If you wonder how long cooked rice lasts in the fridge, you are not alone. Cooked rice is usually one of the items that go bad quickly, and if you have leftovers you need to reheat, it can be a bit of a pain to keep it fresh. Luckily, you can do a few things to prolong its shelf life.
How Long can Cooked Rice Last in the Fridge?
This is a million-dollar issue, and as I briefly said previously, leftover cooked rice can often be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.
In general, cooked rice leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to two months. This period solely applies to refrigerator storage. Remember to keep leftover food in the freezer’s deepest compartment.
The food in this area will stay cold even if you open the freezer door to get additional ingredients for dinner because it is the coldest part of the freezer, which will help keep your leftovers fresh.
Ensure your rice is completely thawed before defrosting it if pulling it out of the freezer. The simplest way is to microwave it for a few seconds until your food thermometer registers 165 degrees inside.
Reheating leftovers from cooked rice is a good way to save some money. However, you must know how to do it safely. The key is to follow the proper procedures, so you don’t end up with a pile of dead rice.
First, you need to make sure the rice is cooked correctly. Various ways to do this include cooking in vegetable stock or boiling in water. Once it’s finished, store it in a tight-fitting container.
If you’re not up to using a microwave, you might opt for a stovetop method. This isn’t the quickest option, but you’ll be rewarded with fluffier rice.
A rimmed baking pan with nonstick cooking spray works great. Next, you’ll need a bowl or container with a lid.
Bacillus cereus, a common bacterium, is one of the top 10 bacteria that can cause food poisoning. The most common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. It can be very serious and even cause death if not treated correctly. Nevertheless, most people get well within a few days.
However, knowing how long cooked rice can last in the fridge is important. If stored for too long, the Bacillus spores can grow and produce toxins that can cause illness.
One way to prevent this is only to consume properly cooked and cooled rice. For the best results, avoid storing cooked rice in your fridge for more than one day. In addition, you should store the rice in an airtight container for maximum shelf life.
Foodborne illnesses usually come on quickly, so treating them as soon as possible is important. You should drink lots of water and avoid foods that cause diarrhea and cramps.
How Long can Cooked Rice be Left Out Unrefrigerated?
As you are aware, When your friend called while you were cooking dinner, you unwittingly became engrossed in a TV show or a chat with them. Or perhaps the kids needed something, and you were preoccupied for a couple of hours, leaving all your leftovers—including your rice—on the stovetop to cool.
You might wonder if it’s okay to put it in the fridge after sitting out for a few hours, even though you plan to store it for tomorrow’s dinner. Yes, but only in certain circumstances.
It is typically advised not to leave cooked rice out at room temperature for longer than two hours, as this gives bacteria plenty of time and the ideal temperature to grow. This is because bacteria that could develop on rice prefer temperatures of 4 to 60 °C.
But heat kills bacteria, don’t you know? So, can’t I microwave them to destroy anything that grew during that time? Regrettably, no.
Rice that has bacteria on it won’t be destroyed by microwave cooking or reheating. Anyone who consumes rice left out on the cooktop or counter for longer than two hours runs the risk of becoming ill.
Try to avoid this if you can. Your tummy will undoubtedly appreciate it.
How to Store Cooked Rice Properly?
After addressing some often-asked issues regarding how long rice will last on the counter, in the refrigerator, and in the freezer, let’s examine how to store it correctly to protect it from going bad and how long cooked rice can be kept in the refrigerator.
As soon as the rice is done cooking, experts advise cooling it in the refrigerator (for the reasons mentioned above). Spread it on a baking sheet or similar tray for ideal storage so it can cool down quickly.
Depending on how long you plan to keep it as a leftover, place it in a container with a lid and store it in either your refrigerator or freezer. Keep in mind that cooked rice stays in the refrigerator for up to three days.
But why must the rice be cooled before being placed in the refrigerator? The solution is related to bacterial expansion. Bacillus cereus can develop and release poisonous toxins that lead to food poisoning if rice isn’t rapidly chilled.
Since rice germs can’t be eliminated by re-heating, keep them as cool as possible before storing them to eliminate them before you package them for leftovers.
Tips for Storing Cooked Rice
As briefly indicated above, you should allow the rice to cool completely after cooking and store any leftovers immediately in the refrigerator to prevent bacterial growth. There are a few additional suggestions, nevertheless, that you want to bear in mind when storing cooked rice.
Let’s start by discussing the container. You should use an airtight container due to the high possibility of bacterial growth. Take the leftover rice out and store it in an airtight container even if, for example, you ordered rice for dinner and it already came in a cardboard carry-out box.
How to Know if Leftover Rice is Safe to Eat?
Questions like “How long is cooked rice good for in the fridge” and “How long can you consume rice after cooking” have already been addressed. How to determine if your cooked rice has already gone bad is a concern that we haven’t yet addressed.
Leftover cooked rice can last for about two to three days when properly stored in an airtight container inside the refrigerator. However, remember that this is only a rough estimate, so you must understand how to identify rotten rice.
You should be aware that different rice varieties will expire at varying rates. For instance, white rice often lasts longer than brown rice in terms of freshness.
White rice can be safely consumed for up to seven days if properly preserved. But rather than being the norm, this is rather the exception.
Here are a few quick techniques to determine whether your rice is stale:
- It is hard to eat and dry. Rice tends to soak in a lot of moisture, but if it is kept for an extended period, it will absorb too much water, becoming dry and difficult to consume. Every time you take a forkful, the rice can crumble and break. This is a warning sign that the food has already gone rotten, so you should stop eating it immediately.
- It’s slimy: While thinking about dirty rice is revolting, eating it is even more revolting, and regrettably, this is a sign that the rice has expired. In actuality, this slimy texture is one of the initial indicators of the fermentation process and an indication of bacterial proliferation. In fermentation, microorganisms are broken down to create organic acids and other compounds. Because of this, when you eat something that has undergone fermentation, it tastes, feels, and even smells very different from when it was in its original state. Avoid rice at all costs if it seems or feels slimy to the touch.
- It has a horrible odor. Like any food, anything that smells bad shouldn’t be consumed. Food that smells bad has bacteria growing on it.
Can you Eat Cooked Rice After 5 Days?
It’s typically advised to avoid eating cooked rice after it’s been in the fridge for more than five days, even though some experts contend that white rice can be consumed safely for up to seven days.
Of course, cooked rice that has been frozen is an exception to this rule. Therefore, the answer to this query depends on where you keep your cooked rice.
Has this been discussed yet, but is rice bad for you? It’s only reasonable to wonder when rice appears in so many dishes, even healthful ones. The unpleasant truth is that rice has both positive and negative health effects.
Because brown rice is derived from whole grains, which are part of a healthy diet, it is safe to eat. Whole grains are packed with essential minerals, such as fiber, iron, potassium, folate, and magnesium.
Contrarily, white rice tends to be heavily processed. Therefore it tends to have fewer of these vital elements.
However, it has advantages, albeit much less than whole-grain rice. There is a lot of folates in white rice, which aids in the production of DNA in your body.
To sum up, white and brown rice are healthful when eaten in moderation. Consuming it in moderation is crucial to keeping a healthy diet like any other meal.
Any type of leftover rice, including white, jasmine, wild, and brown varieties, can be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.
Steamed rice can be kept in the freezer for up to eight months if kept in an airtight container.
Inspect the box for moisture, holes, and pests to find out whether dried rice has gone bad.
A terrible smell, a slimy or extremely hard texture, and black, blue, or green mold patches on cooked rice are signs that the rice has gone bad.