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Posted: 11/15/2007 12:24:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/10/2008 10:34:49 AM EDT by freemanesq]
The issue of “How do I store food in buckets?” seems to have a regular appearance here so I decided to document my process this last weekend. I’ll start with what you need to have on hand and various sources of for these items. Then we’ll move on to packaging and storing for the long term.

What you need and where to get it (and where to get it)

I’m going to assume you know what food stuff to get and where to get it. Others may want to comment on what they store and where they purchase (or acquire) it.

Buckets – There are various sources and ideals about buckets. Many people secure used food grade bucket from their local grocery or bakery. You will want to wash those bucket out with soap and water. I tend to buy new buckets from Lowe’s just because I don’t want to wash them out. You can also find these buckets at Wal-mart or any home improvement store. You can purchase these buckets online at places like U.S. Plastic, but the shipping may be cost prohibitive.

Lids – There are several different types of lids. There are simple lids that just snap on. There are also Gamma seal lids that are air tight and easy to remove. I use lids with gaskets and the little tabs that need to be cut to remove the lid (like to the tamper evidence quality of these lids). I purchase these lids at U.S. Plastic for about $1.60 each. Generally, I’ll buy a bunch to have around. I bought 30 in the last order and shipping was about $10.

Mylar bags – Whether you have new or used buckets, food grade or not food grade buckets, it’s a wise idea to store your food in something that will be a barrier between the food and the bucket. You can purchase Mylar bags in various dimensions and thicknesses. I have purchased large (30” x 20”) 5 mil bags from Sorbient Systems online. Most recently, I purchased smaller bags (14” x 14”) 7 mil bags from the LDS Church online. I am not an LDS member, but they don’t care. The price was good in my opinion (250 bags for $90) with shipping about $10 because 250 of these bags are heavy.

Oxygen Absorbers – You need to take as much Oxygen out of the bags as possible. It kills any beasties who may be in certain foods and helps the food last longer (as far as I can tell). You can get Oxygen absorbers all different places online. I’ve bought from Sorbient Systems and the LDS Church. The prices were comparable. Sorbient Systems sells various sizes and LDS church sells in one size but packaged in 100 count bags. I think the LDS price was around $12 for a 100 count bag

Permanent Marker – you need a felt tip permanent marker to write on the Mylar bags and the buckets.

Iron – This is a standard clothes iron that you likely already own.

Scrap wood – A scrap pieces of lumber (or any hard work surface that will not be hurt by high heat) is needed to seal the Mylar bags.

Desiccant (Optional) – Some folks us desiccant and some don’t. YMMV. I’ve used it in the past, but I didn’t use it on this round of storage.

Dry Ice (Optional) – Some folks use dry ice to remove oxygen. I have never tried it and do not cover this below.

Bucket lid opener (Optional) – Depending the bucket lid you use, you may want have a opener.

Here’s a view of a typical Sunday afternoon with bulk food and buckets.


This picture shows the bucket lids I like to use. They are from U.S. Plastics and have a nice gasket seal. The gasket gives you an extra layer of protection in case your Mylar bag fails or was not properly sealed. Some people squirt a bead of silicone to seal their buckets if the lid does not have a gasket.



This picture shows a stack to 250 7mil Mylar bags. They are approximately 14” x14” (I included the Diet Coke can for scale.) Not shown in this picture – I also have some 30” x 20” bags that can be used to store a lot of the same item in a single bucket. In this exercise I use the big bags to store spaghetti.


Here are oxygen absorbers I got from the LDS Church (the glass container was not included). The came sealed in a plastic bag. When you open them, you need to put them in an airtight container (duh) while waiting to use them. You’ll know they are working because they let off heat.


How to store food - With Small Bags

This is my first time using the smaller Mylar bags. They are very handy in size.

The first thing I do is write on the empty bag. I record some of the same information I write on the bucket later.

This includes:
• What food is inside
• Where I bought the food (in case there’s a recall, etc.)
• The date I stored it
• The initials of who stored it ( plan on pre-placing certain buckets a family and friends houses)
• What else I put in the bag – for instance, I put 4 Oxygen absorbers in this bag of rice.

Place the bag in a clean bucket and have someone hold one side of the bag against the edge of the bucket. Either pour or scoop the material inside the bag. Since we used a clean bucket, take the part you spilled and put it in the bag.

