Is It Safe To Store Rice & Beans In Original Bags If In Food Buckets?

I recently received the question, “Is it safe to keep beans and rice in bags they are bought in if stored in food buckets?”.

That’s a very good question. Here’s my opinion…

The first keyword is ‘safe’. My general answer is sure, it’s safe, with a few caveats…

1. Brown rice will go rancid after awhile because it contains oils. Figure about one year and you may taste the effects. Fortunately our sense of smell and taste will alert us to rancidity – and therefore we will be cued not to eat it.

2. White rice will store MUCH MUCH longer (although brown rice is arguably more healthy ;) )

3. As dried beans get older, they become harder to soften during the cooking process. But they remain ‘safe’.

3. If within the original question there is an implication of safety regarding the original store-bought packaging of rice and/or beans (typically a plastic bag), the plastic wrapping itself will be ‘food-grade’ due to regulations – therefore determined ‘safe’. With that said, the nature of the plastic would be the least of my concerns in a survival scenario whereby I’m looking to consume calories…

The second keyword phrase ‘food buckets’ implies a desire for long-term storage.

1. The four things that affect long term food storage are temperature, moisture content, atmosphere, and the container.

2. Food buckets will help keep rodents and bugs out, and the buckets (with lids) will enable a sealed environment. Even though one might keep their rice & beans in their original packaging (and then kept in food buckets), if you’re looking for optimal successful long term food storage (years) then you will need to remove oxygen from the environment via oxygen absorbers (typically 2000 cc’s per 5-gallon bucket). But then we’re talking about using a Mylar bag and oxygen absorbers – which gets away from the original question regarding store-bought bags and simply being kept in food buckets…

3. It is generally recommended to first freeze (for 24 – 48 hours) bags of rice which will kill off any existing ‘bugs’. Let rest at room temperature for several days after removing from the freezer in order for the resulting condensation (upon removal) to evaporate before sealing into any container.

4. Here’s how I’m storing my dry beans. The method (vacuum sealed bags) allows me to store a large variety of beans and legumes without having to buy large bulk quantities of each variety (which would then be stored in 5-gallon pails with Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers).

In conclusion, if you’re looking for long term success at food storage of rice and beans, they should be stored in oxygen-free environments. With that said, you will still get years of usability from having simply placed individual store-bought bags inside food buckets (especially if using the freezer method first – to kill off any bugs).

Here’s a question for you readers out there…

For those of you who have simply kept white rice and/or dry beans for years without any particular long-term storage precautions (oxygen-free environment in Mylar bags, etc..), what have been your results?


  1. Sorry, off topic: when storing spaghetti pasta, leave in the boxes because when removing for use, they will fall down and create a problem.
    Ask me how I know.
    I used paper towel rolls till the bucket is empty. :-)

    1. I am using 3 gal buckets. I put one pound of spaghetti in a zip lock freezer bag (pushing out as much air by folding against the counter edge then into the bucket with 4 O2 A. I heard the glue holding the cardboard boxes degrades and can get into the food. I hope this works as our preferred spaghetti was hard to find before the shortages- and I found a good price on bulk. Have already saved 15% on what I purchased compared to current prices, and the costs are only going up from here.
      I pray I have done the best I can for my family as we are apparently not going to be able to afford food going forward.

      1. I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. I mean I understand your words but not what you mean by what you say – fall to the bottom and create problems and using paper towel roll in your bucket? Plz excuse my ignorance, I am new to this, I simply cannot figure out what your describing as happening… will you plz clarify?
        Thank you!

        1. Hi Seashelly.

          Figure your talking about JJ comment from years ago. I’m scratching my head too.

          Though I’ve been “prepping” for years I just started my long term food storage this year and learned a few things by researching and experimenting. Personally I find that I like Mylar with oxygen absorbers but spiky spaghetti noodles could puncture the Mylar. I store 30# of elbow macaroni in 5 gallon Mylar with 2500cc of OA instead. No pointy edges and no oxygen. I store most everything in Tupperware bins off site. That means I don’t keep our LT stores where the kids will tear into them when they want to make mac and cheese. ; ) (And yes, they would tear into a 30# bag of macaroni to make mac and cheese.)

          I’m planning on family of 10+ so bulk stocking like this makes sense for my situation. If you have a smaller family then the vacuum packing spaghetti noodles like mentioned might be a good option.

          If you do not have either, pasta really is shelf stable by itself for awhile too if the conditions are ok.

          If you’re new to this keep things simple. Plan for a few days first, then a few weeks, then a few months. Work up to a year. I consider long term (LT) over 1 year. My goal is 3 years of food stores along with the ability to sustain ourselves around our stores. As I said, I’ve been doing this for awhile so I have the sustainability part down ok. Now I’m working on the food stores part. I currently have at least 1 year stores…2 years if stretching, so I guess I’m halfway there.

          I also try to LT store items that’ll be versatile for the long haul. Spaghetti is ok for a meal but elbow macaroni is versatile enough to use for other meals too. Like pasta salad, taco mac, etc.

          Hope this helps. Good luck.

        2. For all other readers.

          As to the ACTUAL topic, yes rice and beans holds well as is for a few years at least. I stocked up on a lot of rice and beans during COVID, stored as is in storage bins and still fine 2 years later, though admittedly I made fresh baked beans (with navy beans) a few weeks ago and they were slightly crunchy. In a survival situation though they’ll keep you alive. And keep in mind that dried beans can also be replanted too. Preboiled of course. Waste not, want not. ; )

      2. BC2GO
        Not sure if you have a vacuum seal machine or not. Here is what I have discovered works very well when purchasing spaghetti in bulk.
        Roughly measure out what you believe your family will consume during a one or two meals. Then wrap that spaghetti in plastic wrap. Measure it where the top & bottom plastic wrap will fold up over the spaghetti. Then bring in the sides completing the enclosure of the product. After you have made up all your meals for the time forward you can then place that into vacuum seal bags which you have cut and sealed for your usage.
        *Remember to cut the bags longer, so what you leave behind can sealed again. *
        Also, those bags can be washed and used again until they are too small for getting a proper seal.
        Hope this helps your family, and if you have other questions please ask as we are a sharing community on this board.

