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Thread: Problem with Rice Bag

  1. #1
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    Problem with Rice Bag

    I made a set of rice bags for a gift basket for Christmas . I made a long one to go around the neck or shoulders and two small hand-warmers. I used prewashed muslin for the liners and homespun for the covers (to come off for washing). When they were heated in the microwave, the long one and one of the hand warmers worked just fine, as they should. But the rice in the remaining one, swelled and puffed--like styrofoam or popcorn--and filled up the liner. The rice came from the same batch and was a well-known brand (I meant to use generic rice because it is cheaper, but forgot to get it, so I used what I had in the pantry!). I was told the bad one didn't get wet. So, I"m wondering what happened. Have any of you had this problem? I think I will take the errant one back and try it with the generic rice I finally remembered to buy, and see if that works. I suppose I should have tried them out before gifting them, but I didn't.

    Any thoughts??

  2. #2
    Senior Member pinkflowers's Avatar
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    I have made corn bags for many years...just love them. And they do make well-received gifts. I just made my first rice bag because I found an unopened bag of Uncle Ben's long grain that got lost in the cupboard and expired long ago. So I thought I would put the rice to good use. I was pleased with the result, but I'm not sure I want to give up those big feed corn kernels that stay warm so long.
    Anyhow, my thoughts on your puffy rice is this: When I heat a corn bag in the microwave there is a good amount of moisture produced and left on the microwave inner surfaces. Especially with the newest corn bags. I am wondering if the rice in question that puffed up was heated after the others when there was moisture condensation in the microwave and this is what caused the rice to swell.

  3. #3
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    I agree. If you heat up a cup of water or any liquid for that matter and take it out of the microwave, you will notice condensation. Leave the door open to evaporate completely before putting anything like most grains/rice. It will cook a bit.
    Quote Originally Posted by pinkflowers View Post
    I have made corn bags for many years...just love them. And they do make well-received gifts. I just made my first rice bag because I found an unopened bag of Uncle Ben's long grain that got lost in the cupboard and expired long ago. So I thought I would put the rice to good use. I was pleased with the result, but I'm not sure I want to give up those big feed corn kernels that stay warm so long.
    Anyhow, my thoughts on your puffy rice is this: When I heat a corn bag in the microwave there is a good amount of moisture produced and left on the microwave inner surfaces. Especially with the newest corn bags. I am wondering if the rice in question that puffed up was heated after the others when there was moisture condensation in the microwave and this is what caused the rice to swell.

  4. #4
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    I would question how long it was heated, and if being in use and reheated, how much time was added. I think these make great gifts.

  5. #5
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    The wattage of the microwaves may have had something to do with this problem. The moisture idea is good too. Hope you figure it out for the giftee.

    Jan in VA
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  6. #6
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    Could you have mixed some instant rice in with the other. I have not hat this problem. I have used the field corn before but went to rice for my last bag I made. Real strange about what happened.
    Suzanne
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  7. #7
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    Only thing that would do that is moisture. Make sure you don't over heat. Rice burns!

  8. #8
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    Thank you all for your helpful comments. I'll investigate further and try again on lower power shorter time and dryer microwave. It was just so strange!!!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    I use feed corn instead of rice. It holds heat longer, and no issues with moisture, etc. No ideas on the rice issue~~
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  10. #10
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    If the exhaust fan is not strong, then excess moisture will be on the door and inside while the item is heating, this can let the small grains of rice get soft, also heating the bag in one spot hotter then the whole bag is another example of the microwaves of different qualities.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  11. #11
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    Rice burns AND stinks! Ask me how I know...

  12. #12
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    I have beans in my bags, one for my neck and one for my feet. I think they are navy beans. I have been using the same ones for at least two years. At first they STUNK for a bit after they were heated, but that smell doesn't happen anymore.
    The bag for my feet is a piece from an old blanket. It has gotten too hot at some point and has lots of burn marks and even a hole in it. It still works. I put it in the microwave for 99 seconds now and that seems to be just right for MY microwave. I still feel a little moisture every time I heat them.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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