How to Properly Store Cooked White Rice

Rice is a staple food in many parts of the world. It is easy to cook and adds flavor to any meal. However, sometimes we end up cooking more rice than we need. In such cases, it is important to store the cooked rice properly so that we can use it later without compromising its quality.

Why Proper Storage Matters?

Cooked white rice has a short shelf life as compared to other foods if not stored properly. When left at room temperature for too long, bacteria start multiplying that cause food poisoning or spoilage which leads to waste of good food.

One thing you have to keep in mind when storing your cooked white rice is that uncooked raw rice contains spores of Bacillus cereus bacterium which could survive through the cooking process and cause foodborne illness if left at room temperature for several hours.

To avoid such scenarios, here are some tips on how you can store cooked white rice safely:

The Best Way To Store Cooked White Rice

Cool Down The Rice Quickly After Cooking

As soon as you finish cooking your batch of white rice, transfer it into an uncovered shallow container like a bowl or pan and let it cool down quickly (within 1 hour) before putting it away in the fridge or freezer.

This will minimize bacterial growth during storage since cooling slows down microbial activity.

Refrigerate Or Freeze Within Two Hours Of Cooking

It’s essential always refrigerate leftover steamed/boiled/cooked white rice within two hours after preparing them because bacteria grow most rapidly between 40°F – 140° F (4°C -60°C).

If you are going to eat your leftovers within four days , storing them in an air-tight sealed container inside the refrigerator with temperatures below 4℃(39 ℉) is the best way to keep the texture and flavor of your cooked rice.

If you want to keep it for a more extended period, storing them in an air-tight container or ziplock bag inside the freezer will preserve their quality for up to six months.

Serving Suggestions After Refrigerating or Freezing

After refrigerating leftover white rice, reheating it in a microwave oven with some added water can help improve its texture and taste.
For frozen leftover cooked white rice, removing it from the freezer and letting it thaw overnight within the refrigerator before microwaving would be ideal.


Storing cooked white rice properly after cooking is essential since they are prone to bacterial growth if not kept under proper conditions. By following these tips on how to store your leftovers safely, you can ensure that your family eats healthy and delicious meals every time without worrying about food poisoning or wastage.

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