- If you plan to eat your rice the next day, let it cool down before storing it in the fridge. When you reheat it, make sure it's piping hot all the way through before you eat it.
- When reheating rice, ensure that each grain receives an even amount of heat. If not, the rice will be dry in some spots and gummy in others.
- Heat the rice over low heat, frequently stirring, until it's heated. If you're reheating rice on the stovetop, add 1 or 2 tablespoon of water or broth to the pot before reheating—this help to rehydrate the rice and prevent it from drying out.
If you've ever made rice in a rice cooker, you know it turns out perfectly every time. But what do you do if you have leftovers? You can easily reheat rice in a rice cooker to taste just as good as when you first made it.
Rice cookers are the perfect way to reheat leftover rice without making it dry or sticky. This article will show you how to reheat rice in a rice cooker, microwave, and stovetop. We will also share some tips for keeping your rice tasting fresh.
How to reheat rice in rice cooker
The beauty of leftovers is that they can be reheated and enjoyed the next day. Rice is one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, making it the perfect option for meal prep or leftovers. There are several ways to reheat rice, but the easiest is using a rice cooker.
Why is that? Well, a rice cooker is designed to cook rice perfectly, so it stands to reason that it would also do a great job reheating it. Plus, it's totally hands-off, so you can reheat your rice without standing over the stove and watching it.
How to do it:
Don't leave the rice in clumps; break it up. Use a fork to fluff it up, and then use your fingers to separate the grains. Is it necessary to break up the rice? Yes. When the rice comes together in a clump, it won't heat evenly, resulting in mushy rice.
Place the rice in the inner pot of your rice cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of water or chicken broth for each cup of rice. Why add water? Rice becomes softer as it reheats due to the water it absorbs. One tablespoon of water will make your rice moister.
Cover the rice cooker and turn it on to the "reheat" or "cook" setting. Depending on your rice cooker, this setting may be called something different. Rice cookers vary in size and model, and reheating takes between 10 and 15 minutes. Reheated rice can become mushy, so closely monitoring the cooking process is crucial.
Once it's done, fluff it with a fork and serve it with your favorite stir-fry or curry dish. Best of all, this method works for any rice, whether it's white rice, brown rice, basmati rice, or jasmine rice.
- Reheating rice in a rice cooker is pretty foolproof. Just let the rice cooker do its thing according to the manufacturer's instructions. And the most important thing to remember when reheating rice is not overcooking it. Reheated rice can become mushy, so closely monitoring the cooking process is essential.
- If your rice cooker doesn't have a reheat button, don't worry. Just cook the rice using the regular white rice setting, but check on it frequently towards the end of the cooking time to ensure it's not drying out.
How to reheat rice in the microwave
The microwave is the best tool for quickly reheating leftover rice if you're short on time. Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules to vibrate and generate heat. This process is called "dielectric heating." Rice has a lot of water molecules, so it reheats faster and more evenly in the microwave than in other methods.
Here's how to do it:
There 3 level options when reheating rice in the microwave; you can either use the "defrost" setting, the regular reheat setting or cook it on 50% power.
- If using the regular reheat setting, start with 30-second then add time in 15-second increments until heated through (follow the reheating instructions below).
- If using the "defrost" setting, cook for 1-2 minutes, then add time in 15-second increments until heated through.
- If cooking on 50% power, start with 1 minute, increasing the time by 15 seconds until the food is heated thoroughly.
Below are three reheating methods that are safe to use and will result in perfectly reheated rice every time.
First method: Use the paper towel
Use a fork to break up any clumps in the rice. Breaking the clumps will help the rice reheat more evenly as hot air can circulate more quickly through the rice when there are fewer clumps.
Transfer rice into a heat-proof shallow bowl container. A glass or ceramic baking dish works well, but you can also use a microwavable-safe bowl. The initial moisture in the rice will start to evaporate as it sits out, so transferring it to a container that keeps moisture in will help.
Then, add a little bit of water to the rice. The amount of water you'll need will depend on the amount of rice you're reheating. For every 1 cup (180 grams) of rice, add 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of water or chicken broth. Stir to combine. Adding water or broth helps to prevent the rice from drying out as it helps create steam and makes the rice moister as it reheats.
Wet a paper towel and squeeze the water out, making it damp but not dripping. Place the damp paper towel over the rice. While reheating, this creates steam and prevents the rice from drying out.
