How To Shop For Bulk Rice And Why You Should

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Our buyer’s guide will give you tips on how to buy bulk rice and why you should start doing this. Rice is one of the most popular crops in the world. It is the leading food source for half of the population across the globe (source).

bulk rice in bags on floor
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As a member of the grass family (source),  rice belongs to two rice species.    African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and Asian rice (Oryza sativa) are the two species of rice that are grown globally (source)

Though rice cultivation requires sufficient water and a lot of labor, rice can be grown practically anywhere (source).  Thousands of kernels make up the rice plant (source). Each kernel has a stiff outer hull, a nutritious bran layer, and an endosperm (source)

The gluten-free pantry staple is easy to cook, store, and even easier to eat. It can complete a simple meal in a matter of minutes. Here are the types of rice, and why you should buy bulk rice.

Types of Rice

How many types of rice do you think exist today? There are more than 40,000 varieties, and that’s just coming from Oryza sativa (source). Rice is classified as long grain, short grain, and medium grain. There are also special kinds of rice, like Chinese black rice. Despite its deceiving name, wild rice is not rice (source).

different types of rice in spoons

Long Grain Rice

The milling process removes the hull and bran layer of long grain rice (source). Long grain rice is long and slim (source). After cooking, the rice kernels remain separate from one another and firm (source). The separate rice kernels make it appear fluffy (source). Basmati, Jasmine, brown rice are all examples of long grain rice (source).

Medium Grain Rice

The medium rice grain is wider and shorter than long grain rice (source).This rice makes more creamy dishes like risotto or paella (source). Medium grain rice is somewhat sticky but also a bit chewy (source).

Short Grain Rice

When you think of short grain rice, think sushi. This rice is known to be sticky. The kernels have more of a round shape and are moist (source). Arborio rice is short grain rice used to make risotto (source).

Buying Bulk Rice (1000/35)

Why buy bulk rice?

Long-lasting

Uncooked rice can help to keep your pantry stocked because it can last for a long time. As long as it’s stored in a dry place, white rice lasts forever (source). This is true for wild rice as well.

different types of grains stored in jars

Brown rice does not go through as much processing as white rice does. Thus, brown rice has fatty acids, leading to spoilage over time due to oxidation (source). In the pantry, brown rice can last for 3-6 months (source).

Emergency Food Storage

Since uncooked rice has infinite shelf stability, it makes excellent emergency food storage when there are food supply disturbances.  Earlier this year, grocery shoppers were clearing shelves of shelf-stable foods when COVID-19 lockdowns started.

Cost-effective

Rice is cheap! One pound of rice holds 11  servings of cooked rice.  You can find one pound of rice for just $0.85 at Target. This means you can feed 11 people each a ½ cup serving of rice for next to nothing.

High Yield

A small amount of rice can go a long way. Just ¼ cup of uncooked rice can double in size when it’s done cooking.

Easy Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Rice is incredibly versatile. It’s used in side dishes, main dishes, and even desserts. You can cook rice on a whim or serve it on the side of just about any meal. 

Buying rice in bulk means easier weekly grocery shopping. Because you’ll already have  a sufficient amount of rice, you won’t have to shop for it every week.

Easy to Cook

Using a rice cooker is the most effortless way to make rice. You can read about how to cook rice below. Depending on how much rice you’re making, you can have perfect rice in under 15 minutes.

cooking bulk rice in rice cooker

Widely Accepted

Have you ever heard of someone not liking rice?   Rice is palatable, easy to eat,  and accepted by people of all ages.  Rice is a staple food in so many countries, making it also widely accepted across various cultures.

Suitable for Many Diets

The gluten-free grain is safe for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance.Rice is also a vegetarian and vegan-friendly food. Athletes rely on rice to fuel their workouts because of its high carbohydrate content (source).

How to Buy Bulk Rice

Membership Based Warehouse Stores

Membership based warehouse stores like Sam’s Club, Costco’s, and BJ’s provide rice in bulk. So, if you’re looking for a 25-pound bag of rice, you’ll find it at one of these clubs.

Amazon Prime

Maybe you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of a grocery store and want your bulk rice delivered to your doorstep. You can find up 50-pound bags of rice on Amazon.

online grocery shopping with tablet

Ethnic/Speciality Stores

If you prefer to shop locally, you can find bulk rice by googling Indian and Asian markets near you.

Cooperative

Bulk rice is available online through cooperatives. Some cooperatives only provide organic rice. The rice delivery is dropped off at a location near you and requires immediate pickup. This can be a convenient option if you‘re looking to order other bulk grains like Kamut, barley, or teff.

How to Cook Rice

Uncooked RiceWater to Rice RecipeSimmer TimeFinal Amount
White long grain2 cups to 1 cupAbout 20 minutes2 cups 
Brown Rice2 cups to 1 cup50 minutes3 cups 
Basmati1.5 to 1 cup 15-20 minutes3 cups
Jasmine1 ¾ to 1 cup15-20 minutes3 cups 
(source)
bags of bulk rice and table on how to cook rice

Stovetop Method

  1. Rinse your rice in a mesh strainer to move excess starch.
  2. Add your rice and water to a pot.
  3. Add a pinch or two of salt.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat and bring the water to a simmer. Cover with a lid.
  6. Do not stir!
  7. After the water is all absorbed, turn off the stove and let the rice sit in the covered pot.
  8. Fluff with a fork by raking through the rice and breaking up any clumps.

Rice Cooker Method

  1. Rinse your rice in a mesh strainer to move excess starch.
  2. The typical ratio to make rice is 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Follow the guide below to make your rice according to its type.
  3. Add your rice and water to a pot.
  4. Add a pinch or two of salt.
  5. Follow your rice cooker instructions to turn it on. Some rice cookers have buttons for white rice and brown rice.

Bottom Line

Streamline your life by adding bulk rice to your pantry. Bulk rice will make meal planning and grocery shopping simpler. You can use it to make a quick meal or save it for food emergencies. Bulk rice is easy to cook, easy to eat, and also easy to buy.

If you liked this post on how to shop for bulk rice and why you should, read our post on how to cook barley and other whole grains.

buyers guide to rice in bulk

Author

  • Lisa Hugh is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Leap Therapist. She has a Masters of Science in Healthcare Administration. As a a Food Sensitivity Expert, her passion is helping people with complex medical and nutrition needs find food and groceries that are safe and enjoyable. Lisa enjoys helping clients in her private practice.

  • Gabrielle McPherson is a Registered Dietitian and Freelance Writer. Gabrielle has a masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and a bachelors degree in Dietetics. She has worked extensively with pediatrics and works as a freelance health and nutrition writer.

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