Canned Rice [General]

2008 Oct 27
So, my home-canning experiments continue with rice this time!

I was thinking last week about how much I love a good meal with rice + some sort of simple sauce or stew or something on top, and I got to thinking that it might be cool if I could can up some rice for ready-made males both to take for my lunch at work, but also for eating at home when I want something quick but healthy.

And on my very first attempt I got something to work really awesomely!

I used brown rice because that's all I eat. But it's also less prone to going to moosh in the canner.

A slightly heaping 1/3 cup brown rice
1/4 tsp salt
fill with water to the fill level

Process 15 psi for 15 minutes.

Wow, I have to say I don't think I've ever had such perfect rice! And for non-brown-ricers I've found that the processing in the jars somehow takes the "brownness" out of it.

When the rice is taken out of the jar and "flaked" to separate, then nuked, it makes absolutely perfect rice - probably the best I've ever had!

Now I will can up a whack load of it for ready-made meals and the likes. Or for times when my wife is cooking and wants to make some quick rice (I'm always giving her the gears about making white rice - now she has not excuse !!!)

2008 Oct 27
I wonder if it would stay that well if you left it for a month or three?

Can you suggest an affordable (by affordable I mean cheap) pressure canner?

2008 Oct 27
Canning brown rice ...... Hmmmmm.

One must watch out for contamination because this is how Majick Mushrooms are cultivated indoors .... in jars of sterilized brown rice.

Just a few stray Psilocybe spores in your food and you could end up with what's here in the picture.

2008 Oct 27
Peter I was looking into getting a canner at one point and I got a few informative replies when making a request for recommendations on this forum:

After visiting a number of kitchen stores in Ottawa the only place that seems to carry them is Preston Hardware. Although I am still saving for one they have an impressive selection of pressure canners to pick from. If you would like further recommendations zymurgist is our expert!

2008 Oct 27
I would expect it to be fine if left for a few years - just like the rest of the stuff I can up.

I have one of the big "All American" pressure canners from Preston Hardware, but I still use my little Presto pressure cooker for doing home canning, even though it's recommended against it. Do the reading and make the call yourself. I use the little Presto when I'm just doing a few things or a little trial run like this time. and haul out the big one for doing a huge batch.

Captain - not sure why you'd even mention that because if canned properly this would not be a worry in the least. Just like any home canned good.

2008 Oct 27
I meant texture when I said 'well', not contamination. I guess I should be more specific in a canning thread :-)

Do you think it will turn to mush after a long period?

- Per the canner... I do not can that often (maybe 3-4 times a year) and when I do I don't think I'd mind taking my time with a small canner, in batches.

Pasta lover, I'll be checking that thread out.

2008 Oct 27
I think it will be perfectly fine for long term. I'm going to do up a big batch sometime soon, and I'll be sure to post updates as I eat them. And I'll also be sure to save a few for at least a year or two.

As far as using a pressure cooker goes, instead of a canner, remember that all the books say it's not safe (at least the ones I read). So I'm not going to tell you that it is. I am going to tell you that after reading all of the books I've made the call that it's safe for me. I'd recommend you do the the reading and make that determination yourself.

2008 Oct 27
Zym - This reminds me of my starving student days... back then rice was undergoing a transformation.

When I first went off the University you could buy Minute Rice (that hard icky stuff that came in a box) just add boiling water and a couple of minutes later voila rice. Not the stuff Mom used to make, but it wasn't clumpy they claimed (gee my Mom's was never clumpy) and quick and easy. Then came along boil in a bag rice (Uncle Ben's). The quality was better, and the mesh bags went right into the boiling pot of water. Next the microwave was becoming more and more available so they made rice in a can. You could dump Dainty's par-boiled rice out into a dish pour in the water and seasoning mix and put it in the microwave... or if you were too poor to own a microwave you could dump it in a saucepan (my dorm kitchen didn't have a microwave until my final year). And lastly came those microwaveable bags we are familiar with now... punch a hole in it and pop it in the microwave.

