It is a common question these days if you can freeze cooked rice. This article will explore this topic, and find out whether it is possible to freeze rice after it has been cooked!
In a word, the answer is most likely yes! You can freeze rice after it has been cooked, however you should know that the texture will be a bit different compared to before.
Read below for more information on how long you can store cooked rice in your freezer and what exactly changes when freezing!
Why Frozen Rice is Not as Scary as You Think
Many people are scared to try freezing rice after it’s cooked because they think it will turn rock hard. But you can cook rice ahead of time, label it with the date, and freeze it for up to 6 months without any negative effects on texture or taste.
Freezing cooked rice is a great way to save leftovers, as long as they don’t have any sauce or ingredients that can be affected by freezing.
How Do I Freeze Rice, so it Lasts Longer than a Couple of Days?
1. The first thing you want to do is make sure your rice isn’t cold when it goes into the freezer, or else it will freeze solid and be a huge pain to thaw later. Warm-up a pot of rice by cooking according to regular directions on the box, making extra if needed for leftovers.
2. Once the rice is fully cooked, spread it out evenly in a baking dish. This allows for quick and even thawing once you are ready to use your rice! Place the baking sheet with rice into the freezer, uncovered, until the rice is completely frozen.
3. There are two different ways to store your frozen cooked rice in your freezer. The first is in a freezer bag. This method works best if you are planning to use your rice later in the month, or even in the next few days. After all the rice has frozen solid, remove it from your baking dish and place it into a freezer bag that can be sealed tightly. Store flat on top of one another so they freeze flat and don’t take up much space. The second option is to freeze your rice inside a freezer-safe container. If you want to store your frozen rice for several months, this method may be preferable. Just like with the freezer bag, spread out the rice into an even layer before placing it in the freezer to prevent large chunks from forming. Place the rice-filled container into the freezer.
4. Now that your rice is solidly frozen, you are ready to use it whenever you choose! You can cook your frozen rice just as you would fresh rice, or thaw it in the microwave first to speed up the process. Once thawed, consider adding other ingredients to make fried rice or a delicious rice pilaf.
How Long Can I Store Cooked Rice in the Freezer?
Frozen rice will last up to 6 months. After thawing and reheating, it should taste and feel like regular cooked rice. However, if you plan on freezing cooked rice more than once, you should think about cooking it in smaller batches so it doesn’t lose its moisture and texture after the first freezing.
To compare: Cooked rice will usually last from 3 days to a week after being cooked. The length of time it lasts really depends on how you store it and what type of rice it is. In general, brown rice will last longer than white rice.
So you can really extend the longevity of your rice and reduce waste.
What Types of Rice can be Frozen?
Your next question is likely going to be what types of rice can be frozen. Some people will tell you that their type of rice cannot be frozen, but the fact of the matter is that there are many varieties of rice that you can freeze. There’s jasmine, white rice, wild rice, parboiled, brown rice and long grain white rice.
What Changes when Rice is Frozen
On top of the obvious change of texture, which you can iron out by cooking it further after thawing, other things will also change when your rice is frozen.
For example, its nutrient content goes down a little bit, but not significantly enough that it should affect your decision to freeze cooked rice. The flavor will also change ever so slightly, but you’ll still be able to use it in any recipe.
Defrosting Frozen Rice Correctly
The first thing you want to make sure of when you’re thawing your frozen rice is that it is in a shallow dish in order for it to thaw evenly and quickly. Next, place the dish into a bigger dish with some cold water in it and keep that in the fridge.
Make sure to change out the water when it becomes too cold! The rice should be ready when there is no ice in the water bath surrounding your thawed rice, which usually takes around an hour or two.
Can Frozen Rice be Refrozen?
There are no real rules when it comes to secondary freezing, but if you want to make sure that your cooked rice is in the best condition for eating, make sure not to refreeze it. It’s safe for up to two times in the freezer, after which its texture will be compromised.
The Final Verdict
Frozen rice is a great way to save money and reduce food waste. Frozen cooked rice can be used in place of fresh for many recipes, including fried rice, a delicious pilaf or your frozen Chili con Carne. The only drawback is that you should eat it within six months of freezing, otherwise its quality will suffer.
Often Asked question
How long does cooked rice last on my countertop if I don’t refrigerate it?
Cooked rice will typically keep at room temperature for three days if you maintain proper hygiene while cooking and afterward. Make sure to use a spoon when serving the rice, and throw out any rice that has been sitting at room temperature for longer than three days.
How long can you freeze cooked rice?
Freezing cooked rice is an effective way to preserve it for up to six months. After thawing, it may lose some of its texture if you refreeze it, but there should be no problem if you only freeze it once.
Can I freeze cooked jasmine rice?
Yes, you can freeze cooked jasmine rice. Jasmine rice is a type of white rice that makes for a delicious side dish or ingredient in many recipes. Freezing cooked jasmine rice will preserve it for up to six months.
Is it bad to freeze cooked rice more than once?
If you only freeze your rice once, there should be no problem. You can freeze cooked rice up to two times before it starts losing its quality. After the second time of freezing, its texture may suffer and some of its flavor will go away. However, if you freeze it twice, you should have no problem using it to cook fried rice or another dish.
How to recognize that cooked rice is bad?
Cooked rice typically lasts three days at room temperature if you maintain good hygiene. If it starts to look, smell or taste suspicious during those three days, throw it out. Also, make sure to refrigerate your cooked rice after the first day and before heating it up for consumption. Be careful not to leave cooked rice at a hot temperature for more than two hours as this will encourage bacterial growth.