The Basics:How to Make Perfect Rice

Top with gumbo, a stew, beans or a crispy piece of chicken

White rice- I know. Not very sexy. About as boring as you can get.

But no! Rice is not boring. It’s just you’ve proably been cooking it wrong.

Rice is a staple of cooking in almost every culture across the globe. In the South, we especially love it with seafood gumbo, black or red beans and sausage or just a simple chicken dinner.

Rice has long been a staple on our dinner table. When I was a busy mom, back in the day, I must confess I often resorted to using over processed instant rice, boil in the bag or gasp! Microwave rice. It never really saved me much time and it cetainly cardboard and plastic to the landfill. In keeping with trying to reduce our food waste and plastic, I now only cook simple long grain rice and cook it in a heavy pot. I have over the years developed a fool-proof method that ensures perfectly cooked fluffy rice every time.

Heres’ how I do it:

First Rinse your rice. If I have time, I even soak it for a few minutes or up to 30 minutes before cooking. You do not need to soak, but rinsing the rice in a fine sieve several times really helps speed up the cooking time. Rinse your rice!

Second: Toast your rice in a little fat. Use butter, ghee or olive oil, but toast the rice in a bit of fat for about one minute until it tuns opaque.

Third: Cook you rice in broth or stock. This adds so much flavor to otherwise bland rice. I always use a low sodium stock when I make my rice. Typically, I’ll use chicken stock, but veteable or beef stock works just as well.

Finally, Put the lid on and turn it to LOW. After the stock and rice come to a boil, turn the heat down to low, cover tightly and leave the rice alone fore 20 minutes.

Don’t touch it.

Don’t peek.

Just leave it.

Take it off the heat, let it sit for 5 minutes. With a fork, I gently pull the rice away from the sides of the pot to “fluff” the rice. Do not use a spoon- it will clump. Just pull the rice away from the sides and the bottom of the pan- and there you have it- perfect rice every time.


Here is my trick- “pull” the rice away from the pan wiht a fork

Perfect Rice- serves 4

  • 1 cup long grain white rice

  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth

  • 1 TBSP butter or olive oil

  • Kosher salt- to taste

The most important thing: lid on- leave alone.

Method- Prep time- 5 minutes, Cooking time -25 minutes

  • In a fine sieve, rinse the rice until the water running through the sieve is nearly clear- about 1 minute.
  • Over medium high heat, melt the butter or oil in a heavy bottomed pot.
    Add the rinsed rice and cook until opaque, about 1 minute.
    Gently stir in the broth or stock. Turn heat to high and let the mixture come to a slow boil. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly.
    Cook rice on low for 20 minutes. Do not take the lid off.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice “rest” for five minutes. Do not remove the lid.
    After five minutes, uncover the rice and with a fork “pull” the rice away the sides and the bottom of the pan to “fluff”. See video.
    Add salt if desired. Serve immediately.
Fluffy, tender perfect rice
“Pulling” the rice with a fork is all you need to do once it had finished cooking
Now- what to serve with this?

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  1. Michael Moffitt says:

    This is how I have been cooking rice for years. I fully agree that it is those little extra touches that make all of the difference with rice–bravo!

    1. Meggen Wilson says:

      My kids just didn’t know how to make some of these basic items, so I thought it’d be great to add these to the blog. Chicken stock is the only way I do it- rinsing really helps. perfect every time.