How Long Do Rice Cookers Take?

Did you recently buy a new rice cooker and are trying to figure it out? Cooking more significant amounts will make the machine take longer, so you may need to experiment with it some. However, there are some general times that you can expect.

On average, your rice cooker will take between 25 and 35 minutes to fully cook rice. Different appliances and rice types can impact the amount of time it takes while adding more rice to the cooker will also add to the time. Most new models “know” when the rice finishes cooking and shuts off. 

There’s a lot to know about using a rice cooker efficiently, and once you know how to use your appliance correctly, you’ll want to make rice with every meal. If you want to learn more, make sure to continue reading.

How Long To Cook Rice

Rice can take various amounts of time to cook, depending on the type of rice, the appliance, and the amount of rice you’re making.

These are the average amounts of time it takes to cook one cup of different types of rice:

  • Short grain rice: 10 to 13 minutes
  • Whole grain rice: 50 minutes
  • Brown rice: 50 minutes
  • Parboiled rice: 25 minutes

If you want a meal immediately, it would be best to prepare short-grain rice. 

You’ll need to plan if you want to have something like brown rice with your dinner since it takes much longer to cook. Of course, the process is more straightforward since the appliance can run while you prepare the rest of your meal.

You also need to consider the amount of rice you’re preparing. 

For example, if you’re making three cups of short-grain rice, it could take more than half an hour to prepare. When making large amounts of whole grain rice, the appliance might take a few hours to cook thoroughly.

Can You Make Rice Cook Faster?

Waiting for your rice cooker might not always be the best option when you’re in a hurry, but there is an easy way you can speed up the cooking time slightly.

Start by adding salt to the water, then put it in your rice cooker.

The salt helps the water get hotter a little faster and it adds some more flavor to the rice. Allow the water to boil, then add the rice.

Some newer models also come with a “quick cook” or “quick mode” feature, which allows the rice cooker to run at a higher temperature, cooking your rice faster. 

However, it will likely only cut off ten to twenty minutes of the cooking time. The Toshiba Rice Cooker from Amazon.com comes with all of these features, allowing you to make a lot of rice quickly.

Still, these models are excellent for preparing perfect rice every time. The machine should shut off when all the water has boiled away, leaving you with delicious and soft rice. You won’t have to worry about burning your food at all.

Another way to make your rice cook faster is to saute the rice in oil or butter before placing it in your rice cooker. By doing this, you open up the grains slightly, allowing the rice to absorb the water more quickly once it is in your cooker. It also gives your rice a nice flavor.

Invest in a Higher Quality Model

If your current rice cooker is slow, you may want to upgrade to a new model. Like any appliance, you can find cheap options for $20, but also ones that cost up to $200.

If speed is essential to you when preparing rice, you might want to get a rice cooker that can heat up much faster.

Is a Pot or Rice Cooker Faster?

If you want your rice fast, you’d be better off cooking it in a pot on the stovetop instead of using your rice cooker.

A pot with a tight lid only takes about 10 minutes to cook rice, while a rice cooker takes about 20 minutes to make the same one-cup portion.

However, you’re going to get better final results with the rice cooker. 

The appliance is also much more convenient since you don’t have to keep an eye on it. Many people prefer to use the cooker since they can “set it and forget it,” then move on to preparing the rest of their meal.

If you prefer using a pot to make your rice as fast as possible, that’s alright too. You’ll want to take care that you don’t burn it at higher temperatures.

The Fastest Way To Cook Rice

Using a stovetop and pot is the fastest way to prepare rice. Here’s how to quickly cook your rice grains:

  1. Measure the rice and water you need. 
  2. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  3. Add the rice.
  4. Stir and allow the rice to boil until it’s soft.
  5. Allow the water to boil off completely.
  6. Stir again, allow to rest, and serve.

When cooking a cup of white rice using this method, it should only take you about 10 minutes from start to finish. One cup of rice is a satisfactory amount of food for one person, too, which makes it an excellent option for a quick meal when you’re in a hurry.

If your appliance has a “quick cook” feature, you could always use that option instead. 

It shouldn’t take too much longer than it would if you made rice on the stove. Plus, you’re also going to receive more consistent rice from the cooker.

Reheating Your Rice

While a stovetop and pot will give you the quickest rice, a rice cooker is a better option for reheating rice, as it comes with a “warm” feature, allowing you to reheat the rice without burning it.

Reheating rice is much more convenient in a rice cooker- so much so that many people leave their leftover rice in the appliance.

When you need another bowl of rice, you turn it back on to “warm” for a few minutes.

If you eat a lot of rice at home or have a large family to feed, this method is better. You won’t have to use a microwave, which can easily cause the grains to dry out and become crunchy.

How To Use Your Rice Cooker Properly

Many people don’t actually use their rice cooker properly, which could lead to increased cooking times. However, these machines are much easier to use than you might think. 

Always start by rinsing your rice

You want to remove any pesticides that could be on the grains, as well as some of the starch, which gives your rice a smoother texture when it’s fully cooked.

The only rice you don’t want to wash is the ones enriched with vitamins and minerals, as you’d be washing away the nutrients.

Next, add one cup of water to every cup of rice. 

This 1:1 ratio is usually for long-grain white rice but can apply to many other types. However, it’s a good idea to see what the brand suggests if you have the packaging. Like long-grain brown rice, some types of rice have a 2:1 ratio of rice to water. 

Adding too much water will make your machine run longer.

Turn your rice cooker on and set the timer. Your cooker should automatically shut off when done. A majority of the models can now sense when the water has thoroughly boiled away. 

This quick video explains how to use your rice cooker:

Don’t Open It While It’s Running

Many people using their rice cooker for the first time will feel tempted to peek in the rice cooker to see how it’s doing. However, opening the lid on your cooker causes steam and water to escape. 

Checking on your rice will quickly cause your food to dry out, making it hard and unappealing to eat. You’ll have to trust that your rice cooker is running correctly. 

While it can be very tempting to look- don’t do it!

Use Plastic Utensils

Next, many people make the mistake of using metal utensils. You should use plastic instead. 

Many rice cooker models use an inner pot that has a non-stick coating on it. By using metal utensils, you’re scratching this surface off and ruining your appliance. 

Let the Rice Rest

Finally, you want to make sure you allow the rice to rest when it’s done cooking. While this adds a bit more time, it also allows excess steam and moisture to leave the rice grains. You only need to let the rice rest for about five minutes to get this effect.