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Cooked brown rice - storage

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Supplements' started by John Stone, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I normally cook a big pot of brown rice and then store it in the fridge in an air-tight container. It usually lasts me about 5 days. Some people say that rice is a breeding ground for bacteria, and should not be stored for more than 1 day after cooking (personally I've never had a problem). The USA Rice Federation says cooked rice will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. What do you guys do?

    Anyway, I am thinking about dividing the rice up after cooking it and then freezing it. That way there won't be any waste and no food safety issues. Do any of you do this? How do you reheat it, and is it still tasty?
     
  2. acousticblinding

    acousticblinding Active Member

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    I refrigerate mine for up to 3 days and it tastes the same. For warming it up, what I do is sprinkle a little water over and take a damp paper towel and lay it over it as I nuke it. This way the rice is moist after heating. Otherwise I notice that it's really dry if I don't do this.
     
  3. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I'm usually pretty happy with how my reheated rice comes out after nuking (I add a little water, too). I've never reheated frozen rice in the microwave, though. I guess I'll try reheating the frozen rice the same way, with a little more time.

    I just made a huge batch of rice, divided it up into small zip-lock baggies and then put all the zip locks into a large freezer baggie. If this works out I'll probably start making a month's worth at a time. That would be a big time-saver. :nod:
     
  4. ignition

    ignition Active Member

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    Not really about storing rice, but more for quicker/easier prep. This may or may not be a good solution for you, but it's one that works great for me since I'm always on the go. I actually just successfully tested it (with the rice) for the first time today.

    I'm really big on the ziplock steam bags, using them every day to reheat my grilled chicken breast & steam my veggies. I needed some carbs in my lunch so I tried this:

    - Put my serving of minute brown rice into a steam bag.
    - Dumped in some water.
    - Put it in the freezer with the rest of my lunch overnight.
    - Microwaved the whole thing for 5 minutes.

    Maybe I got lucky, but the rice, broccoli, and chicken came out great & I got a healthy lunch right at my desk.

    Good luck.
     
  5. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    I freeze rice (and wild/brown rice mixes) all the time without a problem. It reheats without a problem. Same method, slightly longer defrost/reheat time. Be warned, though, that it goes much faster than you might expect.

    Instead of ziploc bags, you might want to consider using that press'n'seal wrap (NOT saran wrap). I lay out a long strip of the wrap, then measure out and dump little piles onto one half of the wrap (on the long side). Fold the wrap over and seal into little sections while pushing out the air and flattening it. I end up with a series of pods, basically. I can then cut off a pod as needed or just tear it open. Gah, it's hard to describe. Maybe I'll take pictures next time I do it.
     
  6. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    I just reheated my first serving of frozen cooked brown rice. It came out perfectly. It took 60 seconds to reheat 3/4 cup of rice using the microwave. I added 1 teaspoon of water before reheating.

    I'm going to start making my rice in huge batches and freezing it. This is going to save a lot of time and money.

    Thanks for the comments. I'll have to look for the press and seal stuff. Does that require one of those vacuum sealer machines, or is it a stand-alone product?
     
  7. john_e_turner_ii

    john_e_turner_ii Active Member

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    I have been freezing my rice for a while. It is the one thing I hate having to cook since it takes a while and you have to keep an eye on it. Cooking a large batch, putting it in a sealed container and putting in the freezer has made it not so much of a chore. It always tastes fine to me when reheated.
     
  8. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    It's stand-alone. No vacuum sealer necessary. You'll find it in by the saran wrap, foil, and wax paper. I think it's made by Glad.
     
  9. Shotokan

    Shotokan Well-Known Member

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    I have a Korean friend and he of course uses a rice-cooker to cook his rice. He keeps the rice in there for days, only adding water as necessary to keep it moist. I asked him once if the rice kept like that and he scoffed. He told me that is the way all Korean and most Asian people cook/keep their rice. Who am I to argue?
     
  10. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    Don't watch this before eating. Or after eating. Or, perhaps, at all. But it does tell whether or not I'll ever consider doing with my rice cooker what your friend does with his.

     
  11. ToddB

    ToddB Well-Known Member

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    First, thanks for the heads up on that video... I know that I won't watch that. I still get ooged out watching the maggots in the rice in Lost Boys. :barf:

    As for storing the rice, I usually get three or four servings in a batch, so I just put it in a plastic container and store it in the fridge for a few days. I do the same when I make oatmeal.

    Now, this freezing idea has me intrigued. I never really thought of going that route.
     
  12. AmazonRunner

    AmazonRunner Active Member

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    Rice and other tips

    I freeze brown rice and have never had a prob.

    Also, I can't stand the way that plain veggies taste. It is the one aspect of "eating clean" that I had to find a solution for.

    I take onions, garlic, peppers and sometimes mushrooms and I saute them in a small amount of olive oil until carmelized. I then put this in the fridge.

    Everytime I'm going to make broccoli, spinich, squash or some other veggie I take out my previously sauted mixture and throw some in a pan. I then add the broccoli or whatever and just cook it a little bit so that it still has some crunch.