Fill the bag as shown to about 4 or 5 inches from the top.


Shake the bag to settle the material. Carefully fold the excess Mylar over so that you can lay the bag on your work surface. Carefully unfold the flap that we just made and lay it on a your scrap wood. Using an iron on the “Wool” setting (very hot) I iron one half of the Mylar bag. At this point, pick the bag up and insert the Oxygen absorbers through the opening. Then I fold the back up trying to squeeze any excess air in the bag out. Then put the flap back on the board and iron the rest of the bag.


When the bag is completely sealed it will look like this. The bag does not hurt, stain, stink or do anything else bad to the iron, so feel free to use the family iron. Please be careful in handling the sealed edge of the bag because it’s hot (sorry – had to say it).


I generally fit 4 or 5 of these bags in each bucket depending on how much material I put in each bag. This picture shows the full bucket.


How to store food - With Large Bags

There are a few differences when using the large bags. This picture shows how the empty bag looks when inserted into the 5 gallon bucket. As you can tell, there is plenty of Mylar material left over for sealing the bag.


This picture shows 18 pounds of Spaghetti Pasta from Sam’s Club. These easily fit into the bag and bucket.


The process and philosophy for sealing the large bags is a little different than the small bags. This picture shows the board I use and the bag after it’s been flattened out by its seams. Put your Oxygen absorbers at this point because we won’t be opening the bag again until you need the food.


Different folks do different things here. I place the edge of the Mylar bag on the board, squeeze out as much air as possible, and wrap it one turn then put the board down on the top of the bucket. Do not wrap too many times because you want the board to be directly behind the layer of bag you’re trying to seal.


Here is the seal on the bag. You’ll notice that the seal is not next to the food stuff like we sealed the smaller bags. Since the large bags likely hold more food then you’ll need if opened, we want to seal the bag close to the outside edge. That means, when you open this bag later, you will need to cut the sealed portion of the bag away. You may then reseal the bag further down if needed.


Use a rubber mallet to seat the bucket lid. If you don’t have a rubber mallet, you can use a regular hammer and a board. Place the board on top of the bucket and start hammering.



Results

I hate breaking the seals on buckets until I really need what’s inside. Therefore, I write a short story on the outside of the bucket.

The notes include:
• What food is inside
• How much by weight (so I can visually inventory)
• What its stored in (i.e. one big bag, multiple smaller bags or original packaging)
• Where I bought the food (in case there’s a recall, etc.)
• The date I stored it
• The initials of who stored it (I plan on pre-placing certain buckets at family and friend’s houses)


Here’s a picture of the afternoon’s work. This took about 2.5 hours with the help of a 6 and 4 year old. (Also note, you will make a mess when storing flour with the help of small children).

As you can see I ran out of buckets for the last few bags. This picture will give those just starting an idea of the volume certain amounts of food take up on buckets. Here’s what’s shown in the buckets:

• 75 pounds of bread flour
• 50 pounds of sugar
• 20 pounds of basmati rice
• 18 pounds of spaghetti pasta
• 7 pounds of powdered sugar
• 16 pounds of brown sugar
• 24 – one gallon tea bags



Storing the buckets

As with most items we keep, these buckets like a cool dry place. I’ve read not to stack them over three buckets high. These lids that I use are pretty tough but I’ll only stack higher than three buckets if the contents are very light.

I hope this helps clarify this process for a lot of folks just getting started. Seeing pictures generally helps me a little better than the written word alone.

Here is a PDF version of this tutorial if you would like to save it.

____________________________________

#10 Cans

This is a tutorial on how to store food in #10 (“number ten”) cans. There are several places online to purchase #10 cans, lids, and oxygen absorbers online and locally. The cans I used were purchased at the local LDS Bishop’s Storehouse. I am not an LDS member so a person I work with was kind enough to let me go with him to purchase commodities and storage material. Here is an order sheet for commodities and supplies from the Bishop's Storehouse.

An additional benefit of this relationship is getting to borrow the actual canner for applying the lids. The canners are expensive (around $1,500) so it’s a good option to borrow one. My understanding is that most LDS churches will lend the canner (but I’m not sure but I’ll be someone will come along to clarify).

