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How to Freeze Rice

Although it’s healthy, rice can take up to an hour to prepare. Because I don’t have a spare second of time in my day, I like to cook large batches of rice on the weekends and freeze them in smaller portions. With this method, I find that I always have an inexpensive, healthy and delicious side dish on hand at dinnertime. Stay away from quick-cooking microwavable rice, which develops a gummy texture when reheated.

How to Freeze Rice:

  1. Measure out the desired amount of rice and cook it according to the package instructions. Remove it from the burner about five minutes before it is completely finished cooking. Don’t worry; the rice will cook completely when it is reheated in the microwave later.
  2. Allow the rice to cool for about 30 minutes uncovered. It should still be slightly warm, which will help it retain its moisture during the freezing process.
  3. Separate rice into 1 cup batches and pour each cup into freezer baggies or freezer-safe containers.
  4. Place the bags on a counter and press on them to flatten the rice and squeeze out any excess air from the baggies, which will help prevent freezer burn.
  5. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
  6. Defrost the rice by removing a baggie from the freezer and opening the top about a quarter inch, which will allow steam to escape during the cooking process. Microwave for about 3 minutes. Allow the bag to stand for 1 minute before adding to a favorite dish or eating.
  7. Tip: If you don’t want to microwave the rice in the baggie, run the frozen bag under warm water to release the rice. Remove it from the baggie and cook it for 3 minutes in a microwave-safe dish.

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18 thoughts on “How to Freeze Rice”

  1. Anonymous says:

    We eat long grain brown rice and wild rice, which do take about an hour in the rice cooker because they’re not instant. Freezing big batches makes great sides to go with frozen slow cooker meals. Thanks!

  2. Emily says:

    To cut down on having so many appliances in the kitchen, I use my pressure cooker to cook rice instead of a rice cooker. I dont know if it tastes any different than rice from the rice cooker as Ive never had any, but I think it is pretty good! For white rice, it takes about 2 min to get up to pressure, 4 min to cook and 5 minutes of natural release then it is done. The nice part is if you start it first, it is done by the time everything else is and you didnt even have to do anything but start it! Oh and also I love that it doesnt take a burner up on my stove.

  3. Siebert200 says:

    I just looked this up yesterday. Sometimes I want quick long grain and wild rice, but it does take 45 min to 1 hour to cook even in a rice cooker. So I am going to do this since I can’t eat most quick rices due to things in it like wheat starch. Thanks.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I freeze extra rice in a (clean) old ice cube tray. When they’re frozen, pop the “rice cubes” out and keep them in a zipper bag. Use as many as you need for a quick lunch. Or add one or more to a rice mix to stretch it for more servings (and reduce the amount of sodium per serving).

  5. White rice only takes 15 min. to cook.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I use a rice cooker and when I cook too much rice, I freeze it instead of letting it go to waste. I simply let it cool, place it in a freezer safe ziploc type bag and freeze it. I don’t measure because when I need it, I can break apart however much I want and put the rest back into the freezer. It comes in handy when I have leftover beans and no leftover rice or need it for my stir fry dishes or last minute meals put togehter. To heat it, I simply empty the “chunk” of frozen rice into a microwave safe pie plate I have and defrost a little in the microwave and then heat a little. I always mark the date and try to use it within 6 months.

  7. Katja says:

    U can just cook rice in microwave in certain real tupperware. Cook ten min, let stand… Or 5 min cook, 5 stand, 5 cook, 5 stand. Will never burn. Will never be watched closely like rice cooker. Takes longer to defrost and heat than cook!

  8. kate54 says:

    My cousin also cooks rice every day with a rice cooker, so the above method would seem like a lot of work to her, too. However I only cook rice every couple of weeks for 2 of us so I’m going to try cooking a large batch and freezing. As it is now even if I have my meals planned after work I don’t have time to cook rice. I always do minute rice (which I like), but know that regular rice is healthier. And I have no room for another appliance LOL, so this is a great idea for me. Thank you for posting!

  9. mjweaver says:

    Can white rice be long term stored in reused 2 liter coke bottles? Anyone know how…I think I saw in the background on one of the prepper shows, but can’t find instructions on any websites. I have a basement and would like to store some the easiest way possible.

    • mstisa6 says:

      Yes, I saw that too on Doomsday preppers. They used white rice in two liters soda bottles stating that white rice has a shelf life of over 30 years! They mentioned they didnt use brown rice because it doesnt last as long in storage due to the oils in brown rice if I remember correctly.

  10. Sparkman09 says:

    Thought I might weigh in here with my 2 cents…I married a Korean, so rice is cooked every. single. day. , and I have yet to see a rice cooker take longer than 15-20 minutes to cook. Perfectly cooked rice every time and it does NOT take an hour. My boys do go through a LOT of rice so we actually get two rice cookers going at once. No need to complicate something so simple. Toss in rice and water, close lid, push start button, auto shut off when done. Voila. Also, if you can get to a little Asian grocery store, (tons where we live) they usually sell HUGE bags of rice for pretty cheap.

  11. Biswas Shree says:

    Where can we find cheap rice? I have never seen coupons for rice. Is there any kind of coupons for any kind of rice?

    • Samson says:

      You can often fine coupons for Minute Rice. There was a sale a few weeks (or was it a few months) ago at CVS that I was able to get boxes of Minute Rice with a coupon and sale for $0.40 a box. I’m not sure if there are any current coupons. I don’t have any in my coupon pile.

    • Sara says:

      Uncle Ben’s rice ALWAYS has coupons (to bad i don’t like it lol) and I get coupons for minute rice from buying minute rice products (inside the cardboard is usually a coupon) and i think i have seen them for success rice before too :)

    • ArY says:

      I eat rice a lot and always buy mine from Asian grocery stores, already cheap without coupon. Last year I got 40lbs Jasmine rice for about $20 and still have some left. *** Notice there are always holes on the rice plastic bags, so store it in air-tight containers to avoid bug infestation.***

    • Anonymous says:

      I have never come across a coupon for “regular” rice, only the boxed rices. I buy the store brand because it is usually cheaper than the name brand and sometimes goes on a promotion by the store as a loss leader item. I figure rice is rice —what can be so different from the store brand to the name brand, except a lower price?

    • Anonymous says:

      There’s a coupon in today’s paper for Carolina rice.

  12. Vik says:

    I dont want to step on anybodys toes but that seems like a lot of work. I bought a rice cooker for $15 at Big Lots and use it when I need it and dont have to worry about burning or so. And it is always fresh and quick!