There are lots of kinds of rice. I’ll deal with regular white rice and brown rice here. If you’re using fancy rice of some kind, go for the longer brown rice time.
I fill my saucepan (that’s the pot, remember?) 3/4 full of water and dump in the amount of rice I want to use. I put the burner on high and let it get hot. REMEMBER to use your spatula to scrape the bottom of the pot from time to time to keep it from sticking. Lots of chefs tell you to salt the water or to put a little oil in it. I haven’t found that this does anything worthwhile, and I just don’t want the extra hassle.
You can pretty much time the cooking of rice. White rice takes 10 minutes on average. Brown rice and specialty rices take 20 minutes on average. These cooking times are the same whether you’re cooking rice by itself or in a soup or stew. I prefer to use brown rice when I can because it tastes better, has a nice texture, and it’s actually healthier for you because it takes more time for your body to break down than does white rice.
This bag of Mahatma brown rice is $3.50 for 2 pounds. It’ll last you quite awhile. Lundberg Family Farms sells a wide variety of specialty rices you will want to try. For the more exotic Indian rices such as basmati rice, try Pride of India rice.