Can You Freeze Uncooked Rice?

Rice is such a staple in so many kitchens, it can be almost unthinkable to imagine meals without it. 

Sometimes, you may stock up on more rice than what’s necessary, or you may find that you don’t cook as many rice-based meals as you normally would.

While rice has a long shelf life, sometimes the expiry date comes much quicker than you remember, and you might not be sure what to do with it (see also Can You Freeze Cooked Rice?). 

Luckily, you can safely freeze uncooked rice with no problems (see also Can You Freeze Dried Pasta). It also helps that keeping rice in the freezer for a prolonged period will stop pests from getting into those precious grains (see also Can You Freeze Quinoa).

Uncooked rice will keep perfectly fine in the freezer without its consistency changing when you come to cook the rice. You won’t be able to tell the difference.

Uncooked rice can last in the freezer for a maximum of 2 years, but food safety experts recommend that you use it within 6 months.

How Do You Freeze Uncooked Rice?

It’s worth portioning the uncooked rice before you freeze it. Simply divide it between airtight containers, making sure that the rice is completely dry, and free from anything it shouldn’t contain.

Checking the rice is an important step, and stops mold growing, so don’t skip it.

This does make defrosting it quicker, and portioning cooked rice much easier.

If you haven’t opened the rice, and the packaging looks safe to freeze, you can freeze it if you prefer.

However much you choose to freeze at once, label it with the freezer date, and store it flat in the freezer.

How Do You Thaw Frozen And Uncooked Rice?

The only way to thaw frozen uncooked rice is to put the whole container into the fridge. It will take a few hours, but it’s the safest and most reliable way to defrost it.

Having said that, you can submerge the container into water if you want it more quickly, or you can also let the rice thaw at room temperature if you prefer.

Avoid defrosting the rice with heat, as this can cause food poisoning (see also Can You Freeze Sushi?). Don’t try to cook the rice from frozen (see also How To Freeze Brown Rice).


There’s no reason why you shouldn’t freeze uncooked rice to prolong its shelf life. It is worth checking that the rice is still safe to use upon defrosting, just to be safe. 

If the rice has changed color, texture, or it smells off, bin it. Otherwise, thawed uncooked rice can be cooked and used as normal.

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