How To Reheat Rice In The Microwave: The Best Method You Can Try

Whether it’s from yesterday’s take-out leftover or when guests didn’t even touch it for last night’s dinner, you want to enjoy soft, fluffy rice the second time around.

You see, after sitting in the fridge overnight, rice tends to lose some of its moisture. It becomes a tough, dried-out clump of rice that’s unappetizing. It’s not a lost cause, though, the key here is knowing how to reheat it.

And probably the best and quickest way to reheat rice for your morning breakfast is to use the microwave.

This article will show you how to properly reheat rice in the microwave and ensure that your rice won’t taste stale and dry once reheated.

Read on and find out how you can reheat rice in your microwave like a pro.

Reheat Rice In The Microwave: Is It Possible?

First off, can you reheat rice in the microwave?

Yes, of course. Reheating rice in the microwave is possible. It is a quick and easy way to warm up any type of rice, including basmati rice, wild rice, and sushi rice.

Reheat Rice In The Microwave

Just make sure that the rice is properly stored. Also, make sure that the rice is not refrigerated for more than three days until reheating.

In addition, you shouldn’t reheat more than once to prevent food-borne bacteria from multiplying. Uncooked rice has spores of Bacillus cereus, bacteria that trigger food poisoning. These spores also thrive in cooked rice.

When you leave the cooked rice at room temperature, the spores will develop into bacteria and keep multiplying, giving off toxins resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. When you reheat rice multiple times, the bacteria tend to multiply and thus, increasing your risk of food poisoning.

Reheating Rice: 6 Things You Need

Here are the things you will need when reheating rice in the microwave.

  • A microwave
  • Water
  • Paper towel or plastic lid
  • Microwave-safe container
  • Fork
  • Oven mitts

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Reheat Rice In The Microwave

Here’s how to reheat rice in the microwave for better results.

Step 1: Place Rice In A Container

Place the rice in a bowl or plate or simply use a microwave-safe plastic container. If the rice is placed in a cardboard take-out container and you choose to leave it there, make sure there is no handle or metal staples on the box.

Step 2: Add Water

Next, you want to add water to add moisture to the dried-out rice. The amount of water you need depends on the amount of rice you’re going to reheat. A rule of thumb is to add half a tablespoon for every cup of rice.

Make sure there is adequate moisture to steam the rice. But it’s not enough that the rice sits in a pool of water after reheating.

Step 3: Use A Fork To Break Up Clumps

Reheat rice in the microware - Use A Fork To Break Up Clumps

If the rice forms big clumps, it won’t heat evenly. So make sure to break up rice clumps before putting them in the microwave. You can use a fork to break up clumps and ensure even moisture and heat.

Step 4: Cover the Container

Reheat Rice in the Microware - Cover the Container

To retain the moisture, you can cover the rice bowl with either a microwave-safe plastic lid or lightweight plats. Just don’t seal it completely. You can also cover it with a damp paper towel to have more moist.

Step 5: Reheat The Rice In The Microwave

Place the rice in the microwave. The amount of time depends on the rice you have. In general, for one serving of rice, about one to two minutes is enough.

The container will likely become hot, so let it stay in the microwave after a minute or two or use an oven mitt to remove the container.

Make sure that the rice is steaming hot all way through.

Additional Method: Reheating Frozen Rice In The Microwave

Reheating frozen rice is super easy. It’s best to reheat it when frozen or mostly frozen. Re-heating thawed rice tends to be gummy.

Here’s how to reheat your frozen rice in the microwave:

  • Put the frozen rice in a microwave-safe plastic bag.
  • Make sure to open the bag slightly. This way, when the rice warms up, the moisture stays on the bag and moistens the grains.
  • Turn on the microwave, and be sure to check it every minute until the rice is thoroughly warmed.
  • Pour the rice into a plate or bowl and enjoy.

Other Ways To Reheat Rice

Aside from using the microwave, there are other methods you can use to reheat your rice, such as the following:

Steam Rice On The Stovetop

For this method, you can use either a skillet or a shallow pot with a lid.

Begin by adding the rice to the skillet and splashing a bit of water. If there are large clumps of rice, break them using a fork. Cover the pan and reheat over low heat. Stir occasionally until the rice is completely heated.

Bake Rice In The Oven

Preheat your oven to 300-degree Fahrenheit. Then in an oven-safe baking dish, spread the rice and splash some water. Just like in the stovetop, break up clumps of rice. Once flattened, cover it with aluminum foil or a tight-fitting lid—Bake for 20 minutes or until it’s heated through at 300-degree Fahrenheit.

Stir Fry

If you want to add some flavors to your leftover rice, consider stir-frying it.

For this method, begin by heating oil in a wok or a pan. Then add the rice and stir until heated and coated through. Usually, it will take about three to five minutes. Lastly, add your favorite protein or veggies. 


As you can see, it’s possible to reheat rice in your microwave and enjoy leftover rice like it’s a newly cooked one. The steps mentioned above should keep the rice moist without leaving it dry when reheated in the microwave.

By following all the information above, you can rest easy knowing that you can still eat your leftover rice the way it was first served.

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