    2. I’m sorry, but I have no idea what you’re talking about. I mean I understand your words but not what you mean by what you say – fall to the bottom and create problems and using paper towel roll in your bucket? Plz excuse my ignorance, I am new to this, I simply cannot figure out what your describing as happening… will you plz clarify?
      Thank you!

  2. We would normally buy bulk purchases of rice and dump the rice into food grade buckets with no special preparation , then store the bucket in the basement . We usually had about a year’s supply a time , so I never felt the need to process for long term storage . Then somehow one bucket got moved out of the rotation . When we discovered the bucket it had been maybe 7 or 8 year’s later . The rice was darker in color , almost yellow. We ate rice every day until it was gone. The change in color did not affect the taste at all . It seemed to be just fine .

  3. I have more than 16 (5) gallon buckets of rice stored since 2008 when I started stocking food.

    I have checked often and without any special treatment-no mylar, no absorbers– the rice is fine.

    I did add DE at the bottom, center, and top of the buckets.

    Note: don’t worry, I can NEVER get tired of rice and steamed vegetables with sweet and sour sauce which I have provisions to make.

    I have an easy homemade recipe that beats store bought and jars of dried cabbage, green peppers, onions, carrots, etc

    1. @ JJ
      Hay what the heck, 2 billion Chinese can’t be wrong, right? hehehehe
      Sure would be cool if you would share that Recipe :-) :-) :-)
      We lovesssss new Recipes…..

      1. For one serving, just double, triple, etc. for more know what I mean??

        I prepare a pint and keep in fridge, and keep stocked at all times with ingredients:

        Mix 1/3 cup white vinegar, 4 TB brown sugar, 1 TB ketchup, and 1 tsp. soy sauce in saucepan; bring to a mild boil until blended well; mix 2 tsp. cornstarch w. 4 tsp. water and add for thickness.

        Is that simple or what?? Never buy store bought. You will never be without again.

        1. Definitely going to give that a solid try, JJ. If I blow it, I’ll head on over!!!
          Thanks for the recipe.

    2. Just starting to work on some food storage. What are you referring to when you say you added a “DE” to the top and bottom?

    3. How many 5 gallon buckets would it take to hold 4000 lbs.. also I figured 2000 lbs of beans for a family of 5 for one yr is that correct? Thx

      1. @ Marie Inderrieden

        Don’t know what the common wisdom on beans is, but 2000/5/364=1.09 lbs. per person per day. That seems like a bunch of beans for one person to eat. It would probably furnish all the caloric intake needed, but I would shoot myself after about ten days if that was all I had to eat. My wife would probably shoot me first though, to stop the methane gas I would be producing. On the other hand, If you could figure out how to do the plumbing, you could probably run your generator until the beans ran out.

      1. Marcia
        DE= Diatomaceous Earth. There are two products of this powder, one for food which is considered food grade.

        Then there is the DE which is used for filtering swimming pool water, make sure you ask for the food grade DE.

  4. I have stored beans and rice for long term in Food Grade buckets for over 10 years with no problems in the past.

    I am actually now finishing a batch of Anasazi Beans I have stored in a bucket (2009) with only a stick of Juicy Fruit Gum, it keeps the bugs out. Unfortunately I have no experience with the “Plastic Bags”, I buy my beans directly from the producer in 50# Burlap sacks. Currently I am using Mylar bags with 5# beans each and a 300CC Oxysorb or I use a 5 gallon Mylar with 25# and a 2000cc. I’m expecting to have no degradation in these at all, also expecting a 20 year life from them. FYI I do store over 8 different types of Beans. The trick is to use a Seal-A-Meal or vacuum pump and suck out as much air as you can when you seal the bags.

    The Rice is all from Sam’s Club, Jasmine Rice 25# bags, I do toss it in the freezer for a week first (It’s imported from Thailand) then plop the entire bag in a bucket and seal it with a stick of gum. Lately I’m looking longer term so I stick the entire bag in a 5 gallon Mylar with a 2000cc O2-sorb, vacuum out as much air as I can than seal it. I do not store brown, wild, red, black, so-on rice, It will turn after a year, and you will toss it out.

    Someone mentioned Pastas, 1 gallon bags with a 300cc O2-sorb are great for pastas. I usually just lay a few bundles of spaghetti pasta (in original bags) inside, toss in the O2-thing, suck out as much air as I can and seal it.


    1. NRP,
      Do you unwrap the stick of Juicy fruit? And what does the Juicy Fruit gum actually do? (since I’m NOT a fan of the smell or taste…_ THANKS!!

      1. @ TPSnodgrass
        I leave the single stick warped in the paper, it’s small enough the “smell and taste” do not effect the contents. The “smell is a very strong deterrent to the invading bugs. Have a friend that successfully stores wheat long term, and I mean like 30 years is his oldest bucket, and has never had a single bug problem, according to him. When I first got into long-term storage that’s all I used, I also never had a single problem.
        I should clarify, the Juicy Fruit we both use is the Wintergreen flavor, I guess it’s the Wintergreen that does it.

    2. Good info thanks. I have the same jasmine rice. I’m new to this. Is it common practice to put the beans, pasta, rice etc. In the Mylar bag in its original packaging? Will the oxygen absorbers still remove the oxygen? I was going to put rice 8kg bag, bag of beans or lentils and some spices all in a Mylar bag drop in an oxygen absorber 2000cc. Does that sound about right?

