Which is the Perfect Type of Rice For Your Rice Cooker?

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Rice cooker and a sack of rice spilled over with a text "best rice for rice cooker"

Rice cookers are easy to use. They save time in the kitchen since you can set them to cook and then leave them alone, but can rice cookers cook all kinds of rice? What types work best in your rice cooker?

The best rice for your rice cooker is the type you enjoy. Rice cookers are designed to cook all varieties of rice. They can also cook any other kind of grain. Choose the best rice for your rice cooker according to your recipe or preference. 

Can Rice Cookers Cook All Kinds of Rice?

Yes, rice cookers can cook all kinds of rice, including brown, white, Jasmine, Basmati, short-grain, long-grain, and wild rice. They are also great for cooking other grains like barley, quinoa, and oatmeal. 

How To Choose The Best Rice

Start by choosing the type of rice you like to eat or that your dish calls for. Each variety of rice tastes slightly different and has a different texture. 

When I first started cooking rice regularly, all the different kinds and types overwhelmed me. If you’re in the same boat, I can help! Rice comes in three basic types:


  • The grains are skinny and long. 
  • It has less starch than other types. 
  • Examples include Jasmine and Basmati. 
  • Long-grain rice is perfect for pilafs.
Heap of tan rice on white surface.


  • The grains are twice as long as they are wide. 
  • It’s fluffy right after cooking but can clump as it cools. 
  • It has a chewy texture. 
  • Examples include Arborrio and risotto. 
  • This rice is usually served on tables in Japan, China, and Korea.
Shiny rice on a wood spoon, alone on white.


  • The grains are short and wide. 
  • Cooked rice is plump and sticky. 
  • Examples include sushi rice. 
  • It’s the best type of rice for sushi and paella.
Heap of small brown rice on white.

Can You Substitute One Kind of Rice For Another?

Substituting one kind of rice for another is not a great idea. Imagine making sushi with Basmati rice. Your grains won’t stick together as you try to roll it up, and your sushi roll will fall apart. 

If you’re making a specific recipe, stick with the rice the recipe calls for. However, if you’re cooking rice as a side dish, you can use your favorite kind. 

Think about the end goal for your rice. Do you need it to stick together or be extra light and fluffy? Choose your rice based on what you want for your dish. If you try one type and don’t like it, you can switch it up next time and try a different kind. 

Do All Rice Cookers Perform Equally?

Some rice cookers perform better than others. Some brands have extended keep-warm settings. Others use fuzzy logic to detect water volume to cook perfectly. All rice cookers cook better rice than multi-cookers. So, choose the brand that fits your kitchen and your budget. 

3 Tips To Get The Perfect Pot of Rice

Here are some of my favorite tips to cook rice perfectly every time.

Stick With One Rice Length At a Time

Cook only short-grain rice or long-grain rice. Don’t mix the two varieties, as they have different absorption rates and cooking times. For example, you can cook short-grain white rice and short-grain brown rice together. However, you shouldn’t cook short-grain white rice with long-grain brown rice. Sticking to one rice length makes sure your rice grains cook evenly. 

Wash Your Rice First

When I was growing up, we measured rice and poured it right into the cooking pot. We’d often have issues with the rice boiling over as it cooked.

As I grew more interested in cooking, I learned to rinse my rice first. Rinsing rice removes excess starch and helps stop your pot from boiling over. 

Let The Rice Rest After Cooking

After my rice finishes, my rice cooker automatically switches to “keep warm.” I let my rice rest undisturbed in my cooker for about five minutes on the keep-warm setting. When I let my rice rest, I ensure it absorbs any extra water in the pot, creating light, fluffy rice every time. 

Keep reading for one of my favorite rice recipes!

Easy Cilantro-Lime Basmati Rice

I love basmati rice for its nutty flavor and firm texture when cooked. This recipe is a favorite in my house. 


  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime (after cooking)


  1. Add all ingredients (except the lime juice) to your rice cooker inner pot. 
  2. Stir to combine. 
  3. Close the lid and push the “White Rice” button. 
  4. After the cooker finishes, let your rice rest for about 5 minutes. 
  5. Open the lid and squeeze on the lime juice.
  6. Serve!

This recipe takes less than an hour and pairs well with shrimp, salmon, or chicken.  

Final Thoughts 

The best type of rice for your rice cooker is the rice you enjoy eating. To get the perfect pot of rice, cook only one type of grain at a time. Rice cookers cook all kinds of rice equally well, so in a pinch, use what you have available. 

Sarah Pearce Avatar


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