Brown rice is a staple food across the globe, it is both a nourishing and filling simple food packed with nutrients. In fact, brown rice has much more to offer in terms of nutrients than white rice. As much as brown rice is good for you, you may have cooked too much brown rice. And you start wondering these questions. Can you freeze cooked brown rice? How long can brown rice last in the fridge?
The short answer is yes, you absolutely can freeze cooked brown rice. In fact, cooked brown rice freezes quite well.
Freezing cooked brown rice is relatively simple and can be summarized with 4 main steps.
First, place the cooked rice into a slightly wet sheet pan and spread out evenly. Let cool it for around 10 minutes. Then use a measuring cup and divide it into your desired serving size. Slightly wet the cup to prevent sticking and transfer the rice to a ziplock or freezer bag of your choice. Squeeze out as much of the air inside the bag as you can, then flatten the rice. Next, lay the ziplock or freezer bags flat on a sheet pan and place in the freezer for around 2 hours or until completely frozen. Finally, stack them in the freezer or place them into a bigger freezer or ziplock bag for storage, be sure to label them with the date they were frozen.
Though you can refreeze brown rice, it is not recommended as refreezing already defrosted rice will compromise its texture. Just refreezing it once could cause the rice to turn quite mushy, plus reheating it often might allow bacteria to grow.
Cooked brown rice lasts for around 4 days stored in an air-tight container in the fridge
Brown rice can last for 6 months in the freezer, though the quality of the rice will start to go downhill after three months due to the ice crystals.
Frozen brown rice is rather forgiving when it comes to defrosting. You can either leave it in the fridge overnight and use it the next morning, or place the frozen rice into a microwave-friendly bowl or container and heat it on high until it is steaming.
The beauty about frozen brown rice is that you can cook it while it’s frozen. There is not really a need to defrost it unless you want to serve it in a salad or a specific recipe. You can add the frozen rice into a boiling soup, stew, or sauce and leave until the rice is completely defrosted. You may also add the frozen rice into a stir-fry or use it to make fried rice.