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After opening a large container of dehydrated or freeze dried food, the remaining food should be stored in an oxygen depleted environment.  The enemies of food storage are oxygen, moisture, heat (above room temperature) and sunlight.  Some foods can be stored for 30 years or more.

Suitable containers for dehydrated food include:

  • Mason jars,
  • P.E.T.E jars (video), and
  • Glass jars such as jelly jars that have a metal lid with gasket, (plastic lids are slightly porous).
  • Mylar bags require some skill and technique.
  • Oxygen absorber packages,  Use caution when using oxygen absorbers.  When oxygen absorbers are removed from their original packaging they need to be repackaged as soon as possible by putting them into a small airtight container such as a Mason jar or P.E.T.E. jar.  If carelessly left unpackaged they will soon lose their oxygen absorbing capability.  After 4 hours of exposure they are expired.
  • Vacuum packing using a FoodSaver (video).   The FoodSaver can also be used with a separately purchased jar sealer lids to remove oxygen from Mason jars (video1), (video2) .  There are two sizes,  regular and widemouth.   Make sure the lid and jar top are free of food dust before starting.
  • Vacuum packing using a Pump-N-Seal  or a ZipLock bag vacuum pump (no electricity or batteries needed).  This method can be used with Mason jars, P.E.T.E. jars or other glass jars with gasketed lids.   Put a small hole in the lid with a thumb tack.  Cover the hole with a Pump-N-Seal tab check, or with the homemade version as described by Judy Of The Woods.  Cover the tab check with the vacuum pump and go.

The Pump-N-Seal can be used to seal Mylar bags.

 

Plastic bags (FoodSaver) are not suitable for long term storage because plastic allows some oxygen to enter the bag over time.  Mylar bags are metalized and do not leak.

Mason jars are easily checked for leaks.  Push down on the lid.  If the lid moves and clicks the vacuum has been lost and vacuum needs to be established again.  Make sure there is no dust between the jar and lid, or under the check valve if used.

 

Large Containers (Super Pails)

Storing Food in Buckets

How To Seal A Mylar Bag by the Tennessee Hillbilly

This is a very creative method using a vacuum cleaner instead of a vacuum sealer and hand warmer instead of oxygen absorbers. The FoodSaver is great for removing oxygen from Mason jars and small bags, but the FoodSaver would require a very long time to remove oxygen from a bucket sized Mylar bag. With sufficient oxygen absorbers (or hand warmers) this may be the best solution for large bags in buckets. When food is stored in impervious Mylar bags non-food grade buckets can be used. The purpose of the bucket is simply physical protection from critters.