How long can I leave rice in the rice cooker? (+5 Tips)

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can I leave rice in the rice cooker?”, and can you leave rice overnight?

How long can I leave rice in the rice cooker?

Rice can stay 11-12 hours in the rice cooker without developing off-flavors. After 11-12 hours, bacteria start to grow and the product becomes unsafe for consumption. 

Can you leave rice overnight? 

Some rice cookers like Cukoo Crp can keep the rice longer as compared to other cookers. While it may be safe to keep the rice overnight but It is not recommended to do so. There are risks of bacterial growth involved, therefore, It is advised to always taste-test a small amount of rice before reheating or consuming.

How to preserve leftover rice?

The key to preserving the leftover rice is to switch off the rice cooker 5 hours after the cooking process. Then place the rice in an air-tight container and put it in the fridge.

Does reheating rice kill bacteria?

No, you cannot kill bacteria by reheating rice. Once you have established that the rice has become unsafe for consumption, It is best to throw it in the bin rather than risking your health. 

Tips for making perfect rice every time 

Rinse the rice before cooking

Washing your rice before cooking is extremely important. It not only prevents the rice from boiling over by removing excess starch but also keeps the rice from sticking. Pour the rice in a bowl or a colander and wash it with plenty of cold water. 

Use your hands to put a little pressure or punch the rice so that the rice grains rub against each other and water to get rid of excess starch. Rinse and repeat until the water runs clear. Washing your rice followed by soaking in cold water for at least 30 minutes has been linked to shorter cooking times and fluffier rice. However, this step is optional.

Add the right amount of water 

For long-grain white rice, use 2 parts water for 1 part rice. For brown rice, use 2 and a half parts water for 1 part rice. For wild rice, 4 parts water for 1 part rice. After adding the water, add a teaspoon or two of salt. The salt performs three functions:

  • It removes the starch from rice grains.
  • It removes the talcum(processors add talcum in rice to keep them from sticking)
  • It seasons the rice.

Cook on medium heat 

Cooking the rice on high heat won’t make them cook faster. Instead, It will lead to either unevenly cooked rice or burnt rice. Therefore, the key is to let the rice cook on medium heat.

Place a kitchen towel between the pot and the lid 

When the rice begins to boil and you can see the rice right below the water, pace a kitchen towel across the top of the pot and close the pot with a lid. Tuck the ends of the towel so It won’t start a fire. Placing the towel will ensure that the rice doesn’t become soggy due to condensation.

Turn the heat off after 15 minutes

Turn off the flame after 15 minutes but do not open the pot yet. Let the rice rest for at least 5 minutes. This will allow even distribution of steam and will prevent the rice on top from becoming too dry and those on the bottom from becoming too soggy. After 5 minutes, fluff up the rice using a fork and serve warm.

Invest in a rice cooker

Investing in a rice cooker will ensure perfectly cooked rice each and every time. You can buy a good rice cooker at kitchen stores, home goods stores, and online stores like amazon.

Other FAQs about Rice which you may be interested in.

Can you cook black rice in a rice cooker?

How to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot?

  1. Once the rice is cooked, remove the pot from the flame and let it sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid on to allow the rice to absorb steam and leave the bottom of the pot becoming more fluffy. 
  1. Using a fork, fluff up the rice grains until they are distributed evenly. Pricking the rice using a fork will help release the rice from the bottom and fluff them up.
  1. Using a big slotted spoon(plastic or wooden), scoop out your rice all the way from the bottom. Serve and enjoy.


In this article, we answered the question “How long can I leave rice in the rice cooker?”, and can you leave rice overnight?


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.