Does Rice really expire?

In this brief article, we will answer the question “Does Rice really expire?”, mention the shelf lives of different types of rice, and also list down different types of rice.

Does rice really expire?

Yes, rice can expire. Rice has a long shelf life when it is unopened and dry. Once it has been opened, it can spoil. Cooked rice, on the other hand, gets spoiled within 4 days of being refrigerated.

You may have heard that rice has an indefinite shelf life. While that is not entirely true, it really depends on the kind of rice you are using and how you store it. Dry brown rice spoils faster than dry white rice. 

You can tell if the rice has gone bad by looking at it. The difference in texture will give you your answer. Uncooked rice, when spoiled, will be infested by small bugs which are red in color and can be spotted easily.

In addition you can look for any holes or check if it feels damp to touch. If it feels damp, mold can grow on it or already has.

Uncooked rice can also give off a bad smell. This is especially true for brown rice. Since brown rice has high fat content, spoiled brown rice will give off a rancid smell. They will also be oily to touch. 

Look for any discoloration in brown rice as well. 

On the other hand, expired cooked rice will have a slimy gelatinous texture rather than being velvety and airy. 

It is very important to check if the rice you are eating has not spoiled because raw rice contains a bacteria called Bacillus cereus which produces spores. These pores are heat resistant and often survive higher temperatures so they may not be killed by cooking the rice.

When cooked rice is allowed to sit for longer periods of time, these spores will start to grow. Bacillus cereus causes a severe type of food poisoning. 

What are the shelf lives of different types of rice?

Let us look at the shelf lives of cooked and uncooked rice separately.

Uncooked dry rice

Dry rice has a long shelf life and it is relatively shelf-stable. They should be kept in a cool, dry place and once they have been opened, they should be kept inside tightly sealed airtight jars or containers. 

Brown rice spoils faster than white rice due to its higher fat content. 

Shelf life of rice:

White rice: 2 years

Brown rice: 3-6 months

Cooked rice

Shelf life of cooked rice is more or less the same for all kinds of rice. It stays safe for consumption for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

Make sure to properly and thoroughly reheat it before eating. You can also store cooked rice in the freezer for up to 8 months.

Learn more about shelf lives of rice here.

What are some different types of rice?

Rice can be differentiated based on its texture, aroma, length and shape, and color. We will list down some common types of rice with details about their texture and flavor profile  here so that it gets easier for you to pick which type of rice suits your cooking needs the best.

Arborio rice

Arborio rice is a medium grain rice with high starch content. The rice grain is a bit wide and has a white dot in the center which will help you distinguish it from other types of rice. The texture is chewy and it becomes creamy once cooked. It is ideal for making risotto and rice pudding. It can also be used to make soup. 

Brown rice

Brown is 100% whole grain which makes it an ideal substitute for white rice for people who are trying to cut down on processed carbohydrates. The flavor profile is nutty and becomes fluffy once cooked. It is very nutritious as it is abundant in vitamins.

It is also ideal for making stir fry dishes and casseroles.

White rice

White rice is the most common type of rice used in a variety of cuisines. It contains a lot of starch hence it appears white and becomes slightly sticky once cooked.

It can be eaten with curries, with stir fry dishes, and to stuff peppers etc.

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice, as the name suggests, gives off a sweet jasmine scent when it is being cooked. It is soft and very velvety in texture. It is ideal for making curry and Thai dishes as it is known to soak up all the juices and spices making the dish even more flavorful.

Basmati rice

Basmati rice has a nutty flavor profile and consists of long grain rice. It is widely used in the Indian cuisine

Other FAQs about Rice that you may be interested in.

When does rice water go bad?



In this brief article, we answered the question “Does Rice really expire?”, mentioned the shelf lives of different types of rice, and also listed down different types of rice.