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How Long Does It Take to Cook Rice in a Rice Cooker?

When you’re strapped for time and your kids are yelling out about how hungry they are, every minute counts. That’s why rice cookers were invented. It was a way of helping us cook our rice quickly and perfectly every time.

But, what does it mean when rice cookers cook rice fast?

This is a question that many of our audience have asked and in this article we are going to answer it.

How long does it take to cook rice in a rice cooker?

Not all rice cookers are made the same and some are actually more powerful and faster at cooking rice than others. However, the average rice cooker will take about 25 to 35 minutes to cook a full pot of rice. There are a lot of factors that go into how long a rice cooker cooks including the amount of water, the type of rice, and even the quality of the rice cooker itself.

Does it take longer if I cook a lot of rice in my rice cooker?

Theoretically, yes. If you put more rice into your rice cooker that also means that you have to add more water to your rice. Since the goal of the rice cooker is to cause the water to evaporate out of the rice cooker, it should take longer to evaporate all the loose water as compared to if you were using less water.

However, it’s important to understand that it’s not going to take many times longer than compared to if you cook with less rice. What takes a long time is actually the time it takes the heat to get to the right temperature. Once the rice cooker gets to that boiling temperature of 100° C then it will start to boil the water out of the bowl. Unfortunately, the increase in temperature is a gradual increase until it reaches boiling point. This is what takes up most of the time.

Can cooking different types of rice change how long the rice cooker cooks for?

Absolutely. Different types of rice requires different amounts of water. Some rice are able to absorb water better than others while some rice are extremely dense and make water entering them difficult.

Rice that are denser will usually need more water and that ultimately turns into requiring more time to cook. And then there’s rice that is softer that sucks in water. 

Below, you’ll find a list of different types of grains and rice and how much water each one requires according to one cup of the grain or rice.

Types of rice/grain, weight of rice/grain, amount of water required

Rice/Grain TypeAmount of RiceAmount of Water
Jasmine rice1 cup1 & 1/2 cups
Long grain brown rice1 cup2 & 1/4 cups
Long grain white rice1 cup1 & 3/4 cups
Medium grain brown rice1 cup2 cups
Medium grain white rice1 cup1 &1/2 cups
Parboiled rice1 cup2 cups
Quinoa1 cup2 cups
Short grain brown rice1 cup2 cups
Short grain white rice1 cup1 & 1/2 cups

The truth of the matter here is that whether you cook something like quinoa which requires two cups of water for every one cup of rice or Jasmine rice which requires only one and a half cups for every cup of rice, you’ll likely find that it doesn’t take that much more time to cook for quinoa even though it has more water.

White rice will usually cook faster than long grain brown rice. With long grain brown rice, you can expect that your rice cooker will take about 40 minutes to cook it fully. However, with most other rice oh, it will only take 25 to 35 minutes.

The majority of the time waiting is for the rice cooker to reach that boiling point of water temperature. Once it hits this phase, the water molecules will begin to vaporize rapidly and it usually takes little to no time at all to complete this phase and shut off the rice cooker.

How does the rice cooker know when to stop?

The rice cooker has a built-in temperature sensor to shut off the cooking process once the temperature goes over boiling point.

The physics behind this is that when you boil water, the molecules within the water begin to rapidly vibrate. This vibration is a counter mechanism to release Heat from the water and bring it back to a stable setting. This also keeps the temperature within the rice cooker at a steady 100 degrees Celsius. However, as the water is violently moving and turning into mist, it exits and escapes out of the rice cooker through the vents in the hole in the lid. 

Once all the Unbound water leaves the rice cooker, there is nothing left to counter the heat from the rice cooker. The temperature inside the rice cooker will begin to rise Beyond 100 degrees Celsius and that will be what triggers the rice cookers sensors to shut off and switch to warm mode.

Why does brown rice take longer to cook than white rice?

Yes. Brown rice will usually take a few more minutes to cook compared to white rice in a rice cooker. The reason for this has To do with the abundance of bran and starch that makes up brown rice.

When cooking brown rice compared to white rice, you’ll need to add at least half a cup more water for brown rice than you would for white rice. This extra half a cup of water we’ll take a little bit more time to evaporate under 100 degrees Celsius.

At 100 degrees Celsius which is the boiling point of water, it would take half a cup of water for 25 minutes to evaporate.

How long would it take if I added more rice to my rice cooker?

There’s no real science to it and there are a lot of factors that fall into play when trying to determine how long it will take to cook rice.

The rule is depending on how many cups of rice you plan to cook, If you want to add an extra cup of rice then you’ll also need to add an extra 10 minutes to the overall cooking time.

If you wanted to cook 1 cup of white rice and it would probably take roughly 15 to 20 minutes. If you wanted to cook 2 cups of white rice oh, then it would take about 25 minutes, if you wanted to cook three then that would be 35 minutes and so on.

Does the quality of the rice cooker affect the cooking time?

Yes, cheaper and less insulated rice cookers may end up losing Heat and taking a much longer time to reach boiling point when compared to a high-quality rice cooker which can get to boiling point much faster.

High quality rice cookers are usually well insulated and well designed to prevent the heat from escaping the rice cooker. If you lose heat from a rice cookers basket and lid set up, then it will likely take the slow cooker much longer to boil the water out of the rice and enjoying it.

The longer your rice cooker cook’s your rice the better chances it kills the bacteria

Like everything all around us, rice may also contain little bits of microorganisms or bacteria on them. Boiling rice for longer than 10 to 15 minutes can kill bacillus cereus.

Sometimes you may also find bacterial spores in your rice. Spores are a little harder to kill and can sometimes survive the blistering temperatures inside a rice cooker. While there is very little chances that you will get sick from eating rice that may have spores, it’s important to make sure that you eat rice right after cooking it and while it’s hot.

Why is your rice cooker taking so long to cook?

Here are a few things that may explain why your rice cooker is cooking so slowly.

You are using a different type of rice that usually takes longer to cook

As explained previously, if you’re cooking with long grain brown rice, it will take several minutes more to finish then if you were cooking short white rice. This is due to the many different ingredients that brown rice contains which may include germ, endosperm, bran, and starch. These things will require more heat and a longer period of time to cook properly.

You need to regularly clean and maintain your rice cooker

If you’re not properly cleaning and washing your rice cooker then it may be blocking off the sensors or hindering the heating element from doing its full job. This can make the heating plate take a much longer time to get to the right temperature. Old rice residue can get stuck underneath and inside the compartments of the slow cooker which may also hinder its performance.

We recommend getting a damp cloth and wiping down all the residue that you can find inside the rice cooker where the bowl lays inside.

Tips on how to speed up cooking rice

Below are some tips and tricks that many of our community members mentioned that may help speed up the rice cooking time.

  • You can cook saltwater alone in your rice cooker first, and then throw in the appropriate amount of rice
  • You can also make a lot of rice, and whatever you can’t finish, you can microwave it the next day
  • You can also start off by adding boiled water into your rice cooker with your rice. However, keep in mind that this may alter the texture and taste of your rice. Your rice also needs time to simmer and the water needs to evaporate.

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