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How to cook or steam rice in the microwave

Rice is great to have on hand as a side or essential ingredient for many delicious and popular meals. Steaming rice in the microwave helps save time to get your family dinner started quickly. Read on to discover how to cook or steam rice in your microwave.

Can you cook rice in the microwave?

Believe it or not, cooking rice in the microwave is possible. In fact, there are many foods that can be heated in the microwave ranging from broccoli, to corn on the cob to s’mores. From heating leftovers to defrosting frozen foods to steaming fish, consult your owner’s manual to find out how to get the most out of your microwave.

Microwave rice recipe

Place your rice in a microwave-safe container with a loose-fitting lid. If your microwave is equipped with the Whirlpool® Microwave Steam Cooking feature, your job just became easier. The sensor will detect when the liquid reaches a boil, prompting the Steam or Simmer countdown. Be sure to keep the lid on while the container is in the microwave, as a rush of steam could alter the sensor readings.

  • 1-2 servings
  • Raw rice 

  • Consult ingredient package for amounts

  • Microwave-safe bowl or dish with lid

  • Sieve

Total Time
  • 30 minutes

Prep Time
  • 5 minutes

Cook Time
  • 20-25 minutes
    • 20 minutes at 50% power (700 to 900 watts microwave)
    • 15 minutes at 100% power (1000 to 1200 watts microwave)
    • 5 minutes to sit after cooking
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Step 1: Rinse rice

Rinsing rice prevents clumps while cooking, so it’s best to take the time to prep for this step.

  • Add rice to sieve

  • Swish the rice under running water
  • Continue rinsing until the water runs clear 
  • Drain well
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Step 2: Use microwave-safe bowl

  • After rinsing, add the rice to a microwave-safe bowl 

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Step 3: Add water

  • Add 2 ¼ cups of water (or consult the ratio listed on the product label)

  • Cover container with microwave-safe lid

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Step 4: Heat rice

  • For more powerful microwaves (1000 to 1200 watts), start with a 15 minute cook time

  • Start cook time at 20 minutes at 50% if your microwave is less powerful (700 to 900 watts)

Cast iron skillet filled with baked chicken and rice medley Cast iron skillet filled with baked chicken and rice medley

What can you make with cooked rice?

From Mexican Chicken and Rice Casserole to Korean ground turkey and rice bowls, there are plenty of ways to enjoy cooked rice. You can also use your microwave to cook so much more than rice–steam raw or frozen vegetables for a quick and nutritious complement to your main course.

What can you do with leftover rice?

Cooked rice is great for savory entrees, but you can also use leftover rice to make sweet treats like lime coconut rice porridge. To store your leftover rice, refrigerate in an airtight container for a few days or store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Shop Whirlpool® microwaves for cooking rice 

Whether you’re steaming rice or reheating leftover pizza, bring convenience to the table with Whirlpool brand microwaves. With varied options ranging from countertop microwaves to built-in microwaves, you’ll find the perfect fit for your family’s needs.

Explore more microwave recipes from Whirlpool brand

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