knife in bowl of rice

Is it Safe to Store Knives in Rice?

Ever found yourself in a “grainy” situation trying to figure out the best way to store your knives? Well, you might have heard of the trick of keeping knives blade-deep in a jar of rice. At first glance, it seems a bit out there, but there’s a kernel of truth to the benefits this method offers.

First off, rice acts as a natural desiccant. Just like those little packets you find in a new pair of shoes, rice absorbs moisture from the air. Storing your blades in a jar of rice can help keep them dry, reducing the dreaded rust risk. This is especially handy if you’re living in an area where the air is as humid as a steamy shower room.

But, it’s not just about keeping them dry; it’s also about safety. Placing knives in a vertical position in a rice jar means you’re less likely to play a dangerous game of “find the knife” in your kitchen drawer. Plus, the rice offers a soft cushion, protecting the delicate edges from getting dinged. It’s a win-win, right? Well, before you start pouring your basmati into a mason jar, let’s slice a bit deeper.

A grain of caution

kitchen knives and jars of grains

As much as storing knives in rice sounds like a sharp idea, it’s not without its drawbacks. For starters, while rice can keep your blades dry, it can also be a dinner bell for pests. Nobody wants to find their knife storage has turned into a bug buffet. Plus, there’s the cleanliness factor. Rice dust and grains can get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your knives and, over time, this could lead to hygiene issues.

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If you are using more than one knife, storing them all would require a large jar or many small jars of rice, which can take up valuable space on your kitchen counter. In addition, the constant changing of rice — which is necessary to maintain hygiene and prevent pests — can feel wasteful. Speaking to us, Anh Ngo (a knife tester and knife care expert from Healthy Kitchen 101) shares that there’s also the risk of wet rice grains sticking onto the blade and developing mold if you don’t dry your knife completely before storing it in the rice. Anh advises opting for tried-and-true methods such as magnetic strips, knife blocks, or sheaths to keep your blades sharp, clean, and safe.

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