Getting Started:

I was able to purchase a lot of commodities during my visit to the Bishop’s Storehouse. However, I have been picking up five to 10 pounds of different bean each time I go to the grocery store. By the time we were ready to can, we had a large pile of food to put up. Since we were borrowing the canner, we wanted to put everything up in one session.

Things You’ll Need:
* Food
* #10 Cans
* Metal Can Lids
* Oxygen Absorbers
* A few plastic can lids
* Boxes for cans
* Permanent Marker

Setting up the canner:

The canner is very heavy and it needs to be clamped to a table or workbench. This canner came with two C-clamp for attaching to the table. I used a table I built last year for reloading.



To get started, you need to set out the cans, put appropriate food in them, and add an oxygen absorber. In this picture, you see a bunch of dehydrated potato flakes and one oxygen absorber.



The cans have a flared top (it’s hard to see in these pictures) and the can lids are larger than flared top.

Sealing The Can:

To seal, put the can on the white base and lift the white handle on the bottom of the canner. This presses the can lid to the top surface of the canner. This action clamps the can into place for crimping.



Now press the button that makes the can spin around. There’s a handle at the top of the unit that crimps the lid over the flared top of the can. The instructions state to pull the handle for three rotations of the can the push the handle for three rotations.



It’s difficult to see from this picture, but there is a second “wheel” on the back side of the unit that engages when you push the handle.

This picture shows the resulting seal.



The next step is to write on the can before you forget what’s in it because they all look alike. I write what’s in the can, where I purchased the food (in case there’s a recall or other issue), and the date. I also write this same information on the box that I put the cans in. In addition, I write how many cans are in the box and the approximate weight of the box (this helps when you want to inventory).

This picture shows the finished product ready to be sealed up. You’ll note that I include one plastic lid in each box. This will allow you to protect partial cans after opening.



Summary:

This is a very good way to store food. The food stacking density is pretty high compared to storing in five gallon buckets. In addition, this method is very fast and clean compared to storing in the smaller Mylar bags.

Here is a PDF of this tutorial if you would like to save a copy.

Let me know if you have any questions.

R.
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 12:44:49 PM EDT
Very nice!
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 12:53:03 PM EDT


That looks great!


Thanks for the info
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 1:54:40 PM EDT
Good job..

Where to get the bags?
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 2:39:22 PM EDT
tag-o-rama
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 3:05:53 PM EDT
Great thread. Thanks for posting the pics.

BTW, are you rotating that flour? Are you storing wheat also, or just flour?

Flour isn't going to have as long a shelf life as ungrinded wheat.
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 4:42:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By foxherb53:
Good job..

Where to get the bags?


Check the top - there are two links, one to the LDS website, and one to Sorbient (sp?).


Great tutorial and bonus points for having not only your toes in one of the bucket pictures, but also the toes of your helpers!

Link Posted: 11/15/2007 5:00:32 PM EDT
i'm glad i'm not the only weirdo out there...

even after y2k and 9/11 etc. my folks were a still a little skeptical(though they put a few preps away for y2k)on longer term preparation. but after katrina, they stopped asking me why i kept bringing home bulk bags of food and buckets/bags and storing all kinds of stuff in my childhood bedroom. now they they understand that i will be coming "home" in the event of some real "bad shit", and that the food is for all of us, they are very ok with the idea, and have even started making some signifigant preparations as well.
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 6:35:48 PM EDT
great post!

I got two pickle buckets from the cafeteria at work, those should be fine for this, right?

Thanks,

Nathan
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 7:02:16 PM EDT
How long can you expect this stuff to keep??? Or did I read over that?

Link Posted: 11/15/2007 7:38:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mndless:
How long can you expect this stuff to keep??? Or did I read over that?



Depends what the food is. The white rice he did should last years. The spaghetti, years as well. Sugar will last a long time as long as it doesn't get wet.
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 7:44:11 PM EDT
fantastic write-up! thanks

Link Posted: 11/15/2007 7:46:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 8:03:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/15/2007 8:04:12 PM EDT by AC_Doctor]
Killer info and pics!!!

Thanks for your great contribution!!!

AC
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 8:06:48 PM EDT
great write up!
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 8:09:47 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 9:08:22 PM EDT
I was going to get some rice from SAMs but do you have any idea how much will fit in a 5gal bucket?
I got my buckets and lids from the local hardware store and they were price comparable when you factor in shipping.

