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Properly reheating leftover rice can be a challenge as there is always the risk of it turning out too soggy or completely dried out. Finding the perfect balance is hard.
Today, we are going to look at the different ways you can reheat fried rice for the best results. We will cover the different appliances you can use and find out how to reheat different types of fried rice.
Before we get into it, it is important to note that adding moisture back into your rice before reheating is the best way to go about it. Whatever method you use, be it the stovetop, microwave, or oven make sure you add in either water, oil, or broth to ensure your rice does not dry out.
Best Methods to Reheat Fried Rice
Before we look at how to reheat fried rice, let us go over the storage method. Rice is a food that is susceptible to bacteria which can cause food poisoning. You want to pay the same attention to it as you would to your dairy and meat products.
Here are a few tips you should follow to ensure the safety of the rice and your own safety by extension:
- Store the rice in the fridge as soon as you can. Do not let it sit out on your counter for too long. Once you know that you will not finish it in one sitting, get it into the fridge.
- Use airtight containers to store it. These Fullstar Food Storage Containers are ideal. They are BPA-free, won’t leak any toxins in your food, are airtight and watertight to keep your food fresher for longer, and are microwave, freezer, and refrigerator safe.
- Safe storage using airtight containers will protect your food and keep it from going bad. Do not open and close the container needlessly once you store the food.
- Reheat your rice just once. It is essential to do this as reheating and storing your rice more than once takes away from its flavor and makes it easier for more bacteria to get into the rice.
- Only serve the rice when it is super hot. This will ensure that all bacteria are dead.
Reheating on the Stovetop
If you are going to reheat fried rice on the stovetop, make sure you use a pan. The pan will give you the best texture and flavor. Frying the rice again will bring back its original flavor, making it taste just as good, or even better, as it did the first time.
Here are the steps to follow when reheating fried rice on your stovetop:
- Add some water or broth to your pan to warm it up. You can also add some oil, but only if your leftover rice doesn’t have a lot of oil to begin with.
- Once the liquid is warm, add the rice and stir continuously. You want to distribute the heat and the oil evenly.
- Continue cooking for 10 minutes minimum on medium heat.
Another way you can reheat the fried rice, especially if you are wary of adding oil, is to steam fry the fried rice. You can use either broth or water and still get the same delicious flavors. Follow these steps to steam fry your rice:
- To the frying pan, add the liquid and let it warm up.
- Add the rice and mix well.
- Cover and leave to cook for 3 minutes over medium heat
- Stir again to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Add more liquid if needed.
- Cover and leave for another 3 minutes.
- Repeat the procedure until the rice has been on the fire for around 10 minutes and all the liquid has dried up.
Reheating in the Microwave
Reheating rice on the stovetop is the best way to get the flavor, but it might not be possible if, for example, you are at work. This is where the microwave comes in. The downside of using microwaves is that they tend to dry the rice out, especially fried rice.
To prevent the rice from drying up, you will again need to re-introduce moisture to the rice. Add some liquid, either water or broth, before putting it into the microwave. Add about two tablespoons of the liquid to the rice.
You will need to have a microwave splatter guard like this Tovolo Vented Collapsible Cover. The cover prevents your microwave from getting splatters and spots, thus leaving it clean. It even has small holes on the lid for airflow for less condensation buildup.
Follow these steps when reheating fried rice in the microwave:
- In a microwave-safe bowl, put in your rice, mix two tablespoons of your preferred liquid, and stir.
- Cover the bowl to seal the moisture in but leave a little space for air to escape; you can use a bigger bowl or a splatter guard to cover.
- Cook the rice on high for 2 minutes. Take it out and stir to spread the heat evenly. Put back in the microwave for about 3 minutes.
- Let the rice cool and serve.
You need to reheat the rice for at least 5 minutes. Lesser time than that and the rice won’t be completely reheated. A longer time than that, and you risk drying out the rice and making it too hot to eat.
Reheating in the Oven
Reheating in an oven is one of the simplest procedures, but it is time-consuming and not suitable if you are in a hurry. You will also need to have an oven-safe casserole dish, like this Cuisinart Cast Iron Casserole dish. The dish should have excellent heat retention and even heat distribution for even reheating.
Here is how you can reheat fried rice in the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- Place the leftover rice into the Cuisinart casserole dish. Add a few tablespoons of broth or water. The amount of liquid you add will depend on the amount of leftover rice you have; there has to be enough water to moisten all the rice, but not too much to make the rice soupy.
- Cover the casserole dish to trap in the moisture and bake for 15 minutes.
- After the time is up, uncover the dish and bake for an extra 3-5 minutes without the liquid. This step lets some of the steam escape but don’t do it for more than 5 minutes as it could dry out the rice.
- Take out of the oven and serve.
Reheating in the Air Fryer
An air fryer is also another method to reheat your fried rice and get good results. It is easier than pan frying and doesn’t take as much time as the oven. The beauty of using an air fryer is that you will not need to add extra liquid as the fryer entraps the moisture on its own.
We recommend this COSORI Air Fryer Max with 13 cooking functions if you don’t have an air fryer. It has a large frying capacity and uses less oil than frying using traditional methods. Using the air fryer will still give your rice the same delicious taste as it had when fresh.
Here are the steps to follow when using an air fryer:
- Put the leftover rice into the air fryer
- Cook it for 8-10 minutes on high.
- You can add two or three minutes until it is steaming hot to be on the safe side.
- Let it cool down and serve.
How to Reheat Different Types of Fried Rice
Chinese Fried Rice
This rice probably has a lot of oil, so you won’t necessarily need some when reheating. Transfer the rice from the original takeaway container to an airtight container before storing it. The best way to reheat this rice is on the stovetop.
Chicken Fried Rice
With this rice, you have to be cautious in case both the chicken and the rice dry out. The best way to prevent this is by reheating it in the oven. Put it in a casserole dish to help you control the temperature and the moisture, which will prevent the rice and chicken from drying out.
Vegetable Fried Rice
The biggest challenge with vegetable fried rice is that the vegetables reheat faster and will turn soft if reheated for a long time. The best solution for this rice is using the microwave. With the microwave, the veggies won’t stick to anything and will only be heated within a short time.
Brown rice has more crunch and is more susceptible to drying out than white rice. The best method to reheat brown rice is using an air fryer. This is because you will not need to add anything and still get the rice to taste as fresh as it did the first time around.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can steam-fry the rice on the stovetop. You can also reheat it in the oven for the same results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: For how long can I store cooked rice?
A: You can store cooked rice in your refrigerator for up to 4 days. Make sure to use an airtight container when storing and eat it as soon as possible. Leaving it for a long time gives more opportunity for bacteria to multiply. Throw the rice away if you find it hard or dry, slightly slimy or if it smells funny.
Q: Is reheating rice safe?
A: Reheating is safe as long as you cool and store it properly. You will also need to make sure you thoroughly heat the rice to kill bacteria. Remember not to let it stay in the fridge for more than four days.
Q: Can I reheat rice more than once?
A: Yes, you can, but it is not recommended. Reheating the rice twice decreases its quality and doubles the chances of bacteria multiplying on the rice.