I'm making an stir fry Hawaiian rice recipe and would like to prepare the rice ahead of time. I'm reading about the dangers of warming rice. Can I safety put the rice in an slow cooker on warm for about 3 hours without anyone getting sick?

  • Yes, definitely. Aug 18, 2014 at 15:16
  • 1
    Many medium to high-end rice cookers have a warm function. I know some asian familes (and my sister in law) will make a batch of rice in the morning and keep it warm all day. Slow cooker may work fine, but if you do it a lot, it may be worth looking into buying a decent rice cooker.
    – JSM
    Aug 18, 2014 at 15:52
  • 6
    If you are frying the rice you are much better off cooking the rice fully, then cooling it quickly by spreading it out on a plate and putting it in the fridge. This has the dual effects of cooling the rice safely and drying it out so it fries properly. Warm, moist rice will result in a gloopy mess when you fry it. Aug 18, 2014 at 20:18
  • 2
    If you're frying it, even leaving in the refrigerator overnight is better than fresh. See also: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/20935/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Aug 18, 2014 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


Have to agree with the comments by Jolenealaska and ElendilTheTall. Fully cook the rice, then let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Whenever I make fried rice for dinner, I:

  1. Cook the rice the day prior
  2. Spread it on a cookie sheet about a cup at a time
  3. Fan the rice on the cookie sheet with a folding fan (could use a paper plate too)
  4. Put cool rice in container, repeat steps 2 & 3 for all the rice you've cooked

When I make the fried rice, I:

  1. Saute minced garlic and white onions in a bit of safflower oil on high heat in a 12" skillet
  2. Add the refrigerated rice to the skillet (do not warm it up beforehand). In the skillet, take tongs and break the rice down if it still has the shape of the container
  3. Add in cooked & drained corn kernels, as well as scrambled eggs, bacon, salt and freshly ground black pepper (or any toppings)
  4. Cook until the rice is warmed throughout, then add a dash of low-sodium soy sauce to give it a bit of color

For our fried rice, the recipe I follow uses (in order of quantity, I typically just eye it)

  1. Cooked, cooled and refrigerated Jasmine rice (cooked in rice cooker without salt)
  2. Cooked and drained yellow corn kernels
  3. Cooked and chopped bacon (let it rest on paper towelled plate)
  4. Scrambled eggs (let them rest on paper towelled plate)
  5. Minced garlic
  6. Minced white onion (marinate in rice wine for ~2 mins, then drain and dry on paper towel)
  7. Safflower oil
  8. Soy sauce
  9. Freshly ground black pepper
  10. Salt
  • 1
    Totally missed the part about it being for fried rice (duh). Yeah, using warm/fresh rice for that will make it a bit sticky. Not bad, just not like what you get at a restaurant. Idealy, any 'clumpiness' you get should be from the egg holding little bits of the rice together.
    – JSM
    Aug 22, 2014 at 20:02
  • Agreed - although I tend to cook the eggs before hand rather than adding the eggs directly to the rice - but its a personal preference. My wife on the other hand prefers the eggs directly added to the rice. So we tend to alternate techniques
    – jsanc623
    Aug 22, 2014 at 20:26

I will probably get some back lash about this but I really like nuking rice the day after to bring it back to life. I add a bit of water, so it doesn't dehydrate and voila. If you cook your rice slightly aldente, this works even better...

Similarly, add the rice to a sauce pan, and add a bit of water, cover with lid and turn on relatively high. Keep an eye on it and agitate often to avoid burning. This heats rice quickly.

The problem with heating slowly in a warmer is that is does stay in the danger zone longer and to be honest, it'll cook to death, because often the last 30 minutes or whatever, it will actually be quite hot and will be cooking during that time.

I've made many dishes with the techniques above and everyone who eats them has no complaints.

Regarding how to cool it... The comments made herein are good. Just cool quickly for best results. The longer it takes, the longer it's in the danger zone and the more it cooks.

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