How Long Does Rice Last?

How long will rice last in storage? How long will it keep before it goes bad? Many people have the impression that white rice will keep almost forever. Not quite! But white rice does have a long shelf life. Brown rice, on the other hand, lasts a far shorter amount of time.

Whenever I'm having rice, I think of the old joke by comedian Mitch Hedberg. "I like rice," Hedberg would deadpan. "Rice is great when you're hungry and you want 2,000 of something."

The Shelf Life of White Rice

You can keep white rice in your pantry, in the packaging in which you bought it, for around five years before it starts to lose flavor and nutrients. But there are ways you can get a lot more shelf life out of that white rice.

If you take it out of its packaging and transfer the white rice to an airtight storage container, especially one that allows you to pump oxygen out of the container, your white rice will last around 10 to 15 years.

Want an even longer shelf life? Make sure your storage container allows you to remove all the air, and will seal airtight, then store your rice at 40-degrees Fahrenheit (around 4.5 degrees Celsius) or lower. Now, that white rice will last for around 30 years.

So, no, the shelf life of white rice is not "forever." But it will keep for years or, with the right storage method, for decades.

How Long Does Brown Rice Keep?

Brown rice is a whole different ballgame compared to white rice. Brown rice grains contain oils, and oils go bad. So you should always think of the shelf life of brown rice as around six months.

How Long Can You Keep Cooked Rice in the Fridge?

Have leftovers? Want to store that left-over rice in the fridge? Treat it as you would any other leftovers: Eat it within three days, four days tops.