Last updated on October 26th, 2022 at 05:20 pm
Cooked Rice, when exposed to the atmosphere after some time, acts as a breeding ground for microorganisms.
The popular and most effective way to store cooked Rice is by refrigerating it. Unfortunately, frozen Rice loses its moisture and fluffiness after reheating and doesn’t taste like freshly boiled Rice.
However, when stored and reheated correctly, frozen Rice can retain a large amount of its moisture. Let’s find out how you can keep refrigerated Rice moist.
Cool the cooked Rice quickly, either by putting it in the fridge for a while or spreading out on a tray. Scoop the Rice into airtight containers or ziplock bags. Seal tightly and freeze. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water over the top of the Rice before microwaving, or reheat under low heat while stirring slowly at intervals to prevent mashing.
Tips On How To Properly Refrigerate Rice
Cooked Rice can last up to 5 days when kept in the fridge. However, refrigerating the Rice only slows down bacteria growth but doesn’t kill the bacteria itself.
So to store cooked Rice for longer than five days, you would have to freeze them.
Frozen Rice can last more than two months, but it reduces the moisture content drastically. Add a little butter or olive oil when reheating frozen Rice to compensate for the dried-up moisture.
Frozen Rice also tends to dry out quickly after being reheated.
Therefore, you can eat it immediately after reheating to avoid this. Let’s look at a few tips you can follow when freezing cooked Rice:
#1. Cool The Cooked Rice Quickly
Storing cooked Rice in the fridge while it is still hot would cause moisture to build and collect on the surface, encouraging bacteria and fungi growth, hence making the Rice spoil faster.
The best way to cool cooked Rice quickly is to spread it out on a tray or flat surface and allow it to cool naturally for a few minutes.
Then, quickly place it in the fridge for a short time before bringing it out.
#2. Scoop Cooked Rice Into Air-tight Containers Or Plastic Ziplock Bags
After quickly cooling the cooked Rice, scoop it into airtight containers or plastic ziplock bags. Ensure these containers are completely airtight before storing Rice in the fridge.
It helps to label the date and quantity of Rice in each bag or container, so you can track how long you store the rice.
#3. Stack The Airtight Bags Or Containers In The Freezer
The bags should be placed flat and on top of each other. Make sure the surface of the bags is completely dry before storing them in the fridge.
This step prevents frost on the bags’ plastic surface, causing it to stick to the freezer.
Methods Of Reheating Frozen Rice
You can use several methods to reheat frozen Rice. You can reheat on a stove with a pot, steam basket, microwave, or oven, depending on choice and time available.
Try not to reheat frozen Rice more than once. Only reheat the quantity you can finish. Let’s discuss below some of the methods of reheating frozen Rice:
#1. Reheating With a Stove
You can make use of either a shallow pot or a frying pan. First, allow the frozen Rice to warm up to room temperature.
Next, put the frozen Rice into the pot, sprinkle a tablespoon of water mixed with oil or butter, cover tightly, and heat under low flame for up to 6 minutes.
If you still notice frozen clumps, stir slowly at intervals while heating until they dissolve.
Reheating at low heat would allow steam build-up to moisturize the Rice, retuning its fluffiness, while the occasional stirring keeps them separate to avoid sticking together.
#2. Reheating With a Steam Basket
Using a steam basket doesn’t require boiling the Rice at low heat. Instead, put the frozen Rice–with a teaspoon of oil–in a steam basket and place the basket over boiling water with the lid on.
Leave it for a few minutes to allow the steam to moisturize the Rice.
Take it out of the boiling water and allow the pressure inside the basket to settle for some time. Then, open the lid to ensure they’re no frozen clumps remaining. If none, dish out and serve.
#3. Reheating with Microwave
Microwaving the Rice would save you time and convenience. First, break the frozen Rice into small clumps and spread it on a tray or layer. Then, sprinkle a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of oil.
Then put the frozen Rice in a microwave-safe container, and cover the top with a paper towel or a napkin. Microwave for short time intervals between 30 to 20 seconds.
Bring out, stir a little and repeat this process for about 2 minutes or until the Rice is soft and heated enough.
Note that if you’re microwaving the frozen Rice in a deep bowl, ensure to stir the bowl very well after each session. The edge of the bowl may be hot, but the middle could remain frozen.
Covering the bowl with a paper towel or a napkin would help build steam to soften the dry Rice inside the bowl.
Microwaving is the fastest method among every other method and can come in very handy whenever you lack time.
However, microwaving should only be used for small servings and not for large quantities of Rice.
#4. Reheating With An Oven
As the microwave method is mainly suitable for small servings, the oven method can contain larger amounts of Rice.
For this method, you would require a shallow oven-safe baking pan and aluminum foils.
Before proceeding, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the Rice evenly over the baking pan and gently break frozen clumps into smaller sizes.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of water as well as two teaspoons of oil.
Use the aluminum foil to cover the pan tightly. Allow baking for at least 20 minutes before bringing it out.
To freeze your cooked Rice, you must store them in the freezer section of your fridge. Or better still, in a heavy-duty freezer.
The heavy-duty freezer would allow for more space and can perform optimally without frequent disturbances to keep the cooked Rice properly frozen for an extended period.
You cannot freeze rice forever; once it stays in the freezer past its 6th month, all remaining Rice should be disposed of.
Also, some signs to note for if the Rice is turning bad are: checking if it has a funky or sour smell. (This means bacteria have already started growing on that batch.),
If the Rice is crumbly, dry, and tough (this means it has lost all its moisture content and has been in the freezer for too long.)
Lastly, if the Rice is slimy, it is a sign that it had too much moisture content when refrigerated, and bacterial growth is already going through its first stages of fermentation.)
In conclusion, cooked Rice should be cooled quickly, scooped into plastic ziplock bags or airtight containers, sealed, and stored in the fridge.
Refrigerated Rice can only last a few days, while frozen Rice can last months. Always sprinkle at least a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon of oil over your Rice before reheating.