Can you freeze cooked rice? Rice is a very important staple food for very many people. We all know that cooking it takes time. That’s especially true when it comes to brown rice. Cooking it might take even an hour. Is there a possibility to cook rice in larger quantities and then freeze it for later use? Fortunately for busy (or lazy) people, there is. You can freeze cooked rice and I’ll discuss how you can do it to get the best possible results.

Freezing cooked rice

The procedure of freezing cooked rice is pretty simple. First, you need to cook the rice and cool it a little (so it’s not super hot). Now it’s time to wrap the cooked rice. Please remember to do this while rice is still warm. That ensures that all necessary moisture stays inside the bag. So divide all your cooked rice into several portions. The portion size doesn’t matter if you follow these guidelines, because you’ll be able to get as much rice as you need at a time. Now transfer the rice into a freezer bag and form a flat layer with it. Release as much air as you can while flattening rice in the bag. Now you can leave your cooked rice to cool down entirely. If you’re not sure whether rice is perfectly safe in its freezer bag, you can double-bag it.

Cooked rice

Image used under Creative Commons from Alpha

You might wonder: why you needed to form a flat layer with rice? I think it’s pretty difficult to predict how much rice you’ll need while preparing your meal. If you’ve frozen rice accordingly to the guidelines, you can smack it on the counter and some of it will break off. This way you can get as much rice as you need at a time.

Thawing frozen cooked rice

You’ve frozen cooked rice because you wanted to save some time and to be able to have if ready within a few minutes. So you likely want to defrost quickly. The easiest way to thaw rice is to use a microwave. If you’ve wrapped the rice while it was still warm, it has enough moisture to thaw it without any extra water. If not, place a cup of water in the microwave while thawing.

Extra information about cooking and thawing rice

First, after cooking rice and wrapping it into a freezer bag (whichever works best for you) you should cool the rice down quickly. Then you should put it for some time into the fridge and to the freezer then. When it comes to reheating rice, you should do this only once. If you’ve reheated some rice and you haven’t eaten all, discard the rest of it. If you’ll decide to reheat it once again, you might suffer from food poisoning after eating it. One more thing about reheating rice – do it thoroughly.

As you can see, you can freeze cooked rice and many people do it with satisfactory results. There are, however, some important issues that you should consider when freezing and defrosting rice.