How to make rice fluffy and not sticky

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Are you looking for tips on how to make rice that is light and fluffy rather than dense and sticky? In this article we lay out all of our best tips on how to make rice that is fluffy and not sticky. We provide tips on what kind of rice to use, how to cook the rice, and what to do after you have cooked the rice to keep it fluffy. We also discuss some of the most common mistakes that people make when making rice. 

Don’t have enough time to read the whole article? The easiest way to make rice that is fluffy and not sticky is to use a rice cooker. If you are looking for a solid affordable option, we recommend this rice cooker. If you are looking for the best rice cooker that money can buy, we suggest you pick up a Zojirushi rice cooker. In addition to using a rice cooker, you should also make sure to use long grain rice and fluff the rice a few minutes after it is done cooking.

How to make rice fluffy and not sticky. Use a long grained rice, fluff the rice when the rice is done cooking, use a rice cooker.

The easiest way to make fluffy rice

The easiest way to make rice that is fluffy and not sticky is to use a rice cooker. A rice cooker is one of those appliances that you don’t realize how much you need until you get one. But let me tell you as a former skeptic that having perfectly fluffy rice on demand anytime you need it is quite the luxury.

We recommend picking up a rice cooker that is versatile and has a warm setting so you can keep your rice warm if you finish cooking it before you are ready to use it. We recommend this rice cooker (this is the one we use) if you are on a budget. It comes with a steamer basket and has a setting for steaming vegetables so it is good for a lot more than just steaming rice. If you are looking for the best rice cooker that money can buy, then you should pick up a Zojirushi rice cooker. There is a reason that Zojirushi is regarded by many as the best brand out there when it comes to rice cookers. 

How to make extra fluffy rice

Are you looking for tips on how to make rice that is light and fluffy? Here are some of our best tips for making rice that is fluffy and not sticky. These tips apply whether you are making your rice in a rice cooker or a standard pot.  

  • Use a long grain rice. The first step to making light, fluffy rice is to use the right kind of rice. We recommend using a long grain rice if you want to make rice that is light and fluffy. Basmati rice and jasmine rice are two popular types of long grain rice. If you want to read more about the differences between long grain and short grain rice, take a look at this article. 
  • Fluff the rice after cooking it. After the rice has been done cooking for about 5 – 10 minutes you should open the lid on the pot and fluff the rice. If you let the rice sit in the pot for a long time after you cook then the rice will start to tick together. 

How to prevent rice from getting sticky. Use a long grained rice, wash the rice before cooking it, and reduce cook time.

Preventing rice from getting sticky

Are you finding that your rice comes out sticky or gummy rather than light and fluffy? Here are some of our best tips for making rice that is light and fluffy rather than sticky and gummy.

  • Rinse your rice thoroughly. Make sure to rinse your rice thoroughly before you use it. Rice is coated in starches that bind the rice together and make it sticky. Rinsing the rice washes away these starches and prevents the rice from getting sticky. You can even soak your rice  in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to remove more of the starches. For best results, soak the rice for 10 few minutes and change the water in the bowl every minute or two. 
  • Cook the rice for less time. If your rice is coming out gummy or sticky then that is likely a sign that your rice has been overcooked. Try reducing the amount of time that you cook your rice for by 3 – 5 minutes next time you make rice. 

Preventing rice from coming out firm

Is your rice firm and dry rather than light and fluffy? Follow these tips next time you make rice to make rice that is light and fluffy.  

  • If there is still water in the pot – cook the rice longer. If your rice is firm rather than fluffy then that means one of two things. Either the rice is undercooked and it needs more time to cook or the rice did not have enough water. If there is still water in the bottom of your pot that means that the rice just needs more time to cook.
  • If there is no water in the bottom of the pot – add more water & reduce the heat. There are two reasons rice might not have enough water. The first is that you did not put enough water in the rice to begin with. The second is that you cooked the rice on too high of a temperature and the water evaporated before the rice could absorb it. Try adding more water and reducing the temperature next time you cook rice. And don’t forget to keep the lid on your rice the whole time you cook it!

Common mistakes people make when cooking rice

Common mistakes people make with rice

  • Taking the lid off the rice. This is the number one most common mistake people make when cooking rice. Once you have put the lid on your rice then you should not take it off again until the rice is completely done cooking. 
  • Stirring the rice. That’s right – you should never stir your rice once it has started cooking. This is because you have to take the lid off of the rice to stir it. We cannot reiterate this enough – you should never take the lid off of the rice once it has started cooking. 
  • Cooking rice on high the whole time. When you make rice, you should start off by cooking the rice over high heat until it boils. However, you should not cook the rice over high heat the whole time. The minute the rice starts to boil, you should recuse the heat to low so that the rice maintains a calm simmer. 

Our favorite rice bowls


Watermelon poke bowls accompanied by a bowl of edamame and a bowl of marinated watermelon.

We are head over heels for this watermelon poke bowl! This poke bowl contains flavorful marinated watermelon, chopped vegetables, mashed avocado, pickled ginger, sesame seeds, and spicy mayo all over a bed of fluffy rice. It is gluten free, vegan, dairy free, and vegetarian friendly!


Vegan tofu buddha bowl with crispy fried tofu, hummus, grilled vegetables, and avocado.

These tofu buddha bowls are also served over a bed of fluffy rice. These tasty tofu buddha bowls are loaded with crispy lemon sesame tofu, hearty grilled vegetables, creamy mashed avocado, and hummus. They are vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, and vegan friendly. 


Chipotle tofu burrito bowls with rice, avocado, sour cream, and pinto beans. There is a bowl of guacamole and a bowl of crema in the background.

Are you looking for something with more of a Mexican flare? Check out this recipe for tofu burrito bowls with spicy chipotle tofu, pinto beans, and fresh homemade guacamole. These tasty gluten free and vegetarian burrito bowls are served over a bed of fluffy rice. 


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