How to reheat rice in the microwave?
Rice is a staple food in most homes; it is affordable and widely available. It is ideal to keep the leftover rice in the fridge to enjoy it at lunch or dinner the next day, but you have to know how to reheat it correctly.
If not done right, the rice can taste dry and stale once reheated, and that can lead you to throw out the entire leftover batch.
Reheating rice doesn’t have to be intimidating or difficult, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time reheating rice if you use the microwave.
You may be concerned that reheating rice in the microwave will make it dry and hard, but there are a few ways to prevent this from happening.
How do you reheat rice in the microwave?
There are three methods that work very well for reheating rice in the microwave: the towel method, the plastic wrap method, and the glass of water method. All three help you easily reheat rice in the microwave with common items found around the house.
Understanding how to reheat rice in the microwave will help you make the most of your leftover rice, and reheat it properly for its best quality and flavor.
Three Methods to Reheat Rice in the Microwave
If you’re especially pressed for time, or just can’t wait to eat, using the microwave can help you heat up your rice in no time at all with very little effort.
If you want to eat the rice without waiting, you can even eat it cold, as long as it has been stored correctly. Although you will have to be more careful when looking for signs of deterioration.
You’ll hear different people swear by different methods of reheating rice in the microwave, but here are three that work wonders. You can choose which of the three methods works best for you.
1. Paper Towel Method
Reheating rice in the microwave using a paper towel is very easy. The paper towel serves to trap moisture, which prevents the rice from drying out.
Very little cleanup is required with this method, as you only have to use the bowl that you heat the rice in, and you can throw away the paper towel when you’re done.
How to reheat rice in the microwave using a paper towel
- Arrange the rice in an even layer on a plate.
- Cover the rice on the plate with a damp paper towel. Make sure the paper towel is just slightly damp and not soaked with water. The damp paper towel will trap the moisture, ensuring that the rice does not dry out.
- Microwave the rice for two minutes , checking every 30 seconds. Remove the rice once it has reheated evenly.
A damp paper towel works great for reheating rice so it’s juicy and moist. The rice will need a little extra moisture, and the damp paper towel provides that, while also ensuring that no moisture escapes from the rice.
Covering the rice also allows the rice to reheat evenly.
2. Plastic wrap method
When you use plastic wrap to help reheat rice in the microwave, you are steaming the rice. This is one of the best ways to ensure that the rice heats evenly and that the rice retains essential moisture so it doesn’t dry out.
How to reheat rice in the microwave using plastic wrap
- Place the rice in a large bowl , but don’t overfill it as there should be some room for steaming.
- Add three or four tablespoons of water to the rice . If you want the rice to have more flavor, you can add three or four tablespoons of chicken or vegetable broth.
- Place the plastic wrap over the bowl , making sure it is secure. Place it in the microwave and turn the microwave on low power for a few minutes. You’ll know the rice is done when the plastic begins to swell and become steamy.
- Take the bowl out of the microwave and be very careful when removing the plastic, as the escaping steam is very hot and can cause burns.
- Stir the rice to make sure it heats evenly.
If you use this method to reheat rice, you can add even more moisture in the form of water, or you can add moisture and flavor by using chicken or vegetable broth.
The plastic wrap does not allow moisture to escape, and when heated, the steam warms the rice, keeping it moist and fluffy.
However, you must be careful when removing the plastic wrap, as the steam can be very hot and cause serious burns.
3. Glass of water method
Another useful tool for reheating rice in the microwave is a simple glass of water.
By adding a glass of water to the microwave, along with the rice, you can add extra moisture to the inside of the microwave, which once again prevents the rice from drying out and gives it that extra moisture it needs to be soft and moist.
How to reheat rice in the microwave with a glass of water
- Place the rice on a plate or in a bowl , it doesn’t matter which one.
- Fill a microwave-safe glass with about 2/3 of water .
- Place the glass next to the rice in the microwave.
- Turn on the microwave to heat for 2 minutes , with the glass of water and the rice inside.
- After the two minutes are up, check that the rice has heated evenly . You can put it back in the microwave if it needs to be reheated for a longer time.
- Be careful with the hot water in the glass , as it is probably close to boiling, or scalding, and could cause some burns.
Using a glass of water next to your rice in the microwave to heat it up is one of the simplest tricks out there.
The extra moisture in the microwave provided by the water allows the rice to stay moist and soft, not dry and hard. Just remember to be careful when removing the hot water from the microwave!
Bonus Method: Reheat Frozen Rice in the Microwave
You can reheat frozen rice in the microwave without going through the defrosting process.
You will need to have the rice frozen in a plastic freezer bag for this method to work and make sure the plastic freezer bag is safe to microwave.
With this method you can get a fluffy and moist rice, straight from the freezer to reheat it in the microwave.
Here’s how to reheat frozen rice in the microwave:
- Place the bag of frozen rice in the microwave, and open it slightly, to about an inch of opening. As the rice is heated in the microwave, the moisture in the bag causes the grains to steam, allowing the rice to taste as fresh and warm as if it were fresh out of the cooker.
- Turn on the microwave and check every minute until it is heated through.
- Pour the rice into a bowl or plate and stir it so that each grain of rice is heated through.
This saves you a lot of time having to thaw and reheat the rice, and using the thaw and reheat method of rice in the bag keeps it moist and fluffy.
Is it safe to reheat cooked rice?
Many people have reservations about reheating cooked rice, as leftover rice is a common source of food poisoning.
However, if the rice has been placed in the fridge within an hour of cooking , and stored in an airtight container , it should be able to be reheated and eaten within 2 days .
You want to make sure the rice is piping hot when you reheat it, and you should never reheat it a second time. If there is rice left over after reheating, it should be thrown away.
How do you soften leftover rice in the microwave?
To soften leftover rice in the microwave, you have to introduce more moisture into the rice.
This can be either by adding water directly to the rice or by having a source of water, such as a damp paper towel or a glass of water, in the microwave next to the rice to give it enough moisture to soften it.
Reheat rice in the microwave
Rice can be reheated in the microwave and still taste fresh and mild once heated.
The three methods of reheating rice in the microwave, using a damp paper towel, plastic wrap, or a glass of water, help keep the rice moist during microwave reheating and prevent it from drying out and going tough.
The above three methods are very easy tricks to learn how to successfully reheat rice in the microwave.