And here I am some 20 years later, and have come full circle. I'm no longer interested in this "so called" convienient rice, I'm right back at the beginning making rice the same way Mom did (just like the rest of civilization for the last million or so years).

2008 Oct 27
I dare say there is a world of difference F&T between any of the products you mention, and what I'm making. That's like comparing a can of Campbell's soup with a jar of my home-canned soup. Sorry, but that's apples and oranges. The fact is that what I'm doing is no different at all from the old fashioned way. There just so happens to be a much longer delay between when you make it, and when you serve it. Who knows what's in those products you mention? Or what's been removed?

And I am pretty sure you'll find rice has only been around for 10 to 15 thousand years or so. Civilization as well, for that matter.

I do agree that those products are pretty silly given how easy rice is to make properly. Even rice cookers are silly. What always works for us is 1 part rice, 2 parts water. Boil the water, add the rice and bring to the boil again. Cover and reduce heat to 1 and leave from 20 to 50 minutes. 20 for most white rices. 25 to 30 for most brown rices. The odd brown rice requires the extreme 50 minute treatment. BTW what I used above was a 30 minute brown rice. Anyway, this method always produces perfect rice.

However, as easy as rice is to make, there are always times when you need something quick. And it's good to know I can have a good healthy bowl of "old fashioned" rice now, with no time and no effort.

2008 Oct 27
Zym - Sorry if you misunderstood my post... I was just hashing over the changing world of rice preparation... not comparing mass produced commercial rices to your canned product.

But I have to say, I can't somehow get my mind around canning rice in general... it doesn't seem like such a time saver in my mind... a rice cooker is a great invention, it means one can make perfect rice everytime, and in the case of needing something quick... it allows one to make a larger batch for reheating at a later time. Some cookers even have a timer on them, so you can start them when you aren't even at home. Great if you know you'll be having a rushed meal on a certain day.

2008 Oct 28
This morning I'll get home from yoga at 7:50 and need to be out the door to work about 8:05 or 8:10 at most. Sure, I guess I could have prepared a lunch last night but I'm usually not that well organised. There is no time for rice cookers. And most of my mornings are like this (Aikido 3 days, yoga 1).

And while you can make more for reheating in a rice cooker, you can't keep it forever like you can with canned rice. You have to eat it inside of a few days to a week. And in a small house like this we just don't have room for any more appliances.

For me, this is potentially a HUGE time saver. Do a bit of work today, and then do ZERO work any time I want rice in the next 2 or 3 years (I'm guessing at this point, but I don't see any reason why it would be different than anything else I can). Sure, with a rice cooker you can do a bit of work today, and use it up over the next 4 or 5 days. But it's far more limited in your time scope, and not only do you have to have a place to store the cooker, but you also have to use up fridge space with the rice til you eat it. Canned rice I can store just about anywhere.

2008 Oct 28
Can one can Mac and Cheese (successfully) ?

2008 Oct 28
I would guess yes, Captain, because you can buy cans of it I'm pretty sure. I've never tried it personally, but now that you mention it, since the boys really love it, might be worth my while to figure out how to do it so we could feed them some relatively healthy stuff, quick and easy.

2008 Oct 28
Captain C - YES, Unfortunately that has been done already. ICK!

2008 Oct 28
Hey F&T .... comparing Kraft's Easy Mac to canned homemade Mac and Cheese is like comparing Zy's homemade canned rice to Rice-a-Roni Express !!

2008 Oct 28
Captain C - Ok for the last time... LOL
(You little sh!t disturber...)
See recent photo on the right of Captain Caper ------>

I wasn't comparing Zym's canned goods to anything commercial
Good, Bad or Indifferent.

You crack me up!

2008 Oct 28
Hey F&T ... The reason I like cooking so much is that I like to 'Stir the Pot' !!

2008 Dec 8
Canning rice with a processing time of 15 min at 15 pounds sounds dangerously inadequate. I can't find any reliable reference on home canning of rice on the internet, but the US Dept of Agriculture's home canning guide specified 75 to 90 minutes at 11 pounds (at our altitude) for beans or peas, which was the closest thing I could find. See: USDA also specifically warns against including rice (or noodles) in home-canned soup, for safety reasons.

