How to Fix Undercooked Rice? Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Grains

By Alex Au Yeung

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To fix undercooked rice, a common and basic approach is to add more liquid and continue cooking. Whether you’re cooking rice on the stove, in a casserole, rice cooker, pressure cooker, microwave, oven, or crockpot, achieving perfectly cooked grains can sometimes be a challenge.

There’s nothing worse than ending up with undercooked white rice that’s hard and crunchy. But fear not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various methods and techniques on how to fix undercooked rice, ensuring you can salvage your dish and enjoy fluffy, fully cooked rice every time.

What does it mean when rice is undercooked?

how to fix undercooked white rice

When white rice is undercooked, it means that it has not been cooked for a sufficient amount of time or with the appropriate amount of water, resulting in a texture that is firm, dry, and often crunchy. Undercooked rice may still have a white or translucent appearance and a slightly raw taste. It is the opposite of overcooked rice, which is soft, mushy, and overly moist.

Also read: How To Fix Mushy Rice?

Why is my rice undercooked?

Insufficient cooking time: Rice needs to be cooked for a specific amount of time to become tender and fully cooked. If you’re following a recipe or package instructions, make sure you’re cooking it for the recommended duration. Different types of rice may require different cooking times as well.

Incorrect rice-to-water ratio: The proportion of rice to water is crucial for achieving the desired texture. If you’re using too little water, the rice may not have enough moisture to cook properly. Conversely, if you’re using too much water, it may take longer to evaporate, leaving the white rice undercooked.

Read this: How Much Water For 2 Cups Of Rice?

Inadequate heat: If the heat is too low, the rice may not cook evenly or thoroughly. It’s essential to maintain a steady simmer or boil, depending on the cooking method you’re using. Adjusting the heat level can help ensure proper cooking.

Opening the lid during cooking: When cooking white rice, it’s best to avoid frequently opening the lid. Opening the lid releases steam, which is necessary for cooking the rice properly. If you disrupt the cooking process by frequently checking or stirring, it can lead to uneven cooking and undercooked rice.

Low-quality rice: The quality of the rice itself can impact the cooking outcome. Older or lower-quality rice grains may require additional cooking time to become fully cooked and tender.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice on the Stove?

  • Add 1/4 cup of boiling water to the pot: This additional water will provide the rice with the moisture it needs to continue cooking and soften the undercooked grains.
  • Keep the flame low: Adjust the heat to a low setting to ensure gentle and even cooking. This will prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot or becoming overcooked on the outside while still being undercooked on the inside.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on: Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to trap the steam and heat. Let the rice simmer for an additional 5 minutes to allow the new water to be absorbed and help the grains cook thoroughly.
  • Remove the pot from the stove: Once the additional cooking time is complete, take the pot off the stove. This will prevent the rice from continuing to cook and becoming overcooked.
  • Let it sit for another 10 minutes with the lid on: Keeping the lid on the pot, allow the rice to rest for an additional 10 minutes. During this time, the residual heat will continue to penetrate the grains, further softening them and helping to evenly distribute moisture.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Casserole?

If you have undercooked rice in a casserole, you can fix it by adding up to ½ cup of water and returning it to a simmer with the lid on. Be patient and avoid raising the temperature to rush the rice. Allow it to simmer until the rice is fully cooked, periodically checking for doneness and adding more water if needed. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve alongside your casserole.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Rice Cooker?

how to fix undercooked rice in rice cooker

To fix undercooked rice in a rice cooker, follow these steps. Pour half a cup of boiling water over the rice in the rice cooker. Stir the rice with a fork to separate the grains, then place the lid back on. Set the rice cooker to cook and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

After that, check the rice to see if it has reached the desired texture. If it is still undercooked, repeat the process by adding more boiling water, stirring, and cooking for a few more minutes until the rice is fully cooked. Continue this process as many times as necessary until the white rice is properly cooked.

