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How Long Does Cooked Rice Last and How Long Can You Keep It?

22 May, 2021
It's a conundrum that troubles many homecooks. Is it possible to reheat rice safely? We take the headache out of when and how to reheat rice to enjoy it as leftovers and without the crunch.

How to store cooked rice

Cool cooked rice quickly. This can be done by spreading it out and, once cool, storing it in an airtight container or in a freezer bag with the air removed.

You should aim to refrigerate your rice within two hours. Refrigeration slows down the growth of nasty bacteria. According to the USDA, room temperature is 90°F, which is the ideal temperature for bacteria to grow. Bacteria grow rapidly between 40°F and 140°F so make sure your fridge is at 40°F or lower.

Freeze any excess rice if you want it to last longer than a few days.

How to test cooked rice 

If you're not sure how long your rice has been in the fridge, check its condition. If it has an unpleasant smell, gooey texture, or mould it is no longer safe to eat. If in doubt, throw it out.

Rice’s versatility means that any leftovers can be turned into a huge range of delicious dishes. The only limit is your imagination! Why not start with traditional Sicilian arancini – 'little oranges' made of rice and filled with countless different fillings, from gooey mozzarella cheese to rich meat ragù and silky aubergines. Across the pond, this tasty southwestern rice salad is packed with protein and plenty of flavour. Gluten free rice cake with zucchini and rocket makes the perfect comfort food for a vegetarian brunch.

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