You have a big pot of rice on the stove and are ready to eat. But how long do you leave it there? And what about the leftover rice? It’s gotten cold, but is it still safe to eat?
Let’s break down every aspect of storing and reheating rice so you can enjoy your next meal without fear.
- Cooked rice is safe to be eaten up to two hours after it has been cooked
- Cooked rice can be kept in a rice cooker set on warm for up to four hours
- Cooked rice can be kept in a fridge in an airtight container for three days
- Cooked rice can be kept frozen for up to 3 months
What’s the shelf life of cooked rice?
The shelf life of cooked rice depends on how long it’s been cooked. The longer you cook rice, the less nutritious it becomes and the more likely it is to spoil.
Cooked white rice has a shelf life of two hours without refrigeration and three days when stored in the refrigerator.
You can extend this time by three months if you freeze your rice.
How to store cooked rice properly?
- Store cooked rice in an airtight container.
- Keep it in the fridge for up to three days.
- If you want to keep your cooked rice for longer than a few days, freeze it for up to three months.
How long can I store cooked rice For?
While you can store cooked rice in the fridge for a couple of days, it’s best to use it within two hours after cooking. After that, food safety experts recommend throwing the remaining batch away because bacteria can grow on the surface of cooked rice and make you sick if you eat it. The study mentioned is related to the rice cooling over time and increased chances of Bacillus cereus growth as time passes.
If you have cooked rice in a rice cooker but not planning to eat it right away, you can keep it in a warm setting for up to 4 hours. A warm environment in a rice cooker keeps the rice in a safe eating zone.
As the second option, you can keep cooked rice in the fridge for up to three days. This should not be extended by taking the rice out, mixing it with another ingredient, and putting it back in for another three days.
The last option would be to bag your rice and put it in a freezer. Freezing can extend how long does cooked rice last quite significantly. Up to three months in my experience. After that, it can be eaten but tastes a bit bland.
How to keep cooked rice fresh?
You can do a few things to keep your cooked rice fresh and delicious.
Cool it down quickly:
If you’ve just finished cooking your rice, the first thing to do is to cool it down as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is by putting the bowl with the rice in an ice bath; this will help draw out any excess moisture and prevent the grains from sticking together during storage. After cooling down, drain any excess water and store it in a sealed container or bag until ready to use again!
After cooling down your cooked rice, please place it in an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid (glass mason jars work great for this purpose). Once cooled completely and sealed tightly shut, place in the refrigerator immediately (up until three days).
Alternatively, if freezing cooked white or brown rice for future use, instead of storing them inside refrigerators, make sure they’re placed inside freezer bags without extra air left inside. Before being stored at -18°C (-0°F) temperatures for up to 3 months without losing quality!
How long will cooked rice last in the refrigerator?
If you want to keep cooked rice for a short time, store it in the refrigerator. To minimize the growth of bacteria, take the following precautions:
- Refrigerate cooked rice within 2 hours after cooking.
- Use clean utensils and bowls to prevent cross-contamination with raw foods.
- After refrigeration, eat cooked rice within three days.
How long can cooked rice be left out unrefrigerated?
First, let’s address the question of how long cooked rice can be left out unrefrigerated. It’s pretty standard practice! If you leave cooked rice at room temperature for too long, it will grow mold and spoil. But cooking some rice and then leaving it out for some time – a maximum of two hours – won’t necessarily cause you any harm.
Cooked white or brown rice can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Still, I recommend eating it within two days of cooking so that you don’t run into any issues with spoilage (and before bacteria grows). If you’re not going to eat all your leftover rice right away, store it in portions in bags and freeze it so it can be used whenever you need it.
How long can you keep rice in a rice cooker?
When you use a rice cooker, the rice will be kept warm at approximately 140°F (60°C) or 150°F (65°C). The constant temperature keeps the rice fresh for hours and is perfect for making large batches of cooked rice to store in the fridge.
Cooked rice can be kept for up to four hours in a rice cooker if it is running on warm. This will help you to keep the rice longer and safe to eat.
Can you eat cooked rice that has been left out overnight?
There are serious health risks if you cook rice and leave it out overnight.
It would be best if you NEVER ate cooked rice that has been left out for more than two hours.
You should also not leave cooked rice at room temperature for more than two hours, as this can increase the risk of foodborne illness. The longer the food sits at room temperature, the greater the chance dangerous bacteria spores can grow and multiply.
How to tell if the cooked rice is terrible?
If you have cooked rice left in the refrigerator, it’s best to use it within two days. After that, there is a good chance that the rice has become unsafe to eat and should be tossed out.
While most people keep cooked rice in their fridge or freezer until they need it next, you can extend its shelf life by storing it properly and keeping track of when it was cooked.
Here are some ways to tell if your cooked rice has gone bad:
- If the container is not closed tightly or sealed at all.
- If the container has been left open for more than two hours without being refrigerated first (it should be kept under 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
- If the container is not stored in a cool, dry place like on a shelf away from direct sunlight or heat sources such as heaters/stoves/radiators etcetera
- The with your nose. If there is an unpleasant smell coming from the rice, you can be sure it should be thrown away.
Can you freeze cooked rice?
How to freeze cooked rice:
- Make sure you have enough freezer space and full-size containers (or something sturdy enough to hold the frozen rice).
- Put leftover cooked rice into a container at least 1 quart in size (or any container with an airtight seal). Label and date it; freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thawing instructions: For best results, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. It will taste fresher and more like fresh-cooked rice than if you cook it from frozen directly into your recipe. If you’re running short on time, try placing the container under warm water until it softens enough for use in your recipe; this should only take about 10 minutes or so.
Can you eat cooked rice after five days?
Regarding rice, there are a few essential things to keep in mind.
First, cooked rice should not be eaten after five days.
The longer you store cooked rice, the more likely you will encounter mold and other bacteria that can make you sick. Also, when you keep your cooked rice for an extended period (like while on vacation), store it properly!
Is reheating rice safe?
If you have adequately stored the cooked rice in the freezer or fridge for a limited time, then there should be no problem reheating the rice.
The best way to reheat rice is to put it in a microwave-safe bowl, spray a bit of water over it, and heat it for about 2 minutes. If you want to warm up the rice on your stovetop, use a saucepan or pot and follow the exact directions.
Can reheated rice cause poisoning?
When you eat food, it can carry bacteria that cause food poisoning. Food poisoning happens when the bacteria in your stomach upsets the balance of good and bad bacteria in your body and causes diarrhea (often bloody) or vomiting. You may also have a fever, chills, weakness, or feel generally unwell.
Babies and children are at higher risk of getting sick from reheated rice because their immune systems are not as strong. Hence, they’re more likely to get ill from handling/eating reheated rice than older adults.
If you want leftover rice to last longer, put it in the fridge after cooking.
It will be fine for about six hours if you steam it and keep it warm after steaming. However, if you use a microwave or stovetop method to cook your rice (or microwave leftovers), eating your lunchtime meal within two hours of making it is best.
If you want leftover rice to last longer, put it in the fridge after cooking. It can keep there for up to two days with no problem. Just make sure that there’s not too much humidity in your fridge.
Otherwise, mold might form on top of the cooked grains.