How to Reheat Rice for the Best-Ever Leftovers
2024/02/16

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Here's a time-saving trick: the next time you whip up a , try making a big batch to keep in the fridge! It's a great shortcut for and it can lead to many tasty during the week. Now, we know what you're thinking: doesn't cooked rice get dry or clumpy when you make it ahead? The answer is… not necessarily! You just need to know how to reheat rice to bring it back to its original, fluffy state. Then, you can go on to make , loaded grain bowls, cheesy , and more—not to mention the perfect base for all your favorite stir-fry dishes.

But do you reheat rice the right way, you ask? Ahead, we're sharing the secret to bringing leftover rice back to life without any of that unfortunate clump-age.

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The key, as you'll learn, is to incorporate some water. You want to create a dreamy, steamy environment that plumps up each grain so that they're as good as new.

Luckily, this method isn't too hard to master, and it works in the microwave, over the stove, in the oven as long as you keep in mind .

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How do you reheat rice on the stove?

You'll need a saucepan with a lid or a plate large enough to cover the pan for a good seal. Why? Well, because it's important to trap steam during the reheating process, and that's the job of the lid.

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To start, add a little water to the saucepan. It doesn't take much to reheat rice, so picture a few spoonfuls of water for each standard takeout container. Next, cover the saucepan and place it over low or medium-low heat. Once you hear the water hiss or see any steam build up, give the pan a good shake, then leave it to heat for another minute or so before turning off the heat. Let it sit, covered, for at least a few minutes, then uncover and fluff the grains. Taste for doneness—in this case, that really means rehydration! If the rice is still a little dry and crumbly, add a bit more water and try again.

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Oh, and one last tip: Once the rice is done, keep the pan covered until you're ready to serve. This additional covered steaming ensures that the rice grains are reheated all the way through, not just at the surface level.

How do you reheat rice in the oven?

Though it's more time-consuming than the stovetop method, using the oven to reheat rice is ideal for large quantities. That's because the circulatory heat of the oven provides a more gradual reheating process.

The first step is to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Similar to the stovetop method, you'll want to add a few spoonfuls of water to your dish or pan

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adding the rice—then, pour the leftover rice into the same ovenproof vessel (make sure it has a lid to retain moisture; if not, opt for a tightly-wrapped sheet of aluminum foil). Place the pan in the hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes, then fluff the rice and check the texture. Once it's ready to go, re-cover the rice and let it sit on the counter until serving time. The trapped steam will continue to keep the rice warm.

Is it safe to reheat rice in the microwave?

Yes! In fact, this is the fastest and easiest of the rice reheating methods. The microwave can get the job done in less than a minute and there are two ways to do it.

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Microwave with Plastic Wrap or Damp Paper Towel

Just put your rice in a microwave-safe bowl along with a splash of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or wet paper towel on top, then microwave in 20-second increments, stirring and re-covering in between, until heated through.

Microwave with Ice Cube

This hack comes to us from TikTok, where people have been placing one ice cube on top of a microwave-safe bowl of rice before heating in the microwave for about one minute. You might be surprised to learn that the ice cube actually doesn’t melt! Instead, it produces steam to reheat the rice perfectly. Just be sure to toss the ice cube before you eat!

How do you make leftover rice better?

Once you know how to reheat rice, you can use the fluffy grain for all your favorite ! There are tons of ways to make it even better, like turning it into crispy , stuffing it into , stirring it into soup, or pairing it with a flavorful to sop up all that sauce.

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