How Long Does Rice Last in Storage? Your Guide to Perfectly Preserved Grains.

Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains and has been a staple food for centuries. It is easy to cook, versatile in recipes, and also a great source of nutrients. One question that comes up frequently is, “How long does rice last in storage?” Properly stored rice can last for a long time without losing its taste, texture, or quality. In this article, we will guide you on how to store rice and extend its shelf life while maintaining its quality.

How to Store Rice Properly

Storing rice properly is essential to its longevity. Here are some tips to keep in mind when storing rice:

Choose the Right Container

When it comes to storing dry goods like rice, choosing the right container is crucial. Look for a sturdy, airtight container that will keep moisture and pests out. Glass jars, food-grade plastic containers, and metal tins with tight lids are all good options. Avoid using containers with rubber gaskets or seals, as they can trap moisture and cause the rice to spoil.

Keep it Cool

Heat is an enemy of dry goods such as rice. Store rice in a cool, dry place where the temperature is consistent. Avoid placing rice near appliances or in direct sunlight, as this can cause heat to build up and shorten its shelf life. A pantry or cupboard is an ideal spot for rice storage.

Avoid Moisture

Moisture is another factor that can cause rice to spoil. When exposed to moisture, rice can become damp or moldy, and its texture and taste can be affected. Make sure the container you use for rice storage is completely dry before filling it. Also, avoid storing rice near humidifiers, washing machines, or other sources of moisture.

Check for Pests

Pests such as weevils and moths can infest rice and cause damage. Before storing rice, inspect it for any signs of insects or damage. You can also freeze dry rice for 24-48 hours to kill any lingering insects or larvae.

Types of Rice and Their Shelf Life

Different types of rice have varying storage times. Here’s a rundown on some of the most common types of rice and their shelf life:

White Rice

White rice has a longer shelf life compared to other types of rice due to its lower oil content. When properly stored, white rice can last up to 5 years.

Brown Rice

Brown rice has a shorter shelf life due to its higher oil content. When stored correctly, brown rice can last up to 6 months.

Wild Rice

Wild rice has a shorter shelf life than white rice, typically lasting up to 1 year when stored properly.

How to Tell if Rice is Bad

It’s important to check for signs of spoilage before consuming rice. Here are some ways to tell if rice has gone bad:


If rice has a musty or rancid smell, it may have gone bad due to moisture or oil content.


If rice has turned yellow or brownish, it may have gone bad due to exposure to moisture or pests.


If rice feels sticky, clumpy, or has a powdery texture, it may have gone bad due to moisture or pests.

How to Lengthen Rice Shelf Life

You can extend the shelf life of rice by following these additional tips:

Freeze it

Freezing rice can extend its storage life for up to two years. Divide rice into portion-sized freezer bags and store them in the freezer for long-term storage.

Vacuum Seal it

Using a vacuum sealer can remove excess air and moisture, preserving the freshness of rice for months.

Use Oxygen Absorbers

Adding oxygen absorbers to the rice container can help keep rice fresh for long periods.

Final Thoughts

Rice can last a long time when properly stored. By selecting the right container, keeping it cool, avoiding moisture, checking for pests, and knowing how to tell if rice has gone bad, you can avoid waste and enjoy perfectly preserved rice for any meal.


  • Q: How long can you keep rice in a sealed container?
  • A: You can keep rice in a sealed container for up to five years, depending on the type of rice and proper storage methods.
  • Q: Can you store rice in a plastic bag?
  • A: You can, but it’s not the best option. Plastic bags are not airtight, and moisture can seep in, causing rice to spoil. It’s better to store rice in a sturdy, airtight container.
  • Q: Can you freeze cooked rice?
  • A: Yes, you can freeze cooked rice for up to six months. Divide it into portion-sized freezer bags and store it in the freezer for later use.
  • Q: Can you eat rice that has gone bad?
  • A: No, it’s not safe to eat rice that has gone bad. It can cause food poisoning and other illnesses.
  • Q: Can you store rice in the refrigerator?
  • A: It’s not recommended to store rice in the refrigerator as it can cause condensation and promote bacterial growth. It’s best to store rice in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard.



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