Slightly more water is needed to cook rice in the microwave compared to a stove top, according to The Christian Science Monitor. While 1 1/4 cups of water is needed to prepare 1 cup of long-grain rice on the stove, 1 1/2 cups of water are required for microwave cooking.
The amount of water used also depends upon the age of the rice. Older rice needs more water because it is drier and absorbs more water. New rice is often identified by a label on the package.
The cooking time for rice is about the same for both the stove top and microwave. Rice should sit covered for 10 minutes after the heat is turned off on the stove top. However, the rice is ready to be fluffed with a fork five minutes after being removed from the microwave.