      Thanks STP

      1. Are you concerned about condensation after taking your rice out of the freezer?

        1. STP,
          I let the rice dry out for a few days after the freezer. Just in case.

  5. okay, a question just occurs to me…

    you often talk about oxygen absorbers (Ken).

    am assuming (duh?) they suck the oxygen out of the environment in the bucket?

    wouldn’t this then also kill off any bugs in there? don’t the “bugs” need oxygen also?

    1. That’s a good question. It’s unclear as to whether or not O2 absorbers will remove ‘enough’ oxygen to prohibit survival of ‘all’ types of bugs. There’s also ‘Diatomaceous Earth’ for long term storage…

      1. Ken, thanks

        any chance any folks can give us a report on this?

        for ex….anyone stored stuff with oxygen absorbers for say ten yrs and not had bugs (without doing anything else?), etc.

    2. @ Anon
      I’ll add my 2¢ also to Ken’s.
      I have always heard that O2-sorbs alone will not pull enough O2 to kill bugs like wheat weevils or those little nasty suckers they have in rice. That’s why I like to freeze for a week minimum then store. Also I suck out 90+% of the air out of Mylar with a Vac Pump before I seal them, and add an O2-sorb.
      I would hate to depend on some stores in a SHTF and find out I lost out to bugs.

      1. I’ve seen posts insisting that mylar bags must not be shipped folded, only rolled. The folds are thought to cause creases, rendering the bag useless. I doubt this is accurate, since the bags are neither bucket sized nor shaped, and are often ironed closed and the top folded or wadded up as the bucket is sealed.

        1. Hildegard
          The large bags I receive are folded, and I have no problems with them. These I use in the 5 gallon buckets when I am putting up rice or beans. Since I measure out what we will require that amount goes into a vacuum seal bag processed, date marked, placed into the Mylar bag until full and then I seal the Mylar bag across with an opening to remove the air. I have used my vacuum sealer to finish removing the air after I have dropped in 02 absorbents. Extra work on my part, I am glad I did-JIC.

        2. @ Honeybear
          Exactly the way I do them, although I don’t put them in 5 gallon buckets, I just seal them flat and stack them in a rodent free area on shelving.

  6. Since I’ve had a kitchen pantry, I’ve always stored dry beans and rice in glass jars w/ lids. This was before I started building up larger and larger food storage (in 5 gal buckets). Never had any issues w/ beans or white rice in glass except for the aging process that forces longer soak-time for older beans.

    I’ve never trusted plastics ‘touching’ foods and avoid them whenever possible. At our place, short term plastic bags are removed before shelving. For intermediate storage, we use Food Saver vacuum sealed plastic bags, though. We also use some of the large plastic jars w/ lids for intermediate storage.

    Costco sells an organic short-cook brown rice (12 lb bag) that we’ve been buying for our dog food. It has a 9 month expiration time frame so we figure it’s good for 1 year. We’re currently stocking a bag here and there to build up for a full year’s supply for the dogs.

    Beans — We grow some of our beans and dry them to store. We also buy beans in 50 lb paper bags from a local organic food store. Those are always stored in mylar, in 5 gal buckets w/ the 02.

    Pastas — I don’t trust the paper boxes that hold pastas only because the pasta is not sealed in any way. The pasta is literally open to the elements and the bugs. If we buy store pasta, it’s always dumped out of the boxes and put into the large plastic containers. We don’t store much pasta, though, because we have seen that a few bugs that have gone straight from a recent purchase into the stored pasta. Since our shelves weren’t infested, we knew the bugs were transported from stores. Please be careful w/ boxes of pasta because they can easily infest a pantry that isn’t fully protected.

    1. Lynn, you are correct. I now know to store in buckets, but first put in freezer bags, so if one box has a bug, the entire bucket will not be contaminated, and I put DE in each freezer bag.
      Learned from mistakes. I feel it is harder to chew through the freezer bag than that cheap, thin plastic some pasta is processed in.
      I learned this by losing about 10 bags of egg noodles–the little suckers chewed right through the plastic and made holes to get to other bags.
      Those egg noodles are now in ziplok bags in cardboard until I get a 5 gallon bucket to store them in.
      Egg noodles take a lot of space in comparison to pasta and macaroni!!

      1. Watch the Dollar Store for spaghetti and macaroni, I’ve gotten 24 ounce bags there and how can you beat that for a dollar?

  7. I always freeze the stuff then let it acclimate then pack it with oxy absorbers and dessicant in mylar in a 5 gallon bucket

    1. Yep, Here too…I freeze most things for 10 days to 2 weeks, sometimes if I get busy with something else will leave things for a month…let them come back to room temperature for several days. Then pack…Pasta, I mix several kinds in a five gallon bucket, often bagging in two gallon ziplocks, with a ox absorb-er dropped in, after I’ve determined the exact amount to be placed in the bucket. Bay leaves also help keep down migration of bugs in open buckets. I err on the side of more oxygen absorbers rather than less…in a bucket of pasta, I always add minimum of five. Just don’t want to deal with buggy pasta. Have opened pasta sealed for five years with no issue, and self rising flour 4+ years old, packed tight…had to add baking powder, but taste was good. Rice, have not opened any that was bad, but had a problem a few years back with some that was not sealed in buckets in a timely manner, after freezing and thawing…bugs went for the fresh food. Made dog feed from it…with DE. My experience does not go beyond this.

  8. A note on Brown rice. I didn’t know it went rancid until about a year ago when I started using Mylar bags and buckets. At that time I had stored brown basmati rice under my bed in the original bags for up to 8 years–no problem. It was good as new. I live in a temperate rain forest, Southeast Alaska, the summer temps rarely get over 60. I have also stored short grain brown rice for several years with no problem. I have now got buckets of white rice (yuck) beside my brown rice just in case. Perhaps it is the warmer temperatures that cause the rancidness. It seems OK here. I am rotating my stocks but still eating brown rice that was grown as far back as 2006. Everything I have read says it goes rancid but here it doesn’t seem to.


