It usually takes between 20 to 30 minutes to cook rice in a steamer. It is important to follow the ratio of rice to liquid on the packet for the rice to cook properly.
Different varieties of rice have different rice to liquid ratios. For example Asian rice varieties usually have a rice to liquid ratio of 1 to 1 to 1.25-parts liquid. Another Asian rice variety, the Basmati type, will require a tad bit more liquid with a recommended ratio of 1-part rice to 1.5 to 2-parts liquid. Brown rice requires more liquid in order to cook properly with a 1-part rice to 2.5 to 3-parts liquid. The cooking times for different varieties of rice also varies but the cooking times still fall between 20 to 30 minutes.
Traditionally, the liquid used with rice is just plain water that is sometimes seasoned with salt. However, there are rice recipes that uses other liquids such as stock, wine, juice or a combination of two or more of these liquid types.
Depending on the type of steamer, the rice may be cooked along with the liquid or the liquid is separate from the rice. The advantage of steamed rice over rice that is cooked in the conventional way, is that steamed rice usually do not get too soggy or too sticky, and it can easily be fluffed before serving.