Prep & Storage

rice and chicken dish

Tips for Perfect Rice

Carefully measure the amounts of rice and liquid. Keep lid on tightly during cooking to prevent steam from escaping. At the end of cooking, remove lid and test for doneness. If rice is not quite tender or liquid is not absorbed, cook 2 to 4 minutes longer. When rice is cooked in a stockpot or kettle, immediately turn into a shallow pan to cool when finished. Accurate cooking times are based on your method of cooking; always check cooking time carefully.

rice in a bowl

Rice Cooking Methods

Stockpot Method

Heat all ingredients to boiling; stir. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Cook short, medium or long grain white rice for 15 minutes; parboiled rice for 20 to 25 minutes; and brown rice for 40 to 45 minutes. For best results, refer to package directions.

Oven Method

Using boiling liquid, place ingredients in shallow pan; stir. Cover and bake at 350°F. Bake short, medium or long grain white rice for 25 to 30 minutes; parboiled rice for 30 to 40 minutes; and brown rice for 50 to 60 minutes. For best results, refer to package directions.

Steamer or Steam-Jacketed Kettle

Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Commercial Rice Cookers

A commercial rice cooker may be a good choice for your operation. Contact SYSCO for more information on ordering a commercial rice cooker.

Rice in bag

Rice Storage

Cooked Rice

Because rice is a cereal product, it must be handled properly to avoid spoilage by foodborne bacteria. Rice should be held for service in a steam table or warmer above 140°F (60°C). Hot rice should be cooled as quickly as possible by transferring it to a shallow pan. Cool the rice to 70°F (21°C) within two hours. Rice should then be wrapped, dated and refrigerated. Cooked rice may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Rice may be reheated on top of the stove, in a steamer or in the oven. When rice is reheated, be sure that it reaches a core temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).

Uncooked Rice

As with many dry goods, uncooked rice should be stored in a dry and cool environment. Rice will absorb strong aromas, so it is very important to store rice far away from foods such as onions or garlic. Keeping rice in securely sealed containers keeps out unwanted moisture and eliminates the risk of infestation.

Due to the oil content in the attached bran, aleurone and germ, brown rice is susceptible to oxidation and has a shelf life of only six months. Keeping brown rice in a refrigerator or cooler will extend the shelf life. White rice, if stored properly, has an almost indefinite shelf life.

Milled rice (white, parboiled or pre-cooked) will keep almost indefinitely on the pantry shelf. Once opened, rice should be stored in a tightly closed container that keeps out dust, moisture and other contaminants.