Saturday, July 14, 2012

How To Keep Your Stored Food From Spoiling

Drying, canning, pickling, and smoking are all good methods of food preservation. They all may require specialized equipment. I posted earlier on how to use minimal equipment to dry some food for storage. 

Canning, pickling and smoking are more of a short term way of storing food. It is possible to prepare some foods to last many years without spoiling. I like to use the long term method especially for grains and dried foods.

I start with a 5 gallon bucket. They come with lids that must seal very tightly. The seal has to be good enough to keep out air. The problem with this is that the lids can be very hard to get off of the bucket.
There is a special tool that helps open the lids more easily. You can usually order this lid opener from the places that sell the buckets online.

They also sell smaller and larger buckets. If you are small you probably won't want anything larger than a 5 gallon bucket because it will be too heavy to safely lift. 

Another solution for opening 5 gallon bucket lids is "gamma seals". Gamma seals transform an ordinary 5 gallon bucket into a screw top lid. I like these for foods that I will access frequently, like sugar and grains that I am currently using.

Some of the places on line that sell preparedness, or bulk foods, also sell gamma seals. They are considerably more expensive than regular lids for 5 gallon buckets, but I think they are worth it. I only have a few of them, though.

Five gallon buckets are good for long term storage, but the buckets alone will not keep your food safe from spoilage. Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers will do a lot more to keep your food safe. 

If you want to spend the extra money, you can buy 5 gallon buckets that have the mylar bags and oxygen absorbers inside them. Those buckets usually come sealed with the sealed mylar bags inside them. They already have oxygen absorbers inside the mylar bags. They cost a lot more than doing it yourself. 

If you want to put your food into 5 gallon buckets yourself, you can buy them, the mylar bags and the oxygen absorbers from some of the companies online that sell preparedness or bulk foods. You can buy different sized mylar bags. 

Some mylar bags are bigger than necessary to fill up a 5 gallon bucket. I like those because you can seal the edge. When you cut open the bag to use the contents, you will still have lots of bag left to reseal again and again. I wash out my mylar bags after I use the food stored in them and reuse them. This is not only economical, it is better for our environment.

As often happens, this post is getting too long for my blog, so I  will continue it.

No comments:

Post a Comment