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How To Fix Undercooked Rice

by Gina Elizabeth
How to fix undercooked white rice

Having an undercooked rice emergency? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know to fix & prevent undercooked rice.


How To Fix Undercooked Rice

To fix undercooked rice simply steam it for 10-15 minutes with the lid on. If the rice is too soggy, uncover the pot and let some of the water evaporate. If the bottom of your rice pot is scorched, place your undercooked rice in a microwave safe container, cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for two minutes. Or continue cooking it on the stove by adding a little more water and cooking the undercooked rice covered over a very low heat. You can even cook your rice in a low oven on a baking sheet. Just spread the rice evenly on the baking sheet.

Why is my rice undercooked?

Not adding enough water can lead to dry, undercooked rice. The rice may also have been cooked on too high of a temperature or cooked uncovered. This can lead to the water evaporating too quickly. Check your recipe and ensure you are using a 2:1 water ratio when cooking white rice.

To avoid undercooking your rice, be sure to use a good rice recipe and follow it exactly. Rice can be very finnicky.

Is it bad to eat slightly undercooked rice?

Consuming undercooked rice can cause food poisoning due to harmful bacteria spores.

How To Fix Mushy Rice

Salvage mushy rice by making it into a rice pudding. Rice with a soft, gluey consistency cannot be dried out. But you can turn it into a delicious dessert, just: Pour in milk, vanilla extract, and sugar.

How To Fix Gummy Rice

Place rice in a sieve and let water run over the rice as you shake it. Keep rinsing until the water runs clear. Then re-heat over a very low heat, folding the rice gently to avoid scorching.

How To Fix Soggy Rice

Take the cover off of the rice to let the excess liquid evaporate. Set the heat to low and cook the rice for 5 minutes. If your rice turns out overcooked, simply repurpose it to avoid waste. You can turn it into rice cracker, fried rice, veggie burgers or rice pudding.

How To Cook Perfect Rice

Here’s how to make fluffy rice on the stove every single time.

1. Rinse Your Rice

Always rinse your raw rice under cold running water to remove surface starch before cooking. Simply rinse and drain in your pot, until the water runs clear. Or use a fine-mesh strainer.

Why did my rice come out sticky?

When unrinsed rice is boiled, the starch blooms and the rice grains will get sticky and clump up.

2. Use Enough Water 

If you don’t add enough water, the rice will be undercooked and likely burn on the bottom. If you add too much water, the rice will be mushy.

How much water for rice?

A general rule of thumb is a 2:1 ratio, that means 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of white rice. The water to rice ratio in a rice cooker is 1:1. Brown rice takes longer to cook, you’ll need a 3:1 water to brown rice ratio.

How much water for 2 cups of rice?

The water to white rice ratio is 2:1, so 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. You can double the recipe to 4 cups of water to 2 cups of rice. Make sure to use a larger pot, the rice expands as it cooks.

Tip #1: Salt the water during cooking, or else you’ll have bland rice.

Tip #2: Double-check your rice packaging to ensure using the correct amount of water.

3. Boil The Rice In Water

Do not place raw rice grain into boiling water. It’s important to place raw rice grain in cold water rather than boiling water. This gives the rice more of a chance to soften as it comes to a boil.

Combine rice, water, oil, and a large pinch of salt in your post, then allow everything to come to a boil.

How do you keep rice from getting mushy?

To avoid your rice from getting mushy be sure that you do not cover your rice with a lid while as it comes to a boil. This will not allow enough evaporation and also cook the rice too quickly, which will cause mushy rice.

4. Don’t Stir The Rice

After your rice has come to a rolling boil (uncovered), allow it to dry out and start sizzling. Then cover with a lid and cook for another 15-20 minutes over a very low heat.

Stirring your rice before it is fully cooked activates starch and will make your rice gloppy. Stirring can also cause your rice to cook unevenly.

Why is my rice always undercooked?

Your rice may turn out undercooked if you place it into boiling water, as this doesn’t give it a chance to soften. Always cover your rice after the water has completely reduced, and continue to cook over a very low heat for 15-20 minutes. Never stir your rice after the water has reduced, this can also lead to undercooked rice. Use a water to rice ratio of 2:1.

Why is my rice mushy?

If you cover your rice while it’s boiling, or use too much water, the rice grains can become mushy.

5. Fluff Rice

Let the rice rest covered for 5 minutes after it’s done cooking. Then fluff it with a fork to make sure that the grains don’t stick together when served.

Did you know?

The secret to perfect rice is using and following the best recipe.

Best White Rice Recipe

Rice is the quintessential superstar of dinner everywhere. When you need a filling and inexpensive staple, there’s nothing better than rice.

Want to know the secret to perfect rice? Here’s everything you need to know for how to cook rice.


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white long grain rice
  • 1 tsp oil (or butter)
  • pinch of salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, water, oil, and a large pinch of salt. Cook over a high heat, bringing water to a boil.
  2. When the water is absorbed, place a lid on the pot and simmer over a very low heat, 18 minutes, or until rice is tender. 
  3. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve. 

Did you know?

White rice lasts at least 4-5 years, or even longer if vacuum sealed.

Rice Q&A

Do you cover rice when boiling?