    It gets lots of flavor (and not many calories) from the saute mixture and gets me to eat more veggies. If I had to sit there and eat plain broccoli I know I wouldn't do it.

    I also use the saute mixture in eggs or to make a quick stir fry. If you don't mind plain veggies this is an unnecessary step but if you aren't eating enough veggies because you don't like them plain, this might help.

    I've never done so but I am sure you could freeze small amounts of the saute mixture too.:eat:
     
  13. gazza123

    gazza123 Active Member

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    As a chef the only thing I would say to be careful with freezing rice, is the temperature of the rice when you put it in to freeze. It needs to be cooled first. I know a lot of people know this but I'm sure there are some who overlook it. If you put hot rice into the freezer, the centre of the rice will remain warm whilst the outside gets cold and bacteria will multiply still.
     
  14. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    :confused: But won't the inside get colder sooner in the freezer than in the fridge or on the counter? I mean, either way it will all cool, and the freezer just seems like the place that it will cool down the fastest. I can understand saying to let cool before freezing for texture reasons, or even because you don't want to warm up neighboring items... but for bacteria? I'm stymied.
     
  15. guava

    guava Elite Member
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    Yeah, I don't get that either. :confused:

    I was certified to be a food handler, and they didn't talk about that. Actually, what they advised is to cool foods as quickly as possible, so I would think that going directly from hot to the freezer would be safer than spending that mid-range time in the fridge.

    From the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education:
    Should you cool leftovers before refrigerating?
    "No, you do not need to cool hot food before you put it in the fridge, but very hot food (e.g. simmering chili) can be left out for 30 minutes before refrigerating". The key is to cool hot food quickly to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria grow very well in the temperature range of 4ºC - 60ºC. Food should be cooled to 4ºC or lower as quickly as possible.

    However there's this:
    Do not place hot or warm items in a freezer, this can reduce the lifespan of the freezer, wastes energy and can spoil adjacent frozen food


    For the Korean friend, is the rice at room temperature? Because I do know people who use a rice cooker, and leave it on "keep warm" all day. That's actually quite safe because the temperature is above the "danger zone" where bacteria multiplies.

    When I am freezing food, whenever convenient, I spread it out flat on a cookie sheet, lay it gently across the top layer of food in the freezer, wait until it is partially frozen, stir it, continue freezing, then transfer it to freezer safe containers. Not only does it keep food in the danger zone (between 4°C and 60°C or between 40°F and 140°F) for less time, it keeps food like ground beef and rice in a crumbly shape. This makes it possible to thaw any quantity you like, rather than a whole container full. It thaws much quicker this way too.

    Also, I prefer not to put any plastic of any kind in the microwave, even those that are labelled microwave safe. I'm not adamant about it if it's inconvenient, but as long as there are ceramic or glass dishes available, I prefer to transfer them on to there before heating, instead of not knowing for sure whether any of the chemicals in the plastic can escape during heating.
     
  16. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah putting hot stuff directly in the freezer does cause frosting issues. Just let it cool covered first (to the point where it stops steaming).
     
  17. gazza123

    gazza123 Active Member

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  18. witeowl

    witeowl Active Member

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    No, that's not what you were talking about. That's because it was a "mountain of meat" and was wrapped in foil (which I've never experienced as particularly insulating). The equivalent to what Gordon is saying is, "Don't put a whole bowl of rice in," not "Let it cool before putting it in."

    Pray tell, how should one get rice to cool even faster than by putting it in the freezer? Surely you'll say to spread it out on a pan or something else to allow it to cool. Well, once you spread it out on a pan, you might as well pop it in the freezer. Ultimately it has nothing to do with letting it cool before entering the freezer and everything to do with setting it up so that it can cool through and through.

    The alternate reasons given above about cooling before freezing I get, but the reason you gave ranks up there with the wives' tale that cold water boils faster.
     
  19. gazza123

    gazza123 Active Member

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    Did you not hear what they both said about clingfilming the meat and putting it into the fridge? The middle stays warm and bacteria continues to grow. The point he was making, wasn't 'you shouldnt be putting a joint of meat in the fridge', but 'dont put it in the fridge when its hot'. All I'm saying is what I've learnt from the hygiene and food safety courses I have been on through pursuing a career as a chef. Yes, eventually the rice will freeze in the freezer, but if bacteria is growing in rice due to it being hot, it doesn't die when the rice is frozen, it just stops growing, it is still there. Now, I know how I store rice at home and I know how it is stored in industry, I also know how rice is up there with the easiest foods for bacteria to grow on. So if you lot want to dismiss what I'm saying that's fine. Do as you feel, everyone eats food, right? So, therefore everyone is an expert, right? End of my contribution.
     
  20. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
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    A bit of an aside, but I'm sort of a cooking reality show junkie (those shows are the only television I watch, in fact). I had no idea Kitchen Nightmares was on Youtube and, best of all, completely uncensored!

    Gordon's cursing doesn't offend me in the least, and it's really irritating trying to follow what's being said on regular TV because of the constant bleeping.

    I'm glad you posted that video (and I understand your point about food safety). That episode was particularly gruesome. :barf:
     

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