Did you know that the Great Wall of China, a wondrous manmade creation, is held together with sticky rice mortar?
As if that weren’t enough to impress you, you can gauge the popularity of rice by the fact that it’s readily grown in every continent except for the ice nation, i.e., Antarctica!
I love rice for one simples reason— it’s amazingly versatile. You can make many dishes with rice, including rice pudding, rice salad, fried rice, casseroles, pilaf, and biryani.
I also enjoy having a delightful serving of plain, boiled white or brown rice that I can enjoy with curries, soups, steak, salads, stir-fried meat and veggies, and more such dishes.
Since I use rice almost daily in my dishes in one way or another, I often buy it in bulk to use for the next year. This way, I have easy access to it and never run out of it when I need it the most. I just make sure that it stays fresh and free of annoying pests and dust by storing it the right way.
So, if you’re wondering how to store rice so that it stays fresh for a long time, then read on to find out!
Inarguably, the best way to store uncooked rice is to keep it in a tightly closed container. This is because such a container will effectively keep moisture out of the rice, keep it free of dust, debris, and insects, and allow the rice to maintain its freshness and flavor.
If moisture seeps into the rice, it’ll develop mold and you’ll have to throw out the rice. As for cooked rice, keep it in a covered airtight container in your fridge. You can also freeze it in an airtight container.
How to Store Rice
As mentioned above, if you want your rice to stay fresh, then you’ll have to keep moisture at bay. So, here’s how you can store rice to keep it as good as new:
1. Choose an airtight container in which you can easily store the rice. Good options include mylar-type bags, food-safe plastic containers, glass jars, and enamel lined #10 cans. Make sure that your chosen container has an airtight lid.
Pro Tip: Pick a container that has a pour spout and measurements marked on its sides so that you can easily take out as much rice as you need, see how much is left in the container, and then restore it.
2. Remove the rice from its packaging and transfer it into your chosen airtight container. Make sure to seal the container as soon as you’ve filled it with rice.
Pro Tip: If you’ve chosen a bag to store the rice in, then press out as much air as you can out of the bag before sealing it. This will ensure that the stored rice keeps fresh for a long time.
3. Store the container in a cool, dry place such as the backend of your pantry or a cupboard that’s a little off the ground to protect the rice from pests. The idea is to protect the rice from moisture and light so that it stays fresh for a long time.
4. Alternatively, you can store the rice-carrying container in your fridge or freezer. This is the ideal option if you live in a humid and hot climate or if you’re worried that pests might invade the stored rice.
5. Try to use the stored rice within a year or two to enjoy its fresh taste.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tricks and tips that you can use when storing rice:
- Make sure that your chosen container has an airtight lid to prevent moisture from seeping into the rice.
- Measure the rice before storing it so that you know how much rice you’re storing or use a container with measurement marks on its side to keep track of the amount of rice you have left.
- When it comes to frozen uncooked rice, you don’t need to thaw it and can use it right away. This is because due to the lack of moisture, uncooked rice doesn’t freeze per se, it just feels cold to the touch.
- If the rice becomes infected with pests, mold, or bugs, discard it right away.
- To maximize its shelf life, make sure to store the rice in a dry, cool place.
- When it comes to brown rice, make sure to discard it if it appears to be oily and has an unpleasant odor.
Here are some helpful tips that you can use when storing cooked rice:
- As for storing cooked rice, you can keep it in the fridge in airtight containers.
- When storing cooked rice, make sure to put it in the fridge within 2 hours of cooking it to protect it from bacteria.
- If you want to further extend the life of cooked rice, then store it in your freezer in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
- Discard the cooked rice right away if it develops an off appearance or smell.
How Long Can You Store Rice
When stored properly, white rice can last indefinitely. With that said, using it within a year or two of storage allows you to enjoy its fresh taste. So, it’s best to store it for a year or two tops as the longer you store it, the likelier it is to reduce in quality. Furthermore, it gets increasingly difficult to keep the rice free of dust, pests, and other contaminants.
As for uncooked brown rice, it doesn’t last as long as white rice due to its higher oil content. When stored properly, it will only last for about 3 to 6 months when stored in the pantry and 6 to 12 months when stored in the fridge. However, when you keep it in the freezer and make sure to keep the temperature constant, then it can last for 12 to 18 months.
As for cooked rice, you can easily store it in your fridge for about a week. When stored properly in an airtight container, cooked rice will be okay for 6 months in the freezer. Just make sure to refrigerate or freeze it within 2 hours of cooking it.
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to store rice. Make sure to follow the method and use the tips that I’ve mentioned above to extend the shelf life of the stored rice. Try to use the stored rice within a year to enjoy its fresh taste. However, if you can’t finish it within a year, then you can store it for up to two years.