Start nuking the rice for a 30-second increment, stirring between each interval. Depending on how much rice you're reheating and the power of your microwave, the duration may vary. Once the rice is heated, it should be tender and moist.
If the rice is still clumpy after reheating, you can add a little more water or chicken broth and continue microwaving in 15-second increments until the rice is the desired consistency.
Second method: Using a glass of water
Follow the instructions above from the paper towel method: step 1 up to step 3.
When you reach step 4, instead of covering the rice with a damp paper towel, fill a small microwaveable glass with ¼ cup of water, then place it next to the rice bowl. Water creates steam, which prevents the rice from drying out.
Reheat the rice at high power for a 30-second increment, stirring between intervals, until heated through. The rice should be hot and moist.
Third method: Use an ice cube hack when reheating leftover rice:
The ice cube hack is a popular method for reheating leftover rice. I love it because it's quick and easy and requires no special equipment. All you need is a bowl of leftover rice and a few ice cubes. In this way, the rice does not dry out or become mushy.
Break up the rice with your hands, so it's not clumped together. Why is that? Reheated rice can be a little gummier than fresh rice, and breaking it up will spread the moisture evenly, which will help it reheat more evenly.
Transfer the rice to a heat-proof bowl and add moisture by placing one ice cube on top of the rice. If reheating 2 or more cups of rice, add 2 ice cubes.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap does not touch the rice. Why is that? The moisture in the rice will condense on the plastic wrap and drip back down onto the rice, making it soggy. To prevent this, you can poke a few holes in the plastic wrap to allow the steam to escape.
For an even heat distribution, reheat the rice for 30 seconds, then stir. If the rice is not yet heated, continue to reheat in 15-second increments until warm.
Once heated through, remove the rice from the heat and let it sit for a minute to absorb the heat. Serve immediately.
How does the ice cube work?
When reheating rice, the grain should have an even coating of moisture, which helps it reheat more evenly. The ice cube hack is a quick and easy way to do that. The ice cube provides just enough moisture to prevent the rice from drying out and keep it from becoming mushy.
How to reheat rice using a steamer
You can reheat rice in a steamer basket if you have one. Rice will stay fresh longer when reheated in this way.
Put the basket in the pot and add water to the pot, just below the level of the basket. The rice will cook more evenly if it's not in direct contact with the boiling water.
Bring the pot of water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low, so it's simmering. The simmering water will help to evenly distribute the heat and prevent the rice from drying out or burning.
The rice cooker works with a specific amount of water and rice. Place the rice in the basket and put the lid on the pot. If you add more water, it will take longer to cook. If you add less water, the rice will be undercooked.
Simmer for 10 minutes or until the rice is heated through. Do you know why? It takes a little time for the heat to penetrate the rice and cook it evenly. If you were to turn the heat up to high, the outside of the rice would get overcooked while the inside would still be hard.
Allow the rice to sit for a few minutes after it has been heated through. As a result, the rice absorbs any remaining water, keeping it from becoming mushy. Serve and enjoy.
How many cups of water to add when reheating rice in the steamer?
When reheating rice in a steamer, you'll need to add ½ cup of water for every cup of rice. This will help to rehydrate the rice and prevent it from drying out.
Why ½ cup?
The general rule of thumb is to add ½ cup of water for every cup of rice. This is because rice tends to absorb a lot of water, so adding more will make it soggy. If your rice looks a little dry, add an additional ¼ cup of water.
How long to reheat rice in the steamer?
It will take about 10-15 minutes to reheat rice in a steamer. Keep an eye on it and check it periodically to ensure it's not drying out.
Can you reheat rice more than once?
Reheating rice more than once can cause it to dry out and become hard. To keep it moist, add a bit of water when reheating.
Extra tip when reheating rice in the steamer:
Aside from adding a bit of water to the rice, here's an extra tip when reheating rice in the steamer. You can place a wet paper towel over the rice to help steam it and make it moister.
- If your rice seems too dry, add a bit of broth or water before reheating. It will become more palatable if you moisten it up.
- While reheating rice in the microwave, stir it occasionally to prevent it from drying.
- Consider using an oven instead of a microwave if you reheat a large amount of rice. Rice will stay moist if you do this.
- Whenever you reheat rice cooked in a sauce, it may be helpful to add a tablespoon or two of the sauce back to the rice first. As a result, rice will be more flavorful and less likely to dry out.
- Reheating rice until it is piping hot is essential. If there are any bacteria present, this will help to kill them.