The issue here is not whether the rice is *tasty* or not, but instead whether it is potentially *deadly* or not. Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal consequence of improperly canned foods, and you cannot rely on the appearance/smell/taste of the product to tell you that it is "off." The absolute risk is admittedly low, even if you don't follow the recommendations, but that does not mean it is "safe." Most people who skydive/drive recklessly/forgo immunizations/play with matches don't die as a result, but the incremental risk is there. I often hear the argument: "I've been doing it this way for years and I am still alive," but again that does not mean it is safe. My Aunt Eva smoked like a chimney for 80+ years and died at the ripe old age of 104, but that doesn't mean that smoking is "safe."

Bottom line: If you are going to can at home, use a reliable reference, such as the USDA's home canning guide referenced above.

Just some "food for thought."


2008 Dec 9
Yup, I know all that. I've read the USDA guide and a few others, and take my own risks accordingly.

2008 Dec 9
Maybe I didn't notice it before, but I did see canned "wild rice" at some ethnic food store yesterday. I visited a few, can't recall which. I thought of this thread when I looked at it though, and here it is, bumped up :-)

2008 Dec 9
Fair enough, zymurgist--I also enjoy doing things that entail some risk. The key is to be informed about the risks and to accept them as you have done.

I think I have seen canned wild rice as well somewhere, but that is professionally processed under tighter controls. The USDA sets a very wide margin of safety around home-canned things, for good reason.

2008 Dec 9
Yes, Maple Leaf showed us just how tight the controls are in commercial operations. I feel a lot safer eating my own home-canned rice than I would eating store bought.

2008 Dec 9

2009 Apr 27
The canned rice came in very handy yesterday. We had some friends over for some grilling and they brought some Butter Chicken that she'd made. They asked for some rice to serve it on so I quickly grabbed 2 jars of my canned rice and nuked them up. Turned out really well, and her chicken was incredible!

2009 Apr 27
1) I am surprised at the concept of home canning rice, though I could certainly see how this would me more useful for brown rice preparation. The only rice I have had difficulty preparing was Jasmine and thus I don't usually find a need for time-saving on that front. I could see a benefit of pre-cooked beans and rice though.

2) Zym, Aikikai or Yoshinkan?

2009 Apr 27
Jagash, why choose? :-) And if I must, I'd sooner have more choices :-)

The former though at the moment.

Yeah, I've really been digging the home canned rice. Glad I thought it up :-)

2010 Jan 31
Follow up since people are reading this again.

I currently use 2/3 cup of brown rice in a 1 pint / 500ml jar. Measure exactly and best to use just a hair shy of 2/3 because if you use too much you can blow the bottom out of your jar in the canner.

I put a pinch of salt in each jar, then fill about half way with water, at which point I give it a good stir to wet all the rice. Then fill to a bit below the normal fill level.

I've got a really large canner that fits 16 jars, and I fill it up with all 16. I turn on high, and once the vent pipe stars venting hard I time 7 minutes as per my manual. Then put on the pet cock and allow to come to 15 psi. Once there I reduce the heat to 6 and a half, and time 17 minutes.

When I am doing 'guerrilla canning' like this (i.e. canning that would not be considered safe by experts and their lawyers) I always allow my canner to come to room temp after turning off the heat, before opening it. For this big canner that can be a good 10 or 12 hours.

