Asking how long does brown rice last in the fridge is vital because one of the best places for storing brown rice is in a refrigerator.
However, we often purchase brown rice in large quantities and they become rancid before we consume them all.
Rice is probably the most consumed grain with it being a primary source of nourishment for more than half of the world’s population.
Generally, rice grains with the exception of brown rice are known to have a shelf life of over 5-6 years.
In this article, we shall be looking at how long brown rice really lasts. And also why they don’t last as much as other rice varieties and many more.
Due to the way brown rice is processed, it has an estimated shelf life of 5-6 months before it becomes rancid. And can last between 12-18 months if stored rightly.
Why Is Brown Rice Different?
The milling procedure of brown rice leaves it with a bran and germ layer.
Brown rice contains a high amount of oil in its bran which is the outer layer of the rice. In other varieties of rice, the bran has been processed.
This bran layer of brown rice not only holds its oily content but also holds the most vitamins and minerals in brown rice.
This is why brown rice isn’t only a healthier choice than white rice but it also has a rich and nutty flavor.
However, this oily layer of brown rice is the reason why brown rice gets rancid. This rancidity makes brown rice give off an odor after a period of time.
Mostly within 2-3months if not stored properly and 5-6 months if stored properly in a pantry.
Consuming brown rice when it becomes rancid doesn’t only taste and smell unpleasant but also is very unhealthy for the body.
How To Store Brown Rice
There are numerous ways by which we can store brown rice.
The most important aspect of storing brown rice is to keep it away from constant sunlight and moisture.
As those are the two major factors that reduce the shelf life of brown rice.
The most popular and oldest way of storing brown rice is in a pantry. Free from constant sunlight and moisture.
In a pantry, brown rice can last up to 6 months before it begins to become rancid.
Is There Any Limitation?
However, storing rice in a pantry has some implications, one of which is insect infestation.
Like every other grain, brown rice is prone to be affected by grain-eating insects (such as weevils and meal moths).
These insects multiply really fast, they eat up the rice which reduces its quality.
In turn, the rice can even be harmful for human consumption. They lay eggs and larvae among the grain which is practically impossible to separate.
This is why a better mechanism is suggested for storing brown rice.
The fact remains that brown rice is best stored in a place of cooler temperature, free from moisture.
A lot of people use refrigerators and freezers as a better option for storing brown rice.
Can You Store Brown Rice In The Fridge?
A freezer seems to hold more potential for storing brown rice. Due to the extremely cooling condition of a freezer, brown rice tends to last the longest there.
This is why most people opt for storing their rice in a freezer. But in situations where one is left with the option of a fridge due to one reason or the other.
You can’t help but wonder if it is possible to store brown rice in your refrigerator.
Yes, storing brown rice in the fridge is a very good option.
As discussed above, the best practice for storing brown rice is to keep it in a cool place, free from sunlight, and moisture.
Although there are a few practices that need to be implemented in order to fully preserve brown rice in a refrigerator.
If not done properly, storing brown rice in a fridge is as good as storing brown rice in a pantry.
Note: The cold and dry air in a fridge is a perfect condition for storing brown rice.
How Long Does Brown Rice Last In the Fridge?
The cool nature of a fridge prevents the bran layer of the rice from getting rancid.
Also, insects cannot survive in a fridge thereby eliminating the possibility of the rice getting infested by insects.
The refrigerator is a very good option for storing rice as it reduces direct air and moisture.
But also prevent insects and mold from infesting the rice grain.
Ultimately, brown rice can last from 10-12 months or more in a fridge before becoming rancid.
However, there are certain measures to follow if you want your rice to last long in a fridge.
When you purchase a bag of brown rice from the store, keeping it open to direct air would reduce its shelf life.
Even if it is stored in a fridge the rice needs to be closed at all times.
Ideal Ways To Store Brown Rice
Below are some measures we can implement always to increase our brown rice when stored in the fridge.
Store In Airtight Containers
When you purchase a bag of brown rice, it is best to repackage it as soon as it is opened in airtight containers.
Ensuring they are clean and free from moisture. These airtight containers will reduce the amount of air that comes in contact with the rice.
Airtight containers ziplock bags or cleaned pickle jars
Tip: When using a ziplock bag, ensure to get any excess air out of the bag.
Keep At The Far Back Of The Fridge
Keeping the already repackaged brown rice at the far back of the fridge will reduce the amount of sunlight that comes in contact with the rice.
Another benefit of storing the rice at the back is to reduce the effect of change in temperature.
This is caused by the constant opening and closing of the refrigerator door.
Tip: Reserve a closed compartment in the fridge, just for the purpose of storing your grains.
Avoid Constantly Opening The Container Of The Rice
A common mistake people make is constantly opening the container in which the rice is stored.
This exposes the rice to moisture. It also causes there to be a constant change in the temperature of the rice.
If a container of rice must be opened, it should only be done so when there is an intention to cook it.
Ensuring also to seal it back immediately after taking the amount of rice needed.
Tip: A good tip is to always store the rice in measure containers for instant cooking.
How Long Does Cooked Brown Rice Last In the Fridge?
Cooked brown rice, unlike dry rice, doesn’t last so long. On average after being cooked it lasts only 2-3 hours before it begins to be slimy.
If stored in a fridge, cooked brown rice only lasts 3-5 days. And with the right measure maybe it can last a week.
Just like fresh brown rice, the best way to preserve cooked brown rice is to keep it in an airtight container.
And should be consumed within a week.
After one week, the rice will begin to have a super dry look, taste hard, and be awkward.
Consuming this cooked rice after it has begun to develop these effects will only cause you stomach pain. This could later result in food poisoning.
Brown rice is very nutritional, but sadly unlike other varieties of rice, it does not last so long therefore it is important that we know how long does brown rice last in a fridge.
Brown rice if kept properly, can last more than a year in a refrigerator.
Knowing how long brown rice lasts and how to preserve it, can be very useful knowledge.
Considering the fact that most people prefer to purchase rice in large quantities. And as such will need to know how to properly store rice.
I hope this article has been helpful in helping you know how long brown rice lasts in a fridge.
And how well you can preserve both your uncooked and cooked brown rice. Thank You and enjoy your rice.