We all know the feeling: it’s 5 pm, you’re starving, and you open your fridge to find…nothing. You rummage through your pantry and find a half-empty bag of rice. It’s been sitting there for a while, but it’s better than nothing, right?
The only problem is that the thought of cooking rice on the stovetop seems like too much work. But then you remember that you have a microwave! Suddenly, the prospect of a delicious rice dish seems much more attainable.
Microwave rice is the perfect solution for those nights when you’re short on time and energy. It’s quick, easy, and best of all, it doesn’t require any dirty dishes.
Simply add water to your rice and microwave it for the recommended amount of time. In just a few minutes, you’ll have perfectly cooked rice that is ready to eat.
How Long Does Microwave Rice Last, Though?
The answer depends on the type of rice and how it is cooked. Uncooked microwave white rice will last for up to two years, while uncooked microwave brown rice will only last for three to six months.
Cooked microwave rice, regardless of the type, will only last for three to four days in the refrigerator or six to eight months in the freezer.
Brown rice is a healthier option than white rice, as it is higher in fiber and essential nutrients. However, brown rice also has higher oil levels, which makes it less shelf-stable than white rice.
If you’re not sure whether or not your rice has expired, it’s always a good idea to check the expiration date. Most bags of rice will have a “best by” date printed on them.
If the date has passed, it’s not necessarily unsafe to eat the rice, but it may not taste as good. If the rice smells bad or looks discolored, it’s best to throw it out.
How To Spot Spoiled Rice
Raw rice has different spoilage signs than cooked rice. Let’s take a look at each one.
The first noticeable sign that raw rice has gone bad is a rancid odor. The smell will be unpleasant and sharp, and it will be obvious that the rice is no longer safe to eat.
Another sign that your raw rice has gone bad is the presence of small black bugs. These bugs are called weevils, and they’re actually quite common in stored rice.
Weevils are attracted to rice because it contains a high level of starch, which they eat. While weevils aren’t harmful to humans, they can cause the rice to taste unpleasant.
You can get rid of these bugs is by soaking the rice in water. The water will cause the bugs to float to the surface, where you can then scoop them off.
However, if you’re not comfortable with the idea of eating rice that may have been infested with bugs, it’s best to throw it out and start fresh.
The third thing you can do to check if your raw rice has gone bad is to check it for dampness or oiliness before beginning to cook. If the raw rice feels damp or oily, it may be spoiled and should not be eaten.
This is because moisture and oil can cause bacteria to grow on the grain, making it unsafe to eat. When cooked, the rice should be fluffy and dry, not mushy or wet.
Cooked rice that has gone bad will also give off a sour smell. The odor will be similar to that of raw rice, but it will be even more pronounced.
The texture of the rice is also important. Freshly cooked rice should be slightly firm and chewy. If it is mushy or sticky, that means it is not fresh anymore.
Finally, cooked rice that has gone bad will also change color. The rice will become dull and discolored, and it may even develop a grayish or greenish tint. In some cases, the rice may also develop mold.
If you notice any of these signs, don’t risk eating the rice. Throw it out to be safe.
The Dangers Of Eating Expired Microwave Rice
So, is it really that dangerous to eat expired microwave rice? Well, it depends. If the rice is only a few days past its expiration date, it probably won’t be harmful.
However, if the rice is several months or even years old, it may contain bacteria that could make you sick.
Expired rice may also contain toxins that can cause food poisoning with symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In some cases, these toxins can even be life-threatening.
In some cases, expired rice may also contain mold. Mold can cause allergic reactions in some people, and it can also reduce the quality of the rice.
How To Cook Microwave Rice
Different brands of microwave rice will have different cooking instructions that’s why it’s important to read the package carefully before cooking. However, there are some basic steps that you can follow:
- First, add the desired amount of rice to a microwave-safe bowl or container.
- Next, add water to the bowl or container according to the package instructions.
- Once you’ve added the desired amount of water, stir everything together.
- Place the bowl or container in the microwave and microwave on high for the time indicated on the package. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the microwave.
- Once the rice is done cooking, let it sit for a few minutes before fluffing it with a fork. This will help to improve the texture of the rice.
And that’s it! These are the basic steps for cooking microwave rice. Just remember to follow the package instructions carefully to ensure that the rice turns out perfectly.
Can You Reheat Microwave Rice Twice?
Technically, you can reheat microwave rice as many times as you want. However, it’s important to note that the quality of the rice will decrease each time it’s reheated.
The rice may become drier and less flavorful with each reheating, so it’s best to eat it as soon as possible after it’s been cooked.
If you do need to reheat the rice, make sure to reheat it until it’s piping hot all the way through. This will help to kill any bacteria that may have developed.
To reheat the rice, simply place it in a microwave-safe container and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. Make sure the internal temperature of the rice is at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
How To Store Microwave Rice
To extend the shelf life of your microwave rice, it’s important to store it properly.
Here are a few tips:
- Store the rice in an airtight container. This will keep out moisture and pests.
- Keep the rice in a cool, dry place. A pantry or cupboard is ideal.
- If you’re not sure when the rice was purchased, write the date on the container so you can keep track of how long it’s been in storage.
- Don’t use rice past its expiration date for best quality and safety.
Most uncooked microwave white rice has a shelf life of 2 years, while uncooked brown rice only has a shelf life of 1 year. When it comes to cooked microwave rice, it is safe to eat for up to 4 days if stored in the fridge or for 2 hours if kept at room temperature.
So, there you have it. That’s everything you need to know about how long microwave rice lasts. Just remember to check for signs of spoilage before eating, and always store your rice properly to extend its shelf life. Thanks for reading!