Rice is one of the most popular foods in the world, and is a staple of diets for people around the globe. It’s so delicious, affordable, and easy to cook, it’s natural to buy and cook rice in large quantities. But how long can you store rice? Is it different for different kinds of rice? Let’s find out.
How Long Does Rice Last in the Fridge?
Cooked white rice lasts in the fridge for 4 -6 days, when properly stored. Cooked brown rice lasts a shorter period of time, 3 -5 days, while wild rice lasts as long as white rice.
Uncooked rice doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and dry white rice, wild rice, jasmine rice, basmati, and arborio rice can last for years when stored unopened at room temperature. Again, brown rice has a shorter shelf life, and only lasts 3 – 6 months when stored in the pantry.
How Long Does Rice Last?
|Type of Rice||At room temperature||In the fridge||In the freezer|
|Uncooked white rice||4 -5 years||N/A||Up to 30 years|
|Uncooked brown rice||3 -6 months||6 – 12 months||12 – 18 months|
|Uncooked wild rice||4 -5 years||N/A||Up to 30 years|
|Uncooked jasmine, basmati, arborio, etc.||4 -5 years||N/A||Up to 30 years|
|Cooked white rice||Up to 2 hours||4-6 days||Up to 6 months|
|Cooked brown rice||Up to 2 hours||3-5 days||Up to 2 months|
|Cooked wild rice||Up to 2 hours||4-6 days||Up to 6 months|
|Cooked jasmine, basmati, arborio, etc.||Up to 2 hours||4-6 days||Up to 6 months|
Because rice is such a durable food, manufacturer’s print “best by” dates on the packaging, and most rice is safe to eat far beyond that date. Making your rice last as long as possible means packaging it in an air-tight container, and dry or cooked rice are great foods to vacuum-seal for maximum freshness and longevity.
How to Store Dry Rice
To make your uncooked rice last as long as possible, store the unopened package in a cool, dry place. To make brown rice last longer, store it in a dark place protected from sunlight.
Once you have opened the package, place the rest of the uncooked rice in an airtight container. Dry rice will last in a container in the pantry for several years.
However, if you want to give your uncooked rice extra protection from bugs and pests, dust, or other contaminants, you can place the container in the fridge or freezer, where it will last indefinitely.
Uncooked brown rice, as we can see already, is a bit special. Because brown rice is the whole rice grain, it has the all proteins, nutrients, and oils that are removed from white rice. Unfortunately, those nutrients and oils are more delicate and break down more quickly. Brown rice will not last as long as any other kind of rice even under the best storage conditions.
How Best to Preserve Cooked Rice
Cooked rice is extremely moist, making it a potential breeding ground for bacteria. If you are going to save cold rice to eat at another time, it’s important to store it properly right away and not leave it sitting out for more than 2 hours.
Cool it quickly. Spread cooked rice out on a baking sheet or tray so it cools more quickly. On a hot, humid day, consider putting the tray in the refrigerator to bring the temperature down.
Place cool rice in an airtight container and label it with the date. You may use a tightly sealed plastic container, or a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
Refrigerate or freeze it right away. If you are planning on freezing the rice, put it in the freezer right away. In other words, don’t let it sit in the fridge for four days and then move it to the freezer.
Do You Need to Reheat Rice?
You don’t have to reheat rice. Cold rice is perfectly safe to eat, if you prefer it that way. There are also hundreds of great recipes for leftover rice, so rather than simply reheating, you may choose to transform leftover cooked rice into a different delicious dish.
But, if you want to, you can easily reheat rice in the microwave. Simply add a splash of water to the rice and stir every 1-2 minutes until the rice is heated all the way through and you have broken up any clumps.
How can you tell if rice is spoiled?
For both dry or cooked rice, look for signs of discoloration or dark spots that may be mold. Smell the rice to make sure it smells like it should. Dry rice may also have signs of insects or pests on or in the packaging. If you are in doubt about your rice, discard the entire package.
Is it safe to eat leftover rice?
Cooked rice that stays out at room temperature too long is a common source of food poisoning, so cool and store rice right away. If leftover rice is cooled and refrigerated within an hour, it is safe to eat for up to 6 days, but always inspect and smell leftover rice to make sure it hasn’t spoiled.
Does dry rice go bad?
If dry white rice is stored in a dry, air tight container, it may never go bad. Dry brown rice, however, will go bad within a few months. If dry rice gets damp or exposed to air, it will go bad more quickly.