How much water to add to the rice cooker?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “how much water to add to the rice cooker?”, discuss how to deal with too much water in the rice, and how to deal with mushy rice.

How much water to add to the rice cooker?

To add water to the rice cooker, you should follow the general rule of thumb which states that; the accepted ratio of adding water to the rice cooker is 1 cup of water per 1 cup of dry rice. So, for 3 cups of dry rice, you need to add 3 cups of water if your rice cooker can hold that much quantity.

The rice-to-water ratio is a bit tricky, though, because some rice cookers cook more quickly than others. In case you bought a new rice cooker, you need to follow the instructions for the rice-to-water ratio as stated by the manufacturer. If by following those instructions, your rice cooker burns the rice from the bottom of the pan, or if, on the other hand, the water does not evaporate completely, then you can customize the rice-to-water ratio according to your requirement.

The most important thing that you need to keep in mind is that the rice-to-water ratio will also vary with the type of rice that you are going to cook like if you are going to cook brown rice, you need to add a ¼-½ cup of more water per cup of rice than you will use for white rice. 

Brown rice

Brown rice is preferred by most health-conscious people because of its particular characteristics of whole grain, high fiber, and less processed. Brown rice needs more water to cook. For long-grain brown rice, you will require 2 ¼ cups of water per cup of rice. The cooking tome of brown rice is a bit longer than that of white rice. They take 40-50 minutes to cook.

White rice

White rice generally requires less water than brown rice for cooking and is prepared in less time as compared to the time taken by the brown rice to be cooked. The requirement of water varies with the variable length of the gran but ideally, we can use 1 ½ to 2 cups of water per cup of rice. Short grain rice requires less water as compared to long-grain rice. To have a quick review of the grain size and the requirement of water, you can go through the following table:

              Size of rice grainWater requirement per cup of rice
Long-grain white rice1 ¾ cups of water
Medium-grain white rice1 ½ cups of water
Short-grain white rice1 ¼ cups of water

Jasmine rice/ Basmati rice

Indian style rice recipes using Jasmine rice or Basmati rice require drier rice, and hence the amount of water required per cup f rice is lesser. To cook jasmine rice or basmati rice according to Indian style recipes you may need 1 ½  cups of water per cup of dry rice.

Other FAQs about Rice which you may be interested in.

How to fix undercooked rice in rice cooker?

How to make puffed rice in the microwave?

How to tell if brown rice is bad?

How to deal with too much water in the rice?

While using a new rice cooker or dealing with a new variety of rice, you may end up adding more water to the rice. But there is no need to get panic as it is very easy to deal with too much water in rice, rather than throwing rice simply out of the window.

Dry it out

If you suspect that there is more water in the cooked rice, you can drain the excess water and let the uncovered rice cook on low heat until all the excessive amount of water evaporates. When the water is evaporated, remove the rice from heat and it will be better if you take them out in a bowl to ensure proper aeration, letting the steam and moisture escape and preventing the rice from overcooking due to the residual heat of the rice cooker.

Dry it in the oven

If you have opened the rice cooker but there is a lot of water in the cooked rice, the oven can help you deal with the situation in a better way. All you need to do is to spread the layer of rice as thinly and evenly as possible on the sheet pan and let the rice get dry on the lowest heat of the oven.

How to deal with mushy rice?

If the rice has absorbed too much water that the grains of rice have split and the starches have given the rice a soft and gluey consistency, and the rice has gone mushy. You can fix it by adding even more water, pour some milk, a dash of vanilla, and a spoonful of sugar. And YES! Rice pudding is ready.


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How much water to add to the rice cooker?”, discussed how to deal with too much water in the rice, and how to deal with mushy rice.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.