How to Store Rice: Complete Guide on Storing Rice Long-Term

how to store rice long term

Are you looking for the best tips and tricks for storing rice? Whether you are a novice home cook or an experienced chef, it’s important to know how to store various kinds of rice for maximum freshness and shelf life. In this article, you’ll learn the best practices for storing all types of rice, from the popular white and brown rice to instant and cooked varieties. We’ll cover the optimal temperature and other conditions, storage containers, and the best tips to keep bugs away from your stored rice (see in detail how to get rid of bugs/weevils in your rice). By the end of this article, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to store your rice the right way, so it stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

How to Store Rice For a Long Time (Uncooked Rice)

Rice is a staple food category used in the kitchen of many households, and it’s important to know how to store rice properly to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as possible. According to experience and hours of research, here are some simple tips for storing rice at home long-term.

Keep it stored in an airtight container

Using an airtight container is crucial for keeping rice fresh for an extended period of time. This helps to keep out moisture and prevent the rice from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors from the surrounding environment. Airtight containers such as glass jars, plastic containers or bottles, or vacuum-sealed bags are all great options for storing rice.

Store uncooked rice in a cool, dry place

Rice should be stored in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing rice in damp or humid areas, such as a refrigerator or freezer, as this can cause the rice to become moldy or rancid. This is because the rice will absorb moisture from the air, which can lead to spoilage.

Use the first in, first out method

When storing uncooked rice, it’s important to use the “first in, first out” method. This means using the oldest rice first so that you don’t end up with a lot of old rice that has been pushed to the back of the pantry and forgotten. This will help to ensure that you’re always using the freshest rice and not wasting any that has been sitting around for too long.

Avoid exposing it to light

Uncooked rice should be stored in a dark place to prevent it from becoming discolored or going rancid due to exposure to light. Consider storing it in an opaque container or using a brown paper bag to keep light out. This will help to preserve the quality of the rice and keep it fresh for longer.

Keep it away from strong-smelling foods

Rice can easily absorb odors and flavors from other foods, so it’s best to keep it away from strong-smelling items such as onions, garlic, and spices. This will help to ensure that your rice doesn’t take on any unwanted flavors or aromas.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your uncooked rice stays fresh and delicious for a long time. Storing rice properly will not only save you money by reducing spoilage, but it will also make for a more enjoyable meal experience. Remember to always check the expiration date of your rice and always use the oldest first, in order to keep your rice fresh and safe to consume.

See also, the shelf life of 14 commonly used rice.

Storing a 50-pound bag of rice

Storing a 50-pound bag of rice long-term requires proper planning and execution to ensure the rice stays fresh and bug-free. Here are four simple steps to properly store a 50-pound bag of rice in Mylar bags and food-grade buckets:

  1. Clean and Inspect: Before storing the rice, inspect it for any signs of bugs or pests and remove any debris, such as small stones or broken grains.
  2. Seal and protect: Using a food sealer, seal the measured portions of rice in Mylar bags, add oxygen absorbers to remove the oxygen, and prevent bugs from surviving.
  3. Store and Label: Store the Mylar bags in food-grade buckets with tight-fitting lids, and label the buckets with the type of rice and the date it was stored.
  4. Keep it cool and dry: Store the buckets in a cool and dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard, and avoid storing them in damp or humid areas, such as a refrigerator or freezer.

By following these four simple steps, you can ensure that your 50-pound bag of rice stays fresh and bug-free for an extended period of time. The key is to clean and inspect, seal and protect, store and label, keep it cool and dry. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your rice without worrying about it going bad.


Best containers for storing rice long-term

Best Containers to Use

When learning how to store any kind of rice, the container you choose can make all the difference. Make sure to put rice in the right size of containers or bags that will be easy to use in your cooking when opened and avoid opening overly large amounts of rice at once so it doesn’t become hard to deal with. Here are some of the best options for keeping your rice fresh and protected:

Airtight containers

Airtight containers are the best option for storing rice. They keep out moisture, light, and other elements that can cause the rice to spoil or become rancid. These containers come in a variety of materials such as glass, plastic, and stainless steel. 

  • Glass jars are a great option for storing brown rice as they are not only airtight but also transparent, making it easy to check the amount of rice left. 
  • Plastic containers are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them perfect for storing uncooked rice or for taking it to work or school. 

Vacuum-sealed bags

Vacuum-sealed bags are another great option for storing rice. They remove the air from the bag, which helps to keep out moisture and prevent the rice from absorbing unwanted odors or flavors. They also take up less space than other containers, which can be useful if you’re short on storage space.

Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber

Mylar bags are heavy-duty, food-grade bags that are designed for long-term food storage. They are moisture and light-proof and can be sealed with a heat sealer. Adding an oxygen absorber to the mylar bag will help remove any remaining oxygen inside the bag, creating an even better barrier to preserve the food. This is a great way to store rice, as the lack of oxygen will help to prevent insect infestation and extend the shelf-life of the rice.

We like to have our rice stored in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber inside with the rice. We then place the mylar bags inside of a food-grade bucket for added protection. See how to safely and effectively use oxygen absorbers in your food storage.

Storage containers with a tight-fitting lid

Glass and plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids are also suitable for storing rice. They keep out moisture and light, and the tight-fitting lid helps to keep out unwanted odors and flavors. You can even use juice or soda bottles to put rice in.

Storage Containers for Rice

Ziplock bags

If you are not storing large quantities of rice, ziplock bags can be a good option. They can be sealed tight to keep out moisture and odors, but keep in mind that they are not as protective as airtight containers, vacuum-sealed bags, or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

Avoid using paper bags or cardboard boxes, as they are not airtight and can attract pests.

When choosing a container for storing rice, it’s important to consider the size and quantity of rice you’ll be storing, as well as the environment in which you’ll be storing it. Airtight containers, vacuum-sealed bags, mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and glass or plastic storage containers with tight-fitting lids are all great options for keeping your rice fresh and protected. Whichever container you choose, make sure it is clean and dry before you put the rice in it to prevent any contamination.

Also, see how to store these other common types of food:


Storing White Rice

White rice is a versatile and popular staple food and it is important to store uncooked properly to keep it fresh.

6 Simple Tips

Here are 6 tips for keeping it fresh for an extended period of time:

  1. Keep it in an airtight container: As with any type of rice, it’s important to put white rice in an airtight container to keep out moisture and prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors. Consider using a glass jar, plastic container, or vacuum-sealed bag to store rice.
  2. Store in a cool, dry place: White rice should be kept in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, such as a refrigerator or freezer, as this can cause the rice to become moldy or rancid.
  3. Use the first in, first out method: When storing white rice, use the oldest rice first to ensure that you’re always using the freshest rice and not wasting any that has been sitting around for too long.
  4. Avoid exposure to light: White rice should be stored in a dark place to prevent it from becoming discolored or going rancid due to exposure to light. Consider storing it in an opaque container or using a brown paper bag to keep light out.
  5. Keep away from strong-smelling foods: White rice can easily absorb odors and flavors from other foods, so it’s best to keep it away from strong-smelling items such as onions, garlic, and spices.
  6. Keep an eye on the expiration date: Always check the expiration date of your white rice and use it before it expires. Rice can last for a long time when stored properly, but it’s important to use it before it goes bad to ensure the quality and safety of your food.
how to store white rice

By following these tips, you can ensure that your white rice stays fresh and delicious for an extended period of time. It’s important to remember that when you store rice in an airtight container, in a cool and dry place, and keeping away from strong-smelling foods are key to preserving its freshness, it’s also important to monitor the expiration date of the rice. This will ensure that you’re always eating the freshest and safest rice possible.


Storing Brown Rice

Brown rice is a healthy and nutritious alternative to white rice, but it requires special care when it comes to storage.

5 Simple Tips

Here are some tips and methods that are unique to storing uncooked brown rice:

  1. Keep it in an airtight container: As with any type of rice, it’s important to put brown rice in an airtight container to keep out moisture and prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors. Glass jars are a great option for storage as they are not only airtight but also transparent, making it easy to check the amount of rice left.
  2. Store in the refrigerator or freezer: Brown rice contains more oils than other rice and it’s more susceptible to spoilage, so it’s recommended to refrigerate or freeze it in an airtight container to extend its shelf life.
  3. Use within 6 months for optimal nutritional value: Brown rice has a shorter shelf life than other rice and its nutritional value decreases over time. It’s recommended to consume it within 6 months of purchase for optimal nutritional value.
  4. Avoid exposure to light: Brown rice should be stored in a dark place to prevent it from becoming discolored or going rancid due to exposure to light. Consider storing it in an opaque container or using a brown paper bag to keep light out.
  5. Keep away from strong-smelling foods: Rice can easily absorb odors and flavors from other foods, so it’s best to keep it away from strong-smelling items such as onions, garlic, and spices.
how to store brown rice

By following these tips, you can ensure that your brown rice stays fresh and delicious for an extended period of time and retain its nutritional value. The key to storage is keeping it in an airtight container and in a cool place, either refrigerated or frozen. Additionally, consuming it within 6 months of purchase is recommended to ensure optimal nutritional value.


