January 23, 2020

Do you know how to warm up rice? Whether I cook rice or opt for take-out, I don’t mind eating leftover rice the next day. There is a misconception that rice should never be reheated. It is untrue.

The key factor to safely storing leftover rice is to quickly put it in the fridge and reheating rice thoroughly when getting ready to eat it again. 

Reheat rice in the microwave

Cooked rice tends to lose moisture and become chewy after it’s chilled. If you are short on time the fastest method to reheat rice is using the microwave.

What will you need?

  •  A microwave-safe bowl or plate
  • 1 T of water per cup of cooked rice

Procedure

  1. Place rice in a microwave-safe bowl or plate. If your rice is stored in a cardboard take-out container, you can heat it but make sure that it doesn’t have any metal handles or staples before heating.
  2. Add one tablespoon of water per cup of rice.
  3. If you have huge clumps of rice that are stuck together, the rice won’t reheat evenly. The clumps will dry out and become inedible rice boulders as the rice reheats. Use a fork to break apart rice clumps, so the rice heats evenly. 
  4. To hold in moisture, cover your rice with a microwave-safe plastic lid (here’s a highly rated plate cover) or another dish. You can also use a damp paper towel.
  5. Warm the rice by using high heat on the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes per serving. Frozen rice should be reheated for 2 to 3 minutes and need twice as much water.

Reheat rice on the stovetop

Using a stovetop to reheat rice allows you to stir more frequently and easily, distributing rice so it heats more evenly, fluffing the rice as you go. Remember not to use metal utensils on any nonstick cookware.

What will you need?

  • Saucepan with lid
  • Water
  • Butter or Olive Oil (optional)

Procedure

  1. Add your leftover rice to a saucepan.
  2. Add one tablespoon of water per cup of rice.
  3. Adding fat to the rice during the reheating process helps to ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to your pan and enhances the flavor at the same time but this step is optional. Half a teaspoon of fat per cup of cooked rice is all you need.
  4. Use a wooden spoon and break up any chunks of rice. Large rice chunks don’t heat properly.
  5. Turn the heat to medium and place the lid on top of the saucepan and allow it to steam.  Cook the rice for 3-5 minutes per cup of leftover rice. Stir the rice every minute and then replace lid. (Stirring keeps the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.)
  6. When all the water evaporates and the rice is fluffy and steaming, it is done.

Reheat rice in the oven

This method is ideal if you have to reheat large amounts of rice for multiple servings. If you have a toaster oven, it works well for reheating small pans of leftovers. We like this 25L Cosori, if you’re in the market for a multi-use toaster oven.

What will you need?

  • Baking dish with sides
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Aluminum foil (optional)

Procedure

  1. Add the rice to a baking dish with sides.
  2. Add 1 T. of water per cup of rice.
  3. Adding olive oil to the rice during the reheating process helps to ensure that the rice doesn’t stick to your pan and enhances the flavor at the same time. Half a teaspoon of fat per cup of cooked rice is all you need.
  4. Use a wooden spoon and break up any chunks of rice. Grouped rice chunks don’t heat properly.
  5. Cover your dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
  6. Set the timer to 20 minutes and bake at 300° F. If it is still dry, then take it out of the oven, add one tablespoon of water, stir and bake for another 3 minutes.

How to store leftover rice

Leftover rice can last up to five days in the refrigerator if it is stored properly or in the freezer for up to three months.

How to store leftover rice in the fridge

  1. Since cooked rice is full of moisture, it is vulnerable to bacteria. You cannot let it sit out at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
  2.  If your rice is in a cardboard take-out container, transfer it to a sealed container. This is because cardboard containers allow rice to harden  and get chewy. Use a ziplock plastic bag or an airtight storage container and dump all your rice in it. Now, place the container/bag in the fridge.

How to store leftover rice in the freezer

You can freeze cooked rice for three months.

  1. Make sure that you freeze the rice quickly and prevent it from being left out.
  2. Place the leftover rice in a freezer bag.  Before sealing, press the bag to remove all the air from it.
  3. Place the bag flat in the freezer. This saves space and quickens defrosting. 
  4. Reheat frozen rice directly from its frozen state without thawing first. See steps above and use twice the water when reheating.

If you are in a mood to experiment, then here are some interesting things to do with your leftover rice from the popular [Tasty] channel.

Final Thoughts

It’s pretty convenient to cook a large amount of rice at once and eat the leftovers the next day. However, to do this, you must store your rice properly. If cooked rice is left at room temperature for more than two hours, then it can get bacillus cereus—bacteria that is known to cause food poisoning. With the above tips, you can store your rice properly and reheat cooked rice safely.

How to Reheat Rice 3 Ways (Plus Tips)

How to Reheat Rice 3 Ways (Plus Tips)

How to reheat rice. Reheating rice in the microwave is the best option if you are in a hurry. Done right it, it will still turn out delicious. 

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • A microwave-safe bowl or plate
  • 1 T of water per cup of cooked rice
  • Leftover rice
  • Microwave
  • Damp paper towel

Instructions

  1. Place rice in a microwave-safe bowl or plate. If your rice is stored in a cardboard take-out container, you can heat it but make sure that it doesn’t have any metal handles or staples before heating.
  2. Add one tablespoon of water per cup of rice.
  3. If you have huge clumps of rice that are stuck together, the rice won’t reheat evenly. The clumps will dry out and become inedible rice boulders as the rice reheats. Use a fork to break apart rice clumps, so the rice heats evenly. 
  4. To hold in moisture, cover your rice with a microwave-safe plastic lid (here’s a highly rated plate covere cover) or another dish. You can also use a damp paper towel.
  5. Warm the rice by using high heat on the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes per serving. Frozen rice should be reheated for 2 to 3 minutes and need twice as much water. 

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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