Thermoses come in handy in several situations. They are a considerable way of ensuring that your foods remain warm for as long as possible. You can safely store small to large batches of food for a while. This means that you can carry your home-cooked meal with you or keep your meals warm while camping. So, if you’re wondering if you can store rice in your thermos, you’ve come to the right place.
Almost everyone eats rice. There are so many ways you can cook it, and it’s never a bad idea to want to carry a flask full of your delicious rice with you. But can you? Is it safe to put rice in a thermos? Will it remain warm for a long time? We’ve done some research and put this article together to answer all the questions you might have about storing rice in a thermos. So let’s dive right in!
Can You Put Rice in a Thermos?
The simple answer to this question is a yes. However, it is not that simple. Well, if you need to store uncooked rice, yeah, by all means, you can put it in a thermos. The part with a twist is keeping rice warm in a thermos. Doing this requires some level of caution.
Rice can only stay good for a long time if stored correctly. In a thermos, you’ll have to cook the rice until it’s boiling and ensure its temperature remains over 140°F. This is the only way you can keep it edible. If the temperature drops between 40°F-140°F, there’s a high probability that a bacteria called Bacillus cereus can start to grow in your dish.
So, yes, you can put rice in a thermos, but only under the right conditions. You wouldn’t want to be disappointed that the serving of rice in your thermos that you’ve looked forward to has gone bad.
Some people ask how something as simple as storing rice in a thermos could be dangerous. Some think that if the taste is going bad, you can always reheat it. However, the reality is that food going bad is more than that delicious taste turning unpleasant. It could also make you feel ill.
According to an article in the National Library of Medicine, rice is one of the foods that can contain a bacteria called Bacillus cereus. This strain of bacteria causes food poisoning, vomiting, or diarrhea if its cells multiply. Also, the bacteria can survive at certain temperatures, so they can survive even after the rice is cooked.
So, the best way to avoid such health risks when putting rice in a thermos is to be mindful of the temperature. At temperatures between 40°F-140°F, the bacteria tend to overgrow. That’s why it’s tricky to keep cooked rice in a thermos.
How To Safely Keep Rice in a Thermos
Although putting your rice in a thermos is pretty risky to keep it warm, there’s actually a safe way to do it. While it’s not foolproof, it mitigates the risks of you coming down with food poisoning at work or while you’re out camping.
As we’ve mentioned, you can keep rice warm in a thermos for a long time if you maintain a temperature above 140°F. However, since thermoses can’t remain so hot all the time, the solution is reheating. Turn the rice into a pot and reheat it, or if you have a camping-size thermos that’s okay for cooking, you can conveniently do it.
When you’re reheating the rice, you must reheat it above 165°F. This is the only way to guarantee that any bacteria is dead. Once it’s reheated, you need to eat the rice within an hour before it goes bad.
Alternatively, you can follow these steps to store rice in a thermos safely:
- Fill up the thermos with boiling water and close it for several minutes before emptying it.
- Next, cook your rice well enough to kill any bacteria and ensure it’s hot enough for storage.
- Quickly fill the thermos with the rice, and shut the lid tightly.
- Check the temperature to ensure it’s over 140°F and safe to eat when you’re ready to eat. A small pocket thermometer may come in handy here for you to avoid second-guessing.
The idea behind preheating the thermos with boiling water is to ensure that the stainless steel interior doesn’t absorb the heat from the rice. It also helps keep the rice safe to eat longer.
Hot rice can stay above 140°F for about 4-6 hours before it starts to cool. Once it starts getting cooler, you’ll need to reheat it before it is safe to eat. This is because bacteria can grow on your food, and heat is an excellent way you get rid of them.
However, many other factors can affect how long rice will remain safe to eat in your thermos. For example, if you fail to close the lid correctly, you may be disappointed to check on your meal later and discover it’s too cold to eat. Also, there are brands and types of thermoses that can hold temperatures longer than others.
How to Cook Rice in a Thermos
Unless you’re living off-grid or camping, you may never have to cook rice in a thermos. However, it may be a much safer way to enjoy rice on the go. So, if you ever find yourself needing to cook rice in a thermos, follow these easy steps:
- Fill your thermos with boiling water to preheat it. After about 5 minutes, you can discard the water.
- Boil as much water as you need for the rice in a pot.
- Put in just the amount of rice you want to cook and leave it to boil for a couple of minutes.
- Once it’s cooked, quickly pour the rice into your thermos. Please don’t fill the flask to its brim to avoid spillage or loss of temperature.
- Shut the lid correctly so that heat doesn’t find a way to escape.
- Leave the thermos lying on its side for up to 3 hours.
- Check the temperature before you eat it. If it is below 140°F, you should reheat it first.
Who knows when you may need to store rice in a thermos. But, if the time comes, it makes sense to want to do it correctly. So, we hope that this article has been able to answer any questions about safely keeping the rice in a thermos.
Thermoses are designed to store drinks and food while maintaining their temperature. This is why they were an instant success. After all, many people worldwide love the idea of being able to store their favorite meal or drink for a while longer without losing the taste they love. They are also excellent for ensuring that food remains safe to eat.
While it may be possible to put rice in a thermos, keeping it safe for eating may require some effort. As long as the food stays above 140°F, it won’t spoil. However, lower temperatures are conducive for harmful bacteria to grow. You can ensure your rice is hot enough by reheating it or cooking it in the flask.