To avoid undercooking rice and ensure it is fully cooked, it’s important to be aware of the average cooking times for rice cookers. While cooking times can vary based on the specific rice cooker and type of rice being used.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in the Microwave?

how to fix undercooked rice in the microwave

Transfer the rice into a microwave-safe bowl and cover it.

Microwave the rice for about 2 minutes or until it softens and you see steam.

Alternatively, put the rice back in a pot on low heat for 2 minutes, then let it sit for 10 minutes, fluff, and serve.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in the Oven?

To fix undercooked rice in the oven, follow these steps:

  • Check if there is still water in the dish.
  • If there is water remaining, put the dish back in the oven.
  • Allow it to cook for another five minutes or so until the rice is fully cooked.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in an Instant Pot?

Possible reasons for your Instant Pot rice being crunchy include insufficient cooking time or not adding enough water to the pot. To fix undercooked rice in an pressure cooker, follow these steps:

  • Add more liquid: If the white rice is undercooked, add a small amount of liquid such as water or broth to the Instant Pot. This will provide the moisture needed for further cooking.
  • Seal and pressure cook: Close the Instant Pot lid and set it to pressure cook mode. Adjust the cooking time according to the type of rice you’re using. Increase the cooking time by a few minutes to ensure the rice cooks fully.
  • Natural pressure release: Once the cooking time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release its pressure. This can take around 10 to 15 minutes. Avoid quick release, as it may result in uneven cooking.
how to fix undercooked rice in instant pot

After the pressure has fully released, open the Instant Pot and check the rice for doneness. If it’s still undercooked, add a bit more liquid if needed, reseal the lid, and pressure cook for a few more minutes.

How to Fix Undercooked Rice in a Crock Pot?

To fix undercooked rice in a Crock Pot, follow a similar approach as mentioned before. Add additional liquid based on the rice’s desired tenderness and continue cooking until it reaches the desired texture.


Can I add cold water to undercooked rice?

It’s best to add hot water or hot broth to undercooked rice as it will help speed up the cooking process and ensure even absorption of moisture.

How do I avoid undercooked rice in the future?

To avoid undercooked rice, make sure to measure the water or broth accurately, follow the cooking instructions for your chosen method, and allow the rice to rest before serving.

Can I fix undercooked rice by recooking it?

Yes, undercooked rice can often be fixed by adding additional liquid and recooking it until it reaches the desired tenderness.

Is it safe to eat undercooked rice?

Undercooked rice can be unpleasant to eat and may have a crunchy texture. While it’s generally safe to consume undercooked rice, it’s best to ensure it’s fully cooked to avoid any potential health risks.

Can I salvage undercooked rice in a stir-fry or fried rice dish?

Yes, if you have undercooked rice in a stir-fry or fried rice dish, you can continue cooking it in the pan with the other ingredients until it’s fully cooked and heated through.

Why is my rice undercooked even after following the instructions?

There could be various reasons for undercooked rice, such as incorrect water-to-rice ratio, low heat, or insufficient cooking time. Adjust these factors to achieve perfectly cooked rice.

Can I salvage burnt rice?

Unfortunately, burnt rice cannot be salvaged. It’s best to discard it and start fresh.

What can I do with leftover undercooked rice?

Leftover undercooked rice can be repurposed into delicious dishes like fried rice or rice pudding. By adding additional ingredients and cooking them together, you can transform the undercooked rice into a flavorful meal.


Cooking perfect rice every time is an art, and sometimes we encounter undercooked grains. However, with the techniques mentioned in this guide, you can easily fix undercooked rice in various cooking methods, including on the stove, in a casserole, rice cooker, pressure cooker, microwave, oven, instant pot, or crockpot. Remember to adjust the cooking time, add additional liquid, and allow the rice to rest before serving. With these tips, you’ll be able to salvage your undercooked rice and enjoy delicious, fluffy rice dishes with confidence.