Selecting and Cooking Rice

Here’s a quick guide for some of the most common types of rice and the amount of liquid and estimated cooking time required to prepare each type.

Type (1 cup) Liquid (cups) Cooking Time (minutes) Characteristics




Aromatic, brown 1-3/4 – 2-1/2 30 – 45 Long grain; high in fiber; has aroma similar to brown rice, nuts, corn, corn bran, or hay; includes the brown hybrids, such as Texmati, Pecan, and Wehani; good for curries, Cajun cuisine.




Aromatic, white 1-1/4 – 2 15 – 20 Long grain; has same aroma as brown; includes true white, Basmati, and U.S. hybrids.




Brown 1-3/4 – 3 45 – 60 Higher in fiber than white; comes in long, medium, and short grains; pleasantly nutty flavor; slightly chewy; beige color; unlimited uses.




Converted (parboiled) 2 – 2-1/2 20 – 25 Long grain white; bland flavor; grains stay separate when cooked; has undergone a special pressure and steam treatment prior to milling that preserves vitamins; good for pilafs.




Wild 2-1/2 – 4 35 – 50 Not a true rice; is the seed of an aquatic North American grass; difficult to produce; very expensive; deep brown color, chewy texture; slightly smoky, nutty flavor; often mixed with white or brown rice.

(Chart from The Fiber Primer, PREVENTION Magazine, Rodale Press, 1991)