How Long Does White Rice Last?

White rice is popular in Asia, but nowadays, white rice is a staple food and can be found in most households around the world. It’s healthy and loaded with a lot of vitamins and minerals. Uncooked white rice will last indifferently, while cooked white rice will not.

So, how long does white rice last? Uncooked white rice will last indefinitely if stored properly, meaning in a cool and dry place. Cooked rice will last up to 6 days in the fridge, while it can last up to 6 months in the freezer. At room temperature, cooked white rice should never be left out longer than an hour.

While the above is just an approximate time on how long white rice will last, there are factors to consider as well. Some of the factors that affect their shelf life are the location where it’s stored, what is used to store them, and the temperature where it’s stored.

In this short article, we’ll through on how long white rice lasts, where are the best place to store them, and what to look for when it’s bad.

White Rice Shelf Life

White rice (cooked)Not Recommended3 – 6 Days6 Months
White rice (uncooked)IndefinitelyIndefinitelyIndefinitely

How Long Does White Rice Last?

Cooked rice will usually last no longer than a couple of hours at room temperature. This is due to the bacteria growing on them. The longer it’s left at room temperature, the more bacteria that will be on them.

Cooked rice that is stored in the fridge will usually last about a week if it’s kept in the fridge. Always store white rice in an airtight container or a resealable bag. Never put the rice in a container without a lid. The constant opening and closing of the fridge will create moisture in the fridge, which will cause the white rice to go bad quickly.

Cooked white rice that is stored in the freezer will last about 2 months. After that, the quality of the rice will start degrading due to freezer burn. You’ll still be able to eat the rice, but it won’t taste as good as when it’s fresh. Therefore, it’s best to freeze enough white rice in the freezer that you can consume within 2 months.

As for uncooked rice, it will last indefinitely if stored properly. Since uncooked white rice doesn’t need the cool temperatures to keep them in good quality, there’s no need to store them in the fridge or the freezer. As long as it’s kept in a cool and dry place, and it’s not exposed to sunlight or any moisture, it can last for many years.


white rice


How to Store White Rice?

Proper storage of white rice will depend on if it’s cooked or uncooked. For uncooked white rice, they have an indefinite life span if stored properly. On the other hand, cooked white rice will not last indefinitely, but there are ways to store them so they can last long.

White rice that hasn’t been cooked yet should be stored in a cool and dry place. White should be stored in an airtight container or a container with a lid. You’ll want to prevent any moisture from getting to the rice. Once moisture gets to the rice, it will get soggy and go bad quickly.

If the white rice came in their own package, you can just leave them in the package. It should last indefinitely when stored in the pantry. However, once you’ve opened the package, any unused rice should be transferred to an airtight container.

As for cooked white rice, it should never be stored at room temperature for more than an hour. Any longer will cause bacteria to start forming on the rice, which could make you sick. Any leftover rice not consumed within an hour should be stored in the fridge.

When storing cooked white rice in the fridge, put the rice in an airtight container. But first, make sure the rice is completely cooled down first. Rice that is still warm will cause condensation and can ruin the rice. After it has cooled down, transfer the white rice to the container and cover the lid and make sure it’s tight as possible.

Another option is to simply leave the cooked rice in the rice cooker. Most rice cookers nowadays have a “warm” feature on it. This option is activated once the rice is cooked. It will help keep the rice warm until you’re ready to eat it. However, even with this feature, you should always try to consume rice within 12 hours. If it’s going to be longer, store them in the fridge instead.

Can You Freeze White Rice?

Freezing white rice is possible, but only cooked rice should be put in the freezer. Cooked rice freezes very well in the freezer and it’s great for storing for later consumption or preparing a meal.

Uncooked rice can be frozen as well, but there’s no reason to freeze it as it can last indefinitely in the pantry. Freezing uncooked rice will only take up space in the freezer.

When freezing cooked rice, it’s best to freeze them in portion. This way, you can thaw the correct amount of rice you need to eat.

