Grain to Water Ratio: What You Need to Know

Grain to water ratio

Have you ever wanted to find out more about the grain to water ratio for different ingredients? If so, then you wouldn’t be alone. Indeed, getting the grain to water ratio right during cooking can often be tricky, and this is further complicated since different grains need different ratios anyway. For example, the brown rice to water ratio will differ from the sushi rice to water ratio, even if both are cooked in a rice cooker! The quinoa, farro, and rolled oats to water ratio would differ yet again! In short – it can seem like something of a minefield to come up with the most accurate grain to water ratios for your cooking.

As such, today, we’re here to summarize some of the key grain to water ratios you need to know to make the most of your cooking efforts. Read on to find out more about the different grain to water ratios – and hopefully, optimize your cooking efforts as a result.


First of all, we need to clarify what the grain to water ratio is. Fortunately, this is actually quite simple to answer.

The grain to water ratio is, simply put, the ratio of water to the grain you should use to cook different types of whole grains. For example, this would explain how much quinoa to water you should use. Remembering this can often be a little difficult, as the exact grain to water ratio varies depending on the type of grains you have purchased.

What’s more, in some instances, it can also be further complicated by the fact that you may not have the old packaging for the grains anymore. Grains don’t require as rigorous storage policies as fresh fruits and vegetables, generally speaking. Indeed, many of us empty grains into separate containers instead of keeping them in their flimsy shop packaging. This represents a further complication for deciding on the best grain-to-water ratio to use for your cooking.

Luckily, our experts are on hand to help with this. So, without further ado, we’ll consider the different grain to water ratios you may want to consider to help you create delicious grain dishes every time!


The different types of grains will each have different grain-to-water ratios that you should know. For example, there’s even variation between the grain to water ratio for the different types of rice! As a result of this, we have summarized some of the most common as follows. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the optimal solutions for your own cooking need. And remember – if you’re ever in doubt, it’s usually better to use a little more and then drain the grain than allow it to dry out.

Brown Rice to Water Ratio in a Rice Cooker

First up, we’ll consider the brown rice to water ratio in a rice cooker. Indeed, when cooking brown rice, it’s highly advisable to use a rice cooker to achieve the best results and the fluffiest resulting rice possible. A growing number of us are investing in these rice cookers for our home and commercial kitchens as a result. What’s more, the Huffington Post points out that using a rice cooker can make the process of preparing rice so much easier – but you’ll still need to get the brown rice to water ratio right, even in a rice cooker.

The ideal brown rice to water ratio in a rice cooker is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water. You should allow the water to boil, which will help the rice absorb the water quickly and give a final, fluffy result. You should leave the hot rice to steam for a few minutes before serving for the optimal texture.

Sushi Rice to Water Ratio in a Rice Cooker

If you’re looking to cook sushi rice, then we recommend you use a rice cooker again. Luckily, the sushi rice to water ratio in a rice cooker is quite straightforward at one to one. What does this mean? Well, if you put in one cup of sushi rice, you should also add one cup of water to the rice cooker. This is rivaled only by the quinoa to water ratio, which is also low.

Similar to brown rice, you should allow the sushi rice to steam before serving.

Basmati Rice to Water Ratio

Basmati rice takes about 20-25 minutes to cook in a rice cooker and is very similar to brown rice in the water to grain ratio. Indeed, the basmati rice to water ratio is two to one. So, if you use one cup of basmati rice, the water ratio means you should use two cups of water.

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Photo by Alesia Kozik on

Farro to Water Ratio

Farro is a little more uncommon compared to some of the other items on our list. So you may need to shop around to find it, even before considering the farro to water ratio. If you’ve had difficulty in this regard, we recommend you try the Fish App, which helps connect customers with local stores. This allows you to check the availability of farro ingredients before you head out, along with making sure that your chosen shop has all of the other ingredients for your dishes, too.

Once you’ve sourced high-quality farro, we recommend farro to water ratio of one to four. This is much higher than other grains, and the farro should be cooked in slightly salted water for the best results. It’s often served al dente, similar to pasta; the best way to judge this is to strain the farro just after the germ has burst.

Ratio of Steel Cut Oats to Water

Steel-cut oats are made from the inner kernels of the whole, unground oats. Despite being small, though, they need a large amount of water or milk to cook. In fact, the perfect steel-cut oats use more water than even rolled oats!

The ratio of steel-cut oats to water, ideally, should be one to three. You will likely want to cook the steel-cut oats for around 30 minutes to ensure they’re cooked; however, some steel-cut oats may need even longer than this.

Rolled Oats to Water Ratio

Rolled oats are an excellent grain for cooking time; indeed, most rolled oats will be fully cooked in 15 minutes. A rolled oats to water ratio of one to two is ideal.

Quinoa to Water Ratio

Quinoa doesn’t need as much water to cook as other grains. As such, a 1 to 1.25 quinoa to water ratio is perfect for the ideal quinoa. Make sure that the quinoa has fully absorbed all of the water before turning it off and allowing it to steam.

Cooking a grain that’s not listed here? Feel free to drop us an email at and our experts will get back to you with its grain to water ratio.

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