Tips on How to Store and Reheat Cooked Rice
Everything you ever wanted to know about storing this kitchen staple.
Enjoyed as a main dish, side dish and even in sweet treats, rice is known to be a staple food valued across the globe, simply for its taste versatility, availability, and affordability. Rice has the ability to connect a group people together on a table through the love of good food. Whether you are enjoying basmati, jasmine or brown rice, correct storage is crucial to avoid consuming spoiled rice.
How do I cook rice?
Surprisingly, a high volume of search results appears on this subject, even if it seems to be a simple task to carry out in the kitchen.
Different rice grains require different lengths of time due to the unique characteristics each grain type has to offer. For example, there are two main methods to cook Basmati rice. You can simmer the rice is a pan of water or use the correct amount of water for an absorption method to achieve the fluffiest grain each time. Watch our ‘How to’ videos providing step by step instructions to help achieve the perfect grain.
If you have a rice cooker at home and don’t understand how to best utilise this underrated gadget (most of us don’t), check out our rice cooker guide to help achieve the perfect grain of rice.
How do I store rice correctly?
For both dry and steamed rice, store in a cool dry place.
Once a pre-cooked rice packet has been opened, either use the resealable sticker or store it in an airtight container to retain its freshness and aroma.
Once a steamed rice pouch has been opened, fold the packaging tightly and store it in the refrigerator, to be consumed on the day it has been opened or one day after before bacteria starts to grow.
Spoilage in pre and post-cooked rice
Like most foods, rice has a shelf life if not stored correctly. White rice can have an almost indefinite shelf life if kept in good storage conditions away from moisture. The rice will become slightly darker over time as it ages, however rice is a very stable food, capable of retaining its nutrients and flavour for many years.
Brown rice should be consumed within the 18-month shelf life as the rice has a higher fat content which can go rancid over time. If dry rice comes into contact with moisture, spoilage can occur. This will first show visible discolouration and an off aroma. As best practice, it’s always recommended to check the expiry date.
If the microwave steamed rice packaging has become damaged in any way, even with a small tear or hole, oxygen can enter the pouch and spoil the rice. An indicator of spoilage are for example, an acidic smell or unusual consistency.
Reheating rice safely
Ideally, rice is best served as soon as it has been cooked. However, if that is not possible, here are a few tips to reheat safely:
1. Cool the rice as quickly as possible, ideally within one hour, and keep it in the fridge until you reheat it
2. Store the rice in the fridge for no more than two days before reheating
3. When you reheat rice, make sure it is steaming hot all the way through
4. Do not reheat rice more than once
Can reheating rice cause food poisoning?
If the above steps are not followed, it is best not to reheat the rice. Incorrect storage after cooking can allow Bacillus cereus and other bacterial spores to grow and produce toxins (poisons) that eventually causes food poisoning. It is not the reheating that causes the problem, but the way the rice has been stored before it is reheated.
Our microwave steamed rice is taken to a much higher temperature than rice cooked in boiling water, this eliminates spores that may survive during the cooking process. This means that they are sterile and can be stored for a long period at room temperature. Once the rice pouch has been opened, it should be refrigerated and consumed within two days. Remember the cleanliness of a fridge plays an important role to ensure there is no mould building upon the walls of the fridge which can grow and spread bacteria.