keeping rice in rice cooker

How Long Can You Keep Rice In Rice Cooker

Last Updated on June 13, 2022 by Share My Kitchen

If there is just one thing that we all have experienced, it is how to deal with and keep leftover rice in a rice cooker! I will explain how you can keep rice in a rice cooker and how to store it the right way. If you want to know how to reheat leftover rice in a rice cooker, then you might want to check out How To Reheat Rice In Rice Cooker.

Rice, as we know, is a really common and popular side dish or even a main dish for wok recipes. People used to cook it in stove pots, but that changed over time. Since 1955, automatic rice cookers became more and more popular and that didn’t change till the present day. It’s just so much more comfortable and easy to use a rice cooker instead of a stove pot and the rice also comes out really fluffy.

How To Store Leftover Rice The Right Way

As soon as the rice is done cooking and the rice cooker is turned off, you should take out the leftover rice from the rice cooker. Once rice is cold and stays at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it can catch bacteria that can give you food poisoning. After taking the rice out of the rice cooker, let it cool down and put it in an airtight container to store in the fridge. Since it’s cold in there, the rice will last up to 4 days. 

Another way to store leftover rice is by freezing it. If you choose that option, then you should put the cold rice in an airtight container or into a zip lock bag and put it in the freezer at -17 degrees Celsius or colder. Stored like this, the rice will last for up to 6 months. Although, you will have a better taste if you use the frozen rice for a time period of  2 months.

How Long Does Rice Last When Left In Rice Cooker?

The exception for leaving rice in a rice cooker for more than 1-2 hours is, when the warming feature is turned on and when it doesn’t cool down. In that case it will last for about 11 to 12 hours, but after that time period, it will lose moisture and flavor. Also, the rice can catch bacteria which eventually can make you sick and give you food poisoning. 

If you wish, you also could keep the rice in a rice cooker overnight when the warming feature is turned on. I wouldn’t really recommend that though, but if you do so, check the color and smell of the rice the next day. There might have been bacteria grown on the rice overnight. In case you are not sure if the rice is still good or not, take a tiny bit of rice and make a taste test. Be careful with that though. If it tastes bad or weird, throw it out immediately for your own safety.

Tips and Tricks For Leftover Rice

  • Never reheat leftover rice more than one time after storing it the right way, because it also might catch bacteria.
  • If you left fresh cooked rice out for more than 2 hours, you should better throw it away to be on the safe side. The same rule appears for rice that has a change in color. I wouldn’t recommend to eat that either. 
  • When cooking rice, try to just cook as much as you need. Then there is no leftover rice in the first place.
  • Try not to let the fresh cooked rice cool down under 60 degrees Celsius before serving. It prevents the rice from growing bacteria.
  • If you have leftover rice, try to cool the rice down faster before storing it. One way to do so is, when you place it into a colander and rinse it with cold water. Another option to cool rice quicker is, to spread the rice out over a clean container’s length and wait until it’s cold.
  • To reheat frozen leftover rice, you can put it in the microwave. For that, just use a bowl and break the frozen rice into chunks. Then, cover it with a damped paper towel and heat it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, and stir it before serving.

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