How to Cook Rice in a Dutch Oven: A Quick Guide

As a Filipino, my day often starts with a steaming cup of rice and a viand or two. While I often use the my electric rice cooker to cook my day-to-day portions, I have also tried cooking rice in my Dutch oven – mostly, just for the heck of it.

Cooking plain, white rice is an easy task to do for the most part – all you need to is to put some water and some rice on a pot and let it boil, then simmer. With that said, cooking rice over the stove presents unique challenges of its own, as improper moisture and temperature control can leave you with a thick layer of burnt rice on the bottom of the pot.

This article will explain how you can cook rice in a Dutch oven perfectly every time!

What’s the Difference Between a Dutch Oven and a Rice Cooker?

Before getting into the how, let’s discuss the physical differences between a Dutch oven and a rice cooker’s pot to help you make decisions on the fly later on.

The first and most obvious difference is that the pots of automatic rice cookers are made from lightweight materials like aluminum, while Dutch ovens are made from thick and heavy cast iron. This translates to longer cooking times on a Dutch oven.

Next, and I think the more consequential difference, is that Dutch ovens have a tighter fitting lid than rice cooker pots. Moreover, the latter has a vent hole to let off steam during the cooking process. This is more important as it seems. Let me explain:

  • Too much steam trapped in the pot will result in soggy rice.
  • Too little steam will result in raw and dry rice. Moreover, it may create a layer of burnt rice at the bottom.

And since stove tops do not have the automatic shut off feature of rice cookers, you’d have to be more vigilant in keeping an eye on your pot of rice while it is cooking. However, even without all of those foolproof features, cooking rice in a Dutch oven is still an easy enough task to do.

In fact, cooking rice in a Dutch oven may even yield better results. Since cast iron takes a lot longer to heat up, it can diffuse heat more evenly, unlike the thin aluminum pots of rice cookers that have the tendency to make hotspots that burn rice. Their heavy, tight-fitting lids also help moisture stay inside the pot, which is useful as you will see later.

The Easy Method of Cooking Rice in a Dutch Oven

Before we lay out the step-by-step guide on cooking rice in a Dutch oven, here are a few caveats:

Cooking Time

The time it takes to cook rice depends on which variety you choose.

White rice variants, like short grain, long grain, jasmine rice, and basmati rice all take around 25-30 minutes to finish cooking. Meanwhile, wild rice and brown rice need 45 minutes to an hour to finish cooking.

Rice-to-Water Ratio

The rice-to-water ratio also depends on the type of rice variety you are using. But generally, you can use 1:1.5 rice-to-water ratio to achieve the desired texture.

In a pinch, you can also try the Filipino finger method. Basically, once the rice is leveled out, dip the tips of your pinky finger straight down until it touches the rice. From there, add water to the pot until it reaches the first joint of your pinky. I’ve been cooking rice everyday of my life using this method, and guess what: it works every damn time.

Step-by-Step Guide

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook rice in a Dutch oven.

  1. Place the rice grains on inside the Dutch oven
  2. Rinse the grains 3 times or until the water runs clear
  3. Pour in the appropriate amount of water according to the rice-to-water ratio
  4. Bring the pot to a boil at medium/medium high heat – leave it uncovered
  5. Once boiling, bring down the heat to a simmer, then put the lid on the Dutch oven
  6. Simmer the rice for 15 minutes
  7. After simmering, turn of the burner, and let the rice finish cooking with steam by leaving the lid on for 10 or so minutes
  8. Once done, fluff up the rice, and serve!

These steps will yield a perfect pot of rice each and every time! However, be sure to employ your eyes and nose while cooking to make small adjustments when necessary.

Additionally, you can use these same steps when cooking a rice pilaf. You just have to toast up the grains along with some aromatics before putting in your stock.


With this, you now know the basics of cooking rice in a Dutch oven – automatic rice cooker be damned!

To learn more about cooking with cast iron, check out Cult of Cast Iron! Scroll through our blog dedicated to all things cast iron and find helpful tips and tricks to level up your cast iron skills! Discover a whole new world of cooking and spread the Cult of Cast Iron word today!

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