    1. That is very interesting information. I have not kept brown rice long enough to experiment. It’s all rotated out within a year, whereas my long term rice is all white.

      Has anyone else ever experienced rancidity (or not) with brown rice over a period of time beyond one year?

      1. I keep my brown rice in the freezer. 2 1/2 years, then in the fridge for 5-6 months, it was and still is good. I kept airtight whole wheat flour in the refrigerator part and it got rancid in a year.

      2. I had some brown rice that was rancid after 6 months…took too long to cook to. No thanks. Not worth the bother. I’ll just eat the white, with the pinto’s…

        1. The white is so easy to deal with, plus its cheap,
          Besides in a pinch a rice cooker will run off a 1000 watt inverter plugged into your car if you need to

    2. That’s what I’m talking ’bout!! One person’s experience goes a long way for us preppers.

      Thanks, confused!:-)

    3. two kinds of rancid: hydrolysis and oxidation. heat and light speed up the process.

      ie: keep it dry and remove oxygen. keep it cool and dark.

      I’m not saying that dessicants and oxygen absorbers will eliminate fats from going rancid, but will certainly reduce it.

      Also note that rancidity will change taste and appearance, as well as reduce nutritional value, but eating rancid foods will probably not cause any immediate ill health effects. Spoiled food, however, that has bacterial or microbial activity WILL have ill health effects.

  9. I have packed and sealed over a 1,000 5 gallon buckets for members and non members in the last 20 years. I have dry packed so many #10 cans I lost count. I have used nitrogen gas and oxygen packets. Helped a family do 21 buckets yesterday. ( over 600#’s). The single biggest reason for failure is using the wrong bucket lid.Never a used lid. The only lid to use is a NEW one with a rubber seal. The type you have to cut to remove once it’s on. Once you push the lid on you need to set the lid with a rubber mallet on the edge to make sure it is sealed. A length of wood to bridge the lid works best to seal it.Just go around the edge tapping on the wood. I buy new lids from a paint store.They are a better thicker lid with a good seal meant to have other buckets stacked on them. You should be using a food grade liner/bag in your buckets too. Don’t lose 30#s of food by skimping on a proper $2.00 lid…

    1. Where do you get these lids? I’ve been using the GAMA lids but they are costly.

      1. I buy mine at commercial paint stores. I try to buy 50 at a time to get a better price from the manager. I have seen lids at H.D. that had the rubber seal in their paint dept. Not as robust but I have used them. I buy 5 gallon clear food grade bags and use them in the fives. A good friend has nitrogen gas and the wand to get down to the bottom of the 5 gallon containers. Gassing is a great way to displace the oxygen for long term storage. Cost about $3 a five but is a preferred way to ensure long term quality. Flour and other powdered foods do better with oxygen pacs. Just too dense for gas. In the old days Hawaiians used leaves from a plant called moc orange to get bugs to vacate their rice. All the bugs here pose a real challenge…

        1. Thanks, I’ll look into it next time I’m near a paint store. Has anuyone thought bout using CO2 instead od Nitrogen? I believe I heard some where about putting dry ice in to the grain before sealing it.

        2. I have used CO2 exclusively for decades.

          I recently opened a bucket of malted barley (for brewing) that had been packed over ten years prior and it had no bugs, and was in fine shape.

          I like CO2 because unlike nitrogen, it’s heavier than the atmosphere, so it will displace the air in the bucket.

          I lay a (regulated) gas supply tube in the bucket, add beans, grains, whatever, and flow some gas until an open flame place just below the rim inside the mouth of the bucket is extinguished from the presence of CO2.

        3. sounds like it works well for this

          where does one get it/how does one dispense it?

          when opening a big container, is there risk re breathing in to the person?

    2. About the ONLY thing I’ll “can” now in a #10, is ammo sealed in a mylar bag. When we first started out, we canned pasta (no liner) IN the can, 8 months later, ICKY taste of the can infused into the pasta, and NOTHING could get it out. We always use mylar bags to store our dry pack products, (rice ALWAYS after freezing first-no issues ever)and then place the sealed bags(in sizes we use readily) into our food grade buckets with the gamma lids. No issues yet at all.

  10. I discovered rancid brown rice recently. It only lasted 3 months past “expiration date”. My husband says, “rancid rice won’t kill you” and he’s able to eat it. But, I just can’t stand it.

    I’m wondering about Basmati rice. It looks like white rice, but there’s a post earlier that calls it brown rice. Does anyone else store Basmati?

    1. You can buy both brown and white basmati. I prefer either to standard white rice which has most of the goodness rubbed off. I’m guessing temperature and humidity have a lot to do with how long things last. I notice a lot of people on this blog talk about hot climates and planting things when I’m shoveling snow. Seems like maybe a root cellar would be a good idea. Here I use one to keep stuff from freezing other places it may serve to keep things from the heat.

  11. I have 100lb or so of Basmati – the oldest is 11 years old..its stored in a cupboard in the garage which is cool & dark. It’s in the original plastic packaging and is as good as first bought. The only bugs I have ever suffered from are Oat moth in a few bags that went a few months past expiry.

  12. Like the rest of ya’ll, we freeze ours for a day, let it come back to room temp, them vacuum seal the rice in Qt. jars using a food saver. Just be certain that the lids are in warm water for 15+ minutes to soften and wiped dry before using. Store in a cool dry place and check the seal every 6 months.

  13. for short term and long term storage of all my grains, pastas, etc i use bay leaves. never had any problems with bugs. you don’t have to put bags in the freezer before storing if using bay leaves.

  14. I stopped going to my local Panda Express because they use brown rice for their fried rice. I don’t care for brown rice and I disagree that it is healthier. It has slightly more fat and fiber than white rice but otherwise is no better. It is of course a taste/preference thing. My preference is white rice, it lends itself to more dishes/recipes stores better and it is easier to cook.

