How to tell if brown rice is bad? (+3 Ways)

In this article, we will answer the question “How to tell if brown rice is bad?”, and how to safely store brown rice?

How to tell if brown rice is bad?

Textural changes

Cooked rice will become very dry, hard and brittle if they are kept in the storage for too long. Such rice should be discarded. Cooked rice develop a slimy texture as they go bad.

Microbial growth or bugs

If you notice any signs of discoloartions and mold growth on cooked or uncooked rice, throw them in the bin. The bacterium known as Bacillus cereus commonyl contaminates rice. Moreover, pantry bugs are very common in uncooked rice if they have been mishandled during stoarge.

Rancid smell

If the rice develop an off smell or rancid flavor, they should be immediately discarded.

How to store brown rice?

As long as the original paper bag or plastic packaging of brown rice is intact, it can be stored anywhere in the pantry or in the kitchen cabinet. The rule of thumb is to store it in a cool, dark and dry place.

Uncooked brown rice

After opening the package, transfer the brown rice to an air-tigth container or jar for further protection.

Refrigerating and freezing will extend the shelf-life of the brown rice. For freezing uncooked brown rice, use freezer bags and squeeze out all the air form the bag before storing. For refrigerating, air-tight container and freezer bags both work fine.

Cooked brown rice 

For storing cooked brown rice, keep it in an air-tight containe ror freezer bad and put it in the fridge. Fro freezing cooked brown rice, use freezer bags, squeeze out the air, label the bag and put it in the freezer.

How to freeze cooked brown rice?

Follow the steps below to freeze-store cooked brown rice in bulk.

  1. First of all, cook the brown rice the way you like.
  2. Divide and spread the cooked brown rice into meal-sized portions. This also allows the rice to cool down faster. 
  3. Rice needs to come down t room temperature before storage. Allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, transfer the portioned rice into the freezer bags, squeeze out the air from the bags, label them and chuck it in the freezer.

How to defrost frozen and cooked brown rice?

For peak quality, it is recommended to consume frozen and cooked brown rice within one year of storage. The following methods can be used for thawing frozen rice effectively.


First, Let the frozen rice warm up at low power. Once it loses its cold, microwave it at high power until completely hot and fresh. Add a splash of water to keep it form drying.


In a pan, let the rice thaw on low heat. Then reheat the rice on high flame. Add a splash of water to keep the rice from burning and drying out.

Throw it in frozen

There is no need to thaw the rice if they are to be used in soups. Just throw the rice in the broth, adjust the cooking time accordingly and you are done.

The shelf-life of brown rice

The following table shows an estimated shelf-life of brown rice under difefrent storage conditions.

In the pantryIn the fridge In the freezer
Uncooked brown rice3 months past the Best-by date 6 months pst the best-by date 12 months past the Best-by date 
Cooked brown rice 4-6 days 4-6 months 

Dangers of eating expired brown rice

Bacillus cereus and mold that attacks rice produce toxins that cannot be killed during heating. When ingested, these toxins can lead to food poisoning which is reflected in vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea. Sevre cases can lead to coma. Prolonged exposure can weaken immune system making the patient susceptible to cancer and other diseases. Therefore, it is important to store the rice within 2 hours of cooking.

Brown rice vs white rice

Brown rice is whole grain which means it has all of its three parts namely endosperm, germ and bran intact.on the other hand, white rice has the bran removed during milling. This makes white rice nutritionally inferior to brown rice. Brown rice is rich in fibre, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals.

However, brown rice may also contain antinuteints like Phytic acid and toxins like arsenic.the benefits of brown rice overweigh its disadvantages. It regulates blood sugar, reduces the risk of heart diseases, and helps in weight loss.


In this article, we answered the question “How to tell if brown rice is bad?’, and how to safely store brown rice?


Sana Ameer

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.

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