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We Cooked Rice 3 Different Ways—And This Was the Easiest

Stovetop, Instant Pot, or microwave? After this test, we determined the best way to cook rice.
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Even though rice is one of the simplest things to cook, there are quite a few ways you can cook it. From boiling it on the stove to letting it sit in a rice cooker, you really can make rice any way that you like. But what is the best way to cook rice? Is it possible to determine the easiest method?

After doing a small test ourselves, we were able to determine the best way to cook rice at home. To be honest, the results weren't that shocking. Here's what we determined to be the best way to cook rice. And while you're cooking rice, be sure to avoid these 20 Worst Mistakes You Can Make When Cooking Rice.

Third place: Stovetop

cooked rice from a pot
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

While the stovetop is traditionally the way people cook rice at home, it isn't exactly the easiest method. To cook rice on the stovetop, you have to bring everything to a boil, then cover and simmer. Seems simple, but the results aren't as great as our other two contenders. A lot of the rice stuck to the bottom, and the texture wasn't as fluffy as the others. So if we had to choose, rice on the stovetop wouldn't be my go-to.

How to cook rice on the stovetop:

  • Place 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water, and 1 tbsp of butter in a medium-sized pot.
  • Turn the stove on medium heat and bring the water to a boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the water on low and cover. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • Turn the stove off and fluff with a fork.

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Second place: Microwave

cooked rice from a microwave bowl
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Surprisingly enough, cooking rice in the microwave was actually a breeze. While it may not sound like something that would work, you can easily cook rice in a large bowl for the same amount of time you would cook rice on the stovetop. Plus, the texture of this rice is perfect. If we had to choose which rice would be the fluffiest of them all, the microwave would actually be at the top. But in terms of the easiest method of cooking, the microwave actually isn't the best way to cook rice.

How to cook rice in the microwave:

  • Place 1 cup of rice 2 1/4 cup of water, 1 tbsp of butter in a large glass mixing bowl.
  • Place in the microwave and cook on high for 10 minutes.
  • Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes on high.
  • Fluff with a fork.

First place: Instant Pot

cooked rice from an instant pot
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Are you even surprised? The Instant Pot lets you "set it and forget it" when it comes to rice. No stirring or waiting for water to boil. You simply add the ingredients, close the lid, and let the Instant Pot do its thing. Plus, the Instant Pot makes really sticky rice, making it the perfect rice if you ever want to attempt making homemade sushi.

How to cook rice in the Instant Pot:

  • Place 1 cup of rice, 1 1/4 cup of water, and 1 tbsp of butter in the Instant Pot. Seal the lid.
  • Set the Instant Pot on "Pressure Cook" for 5 minutes. The Instant Pot will come to pressure for a few minutes before cooking.
  • Once the timer goes off, leave the Instant Pot and let it depressurize for 10 minutes.
  • Let out the rest of the steam. Then open and fluff with a fork.

We have all kinds of cooking hacks for you to try! Check out these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten