A staple in many meals, rice is used in everything from soups and casseroles to sushi and burritos. Rice has prominently featured in cooking traditions and cuisines from around the world.
The reason to this is that rice is a very affordable food. A half cup of it will set you back less than a penny, and you can use it in dozens of ways before anyone at the table realizing they’re eating the same grain all the time.
Rice is also a safe and shelf-stable food that can be stored long-term and bought in bulk. Whether you need 50 pounds of rice every month or if you just need it in an emergency, rice is a food that can be kept on hand.
Rice is just as delicate as other foods; as a result, you must take measures to ensure it lasts as long as possible without losing its flavor or texture. Experts emphasize the importance of knowing how to properly store rice.
Rice storage isn’t tricky, but it does require you to do more than simply stash a bag or box in your pantry and close the door. Here’s what you need to know about storing rice before you store it – and then how to store it once you make it.
That is a bit more difficult and time consuming than simply throwing it in a container and closing the fridge door.
How to Store Uncooked Rice for Best Long – Term Results
When storing rice for long periods, there are several things to keep in mind.
Rice shouldn’t absorb any smells, liquids, or residue from the container, so make sure that it is clean and dry. For storing food, it is paramount that the container is the appropriate container.
Different types of foods require different containers, and food-grade plastic is the best choice. If you are concerned about chemical contamination, there are plenty of BPA-free options available.
Furthermore, it’s best if you buy a container specially designed to store rice, because it’s best not to have the lid completely airtight, unlike most food storage containers.
If you cannot find the right container, purchase buckets of different sizes so you can stack them in your storage space. Rice requires oxygen to live, so if you don’t have the right container, buy buckets of different sizes.
It is impossible for the water to penetrate the buckets because the plastics keep everything out, and the contents of the buckets remain dry. Therefore, even if the buckets we sat in water for a few inches, the contents would not be damaged.
Are you familiar with those packets that appear to be like sugar packets, but are much smaller, and often found in food packaging and handbags? These packets contain oxygen absorbers, and they contain minerals such as iron or vitamin C, which quickly absorb any oxygen.
The oxygen absorbers that you purchase are not the same. Some are made to withstand dry goods or wet goods. Make sure when buying them that you choose the one designed for dry goods or rice.
Despite their great ability to block oxygen, Mylar bags are best known for reducing oxidation in whatever they are used to store. Using a mylar bag and oxygen absorber packets with a bag of rice can thus effectively keep it cool for up to 10-20 years.
To extend the life of rice stored this way, you must take care of the packaging. Packaging is what determines how long your rice will last.
If you plan to store food in mylar bags, however, make sure the bags are as thick as possible so that the oils do not leak out of the rice. Keeping brown rice in them will result in rancidity over time.
Is the bag too thin, there is a great possibility for holes and punctures to occur. Also, it should have flat bottoms so it doesn’t fall over and spill the contents everywhere.
Storing Rice in the Freezer
It may be possible to store a small amount of rice in a freezer without having to worry about the power going out during a disaster or the freezer breaking down. However, this option won’t work if the power goes out before a disaster or if your freezer stops working.
If you choose a freezer storage method, you should take these factors into consideration. On the other hand, if it is just a small amount of rice, storing it in a sealed container in the freezer is an ideal way of keeping pests and dust out.
Additionally, you can place the rice in its original package inside a heavy-duty freezer bag that can be resealed afterwards.
Storing cooked rice in the refrigerator
Storing leftover rice in the refrigerator is a good idea if you plan to consume it in one or two days (maybe in some fried rice, perhaps?).
1. Cool it quickly
Leaving leftover rice out for longer than two hours will allow bacteria to grow as it is moist and can become a breeding ground for them. You can cool it down either on a baking sheet or in your refrigerator.
2. Store in an airtight container
They’re cute, but you can’t leave leftover rice in those boxes. They let air in, which makes it chewy and hard. Cool cooked rice and then place in airtight storage containers or a sealable plastic bag (remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing) and store in the refrigerator.
3. Reheat with a little water
You can microwave the rice on medium power for 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds until it is hot. If the grains are stuck, add a teaspoon of water to loosen them up. Stir constantly so that the grains don’t become mashed. If reheating over the stove, reheat the rice in a pot at medium heat.
FAQ’s – How To Store Rice
1. How do you store rice for a long time at home?
Placing rice in a plastic container with a lid is the best way to store it for a long time. Alternatively, it can be placed into an oxygen-absorbing mylar bag or placed in the freezer. Rice can be stored for a short time in its original packaging or in a plastic container with a lid. Ensure that rice is stored in a cool, dry area.
2. Can I store rice in a plastic container?
Rice can be stored in plastic food containers, which are convenient and cost-effective. These containers keep rice dry, prevent infestations, and prolong its shelf life. Glass and metal storage containers are good alternatives to plastic containers, as well as plastic containers.
3. Is it better to store rice in glass or plastic?
No matter what type of container rice is stored in, plastic, glass, or steel, it is best to keep it clean to prevent contamination. Especially if the rice is sealed tightly with an absorber, stored rice will absorb as much oxygen as possible.
Conclusion – How To Store Rice
It’s important to keep in mind, however, that just because rice is pocket-friendly and easily accessible doesn’t mean it should be kept next to your fridge or stored how you think may be best. It has a long shelf life, just like many other dried foods.
The quality and performance of grains of rice can be in question, especially if they aren’t stored properly. The steps above will teach you the best ways to preserve rice long term and short term.