Rice is an extremely popular grain product that is a staple food for many cuisines and cultures all over the world. It is exceedingly popular in Asian and Latin American countries where it may be served for breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. Considered to be a healthy source of nutrients and vitamins, rice is a food product that will never go out of style due to its variety of uses and its ease of cooking and preparing. Rice can be part of a main dish, an appetizer, a soup, and even a dessert. The possibilities are limitless when it comes to using and eating rice.
Because of these different factors, it is not uncommon for many consumers to go to the local supermarket and purchase a big bag or two of rice, whether it would be brown or white, for long-term consumption and usage. It is likely that you will run into a sale at the supermarket one day for bulk packages of white or brown rice. If this happens, would it be worth it to save some money and time by buying a couple of extra bags of rice? Would you be able to save the rice for the long-term in case you have leftovers and need to store them? The ultimate questions; can you freeze rice?
Can You Freeze Rice?
Yes, it is entirely possible to freeze rice in order to have it for long-term storage. However, how long your rice will last in total will depend upon a number of outside factors. These factors include whether the rice is cooked or uncooked, the conditions under which it has been frozen and stored, and even if it is white or brown in color. When it comes to uncooked rice, the ability to store the product for an indefinite amount of time is doable. Most types of uncooked rice such as white, wild, jasmine, and basmati rice have a permanent shelf life especially if they are not exposed to outside elements. Uncooked brown rice can last from six to twelve months in the fridge and also last up to twelve to eighteen months in the freezer. Uncooked brown rice does not last for an infinite period of time due to the high amount of oil content in its physical makeup. If you keep oxygen, dust, insects, and other outside nuisances from affecting your uncooked rice, you will be able to store it quite well.
Freezing Uncooked Rice
In order to store and freeze uncooked rice properly, it’s important to adhere to the following steps:
- Take out the necessary amount of rice that you would like to freeze for the long-term. You can use a scooper or a large spoon for a safe transition.
- After opening the package and transferring the uncooked rice, place the food product into freezer-safe bags or containers.
- Make sure that you let out all of the excess air from the bags or containers of uncooked rice before putting the contents into the freezer. Any freezer bags or containers should be sealed tightly.
- Remember to label the date of first freezing for each individual bag or container so you can keep track of how long your uncooked rice has been frozen for.
- If contaminants are found in the rice and the odor or texture has changed significantly, remove the contents from the freezer immediately and do not consume.
Freezing Cooked Rice
When rice is cooked, there is a much different timeline when it comes to how long the rice will last during the freezing process. For all types of rice including brown, white, jasmine, basmati, etc., cooked rice will last in the freezer for about six months which is really good compared to the four to six days the cooked rice will last in the refrigerator for storage. In order to get the best freezing results when it comes to cooked rice, it’s necessary to adhere to the following steps:
- Take out the necessary amount of cooked rice that you would like to freeze for the long-term. You can use a scooper or a large spoon for a safe transition.
- After opening the package and transferring the cooked rice, place the food product into freezer-safe bags or containers.
- Make sure that you let out all of the excess air from the bags or containers of cooked rice before putting the contents into the freezer. Any freezer bags or containers should be sealed tightly.
- Remember to label the bags. Write the date of first freezing for each individual bag or container so you can keep track of how long your cooked rice has been frozen for.
- During the freezing process, the temperature of the freezer must be kept at all times at around 0 degrees Fahrenheit in order to stay safe and edible for the six months of possible usage and consumption.
Here are some additional tips on how to freeze and thaw cooked rice quickly:
How To Thaw Cooked Rice
The fastest way to thaw cooked rice is to thaw it in the microwave in “defrost” setting or just set the power to 50% of power setting. Cooked rice can also be thawed out using the stove if you mix it with some water first If you wrapped the rice when it was still warm, your rice has enough moisture to thaw it and you don’t need to add any additional water. You can also thaw the rice overnight in the refrigerator.
How To Thaw Frozen Uncooked Rice
Uncooked rice is best thawed out in the refrigerator for up to twenty-four hours before being used for consumption.
Coming back to the original question, yes you can freeze rice, either cooked or uncooked form. Remember to never re-freeze or re-thaw rice, cooked or uncooked, that has already been frozen or thawed out once before. Enjoy this delicious food product and please follow the directions in order to save your rice for many months to come!