Thanks for the info...
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 9:10:13 PM EDT
Very informative post. Thanks for sharing. I downloaded the PDF for future use.
Thanks again!!

smitty
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 9:11:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By medicmandan:

Originally Posted By Gixxersixxer:

Originally Posted By Mndless:
How long can you expect this stuff to keep??? Or did I read over that?



Depends what the food is. The white rice he did should last years. The spaghetti, years as well. Sugar will last a long time as long as it doesn't get wet.


How long on the various flours and grains?

Great tutorial!


Here's a quick and dirty link
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 9:46:17 PM EDT
Excellent info!

Though I like to use 1 gallon freezer zip locks, because a.)the mylar bags aren't as useful after you open them, and b.)the zip locks are more easily available.

As for de-bugging, I then freeze the bags in the freezer for a few days, take them out and dry the outsides off, (condensation) and then into the buckets for long term storage.

Just an alternative method for those that want options...
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 10:12:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/15/2007 11:44:57 PM EDT by freemanesq]
Everyone - thanks for the kind words. I'll respond to a few of the questions that haven't already been answered.

1. Pickle buckets should be fine. Make sure all pickle stink is gone.

2. We're using this bread flour so no telling how long it will last. We've started eating what we store. That means cooking and it's been a good thing for our family. We've started looking for a wheat grinder and are moving in that direction.

3. Rice from Sam's - It generally takes two of the 5 gallon buckets for 50 lbs. of rice. As a general rule, I count on 25 lbs of something per bucket (just not oats or other light stuff).

4. Kar15 - I'm right there with you. My in-laws thing we're nuts b/c we store stuff. We're considering sneaking a couple of buckets into their house and hide them. Then leave a "open in case of emergency" note with directions. You never know.

ETA 5. I wouldn't worry about having food grade buckets if you're using Mylar. With that said, don't be goofy and use a bucket that had any bad stuff in it (acid, poison, pictures of Hillary Clinton, etc.)

R.
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 11:35:35 PM EDT
Great Info!! Thanks for sharing!

c0

There are some things in life that you just can't fix, stupidity is the highest one on the list.
falloutshelter653.org
Link Posted: 11/15/2007 11:40:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/15/2007 11:41:04 PM EDT by fortunesfool223]
Freemanesq - Thanks for the report!

Do you recommend "food grade" plastic buckets to store food sealed in mylar? I've got some bulk rice and beans to store and I'm uncertain if I need to hunt for the food grade plastic........
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 2:27:16 AM EDT
Excellent post--it really helps to take the mystery out of the bucket-and-mylar-bag-storage thing.

Personally, I think if someone is going to that much effort (which really isn't that much effort, but you know what I mean), it's probably also worth doing the dry ice thing to displace most of the ambient oxygen. If using a large mylar bag, just put two or three tablespoons of dry ice in the bottom of the bag before adding the food, then add food, then put another tablespoon of dry ice on top of the food. Wait half an hour or 45 minutes. Then seal the mylar bag. The CO2 is heavier than air and will have displaced most of the O2.

Also, by far the most expensive part of the process you outline is the cost of the buckets and lids. Yet their only purpose is to protect the mylar bags from tearing, or more likely, being punctured from the outside. If you have a safe place to store the filled bags without the buckets and lids, like some shelving or even under a bed, you can store a lot more food in less space and at a much lower cost. Yes there's a greater risk of puncturing a bag, but you could double up the bags for a lot less than buying a bucket and lid if you're worried. There's also a greater risk of mice getting into the bag, but I've got mice and they've gotten into some food stocks I didn't expect, but they've never gone into the naked mylar bags with food, probably because the mylar doesn't let the food scent pass through.

Just a couple thoughts, but again, great post.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 2:42:46 AM EDT
Thanks for a great post.

A question about the O2 absorbers....what size did you use and how many did you use on the large mylar bag?
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 3:03:31 AM EDT
This week on survivalblog Jim posted a response to a question about how long things last...


