How to microwave cooked rice – 7 Simple Steps

Did you accidentally cook too much food, and now the leftover rice is sitting in your fridge? Just learn how to microwave cooked rice, and you can eat the rice with whatever toppings you want.

I have the annoying habit of overestimating my appetite. Hence I always end up cooking more food than I can finish. In situations like these, my microwave always comes in handy.

So, what are you waiting for? Let me show you how to reheat cooked rice in the microwave.

Can you microwave cooked rice?

Yes, you can microwave cooked rice. Microwaving cooked rice is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reheat it.

To make the cooked rice safe to eat, it has to be reheated at 165°F. You can heat the rice to that temperature in the microwave quickly.

Furthermore, unlike reheating rice on a stovetop, microwaving is reasonably straightforward. It takes less than 5 minutes and requires only one microwave-safe container.

How do you microwave cooked rice?

To microwave cooked rice:

  1. Put cooked rice in a microwave-safe container.
  2. For every one cup of cooked rice, add 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Mix the rice well.
  4. Put a microwave-safe lid on the container.
  5. Microwave the cooked rice for 3-4 minutes on high heat setting.
  6. After microwaving, check the rice to see if it is appropriately reheated.
  7. If the rice is still cold, microwave for 1-minute intervals till the rice is done.

So, does reheating rice in the microwave seem like a difficult task to you? Well, it is straightforward. And if you remember one secret trick, your rice will turn out amazing every time.

Microwaving cooked rice without any moisture can turn them dry. So, add 2 tablespoons of water to the container for every one cup of cooked rice. The water will prevent the rice from drying out.

Moreover, always cover the rice with a microwave-safe lid. The lid prevents the steam from escaping the container and reheats the rice evenly.

Is it safe to microwave-cooked rice?

As long as you follow the proper instructions to store and microwave the rice, the process is safe. But microwaving improperly stored cooked rice can indeed make you ill.

The process of microwaving rice is not inherently dangerous. It only involves reheating the rice with a few tablespoons of water. The process is safe if you use a microwave-safe container to reheat cooked rice.

But, if you store the rice at 41 °F to 140°F, then the rice will not be safe to eat. Cooked rice at such a high temperature starts releasing toxins. And eating rice with toxins can make you severely ill.

Moreover, always store cooked rice in an airtight container at low temperatures. This will prevent the rice from going bad, and then you can safely microwave them.

How long does it take to microwave cooked rice?

The time it takes to microwave cooked rice depends on the amount of rice and your microwave wattage. On average, you can reheat one cup of cooked rice in the microwave at high speed within 4 minutes.

If you follow the proper instructions, microwaving cooked rice takes around 4 minutes. But sometimes, the process can take even longer due to low-wattage microwaves. Similarly, reheating a big batch of rice can take longer than 4 minutes as well.

How do you know when cooked rice is done microwaving?

When the cooked rice is microwaved properly, its internal temperature is the most telltale sign. Cooked rice is reheated at 165°F. So, when the internal temperature of the rice reaches 165°F, the rice is done.

But the question remains the same, how can you know when the rice has reached 165°F? One easy way to check the internal temperature of rice or any other food is by using a food-grade thermometer.

While microwaving cooked rice, keep a food-grade thermometer by your side. After reheating the rice for 4 minutes in the microwave, check its temperature. If it hasn’t reached 165°F yet, then microwave for 1-minute intervals.

After each 1-minute interval, check the internal temperature of the rice. And once the temperature reaches 165°F, turn off the microwave.

If you do not have a food-grade thermometer, you can touch the rice to check if it is done. However, this method is slightly more dangerous as it can burn your fingertips.

Tips to Microwave Cooked Rice

Reheating cooked rice in the microwave might seem like a difficult task. But if you follow the process step by step, you can get perfectly microwaved rice each time.

Here are some tips for making microwave cooked rice quickly.

  1. Always use a microwave-safe container to microwave cooked rice. Are you not sure whether the container is microwave-safe or not? Look at its bottom. If it has three wavy lines, then it is safe to microwave.
  2. Microwaving cooked rice can end up drying out the rice. So, always add 2 tablespoons of water per cup of rice. The water prevents the rice from drying out and keeps it fluffy.
  3. While microwaving cooked rice, cover the rice with a microwave-safe lid. The lid will prevent the steam from escaping the container. And this steam helps to reheat the rice evenly throughout the container.
  4. Rice is reheated at 165°F. Keep a food-grade thermometer by your side. And once the internal temperature of the cooked rice reaches 165°F, turn off the microwave.
  5. After you microwave the cooked rice, do not open the lid. Let the rice sit in the steam for a few minutes to reheat evenly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can reheating rice kill you?

No, reheating rice cannot kill you. However, if you eat old and improperly stored rice, it can make you severely ill.

If cooked rice is not stored correctly, it starts to release toxins that can be harmful to your digestive system. So, always store cooked rice in an airtight container at low temperatures.

Even if you store the rice properly, they have a short shelf life. So, after 4 days, throw out the leftover rice. 

What is the best way to reheat rice in the microwave?

The best way to reheat cooked rice in the microwave is by adding water to the rice. If you microwave cooked rice without any water, the rice might dry out.

So, before you start microwaving the rice, add 2 tablespoons of water per 1 cup of cooked rice. You can also microwave cooked rice with ice cubes for a similar result.

How to reheat rice in the microwave with ice cubes?

To microwave the cooked rice with ice cubes:

  1. Pour one cup of rice into a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Place one ice cube on top of the cooked rice.
  3. Cover the rice with either a damp paper towel or a microwave-safe lid.
  4. Microwave the cooked rice for 1-minute intervals on high heat until thoroughly reheated.

Is it safe to eat cold rice from the fridge without microwaving it?

Yes, it is safe to eat cold rice from the fridge if you store it properly. Many people still believe that eating cold rice can make you sick. However, that is not true.

Cooked rice releases toxins that can be harmful to you. But when you store it in an airtight container at a low temperature, the rice does not release toxins. However, if the cold rice is 4 days old, you should not eat it.

Final Words

Now you know how to microwave cooked rice. But before you leave, do not forget to add 2 tablespoons of water for every cup of cooked rice. The water will prevent the rice from getting dry.

Also, always cover the rice container with a microwave-safe lid or a damp paper towel. This will trap the steam in the container and reheat the rice evenly.

It is time to turn on the microwave and reheat the cooked rice.