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why does my frozen rice became yuck when nuked?

thank you

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  1. I'm guessing that freezing the rice squeezes all the water out (or more accurately, the ice crystals get all jagged and break out of the rice's cell structure), so when you thaw it, the rice grains basically just collapse. Combined with the water that leaches out, and you get mush.

    1. Reheat it on defrost, not high. Gives the water/ice time to thaw more gradually and be reabsorbed.

        1. re: ricepad

          because the poster is "frozenmitte"- :)

          I have found whenever I reheat rice if I add a bit of milk it reheats much nicer...

        2. ok, but.... the point is that i've heard now of a certain way of cooling rice that makes the rice thawed well. is it true?
          something with germs and such

          1. When I microwave my rice, I take a damp paper towel on top the rice. It keep the rice moist.

            1 Reply
            1. Do you mean "yuck" that it's dried out and plastick-y in texture? Or that it has a bad flavor? I can't help with any flavor issues, but I can help if it's a texture problem.

              I freeze rice all the time, it's really convenient to have a single portion of rice to eat for lunch or as a side to a quick dinner.

              Key is not to let the rice dry out before freezing. While the freshly cooked rice is still moist and warm (not too hot to the touch), wrap a scoop of it in plastic wrap securely. You can shape the scoop of rice into a flat shape for easy stacking in the freezer if you want (I make them little square blocks). Seal the rice packets in a ziplock/sealable bag (squeeze out as much air from the bag as you can to help reduce freezer burn).

              Then when you microwave a frozen rice packet, leave it in the plastic wrap. I nuke it on high or 50% power, don't need to use defrost if it was sealed up well enough. The moisture trapped with the rice will resteam the rice into almost-freshly-cooked texture. It will be a bit drier or mushier in spots, but still much better than refrigerated rice.

              If you don't like microwaving plastic wrap, you can remove it from the plastic wrap and put the block of frozen rice in a microwave safe bowl with a microwave safe lid that will trap most of the steam and that should work too.

              I don't know what method of cooling rice would help with thawing except to not let it cool entirely before freezing.

              Hope this helps!

              1. The m-wave is not the best way to reheat grains and best: it tends to make them mushy unless you are very careful to use low power and check repeatedly. (As a general rule, never reheat anything at more than 50% power, even lower for flesh and grains and pastes. This used to be well known when m-waves were becoming popular, but has been lost over the years, like how to respond to DOS-prompts....)

                1. Seems whenever I cook rice, or pasta, always have left-overs. I freeze left-overs relatively flat in zip bags. When I want to use it, will submerge bag in container with hottest water my faucet will produce. It's thawed (and fairly hot) in no time and ready for whatever I want to do with it.

                  1. long or short grain rice? Was it cooked in a rice cooker? Is it frozen in individual quantities? Plastic wrap or plastic container? Are you putting it in the freezer from hot or letting it get to room temperature first?

                    Where I live its very common to freeze rice. My wife and I will cook 5 cups of short grain rice in our rice cooker at any given time, and then portion it in individual portions, wrapped in plastic wrap. Usually I try to let it cool a bit before doing this so it doesn't sweat inside the wrap. Then pop them in the freezer. We microwave from frozen and it takes probably 1-2 minutes to heat again. No issues with being yuck.

                    I believe our microwave is either 500 or 600 watts, so it might be less powerful than microwaves where you are, that may have something to do with it.

                    1. I have never frozen my own cooked rice, but I do buy those frozen, pre-cooked rice packages from Trader Joe's. They come 3 to a box, are nuked for 3 minutes, and usually come out fine. Not company-worthy, but not mushy either, and great for an "Oh, crap, I forgot to cook the rice" dinner. I have no idea why these packages work, but they do.