  15. Ya-know, after reading all the post. I’m wondering if the air circulation in the Brown and Balsamic rice is what’s keeping it from turning rancid??? Any thoughts?

  16. Just curious, do Oxygen absorbers have a shelf life? I purchased a batch from Amazon and have yet to use them (about 6 months). They are in their original packaging. I looked at them the other day and they are extremely hard. Is this normal??

    1. @ Ron Paul
      As long as they have not been exposed to the air they should be good.

  17. you still should be able to use them, Yes they do have expiratory dates!
    I used some that were expired by a year, they were a little slow to respond, I had to shake them several times, and extra long… but finally gave off the heat…, and sealed the jars…and that’s what I was looking for!

  18. I just recently cooked and ate 3 and 4 year old white rice and black beans. Both had been stored in their original store bought bags in a temperature controlled pantry. Both rice and beans are ‘organic’.

    Results were – no loss in flavor or texture for the rice or beans. They both seemed no different than if I had just gone to the store and bought them the day of cooking. I did soak the beans over night and then slow cooked them.

    I’m really encouraged by the results.

  19. We store beans and rice in their original bags, inside sealed buckets, and have no issues at all. We rotate our stored food and try to use it up within 3 years. If not, we will pack it in Mylar with O2 absorbers and put it away for ultra long storage.

    We used to repack and store our white rice into 2 liter bottles, that works very well… in 1998 we packed 50 lbs of white rice in plastic bottles. Ten years later, in 2008 we ate the last of it with no noticeable change in flavor.

    1. Ben…re those 2liter bottles…no oxygen absorbers in that?

      just goes to show, it is most definitely to do some long term storage, even if one cant get/afford the oxygen absorbers, as it seems to have worked very well for you. I assume you kept those plastic rice filled bottles out of the light, in cool place?

      no problem with bugs developing?


      1. Anon: No O2 absorbers.. no bugs or problems at all. We packed the bottles FULL to eliminate as much air space as possible. The bottles were not completely kept in the dark but they were kept in a basement pantry. was pleasantly surprised at how well that method of storage worked.

        1. Hi Kula!
          #1 This made me snort my “julep”.
          #2 I’m here reading and learning, but not commenting.
          #3 for the new MSB folks, I am not a troll :)
          #4 Hiya NRP & Blue, Ken, Mrs. J, Sampson and I can’t name all of you old friends.
          luv ya’ll, Beach’n

        2. Beach’n:
          Hi ya Gal, where ya been???
          BTW you know not to snort good Kentucky Bourbon out the nose..
          ALWAYS Swallow before reading one of Nailbenders comments HAHAHAHA

        3. NRP & Blue,
          Been working a lot more than I want to. Keeping up with keeping the pantry stocked. Loving on my doggy. Reading MSB. Good to see you remembered me!
          Give Blue a smooch for me! luv ya’ll, Beach’n

    2. Wow. This is great to know. No extra spending when time is tough. Thanks a bunch.

    3. Ben,
      i do that all the time,
      12# bags, 2 bags fit in a 5gallon bucket, do the mylar and o2 packs, it keeps extremely well

  20. Anyone tried displacing air in the buckets with nitrogen? It’s inert, plentiful, cheap and doesn’t support oxidation (we’re breathing air containing 78% N2). I’d think a hose with 1-2 cfm N2 flow into the bottom of the bucket as it was filled, and allowed to run for a few minutes (5 gallons=.67 cubic feet)to displace all the air in the bucket would prevent any negative effects from oxygen, including bugs. It would be advisable to stir the bulk contents during filling to ensure no pockets of oxygen-bearing air were left, but that should do it. Belt-and-suspenders types could also include an oxygen absorber, but with less than 2-3% air remaining (whatever gets in as the lid is applied) they could be small (and cheap) absorbers.

  21. Wise Food Storage has some nice plastic cubes that are stack able and seal tightly for both dry food stuff and water.

    1. @ Freedom’s Guide Trading Company

      With all due respect to Wise Foods, I personally have drifted away from their products, there food (again in MHO) are not of the best of quality and taste for me. I always eat what I’m planning to store and have found that Wise is not on my storage list. I will readily admit I have not tried there storage “cubes”, I’m more of a Mylar Bag and Ball Jar person.

      I do appreciate your input though. That’s what so nice about Ken’s Blog, all opinions are welcome.

  22. I discovered a solution for storing brown rice back in the 1990’s after a couple bags I bought and placed in buckets were quickly eaten by bugs. I sterilized quart canning jars (just like you would for canning). Start this process so the jars will be ready at about the same time the rice is ready. I spread a one inch layer of brown rice in several stainless roasting pans and put them in the oven at 140 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring often to evenly spread the heat and to keep from scorching the rice. Drain and blow dry the hot jars then pour the hot rice into the jars, wipe the rim and put on a clean new canning lid and tighten the ring. When the jars cool they will seal just like normal canning. Then you can shake the jars, label and date the lid and store them away to use later. I’m still eating brown rice put up fifteen years ago. Another way to eat brown rice is to run it through a grinder and crack it and then cook it down like grits. After it’s cooked put on a big gob of butter a couple tablespoons of cane syrup or raw sugar (or whatever your favorite sweetener might be.)

  23. I am new to long-term storage but have been a huge bulk buying all my life. How do your store coffee for several years of storage. I do not have a coffee bean grinder.

    I have repackaged all of my bagged and loose tea in freezer ziplock bags, and put them in the 3 gal. food grade icing buckets from the grocery store.

    I will be using proper lids for my flour, rice, beans and other grains.

