What is the best way to hold rice? The traditional method for preparing fried rice is to cook the rice, chill it overnight, and then stir fry cold rice the next day. However, this method creates an opportunity for bacteria growth. USDA guidelines establish that illness-causing bacteria grow much faster in the temperature danger zone, between 40°F and 140°F.
When rice is chilled below 40°F quickly, it reduces the opportunity for bacteria growth. Easier said than done! Rice is often stored in 4″ or 6″ hotel pans. The deeper the hotel pan, the greater the mass of rice, and the longer it takes that rice to cool down. This delay potentially puts it within the temperature danger zone. Plus, rice is often placed in a walk-in cooler to chill, forcing the cooler to work harder to remain cold. If hot rice is allowed to cool at room temperature it could take hours and is even more likely to put the linger in the temperature danger zone.
The inverse can be true when rice is reheated. If rice taken from a cooler is not heated quickly to at least 165°F, the potential for bacteria growth occurs again.
The CVap Solution to Holding Rice Safely
So our revised process for safely cooking fried rice is to hold the rice overnight in a CVap Holding Cabinet and then stir fry the hot rice the next day for serving. We recommend CVap holding settings of 150°F Food Temperature and Food Texture set at 0.