How Long to Soak Rice Before Cooking?

How Long To Soak Rice Before Cooking?

We all desire to cook rice to that al dente texture. Some consider whether soaking rice and the duration of soaking rice are important to achieving this fluffy and non-sticky texture when cooking rice.

Rice is a staple around the globe, yet people do not know how to make perfect and fluffy rice.

Soak rice before cooking for only 30 minutes, this helps shorten the cooking time. Rice types vary, and they include brown rice, black rice, short-grain rice, long-grain rice, and basmati rice, amongst others.

Soaking rice before cooking has its advantages and disadvantages. It reduces the time you have to cook since soaking the rice will make it absorb water, and become invariably softer. A disadvantage of soaking rice is that the mice may get soggy when later cooked.

How Long to Soak Rice Before Cooking

It takes time to wash rice. Some people just prefer to skip the washing or soaking of the rice.

What happens when this is done is that the rice gets soggy and marshy most of the time. Washing the rice is very important, while soaking might be optional.

The timing for soaking rice depends on the type of grain. Generally, you can soak rice for about 15–30 minutes. Just for you, we have made this table containing some selected rice and the duration for soaking each type. 

Type Of RiceDuration For Soaking
White rice0-15 minutes
Basmati rice15-30 minutes
Polished brown rice4-6 hours
Black or unmilled rice6-12 hours
Thai sticky riceOvernight

Do You Have To Soak Rice Before Cooking?

Not at all. You do not have to soak rice before cooking it. However, for some types of rice, like jasmine rice, brown rice, and basmati rice, soaking the rice before cooking helps to improve the aroma because when this type of rice is cooked for long, the aroma is lost.

So, since soaking the rice at first will have softened it, it spends a shorter time on the heat and the aroma is preserved.

Soaking rice before cooking helps to retain the vitamins and minerals from the rice, which are better absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. Another advantage of soaking rice is that the water can be used to feed plants. 

How Long To Soak Rice Before Cooking?
Source: Deliciously Organic

Can I Cook Rice For 2 Hours?

Cooking rice to its perfect consistency is a herculean task for a lot of people because it entails using the right amount of water for a measured amount of rice and cooking for a certain period.

Can you cook rice for 2 hours? The answer is no. Although the duration of cooking rice depends on how fast or slow the rice can absorb heat and water, you should not cook rice for more than 30–60 minutes.

Brown rice, which takes a long time to absorb, may take up to 60 minutes, which is why it is advisable to soak the rice before cooking.

How To Cook Rice Properly

You can cook rice with either the absorption or draining method. If you decide to use the absorption method, you start by cooking the rice in water that is at room temperature and with the right amount of cover until it is done.

The draining method, however, entails preheating the water and adding the washed rice to the water for a shorter period of time and then sieving the rice after some time. Deciding on the method to use largely depends on the quality of the rice.

Measure the rice into a container and run your fingers through it to be sure it is free from dirt. Allow the water to boil and add salt to flavor the water and the rice.
Wash the rice grains up to two or three times with cool and clean water.Wash the rice grains with water at room temperature up to two to three times.
You could either soak the rice or place it on heat immediately.Allow the rice to boil for about 8-10 minutes.
Ensure the water is twice the quantity of the rice in the pot.Stir about two times at intervals so the rice does not clamp together. 
Add salt to taste and stir well.You can add lemon juice to bleach the rice and make it brighter. (This is optional)
Place the lid tightly on the pot and allow to boil for about 8 minutes at first.You can also add vegetable oil to the rice so that it can be separated.
Open the lid to check the absorption rate and texture.Drain the rice after about 10 minutes.
Close the pot for an additional 3- 5 minutes.Allow to settle and after that, you can serve and enjoy your rice with an accompaniment of your choice.
Turn off the heat and leave for some time to simmer. This makes the rice fluffy and nice.
You can serve the al dente rice now and enjoy your meal with any sauce of your choice.
Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Source: Lil’ Luna

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I wash the rice before cooking it? 

Yes. It is important to wash your rice before cooking. It helps to improve the quality and outcome of your dish. When the rice is not washed, it has a gluey texture, and there will be big, sticky clumps. However, when rice is washed before cooking, the grains are fluffier, and they separate easily and better. 

How long should I cook my rice?

The timing for cooking rice varies, depending on the type of rice you are cooking. For some types of rice, you need just 10-15 minutes, while for others, it may take longer than that to get done. When you purchase rice, check the recommended timing to know how long to cook it.

Do I need to parboil my rice when cooking?

Not at all. You do not need to parboil rice before cooking. However, when cooking rice dishes where you are to add varieties of vegetables, like fried rice, it is advisable to parboil the rice separately from the vegetables, so the vegetables do not overcook and also so the rice does not turn out to be marshy.

Do I preheat water before cooking rice?

Preheating water before cooking rice is one method of cooking rice, but not a necessity to have perfectly cooked rice. You can decide to preheat the water before cooking the rice, or you can decide to cook the rice from the start. Just get to know the one that suits the type of grain you are cooking and the dish to be made. 


Soaking rice before cooking is not a necessity, and if it has to be done, it should be done well, so it can come out with a fine texture.

For rice with a very strong texture, we recommend that you soak the rice for some time before cooking. When cooking rice, be sure that it is properly covered, so the rice can absorb heat and make the rice al dente.

You do not have to keep opening the lid of the pot of boiling rice at frequent intervals. Doing this will only give the rice a marshy texture. With the right amount of water for the quantity of rice you are cooking, leave it for about 10-15 minutes and check. 

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