How to Store Rice

Helpful tips for storing rice in your pantry long term for food storage purposes.

Q: I bought 20 lb bag of rice and am thinking about how to store it. I have been searching for air tight container that can hold 20 pounds. The rice bag doesn’t look that great and I want some neat container for it. I have 2 bags of rice and 1 bag of flour so want to store them as early as possible before it gets spoiled. Any ideas?

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Tip #1: Home Depot or Lowe’s sell huge buckets for $3-5 in the paint area. Just wash it and it’s ready to go! I store my rock salt in one for the winter – I just leave it outside my front door so I can salt on my way to the car. It works well for food because the lids seal tight and you can decorate the outside of the tin to look nice!


Tip #2: We store rice in empty holiday popcorn tins.


Tip #3: When storing grains such as rice, tuck a bay leaf (or two) in the container. It will keep bugs away.


Tip #4: I buy 20 lb. bags of rice and divide them up into gal. size ziploc bags. I then store them in the pantry. I don’t get bugs because I always make sure the bags are closed.


Tip #5: To keep rice (and in fact any grain product) “bug-free”, find a metal tin with a tight lid (or even a preserving jar). I use Nestle cans. Fill with grain or flour, leaving about 2″ at top. Cover with a piece of aluminium foil.


Place a tea candle on foil…light it…let burn for a couple of seconds..jam on the lid quickly. The flame will burn off the oxygen…and form an airtight seal, thus starving any bugs of oxygen…Michael


Tip #6: I have started, after many problems of opening new bags of grains, flours, even dog and cat foods, etc. and finding an infestation of bugs or other creepy crawlies, to put the bags directly into the freezer for several days to kill anything that might be an unwelcome guest in my pantry. My problems have decreased tremendously since I have started this practice…Claudia


Tip #7: Go to a deli or a bakery and get a used 5 gallon bucket. Usually a lot cheaper and you know it is food grade…Ray


Helpful tips for storing rice in your pantry long term for food storage purposes.


Tip #8: Tip #1 said get the ‘huge buckets’ in the paint department at Lowes. PLEASE watch out, folks! Most of these “paint department” buckets ARE NOT FOOD SAFE, and should NOT be used to store anything that will be consumed by humans! Or animals either, for that matter, just in case you think “well if I can’t store my rice I can store my dog food.” No you can’t. A better source for buckets would be your local restaurant supply house.


Check the yellow pages in the nearest large town. Or if you don’t mind “used” buckets, ask the manager of your local bakery/deli what they do with the emptied buckets that things like their cake frosting come in. Some places will sell them to you for next to nothing, and some will even just give them to you to get them out of their way. 🙂 But please, please, however you acquire them PLEASE make sure the buckets you use are approved FOOD GRADE containers!…Mary


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2 Comments on "How to Store Rice"

  1. Walmart GIVES away food grade plastic buckets. Talk to someone in the Bakery Dept. You can also recycle 1 and 2 liter soda bottles. wash one out. let it drip dry. Fill with rice; add an oxygen absorber, and cap the bottle.


  2. Our friend who suggested the 5 gal plastic buckets had the right idea. First question, is it white rice, or another type? Any rice other than white is not suitable for longterm storage. The naturally occuring oils is rice, other than white, will cause the rice to go bad. If your rice is anything other than white, all i can say is to get creative in serving lots and lots of rice. However, you must be certain they are certified by the USDA as food safe. You do not want trashy plastic releasing chemicals into your food that your family will consume. Here locally, tractor supply habe food-safe buckets for less than $5. They have okay lids for less than $2. However, seach online for “gamma airtight UDSA foodsafe lids” they are far superior at protecting the food inside. They will last for decades and worth the investment. Also look into silica packets and oxygen absorbers. They will keep your food dry and mostly airtight. If you wish to store the food longer term, look into a product similar to a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. And do not use the plastic bags. Opt for mylar bags with the oxygen absorbers and silica packets. They keep for literally decades. Good luck my friend!


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