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Can You Freeze Brown Rice?

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So can you freeze brown rice? How long does brown rice last, how do you store brown rice or how do you know when brown rice goes bad? 

These are some of the questions most kitchen savvies have asked and you probably have too. 

In this post, I’ll answer every question you might have on freezing brown rice. So if you want to learn more about the preparation, freezing and storage of brown rice, keep reading to find more. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Can You Freeze Brown Rice

Yes, you can freeze brown rice, which makes it easy for you to store for future use. Preparation of brown rice usually takes a lot of time, so preparing more and storing it is the smartest idea you can ever employ. Besides, freeing brown rice is simple and doesn’t require you to be a cooking expert. 

You can freeze brown rice for one week or two and freeze it with other foods in meal preparation containers. If you need to store frozen brown rice for longer, you can use freezer bags because they will perfectly do the task. But how do you defrost frozen and reheat brown rice? There are three ways you can do this: 

  • Use a microwave – You will first need to thaw with low power, then gradually increase the heat to cook it. If it’s too dry, feel free to add some water. 
  • Use a non-stick pan – To defrost, you’ll need to set your dish low on your stovetop. Reheat by turning to medium heat, and add some little water to prevent burning. 
  • Throwing it in frozen – With this method, you’ll need to throw your brown rice in the frozen, then add more cooking time to accommodate the thawing. 

Just like any other food that’s frozen, brown rice will last indefinitely when frozen. However, you need to note that your frozen brown rice quality will deteriorate after some time. And because of this, it’s recommended that you use the frozen brown rice within six months. 

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How Long Does Brown Rice Last?

Brown rice will last between six months and one year, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. However, as previously noted, frozen brown rice, just like any other frozen food, will last indefinitely. The only problem is that the quality of your frozen brown rice will deteriorate with time. 

If you’ve bought your frozen brown rice at the mall or in the supermarket, you need to check the  “best before” or “best by” section to know when precisely the manufacturers state that the frozen brown rice will be better for consumption. 

It is essential to note that your frozen brown rice won’t go bad immediately after the due date. The best by or best before is to estimate how long the frozen brown rice will maintain its top quality. Otherwise, frozen brown rice will stay indefinitely such that it is unsafe for consumption.  

For cooked brown rice, you can transfer it to your freezer or refrigerator and can last up to six days without going bad. In some cases, the cooked brown rice might extend further with more days, but you need to be careful not to consume rice that has gone bad. 

I have come across some people suggesting that you can store cooked brown rice at room temperature. This is a bad idea because, at room temperature, there is a higher risk of your cooked brown rice coming into contact with bacteria. 

But why is uncooked brown rice having a shorter life span than white rice? Uncooked brown rice has oil in the bran layer, which white rice doesn’t. 

This makes it vulnerable and speeds up its spoilage. The best idea is to freeze your brown rice because this will make it last longer – up to 12 months while still maintaining its quality. 

How Do I Freeze Brown Rice? 

  • The first step is to cool your brown rice. To do this, run your sheet pan under flowing water and then remove out the excess water. Scoop your brown rice into the pan and spread it out. Allow for up to 10 minutes to cool. 
  • Your second step is to portion the rice. You can use a measuring cup to ensure you’ve divided the rice into your desired size. Transfer the measured rice into a quart-size freezer bag and spread it. Seal and ensure that you have released any air in there. 
  • Now put the freezer bags into a clean sheet pan and then into your freezer for about two hours to freeze. 
  • After your brown rice has frozen, you need to pack them into rice bags and ensure you have labeled them so that there is no confusion. You can then store it in your freezer for between three to six months
  • You’ll need to reheat your brown rice, transfer it into a microwave-safe container, then heat it while it is covered. You’ll need to increase the heat every one minute until your brown rice is hot. Please note that it isn’t a must to thaw your brown rice before reheating.
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How To Tell If Brown Rice is Bad

Uncooked brown rice may go bad and you must know some of the signs that accompany spoiled uncooked brown rice. 

Some signs include growing mold, discoloration, foul smell, insects in your brown rice package, or even moist texture. Please don’t consume if you notice any of the mentioned signs above. 