Once the rice thaw, it’s not a good idea to put it back in the freezer. If you do, you’ll end up with mushy rice when it thaws again.

Always store white rice in an airtight container that’s approved for freezer usage or you can use freezer bags as well. For longer storage, it’s best to use freezer bags. If you’re planning to use white rice within a couple of weeks, the airtight container should be used.

Before putting cooked rice in the freezer, always make sure that it’s completely cooled down first. If you try to put warm or hot white rice in the freezer, the condensation from the rice will make them watery before they freeze.

How To Freeze Cooked White Rice

White rice can take a while to cook. By freezing them and storing the rice in the freezer, you can shorten the time it needs to be cooked.

The process to freeze white rice is very straightforward and doesn’t take much time. Below is how to freeze cooked white rice:

  1. Clean the uncooked rice thoroughly with clean water and cook it in the rice cooker.
  2. Once it’s cooked, divide the white rice into portions and place it on a plate.
  3. Let the rice cool down until you’ll able to touch it.
  4. Transfer the rice into an airtight container or freezer bags. For freezer bags, remove any excess air before sealing it.
  5. Add labels with the date if you want.
  6. Place the freezer bags or airtight container of white rice into the freezer.

When it comes to thawing frozen rice, there are a few options to choose from:

  • Microwave: Start by defrosting the frozen rice on low power for a couple of minutes. Once it starts to defrost, increase the power to high. If the white rice seems to be dry in the microwave, add a little bit of water to it. Using the microwave to thaw white rice will require about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Non-stick pan: Turn on the stove to medium and let the pan warm up first. Transfer the frozen white rice to the pan. Using a spatula, break up the rice slowly. After the rice thaw, turn the stove to high and cook it for a few more minutes while using the spatula to push the rice back and forth in the pan. Using the non-stick pan to thaw white rice will require about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Refrigerator: Transfer the frozen white rice from the freezer to the fridge. It’s best to let it thaw overnight and use it for cooking the next day. Thawing in the refrigerator will require about 6 to 8 hours.

Besides the above option, you can use frozen rice to create a meal like fried rice. Fried rice is delicious and you can add ingredients to them to make it more flavorful. Best of all, you can freeze fried rice too.

Cooked white rice

How To Tell If White Rice Is Bad?

Uncooked rice will rarely go bad if stored properly. When it goes bad, you’ll know it when you see it. The usual signs of bad uncooked rice are mold. When moisture gets to the rice, mold will start forming. When you see mold, it’s best to throw the entire package away.

Another sign to look for is the color of the rice. Uncooked white rice has an off white color to it. If it appears to be any other colors, it means bacteria is growing on it and it’s bad.

If there are no mold and the color seems fine, the last thing to check is the smell of it. Uncooked white rice should have no smell to it. If it smells funny or has any smell to it, it’s best to throw it out. This is especially true for uncooked white rice that has been stored for a long time.

As for cooked white rice, it’s easy to tell when it goes bad. Cooked white rice will turn soft and watery when it goes bad. Additionally, it will have a slimy texture to it. This happens when the rice has been sitting for a couple of hours. If you notice any of this, it’s best to throw the entire rice content away.

Another sign that cooked rice is bad, it will have mold growing on it. Cooked white rice tends to go bad really fast when it’s stored at room temperature. Bacteria will start forming in a couple of hours and you’ll start to see mold and discoloration on the rice. If you notice this, throw it away immediately.

Related Questions

What happens if you eat expired white rice?

Expired white rice will more than likely have bacteria growing on them. Therefore, due to the bacteria, you’ll most likely end up sick from food poisoning. It’s best when white rice is expired, throw away the entire content of it.

Why should you not reheat rice?

When it comes to white rice or any other type of rice, it’s a common belief that you should never reheat it. This is due to the bacteria called Bacillus cereus, which survive some cooking processes. This bacterium is usually the cause of food poisoning from reheating the rice.

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