    Thank you

  24. Hi! I battled moths last year, and tan little bugs that might be some kind of weevil or mite just a few days ago. They always go for the rice and pasta. I only bulk up on a few items but most of the time I just keep my items in those glass metal snap lid jars and they are also in a plastic bag in my pantry cabinet shelves. However, the bugs crawled right through the protection of the glass jar (which has a rubber ring too). I have thought about freezing all of my dry goods like rice, flour, grains and sugar after buying them and then storing them in quart sized myler bags or freezer zip ploc bags in glass jars. However, I am worried about condensation and mold? Can someone please let me know the process of how they freeze all their dried things? Do I remove the items from their original packaging, freeze it and then let it sit out at room temperature? How long? And what if it summer and hot, will that make the grains or flour mold? If anyone could walk me through a process I would appreciate it! Thanks!

    1. Amy
      It’s not they the ‘go’ for the rice and pasta, unfortunately they are already in the product when we purchase them. An unwanted bonus :-( I would agree.

      Place any flour/rice/pasta/grains into your freezer, IF you have room you can leave them there until you require them for eating. Should that not work for you a general rule is a 7 days to kill the unwanted guest out of your supplies. You can put your products into glass jars with oxygen absorbent for further safety for the products. The best I have seen is dry canning, and that you will use the U-tube videos on the how and why.

      Sugar you put into a 5 mil Mylar bag inside of a FG(food grade)bucket and seal closed no oxygen removal as it will turn it into a a brick.

      On flour/rice/pasta/grains after the freezing process I let the bag set open where the condensation(if any)evaporates. Usually a couple of days is all it will need then I store it in the containers. I use my vacuum seal machine for part of these foods the rest go into Mylar bags with oxygen absorbent an seal closed. The Mylar bags are already placed inside a FG bucket for processing.

      Food Grade Buckets can be picked up for “free” at your larger grocery stores that have bakeries inside. Simple ask the employees if they give them away free, and make sure the come with a lid that has a rubber gasket.
      Some stores give them to you pre-cleaned others you have to remove the frosting or whatever product(s) were inside. In the summer time I use a small kiddy pool fill it water and let the sun warm it up or use hot water from your tap into the pool. A garbage can with bag liner, spatula, rubber gloves to remove the unwanted food products, and paper towels. The dish soap I use is the greaser Dawn, hence the rubber gloves to protect the hands. Wash your buckets, rinse with a garden hose, let them dry in the sun and you are good.

      Make sure your wash your cupboards down with a light bleach water to kill off any other critters that may be there unseen on your surface.

  25. I have been storing long term food for just a few years now (since 2009) and appreciate all the practical, real world advice I’ve read here. Trying to learn everything I can. I did pick up one tip that I didn’t notice anyone talking about yet. After storing dry goods in mylar bags with Oxy-absorbers a great way to store and protect from critters like rats, roaches and the like is to put them in a new galvanized steel trash can with a tight fitting lid. Home Depot sells these cans for about 30 bucks and one trash can will hold at least 70 one gallon Mylar bags.

  26. I started storing my products which are spices and nuts.I keep spices in room tempereture with moisture free plasitc bags away from sun light. But spices powder I keep in the freezer. I bought pecan and stored it in room temperture but it got flying bugs although it was packed. I washed it and dried it in the sun light then stored it in the freezer and until now it is fine. Rice is the easiest product for storing. In India people use buckets only as they dont know mylr bags or oxygen absorber or freezer. But moisture is all food enemy and better to keep all food away from it.If you think my storing of spices and nuts is wrong, please tell me.

    1. Hi Abdullah. If you have a dehydrator, you can soak RAW nuts (not roasted — they’ll rot) or sunflower seeds for a couple of hours in water in a jar or bowl in the fridge. Then take them out and set them in a single layer in dehydrator trays. I often buy 10 lbs of raw almonds, cashews etc. from my favourite Indo-Pak grocer. Before, I vacuum sealed them and froze them. Within six months they were horribly rancid. I learned about soaking and drying nuts to preserve them (and to deactivate the enzyme inhibitors that make them hard to digest) from people in the raw foods community. It really works. I found a bag of cashews I forgot about from a year and a half ago that have just sitting been in a ziploc baggie inside a picnic bag. They are still crunchy and delicious and fresh. Google “timetables for soaking raw nuts and seeds”, and “dehydration times for raw soaked nuts and seeds”. There’s a German or Swedish raw foods dude on YouTube who dehydrates raw soaked almonds to preserve them, check that out if he’s still there. I hated throwing out pounds and pounds of beautiful almonds. Good thing my Indo-Pak grocer charges way less than Whole Foods, or I’d have had to remortgage the house!! :) Good luck.

  27. I bought #10 cans of freeze dried foods with a shelf life of 25 to 30 years from The Ready Store.I want to break down some of the #10 cans of the pasta with sauce, chili mac and others like it and make MRE’s for 4 in mylar bags.
    1. How long will the shelf life be for items like that.
    2. Would adding more oxygen absorbers make it last longer?
    3. I want to do instant rice alike, how would that work?
    4. I want to buy beans and rice in bulk and use small mylar bags and store them in 5 gal. sealed bucket also with absorbers, would any of this make any sense to do?

    1. @ Hammer173

      First, I would like to say, Thank You for prepping and commenting on Ken’s Blog, Welcome to the “nut house” HAHAHA

      Ok. Let’s start at the end, “would any of this make any sense to do?” Honestly it does not matter if it “makes sense” to any of us, it sounds like something you have thought out, and you have your reasoning’s for doing so… With that in mind, some answers to your questions

      1. Once you open a sealed can of DF foods the “shelf life” decreases dramatically, even if resealed, so do not expect to get the original 25-30 years from your re-packaging, more like a couple of years.
      2. Adding an O2-sorb will help some, but again not the 25-30 years.
      3. I believe that Instant Rice contains some oils and the rice is broken down to make it “Instant” Personally I would not store Instant Rice, but again it’s up to you. The shelf life I would expect would again be short.
      4. Beans and Rice store very VERY well, I have some just in buckets with a stick of Juicy Fruit Wintergreen Gum that are 10 years old, still good to go. I now use 1-gallon Mylar bags with 5 pounds in them, add an O2-sorb, vacuum them down, and just stack then in a pile on the shelf….