Freshness Tests for Storage Foods

Jim,
Numerous web sites and books provide information about average food shelf life. However, this shelf life greatly depends for instance upon temperature (food generally stores proportionately longer at cooler temperatures), thus a properly stored food item could be good to consume well past its 'expected' expiration date.
Sometimes discoloration (for instance) is not a show stopper. Do you or your readers know of some simple 'freshness test' to ensure that a given food product is good or not (or is that a stupid question)?
I can start with what I gathered from the Internet:

- Baking powder
Freshness test: Mix 1 teaspoon with 1/3 cup of hot water. It it foams vigorously, then it still has rising power.

- Baking Soda
Freshness test: Mix 1 1/2 teaspoons in a bowl with 1 teaspoon of vinegar. It it fizzles, then it will still help leaven a food made with flour when it is cooked.

- Oil (olive)
Freshness test: An unpleasant smell or taste indicates the oil is rancid or oxidized.

- Shortening
Freshness test: Stored too long it will go rancid and develop a bad taste and odor.

- Spices (grounded)
Freshness test: Smell a ground spice to check if aroma is potent.

- Vinegar.
Vinegar sold commercially is pasteurized. Therefore an unopened container should last indefinitely when stored in a cool and dark place. Once opened however, vinegar should last about 3 months if tightly
sealed.
Freshness test: Any sediment that develops can be strained out.
Vinegar should be clear and look clean, not cloudy. If mold develops later, throw the vinegar away.


Before we store anything we put a chuck of dry ice to displace any air from the buckey/bag. Just make sure it is just evaporated before you close up the bucket. I use desicant and O2 absorbers.. We have just open a bucket of Hard wheat berries from 1999 and they were still fresh.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 4:26:42 AM EDT
Mods, If this thread doesn't get tacked there is no justice in the world!

Link Posted: 11/16/2007 6:25:41 AM EDT
I get the food grade buckets with sealing lids from the local grocery store bakery. I have to clean the icing out of them but they are free. Also check with your Wal-Mart bakery. They sell the buckets for $1.00 cleaned out. I simply clean them out and then poor in the food item. I just opened a bucket of rice that was 4 years old the other day and there were no issues. Which reminds me, I need to grab another 50lb bag from Sams.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 7:48:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ThePrepared_com:
I get the food grade buckets with sealing lids from the local grocery store bakery. I have to clean the icing out of them but they are free. Also check with your Wal-Mart bakery. They sell the buckets for $1.00 cleaned out. I simply clean them out and then poor in the food item. I just opened a bucket of rice that was 4 years old the other day and there were no issues. Which reminds me, I need to grab another 50lb bag from Sams.


you can do teh buckets with out mylar, but. plastics will soak up"smells" and leach them into your foods. so if you go that route store them up tight .

ive had rice over 3 yrs old now,, no bags and no issues.

but use stricly mylars now a days.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 8:35:22 AM EDT
great write up
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 9:24:37 AM EDT
Is there a big advantage from using mylar bags to using foodsaver bags and vac sealing? I have been using the Tila and vac sealing and then placing in buckets/bins/totes. Just wondering if the mylar has an advantage over foodsaver?
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 9:45:22 AM EDT
You just gave me some stuff to do over xmas break. Gonna see if the neighbors want in too.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 11:54:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By zoe17:
Is there a big advantage from using mylar bags to using foodsaver bags and vac sealing? I have been using the Tila and vac sealing and then placing in buckets/bins/totes. Just wondering if the mylar has an advantage over foodsaver?


+1, I allready have a vacume saver.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 12:03:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By colklink:

Originally Posted By zoe17:
Is there a big advantage from using mylar bags to using foodsaver bags and vac sealing? I have been using the Tila and vac sealing and then placing in buckets/bins/totes. Just wondering if the mylar has an advantage over foodsaver?


+1, I allready have a vacume saver.


mylar wont leech smells etc . plastic isnt as water tight over time. take frezzer bag, fill with italian dressing,, youll smell the dressing after a few days.....mylar doesnt do that once it is sealed thats it.
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 2:12:11 PM EDT
Can you use Mylar bags and a vac. sealer? Do they work well together?

Link Posted: 11/16/2007 8:11:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By zoe17:
Is there a big advantage from using mylar bags to using foodsaver bags and vac sealing? I have been using the Tila and vac sealing and then placing in buckets/bins/totes. Just wondering if the mylar has an advantage over foodsaver?


