Measuring Rice for Rice Cookers

Understanding the Difference Between a Rice Cup and Standard Cup Measures

Rice in a Measuring Cup
Jennifer Squires / Getty Images

If you were to cook long grain white rice in a pot on a cooktop, it generally involves using a similar amount plus a little more water (example: 2 cups raw rice plus 2-1/2 cups water). This is very standard and one usually uses the same measuring cup for both ingredients.

However, if you use a rice cooker, measuring could get confusing. Many rice cookers come with a handy rice cup measure and product manuals will provide cooking guides based on these measurements.

While a standard U.S. cup measure is 240 ml, a rice cup according to rice industry standards, is much smaller at 180 ml.

There's no problem if you use the smaller rice cup for measuring both rice and water or use it to measure rice and add water to the rice cooker pot up to the related water line - which takes into effect the smaller cup measurement. That's what you should do.

But if you use the smaller cup measure for rice then use a standard cup for water, this makes the ingredients improperly proportioned for best cooking results. And if you are making the maximum rice possible in your cooker, using a standard U.S. measurement for rice and/or water, will overload your cooker.

For these reasons, it's best with a rice cooker to use the cup measurement that came with your cooker for both rice and water, or for rice and add water to the appropriate level indicated in the cooking pot. In fact, storing the smaller rice cup inside your rice cooker protects it from loss and reminds you to use the correct measure for making rice.

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