Using Mylar for storing polished rice long-term is hands down the best method of keeping rice for a maximum thirty-year shelf-life. I say this from the point of view of a person who does their own long-term emergency food storage. Professionally packaged rice in #10 cans is also an excellent method of storing rice long-term, but it will cost more. Read on if you want to package rice for the SHTF-like economic collapse.
Mylar Bags: storing white rice for long term
Storing rice In Mylar Bags with oxygen absorbers is an easy DIY rice storage method that provides an oxygen and light barrier and kills bugs to keep rice from spoiling. Rice needs to be protected from these elements for maximum shelf life in long-term food storage. So, why are Mylar bags excellent for rice storage?
A Mylar bag storage container combined with the proper cc of Oxygen absorption treatment reduces oxygen in the food storage container to less than 1%, kills bugs, eggs, and pupae within two weeks, and extends the shelf-life of rice to thirty years.
Mylar is so special because of the oxygen barrier it provides. Other common food storage containers like plastic, do not provide a true oxygen barrier and will allow the oxidation of rice over time.
The only other container this good for storing rice long-term is sealed #10 cans. Still, most of us don’t have a cannery set up in our homes. Glass jars are also an excellent oxygen barrier, but glass is heavy, breaks easily, and does not protect rice from light oxidation.
Airtight containers vs. Mylar bags
Try not to confuse an airtight container with a container that offers a true oxygen barrier. Plastic containers and buckets are not oxygen barriers and will not protect rice from long-term oxidation.
Protect rice from oxygen
Over time oxygen spoils rice by causing oxidation which diminishes food texture, taste, and nutritional value.
How to store rice in 5-gallon buckets
The best method of storing rice in 5-gallon buckets is to line them with 18″ x 28″ Mylar bags that are five mils or thicker and place a 2000 cc oxygen absorber in the bag before heat sealing it.
If you want to learn how to store rice long-term, read the Ready Squirrel article “The Best Way To Store Rice Long Term.” The article also has links to videos showing me packaging dry goods in Mylar bags.
Gallons in a 50-Pound bag of rice
The total number of gallons in a 50-pound bag of rice is 8 gallons (7.92 gallons). Eight gallons is an approximation, as no two grains of rice are the same. When combined various types of rice and different bags of rice will give you more or less volume, but 8 gallons is a good rule of thumb.
When I plan on storing 50lbs bags of rice I always purchase a bunch of 5 plus mil, 1-gallon Mylar bags and 500cc oxygen absorbers for the overflow rice that won’t fit into the 18″x 28″ Mylar bags. You want to fill the buckets and not leave them half empty but you can cut 1-gallon Mylar bags down to fit a small amount of rice and to store the extra.Scott, Ready Squirrel
Let’s examine how many pounds of rice there are in various-sized containers.
Chart #1: Pounds of rice per gallon
|Pounds of Rice||Gallons of Rice|
Up next, Oxygen absorbers.
Oxygen absorbers for storing white rice long term
Oxygen absorbers are the easiest, most inexpensive way of removing oxygen from food containers for dry foods like rice, wheat berries, dry beans, and rolled oats.
I like to use 2000cc oxygen absorbers in 18″x28″ Mylar bags lining 5-gallon food-grade pales and 500cc oxygen absorbers to place in 1-gallon Mylar overflow bags to store rice that won’t fit in buckets.
Learn about the size of oxygen absorbers you need for food type and container size. Read the Ready Squirrel article, “What Is An Oxygen Absorber: Long-term Food Storage.
Warning: Do not store foods high in fat or more than 10% moisture in oxygen-free storage because there is a risk of anaerobic food poisoning like botulism.
How to store bags of rice
Store large bags of rice in airtight containers in a cool, dry location. Keep in mind that an airtight container won’t protect rice or other grains from bugs hatching. To kill bugs and eggs, store them in Mylar and remove the oxygen with oxygen absorbers.
Most grains and flour have bug eggs when you get them from the store so keep that in mind.
Learn to store large bags of rice for maximum shelf-life. Check out the comprehensive Ready Squirrel article, “How To Store Rice In Long Term Storage: By The Numbers.”
