Can You Freeze Cooked Rice? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?

Yes, cooked rice can be frozen and for up to 3 months! It can be frozen in a very simple method that just includes transferring inside freezer bags once ready and cooled. You can also safely store leftover rice in freezer bags, in portions, or all at once. There are a few tricks and hacks you should be aware of.

This comprehensive guide tells it to you exactly at is: covering everything you need to know about freezing cooked rice at home.

Read on to find out more!

How to Freeze Cooked Rice in Serving Portions?

How to Freeze Cooked Rice in Serving Portions?

Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

This method is usually recommended more if you have quite a lot of rice, specially made in advance that you won't need all at once. Hence, it makes more sense to freeze the rice in small serving portions instead of all together. In general, too, it is always recommended more strongly to freeze any food in serving portions so that you can only take, thaw and use the amount you need at a time without having to touch or thaw the rest. It helps avoid having to refreeze, which should be avoided at all costs.

Materials

  • A sturdy spoon
  • Small airtight freezer-friendly bags

Tools

  • No special tools needed

Instructions

    1. Cook your Rice as you Would - This method would work for any kind of rice at all, from basmati to brown or white.
    2. Allow the Rice to Cool Down Completely - Never freeze any food while it is still hot or even warm. Allow the rice to come down to room temperature before prepping to freeze it. If possible, you can also keep it in the fridge for a while.

      If you are freezing leftover rice, these two steps can be skipped to go right into this next one.
    3. Portion into Small Airtight Freezer Bags - Once cooled down, transfer the rice, based on serving portions into small airtight freezer bags.
    4. Seal Securely, Label and Freeze - Make sure to squeeze out as much air as possible from the freezer bags. Then seal them tightly and securely.

      Label them with the storage date, and stick them in the freezer. Your rice can be frozen for up to 3 months!

Freezing Smaller Amount of Rice Together in Airtight Container

Time Taken: 10-20 minutes

What You Need:

  • A sturdy spoon
  • Airtight freezer-safe container

This method can be followed if you are freezing a smaller amount of rice that you think you will be able to use it all up at once.

It is especially helpful for freezing leftover rice that you may not be able to afford to keep over a span of several months.

This method is also very simple.

All you need is an airtight freezer-safe container that is able to fit more or less the amount of rice you are freezing without leaving too much space for air.

Spoon Leftover Cooked Rice into an Airtight Freezer-Safe Container

As mentioned, the size of the container should be appropriate to hold the quantity of rice you are freezing without leaving too much space for air.

It should mandatorily have a tight-fitting lid.

Seal Securely, Label and Freeze

Once the rice has been transferred into the container, seal it carefully by snapping on the lid tightly.

Label the container with the storage date so that you do not forget about it and end up keeping the rice in the freezer for too long.

Your rice is ready to be kept in freezer storage! Try to use up this rice within not more than 1 to 2 months of freezing. In case you still feel a little confused about these methods and which to go with, don’t worry, here is a visual guide with detailed step-by-step instructions to help you out a little more:

Here’s an added side tip! Freezing cooked rice is actually a highly recommended diet tip, especially in Korea, as it helps with managing and controlling portions and proportions!

You can find out more here:

How to Freeze Rice Pudding

Time Taken: 15-30 minutes

What You Need:

  • A sturdy spoon
  • Airtight freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid
  • Cling wrap

Rice pudding is a delicious and healthy dish made from white rice and milk.

While it technically freezes fine, the temperature-sensitive ingredients in rice pudding can sometimes cause some amounts of changes in its texture and consistency when frozen and thawed.

And in case you would like a quick refresher on the recipe, check this out:

Prep the Rice Pudding For Freezing

This step can be skipped if you are freezing leftover rice pudding; however, if freshly made, it is very important that you allow it to cool down completely before freezing it.

Putting hot rice pudding inside the freezer can lead to spitting, ultimately making your rice pudding hard to freeze well and, in some cases, inedible.

Transfer Rice Pudding into The Container

Once your shallow airtight container with a tight-fitting lid has been thoroughly cleaned, carefully use a sturdy spoon to transfer the completely cooled-down rice pudding into it.

Be sure to not fill the container to the brim with the pudding; leave at least an inch or two of headspace for it to expand while freezing.

Seal Securely, Cover With Cling Wrap

Once filled, cover the container with the lid to make sure it is completely airtight and watertight.

Then pack the container tightly and securely in cling wrap for added protection against freezer burns.

Label and Freeze

Label the container with the storage date so that you do not miss it and keep it in the freezer for too long. It is ready to freeze!

You can keep your rice pudding in freezer storage for up to 3 months.

Do not freeze it beyond that, as the rice pudding will likely start losing its flavor, consistency, texture, and even taste.

How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?

If frozen properly following the right method, with all the steps having been followed properly, and if made sure that the bags or containers have been sealed carefully, your cooked rice can be frozen for two to three months.

However, it bears mentioning that the longer the rice sits in the freezer, the greater are its chances of a deteriorating consistency and texture, and even flavor.

So, it is a good idea to finish up your rice at the earliest since freezing.

For example, after, say, a month, the frozen cooked rice may start to dry out and gradually lose its moisture. Due to this, there can be significant changes to its texture.

Most experts agree that for optimal flavor, frozen cooked rice should be consumed within a month, as it is in this period that it retains most of its moisture, taste, and flavor.

You can still keep it in freezer storage beyond that if you must, but be mindful of the cons to doing that.

This is also why we recommend always freezing with the storage date labeled.

This way, you do not end up keeping the cooked rice in the freezer indefinitely.

How to Store Frozen Cooked Rice?

As discussed, cooked rice can be kept in freezer storage in airtight containers with tight-fitting lids, whether leftover or freshly made, or in portions in small airtight freezer bags.

Whichever method you go with, the sealing and freezing need to be done very carefully; good quality airtight and watertight freezer-safe containers need to be used, and it needs to be ensured that the cooked rice is frozen at the same, consistent temperature in the freezer.

Remember that your cooked rice may not hold up well in the freezer even beyond a few weeks if the storage is not done properly, following all the instructions correctly and meticulously and making sure you use the best quality materials.

How to Defrost Frozen Cooked Rice?

This depends on how you are going to be using your frozen rice for.

In some cases, you can add the rice directly to your dish (for soups and stir-fry dishes), or you can place the cooked rice in a saucepan with some water; place the pan over a low flame and heat.

In some cases, you can also defrost your frozen cooked rice in the microwave.

Check that it is piping hot before you eat it. Or, to be safe, you can even go with the time-tested and fail-safe method of letting the cooked rice thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

The best way to use frozen cooked rice directly while still frozen is to add it to soups or, say, a chili, as it defrosts evenly when submerged in liquid.

A tip I recommend is to break (carefully!) the frozen rice into chunks and add gradually to a pot of soup. Delicious!

Avoid re-heating your frozen cooked rice, as this increases the time and chances for the growth of bacteria.

Also, once defrosted, do not keep the cooked rice for beyond a few hours. Eat immediately and discard any leftovers.

Can You Re-freeze Frozen Cooked Rice?

It is not recommended to re-freeze frozen cooked rice. The reason being, to freeze and thaw it once would already take a toll on its consistency, texture, and even flavor.

But to repeat that whole process once more might render the pudding ruined beyond salvation.

Try your best to use up all of it the first time around that it is thawed.

In case of leftovers, it is best to discard them as chances are that they are no longer suitable for consumption. The risk of bacteria is too high.

This is also the reason that I advise you to freeze cooked rice, or any food for that matter, in serving portions, or together at once only if you are confident that you can use it all up at one go. Refreezing is really not worth it.

Does Cooked Rice Freeze Well?

Unless the rice is heated for too long, it is hardly possible to be able to tell the difference between freshly cooked rice and frozen rice.

Therefore, it is safe to say that cooked rice freezes fine. If stored, frozen, and thawed correctly, you have nothing to worry about.

Do note that there is a risk of the rice becoming mushy, so be sure to keep a close eye on it.

You will also save a lot of time!

Note that when reheating the rice, you only want to get some heat back into it; you do not want to cook it again, so always keep a close watch and be careful.

Other things to note and make sure so that the cooked rice freezes well is that the freezer temperature stays consistent and that the containers and freezer bags used are of good quality and sealed very tightly and securely before freezing.

FAQs

Can I freeze takeaway rice?

Now, this is something strongly advised against. This is because there is no way for us to completely sure about what processes the rice has already gone through – if it has already been re-heated once or twice. It is best, therefore, to avoid freezing takeaway rice.

Freeze cooked rice only when you yourself know for sure the processes that the rice has gone through since being prepared. So, it is best to freeze rice that you have cooked safely at home.

Can I freeze cooked rice with other foods?

Yes, absolutely! It is a great idea to freeze cooked rice along with vegetables, some sliced chicken and more so that you have complete freezer meals ready to defrost and enjoy whenever you need!

Not only does it save time, effort, and energy, it’s a great way to experiment!

Can I freeze any kind of rice?

Yes! Be it the plain long-grain variety, or basmati, brown, jasmine, or wild rice, you can freeze cooked rice to perfection, as long as you follow all the methods and instructions given here to a T.

Is it safe to eat rice that I have not frozen but stored just like that?

Once rice is cooked, the bacteria present in uncooked rice is eliminated, but spores remain.

The rice will become unsafe for consumption if left for long periods. So, when it comes to storage options, freezing is your best bet.

What recipes can I try with frozen cooked rice?

The possibilities are endless! You can go from a sausage ratatouille to some delicious lemon rice pilaf, some teriyaki glazed chicken rice you can really go all out when it comes to cooking with rice!

You can also check out this guide for quirky recipes to try with frozen leftover rice.

Bottom Line

We hope this comprehensive, step-by-step guide covering the best methods to freeze cooked rice successfully at the safety and ease of your home has helped you!

For any further questions you may have regarding freezing rice, please do let us know by reaching out to us!

If you have any other tips and tricks, feel free to reach out and let us know; we will add them to this guide so they can help more people!

If this guide has helped you, please do share it with your friends and family so that they can also use it.

References

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About Pooja Jain

Pooja is a foodie who likes experimenting with different cuisines every day. Cooking for Pooja is not just about following recipes, but also adding something of herself into it making each dish unique as well as delicious!

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