Rice is a staple food that is eaten all over the world. It is not only a great hunger beater, but also a great provider of various nutrients such as protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
Related: Types of Rice
But what if you cook too much rice? The good news is, reheating rice is easy – you can use leftover rice again, so there’s no need to waste any.
You just need to make sure you reheat the rice correctly, not only for health reasons, but also to ensure it still tastes nice and fluffy!
4 Easy Methods To Reheat Rice
Cooked rice from the fridge or freezer can be reheated in different ways, some are quicker than others.
1. How to Reheat Rice in the Microwave
Reheating rice in the microwave is the simplest and fastest method you can use. It will take you only a couple of minutes to reheat rice until it is ready to eat.
First, grab your cooked rice from the fridge or freezer and transfer it in a microwavable container (if you are not already using one to store the rice).
Second, break up large clumps, especially if the cooked rice is frozen, using a fork – then put a small splash, or around a tablespoon of water, or broth, for every 200g (about 1 cup) of rice.
Third, cover the container with a damp or wet kitchen towel touching the top portion of the rice to keep it moist.
Lastly, place the container in your microwave and cook the rice on high heat for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.
Make sure that the rice is piping hot throughout before eating.
2. Reheating Rice on the Stove
If you don’t have a microwave at home, reheating rice on the stove is also an option.
This is the perfect method to achieving fluffy reheated rice. You will only need a saucepan, a little water and some butter or oil.
Place the rice in the saucepan and make sure that the pan has enough space to hold the rice.
Add a splash, or a tablespoon of water, for each serving. The amount of water depends on the amount of rice, but you can still adjust the amount of water while cooking if the rice appears to be too dry.
To prevent the rice from sticking to your pan, you can also add a splash of oil or butter – this will also help for flavour.
Break any large chunks of rice using a fork before covering the pan with a tight-fitting lid. If the lid that comes with the pan is not available, use any larger lid to ensure that all sides are covered.
Steam the rice over low heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the rice is heated throughout.
3. Using a Wok
Reheating rice using a wok is one of the most used methods when reheating rice. It gives you the freedom to add more ingredients.
Prepare the ingredients you want to add like eggs, sausages, ground meat, veggies, or a combination of everything you like.
Once done, drop a tablespoon of oil or butter to the heated wok.
Cook any additional ingredients based on your preference, and then add the rice.
You can also add in your additional ingredients after the rice is heated. Make sure to break clumps of rice into pieces and stir occasionally for an even moisture and richness.
Continue cooking, uncovered, for about 3 minutes or until the rice is heated throughout.
4. In an Oven
The final method is reheating rice in an oven.
Using an oven for reheating rice is easy but requires a longer period of time than any of the methods mentioned above.
Other than the amount of time you need, the oven is a good option for reheating rice.
The steps in reheating rice in an oven are pretty similar to using a microwave.
First thing you need to do is to combine the rice and water in an ovenproof baking dish. The amount of water varies according to the amount of rice, it’s usually a tablespoon or two for a cup (225g) of rice.
You can also add your choice of oil or butter for extra flavour.
Use a fork to break large chunks of rice. Cover the dish with a tight-fitting lid or aluminium foil and then bake at 150C (gas mark 2) for 20 minutes, or until the rice is heated through.
Personally, I prefer reheating rice using a wok. Why? Simply because I get to add the ingredients I want.
Can Reheating Rice Cause Food Poisoning?
According to the NHS, leaving your cooked rice at room temperature for a long period of time allows spores, which are also present in uncooked rice, to grow into bacteria that can cause food poisoning. This bacteria, known as Bacillus cereus may produce toxins that could result in food poisoning.
Rice should be eaten immediately, or within 1 hour of cooking it. Otherwise, the cooked rice should be placed in a fridge and reheated within 1 day.
Make sure you cool and consume your cooked rice as quickly as possible. And always ensure to reheat rice only the once.
Can You Freeze and Reheat Cooked Rice?
Yes, you can freeze your cooked rice and reheat it whenever you are ready to eat it.
However, you must cool down your cooked rice completely and put it in a container (preferably microwavable for faster reheating), before popping it into the freezer.
Frozen cooked rice should last up to 2 months.
There are different ways to reheat rice, which will be talked about later on, but as a side note for frozen rice, once you have chosen your preferred method, you should crumble the rice into pieces before reheating for an even heating process.
You can also slightly defrost the rice for faster reheating.