Easy Guide to Freezing and Reheating Rice – and More. Find It Here!

Can You Freeze Cooked Rice? What About Uncooked Rice?

Rice is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. 

It’s cheap, delicious, easy to make, and warm rice can be used or paired with so many different dishes. It’s a fantastic option for cooking large quantities and has many health benefits.

No wonder it is a staple food for over half of the world’s population!

That said, it is a very filling food, and it can be hard to measure its portions once cooked, so having leftovers is common.

But what do you do with leftover cooked rice? Can you freeze them? Definitely. 

What about uncooked rice? Surprisingly, yes!

Here’s all you need to know about freezing rice as well as thawing and reheating them – and more!

How to Freeze Rice?

This works for all kinds of different types of rice. Traditional white rice, aromatic rice, whole grain brown rice, and wild rice

Rice can be frozen, both cooked or uncooked. Freezing rice helps to prolong its shelf-life so that it will keep for a longer time, especially for brown rice because of the small amount of naturally occurring oils in its kernels.

For cooked rice

  • If your rice is already cool, skip to the third step.
  • For freshly cooked rice, spread your rice on a plate, baking sheet, or anything flat and wide and cool it completely. You can opt to let it cool at room temperature or put it in the fridge. The layer of rice should be thin to help it cool faster.
  • Portion your rice.
  • Transfer your rice in a freezer-safe airtight container or bag.
  • Label and date properly, stating the date, type, and amount of rice.
  • Freeze!

 

For uncooked rice

  • For rice that is still in its original box, you can place the rice straight in your freezer in its original packaging.

If not,

  • Portion your rice
  • Put them in an airtight freezer-safe bag or container.
  • Label and date properly, stating the date, type, and amount of rice.
  • Freeze!

Note: 

Make sure to remove as much air as possible and that your rice is free from moisture before packing.

You should freeze cooked rice as soon as it is cooled to stop potential bacteria growth that can cause food poisoning.

 

How Long Does Frozen Rice Last?

For cooked rice

If stored correctly in the freezer, it can last for 6 months. But consuming it as soon as possible is ideal for optimal rice quality, preferably within 1 month.

For uncooked rice

It can last for up to 18 months. However, consuming frozen rice within six months is recommended by the USA Rice Federation for best results.

How to Reheat Frozen Rice?

For uncooked rice

Remove the portion you intend to use from the freezer and either:

1. Transfer it to your fridge and leave it for several hours or overnight

2. Leave it at room temperature and let it thaw for several hours

3. If it’s in an airtight bag or container, place it under running water. Make sure no water gets into the container.

For cooked rice

Using Microwave

  • Your rice will probably have frozen in a solid block, so first, break them into chunks and place them in a microwave-safe container.
  • Microwave the rice on high heat. After 2-3 minutes, check if the rice has thawed. If not, give it a few more time in the microwave. 

Using a stove

  • Break your rice into chunks and place it in a saucepan.
  • Add a bit of water, a few tablespoons of water will do, and cover.
  • Set your heat on low and let your rice steam for a little bit
  • Stir while cooking rice to prevent sticking or burning
  • Check if it’s thawed enough. If not, add one more tablespoon of water or more if it’s still too cold or dry and cook a little more. 

You can also opt not to thaw your rice if you’re adding it to a dish. Simply add the rice and add more minutes of cooking time to let your rice heat all the way.

How to Know If Your Rice Has Gone Bad?

Rice has a long shelf life, but it would still be best to check if it is still safe for consumption if stored for a long time.

List of things to check to know if your rice is still safe to eat:

  • Check the expiration date if it’s in its original packaging. If it’s past, then don’t eat them.
  • Check for bad smell. Even though it looks fine, throw it out if it smells bad. Even if you think it’s not that bad of a smell, if it has any unusual smells, it’s best not to eat it. This is more common in brown rice.
  • Check the texture. If they’re too hard, too mushy, or just don’t feel right even after reheating. Discard it. For brown rice, it may feel like it’s coated in oil once spoiled.
  • Check for mould or discolouration. If you see any signs of mould or discolouration, discard them. 
  • Check for insects. If you see reddish-brown bugs, discard rice immediately and disinfect the container and the surrounding shelves. They’re called rice weevils,’ and they will migrate to other food products.

Remember, “When in doubt, throw it out.” 

Bonus!

Things you didn’t know about rice.

  • All white rice starts brown.
  • There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice in the world.
  • Rice is grown on every continent except Antarctica. 
  • Planting just one seed of rice will result in over 3,000 grains.
  • Brown rice contains more fibre than white rice.
  • Rice cultivation needs approximately 5,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of rice.
  • Honda means “the main rice field” in Japanese.
  • Rice is naturally gluten-free.
  • Rice is an annual plant – only harvested once a year.

Final Words

Rice is an important commodity in the world. It directly feeds more people than any other crop. 

And as one of the facts given above, to produce 1 kilogram of rice, approximately 5,000 litres of water is needed, not to mention the year-long labour of our beloved farmers. So don’t waste a grain! Freezing rice is easy. Follow our simple steps and make them last longer.

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