Are you looking for the best way to reheat rice properly? Rice is one of the most common foods people eat. But let's face it, leftovers can oftentimes be a little on the boring side and hard to enjoy without re-heating in some manner that doesn't produce unsatisfactory results.
This article will equip you with the knowledge to reheat cooked rice perfectly in the microwave and on the stove without hassle.
These methods work for short and long-grain white rice, basmati rice, brown rice, and many more.
No more hard or gummy rice, these methods leave you with fluffy rice as if you have just cooked it.
PS: however way you choose to reheat rice, make sure it is piping hot before serving it and eat it immediately or as soon as possible.
- saucepan with lid (large enough to hold your rice)
- measuring cup and measuring spoons
- plastic wrap (cling film)
- Microwable bowl
Now let's begin!
Stovetop method for how to reheat rice properly
This is the best method anyway, only reheat rice in the microwave if you do not have a stove or time is of the essence.
First, take your cold-cooked white rice and put it in a saucepan. Sprinkle then stir 1 Tablespoon of water into 1 cup of cooked rice. Place on low-medium heat and cover the pot tightly with a lid. let the rice simmer for about 1 minute then continue to stir frequently until the water dries off and the rice is piping hot.
At this time your rice is being infused with moisture from inside which is good for making sure that every grain will separate when stirred or fluffed with a fork. transfer the rice to a plate and use as desired.
How long to reheat rice in microwave (how to reheat rice in the microwave properly)
For this method, you will need a microwave-safe bowl, a lid, and plastic wrap (clingfilm). transfer your cooked rice into the microwavable bowl, add about 2 teaspoons of water to 1 cup of cooked rice.
Cover with a cling film or the lid of the bowl and microwave for about 30 - 90 seconds depending on the wattage of your microwave and the amount of the rice, stirring halfway through until piping hot.
Remove from microwave and carefully uncover plastic wrap, use a fork to fluff up the rice, transfer to a plate, and serve as needed.
Tip: add a knob of butter to the rice for added flavour
How to store cooked rice
The best way to store cooked rice that is leftover from a previous meal is by refrigerating or freezing within 1 to 2 hours of cooking to prevent contamination from bacteria growth.
In the fridge: cooked rice can be stored for a maximum of 4-5 days in the fridge. This is because while being chilled, bacteria present on the rice will start multiplying really fast and this might cause your cooked rice to go bad. Also, storing it too long could have an adverse effect on its taste and flavor so better not take any chances.
Avoid food poisoning and consume the leftover rice as soon as you can. Make sure your fridge is set at the right temperature
In the freezer: cooked rice can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. If you are planning to store it longer than that, then I suggest not doing this because the rice will lose moisture and the texture the longer it stays in the freezer.
Frozen rice can be reheated from frozen in the microwave, you can also decide to let it thaw in the fridge before reheating it on the stove or the microwave.
PS: you may not need to add water to reheat frozen rice.
Tips for storing rice properly
- Store cooked rice in small containers before freezing or refrigeration, that way, you will only be reheating what you need at a time. More importantly, there will be less handling which is great for food safety.
- There is no need to warm cold rice if you would be using it in a stir fry. Cold rice works better in stir-fries.
- if the rice is clumped, break it up before adding water so that the water can penetrate and aid the reheating process effectively.
- when reheating rice in the microwave use moist heat instead of dry heat because too much exposure to air will make your rice dry and gummy so cover properly. Make sure you poke holes in the plastic wrap though!
- Do not reheat your rice more than once as it may allow bacteria growth which can cause food poisoning.
- These methods can also be used for reheating cooked pasta and other leftovers like veggies, beans, etc.
Related post: How to reheat chicken nuggets
How to use leftover rice
With leftover rice, you can make some of the most delicious and quick dishes. Save your leftovers for salads or use them in one-pot recipes. Check these recipes for delicious ideas and inspiration
How do you reheat rice in a microwave without drying it out?
Make sure you cover the rice with a plastic wrap or a microwavable lid before microwaving. Also, if the rice looks dried out, you can add a sprinkle of about 2 teaspoons of water to the rice before reheating.
The water will help redistribute moisture back into the rice without drying out further.
Can you eat cold rice?
Yes, you can eat cold rice provided it was initially handled correctly before it was stored in the fridge. Personally, I don't find eating cold rice appealing unless it's sushi but each to his own.
It is best to always reheat rice before consuming it to avoid food poisoning. Uncooked rice can contain Bacillus cereus, a bacterial that cause food poisoning. The spores survive when the rice is cooked and could make you sick!
How long to reheat rice in microwave?
You should reheat your rice in the microwave for about 30 - 90 seconds depending on the quantity you are microwaving. Transfer the rice to a plate and use as desired.
How long does cooked rice last?
If stored properly, cooked rice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or 3 days for optimum freshness. Cooked rice can also be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months, longer at your discretion.
How long can cooked rice be left out?
Cooked rice should never stay out longer than 2 hours because it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and could lead to food poisoning if consumed after that time.
Can you freeze cooked rice?
Yes, you can freeze cooked rice in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer-safe bag. Make sure that the rice is completely cooled before transferring it to your freezer.
How many times can you reheat rice?
Don't reheat rice more than once as this can allow bacteria to grow.
Can reheating rice cause food poisoning?
Reheating cooked rice can definitely cause food poisoning if the heat doesn't kill the Bacillus cereus bacteria present. You have to be very careful with how you keep your rice and always make sure it is piping hot before serving.
Reheating rice in the stovetop or microwave is quick and easy enough that you can do it daily, and it makes the previously cooked rice as fresh as you have just made it
You don't need to be a professional chef to know how to reheat rice, and I hope this guide has given you some insight into what is necessary for proper reheating and storing of your cooked rice.
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Best Way to reheat rice (stovetop and microwave method)
- Microwave or stove
- Saucepan or microwaveable bowl
- 1 cup cooked white rice
- 1 Tablespoon water
- In a saucepan, combine cold-cooked white rice with 1 Tablespoon of water (1 Cup cooked rice + 1 Tablespoon water). Place the pot over low-medium heat and cover tightly with a lid.
- Allow the rice to simmer for about 1 minute, then remove the lid and continue to stir often until the water has evaporated and the rice piping hot. Serve and enjoyPS: if the rice is still cold after a minute, you may need to add more water. Only add about 1 Tablespoon at a time to avoid getting the rice soggy.
- Transfer your cooked rice into the microwavable bowl, add about 2 teaspoons of water to 1 cup of cooked rice and stir to combine.
- Cover with a cling film or the lid of the bowl and microwave for about 30 - 90 seconds interval depending on the wattage of your microwave and the amount of the rice, stirring halfway through until hot.
- Remove from microwave and carefully uncover plastic wrap, use a fork to fluff up the rice, transfer to a plate, and serve as needed.
- If reheating frozen rice, it's best to use the defrost option on your microwave to first defrost it for a few minutes just long enough to defrost and separate the grains
- Microwave on high for 90 seconds at a time, then repeat depending on how much you're reheating until the rice is piping hot.
- The methods mentioned above would work for long-grain rice including basmati rice.
- If the rice is clumped together, try to separate it before reheating, as this makes the process simpler and the rice reheats evenly.
- When reheating frozen rice in the microwave, there will be no need to add water.