Can You Refrigerate Rice?

Rice is a staple food in Asian countries, but it’s becoming more popular around the world due to its nutritional value. Most people will buy rice in bulk and keep them at home for later cooking. If you’ve cooked rice, you’ll need to store them right away once it’s cool to prevent harmful bacteria from growing on the rice. Would refrigerating rice be an option?

So can you refrigerate rice? Yes, you can refrigerate rice and it’s recommended for cooked rice. Cooked rice should never be left at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. If so, it should be discarded after this time as it has likely been contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Why It’s Important To Refrigerate Rice?

There are a lot of opinions stating rice can be left at room temperature for a prolonged period of time. For uncooked rice, it’s possible to store them for a very long time.

Cooked rice, on the other hand, can’t be left at room temperature as harmful bacteria will start growing on it.

Since rice is cooked in water, they become very moist. When they do, it’s an excellent place for dangerous bacteria to start growing on it. If this happens, it can lead to serious food poisoning.

By refrigerating rice, it will prevent harmful bacteria from contaminating it. Just make sure it has cooled down to room temperature first or it’ll cause condensation when it’s stored in the airtight container.

Rice needs to be handled properly to avoid contamination of dangerous bacteria. Therefore,


Can You Refrigerate Rice

How To Store Rice In The Fridge

If you’re planning to store rice in the fridge, you’ll need to properly store them. Not doing so correctly could lead to food poisoning.

Below are the instructions for refrigerating rice:

  1. Once the rice is cooked, wait for it to cool down to room temperature. Also, make sure to refrigerate it within 2 hours. To make it cool faster, spread the rice on wax paper as thin as possible.
  2. Once it’s cooled, transfer the rice to an airtight container.
  3. Seal the lid on the container as tight as possible. if air leaks into the container, it could oxidize the rice and cause them to spoil.

Storing rice in the refrigerator will keep fresh for 5-6 days.

Below, we’ll go into details for each step and why it’s important:

1. Refrigerate rice within 2 hours

It’s extremely important to store rice within 2 hours after it’s cooked.

Uncooked rice contains spores and it can survive when the rice is cooked. After it’s cooled to room temperature and sit for too long, those spores will turn into bacteria. The bacteria are what cause food poisoning.

Therefore, after the rice is cooked, whether it’s leftover or you’re planning to store it for later, always make sure to refrigerate the rice within 2 hours.

Also, you don’t want to refrigerate rice when it’s still hot or warm. If you do, after a couple of minutes, condensation will start to accumulate in the container. That in turn will cause the rice to become wet and go bad.

2. Airtight container to store rice

The correct storage container is important to preserve the freshness and taste of the rice while it’s stored in the freezer. There is a lot of different container on the market, but the one recommended is an airtight container that’s made for freezer usage.

Glass Food Storage Container


  • 4 PIECE SET – BPA/ PVC Free, Non-Toxic.
  • Watertight Silicone Sealed BPA-Free.
  • Four tab locking system
  • Safe for freezer, refrigerator, and dishwasher
  • Made from glass for durability and long-lasting

The storage container can either be glass or plastic, as long as it’s safe for freezer usage.

An airtight container is the best type of storage container as it will help prevent the air from leaking into the container. If air gets into the container, it will cause freezer burn to the rice. This will damage the texture and flavor of the rice.

3. Spread the rice as thin as possible

After the rice is cooked, you have only 2 hours in which to refrigerate them. After that bacteria will start to form and cause the rice to go bad.

Letting the rice cool down in the rice cooker will take more than 2 hours for it to cool down completely. Therefore, spreading the rice thin, it will help them cool down faster.

How To Tell if Rice Has Gone Bad

Most food will easily show signs of spoilage, but rice does not have signs that can be easily seen.

Below are some of the signs to look for when the rice has gone bad:

The Rice Smells Bad – When rice goes bad, one of the things to look for is a bad smell. Most rice will have a nice fragrant smell to it, but when it goes bad, it will smell rotten.

The Rice Is Discolored – Most varieties of rice will be white in color. As it cooked, it will remain white or become brighter in color. As it starts to go, the color will start to darken. When the rice is spoiled, it will be pale yellow in color.

The Rice is Hard and Dry – This is the most obvious sign when rice is spoiled. As the rice loses all of its moisture, it will dry up. If you notice this, discard the rice.

Can You Reheat Rice?

Yes, you can reheat rice, but only once. Reheating them the second time will damage the texture and flavor of the rice.

Rice that is cooked will be moist and soft. As it is heated, the rice will become softer. The second time it’s heated, the rice will become even softer and moister.

If you try to eat rice that’s reheated more than twice, the texture of it will be similar to rice porridge.

Related Questions

Can you freeze cooked rice?

Yes, you can freeze cooked rice. Like refrigerating them, make sure it’s cooled down to room temperature first before storing it in the freezer. It’s important to use an airtight container that’s made for freezer usage. Otherwise, it will crack due to the extremely cold temperature of the freezer.