According to some in the restaurant business, the traditional method for cooking perfect fried rice is to cook the rice, chill it in a walk-in cooler overnight, and then stir fry cold rice the next day. This method, however, creates an opportunity for bacteria growth. The USDA has established that bacteria which can cause illness grows much faster in the temperature danger zone, between 40 degrees and 140 degrees. USDA guidelines.
When rice is chilled below 40°F quickly, it reduces the opportunity for bacteria growth. Easier said than done! The reason is 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, potentially putting 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 placed at room temperature to cool it could take hours, and is even more likely to put the rice 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.
So what’s a HACCP Safe solution for maintaining the perfect rice? CVap® hot holding. Holding rice in a CVap Holding Cabinet overnight keeps it hot and continuously maintains a safe food temperature. We’ve held rice for more than 14 hours and the quality remained outstanding!
So our revised process for cooking perfect 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.