grains from sticking together and you won’t be able to taste it in the finished product at all.

From there, you cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. You can tell if your temperature is correct by how much steam is coming out of the lid. You should expect to see a little, but if there’s a ton escaping, your heat is too high.

Simmer for twenty minutes and DO NOT lift the lid. Just trust it and resist that urge. Once that twenty minutes is up, the water will have evaporated, but don’t uncover it yet. Remove it from the heat and let it sit for five minutes. This allows the moisture to redistribute so that the bottom layer of rice is just as fluffy as the top.

The final step is to fluff the rice with a fork before serving. This helps you separate any tender grains without crushing them and allows any additional moisture to evaporate as you fluff.

There you have it; light and fluffy rice every single time!

Perfect White Rice

25 minutes to prepare serves 4


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar (optional)


  1. Rinse the rice in a colander under cold water until the water runs clear. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add salt, vinegar, and rice and stir.
  3. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Some steam will be leaking from the lid, but if you're seeing a lot of steam, your heat is too high.
  4. Let simmer for 20 minutes and do not lift the lid to check on it!
  5. Remove from heat and let rice rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Enjoy!