If you are getting into long-term food storage, you should know that white rice is royalty. You can’t beat rice as staple survival food. It is the #1 food in my long-term storage for several reasons.
I’ve stored over 400 lbs, and I’m still going. It’s so cheap. Consider storing more than you need because it’s a solid barter item for SHTF. So, what’s the best rice for survival and emergency food?
The best rice for long-term storage is white rice, specifically long-grain white rice. It is inexpensive, readily available, and provides a 30+ year shelf-life packaged oxygen-free. Other white rice: Jasmine, Basmati, Arborio, and converted, are also excellent survival food.
Storage Tip: Avoid storing brown and colored rice for long-term food; they have a higher oil content, reducing shelf-life. Also, any rice with the husk (outer protective layer) in-tact has a reduced shelf-life.
For example, brown rice will store a maximum of 18 months but will taste bitter at 6 months as the fats present will oxidize.
Chart #1: Rice Suitable For Long Term Storage
Rice is the primary staple in my long-term storage. It is hands down the easiest staple to find at brick and mortar stores, and it is ridiculously cheap. I’m amazed at how much rice I’ve repackaged for long-term storage at dirt cheap prices.
How Much Rice Will Fit In A 5-gallon Bucket?
A 5-gallon bucket holds 37 pounds of long-grain white rice and 35 pounds of Par Boiled Rice.
Take a look at the shelf life of the most common types of rice below, and you’ll notice that all white rice has the same storage life if properly packaged. (oxygen-free storage of rice)
|Common Varieties of White Rice||Shelf Life|
Hermetically Sealed/Oxygen Free
|Shelf Life In The Freezer|
|Long-grain (preferred)||30+ years||5 years||30+Years|
|Jasmine||30+ years||5 Years||30+ Years|
|Basmati||30+ years||5 Years||30+ Years|
|Arborio||30+ years||5 Years||30+ Years|
|Converted/ Minute Rice||30+years||5 years||30+ years|
|Rice Not Suitable For Long Term Storage||–||–||–|
|Brown||18 months||3-6 months||12-18 months|
|Black/Purple||18 months||3-6 months||12-18 months|
With the husk on, like brown rice, Rice has natural oils that cause them to oxidize and spoil quicker than white rice, where the shell is removed.
For more information on white rice in long-term storage, check out the Ready Squirrel article, “Which Type of Rice Stores The Longest For Food Storage.”
White Rice: The Cheapest Survival Food Around
My preferred storage rice is currently Member’s Mark, long-grain white rice. I buy it at Sam’s Club because it is good and cheap at .39¢ per lb.
Storage Note: When it comes to rice, shop around. You can spend 100% markup on the same rice brand if purchasing online, but you can also get an excellent deal and free shipping.
Check out another excellent Ready Squirrel article on rice, “The Best Way to Store Rice Long-term”
Chart #2 Cost Of White Rice
|Type of Rice||Cost 50lb Bag Of Rice||Cost Per lb|
|Webrestaurant, Riceland Long Grain||$26.99||.54¢|
|Sam’s Club, Member’s Mark Long Grain (The bulk of my stored rice.)||$19.54||.39¢|
|Walmart, Amazon.com Iberia Jasmine Long Grain||$17.81 (18lbs)||.35¢|
|Amazon.com Uncle Ben’s Converted (instant white rice)||$69.26||$1.38|
|Amazon.com, Sam’s Club, Royal Basmati Rice (bought some on sale)||$74.99||$1.49|
|Kirkland Signature (Costco) Jasmine Rice||$77.87||$1.55|
|Walmart Canilla Rice (Goya) (I’ve purchased on sale)||$32.50 (20lbs)||$1.62|
Learn how to store hundreds of pounds of rice on a budget, “How to Store Rice In a 5-gallon Bucket.”
How to figure the cost of rice per pound
Divide the number of pounds into the price. $19.54÷50 =.39
For example, a 50-pound bag of rice sells for $19.54. $19.54 (cost)÷50 (pounds of rice)=.39¢ (price per pound of rice)
Best Container For Rice Storage
When storing white rice for long-term storage, you want to repackage it into Oxygen-free storage for a 30-year shelf-life.
The best container for long-term rice storage is a 5-gallon food-grade bucket lined with an 18″x 28″ Mylar bag sealed with a 2000cc oxygen absorber. The second best option is to purchase professionally packaged, dry, canned rice in #10 cans.
There are other methods, but these are the best and cheapest methods.
When re-packaging rice for long-term storage, freezing is not necessary to kill bug, eggs, and pupae present in most grains. The oxygen-free environment kills them.
There are other ways to store your rice besides Mylar and buckets; check out the comprehensive Ready Squirrel article, “How to preserve white rice for long-term storage,” for more info on re-packaging.
Best Way To Store Rice Long-term
Tools you need to store rice with food-grade buckets, Mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers.
I suggest ordering oxygen absorbers and Mylar online and purchasing food-grade buckets at Walmart or a big box store.
9 things needed to re-package rice for long-term storage
- 18″x28″ Mylar bag(s)
- 18 x 28 is the size I use with a Mylar thickness of 5+ mil
- 5-gallon food-grade-bucket with a cheap lid
- When using sealed Mylar, bags to store rice you don’t need a lid with a seal
- 1-gallon Mylar bags for over-flow
- Standard Clothes Iron to heat-seal the Mylar bag
- Permanent Marker to mark the package with the packing date and food type
- 2000cc Oxygen Absorber(s) to preserve white rice in 5-gallon bucket
- 300cc/500cc Oxygen Absorber(s) for 1-gallon overflow bag (s) for extra rice that won’t fit in your bucket
- Wood board used to place the top of the bag over when you seal it with the iron
- Scissors to cut open the rice bag,
- Scissors make a clean cut, so it’s easier to pour the rice out of the bag.
Watch “Storing Food in Buckets and Mylar Bags” for step-by-step instructions on how to package and store your emergency rice.
Freezing rice for long-term storage
Freezing is an outdated method of killing bugs, eggs, and pupae before re-packaging rice.
If you want to know more about why you should not freeze rice for long-term storage, check out my article, “Should You Freeze Rice Before Long-term storage?”
Scott at Ready Squirrel, “How to preserve white rice for long-term storage.” This article is meaty, going in-depth with rice packaging and storage.
For a bird’s-eye view of quantities of food in a years supply of emergency and survival food and what it looks like, read the Ready Squirrel article How Much Food To Stockpile for One Person.