Freezing rice is a great way to have it on hand anytime you need it. The process is easy and the frozen rice will keep for up to 12 months without any change in the taste and texture. Learn how easy it is to freeze rice and how to use it.
How to Freeze Rice
There are a lot of reasons you want to freeze rice. One of the biggest reasons to freeze rice is so that leftover rice doesn’t go bad. Another reason to know how to freeze rice is so that you always have it on hand.
Rice can be one of the hardest thing to make for dinner at night. Not because it is hard to make but because when I am in a hurry, it feels like it takes forever to make. When I am trying to make a fast dinner and get it on the table in a hurry, rice seems like it can slow the whole dinner down.
Since we do a lot of freeze meals that are often served over rice it is a big deal for me to have rice on hand and ready to go. I don’t want to keep it in the refrigerator because then if we do not use it, it will go bad. Keeping the rice in the freezer means that I have rice whenever I need it for dinner without worrying that it will go bad before I can use it. I will cook a large batch of rice, all at one time, and then portion it in dinner size portions. I follow these steps to freeze the rice. It is so easy, saves time and money.
How long does rice last?
I keep a lot of rice on hand. Because it is inexpensive and easy to make, it is a staple at home. But you might be wondering how long does rice last. Well, that depends on what stage the rice is in.
Bags of Uncooked Rice
How long does uncooked rice last? If you are talking about rice in a bag that has not been opened, uncooked rice will last for several years or more. You can check the “best used by” date on the back of the package and adjust according to how you store it. In general, your uncooked rice will last for up to three years without a problem.
Cooked rice in the refrigerator
How long does cooked rice last? Cooked rice that has been left in the refrigerator will last for 4 to 6 days.
Cooked rice in the freezer
How long does cooked rice last in the freezer? Cooked rice lasts for up to 12 months. That is a long amount of time, which is great for having it on hand. Make sure to portion the cooked rice into dinner sized portions on into single serve portions. Place the rice in freezer bags and make sure to remove the air. Also, be sure to add the date to the bag or container so that you know exactly when you froze it.
How to Reheat Cooked Rice from the Freezer
There are several ways that you can reheat the rice. You can reheat rice in the microwave, on the stove, or in a steamer.
Reheating Rice in the Microwave
One of the quickest ways to reheat rice is in the microwave. There are a few ways you can do this.
Heat it in a microwave safe container from frozen on high for 2 minutes, stir and then heat another 3 minutes or until hot.
Heat it in a microwave safe container from thaweding on high for 1 minute, stir and then heat another minute or until hot.
Heat it in a microwave safe container from frozen on high for 2 minutes, turn container over and then heat another 3 minutes or until hot.
Reheating Rice on the Stovetop
An easy way to reheat rice is on the stovetop. All you need to do is heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add the frozen rice and about 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth for each serving you would like to reheat. Cover the rice with a lid, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Reheating Rice in an Electric Steamer
If using an electric steamer, just follow the directions in your steamer’s user manual. This is a great way to reheat rice if you are at work or school for lunch.
If you are going to use the microwave, stovetop, or steamer method, it is best that you do not heat more than 2 cups of rice at one time. That is because if too much rice is reheated in one container, or reheated for too long, the rice can develop bacteria.
Can you freeze uncooked rice?
This is a great way to make sure the rice doesn’t go bad when you do not finish it in time. Uncooked rice doesn’t have to be frozen because it will last for years, but freezing the rice does prevent anything from getting into it. It helps to make sure bugs and rodents can not invade your rice supply.
Can I Add Frozen Rice Directly to Dishes?
It is best to thaw the frozen rice before adding it to your dish. This will help prevent some of the ingredients from being overcooked or undercooked. To speed up thawing, you can place the frozen rice in a strainer and rinse with warm water. Then you can add it directly to your dish without a problem
However in some cases, you can add the frozen rice directly to your recipes. In things like soups or chili, you can add the rice directly. That is because there is enough liquid and the foods are cooked by the time you are adding the rice. Then you simply let the liquid reheat the rice and you are ready to eat.
Supplies for Freezing Rice
- Cooked rice
- quart sized freezer bags
- baking sheets
- nonstick spray
Step By Step directions on How to Freeze Rice
- Cook your rice, I do a full bag at one time on one big pot.
- When rice is done cooking get out a few baking sheets and spray them with nonstick spray.
- Pour rice and spread evenly on the baking sheets.
- Allow rice to cool, about 30 minutes or so and it should be good to go.
- Get your quart sized freezer bags and label them and date them.
- Using a measuring cup portion your rice and put into the freezer bags. I do 2 cups of rice per bag.
- Squeeze the air out of the bag.
- Lay bag flat and flatten the rice in the bag so it is flat. This makes putting the rice in the freezer easy and easier to store.
Reheating Freezer Rice
- Remove rice from freezer when you need it. Do not remove the day before or you will end up with soggy rice.
- Stick the rice in the freezer bag in the microwave for 3-4 minutes.
- Pour into a bowl and serve with butter or you can use it to make things like stir fry.
These simple steps will save you time and these How to Freeze Rice steps are easy to do and do not take much extra time at all.