      As far as the homemade MRE’s check out You-Tube for “Meals in a Jar”, there are hundreds of ideas out there, I would think if you wanted to use Mylar rather than Jars, you should be good to go.

      Best of luck, and good job prepping.


  28. Thank you for your experiences! A variety of Beans, lentils, and chickpeas that we bought during “sales” are all well and properly stored for later use. We live in the country, in the middle of nowhere, and stock up for the whole family for the winter months as legumes and grains are a great way of completing the Amino Acid chains needed for protein sources. We have “deep freezed” our Flours, grains, and rice, (and yeast,) for years before we used them and they were fair quality. Our usual turn over time is about 2 years yet I’ve had rice and flour left for 5 years before use and they were alright as well.
    I did make the mistake once of putting my beans in gallon jars without any absorbers and they gassed out in the jars and spoiled thus I started looking in 2011 on how to store better.. So when we were looking to do our own Oxygen Absorber and Mylar to protect our food source we were very pleased with just buying the product, bagging it with mylar and O2’s, on storing the flours, pasta and cereals we use the desiccants with them before closing off the buckets.
    Two suppliers that we have found to have excellent prices for our needs are found on the web, their names are Sorbent Systems, in L.A. California, and Baytec Containers near Galveston Texas. The companies ship well and I think they have fair prices.

  29. @ NRP September 1, 2016 comment about opening a number 10 can and repacking.
    We’ve done this for several items that we really like to eat. The original 20+ year cans
    can be repacked in jars or we prefer the mylar bags, with adding NEW oxygen Absorbers appropriate for the size we are packing. So far everything has gone well and the food from 5 years ago tastes just as good as the day we opened the number 10 can of long shelf life food.
    Just saying, the original packaging says to use the food within a year after opening the can of long shelf life food. That I believe is because the O2 absorber is gone from it and many people do not keep a fresh supply of absorbers on hand. Your absorbers that you buy from the supplier will last you unused only 1 year. So use them within a reasonable time while you pack your foods in airtight containers.

    1. Mel M
      Great report on the resealed shelf life.
      Just wondering what product you re-sealed…..
      I opened a #10 of Augason Farms Whole Eggs, Experimented with some in different recipes and resealed the remaining in a 1/2 gallon Ball Jar using a Jar Vac Sealer, I LOVE my Food Saver… HAHAHA
      I will admit I had to try twice to get it to seal, the Powdered Eggs are so fine they wanted to be sucked out the lid, so I hit the Cancel, removed some of the powder to about 1.5″ down and it sealed very well after cleaning the glass lip and the lid.
      Maybe next time just an O2 and be done with it.

  30. Old beans can also be ground into powder and then you can add a bit of the bean powder to bread dough to up the nutrition of the bread. The bean powder can also be added to stew and other hearty soups. Or mixed into meat loaf. Even a little added to chocolate cake batter will work to increase nutrition. Just a bit, don’t go overboard.

  31. You can store your Rice in the original bag. Were I live we have kept the temperature and light low when storing food so we don’t have to worry about all the extra work of repackaging our rice. and we don’t have the worry like most states with bugs. if you store your rice in a cool place, with no light or low light it will last a while. the longest we have had ours was 5 years, and when we opened it it was wonderful. so Yes you can store store bought rice in the bags if your temperature is right and out of sun.

  32. Great thread, great info. Im new at prepping.I just bought 3 20lb bags of white rice. Also bought 3 Home Depot 5 gal orange buckets with black lids (no rubber gasket). They are HDPE #2 which I”m told are food grade. Having trouble finding large mylar bags…ev1 sold out.
    Here’s my plan: Freeze each bag
    for a week. Set out a couple of days in original bag to dry out. Place original bag into sterilized bucket, 1 20 lb bag per bucket. Put a pice of wrapped juicy fruit gum in each bucket. Close bucket. Store inside in pantry.
    Questions: Is this adequate?
    Will bags from freezer dry out without being opened?
    Do i need o2 absorbers in tese buckets? Thanks to all of you.

    1. Laura:
      You are planing the way I have stored rice for years and years.
      2 thoughts, empty the bags into the buckets, no bag.
      Second use Wriggles Spearmint Gum, unwrap it.
      PS: make sure the lid is sealed, I use a rubber mallet to snap the lid on.
      Best of luck with your preparations.

      1. NRP,
        She said her bucket lids don’t have a gasket. So, are you saying the rice will be OK in the bucket (not sealed in a bag) with a lid that’s not airtight?

        1. Minerjim:
          If the lids are the ones I have seen they will seal just as well as ones with the Gaskets.
          Also most bulk rice dose not cone in “Airtight Bag”, they will leak as much as any bag, so the air tightness of the bag is mode point.
          Think on it, if I ship Rice from sayyyyy Thailand in air tight bags on a ship (Sea Level) than sell it up in the mountains of Western Rockies the Bags would swell up huge.
          Even those little one pound bags would swell up.
          Lastly I have Rice in Gama Lid Buckets, not really air tight per-say, Rice keeps a very VARY long time in those buckets just fine.
          Like all Stored food, FIFO, Store what ya eat and eat what ya store, and all those sayings we all use.
          Although I would add, I would suggest to Laura to get lids with Gaskets if there is a doubt.
          Personally I don’t care for the orange Home Depot Utility Buckets for storage, yes they are HDPE #2 rated but not my choice for sure.
          BUT…… I’m very happy she is doing something as far as preparing.

    2. Laura, 30-35 lbs of rice will fit in each bucket.. if no seal on bucket oxygen absorbers are useless. could use duct tape or gorilla tape to seal-mostly the lids….will be difficutl to get off..

