Author Topic: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix  (Read 43335 times)

Offline ElyasWolff

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How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« on: October 14, 2008, 02:35:08 PM »
I felt like writing a how-to article just for this new forum. This is my first “how-to”, so cut me some slack.
There are many ways to store food long term, this is my way.

The first thing you need is some dry food products, things like dried beans and white rice work well, but you will want more than just that. Pasta, oats, salt, sugar, hard white wheat, dried milk and powdered cheese sauce will help to make things a little less dull. Those staples will last 10-20 years is stored properly (not including the milk products) If you keep a good stock of caned goods and have a stocked spice rack it makes these staples much more palatable. I.E. cook some spaghetti noodles, ad some butter and pour a small can of tomato sauce on it. Not gourmet, but stores long and is very cheap, you can always experiment with spices.

Ok so now that that is out of the way you will need to buy some Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers. You can find 1gallon bags and absorbers from the Mormon church web site. Or from here http://www.sorbentsystems.com/mylar.html
Mylar comes in different thicknesses, 5-7mil thick bags are ideal. I use 7 mil bags (8.0" x 8.0" O.D. - PAKDRY1500 7.0mil High barrier bag, They are $37.50 for 100.) Unlike some I use the smaller bags. That way I can just pull out a small bag to fix a meal or two, instead of unsealing 3-5 gallons of food.



Next if you have a Food Saver or equivalent you are set to seal the bags. Write the contents of the bag and the seal date on with a sharpie. Fill 5-10 bags with food, place in oxygen absorbers (and desiccant packets if you wish) then place the rest of your bag of O2 absorbers in a glass jar and close the lid.
Take one Mylar pouch full of food and place it in the food saver. I seal the top of the pouch once, then flip it over and seal it again… 2 is one and 1 is none etc. Don’t be alarmed if it does not suck out the oxygen from the pouch, it is normal. After a few hours the O2 absorber you placed in the pouch will suck it down.



So now you have all these sealed Mylar bags. Good job, you will want something secure, rodent proof, and easy to carry to pack them in. Rubbermaid bins work, but they cost money and can get heavy quick. Go to your local supermarket bakery (not Wal-Mart) and ask them if they can spare any empty white buckets. They can vary 3 to 5 gallons in size. The bakery usually trashes (or recycles) the buckets anyway.
If you have Safeway in your area, their bakery’s use 3gallon buckets, and all the lids are O-Ring sealed.



The small pouches do not fill the bucket as well as a single bag, but you have the benefit of not unsealing a whole bucket of food. Get creative with the pouch arrangement you can pack more of them in there than you think. It will help if you pack them in before the O2 absorber sucks down the bag. That way the bag will be more flexible, because it does not have a full vacuum on it..



Label the bucket and you are ready to squirrel it away in a good place. They stack well in the back of a closet, and are kept cool that way.


Yeah I know, beer + Sharpie = bad spelling

Hope I was able to help you guys and galls out,

Offline archer

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 03:37:14 PM »
Great! Where did you get the sealer?

Chellieanne

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 03:49:53 PM »
Thank for the information and the photos.  I have never seen these bags and wondered how it all worked. I do have a food sealer but have never been happy with it-works well sometimes.  May have to invest in a new one.

A few years ago I gave away a Pressure Cooker Canner-thought I would never do that again-Big regret!


Offline ColdHaven

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 04:02:59 PM »
I saw on one site where you can get mylar bags with a ziplock top so that you can seal and unseal. How well do you think that would work? Is it more expensive to buy smaller bags than one large one? How much does the sealer cost? Sorry for all the questions, but I am new to food storage. Hmmm...I wonder how well that billtong stuff Jack talked about would keep in one of those?

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 04:21:38 PM »
Great! Where did you get the sealer?
I got mine at Target for about $35 or so.

There are other methods to seal these. An iron can work for the larger bags. The food savers are just the most convenient to seal small bags.

I saw on one site where you can get mylar bags with a ziplock top so that you can seal and unseal. How well do you think that would work? Is it more expensive to buy smaller bags than one large one? How much does the sealer cost? Sorry for all the questions, but I am new to food storage. Hmmm...I wonder how well that billtong stuff Jack talked about would keep in one of those?

I would not trust the seal. Oxygen and light and high temps are your enemies. Plus the zip-loc bags are really expensive.
The smaller bags end up being more expensive than 3 or 5 gallon bags, and you use up more o2 absorbers (you buy smaller ones to match the size of the bag) and time. But I like the assurance of having smaller bags, incase one looses it's seal. Or if I just need a smaller amount of food for a meal.

The plastic food saver bags are awesome for packing stuff for camping or a BOB. But the plastic will let in light and air, so it is a nogo for long term storage.
I warn you though, if you buy one, you will look at things differently. And will end up sealing stuff just for the heck of it (ammo for example  ::) )
« Last Edit: October 14, 2008, 04:27:48 PM by ElyasWolff »

Offline Spamity Calamity

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 07:36:12 PM »
What about that method that Jack mentioned with using unused paint cans and oxygen absorbers. Do you still need the mylar bags?

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 08:27:17 PM »
What about that method that Jack mentioned with using unused paint cans and oxygen absorbers. Do you still need the mylar bags?

