It is understandable if you say you enjoy homemade rice but do not get time to cook rice at home due to a hectic schedule. Now, you can deep freeze cooked rice.
Yes, you read that right. It is possible to freeze cooked rice at home to enjoy later. This saves time, plus, well-stored frozen rice lasts for a couple of days saves you from cooking the grain every day.
While some people already have cooked rice packed inside their freezers, many are still new to this idea.
And one of the biggest reasons that hold them back is, whether is it safe to eat defrosted rice?
To be honest, you do have a valid question. After all, you do not want to cook a grain in advance only to consume it later to cause indigestion or food positioning. So it is important to follow good practices while freezing rice or any other cooked food for its better shelf life.
Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?
Yes, it is ok to freeze cooked rice. Or you can also refrigerate cooked rice for 2 days if you’re planning to consume it the next day or the day after.
Refrigerating cooked rice is only good if you’re storing plain white rice. The grains would even turn fluffier when kept inside a cold environment for a long time.
However, deep freezing becomes necessary if your rice contains vegetables or meat. This is because veggies or meat tend to spoil faster than grain. Therefore, deep freezing is the best you can do here to avoid bacterial growth.
This brings us to our main question, can you freeze cooked rice? So yes, you can. All types of rice varieties like white, jasmine, brown, etc, are safe to freeze.
How to Freeze Cooked Rice
Again, it is important that you follow the right method to freeze cooked rice to avoid bacterial growth. Plus, it will help to keep the grain fluffy while you defrost and reheat rice.
1. Spread the Rice on a baking tray or cookie sheet
The first step is to spread your freshly cooked rice on a baking tray or a cookie sheet. Use a rice paddle to spread the grains evenly. Doing so will bring the grains to room temperature quickly. It will take about 20-25 minutes to cool down.
2. Refrigerate and Pack
Now it’s time to refrigerate the rice for a few minutes(5 or 10 at max!). Then take the tray out from the fridge and transfer it into a freezer-safe zip bag. Do not forget to label the date and time on the zip bag to remember its expiration date. Remember to expel maximum air out of the zip back while packing.
(Tip: Store only a single serving or the quantity of rice you’ll consume in one go)
Finally, place all the zip bags filled with cooked rice in the freezer. Stack the bags to save space. This frozen rice will be safe to consume within a month.
How To Reheat Frozen Rice?
You can either thaw frozen rice or cook it directly, whatever the time permits. It is better to thaw it before cooking to get that fresh, fluffy feel.
Thawing can be done either on a stovetop or in a microwave.
But before you decide on any method, it is important to break the frozen rice into big cubes. You can cube it inside the zip bag to avoid mess.
The stovetop method will need a good saucepan with a lid and a few tbsp of water. Add the rice cubes/chunks to the saucepan along with 2-3 tbsp of water and turn on the gas to the lowest flame. Stir for a few minutes and then cover the pan with a lid. You can add more water if needed.
Or you can use Microwave to reheat frozen rice. For that, you need to transfer the rice chunks into a microwave-safe bowl. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap(microwave-safe of course) or a microwave-safe lid. Keep the bowl inside the appliance and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes.
Carefully remove the lid or plastic wrap as it would be too hot. Then use a fork to fluff the rice and serve.
FAQ About Freezing Cooked Rice
Does rice freeze well?
The soft texture of rice freezes extremely well. All you need to do is follow proper storage ways for longer shelf life. You do not need to set the freezing temperature to extremely low as the regular temperature will do the trick.
How long can cooked rice stay in the fridge?
You’ll be happy to know that cooked rice lasts up to 1 month in the freezer. The only thing you need to take care of is, proper reheating before consuming. Make sure to reheat frozen rice piping hot as this will kill any bacteria if present. Also, do not reheat rice more than once. It is a big NO.
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The Bottom Line
Rice is a staple food in many countries and many people often find their meals incomplete without a good portion of rice on their plate. And nowadays it is hard to find time to cook a hearty meal at home.
So, freezing cooked rice is the best solution to enjoy rice on demand. They are easy to cook and freeze at home. Also, homecooked frozen rice is cheaper and better than many store-bought packets.