Water uptake in milled rice kernels was measured as a function of soaking condition, pretreatment (steaming at 107°C for 15 min), and variety. Soaking conditions included water to rice ratio (280g water/ g dry rice solids (drs) and 0.55g water/gdrs), temperature (50°C and 90°C), and presence of solutes (salt, sucrose and/or glyceryl monostearate). Time constants, determined from an empirical equation, indicated water uptake was reduced by limited water, low temperature, or the presence of solutes (salt and/or sugar). Water uptake was enhanced when glyceryl monostearate was present in 0.55g water/gdrs and by steaming prior to soaking with sucrose present in 0.55g water/gdrs. Steaming broadened the DSC endotherm but did not cause gelatinization.