Storing Instant Rice Tips

Instant rice, also known as precooked or microwavable rice, is a convenient and time-saving option for busy individuals, but it requires special care when it comes to storage. Here are some tips that are unique to storing instant rice:

  1. Keep it in an airtight container: As with any type of rice, it’s important to store instant rice in an airtight container to keep out moisture and prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors. Consider using a plastic container or vacuum-sealed bag for storing instant rice.
  2. Check the expiration date: Instant rice has a shorter shelf life than regular rice, so it’s important to check the expiration date and use it before it expires.
  3. Keep away from heat and light: Instant rice should be stored in a place that is away from heat sources such as ovens or stovetops and away from direct sunlight.
  4. Follow the instructions: Always follow the instructions on the package when preparing and storing instant rice. Some types of instant rice may require refrigeration after opening, so it is important to read the label and adhere to any specific storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  5. Avoid freezing: Unlike regular rice, instant rice should not be frozen as it can cause the rice to become mushy and lose its texture.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your instant rice stays fresh and delicious for an extended period of time. Remember to always keep it in an airtight container, check the expiration date, keep it away from heat and light, follow the instructions on the package and avoid freezing to ensure the best quality and safety of your instant rice. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a quick and easy meal without having to worry about the rice going bad.


How to Store Cooked Rice

Cooked rice is a versatile and convenient food, but it can be tricky to store properly. Here are some tips for keeping your cooked rice fresh for an extended period of time:

  1. Keep it in an airtight container: As with any type of rice, it’s important to store cooked rice in an airtight container to keep out moisture and prevent it from absorbing any unwanted odors or flavors. Consider using a glass jar, plastic container, or vacuum-sealed bag for storing cooked rice.
  2. Store in the refrigerator: Cooked rice should be stored in the refrigerator as soon as it is cooled to prevent bacteria growth. Avoid storing it at room temperature for more than 2 hours, a full day is too long.
  3. Use within 3-4 days: Cooked rice should be used within 3-4 days of being cooked and refrigerated, as it can develop bacteria over time.
  4. Reheat properly: When reheating cooked rice, make sure it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any bacteria that may have developed.
  5. Avoid reheating multiple times: Reheating cooked rice multiple times can make it dry and hard, so it’s best to reheat only the amount you plan to eat and store the remainder properly in the refrigerator.
  6. Freeze for future use: If you have cooked rice left over and you’re not going to eat it within a day or so, you can freeze it for future use. Allow the rice to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag. Freeze for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to use it, thaw the rice in the refrigerator and reheat it to a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your cooked rice stays fresh and safe to eat for an extended period of time. Remember to always store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, use it within 3-4 days, reheat it properly, avoid reheating multiple times and if you have leftovers, freeze it for future use. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy your cooked rice and beans (or other food) without worrying about food safety.

storing cooked rice

How to Store Cooked Rice so it Doesn’t Dry Out?

Cooked rice can dry out quickly if not stored properly, making it unappetizing and less enjoyable to eat. To prevent the rice from drying out cover the rice, add moisture, store it in the refrigerator, reheat it properly, store it in small portions, and avoid reheating multiple times. 

Here are 6 tips for storing cooked rice to prevent it from drying out:

  1. Keep it covered: After cooking the rice, it’s important to keep it covered to retain its moisture. Cover the pot or container with a lid or foil and make sure it’s sealed tightly.
  2. Add moisture: To add moisture to the rice, you can add a little bit of water or broth before storing it. This will help to keep the rice from drying out and make it more flavorful.
  3. Store in the refrigerator: Cooked rice should be stored in the refrigerator as soon as it is cooled. The refrigerator will help to slow down the process of drying out.
  4. Reheat properly: When reheating cooked rice, it’s important to add a bit of water or broth to the rice to rehydrate it and make it more moist.
  5. Store in small portions: Instead of storing a large amount of cooked rice, store it in small portions. This will make it easier to reheat and prevent it from drying out.
  6. Avoid reheating multiple times: Reheating cooked rice multiple times can make it dry and hard, so it’s best to reheat only the amount you plan to eat and store the remainder properly in the refrigerator.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your cooked rice stays moist and enjoyable to eat.

How to Store Cooked Rice in the Fridge?

