How Long Does Rice Last In The Fridge?

Rice is an incredibly versatile ingredient that is easy and healthy to cook anytime to satisfy the cravings. This delicious pantry staple is affordable and available in almost every market. 

Interestingly this succulent ingredient has prevalent types such as wild rice, basmati, white rice, brown rice, jasmine, etc. So, it depends on which type you would like to cook at home. 

Undoubtedly different types of rice have different shelf life though the average shelf life of uncooked rice is long at room temperature. In contrast, the cooked rice can stay for a few hours at room temperature, 4-7 days in the refrigerator and freezer; they can last for 15-20 days. 

Keep in mind; If you feel a slight change in smell and taste or texture of rice, it is better to discard them because eating this rice can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea, and abdominal cramps. 

How to reheat cooked rice?

The frozen rice is safe to eat, yet you can do it in various ways if you want to reheat the rice before serving. 

On stovetop

To reheat the cooked rice on the stovetop, add a little water to a pot and heat the rice by covering the lid for 2 minutes. Stir the rice for heating them all the way through, and then serve them. 

In microwave

If you want to reheat the rice in a microwave:

  1. Put the rice in a bowl and splash water on them.
  2. Heat the rice for 2 minutes.
  3. Stir the rice after one minute to heat them thoroughly. 

How long does cooked rice last in the fridge? 

Cooked rice typically lasts for almost 4-7 days if you properly store them in airtight containers or resealable bags. 

The proper storage prevents the rice’s bacterial growth, which prevents the rice from going bad. Therefore, experts recommend storing the cooked rice for 2-3 hours. 

4-to 7 days is the average life for every variety of cooked rice, whether you use white rice, basmati, jasmine, or brown rice. 

Does rice variety make a difference?

Yup, it makes a slight difference because brown rice is less processed than white rice and contains some essential oil, so they last for 4-5 days in the fridge without getting slimy. 

White rice lasts for 5-7 days in the fridge as they don’t contain healthy oils, which may become a prime reason for its long storage life. 

Moreover, the basmati & wild rice can last about 5-7 days in the fridge, the same as white rice.  

How to store the dry rice? 

Interestingly, dry rice has a long storage period even though it can last for years if properly stored. 

For proper protection, keep the rice packs in the dark and cold places away from the sunlight, such as your kitchen cabinets or pantry, where they can last for years. 

Once you open the rice pack, please put them in airtight containers or ziplock bags before storing them. 

For extra protection against the pest, bugs, dust, and harmful toxins put the rice in an airtight container and place it in the freezer or fridge. 

Hence, this process is constructive in the case of brown rice because brown rice is not processed like other varieties and contains essential oils, nutrients, and proteins. 

Therefore, they can go rancid quickly and cannot stay fresh even in the best storage conditions. 

Can you freeze cooked rice? 

Yes, you can freeze cooked rice and use those frozen rice for almost a month without any hesitation. Freezing prevents the rice from being rancid, and you can use them by reheating it whenever you want. 

To freeze the cooked rice; 

  • Place the cooked rice on a baking sheet. 
  • Spread the rice with the help of a spatula in one layer.
  • Transfer these rice to the freezer bag
  • Freezer the rice. 

If you want to reheat these frozen rice, put them in a pot, add water, olive oil, or butter in a small quantity, and heat them thoroughly. 

Tips for storing rice

The tips that you must follow while storing the rice for future use are as follows; 

  • Let the cooked rice cool down at room temperature. 
  • Use clean airtight containers or freezer bags for the storage of rice. 
  • Make sure there is no moisture inside the bag or container. 
  • Do not reheat the rice again and again because it will allow the bacteria to grow and cause spoilage. 
  • Reheat a small amount of rice only before eating. 

What can you do to preserve the rice? 

Cooked rice is exceptionally moist, and if you do not place them into the freezer or fridge right after 1-2 hours of cooking, it will become rancid because they are a perfect breeding surface for bacteria. 

If it is a hot, humid day, try to place the cooked rice into the refrigerator to lower its temperature. 

Once the rice cools down, put them in an airtight container or heavy resealable freezer bags for extra protection against bacteria. 

Label the container or bag with a date of expiration. Place it in the freezer for as long as you want. 

Does rice go bad?

Yup, rice can go wrong just like other food items, though its rancidity depends entirely on how you store it. 

If the rice is not stored correctly, bacteria will reproduce in it, and the rice’s color, texture, and smell will become odd. 

How to tell if the rice is expired? 

Many signs can tell if the rice has gone wrong or not, such as odour, texture, colour, etc. 

Odour

  • Smell the rice and if you feel a strange and unpleasant smell, discard them because they have gone wrong. 

Texture

  • Freshly cooked rice will always be airy and fluffy and if they turn slimy and gummy, discard the rice as soon as possible because they are not safe to eat.

Colour

  • If the rice turns greenish, brown, or black, they are rancid. Do not try to eat them because they can cause severe illness. 

What are the side effects of eating expired rice? 

If you have mistakenly eaten the expired rice, see the doctor as soon as possible because it can cause severe food poisoning. 

Rancid rice contains fungi or molds that produce mycotoxins, a common cause of vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps, weak immunity, convulsions, and coma. All these diseases are fatal and can lead to death. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to eat rice leftovers?

It is safe to eat rice leftovers for at least six days if they are adequately stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Otherwise, fragments may become a prime reason for food poisoning. 

Therefore, always check the odour, texture, and colour of rice before eating, and if you feel something odd, do not eat it. 

What is the difference between white and brown rice? 

Well, some significant differences between both these varieties are as follows; 

White rice

  • White rice is a processed form of rice that does not contain fats, nutrients, proteins, and essential oils. This rice takes only 15-20 minutes to cook. 

Brown rice

  • Brown rice is whole grains that contain all the healthy essential oils, minerals, and vitamins. This rice takes 40-50 minutes to cook, and they are more nutritious than white rice. 

What is wild rice? 

Well, wild rice is not a bowl of original rice. It is a grain of aquatic grass that is edible. These grains are sold as wild rice in the market. Wild rice is more prolonged, thicker in texture, and has a nutty, earthy flavour. Moreover, wild rice is considered a healthier option than other rice varieties. 

Which rice is better in terms of nutritional value? 

If you consider the nutritional value, brown rice is a healthier option to choose rather than white rice because brown rice contains antioxidants, vitamins, and beneficial minerals that prevent the risks of heart diseases. 

Conclusion 

Unsurprisingly, the shelf life of dry rice (no matter which variety you use) is the same, although the storage time varies a bit when you cook them. 

If under proper conditions, uncooked rice can last for 2-3 years, whereas cooked rice, whether brown or white, can last a few hours on the counter, 4-7 days in the refrigerator, and a month in the freezer. 

Remember that the cooked rice can go wrong even after proper storage, and those rotten rice will have an odd smell, texture, or color. 

Make sure that you discard the bad rice as soon as possible. You will face severe food poisoning, diarrhoea, weak immunity problems, stomach pains, abdominal cramps, and cancer risks if you mistakenly eat them. 

About Carissa Taylor

Carissa is the founder and creator of the Gliving. With an emphasis on healthy eating and living, Carissa's recipes and food photography have been featured in various publications including the Food Network Blog, Huffington Post, TODAY Food, and more.