For fluffy rice, you’ve got to rinse it! This washes away the outside starch, preventing clumpy grains. Here’s how to rinse rice!
Have you ever noticed some recipes say to “rinse the rice” before you cook it? It’s not always listed in a recipe, but many people say best practice is to give those grains a rinse before cooking a pot of rice. But is it really necessary? Do you have to dirty a strainer and lose precious minutes in the kitchen? Because Alex and I are minimalists in the kitchen and hate extra steps, we decided to find out.
So… do you really need to rinse rice?
Here’s the thing. If you want the fluffiest pot of rice: rinse it before cooking! Luckily, it only takes 1 minute! So it’s quick and easy to do. The one caveat: if you’re making something intentionally creamy like risotto or rice pudding, you can skip rinsing. But otherwise, here’s why it’s helpful:
- Rinsing rice removes starch from the outside of the grains. This prevents getting a gooey, sticky, gummy pot of rice.
- It can also remove some debris. Side benefit: there can sometimes be debris in rice: the wash gets rid of that too.
How to rinse rice
Are you convinced? Rinsing rice takes no time at all (probably just as long to read these instructions!) Here’s what to do:
- Place the rice in a strainer. You can use a bowl if you don’t have one.
- Run it under cold water for about 15 to 20 seconds. Contrary to many sources, you don’t even need to wait until the water runs clear. It’s quick and simple!
Rinsing white rice vs brown rice
Are brown rice and white rice the same when it comes to rinsing? Brown rice has less starch on the grains (you’ll notice less “rice dust”). But it’s good practice to rinse brown rice too! It still helps to make for the fluffiest pot of rice.
Top rice recipes
Ready to get cooking? Here are all our master recipes for making rice!
- Master method: How to Cook Rice
- How to Cook White Rice
- How to Cook Brown Rice
- How to Cook Basmati Rice
- How to Cook Jasmine Rice
- Instant Pot Basmati Rice
- Instant Pot Jasmine Rice
- Instant Pot White Rice
- Instant Pot Brown Rice
- 12 Rice Recipes
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.