Cooking the rice in a rice cooker and keeping them for further consumption would relieve frequent cooking. But, before keeping the cooked rice in a rice cooker, you should know how long you can keep them inside the cooker.
Here’s an answer to “how long can you keep rice in a rice cooker?“ For an unplugged cooker, your rice will be sound for 2 hours at room temperature. However, if you set your cooker at the warm feature, your rice will be safe for 12 long hours. This will be at a temperature of 60°C or 140°F.
That said, let’s dive more into the crux of rice preservation in a rice cooker and for how long. Read on!
How Long Can You Keep Rice In A Rice Cooker?
The length of time cooked rice stays in a rice cooker depends on the type of rice and the setting of the cooker you use. Here’s a table that outlines how long you can keep cooked brown rice and white rice in a rice cooker.
First, when it is kept under a “keep-warm” function of about 60°C or 140°F. Secondly, when it is kept in an unplugged rice cooker at room temperature conditions.
|Storage conditions||Cooked brown rice||Cooked white rice||Cooked Basmati and Jasmine rice|
|Under rice cooker “Keep-warm” settings||8 – 10 hours||10 – 12 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Unplugged rice cooker and under a room temperature condition||2 hours||2 – 3 hours||1 – 2 hours|
How Does Your Rice Cooker Operate?
A rice cooker is designed to cook rice automatically without requiring much attention and intervention from you. It is very safe to use and less risky even when left unattended to.
However, you must follow the guidelines for cooking each rice type strictly to achieve the best result.
Note: don’t add any extra water to keep your rice warm.
Here’s how it typically functions:
- Step 1. Water and rice are added to the inner cooking bowl in the appropriate proportions.
- Step 2. The bowl is placed into the outer shell, which contains heating elements and a thermostat.
- Step 3. Turn on the rice cooker, which activates the heating elements and brings the water to a boil.
- Step 4. As the water boils, it is absorbed by the rice, causing the rice grains to expand and soften.
- Step 5. The thermostat senses when the water has been fully absorbed. And the temperature inside the cooker rises above a certain point, indicating that the rice is cooked.
- Step 6. The rice cooker switches off or goes into a “keep warm” mode. This keeps the rice at a constant temperature until it is ready to be served.
Some rice cookers may have additional features, such as different cooking modes for different types of rice. Research shows that the best Japanese rice cookers have a brown rice feature setting on them. Or a timer function that allows you to set a specific cooking time.
Tips For Keeping Rice Fresh In A Rice Cooker
To keep rice fresh in a rice cooker, here are some tips and considerations to keep in mind about how long can you keep rice in a rice cooker.
Follow Recommended Rice-to-water Ratio
Use the correct ratio of rice to water recommended by the manufacturer of your rice cooker. This ensures that the rice is cooked properly and doesn’t become too dry or too sticky.
Clean The Rice Cooker Regularly
Clean your rice cooker after each use to prevent any buildup of bacteria or residue. Stainless steel rice cookers are very easy to clean because they’re not easily soiled and are made like non-stickable pots.
Put The Rice Cooker Lid On
After cooking, store the rice in the rice cooker with the lid on. This helps retain moisture and prevent the rice from drying out.
Note that frequently opening the lid of the rice cooker can cause the temperature to drop. This can promote bacterial growth. Only open the lid when necessary, and try to keep the lid closed as much as possible.
Keep The Rice Cooker At The Right Temperature
Keep the rice cooker at the right temperature (preferably in a refrigerator) to prevent bacterial growth. The ideal temperature range is between 140°F and 165°F.
If your rice cooker doesn’t have a keep warm function, transfer the rice to a covered container. Also, ensure to keep it in a warm place and consume it immediately.
Reasons For Storing Cooked Rice In A Rice Cooker
There are several reasons why you might want to store cooked rice in a rice cooker:
Rice cookers are designed to keep rice warm after cooking, so storing cooked rice in the rice cooker makes it easy to reheat. Also, you’d easily serve it later without having to transfer it to a separate container.
Rice cookers are designed to keep moisture in the rice, which can help keep it fresh and prevent it from drying out when stored.
Rice can be a breeding ground for bacteria if it’s not stored properly. Storing cooked rice in a rice cooker can help prevent bacterial growth and keep the rice safe to eat. Of course, it must be kept under a conducive temperature.
If you’re cooking rice in a rice cooker, you can save time by cooking more than you need and storing the extra rice in the cooker. This way, you’ll have rice on hand for future meals without having to cook it from scratch every time.
Risks Of Keeping Rice In A Rice Cooker For Too Long
Keeping rice in a rice cooker for too long or overnight can be risky as it can promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Here are some of the risks associated with keeping the rice in a rice cooker for too long:
Rice is a food that can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if it’s not stored at the right temperature. When rice is left in a rice cooker for too long, bacteria can multiply quickly, leading to potential foodborne illness.
If rice is left in the rice cooker for too long, it can develop toxins that can cause food poisoning. These toxins can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.
Rice that’s left in the rice cooker for too long can spoil and develop a sour or stale taste. This can make it unappetizing and unsafe to eat.
Alternatives To Storing Rice In A Rice Cooker
Cooked rice can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, as long as it’s stored properly in an airtight container to prevent bacterial growth. It’s important to refrigerate cooked rice within 2 hours of cooking to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
When refrigerating rice, it’s best to let it cool down to room temperature first before transferring it to an airtight container and placing it in the refrigerator.
Let’s consider some questions people also ask about rice cookers.
Q1. Can I reheat rice in a rice cooker?
Ans: Of course, you can. Add a little water, like 1-2 tbsp, and press the button to reheat. When reheating refrigerated or frozen rice, it’s important to make sure it’s heated to a safe temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
Q2. How long can you cook rice in a rice cooker?
Ans: You can cook rice in a rice cooker for 25 – 40 minutes. Although this largely depends on the quantity and type of rice you’re cooking. However, your rice cooker will automatically switch off once the rice is done.
Q3. Why does rice spoil quickly in a rice cooker?
Ans: Because there’s a stipulated time it can last in a rice cooker. Once it exceeds it, the rice begins to gather mold and breed bacteria.
If you’re wondering about “how long can you keep rice in a rice cooker?” we’ve explicitly answered it. Cooked rice should not be kept in the rice cooker for more than 10-12 hours on the “keep warm” function.
But it’s important to follow food safety guidelines to ensure that the rice stays fresh and safe to eat. It’s also important to clean the rice cooker regularly to prevent bacterial growth.