In my experience, most published rice cooking instructions produce wet undercooked rice.
The following is my recipe which I've followed for at least 20 years. It produces firm dry, but fully cooked, rice, which is particularly ideal for mixing with cooked meat and/or vegetables (e.g., stir fry), for making "fried rice", or for adding to soups shortly before serving. Even though my Puerto Rican wife does not believe that rice is properly cooked unless the bottom of the fourth of the rice is burnt to the pan, my recipe leaves a pan that needs only a quick rinse with a scrunge.
Your recipe may differ. For example, you may prefer to rinse or soak the rice ahead of time. You may prefer to let the rice "set" in the covered pot for a while after its cooked. Fine. The key is consistency. Experiment all you want, but when you find a formula which works for you, follow it consistently.
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS 1) Add 1 1/2 cups of water to an uncovered 2 1/2 quart sausepan. Calphalon Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 2 1/2 qt. Shallow Sauce & Cover - Boxed 2) On HIGH bring the water to a boil, in the meantime measure 1 cup of rice. 3) As soon as the water begins to boil, turn the stove OFF, add the rice, and stir. 4) Set the stove burner to LOW, set a timer for 15--20 minutes for white rice, or 30--40 minutes for wild or brown rice, and cover 5) When the timer goes off, immediately remove from the stove, uncover, stir and "fluff up" the rice with a plastic spatula, and leave uncovered for 1/2 hour. 6) After a half-hour, cover the rice until eating, or put it away in the frig.
ADJUSTMENTS 1b) When cooking white rice, you can substitute thin stock for water. However, particularly rich stock (or too much oil) can increase the cooking time. Generally it is best to add butter, oil, or seasonings AFTER the rice is cooked. I recommend NOT using stock for brown or wild rice. 2b) Some white rice contains alot of rice flour which can cause the pot to "bubble over" when cooking. It may be necesssary to rinse some white rice. Also, a little olive oil can help minimize bubbling over. 3b) If any rice sticks to the bottom of the pan, the cooking temp was too high. Use a lower temp next time 4b) If the rice is too soft, reduce the cooking time by 5 minutes next time. 5b) If by chance the rice is undercooked, increase the temp next time. Undercooked rice may be salvaged by microwaving in a closed container for several minutes.
TO RINSE OR NOT TO RINSE 1) Unless it is obviously dirtly, there is no reason to wash wild or brown rice. 2) As noted, some types and brands of white rice need to be rinsed because of rice powder on the surface. Look at the rice, if it is opaque like chalk, it probably needs to be rinsed. If it is shiny and translucent, it doesn't need to be rinsed. 3) If the rice is fortified with vitamins and minerals, you'll wash the vitamins and minerals if you rinse the rice.
FLUFFING RICE Most cookbook instructions I've seen say to fluff rice with a fork. A not-too-wide plastic spatula with a fairly sharp edge works better. With such a spatula, you can loosen any rice sticking to the side or bottom of the pan without mashing the rice. After loosening the rice, you can fluff it up with a spatula, with a "folding" motion.
SALVAGING UNDERCOOKED RICE---IT REALLY WORKS!!! If the rice is undercooked and liquid remains, move the rice to a SMALL COVERED casserole and microwave for 5 minutes---the results will be perfectly cooked. REALLY! Note that in this case, it is the steam which cooks, so a SMALL COVERED casserole is essential. The following perfectly holds 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice (made from 1 cup of dry rice): Marinex 23.7-Ounce Small Round Casserole with Lid
COOKING BROWN RICE IN A MICROWAVE Add 1 cup dry rice and 1/2 cup water to a 24oz covered casserole, microwave 5 minutes(at "low" or half-power). Add another 1/2 water, microwave 5 minutes(at "low" or half-power). Add the third 1/2 cup water and microwave 5 minutes(at "low" or half-power). I haven't tried cooking white rice in my microwave yet, but I'll report on the results when I do.
LEFT OVERS If this recipe produces more rice than you need, then store the excess in the frig. Cooked rice will easily keep refrigerated for a week. If you've got left-over rice, try a fried egg over buttered rice with a dash of soy sause for breakfast----terrific.
CERAMIC TOP RANGES On my glass-top (Kitchen Aide) range, I've found that I cannot cook ANYTHING simultaneously with the rice, or even for several hours later. If the oven or ANY other burner is in use, the temperature sensing circuitry of the range turns off the burner with the rice, with the result that the rice is undercooked. A reader assures me that she has the same problem with her Frigidaire range. SOLUTION: Do not try to cook anything simultaneously with the rice, but if the surface is warm from using the stove or range recently; you can chill the stovetop surface with pots filled with on inch of ice cubes around the burner with the rice pot. IT REALLY WORKS!!!
EASY FRIED RICE Actually "frying" rice in a wok is difficult, requires alot of oil, and generates another dirty pan. Instead, start with cooled dry cooked rice. Simply leaving the cooked rice uncovered and fluffing it a few times, will adequately dry it out. Or you could spread it out on a cookie tray to encourage drying. You want the rice to be dry, but not hard.
Mix in soy sauce (or better yet Braggs Bragg's Liquid Aminos, 16-Ounces (Pack of 6))and peanut or olive oil to the rice to taste. Then add your choice of cooked chopped vegetables and meats. A little pepper and lemon juice will enhance the flavor. Microvave until steaming hot and serve.
CONGEE---Oriental comfort food. Resembles oat meal or a thick soup, depending on the ratio of rice to water. The following makes a thick soup: Cook 1 cup of white rice to 6 cups of water in a 2 1/2 quart sausepan for 3 hours. When cooked to the consistency you desire, add any chopped vegetables or meats you desire. Brown rice congee needs to be cooked 5 hours or longer (in many Oriental homes, overnight for breakfast).