Freezing Rice, A How To

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Dear Home Ec 101,
I would like to know if it is possible to freeze cooked rice. I would like to cook a bigger batch and freeze single servings. Cooking a single serving for lunch just takes too much time, but I really don’t like the quicker cooking alternatives. Also, we frequently have stir fry with rice, but for some reason my hubby keeps starting the stir fry before the rice with predictable results, so being able to quickly heat up already-cooked rice would be great. What would be the best way to freeze then reheat? Is it even possible?
Can’t it all be Minute Rice?

Heather says:
Of course you can freeze rice. In fact, you can store rice in the freezer for up to six months. Here’s what you do. Cook your rice and allow it to cool just enough to handle. Measure your portion onto a square of plastic wrap. Flatten the rice into a square and wrap tightly. Place several squares of rice onto a baking sheet or square of cardboard if you have a small freezer. When the rice is frozen, take the wrapped squares and place them into a zippered freezer bag. Easy peasy, right?

Never store rice in the refrigerator more than five day and always reheat rice thoroughly. Many people aren’t aware that improperly handled rice can be a source of food poisoning, but Bacillus cereus also enjoys a tasty treat and grows quite happily at room temperature.

To reheat the rice simply unwrap the square and place it in a microwave-safe dish with a lid. For every cup of rice sprinkle it with about 1 teaspoon of water. Nuke it on 50% power for one minute (Microwaves vary, you may need to experiment a little). Fluff the rice with a fork, and repeat the process as necssary. 

Don’t use a paper towel to cover your rice in the microwave as the microwave is being used to steam the rice rather than just heat the grains. Without the water, you’ll end up with a rubbery, crunchy mess. Good times.

Enjoy your new fast food.

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5 thoughts on “Freezing Rice, A How To”

  1. I own a rice cooker, love it, and use it no less than twice a week. I highly recommend getting one if you’re into rice. They come in various sizes. It can run unattended while you’re out or bathing the kids and it will keep the rice warm and moist for hours, if necessary. It’ll also spare you an element when you’re cooking an elaborate meal. Rice may be easy to cook but a rice cooker is idiot-proof, and well, I’m an idiot. I know I’ve gotten my money’s worth ($25, I think).They are not expensive and can double as a vegetable steamer/bean soaker/bottle sterilizer/soup reheater and more. Great for pot lucks. Hm, I’m going to check the temperature on the “keep warm” setting – I may start making stock in there.

    I don’t have many small kitchen appliances (not even a toaster) but I will always have a rice-cooker.

  2. I have to say that I am quite excited about this, guys! The main reason I don’t do rice is because my stove top is usually full of other pots and pans when cooking the meals rice would go well with.

    I have written this one down and plan to cook up a big batch of rice to be used over time. Thank you so much!

  3. Thanks! I’ve tried freezing it before, but not like this, and it was just so-so when reheated. I definitely want to use it more often than I make it but sometimes don’t because of the time element. I prefer to make brown rice for the somewhat healthier benefits, and I’m hoping these instructions would be the same for that.

  4. I used to do this a lot, but haven’t for a while. Rather than the single serve packets, though, i do 2 cups at a time in freezer containers. I love having it ready to toss into something at the last minute.

  5. washing rice for sushi takes a lot of time, even working harder at least 5 minutes for washing and 40 minutes for drying…. and musenmai rice seems to be unavaible in italy nor in europe…

    that's why i ask:

    can i wash the rice, let him dry at room temperature (eventually using a towel at the end to dry it more), put in packets and freeze?

    If I cannot freeze what about using a vacuum pump?

    I've not tried yet but would be great as will save me almost 1 hour of time making it possible to eat sushi more often (i love it).


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