White uncooked rice in burlap bag
| |

How To Open A Bag Of Rice

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

If you like purchasing your rice in bulk, you’ve probably struggled with opening the string closure on the rice bags.

Before you give up and resort to using scissors or a knife to cut open the bag, try this time-tested method for opening a bag of rice.

So, how to open a bag of rice? Start by examining the stitches on the top of the bag — face the front of the bag, use your fingers to open the first knot on the loop, and pull both strings in the opposite direction.

Read on for detailed instructions on how to open a bag of rice that is sealed with a string, along with more useful tips and tricks!

How To Open A Bag Of Rice Sealed With A String

Large bags of rice are often sealed with a string which, if you are not familiar with opening, can be a hassle. They are sewn shut at the top with a locking chain stitch — the pattern is the same for rice bags, feed bags, and other bulk grains.

Many people struggle with opening the string seal and often end up using scissors to cut open the bag. Although it gets the job done, it makes the bag useless for future storage use.

Rice bags come in various sizes, mostly bulk, and all of them use the same technique for opening the string. It is believed that the weight of the bag affects how easy or difficult it is to open it, but that is not the case.

Once you figure out how to successfully open a bag of rice, you can easily do so for any size without spilling even a single grain of rice.

You do not need any special tools to open the string seal. All you have to do is follow these steps and you should be good to go!

Step 1: Examine The Stitching

The first step is to examine the bag and the stitching. Set the rice bag firmly on the ground and look closely at the top of the bag.

One side will have a flat single running stitch, while the other will look knotted or loopy. The side with the flat single stitch is the front of the bag.

Step 2: Face The Front Of The Bag

To open the rice bag easily, face the front of the bag. Place the bag in a way that the front of the bag (the side with the flat single running stitch) is facing you, while the looped or knotted side is facing away.

If you are facing the looped or knotted side, turn the bag around so that it is now facing away from you.

Step 3: Pull The String

Follow the single running stitch all the way to the edge of the right side of the bag, where you will see a loose knot. Use your fingers to open the first knot on the loop, by the end of which you will have two loose strings.

Pull the strings away from each other and the stitching should easily open across the top, leaving you with an open rice bag without spilling a single grain of rice.

Tips On How To Open A Bag Of Rice

Here are a few useful tips that will help you open that bag of rice even more easily:

  • If you are unable to untangle the first loop of the loose knot with your fingers, you can use a knife instead. Be very careful as the loop is very small and you can cut yourself easily!
  • If the rice bag is too big, you can straddle it to keep it in a straight position. This will make sure you don’t spill any rice when you are done opening the bag.
  • If all else fails, you can use scissors to open the bag. However, by doing so, you will not be able to reuse it in the future.

Can You Leave Rice In An Opened Bag?

No, it is not recommended to leave rice in an opened bag as it is exposed to environmental factors and pests and can go bad much sooner.

Rice left in an opened rice bag can become susceptible to:

  • Pantry Pests. Pantry pests (ex. mice or bugs) are the biggest issue when storing large amounts of rice and other dried goods! If you see any in your bag of rice, discard the rice and the rice bag immediately. Check the food items stored nearby as they spread quickly!
  • Dampness Or Moisture. The presence of either dampness or moisture is a bad sign for rice as it usually results in mold in a couple of days. Food with mold growing on it must not be consumed and should be discarded right away.
  • Weird Odor. If the rice starts to smell weird and develops a sour, moldy odor, it is a clear sign that it has gone bad. In the case of brown rice, if it is rancid, it will smell harsh or like old paint.

To minimize the chances of any of these happening to your rice, you must store it properly once the bag is opened.

How To Store Rice After Opening The Bag

Once you open the bag, you cannot seal it again (unless you use clips), as it would only expose the rice to air and moisture. Rice is a delicate grain that can go bad if not stored properly.

When it comes to storing large quantities of uncooked rice, the goal is to keep it in a cool, dry place away from heat or moisture. Minimizing the amount of oxygen that the rice is exposed to will also make a huge difference in its shelf life.

If you have rice in bulk quantities, the best way to store it is to first divide it into smaller portions so that it is easier to store.

Method 1: Use An Airtight Container

Transfer the rice from the opened rice bag into airtight plastic containers for easy storage and access. Make sure that the containers and bins are washed and dried beforehand.

If the quantity of rice is a lot, you may use large bins with well-fitting lids to ensure the rice isn’t exposed to air.

Stored this way, white rice will last up to 10 years while brown rice will last up to 6 months. Make sure to always keep an eye out for signs of spoilage!

Method 2: Use A Plastic Zipper Bag

If your rice bag isn’t too big and you have a large enough plastic zipper bag, you can simply place the opened bag of rice in the zipper bag for proper storage and easy access.

Push out as much air as possible out of the zipper bag before sealing it — the rice should last for up to 2 years if stored like this in the pantry, and it should stay good for up to 10 years if placed in the refrigerator.

Method 3: Vacuum-Sealing

If you want to store your rice for the long term and don’t plan on using it anytime soon, vacuum-sealing it in food-grade bags is a good option.

Transfer the rice into a food-grade vacuum bag and use a vacuum sealer to suck all the air out of the bag and seal it shut. If stored in a cool, dry place, the rice will last for 10 years or longer.

This is a great space-saving storage technique that allows you to store your rice for future use. However, it is not suitable for storing brown rice as the natural oils in it will cause it to spoil.

Method 4: Store In The Fridge Or Freezer

Placing the rice in the fridge or freezer will further prolong its life by a few years. You may store the rice in a freezer-safe and airtight container, freezer-safe bag, or vacuum bag before placing it in the fridge or freezer.

Make sure to place the rice bag or container on a shelf inside the fridge or freezer, and not the door or drawer. The door is the warmest spot and experiences temperature changes due to it being opened.

Put the rice at the back of the shelf for long-term storage so that you don’t have to move it to take out more frequently-used items. The center or bottom shelves are ideal as they are usually the coldest.

Related Questions

Now that you know all about opening a bag of rice and how to store the rice once the bag is opened, here are a few additional questions we thought you might have.

How long can cooked rice sit out?

Cooked rice can sit out for 2 hours at room temperature, or only 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F, after which it will start to go bad.

How to open a flour sack?

A flour sack is sealed with a string in the same way that a rice bag is. To open it, you need to follow the same technique you would to open your bag of rice. The same goes for big bags of sugar and other dried grains.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *