How Long Can You Store Cooked Rice In The Fridge?

Determining the correct amount of rice to cook can be tricky, though it's still usually better to err on the side of too much rice than too little. After all, leftover rice proves a useful ingredient for whipping up quick meals, whether it comes from your stovetop or rice cooker, or if it was made in a restaurant and you've got a few takeout boxes full of the white and versatile carb.

However, life is fickle and a modern schedule is busy; it's easy to forget about leftover rice that has been sitting in your refrigerator. While day-old rice is optimal for making fried rice (and, in fact, using freshly cooked rice will only lead to a gluey rice dish rather than the individual grains of a properly made fried rice), this isn't the case for every recipe. So, if you're not making fried rice or if your rice has been in the fridge for longer than a day or two, you may wonder if it's still safe to use and consume. Just how long can cooked rice be stored in the fridge?

Cooked rice can keep in the fridge for more than a day

Per, leftover rice can be stored in the refrigerator and safely eaten four to six days after being cooked or purchased. However, if you're unsure, you can always perform a sniff test, since one of the first signs that rice has spoiled is if it has a funny smell, according to Does It Go Bad?. If the rice is hard and extremely dry, that's another tell that it's no longer good (and likely won't taste great, either). On the other hand, if the rice shows signs of any sliminess or gooeyness, that's another sure sign the cooked rice stored in your fridge is off.

Finally, the most obvious signs that refrigerated cooked rice has gone bad is if there's any visible mold or discoloration. If you see any of the warning signs above or have the slightest doubt, it's always better to be safe than sorry and toss your rice, since expired rice can easily be contaminated by bacteria (Bacillus cereus), which can lead to food poisoning, per Healthline.