Last updated on September 20th, 2022 at 09:08 am
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Rice is a staple food of many cultures around the world. It is easy to prepare and pairs well with almost anything. It is a great side dish and a wonderful additive to soups.
Rice can be used to make desserts and healthy treats. Rice is also cheap, easy to prepare, and fairly easy to store.
There are many different varieties of rice but white rice and brown rice actually come from the same plant. Brown rice is a whole grain so it still includes the bran and germ. It is an excellent source of fiber and minerals.
White rice has been stripped of the bran and germ, making it a refined grain. When you are out shopping and find a sale for rice you will know which one is slightly better for you.
When you find rice on sale you might also want to get some extra and freeze it for later, but can you? Will cooked or uncooked rice be okay when it’s frozen?
You can freeze both cooked and uncooked rice. Both types of rice will freeze well as long as they are put in airtight containers or freezer bags.
Frozen rice will last 12-18 months in the freezer as long as it is in an airtight container.
So the next time you see a sale on rice you can go ahead and stock up on it since you can freeze both uncooked rice and cooked rice.
What Is The Best Way To Freeze Rice?
The freezer section of your local grocery will contain bags and boxes of cooked frozen rice. Rice is pretty easy to cook to begin with but the added convenience of being able to just toss it into the microwave and have a nice bowl of steaming rice in about a minute is sometimes too much to resist.
If the grocery stores are selling cooked frozen rice, there is a way to store it in the freezer but what is the best way to store cooked rice in the freezer so you can have a quick and easy additive to any meal?
To freeze your cooked rice, you will need a cookie sheet and a way to store your rice. You can use plastic bags or freezer-safe containers.
Begin by preparing your rice as you normally would. You can use a rice cooker, the stovetop, or even your pressure cooker to prepare your rice. Once your rice is cooked, take the cookie sheet and spread the rice onto it.
Make sure to fluff the rice as you spread it onto the cookie sheet. When the rice is in an even layer, you will set the pan aside for the rice to cool.
The cooling process will take about twenty minutes. Check to make sure that the rice is completely cool before you move on to the next step. If it is not cooled completely, you can get ice crystals in your rice.
Once your rice is completely cooled you can put your rice into your containers of choice. Now is the time to decide on how you might use your rice. If you plan to use it for small lunches for yourself you will want to freeze smaller amounts together. If you want to use it later to make a large batch of soup or a large casserole then freeze the amount that the recipe you will be using calls for.
Measuring out your rice into different serving sizes now will make it easier on you when you’re ready to use it.
Measure out the amount of rice into each container. Clearly label your containers with the type of rice, the amount, and the date that you had prepared it.
When using plastic freezer baggies, you will want to lay them flat in the freezer until they are fully frozen. This will make your rice easier to store and easier to defrost later on.
If you freeze your rice in freezer bags and lay them flat to freeze, you’ll be able to stack them onto each other in the freezer. Cooked rice will last in the freezer for six months before the texture starts to be a little “off”. You can eat frozen rice after that time but the texture or taste might be affected.
How Do You Freeze Uncooked Rice?
If you thought freezing cooked rice was easy you will love how much easier it is to freeze uncooked rice. Uncooked white rice has a shelf life of up to two years while uncooked brown rice only has a shelf life of six months.
Brown rice has not been milled so it contains a higher fat content which gives it a shorter shelf life. If you do not want to store your uncooked rice in the pantry for fear of rodents or insects getting into the packaging you can certainly freeze it in containers or plastic freezer bags.
When freezing your uncooked rice just remember that one cup of uncooked rice makes three cups of cooked rice. Just as you did with your cooked rice you will want to measure out the amount of rice that you plan to use into separate containers.
Since the rice is dried and uncooked there is no need to freeze it separately on a cookie sheet as it has no moisture in it to cause it to freeze together in a large lump. Mark your containers clearly with the type of rice it is, that it is uncooked, the amount, and the date that you froze it.
Uncooked rice will keep in the freezer for up to eighteen months. This is a great improvement to the shelf life of brown rice.
How Do You Reheat Frozen Rice?
You can reheat your cooked frozen rice in the microwave. To reheat your rice in the microwave you’ll need to break it up into smaller chunks. The rice will have frozen together while in the freezer.
Breaking it into smaller pieces will reheat your rice faster and more thoroughly.
Place your frozen rice into a microwave safe container and cover with a paper plate or plastic wrap. Covering your bowl will help trap the steam and keep the rice from drying out. Reheated rice can dry out quickly.
Microwave the frozen rice for two to three minutes. Check your rice half way through cooking time since different microwaves cook/reheat differently. If it needs more time than that, give it a stir, replace the cover, and then start the microwave for another thirty seconds to a minute.
Carefully remove the lid as there will be a lot of steam. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve immediately.
You can also add your frozen cooked rice to soup. Simply add it to your soup as you normally would. If you are cooking chicken and rice soup, go ahead and make the chicken soup without the rice.
Once your soup is fully cooked, bring your pot of soup to a boil. Break your frozen rice into smaller pieces and carefully drop it into the soup.
The rice will defrost and separate in the hot liquid. Adding the frozen rice will stop the boiling of your soup. Once your soup begins to simmer once again it is ready to serve.
To defrost your uncooked rice all you need to do is take it out of the freezer and place it on the counter until it reaches room temperature then you can use it as you would if it were coming straight from your pantry. If you want to speed up the defrosting process you can place it in a tightly sealed container and set it under running water.
Make sure that the container is sealed tightly so you don’t get any water into the rice.