How to Reheat Brown Rice: 4 Easy Methods You Can Try

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Person hand operating the microwave with a text "HOW TO REHEAT BROWN RICE"

Do you have a lot of leftover brown rice at home? Are you thinking about how to reheat brown rice the next day? Is it even safe to reheat brown rice?

Many people avoid reheating brown rice because of its chewy texture. They believe that the rice may turn chewier on reheating. The truth is you need to reheat brown rice such that it doesn’t lose its moisture in the process. 

In this article, I have discussed the easiest four methods to reheat brown rice properly. 

How Long Is Cooked Brown Rice Safe to Eat?

Brown rice in a pan with ladle.

Before getting into the details of how to reheat brown rice, let’s discuss how long it is safe to consume.

Unlike cooked white rice, cooked brown rice has a shorter shelf life. It can last for only about four to five days in the refrigerator and six months in the freezer. 

The reason behind brown rice’s short shelf life lies in the fact that it is unprocessed and retains its outer layers. Because of this, the oils in the grains’ outer part spoil and cause them to expire faster.

I recommend reheating brown rice only within a day or two of refrigeration. If it has been stored beyond that much time, it is better to throw it away.

Four Ways to Reheat Brown Rice

There are many ways to reheat brown rice, including microwave, oven, stovetop, and rice cooker. Let’s talk about each method in detail. 

Method 1: Using a Microwave

You should always go for a microwave while reheating brown rice if you have one. Microwaves only take a few minutes to reheat brown rice. In fact, you can even cook brown rice in a microwave

The main limitation is that microwaving may dry out the grains and turn them hard. Yet, I have found just the right solution for it, as mentioned below. 

1. Take out the brown rice container from the fridge or freezer and keep it at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

Raw brown rice in a white bowl.

2. Next, transfer your brown rice to a microwave-safe bowl

3. Cover the bowl with damp paper towels. This step ensures that your brown rice doesn’t lose moisture and turn too hard or chewy!

Bowl covered with damp paper towel.

4. Place the bowl in the microwave and heat it for 30 seconds

Bowl covered with paper towel placed inside the microwave.

5. Remove the damp paper towel for a bit, stir the rice, and continue microwaving in 30-second intervals for at least two minutes. Don’t forget to cover the bowl with a damp paper towel again. 

This way, you can easily reheat brown rice in the microwave within a few minutes. 

Tip: You can add a tablespoon of butter to keep the brown rice soft and flavorful

Method 2: Using an Oven

You can opt for an oven if you don’t have a microwave. The steps pretty much remain the same. However, this method is a bit time-consuming. 

You also need to keep a constant check when heating the brown rice in an oven. One minute, you are reheating it, and the next, you end up with burnt rice!

Here is how to reheat brown rice in an oven:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Remove the brown rice from the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. 

3. Transfer the brown rice into an oven-safe bowl

4. Add three to four tablespoons of water or broth for every one cup of brown rice, and cover the bowl with an aluminum foil

5. Place the bowl inside the oven and heat for about 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

I recommend checking the brown rice every five minutes to see that it doesn’t burn or turn too hard.  

Method 3: Using a Stovetop

You can use a stovetop for reheating brown rice. The process is straightforward and takes less time than heating brown rice in an oven. 

Here is how you can reheat brown rice on a stovetop. 

1. Transfer the refrigerated brown rice to a cooking pot

2. Add a few tablespoons of water or broth, depending on your rice quantity. I suggest adding two tablespoons of water or broth to each cup of cooked brown rice

Brown rice in a pan with a spoon with water above.

3. Cover the cooking pot with a lid. 

Cooking pot covered with a lid.

4. Let the brown rice steam for five to ten minutes over low heat.

5. Turn off the stove once the brown rice is steaming hot!

You need to take extra care while reheating brown rice on the stovetop. Don’t add too little or too much water or heat the brown rice for too long. 

Method 4: Using a Rice Cooker

Rice cooker in the counter.

There are many rice cookers, including mine, with a reheating option. It takes a lot of time, but if you don’t mind waiting, go ahead with this method. 

1. Place the refrigerated brown rice in your rice cooker.

2. A rice cooker can also dry out brown rice. Therefore, add one to two tablespoons of water per cup of brown rice to retain the moisture.

3. Then, find and press the “Reheat” or “Keep Warm” button on your rice cooker.

4. Allow the brown rice to reheat for at least an hour.

When to Throw Away Brown Rice?

Stale rice that is dried in the sun.

I still remember when I accidentally ate stale brown rice and had to spend days running to the bathroom! 

You can avoid this situation by looking for signs of spoilage in brown rice as listed below. 

  • Stale Smell: Brown rice has a nutty aroma. Discard it once it gives off a sour or rancid odor. 
  • Bad Appearance: Spoiled brown rice may look excessively oily, discolored, or even too dry. In certain cases, you may even see greenish-yellow mold growth.
  • Sour Taste: Brown rice tastes fresh and earthy. If it has an off-putting sour and chemical-like flavor, it has likely gone stale, and you should discard it.

Final Thoughts

There are many options for reheating brown rice. Yet, I will always suggest using a microwave as it is quick and efficient. You can also go for a stovetop if you don’t have a microwave. 

Both the oven and rice cooker take more time to reheat brown rice than usual. 

Related Questions

Can you reheat cooked brown rice?

You can reheat cooked brown rice in a microwave, oven, stovetop, or even rice cooker. Just ensure that it is safe to eat. 

How long is leftover brown rice good for?

Leftover brown rice is good for only two hours at room temperature, four to five days in the refrigerator, and six months in the freezer. 

Can you eat cooked brown rice cold?

You can eat cooked brown rice cold, provided that you store it properly and consume it within the recommended timeframe for leftovers.

How to reheat rice without a microwave?

You can reheat your rice on a stovetop, oven, or rice cooker even if you don’t have a microwave. A stovetop is almost as quick as a microwave for reheating.

How to reheat brown rice in an air fryer?

You can reheat brown rice in an air fryer by spreading the rice evenly in the air fryer basket and sprinkling water to prevent drying. Then, reheat the brown rice at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight to 10 minutes. 

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