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Aug 16, 2007 04:45 PM

Storage containers for rice and other dry goods?

I know this isn't exactly cookware related, but was wondering what people use to store their rice, flour, sugar, and other dry goods? I was thinking a tupperware type container but am not sure if there will be moisture buildup or other conditions that might cause the food to spoil.

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  1. I buy Rubbermaid plastic jars in assorted sizes at Wally World. I prefer the twist top.

    1. Some sort of canister w/ a lid that has an airtight silicon / rubber seal is best, though I've seen those crazy flour bugs manage to get in anyway in certain situations.

      Stores like The Container Store, Organized Living, Cost Plus, etc. all have good and relatively cheap canisters of various types.

      I like the ones like this:
      though I prefer the ones w/ metal or ceramic sides, and either an opaque top or a clear plastic top.

      I use a labeller to label each canister.

      For bigger stuff, like rice, we got a few of the regular large clear polycarbonate canisters (also with a pretty tight lid). If you buy rice in really large quantities, you need a container of the type used for pet food and stuff.

      My gf's parents just keep the rice in a (clean) trash can and so far so good - but I'd worry about various bugs getting in - here in Southern California at least, there are a lot of those.

      3 Replies
      1. re: will47

        I got some twist-top glass jars from Target long ago. They can hold a regular sized bag of flour and the neck is wide enough for you to put a measuring cup in and scoop. I think they were something like 7 bucks each. I've also seen plastic versions of this, but I liked the glass more.

        As for rice, all the Asians I know (and that's a lot with my extended Chinese family!) store their rice in 5-gallon buckets. This is the type used to store commercial amounts of soy sauce or laundry detergent. These buckets are usually no more than $5 bucks at a hardware store. Just make sure to clean it out really well with soap and water and you're good to go! If you're really nervous about the sanitation of these buckets, I think Alton Brown mentioned a way of disinfecting them on either his Thanksgiving episode or his beer brewing episode (I forget which -- or maybe it's both).

        If you really want to splurge, most Asian grocers have special rice storage/dispensing containers. Many of them are made by Zojirushi and Tiger. They're all rather expensive, though

        1. re: misswills

          You can also get the empty 5 gallon buckets from bakeries- much safer as far as what was in them originally from other places. Most grocery store bakeries will sell them for a $1-$2 each, sometimes even free. If you get really lucky, you might even find some of the smaller, 2 1/2 gallon buckets. I like using them to store what's left of a bag of flour or whatever that won't fit in the container in my kitchen.

        2. re: will47

          The eggs for the "bugs" whether weevils or millers are already in the grains, ceteals etc. When stored where conditions are warm enough they hatch and emerge. That is the reason to keep these products tightly closed and in cooler places. They just cannot be milled out in the processing.

        3. I use the oversized glass canning jars with the wire bale and rubber gasket. I spent some extra money and upgraded to silicone gaskets.

          I use them for flour, sugar, rice, pasta, dog food, beans... everything!

          You can see them here.... but buy them anywhere.

            1. re: jenniebnyc

              I love the Click Clack, but it's very hard to find them anymore. BB&B used to carry a great supply, but sadly, no more. I use a big plastic rectangular container to hold my flour, but the big thing with flour is, when you bring it home from the market but it into the freezer for a few day, it kills all the stuff that brings forth those tiny little bugs.

              1. re: Mother of four

                The Container Store has Click Clack. I have also been able find find quite a few pieces at Home Goods for cheap.

                1. re: jenniebnyc

                  Unfortunately, we don't have either where I am in MI, but I know that they have one in IL where my kids are, so I will be sure and visit the Container Store when I visit them next month Thanks..

                2. re: Mother of four

                  Last year when I started baking more I moved to Click Clack containers. They've been great. I bought most of mine at BB&B, but it looks like Amazon has several of their products.

                  1. re: debbiel

                    Agree on Click Clack. They are large enough to hold the entire 5 lb bag of flour, and the mouth is wide enough that it is easy to measure the flour (or sugar) above the cannister, and use a knife to sweep the excess back into the cannister.

              2. I bought a set of 3 rubbermaid-type containers with flip top lids at Christmas Tree Shoppes for under $5. I use it to store the basmati rice I buy in bulk, and they worked great. I'm down to my last 6 cups of a 14lb bag and have had no problems.