Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Freezing Rice {Freezer Fare}

Planning ahead and freezing various foods is such a time saver. And freezing cooked rice is definitely something that saves time. I have been doing this for a number of years, and wish I had caught onto this much sooner. I love having portions of cooked rice in the freezer, ready for a variety of dishes that call for rice either as a side dish, or as part of the recipe.

It just makes a lot of sense to make a big batch of rice all at once. My trusted rice cooker that I have been using for many years makes it possible to cook up rice quite easily, but it's a bit difficult (and time consuming) to just cook a small amount at a time. The solution is to cook a big batch at a time, and freeze the extra.

Follow your method of cooking rice (white rice or brown rice) and then divide the extra rice in smaller portions and put in ziploc freezer bags. It's good to pack the rice into the bags while the rice is still warm, as this retains the necessary moisture in the rice. When using the frozen rice, let it thaw, and then reheat in the microwave while still in the bag (opening the bag to let air escape as needed while heating).

Yesterday I cooked up 6 cups of (raw) rice in my rice cooker, and it made enough for our evening meal (plus leftover for another meal for the two of us), plus enough for a meal that I made for friends who recently moved into a new home, and also, enough for four 2-cup bags to put into the freezer for future use. We enjoyed Sweet & Sour Popcorn Chicken over rice for supper last night, gave that same dish to our friends for their evening meal, and have rice on hand for four more meals in the future.

Note: My experience with freezing rice has been with a medium grain rice (pictured in photo at top of post), as this is the type of rice that I use most often now. It is a "sticker" type of rice than the long grain rice, and the type which we prefer, especially when using rice as a side dish. I have read online that the shorter the grain, the better it freezes. Some sources suggest adding a little water to the rice when reheating. This probably would be a good idea when freezing long grain rice. Click here to read Taste of Home's instructions for freezing rice. A few sources suggest adding 1 teaspoon liquid for each cup of rice, while Taste of Home suggests adding 2 tablespoons per cup. (Feel free to let me know in the comments what your experience with freezing long grain rice has been.)

Linking up with:
Tasty Tuesday
Heart and Home
Works for Me Wednesday
Saturday Show & Tell
Melt in Your Mouth Monday


  1. I've always wondered about freezing rice...and now I know you can do it. :) Doesn't it stick together and get "gunky"? That is what I worried about and what kept me from doing it.

  2. Like Lydia, I always wondered about the texture of rice that had been frozen too, though I thought it would get hard and dry, like rice leftover in the fridge, which I then use for stir fry or casseroles. It's good to know that frozen rice works and the method for how to reheat it.

  3. Freezing and preparing ahead of time is so helpful for having healthier meals. we love sticky rice! so glad you've joined up with our heart+home gathering... hope you'll join again this week :)

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