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Why does cooked rice harden while in the fridge?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Big Daddy's House View Post
    Thanx, Natt12321!

    Tangerine, I NEVER let cooked rice sit out THAT long!!!!!!
    Hahaha! Me neither, but I know people who have. I prefer rice that is freshly made though. It seems it loses a little something when you re-heat it anyway. Think so?


    • #17
      Originally posted by natt12321 View Post
      That's not actually true, it only take a couple of hours for the toxins to be of a level to cause illness. The toxins are also not killed during reheating.

      The issue with rice is that the bacteria is spore forming as I mentioned, this means that it needs to be heated to around 112C to be killed (with the boiling point of water being 100C, the high temperature needed doesn't usually get reached during cooking). At around 60C and below 5C the bacteria puts on a little jacket (or forms a spore) to protect itself from the suboptimal conditions, but when it's jacket comes off it starts to release toxins which can't be removed by reheating. These toxins are the real problem, not so much the bacillus cereus itself. The toxins aren't released in the rice packaging as the rice is dry which is another type of suboptimal condition for the bacteria to live in, so once again on goes it's little protective jacket until it gets nice and warm and wet (such as after it's been cooked).

      Pre-cooked packaged rice is treated with extreme caution. Usually there are no people involved in the packaging of it, it's all done in a controlled environment by machines. The rice is blasted at 112C before being packed with nitrogen 'just to be safe'.

      Advice to people who save rice tends to be that if it has been in the danger zone for 4 hours or more it should be disposed of as it is too high risk to eat. As DarkGinger said it is a risk not a certainty as the offending bacteria is not always present, but it's a risk that I sure don't take. Rice is also not the only place this bacteria can be found, however it is the most common place that is it found.

      Hope that clears things up BDH.
      Very good info. I won't forget it!


      • #18
        Originally posted by Tangerine View Post
        Hahaha! Me neither, but I know people who have. I prefer rice that is freshly made though. It seems it loses a little something when you re-heat it anyway. Think so?

        And I wouldn't go to their houses to eat either!!!!!


        • #19
          About 3-4 days. I never have any problem with storing cooked rice in the fridge, but make sure its cooled and place in an airtight container. It never goes dry, hard or loses its flavor and I've been doing this for over 20yrs.


          • #20
            I've stored rice in the fridge for a long time as well.

            it's just that it gets hard while in there. I was always curious as to why it does that, but it seems as though the starch is the culprit.


            • #21
              I don't think so that cooked rice harden while in the fridge.


              • #22
                It DOES. You probably never had leftover rice that you've had to put in the fridge after a meal.