Can You Reheat Rice Twice? (Is It Safe)

Can You Reheat Rice Twice
Foods Questions

Rice is a dish that often finds its way onto the dinner table, but what should you do with leftovers?

Many people believe that rice cannot be reheated twice. Is it true? Well, in this post, I will share with you what can you do with your leftover rice.

So, can you reheat the rice twice?

The answer is yes; you can reheat leftover rice twice. You just have to make sure your microwave has a “reheat” setting and use less water for each round of cooking. Aside from microwaves, there are other ways you can reheat rice.

Reheating rice in a pot

If you have, for instance, leftovers in the refrigerator, you can use your stove. This way is particularly convenient.

You will just reheat it in a pot on medium-high heat. Just remember to add only as much rice that could fit inside the pot, and not more.

If you feel like eating cold-cooked rice, you can reheat it in a pot as well but on low heat. Once the rice is soft again, you are free to eat it.

The rule of thumb that many food experts give is: reheat cooked rice for a minute or so on low heat or at half-power if you’re using the microwave.

Reheating rice in a microwave?

Aside from the stove in case you’re looking for another way to reheat your rice, you can actually do so using your microwave. This process, however, requires more work on your part because this is an entirely different appliance than the first round of cooking.

If you have already made the rice once, you know that the process isn’t easy, clean, or fast.

While you can reheat cooked rice twice in a microwave, it will be much more work compared to using your regular stove. This is because microwaves do not have specific settings for reheating leftovers.

But bear in mind that this is actually what sets the microwave apart from the stove. Since microwaves heat food using electromagnetic waves, there are no flames to burn or pans to clean up afterward.

Once you have made your rice the first time, store it in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with plastic wrap for at least 2 hours before reheating it again.

This is important because those two hours should be enough to let the rice lose its moisture. You can also use a zip lock bag if you don’t have plastic wrap available.

After reheating your rice, make sure it doesn’t get soggy because this can be harmful to your health. In order to avoid this, you should reheat it for only one minute and stop the microwave immediately if it already looks wet.

If you like your rice al dente, then you should be able to reheat it for only 30 seconds on the first try.

The rules are the same when reheating rice in a pot on constant heat to avoid sogginess if this is what you’re planning on doing. You just have to remember not to let the rice boil.

Should you reheat rice that has been refrigerated?

If I were you, I would give it a try because reheated rice doesn’t get as soggy and this makes it more palatable than when it’s cold.

But in case you’re wondering whether or not cooked rice could be kept in the refrigerator, this actually depends on various factors.

It can be kept for two to three days if you follow these tips: use an airtight container or a zip lock bag and minimize exposure to light and moisture.

If you’re not very sure if it is safe to reheat rice that has been refrigerated, always better safe than sorry.

This is why experts recommend that you only use rice in which the moisture level has already dropped to about 10 percent or less after cooling.

But keep in mind that these are just guidelines and that you should always rely on your own senses to know if the rice is still good.

Is it safe to reheat egg-fried rice?

This is actually a bit trickier when compared to reheating plain rice. This is because egg-fried rice may have some dishes mixed with other ingredients that can affect the taste, texture, and look of the food as you know it.

While egg-fried rice has the same basics as any other fried rice (rice plus flavorful condiments), there will be other ingredients cooked with the rice to give it that special flavor.

The good news is that you can reheat egg-fried rice and still enjoy every bite of your plateful. But there are some things you should take into consideration before doing so, like:

  • How was the dish cooked in the first place, how long has it been refrigerated?
  • How you’re going to reheat it and what the new cooking time should be?

If you want your egg-fried rice to still have that crispy texture, then you should place it on low heat for about 5 minutes if this is what it needs to make sure its last bite will taste way better than when it was cold.

If you know for certain that your rice was refrigerated for only a few hours, then you can go ahead and reheat it the same way as when you were making it from scratch.

But if the dish has been stored in the refrigerator for days or weeks, this is where things get complicated.

If I were you, I would choose to be safe than sorry and would go for a combination of all the methods mentioned above, from letting it lie at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes before reheating to placing it on low heat for at least five minutes.

But it’s still up to you if you want to take the risk or not since there is no guarantee that your egg-fried rice will still taste the way it did before you refrigerated it.

Can you reheat rice from the Chinese restaurant?

Reheating rice from Chinese restaurants can be tricky and it’s hard to gauge how long the dish should be cooked before serving or eating.

This is because there are many factors that affect its taste and texture especially if it was frozen first.

What I can recommend is for you to give it another try using these tips.

First, place it on low heat for about five minutes to make sure that the dish will still have some freshness when you’re eating. This way, you can control how long it’s cooked and when it is safe for you to consume reheated rice from Chinese restaurants.

The five-minute timing is just an estimate and you should rely on your senses to determine if the rice is still okay.

If it appears dry or mushy, then I would suggest that you throw away reheated rice from Chinese restaurants in case there are possible bacteria lurking around which could make you sick.

But if everything looks good, go ahead and enjoy your reheated Chinese rice.

Is it safe to reheat rice with other food?

It’s important to remember that you should never reheat leftover rice and other foods together. This is because the longer it takes for the dish to reach a certain temperature, there is higher the possibility of bacteria growth (remember that microbes grow in warm temperatures) which could affect your stomach.

Learn more about reheating foods here.

Final Thoughts

Can you reheat rice twice? Yes, but depending on how you do it will be less flavorful and dry. You can make a second meal with the same pot of rice by following these instructions:

Cook the frozen or refrigerated cooked leftover rice in just enough water to cover it for about 10 minutes.

Add seasonings if desired. If not already moist, stir in butter or margarine until melted on top before serving. This is also known as “congee.”

You can now enjoy the reheated rice!