It is also important that you follow your instincts when you feel the brown rice has gone bad. If this is the case, throw the brown rice away.

But what about cooked brown rice? How do you know that it has gone bad? First, cooked brown rice will not absorb water properly while it’s cooking. 

Secondly, it will have a chewy texture, and finally, you could notice mold a few hours after you place the cooked brown rice in the fridge. If this is the case, throw it away. 

Sometimes it just happens that your cooked or uncooked brown rice goes bad even if you followed all the storage procedures. 

This is normal and you shouldn’t worry yourself that you may have skipped a step or didn’t use the correct method. Cook another rice and forget the other one that went bad. 

How to Store Cooked Brown Rice 

You can store cooked brown rice by covering it tightly in a container and then refrigerating it for about six days. 

The cooked brown rice can retain its quality in the freezer for up to six months but can stay indefinitely as long as the freezer’s temperature remains at 0 degrees F or even lower. 

After you have cooled your cooked brown rice, you’ll need to put it in plastic freezer bags and store it for the future. Please ensure that you have labeled the container with the date. 

Please note, you need to refrigerate more cooked rice in a shallow container because it cools way faster in the fridge. Also, there’s nothing wrong with refrigerating your food while it’s still warm. 

And highly perishable cooked foods like brown rice shouldn’t be left at room temperature for entirely too long (two hours or more) as this exposes them to bacteria. 

best-rice-cooker

What to Consider When Selecting the Best Rice Cooker 

1. Serving Size Required

When purchasing a rice cooker, you need to consider the serving size you’ll require regularly. This will give you a better idea of how much rice you’ll need every time you want to cook. 

Cooking a small amount of rice in a large rice cooker doesn’t make sense at all. Doing this could ruin the insert and the top of your rice cooker. 

It is also important to note that you must never overload a smaller rice cooker. The reason is that the contents in the rice cooker will bubble and fail to cook properly. 

One of the best rice cookers that I recommend you try out is the Aroma rice cooker. You can check it out here on Amazon

2. Food You Want to Cook 

The next consideration is to know what you want to use the cooker for. Do you want to use the cooker solely for cooking rice? Or do you want to use the cooker for other purposes? 

Many cookers can serve various purposes – pressure cook, cook rice, slow cook in just one cooker. 

One of the best multi-use rice cookers that you can try out is the Bella multi-use rice cooker. You can check out more about it here from Amazon

3. Durability and Heat Distribution 

You need a durable cooker and one that can distribute the heat properly so that your rice is cooked evenly. This calls for better rice cookers with the above capabilities. 

If you are looking for a durable rice cooker that will ensure even heat distribution and cooking your rice perfectly, try out Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Rice Cooker. 

This rice cooker’s advantage is that you can pre-program it and perform other tasks as your rice cooks. Check out more about it from Amazon

Related Questions about Brown Rice

1. Is Reheating Brown Rice Dangerous?

Yes, reheated brown rice could cause food poisoning, but please note that it is not the reheating that brings about food poisoning, but how you stored your rice before reheating. 

2. How Can Reheated Rice Cause Food Poisoning? 

Reheated rice could contain Bacillus cereus, a bacteria that are known to cause food poisoning. If you leave your rice at room temperature, the spores of Bacillus cereus could grow into bacteria. When these bacteria multiply, they produce poisons that will lead to vomiting or diarrhea. 

3. How Long Can You Keep Cooked Rice in the Freezer?

You can keep cooked brown rice in the freeze for between four to six days. However, you’ll need to reheat the rice when you finally take it out of the freezer. Please note that it is not a good idea to reheat rice a couple of times. 

4. Can You Freeze Raw Brown Rice?

Yes, you can freeze raw brown rice to make it last longer. Raw brown rice has a shorter life span because it has some oil in its bran layer. Freezing raw brown rice could help it maintain the quality for about 12 months.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, your question has been answered, and you now know how to freeze your brown rice and store it accordingly so that it doesn’t go bad or deteriorate in quality. 

Over to you – have you ever frozen brown rice before? What was your experience? How long did it last? Please leave a comment and share your experience.

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