In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How long can you eat rice after cooking?”, discuss answers to other related questions like how can you store cooked rice safely, and how can you tell if cooked rice has gone bad.
How long can you eat rice after cooking?
Cooked rice is safe to eat for 2 hours or a few if you have kept them at room temperature. This time frame is too short because bacteria thrive rapidly at a temperature range between 40 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Rice is contaminated with the bacteria Bacillus cereus when left out overnight. This bacteria can even survive the cooking process and has the potential to cause food poisoning. Even though this bacteria can survive the cooking process, it will not harm you in any way if you eat the cooked rice at safe temperatures. This bacteria is highly active only when the temperature is between 40°F to 140°F which is why room temperature is not safe.
To increase this time frame, you can refrigerate the cooked rice within 2 hours of their cooking. Refrigerated cooked rice can be eaten for 4 to 6 days. This increase in time frame is because that bacteria can not thrive at temperatures less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
To further increase the shelf life of cooked rice, freezing can serve as the best choice. Cooked rice can stay safe to eat for 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
How can you store cooked rice safely?
Cooking rice does not eliminate the Bacillus cereus spores, so you should treat rice the same way you would treat any other perishable food. Knowing how to handle, store and prepare rice is the best way to prevent any sickness that could be caused by the bacteria. Read on to learn how to store cooked rice.
To store rice in the refrigerator, first of all, you need to cool rice within one hour by dividing the rice up and placing it into shallow containers. Now, place the rice in airtight containers to refrigerate. Do not stack the containers if there is more than one, as this will limit airflow. Place the container of rice on the shelf of the refrigerator. Make sure not to keep this container in the door of the fridge, as in the door, the temperature fluctuation is more.
3 ways to reheat cooked rice
Cooked rice that has been refrigerated can be enjoyed cold, such as in a sushi roll, or reheated. Here are three common ways to reheat rice so that it reaches a safe temperature of around 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the microwave
To reheat cooked rice in the microwave, place the rice in a microwavable dish and break up any clumps of rice. Once the rice is broken apart, add a splash of water. Cover the rice with a lid or wet paper towel so that the steam will heat the rice evenly. Microwave for about 2 minutes or until the rice is thoroughly hot and steamy.
In the oven
To reheat cooked rice in the oven, place the rice in an oven dish and break up any clumps of rice. Add a little bit of water or cooking oil such as butter which helps the rice from sticking to the oven dish. Cover the oven dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Set the oven temperature to 300°F and wait around 20 minutes until the rice is thoroughly hot and steamy.
To reheat cooked rice via pan steaming, place the rice and break up any clumps of rice. Add a splash of water to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and reheat with low heat to avoid burning the rice. Occasionally stir the rice until the rice is thoroughly hot and steamy.
How can you tell if cooked rice has gone bad?
Cooked rice can easily go bad if you have not stored them properly. Spoiled rice can impose serious health risks therefore it is very important to know how you can tell if rice is spoiled:
- If your rice smells a bit funky and sour, that may be a sign that bacteria are already growing in your leftovers, so it’s best to throw it out.
- Rice that has been in the fridge for too long will have lost a lot of its moisture content. Even if it doesn’t smell strange yet, it will seem to be dry and that indicates it’s been sitting there too long.
- Slime in rice is a sign that rice had too much moisture when it was refrigerated; this promotes bacterial growth and leads to the first stages of fermentation.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “How long can you eat rice after cooking?”, discussed answers to other related questions like how can you store cooked rice safely, and how can you tell if cooked rice has gone bad.