Sadly, rice has not taken to storage like other foods have. All the same, it is possible to store and reheat. Here is how.
To reheat it you can use a stovetop or microwave. Add some water or broth and cover the rice, heating it all the way through. Make sure you start by storing the rice properly. Rice should be frozen in a zip locked bag while it is still moist. Do not use the refrigerator or it will dry out and be much more difficult to reheat.
The trick to reheating rice either by stovetop or microwave is getting the moisture back in the rice. This is also the reason you should freeze it while it still has moisture in it. When you freeze it, some of the moisture will be “locked” inside of it. It is better to lock that moisture in that try to get new moisture in it when reheating the rice.
Reheating On The Stovetop
Reheating rice on the stovetop is almost an identical process to making rice normally. This means that all the same proportions still apply: You are still going to want to have two cups of water for every one cup of rice.
Water is not the only option, however. You can also use oil, or flavored broth if you have some available, but these are both done in conjunction with water, no in place of it. Oil should be added before the water is added, and usually no more than about one tablespoon for every cup of rice.
Broth comes in two varieties: Either it is its own liquid, or it is a powder that is meant to be mixed in with the water. If it is a liquid, then replace half of the water in your preparation with broth.
You do not want to add too much broth, as rice is highly absorbent and highly reliant on water to taste good. Replacing water with broth entirely will leave your rice tasting bad and feeling dry. It is much better to water down the broth a little to manage the flavor. Powdered broth is a somewhat different case.
Powdered broth should be mixed with the water separately from the rice. Mix it with the cup or cups of water you plan to put into the rice, then add it in as if it was the water. Powdered broth is easier to water down than pure broth, since it just means you have to mix it in with a sufficiently large amount of water.
Here is what you do not want to do: You do not want to add the broth powder into the rice, and then add the water with the intention of mixing the broth powder and the water among the rice. This will just result in the rice absorbing the broth powder, sometimes instead of the water, and tasting bad and dry.
Once you have the water, oil, or broth sorted out, put on a low flame and cover the rice. It will take about 15 minutes for the rice to be the heat and texture you want it to be. Then it is ready to eat.
Reheating In The Microwave
Using the microwave to reheat rice is mostly the same process with one very important exception. The exception here is that rather than using two cups of water for every cup of rice, you will be using two tablespoons of water for every cup of rice.
This is a pretty massive difference, and it is all because of how microwaves heat water. Essentially, you do not need as much water to convey as much heat in a microwave as compared to a stove.
Mix the rice and water in a bowl, then microwave while covered for four minutes. Stir and fluff the rice to make sure it is the right texture, and it is ready to serve.
Why Is Rice Hard To Store?
Rice is a strange thing to freeze, as the obstacle that prevents it from being reheated is extremely unique. Rice has a peculiar chemical makeup that makes it hospitable to a bacterium called Bacillus cereus. The dangerous thing about Bacillus cereus is that, unlike many bacteria, it can survive the cooking process.
And if it can survive the cooking process, then you better believe that it can survive the reheating process. Even microwave radiation won’t kill Bacillus cereus. Microwaves make food safe not by heating the food itself, but the water inside the food. Most bacteria need water to live. So, heating water will usually kill them.
But since Bacillus cereus does not need water to live, and does not live in water, microwave radiation basically passes right through it without leaving a scratch.
Not needing water to live also means that cold temperatures freezing the water around Bacillus won’t slow it down or kill it. Bacillus being immune to both heating and freezing means that once it develops, it can be nearly impossible to get rid of.
How Long Can You Store Rice?
After it has been made, rice can be stored for only about four days in the fridge. For this reason you will want to store it in the freezer, which can hold it for up to one month. This surprises most people to hear, as rice is known for being easy to store. But that is because dry rice is nearly immortal.
Refrigeration is still new, and is different in so many ways. Rice might last years while dry, but when reheating it you always have to be wary of how it was cooked and stored before.