How to reheat rice in the microwave

how to reheat rice in the microwave

There is a widespread belief that reheating rice is unhealthy or that one should never reheat rice. However, it is not valid. For many, rice is a staple and especially popular in Asian countries. People from these places will tell you that reheating rice is not uncommon, but there are a few precautions you need to take to ensure that the rice you are reheating is safe for consumption.

How to reheat rice?

Like many other dishes, a microwave is a helpful appliance if you want to reheat anything to eat. You can also heat rice with various devices such as ovens and stovetops. But the simplest of them all is using a microwave.

The problem with reheating rice is that it can cause food poisoning if you don’t heat it properly.

So here are some steps to follow when reheating rice in a microwave.

How to microwave leftover rice:

  1. Take the leftover rice out of the fridge. You can open the lid of the container and allow it to defrost if it is frozen or too cold.
  2. Depending on how much rice is in the container, add water. For example, add 1-2 tablespoons of water if there are two cups of rice.
  3. Place the lid back on the container and pop it in the microwave
  4. Ensure the container is microwave-friendly, so you don’t risk melting the container from the heat.
  5. You can use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the rice. Typically, a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or above is good enough for reheated rice.
  6. Make sure that you serve the food immediately when it is piping hot.

More tips on reheating rice in the microwave:

Using an ice cube:

This hack is similar to the tip of adding 2-4 tablespoons of water. However, many people find it almost daunting to add water to leftover rice because of the fear of adding too much or too little.

This is where the ice cube hack comes in handy. You can place one single ice cube on top of the container or bowl of rice before you pop it in the microwave.

Make sure you follow similar steps of covering the rice with a lid or a paper towel that is microwave safe.

This will ensure that the rice retains moisture and comes out soft and fluffy. After 2-3 minutes, you’ll find that the ice Cube does not melt when you take it out of the microwave. This is what we want to see.

However, your rice will be nicely heated and warm throughout. The ice plays the part of a catalyst in reintroducing moisture into the leftover rice.

Now you can toss the ice cube into the trash and enjoy your rice for lunch or dinner.

Using a bowl and a wet towel:

When you use a microwave to reheat your rice, you need to be wary that you don’t end up with dry and hard rice. The trick is to have it soft and warm as you originally had the rice. To achieve this with leftover rice, you can put the rice in a bowl that is microwave safe.

Cover the bowl with a wet or microwave-friendly towel and pop it in the oven for 3-4 minutes or longer, depending on the amount of rice you reheat. Make sure you toss the rice around and mix it up regularly to ensure all the rice in the bowl is evenly heated.

Other ways to reheat rice:

On the stovetop:

If you don’t have a microwave, you can still reheat rice using your stovetop. This is a common me this you’ll see in many households with rice as a staple. It’s a relatively simple and easy process of reheating food by introducing moisture into the leftover rice and returning it to its former glory.

Steps on how to reheat rice using a stovetop:

  1. Turn on your gas and place a medium or large saucepan. You can also use a cooking pot, whichever you prefer.
  2. You can add a few drops of oil or butter to the saucepan and let it melt.
  3. Once melted or the oil is cooked, place the rice in the saucepan.
  4. Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the rice when it sizzles. For every cup of rice that you add into the saucepan, add one tablespoon of water.
  5. Use a wooden spoon to break the rice up in case of lumps and clumps.
  6. Stir the rice around and make sure everything is well coated with the water
  7. Keep the stove on simmer and cover the pan with a lid.
  8. Let it sit that way for 2 to 3 minutes. You can also check the rice regularly to ensure it does not burn.
  9. Keep stirring the rice around to make sure that all the rice is nice and warm. This will also help you introduce more moisture into the leftover rice.
  10. You’ll know that the rice is ready to eat when it is no longer wet but fluffy and moist.
  11. Take it off the stove and enjoy it immediately!

Using an oven to reheat rice:

If you are left with a massive pile of rice after a great Sunday brunch or dinner, you can use the oven to reheat it again the next day. This is similar to the microwave method but much more effective for large quantities of rice.

Follow these steps to reheat rice using the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to about 300 or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Take the leftover rice from its container and place it in an oven-safe container or tray.
  3. Make sure you break down all the clumps and lumps of rice and evenly spread it around.
  4. Add a few tablespoons of water to the rice. For every cup of rice, add one tablespoon of water.
  5. Now you can cover the dish with aluminum foil and toss it in the oven.

Keep the temperature low as you want it to steam the rice evenly and not burn it.

It will probably trade you 15 minutes or so to evenly warm the rice in the oven.

You can take it out at regular intervals and give it a good stir, so you cover all the rice with the moisture to give it that nice and soft fluff.

Use a rice cooker:

As obvious as it sounds, you can use this method to ensure that you have perfectly cooked rice and reheated rice every time. The appliance is made to cook rice for you most simply and efficiently possible. 

So if you have any rice left over in your rice cooker, you have to add a few tablespoons of water and keep the appliance on the “warm” setting for 10 minutes, and you’re done.