How Long Does Cooked Rice Last?


Rice is a popular carbohydrate food in many countries which is usually cooked either by the way of steaming and boiling. It provides a constant supply of energy and numerous health benefits. The trouble is when you cannot eat all cooked rice in a meal and then you have some left over, you might question how long is cooked riced good for if you store it in different conditions.

In The Fridge or Freezer

Many families, especially busy people, have a habit of cooking rice, cooling it and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Every time they need to eat, they take the rice to reheat. But the dietitian says it should not be left in the refrigerator for too long, only heating it once and should cool the rice within 1 hour after cooking.

The short answer is 2 to 4 days in the fridge and about 4 months in the freezer to lengthen the cooked rice’s lifetime. It is such an ideal solution if you have demand to use cooked rice in a very long time but worry about the texture and savor of steamed or boiled rice.

I guess some of you may doubt whether this method is safe for health or not when prepared food is stored in such a time. Don’t worry because the storage time is considered allowable by the USA Rice Federation, so it will not be harmful.

Although you choose to contain cooked rice in the fridge or freezer, you should cover it by airtight container or resealable plastic bag. The two items help to increase the shelf life of rice and prevent bacteria from entering your staple. In the freezer, remember to store it at Zero degrees to maintain and preserve the quality of cooked rice.

At Room Temperature

In case you don’t have a fridge or freezer to store cooked rice, let it rest at room temperature to use later is not a bad idea. With this method, your pantry staple also maintains fresher and softer than that in the fridge or freezer. The cooked rice should not be stored at room temperature too long, 2 hours is a perfect time. This period of time makes sure bacteria will not grow rapidly in your food; therefore, it avoids you getting sick or food poisoning after consuming. So remember to reheat your rice within 2 hours to guarantee food safety.

You can warm up the rice, but also need to store it properly before doing it. Rice may contain spores of a bacterium called Bacillus cereus, which is likely to remain after the rice is cooked and can cause food poisoning. If you want to know clearly signs that cooked rice are going bad to avoid food poisoning, please check this article.

When rice is left at room temperature, spores will grow into bacteria and multiply many times. This process creates toxins, causing people to vomit or have diarrhea.

The longer the rice is left at the outside temperature, the more it will multiply. So, you need to put rice in the refrigerator after cooling as soon as possible, preferably within 1 hour if you intend to reheat to eat.

If there is a lot of rice left over, you can divide into small parts so that the rice will cool faster.