Freezing uncooked rice to kill bugs
Uncooked rice can be frozen to increase its shelf life by up to 30 years, and it can also be frozen to kill bugs, eggs, and pupae. Depending on the source you read, bugs and eggs will be dead within four days to 2 weeks.
Freezing rice before repacking it for long-term storage is an outdated method of treating rice for bugs. Instead, store rice in an oxygen-free container and reduce oxygen levels to less than 1%. In this storage environment, bugs, eggs, and pupae will die within two weeks.
Mylar bags and Oxygen absorbers are the best DIY method for killing bugs in rice and grains.
Learn how to hoard rice in oxygen-free storage for the next WWZ. Check out the comprehensive Ready Squirrel article, “How To Store Rice In 5-gallon Buckets.”
Up next, do you need oxygen absorbers?
Do you need oxygen absorbers to store rice?
Oxygen absorbers are needed when storing rice if you want a maximum shelf life of thirty years. Removing oxygen reduces the oxidation of rice by removing oxygen from the storage container to maintain the overall quality of rice.
Oxygen-free storage seems complicated, but it’s not. All you need is a container that acts as an oxygen barrier, a Mylar bag, and something to remove oxygen from the sealed bag, enough oxygen absorption.Scott, Ready Squirrel
Start stockpiling dry food staples. Learn about oxygen absorbers in the Ready Squirrel article, “Oxygen Absorbers: Why You Need Them For Emergency Food Storage.”
Next, let’s look at four containers for rice storage.
Alternate containers for oxygen-free rice storage
Following is a list of alternate rice storage containers that provide an oxygen barrier.
Number 10 cans are the best container for rice storage every day except for cost and availability. Most of us do not have the ability to can rice or other dry staple foods, so we have to purchase them packaged this way.
Check out the LDS store online if you want to purchase staple foods in #10 cans they offer great prices and reasonable shipping costs.
Canning or ball jars are a true oxygen barrier if properly sealed. Suppose you go this route, store jars in a dark area or cover them to avoid light oxidation of rice.
Up next is the best type of rice for long-term storage.
Best type of rice for long-term storage
The best rice for prepping is dry white rice, also called polished rice. It doesn’t matter if the rice is short, medium, or long-grained. As long polished rice is 10% moisture or less, stored oxygen-free, and kept in a cool, dry location, it will store for 30-plus years.
The bulk of my rice storage is fortified long-grain white rice because that is the cheapest, most readily available rice I can get in bulk. I also have some Jasmine rice because I found a good deal on it. Jasmine and Basmati rice do have a differen’t flavor from long-grain white rice but all three types are excellent for long term storage.Scott, Ready Squirrel
See the two charts below. The first chart is premium rice for emergency food storage, and the second is rice “not” to store long-term.
Avoid storing rice listed in chart #2 in long-term storage.
Chart #2 Don’t store long-term (rice types)
|Rice Not Suitable For Long Term Storage||–Shelf Life|
Hermetically Sealed/Oxygen Free
| Shelf Life|
|Shelf Life In The Freezer|
|Brown||18 months||3-6 months||12-18 months|
|Black/Purple||18 months||3-6 months||12-18 months|
Colored Rice has natural oils that cause it to oxidize and spoil quicker than white rice.
Rice shelf life
Polished White rice is one of the best foods for long-term food storage. It’s filling comfort food that has a lengthy shelf-life when stored properly. Rice is the perfect survival food when combined with dry beans or wheatberries.
Rice has a shelf life in regular store packaging of 2 years if stored in a cool, dry location. When stored properly in an oxygen-free storage container, it will last 30 years or more.
Pounds of rice: 5-gallon bucket
Thirty-six pounds of white rice fit in a 5-gallon bucket.
Storing White Rice, Utah State University, ers.usda.gov, PDF
A Guide To Food Storage, Brian Nummer, Food Safety Specialist, Utah State University Extension PDF
Thanks for stopping by Ready Squirrel. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section.
Keep on prepping!
Best Regards, Scott