Freezing meals is a time-saving, convenient and simple way to preserve your food.
But, do you ever wonder can you freeze uncooked rice? Well, we have an answer!
Many obstacles can disturb your rice quality, so this could be a perfect storing method.
Let’s see if it is possible and if is, how to freeze the rice properly.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Freezing Uncooked Rice
When storing rice, we know that cooked rice can be frozen and reheated when needed.
Is that the case with uncooked rice?
Shortly, yes, it is.
Freezing will help to extend rice shelf life and it is a good way to keep your kitchen pests out of the rice.
When freezing uncooked rice, its texture won’t be altered once you decide to thaw it and cook.
Why Freeze It?
There are four elements that will affect your rice shelf life, so freezing will maximize your rice shelf life and its quality. Be aware of these factors:
- Water and oxygen – These two elements can affect rice texture and color. Water will cause oxidation and make your rice yellow and fragile.
- Temperature – If your rice is stored in temperatures over 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 5 degrees Celsius), that will cause mold growth. If stored at room temperature, rice will become chewier and less sticky. Low temperatures will obstruct these processes.
- Physical interactions – That includes vermins like rats and cockroaches, insects like rice weevils and bacteria and fungus. All these factors will destroy your rice.
How To Freeze Uncooked Rice?
As we mentioned, both cooked and uncooked rice can be frozen and thawed easily. Also, it is recommended to freeze brown rice since it doesn’t last as long as other rice types.
To freeze uncooked rice, you’ll need:
- dry and raw rice
- sealable storage container (freezer bags/Tupperware container)
- vacuum sealing machine (optional)
First, you need to be sure your rice is 100% dry. If there is moisture, the mold will grow and spoil your rice. Also, check if your container is clean and dry, you can use a tissue and quickly wipe your container.
Next, pour the rice into a container or freezing bag. After filling seal the container with a lid or if you’re using bags, zip them up.
Make sure your container or bags are fully sealed and there is no air and bacteria access.
Now, your rice containers or bags are ready for storage.
If you want to prolong rice shelf life, use a vacuum to reduce oxygen exposure.
Here is a useful tip – Add a label to your rice containers or bag. A label with the date and name of the food will prevent throwing the rice away.
Mostly, people can’t remember when they store the food so they tend to throw it away.
Finally, put rice containers and bags in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Uncooked Rice?
Dried rice is shelf-stable, but if you decide to freeze it, it will last even longer. Frozen rice that is kept at 0°F in the freezer, can be safely consumed for an indefinite amount of time.
The better question is “How long will the rice retain its optimal taste and texture?” If packaged and stored well, your rice will keep for up to 18 months.
Keep in mind that the USA Rice Federation recommends using uncooked frozen rice within six months for best results.
Thawing Frozen Uncooked Rice
If you want to use your frozen rice immediately, you can. You can cook it right away. However, it is better to cool it down before cooking. There are three techniques you can opt for:
- Leave it overnight – Move your frozen rice from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
- Use oven or microwave – This is a quick way to defrost your rice. First, you need to spread the rice on a tray and add 1-2 spoons of water. Then put this tray in the oven or microwave and turn the heat to the highest mode or turn to defrost mode (on microwave) and leave it for 2 minutes. Now your rice is ready to cook.
- Cold water – Place the rice container under cold running water and you’ll thaw it quickly. Make sure that the container remains sealed to prevent moisture entrance.
Can You Cook Frozen Rice Without Defrosting It?
The right answer is – yes and no.
If you use a vacuum and dehydrate the rice completely, then you don’t have to thaw it. You can cook it immediately.
However, if you didn’t dehydrate it, you should defrost it because of moisture. Opt for methods we’ve mentioned in the section above.
How Can You Tell If Uncooked Rice Is Bad?
Since rice has such a long shelf-life, it is a bit challenging to tell when it has gone wrong.
However, there are some obvious signs.
So, if white rice changes its color or texture, has visible mold or if you see insects in the container, then you shouldn’t use that rice.
When it comes to insects, you should not be worry about it when it comes to freezing. Low temperatures in the freezer kill bugs if stay in the freezer for just 3 days.
If you have brown rice, then it is much easier to detect if something went wrong. When spoiled, brown rice will look like it has been coated in oil and will emit an awful smell.
To Wrap It Up
Freezing is the best method to extend the shelf life of your rice. So, yes, you can freeze uncooked rice and no special equipment is required for that task. Just learn how to do it properly to ensure long-lasting quality of rice.