I don’t know. But I would think that as long as they were perfectly clean, and had no chance to leach chemicals into the food. Then you could probably get away with it. Might be a good idea to seal the lid with RTV or wax.

Offline archer

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2008, 08:42:37 PM »
...I wonder how well that billtong stuff Jack talked about would keep in one of those?

From what Jack says about the taste, you better make sure it's a re-sealable bag since it does not last long..

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 08:57:11 PM »
That article is a +1 in my book..great job

Offline chris

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2008, 09:35:21 PM »
I used an iron to put up some wheat, and I'd rather have a clam shell sealer. The iron works, but the last corner gets bunched up when you squeeze the air out and you have to leave the iron on longer.

Offline lonestar

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2008, 09:39:48 PM »
Check harborfreight.com under impulse sealer

Offline Mr. Blank

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 02:16:33 PM »
Great post! Just what we need in this section.

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 10:36:24 PM »
Went and got a bucket from Damascus Safeway's bakery they said they would save me some more. Thanks for the great idea...

Offline IRKCOD

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2008, 02:10:40 AM »
There was a recent post on Instructables showing how to vacuum seal ziplock bags using a vacuum cleaner.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Vacuum-Sealer/

Have tried it with zip-bags of rice and flour prior to putting them away in drums.   They sealed reasonably well, though not into hard blocks.

Offline flagtag

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2008, 02:16:22 PM »
Question: Why NOT Wal-Mart?  Just curious. Thanks for the post, btw.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2008, 09:49:33 PM »
Question: Why NOT Wal-Mart?  Just curious. Thanks for the post, btw.

Because they have a corp. policy that says they cant give them away.

IRKCOD, you can also use a straw and your mouth to suck the air out of zip loc bags. but they wont hold a vacuum well   :(

Offline IRKCOD

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2008, 10:36:27 PM »
Thanks ElyasWolf.

Tried the straw, but became 'a pain in the but' as kept letting the pressure go after the first 10 or so goes. Was putting 50kg of rice into snack size portion control packs of 2 cup per pack.

Offline flagtag

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #17 on: October 18, 2008, 10:43:25 PM »
Question: Why NOT Wal-Mart?  Just curious. Thanks for the post, btw.

Because they have a corp. policy that says they cant give them away.

IRKCOD, you can also use a straw and your mouth to suck the air out of zip loc bags. but they wont hold a vacuum well   :(

Thanks for the info. I didn't know that.

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2008, 09:07:30 AM »
I got 30  buckets with lids yesterday from Wal-mart and they were happy to get rid of them. I could only get 1 at a time from safeway, Walmart told me they go through six buckets a day. They even told me to come back for more.

Offline flagtag

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2008, 11:52:50 AM »
Now, I'm confused.  Maybe it's just a manager's decision about the buckets.  I think I'll try my local WM. (The worse they can do is say "no", right?)

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2008, 01:37:27 PM »
They were happy to get rid of them as they were tripping over them. They never said anything about a policy and I waved at the greeters at the door as I rolled a shopping cart stacked 4' high with buckets...lol I would give it a try. They are nice buckets with lids that have an O-ring seal in them.

Offline flagtag

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2008, 03:17:56 PM »
Thanks.  I will.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2008, 07:59:28 PM »
I got 30  buckets with lids yesterday from Wal-mart and they were happy to get rid of them. I could only get 1 at a time from safeway, Walmart told me they go through six buckets a day. They even told me to come back for more.

Sweet, I got the same response up here in the Couve twice. I will try out a Portland WW later (and dont worry I will not clean out the ones near you  ;) )

I have a load of bags from my last LDS order. I want to pack up some variety buckets to give out for x-mass.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2008, 08:03:35 PM by ElyasWolff »

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #23 on: October 19, 2008, 08:43:42 PM »
Elyas I will get them from Wood Village and share them with you, maybe you could show me how the mylar works in person?

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2008, 09:35:09 AM »
Elyas I will get them from Wood Village and share them with you, maybe you could show me how the mylar works in person?

No prob, PM me and we can set something up.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2008, 01:24:05 PM »
I double checked a different Wal-Mart this morning. They said they are required to recycle their buckets  >:(
It must be on a store by store basis? That and their prices on caned goods suck compared to Win-Co (I think they are only in the Pacific North West)?

Offline Beetle

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2008, 01:36:30 PM »
Isn't that recycling to give them to you to reuse? Otherwise they have to ship them overseas to be melted into video tapes and that seems like it would take more fuel.

Offline ElyasWolff

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2008, 08:06:18 PM »
Isn't that recycling to give them to you to reuse? Otherwise they have to ship them overseas to be melted into video tapes and that seems like it would take more fuel.

Yeah dont get me started  ::)
Like they brainwashed ...er... taught us in school "Recycle, Reduce, Reuse"

Offline flagtag

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2008, 10:23:53 AM »
I checked with my local WM and was told that they send them back - they get a credit for them.  Bummer!

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Re: How to store food long term in buckets. with pix
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2008, 07:56:23 AM »
Excellent write-up.  The pics made it much easier to understand.  Thanks ElyasWolff!