Storing cooked rice in the fridge is a great way to keep it fresh and safe to eat for an extended period of time. Here is a three-step guide to storing cooked rice in the refrigerator:

  1. Cool rice and store it in an airtight container: After cooking the rice, cool it quickly by spreading it out and refrigerating it. Once cool, transfer it to an airtight container or plastic bag, label and date it.
  2. Keep rice fresh: Cooked rice or meals that include rice should be used within 4 days of being cooked and refrigerated, reheat it properly to a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.
  3. Avoid reheating rice multiple times: To prevent the rice from drying out and hardening, reheat only the amount you plan to eat and store the remainder properly in the refrigerator.

By putting your rice in the fridge you can ensure that your cooked rice will stay fresh for up to 4-6 days.

How to Store Cooked Rice in the Freezer?

Storing cooked rice in the freezer is a great way to keep it fresh and safe to eat for an extended period of time. Here are some steps for storing cooked rice in the freezer:

  1. Cool and portion: Allow the cooked rice to cool completely and divide it into portions for easy thawing and reheating.
  2. Seal and store: Use airtight containers or freezer bags to seal the portions and label them with the date. Place them in the freezer. Cooked rice can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  3. Thaw and reheat: Thaw the frozen cooked rice in the refrigerator, then reheat it to a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before eating.

By following these simple steps, you can be sure that your cooked rice will stay fresh for months and remain safe to eat. 


Storing to Prevent Bugs

Bugs and pests, such as rice weevils, can ruin stored rice, making it unsafe to eat. See in detail how to get rid of bugs and weevil in rice. Here are some tips for preventing bugs from getting into your stored rice:

  • Use Mylar bags and food-grade buckets: I have found Mylar bags and food-grade buckets to be effective options for protecting stored rice from bugs. Sealed Mylar bags are airtight and create a barrier that bugs cannot penetrate, while buckets with tight-fitting lids will also prevent bugs from getting in. Additionally, using oxygen absorbers in Mylar bags can help to keep the rice fresh and prevent bugs by removing any oxygen inside the bag, which is needed for the bugs to survive.
  • Check for bugs before storing: Before you store your rice, take a moment to check for any bugs or pests that may have made their way into the bag. This can be done by shaking the bag or visually inspecting the rice.
  • Keep rice in a cool, dry place: Bugs thrive in warm and humid environments, so it’s important to store your rice in a cool, dry place such as a pantry or cupboard. Avoid storing it in damp or humid areas, such as a refrigerator or freezer.
  • Use bay leaves: Adding a bay leaf or two to your rice storage container can help repel bugs and pests. The strong scent of the bay leaves can help keep bugs away.
  • Use diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a natural powder that can be used to keep bugs and pests out of stored rice. Simply sprinkle a small amount on top of your rice before storing. Here is a good option of diatomaceous earth on Amazon.
  • Pest-proof your home: To prevent bugs from getting into your stored rice, it’s important to pest-proof your home by sealing any cracks or gaps where bugs may enter, keeping food scraps and crumbs cleaned up, and regularly inspecting your home for any signs of pest activity.
rice weevils or bugs in rice

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your stored rice stays bug-free and safe to eat. Remember to use airtight containers, check for bugs before storing, keep the rice in a cool and dry place, use bay leaves or diatomaceous earth, and pest-proof your home. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to store your rice with confidence, knowing that it’s safe from bugs and pests.


Conclusion

In conclusion, storing rice properly is essential to ensure that it stays fresh and safe to eat for an extended period of time. Whether you’re storing white rice, brown rice, instant rice, or cooked rice, it’s important to use airtight containers, store in a cool and dry place, and use the first in, first out method. Additionally, it’s important to watch the expiration date, avoid exposing rice to light, and keep it away from strong-smelling foods. See how much to expand your home food supply by trying our food storage calculator.

When it comes to preventing bugs from getting into food like stored rice, it’s important to use airtight containers, check for bugs before storing, keep the rice in a cool and dry place, use bay leaves or diatomaceous earth, pest-proof your home and consider using Mylar bags and buckets, with the addition of oxygen absorbers to create an even more effective barrier against bugs.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your stored rice stays fresh and delicious for an extended period of time, and can enjoy it without worrying about food safety.

Colton Blair

I'm Colton Blair, co-owner of EZ-Prepping with my wife Kaycee. I value the safety, protection, and well-being of my family above all else. Finding easy and practical ways of prepping for emergencies or unexpected disaster has become very important to me.

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