2010 Nov 19
zymurgist - I'm new to this forum, and came across your post regarding canning rice (along with all the other posts as well) - and just have to ask a couple things, if I might. (I'm from a small Midwestern US town and there are not a lot of resources on this topic on the net, let alone in my little corner of the world). First - I'm purchasing my brown rice in bulk from our food buying group, and it comes in a bag - (25#) so - in your opinion (and I take whatever you tell me as an opinion and not gospel - knowing the risks and accepting them myself) would it be wise to first freeze the rice for a period of time to 'kill' any 'bugs' that might be in the rice before I can it? (I've read a lot and many people say to do this before you cook it, while others say its not necessary as the canning process will kill the bugs / eggs etc.) Second - could you use, instead of water, a vegetarian broth for the liquid, again, in your opinion? I'm also wondering if you might know, does the process of canning the rice actually 'make the nutritional / vitamin values' decrease? (Read this online somewhere too.)
Third - what exactly can 'go wrong' if the rice does have something 'bad' in it? Is it possible it is deadly? Wouldn't there be signs of this upon opening the rice after canning by odor or discoloring? All questions I have not found answer to on the world wide web that is supposed to have answers to everything - and yet, not to something that I perceive to be a simple basic food question!

Thanks in advance for your assistance. I find reading your forums is most interesting and educational.

God bless!

2010 Nov 19
Would freezing rice be any better?
I have seen frozen rice at MM meatshops and have tried freezing extra plain rice I had before and it seemed to turn out ok.

I know you can cook rice in the microwave and that is usually pretty quick to do,might be abit less work too.
I've also seen or heard of "microwave rice cooker" gadgets-but never tried looking for those.

2010 Nov 19
I have absolutely no knowledge of food science or biology, but wouldn't the heat involve in pressure canning be much more effective at killing 'bugs' than freezing rice... That is, unless you have a blast freezer...

2010 Nov 20
1. Freezing it makes no sense at all to me - 15psi will kill way more stuff than freezing
2. broth - absolutely!
2.a. vitamin value - i've had friends show me studies on uncle bens converted rice and how the nutritional value may actual be superior because the kernel/grain is so much better accessible, and I personally believe this would be similar in nature
3. botulism can go wrong in anything and everything you can. if you do not know what makes botulism tick, this is probably not safe for you. even if you do understand what makes it tick, it may not be. But keep in mind that botulism toxin is denatured with 10 minutes of cooking (which of course may not apply to rice in most use cases)

2010 Nov 20
But my next question is: why is freezing rice bad?
They sell a lot of frozen dishes at the grocery store now for many years that are frozen and have rice in them.
I doubt they would be good for more than 6 months though.

Stoufers and Presidents Choice have had these kind of dishes for ever now!

I'm not about to attempt canning anytime soon. So if I happen to have extra rice and want to keep it for something I would be most likely to freeze it.
-but usually I make another dish with it and never have left over rice.

2010 Nov 20
Who said freezing rice was bad? I said it makes no sense to freeze it before canning it. Sure cooked rice can be kept in the freezer for some time - no problem at all. But of course that takes up freezer space.

2010 Nov 20
Oh, I did not mean to freeze the rice before canning- meant to freeze rice instead of canning.

But I guess if you do not have freezer space canning is better.
I have a small freezer now, so it is quite full with "stuff".

I'm sure if I still had a freezer chest there would be lots in it!
Used to have one a few years ago before moving and always made my own freezer jams (like the taste better than canned jams).

2010 Nov 20
Zym, have you ever had any success canning Basmati rice?

2010 Nov 20
I've never tried basmati, but I have done a number of other things like whole wheat kernels, rice, IIRC millet, and several types of legume. They all seem to work well.

2010 Dec 10
Really quick snack - opened a 500ml jar of organic brown rice and heat in MW 3 minutes (in jar). Use half of it, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons home made chili sauce, mix well.

Yum in just over 3 minutes!

Sep 11
So glad I documented this somewhere. I haven't canned rice in a long time and I want to start doing it again with wild rice this time.

Sep 12
My question is why? With the Instant Pot, I can get rice cooked in 20 mins instead of 35 in the rice cooker if I am really pressed for time.

Sep 17
I can open a jar and heat it in the microwave in 3 minutes.

I canned up wild rice - which nobody else in my family likes. So in the past I'd be cooking rice for everyone else and rice for me. Now I just cook the colon-cancer rice for the family, and open a jar of good rice for me.