Folks if youll refer to training film tremors 2 burt clearly states plastic is not an oxygen barrier...they are fine for short term but when you talk years oxygen will get in and allow things to go bad........and +1 on the mylar in a vacum sealer.....anyone try it ??
Link Posted: 11/16/2007 11:58:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By uncool:

Originally Posted By zoe17:
Is there a big advantage from using mylar bags to using foodsaver bags and vac sealing? I have been using the Tila and vac sealing and then placing in buckets/bins/totes. Just wondering if the mylar has an advantage over foodsaver?


Folks if youll refer to training film tremors 2 burt clearly states plastic is not an oxygen barrier...they are fine for short term but when you talk years oxygen will get in and allow things to go bad........and +1 on the mylar in a vacum sealer.....anyone try it ??


Maybe if your burying the stuff in your yard...

How short a term are you talking? In a 1 gallon zip lock double seal, and then a 5 gallon food grade bucket, and then stored in a clean basement? I bet wheat lasts 10+ years under those conditions. Moisture's the real enemy, not the minute amounts of oxygen that gets through.

Yes, mylar is better, but at what cost? In the mean time get some rice/beans/wheat and zip locks and get some food stored. When you see the mylar bags and the vacuum sealer and get it perfect, redo it. If you don't and SHTF in 3 months, be glad you didn't wait around looking for the perfect mylar bags.

Link Posted: 11/17/2007 8:27:25 AM EDT
How short a term are you talking? In a 1 gallon zip lock double seal, and then a 5 gallon food grade bucket, and then stored in a clean basement? I bet wheat lasts 10+ years under those conditions. Moisture's the real enemy, not the minute amounts of oxygen that gets through.

Yes, mylar is better, but at what cost? In the mean time get some rice/beans/wheat and zip locks and get some food stored. When you see the mylar bags and the vacuum sealer and get it perfect, redo it. If you don't and SHTF in 3 months, be glad you didn't wait around looking for the perfect mylar bags."

I agree with the "do something even if it's wrong" thing. Seeing as there is a LOT of people out there now that want to wait until they get the perfect setup, until they get "all the data", etc. etc. it usually drags into where they never take any forward action. I pity there hungry families when the time comes.


Having 20+ years of experience in storing food in various climates, putting 80% of it up myself mostly in superpails and #10 cans, I can tell you that most of the FOOD GRADE PLASTICS- i.e, the ziplock type baggies are designed simply for short term use. Most plastics now a days (the lighter ones) are designed to BIODEGRADE. You can thank the environazi tree huggin granola crunching hippies for that.

Also, thin plastics like that are NOT vapor barriers so 1. they won't hold oxygen out long term and 2. they WILL ALLOW in various gas vapors. So if you now or if there is a chance in the future that where you are storing your food has any gas smells, chemical smells, etc. it WILL enter into your food without mylar. That's the reason why using soda pop bottles isn't too smart also.

Even the basic grains are getting more and more expensive. We should avoid "stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime" by spending the couple of bucks to get mylar and o2 absorbers versus trying these various half way methods. THAT is the way professional packers pack and if you do it properly with WHOLE GRAINS (flour won't store long term IME, that's why you grind your own) your grandkids will be rotating it for you.

For the "do it once and do it right" crowd, mylars and oxygen absorbers is the way to go. Sure if you gotta do something and for whatever reason can't buy the mylars at $2. or less each, then use sandwich baggies for the time being.

Also, for the "convenience" related crowd that has the arguement "well I pack everything in little cutesy 1 lb. packages", is your TIME worth anything? I'm sure if you counted the costs of 50 of the little cutesy sandwich bags (yellow and blue make green!) you'd be able to figure out that you could have bought 1 maybe 2 mylars with that money.

Guys, here's a news flash- when you open the mylar bag, your food is not going to blow away into the wind, suddenly go bad or lose it's shelf life, it just doesn't happen that way. With WHOLE FOODS, i.e, unprocessed grains, legumes, etc. you would simply take the lid off the bucket, cut a small snip in the top of the mylar (since there so ungodly expensive you'll want to use them again right? And you can use them again) and scoop out what you need. Then you roll the mylar back down on itself and put the lid back on. WHOLE FOODS WILL LAST FOR YEARS STILL THIS WAY INSIDE YOUR HOUSE.

