How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice? A Comprehensive Guide

Today I am taking it back to the basics of cooking. And the easiest way to do so is to start with one of the most asked questions, “How much water for 2 cups of rice?”

Rice is a staple ingredient for many countries across the globe – and for a good reason! It’s very affordable, easy to prepare and cook, versatile in how you use it and extremely filling.

However, with so many different varieties readily available at every shop, the cooking ratios and techniques become a little blurry. Usually, all you had to worry about was cooking your generic white rice. Now, you get wild rice, long-grain, short-grain, brown, and many more!

Each of these has different cooking ratios, methods, and even cooking times. This is exactly what we will look at today, and so much more!

Cooked rice on a white bowl

How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice?

Now, you must understand that there isn’t a one-fit-all answer to this. The main variable is the type of rice you use.

I’ll get into that a little bit later, but a quick example is that your generic white polished rice uses a ratio of 1 part of rice to 2 parts of water. However, Jasmine rice uses 1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water.

General Rule Of Thumb (Short-Grain Rice)

The general rule of thumb is to use 1 part rice to 2 parts water. This means that for 2 cups of rice, you will need 4 cups of water. I also like to add to this ratio that for every cup of rice you need to add at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Now, this ratio works perfectly fine for heavily processed rice types. These usually include polished rice types, like your super generic white rice grain. 

This is also a rule that works well for most short-grain rice varietals. It includes sushi rice, arborio rice, and some brown rice types.

Cup with uncooked rice and water next to it.

How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice? Long-Grain Rice

Long-grain rice generally seems to require less water. For varietals like basmati or jasmine rice, you only need 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water. 

So, for 2 cups of long-grain rice, you will need 3 cups of water.

Now, you may be wondering why? Well, most likely because long-grain rice varietals shouldn’t be moist or sticky when they are cooked. So, by using less water, you are hydrating them less. And ultimately, you will have delicious fluffy rice.

Wild Rice – How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice?

Wild rice is unique and has a very strange ratio of water to rice. When I first looked at how much water for 2 cups of rice, I immediately noted that wild rice needs almost 3 cups of water per cup of rice!

So, this means that 2 cups of wild rice requires 6 cups of water. 

Why so much? I’m not sure, and I couldn’t get an exact answer for this. So, I’d recommend always looking at the package instructions when cooking odd rice varietals that you aren’t familiar with.

pouring water into a pan with rice

How Long Do You Boil 2 Cups Of Rice?

Now that we’ve answered how much water for 2 cups of rice, let’s take a look at cooking times.

Cooking rice also takes varying amounts of time depending on the exact type of rice you have. You’ve probably already noticed this on some packages of rice.

Usually, 2 cups of rice will take about 15 minutes to fully absorb the liquid. Then, the longer you leave it, the softer the rice will become. But, leave it too long, and the rice will end up being mushy.

After the rice has been fully cooked, you can fluff the grains with a fork and add more seasoning if you’d like to. 

close up rice and water in a pot

Other Cooking Times

Now, while 15 minutes is another general rule of thumb, it doesn’t work for all types of rice.

Jasmine rice has to cook for about 25 minutes, then left to rest for another 10 minutes.

Basmati rice actually only takes 10-12 minutes, which is why it is one of the most common types of rice cooked in a rice cooker. 

Brown rice takes quite a long time, about 30 minutes to completely cooked. And, it has to cook at a steady temperature. And wild rice takes up to 50 minutes to cook!

So, how do you know the cooking time for your exact rice? Always check the package instructions. To what extent the rice that has been processed will also affect the cooking time. So, unless it varies greatly from the times I’ve mentioned above, follow the package instructions.

cooked rice in a pan

FAQs On How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice?

Why is my rice mushy?

Mushy rice is caused by either using too much water or cooking the rice for far too long.

What to do with cooked rice?

There are an endless amount of dishes you can make with cooked rice. Two of my personal favorite dishes include Peruvian Fried Rice and Oven Baked Jollof Rice.

You can usually make these kinds of dishes with raw or cooked rice. Have a look at my site for many more rice dishes.

Should you wash your rice before cooking?

This is a technique used by many to get rid of any excess starch. It is a good practice to use and results in much fluffier rice. It can also, to some degree, help prevent mushy, clumping rice.

Cooked white rice in a wooden bowl garnished with mint leaves.

How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice? A Comprehensive Guide

This is a quick and easy guide to making the perfect basmati rice. It can then be used in a variety of delicious dishes, or served as a side for many main meals.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 342 kcal


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 – 2 tsp fine salt


  • To start, combine the rice and water in a medium pot. Add a teaspoon of salt and give the ingredients a good stir.
  • Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the rice to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow the rice to simmer for 10-12 minutes. Leave the lid on the pot.
  • After your rice has finished cooking, remove it from the heat and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. Keep the lid on the pot.
  • Then, fluff the rice gently using a fork. At this point, you can add more spices and salt if you'd like. Do so while fluffing the rice so that the flavor is incorporated evenly.


Calories: 342kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 7gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 1786mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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