To prevent soggy rice, do not put a lid on the pot while the rice is cooking in boiling water. However, after the water has reduced (evaporated) and the rice starts to sizzle, and you lower the heat and add the lid. Do not stir the rice after it has started sizzling to prevent uneven cooking.

How do I know when boiled rice is done?

Check the rice is cooked testing a grain. Continue cooking over a low heat if still undercooked. Remove from the heat if ready. Remove rice from the pot if it starts to smell burned.

Is white rice bad for you?

White rice lacks many vitamins and minerals that are present in brown rice. But it contains about 80% less arsenic than brown rice. And also contains more phytate than white rice. Phytate is present in staple foods like rice, cereals, and corn, can inhibit the micronutrient absorption of zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium in the digestive system.

Here is how to cook rice to remove the most arsenic:

  1. Soak your rice overnight – this opens up the grain and allows the arsenic to escape.
  2. Drain the rice and rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  3. For every part rice add 5 parts water and cook until the rice is tender – do not allow it to boil dry.
  4. Drain the rice and rinse again with hot water to get rid of the last of the cooking water.

How to cook brown rice on a stovetop?


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Combine the rinsed rice, water, and olive oil in a pot and bring to a boil
  • Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer (covered) for 45 minutes
  • Remove from the heat and let it sit for 10 more minutes
  • Fluff with a fork and serve

How to cook white rice in a rice cooker?


  • 1 cup short-, medium-, or long-grain white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional


  1. Rinse rice thoroughly under cool water.
  2. Combine the rice and water in the rice cooker. Stir in the salt. If you skipped the step of rinsing the rice, add a few extra tablespoons of water.
  3. Turn on the rice cooker and, if needed, select the correct cooking option according to your rice cooker (check the manual). The rice cooker will cook the rice automatically and turn off when done. Check your manual for estimated cooking times.
  4. Let the rice rest in the slow cooker for 10 to 15 minutes: Once the rice is cooked and the rice cooker shuts off, let the rice rest for another 10 to 15 minutes. Keep the lid on while the rice sits. This helps prevent the rice from being overly sticky or getting mushy.
  5. Fluff the rice and serve.

Follow this same method for other kinds of rice, but check against your manual for specific water-to-rice ratios and cooking times.

How to cook brown rice in a rice cooker?

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Rinse and drain 2 cups of brown rice
  2. Put it in the rice cooker. Instead of filling the cooker with water to the “2 cup” mark, fill it to the “3 cup” mark in your rice cooker. That usually means 3 cups of water for the 2 cups of brown rice.
  3. Add a ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  4. Turn cooker on

How much water for rice cooker?

The water to white rice ratio is 1:1, so 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice. You can double the recipe to 2 cups of water to 2 cups of rice. Or even triple, quadruple the recipe. The rice expands as it cooks so do not fill your particular rice cooker more than recommended by the manufacturer.

How much water do you put in a rice cooker finger measurement?

Level it out and place your index finger so that it is touching the surface of the rice. Add enough water so that it comes up to your first knuckle — I usually use the crease on the palm-side of my finger.

Do you put rice or water first in rice cooker?

First, place one cup of rice into your rice cooker pot. Then rinse your rice under running water to wash away excess starch. Drain the rinsing water. Add one cup of water to cook, and stir to combine. Cook your rice, and then let the rice rest, with the lid, on for about 10 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving. Do not stir the rice while it is cooking.

How to cook white rice in an Instant Pot pressure cooker?


  • 1 cup (230g) long grain white rice
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold water
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon salt


  • Rinse rice under cold water by gently scrubbing the rice with your fingertips in a circling motion. Drain well.
  • Add 1 cup (230g) rice and 1 cup (250ml) cold water in Instant Pot. Close the lid, turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 3 minutes, then Natural Release for 10 minutes. Turn Venting Knob to Venting position to release the remaining pressure. Open the lid quickly.
  • Add optional salt to the rice for seasoning.
  • Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

How to cook brown rice in an Instant Pot?


  • 2 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water


  • Add uncooked brown rice to the Instant Pot or other pressure cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Seal the lid of the Instant Pot and select 15 minutes on high pressure. 
  • Allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally. Remove the lid to the Instant Pot and fluff the brown rice with a fork, and serve.

How to cook white rice in a microwave?


  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 2-1/4 cups water


  1. Scoop the rice into the microwave-safe container or pot. Fill the pot with water and swish the water and rice with your hands. Pour out the water.
  2. Add 2 1/4 cups water. Cover with lid. 
  3. Microwave on high for 5 minutes at full power. Microwave 15 minutes at 50% power. Let rest covered (no peeking!) for 5 minutes before fluffing. Give the rice a quick taste. Cover and cook for an additional 1 minute on high if needed.

How to cook brown rice in microwave?


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3 cups water


  1. Rinse rice and drain
  2. Add rice and water large microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave uncovered at 100% power for 10 minutes. Reduce power to 50%, cover the bowl, and microwave another 20 minutes.
  4. Fluff with fork and serve.

How is rice served?

Rice is most commonly served as a side dish in the United States and other countries. But it can also be combined with other ingredients to make a main dish.

How do I fix soggy rice?

To fix soggy rice, cook the rice over a low heat for 5 minutes to allow evaporation of extra water. Strain the rice with a colander. Spread the rice out evenly onto a cookie sheet or baking pan. Then bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 °F (177 °C).

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