Again, this is all based on experience with storing food over 2 decades. Hope it helps.
Lowdown3
Link Posted: 11/20/2007 11:48:43 AM EDT
The ziplock bags won't keep out O2 (and to a less degree water.) Additional adsorbers would help, packing them in a single mylar bag lining the 5 gallon bucket would fix the problem.

If we are talking wheat or sugar, I'm not sure you need to do anything. OTOH, rice, sugar, corn, wheat, and beans you eat frequentally probally don't need to be packed in anything smaller than a 5 gallon bucket. I don't see the $2-3 dollars for a large mylar bag detering anyone.

I nitrogen flush everything anyway. Once you have the gear, it doesn't take more then 45 seconds. Lots quicker than dry ice. I can post pictures if anyone wants.

I get about 40 lbs of rice to a 5 gallon bucket leaving enough space for the top of the bad and the lid. I probally get an extra 10% in by lifting the bucket 1" and dropping it about a dozen times. Besides getting more rice in, you are reducing airspace.

Like someone else said, I use old buckets and new lids. have bought a couple of new buckets because I ran out and wanted to pack the stuff now.
Link Posted: 4/17/2008 11:16:06 PM EDT
Thought I'd bump this, what with all the mylar and bucket questions posted in the last couple of days.
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 7:36:37 AM EDT
Finally!!!! I've been meaning to do this myself, so I could show my sister and my folks, but this makes it SOOOOO easy. Thanks!!
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 10:04:05 AM EDT
That is awesome info.
Link Posted: 4/18/2008 11:05:08 AM EDT
Awesome! I especially love the pdf you made for permanent storage and reference!!!!

THANKS!!!
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 8:44:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Country_Boy:
The ziplock bags won't keep out O2 (and to a less degree water.) Additional adsorbers would help, packing them in a single mylar bag lining the 5 gallon bucket would fix the problem.

If we are talking wheat or sugar, I'm not sure you need to do anything. OTOH, rice, sugar, corn, wheat, and beans you eat frequentally probally don't need to be packed in anything smaller than a 5 gallon bucket. I don't see the $2-3 dollars for a large mylar bag detering anyone.

I nitrogen flush everything anyway. Once you have the gear, it doesn't take more then 45 seconds. Lots quicker than dry ice. I can post pictures if anyone wants.

I get about 40 lbs of rice to a 5 gallon bucket leaving enough space for the top of the bad and the lid. I probally get an extra 10% in by lifting the bucket 1" and dropping it about a dozen times. Besides getting more rice in, you are reducing airspace.

Like someone else said, I use old buckets and new lids. have bought a couple of new buckets because I ran out and wanted to pack the stuff now.


Could you please post that info about nitrogen flushing.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 9:27:50 PM EDT
WHat is the preffered place to buy mylar bags and O2 absorbers?
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 9:43:08 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HighLighter:
Mods, If this thread doesn't get tacked there is no justice in the world!



+1

jim
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 10:20:59 PM EDT
Tag


I've been putting up canned goods for a while, so I think I better get started on some whole grains , sugar , powdered eggs, ect....

Does anyone store in a 5 gal bucket , a little bit of this and that ( 5 lbs of sugar , 10 lbs of flour , beans , rice ) in one bucket, (like a mre ) , instead of 40 lbs of rice only. My thinking was if you opened a bucket up you wouldnt have to worry about sealing it back up as well , you would be able to use it up quicker, once opened ????

Those of you, that were talking, of making buckets up for family and friends , I think this might be a way to go , so that they get a little of everything.

Also does anyone know of a economy mill for grain , or do you just bite the bullet and get the expensive ones??

Thanks !
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 10:29:17 PM EDT
Nice write up. Thanks.
Link Posted: 4/20/2008 10:49:10 PM EDT
tag!!!
Link Posted: 4/21/2008 12:29:05 AM EDT
I am amazed at how much easier that is than I had imagined it.

Don't know exactly what I was imagining, but it was difficult and expensive. This, clearly, is not.

Thanks a ton. This is what I come to the SF for.
Link Posted: 4/21/2008 12:35:11 AM EDT
Does anybody know if FreemanESQ is still active? I was hoping he'd jump in and say hello after I bumped it and the search doesn't return any recent posts.
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