What is the Best Rice for Long Term Storage, Learn the Different Methods

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By Ashley Woodward • Last Updated: February 16, 2023

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What is the Best Rice for Long Term Storage

Rice has overwhelming benefits indeed. However, we cannot store it for too long because rice can go bad. The thing is, each variety of rice has its own storage options and this is what we are going to find out now. Check out what is the best rice for long term storage in this great post!

In most parts of Asia, locals, farmers and merchants store rice in sacks for both personal and commercial purposes. This is because rice harvest only happens at least three times a year.

However, there are packs of rice sold in smaller portions for faster and one-time consumption. But what if you got extra raw rice? How will you store it? Read along to find out the best rice for long term storage.

Shelf Life

sacks of rice

I think by now we can no longer deny the amazing history of rice and its impacts on different cultures around the world.

It has greatly created several staples like rice pudding, full meals like: paella, gumbo, jambalaya, and more.

However, rice can go bad. Yes, you read it right. Rice can only be good at a certain amount of time.

It is important that we understand how long we can store it in order to protect our bodies from possible harmful effects of foul rice. The shelf life of rice depends on so many factors and one of which is the grain variety.

Check out the shelf life of the following uncooked rice varieties:

white-brown rice


Good news! White rice, wild rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice have indefinite shelf life. These types of rice can stay forever as long as you keep them in a cool, dry place.

With Expiration

Brown rice unfortunately can last only from 6 months to 18 months maximum.

This also depends on how well you store the said grain. This is because brown rice release excess oil when stored longer.

How to Properly Store Rice

Rice is still good past its expiration date with proper storage. Raw rice grains are sure to last long term compared to cooked rice.

Follow the table below to checkout where and how long you can store each variety.

Rice VarietyPantryFridgeFreezer
White Rice4-5 Years
Brown Rice6-8 Months8-12 Months
Instant Rice4-5 Years
Wild Rice6-8 Months
Oxygen-free White Rice25-30 Years30 Years Max

*Note: Individual cases may vary that can alter the longevity of rice.

When the rice pack is opened, make sure to place it on an airtight container and in a cool dry area in the pantry. Otherwise, place the rice in the fridge or freezer for longer storage.

How to Tell Spoiled Rice

rice molds

In our busy environments, we often rely on ready-made foods such as microwavable dishes and instant rice. However, cooked rice is prone to spoiling.

Rice is also a major risk for food poisoning so always be cautious in storing cooked and uncooked rice.

Spoiled White Rice

Cooked white rice stays good for about 4-6 days in the fridge while it stays for about 6 months in the freezer. But then there are many factors that can affect the goodness and freshness of rice. It is easy to tell if the cooked rice is spoiled than the uncooked rice.

For raw rice, having bugs, insects, dusts, foul odor, and discoloration are few signs of spoiling. While a bad-smelling, oily, hard, and molds are signs for spoiled cooked rice.

Spoiled Brown Rice

Brown rice spoils when it is too hard to eat, with extra oily texture and a foul odor. The raw ones may have almost similar signs like insects, dusts, bugs, and a bad smell.

Cooked brown rice stays good for about 4 days in the fridge while it stays 6 months in the freezer or indefinitely as long as it has a stable temp of 0 ̊F.

You can make portions in a resealable plastic if you want to use the rice to ensure that it does not contaminate the other portions. Make sure that you write the date and time for future references.

How Many Times to Re-Heat Rice?


Experts say that you should at least reheat rice twice. However as much as possible, you can only cook a portion enough to be consumed for the given meal.

Although we like to make fried rice out from the cooked one, for health safety we should consider avoiding reheating it many times. It is best if you are using a rice cooker because there is no need to take out the rice and and reheat it on stove top.

You can always push the ‘keep warm‘ button and it will reheat all by itself. Most rice cookers today are with fuzzy technology which ‘thinks’ on its own and make certain temperature adjustments whenever possible.

Other Storage Options

1. PET Bottles (Polyethylene terephthalate)

If you purchase rice per kilos, storing them will be easy. There are a lot of plastic bottles that are made from PET or Polythylene terephthalate.

Other Rice Storage options

Soda bottles, jams, and even water bottles are made from PET. You can dry them out thoroughly and then put the excess uncooked rice inside.

Keep them away from direct light for better and longer storage.

2. Mylar Bags with Oxygen Absorbents

Mylar bags are common food storage. It is actually made of material called a clear ‘mylar’ that is laminated to an aluminum foil.

Mostly beans like coffee are sealed inside the mylar bags to avoid oxidation and seal in the freshness. They usually go along with oxygen absorbents to ensure freshness and longevity of food.

 3. Resealable airtight containers

If the above two options are not available, you can use any resealable containers as long as you ensure that the lids are secured and airtight. Some use plastic bags with locks and simply remove all the excess air inside by using a vacuum and store it in away from direct light.

4. Buckets

Food-grade buckets are also safe to use when it comes to food storage. Simply add oxygen absorbents inside along with the rice and store properly.

You can use any types of food-grade buckets by only making sure that you clean it out thoroughly or you can purchase a brand new one from Amazon.


I hope you learned a lot in this post on what is the best rice for long term storage as well as how to keep them fresh longer. When it comes to long term storage, white rice is the main grain. However, we can always store any types of rice properly to ensure safety and long term use.

Do you know other ways of storing rice and other food? Let us know in the comments!