dry rice in (dry) water bottle?
March 15, 2010 5:53 AM   Subscribe

food-filter: Can I store dry rice in a large (washed and completely dry) water bottle?

(I've tried wine bottles for this, but they're rather heavy on my hand. that's why I came up with this idea)
posted by mirileh to Food & Drink (16 answers total)
I did this for years with no problems. If I were doing this again, I'd probably replace the bottle more often* but as long as you store it in a cool, dry place, it should be fine.

*More often than never, that is -- I used the same bottle for three or four years which, in retrospect, is kind of gross.
posted by devinemissk at 6:04 AM on March 15, 2010

Yep, I've always understood that any fairly airtight container (tight fitting lid) is good for storing dry rice, and keeping the container in a cool, dry place is best.
posted by gudrun at 6:16 AM on March 15, 2010

Why not? I see no problem with it.
posted by Eicats at 7:26 AM on March 15, 2010

What are your concerns? I can't see any problem.
posted by Fiery Jack at 7:35 AM on March 15, 2010

I keep sugar for my coffee at work in a promotional-item metal travel mug.

A water bottle is an airtight container, no reason why it can't hold something other than water. (And why would it be gross to just keep refilling the container with rice? Unless you get bugs, I don't see what sort of cleaning needs to occur?)
posted by desuetude at 7:39 AM on March 15, 2010

Seems like a reasonable storage solution, and actually gives me a great idea for using all those giant Nalgene bottles that I don't really use much anymore because they're cumbersome to carry.
posted by padraigin at 7:51 AM on March 15, 2010

Response by poster: Why not? I see no problem with it.

The problem being it's a disposable plastic container that wasn't made for reuse (same issues raised at reusing water bottles).
posted by mirileh at 9:14 AM on March 15, 2010

Ohhh, I thought you meant something like a Nalgene or Kleen Canteen bottle that's made for reuse.

But even the hazards of disposable bottles are due to the chemicals in the plastic breaking down through wear and tear and washing. It seems to me that your bottle would get less banged up sitting quietly on your counter holding your rice than rattling around in a bag.
posted by desuetude at 10:35 AM on March 15, 2010

Plastic water bottles are typically PET plastic, which is super benign (no BHA). The main chore with rice storage is keeping out bugs. Every reason they are a disaster for the environment is a reason they're great for storage. Go for it.
posted by Carmody'sPrize at 10:47 AM on March 15, 2010

Response by poster: cool (saving rice, money AND the environment all at once) :-)
posted by mirileh at 11:05 AM on March 15, 2010

The area of contact between the solid rice and solid plastic is fairly small so limiting the scope for diffusion. Also there is no liquid oil present which would be a solvent for the molecules of interest in the plastic and help extract them into the food.

Go for it.
posted by Fiery Jack at 11:46 AM on March 15, 2010

I think the consensus is that even disposable plastic water bottles will work just fine, but...is there a reason you can't keep it in the original bag? I've gotten my rice in sacks of paper, waxed/plasticized paper, or even some kind of woven plastic, and have successfully stored the rice in them for months on end. (I'm the primary rice-eater in the flat, so it takes a while.) The advantage I see is that you're getting the bag anyway, and as you eat the rice you can roll it up tighter so it takes up less space in the pantry.
posted by d. z. wang at 12:24 PM on March 15, 2010

Response by poster: rice comes here in crappy bags that tear and aren't convenient to use (and I guess I really like containers too).
posted by mirileh at 1:23 PM on March 15, 2010

The bags I get are porous jute canvas, with a sealed plastic inner bag. The inner bag is not re-sealable, so unless you store it in something better, you will get bugs.

I've used glass jars, plastic jars, zip-top bags, Tupperware and Chinese soup takeout containers to hold dried rice. It's never been an issue.
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 3:28 PM on March 15, 2010

for the record, i use bay leaves in all my grain type things to keep bugs away and keep anything from hatching/living in them while stored. learned it from mother earth news and it has always improved shelf life
posted by Redhush at 4:20 PM on March 15, 2010

Just for the record, after you divvy the rice up into bottles, put them in the freezer for a couple of days to kill off any eggs that might already be in there. You said the rice you buy comes in crappy bags - there might already be some contamination. It's not at all rare.
posted by carlh at 6:17 PM on March 15, 2010

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