Why You Should Stop Storing Uncooked Rice In The Pantry

Rice is just about the most versatile grain out there, as it can serve as the base of a plethora of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals, or be served on its own as a side dish. No matter what type of rice you keep stocked in your kitchen, it is a great source of carbohydrates, your body's main fuel source that's responsible for helping you feel full and satiated, per Colorado State University. So while you may have heard that rice isn't good for you, it actually has a number of nutritional benefits.

A 100-gram serving of boiled white rice provides nearly 3 grams of protein and about 31 grams of carbs, while the same serving size of cooked brown rice contains a little over 3 grams of protein and nearly 30 grams of carbs, according to BBC Good Food. While most of us rely on the stovetop or a rice cooker to prepare this adaptable dish, does how you store your uncooked rice before you cook it actually matter? The answer may surprise you.

Where to store your uncooked rice instead

Perhaps you store your uncooked or raw rice in an airtight container in the pantry and call it a day, but there's an even better way to store the grains to keep them as fresh as possible while preventing them from going bad. While storing rice in an airtight container helps keep grains free from moisture and pests, instead of placing the container on your pantry shelf, store it in a cool, dark location, ideally below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, as reported by America's Test Kitchen. The refrigerator is the ideal location to store uncooked, raw rice. 

You can also pop uncooked rice in the freezer to store it safely while extending its shelf life by a month or two. As a general rule, when stored properly, dry white rice can last up to two years, while brown rice has an average shelf life of about six months, per Healthline. And once you're ready to cook it, we recommend getting creative with your rice by trying this simple one-pot chicken and rice recipe for a tasty main dish, this Mexican rice recipe for a savory side, or this baked rice pudding recipe when you're craving something sweet. And don't forget these innovative and delicious ways to use up leftover rice!