How to Freeze Cooked Rice
When it comes to freezing cooked rice, we would only recommend doing so when you know full well when, where and how the rice was cooked. In other words, only do so with rice that you have personally cooked yourself.
- Cook It
First things first, get your rice cooked using your usual method of cooking rice.
Once it has cooked, spread the rice out on a baking tray in an even layer to cool it to room temperature as quickly as possible.
- Bag Up
As soon as the rice is at room temperature, you need to portion it into bags.
Then place these bags straight into the freezer.
Rice is most likely to attract bacteria when it is left at room temperature. That’s why you mustn’t deal with it later in the day but get on with it as soon as possible.
This method will work for any rice, from plain basmati to brown and wild rice varieties.
Don’t hesitate to add some vegetables to the rice too and freeze it this way also.
Can You Freeze Take Away Rice?
No! Now, this might seem extreme, but you don’t know the process that the rice has gone through.
Generally speaking, you should only reheat rice once. The problem with a take away is that you don’t know if they have already reheated the rice – chances are they have as it’s more efficient for them.
So if you’re looking to freeze cooked rice, only do so when you can be 100% confident of the process that rice has been through from day 1.
With take away rice, this is simply impossible to do, so instead, you need to either eat it all on the day you got it or throw it away.
4 Tips for Freezing Cooked Rice
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cooked rice to have the best results:
- Avoid Takeaway Rice – As discussed above, we would advise freezing takeaway rice. It’s impossible to know what process that rice has been through in the past.
- Freeze Cooked Rice Pouches – Freeze cooked rice in small pouches that are the perfect size for one portion. You can grab a portion as and when you need a side of rice. Don’t forget, you can flavour the rice too.
- Create Complete Meals – You can freeze cooked rice with sliced chicken thighs and vegetables to create complete meals that can be reheated and enjoyed with ease.
- Try Other Varieties – Don’t just limit yourself to plain long-grain rice. The method for freezing cooked rice can be applied to a range of rice varieties, including jasmine, basmati, brown and wild.
How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?
Generally, rice can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months for it to retain its nutrients and texture. Beyond this and you should dispose of the rice you have frozen.
Remember, as always, to carefully and clearly label any frozen rice with a use-by date, so you know which frozen products need using up first.
You Can Freeze Cooked Rice for up to 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Cooked Rice?
Rice can actually be used straight from the freezer, depending on how you plan on using it.
If you’re using the rice in a soup or stir fry, then add your frozen rice to the dish and allow it to warm through and break apart. This should only take a matter of minutes over a medium to high heat.
If you want just plain rice to use as a side dish, then place the rice in a saucepan with a splash of water. Place the pan over low heat and gently warm through until the rice is at the right temperature.
Use a fork to break the rice apart carefully. Don’t be too heavy-handed here, as you can break the individual rice grains.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Rice?
We would strongly recommend not refreezing cooked rice. Cooked rice can already harbour bacteria if it is not dealt with correctly. Refreezing rice will only risk this happening further.
Instead, follow our method for freezing rice in suitable containers in portions so you can grab a portion at a time.
Does Cooked Rice Freeze Well?
Unless you warm the rice for too long, you’ll be hard pushed to tell the difference between freshly cooked and frozen rice. There is a risk the rice becomes mushy if you don’t keep an eye on it.
But if warmed correctly, it’ll be as good as if you had just cooked it. You’ll also save loads of time! When you reheat the rice, you only want to get heat into it, you don’t want to do any cooking, so always keep an eye on it.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing cooked rice or rice in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Egg-Fried Rice?
Cooked rice can be frozen with a range of additions, and this includes egg. If you have leftover egg-fried rice that you want to freeze, then allow it to cool, bag it up, seal and freeze. That’s all there is to it.
How Do You Cool Rice Safely?
When it comes to cooling rice, the main problem is leaving it at room temperature when it can harvest bacteria. Get it cooled quickly, then store it properly as soon as it has cooled.
To get it cool quickly but safely, remove it from the pan, you cooked it in. Then scoop it onto a baking tray. Spread it out into a thin layer.
Every 5-10 minutes, give it a quick stir so that the grains on the bottom get to the cool air.