  33. Hello! Found this thread by chance. I’m new to prepping this year and have two 25lbs of white rice from Sam’s Club. I just threw them as-is into one of those Sam’s black and yellow tubs in a room that is usually around 68 degrees. Is that good enough? I’m on a tight budget and don’t want to spend money I could be buying more food with, on unnecessary mylar bags, food-grade buckets, etc, if I don’t have to. I’ve had an open one I’ve been eating off of for almost a year and no bugs or problems. I’m also storing my pasta in a cool closet in the original packaging. Thanks in advance for any advice! (I should mention I live in a condo with a tiny 5cu ft freezer. I’d have to re-bag the rice if I freeze it).

    1. TS
      Since you know what you can or cannot store do the size of your current living space. Would like to recommend Ken’s search engine for this site. In the upper right-hand side of this site is a search bar, if you type in [food storage] you will find a host of articles.
      Those articles are great, and you will find a mass of knowledge shared by ‘past’ and current posters on this blog. If you need to ask a question, be sure you look at the ‘date of the posting’, many of those have been over a long period of time.
      Should you have a question created by something you read in those articles, ask, one of us will see it and reply to your question.
      Hello & Welcome…

  34. Its better to store it in buckets, just keeps critters out better, i use the big mylar bags and oxy absorbers with dessicant packs, rice will keep pretty much forever that way, it will keep pretty long anyway, but better safe than sorry. Its worth it, you can mix food grade DE with the rice to keep bugs out, rinses out like the talk that the rice has on it anyway.

  35. So glad to have found this group! Thanks for the wealth of information! I have been wondering if I have to use the mylar bags – would it be safe to just pour my wheat grain or dried beans into a 5 gallon food grade bucket with gamma lid and add an O2 pack and be done with it? 2nd question: I have buckets of grain we bought for Y2K. When I open them, I just have poured them into another bucket with a Gamma lid, without replacing the O2 packet. I haven’t noticed any bugs, but should I put something in, just to be safe? I’m opening the bucket every few days now. Just started making bread again.

  36. I recently have started some long term food storage and have a couple of questions. I found that the food grade buckets with the lids were quite expensive to buy at big box stores as well as online. Since I only would be feeding 1-2 people, I plan to store smaller amounts of beans and rice ( 4-5 # in each mylar bag with o2 eliminator packets) and then store the bags in plastic totes. That way I won’t be contaminating the whole bucket for a smaller amount when it is needed. I found some totes on Amazon in a 5 gallon size that should fit at least 25 lbs in each at a reasonable price. The mylar should protect the food and the plastic totes will protect the bags form invading critters or bugs. My question is specifically about the totes, is there any reason they can not be used instead of the buckets? I like the way they stack and will fit nicely on the shelves since they are fairly small. The lids snap on pretty securely and lock in place. My storage situation is in dark closet in a finished basement that never gets above 70 deg. F

    1. The thing with totes is this… Lots of them are not strong enough to stack well (if they’re heavy). But, some are pretty good at it. I use sterilite ‘ultra’ heavy duty totes for many things. It just depends…

    2. GLL Prepper
      The buckets Tom is speaking about are the 2 1/2-gallon size that can be found in the larger grocery stores which have bakeries that bake breads, cakes & frosts them. I have gone in early in the morning or late afternoon when they are not being rushed and ask nicely if they have any buckets. Take whatever they offer as you may find someone else who requires the larger bucket. Those who have livestock love them for carrying grains or washing down their horses.
      The stores will rinse them out for you but as stated we wash them again just to make sure they are clean I use Dawn dish soap. If you receive a bucket that had/has fake butter use paper towels & really old clothes you do not mind tossing out if you get it on them. Reason I do not eat the bread with that on it-nasty stuff.
      You can check your local Costco stores for the smaller size about 1 1/2 gallon containers but they usually do not give you the lids. May depend on which store and where you reside in, in CA I had to purchase the lids.
      If you receive the buckets, make sure the lids come with them and have the rubber gasket to seal the contents. I still use the Mylar bags for the foods that go inside them.

  37. Go to your local grocery store and at the bakery they should have small, food grade buckets that icing comes in. The handles are metal. I ask for them and if they have any I get them for free. Some stores wash them out, some don’t. I always wash them out and let them dry and air out for a few days before putting mylar bags filled with grains or beans in them and storing them. Each bucket holds about 25 pounds of grains or beans. I put a piece of clear packing tape on the side with the name of the item stored and when I stored it. Folding the tape over on one end for about a quarter of an inch will give you a pull tab to pull off the tape whenever the bucket is emptied.

  38. Hi all! I’m new to long term storage and have a question. I bought the Nido whole powdered milk hoping to store it in mylar bags with o2 absorbers but am learning that only fat free or low fat powdered milk should be stored. Has anyone done the whole and had success? Also, on bags of egg noodles, can I just put them bagged into a 5 gallon pail with bay leaves to keep the critters out? I am waiting for my shipment of mylar bags. I did use mason jars to put some pasta, rice and beans with o2. My other issue is storing. I live in an older double wide in a park and the insulation stinks and even with ac it still gets hot…what should I do???

  39. Cindy:
    Re the noodles, I just store them in 5 gallon buckets with a stick of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum. Thay last for many years no problems.
    As far as the Rice, Beans n Pasta, just good Ole Food Grade Buckets.
    The Bay Leaf is also good. No need for the O2-sorbs.
    I would suggest also getting a Gamma Lid for some of the buckets, makes using some of the stored food a LOT easier.
    As far as the heat, just do what you can, the cooler the better, BUT at least you will have food If/When it’s necessary.

  40. Cindy
    Is the home you reside at, is it yours or do you rent the home? If you are renting, then there is a way to bring the temperature down in that room. Without doing a lot of damage to the property which concerns many of those who rent.
    1)Blackout curtains over the windows to where the wall meets the ceiling. Giving no light or heat buildup in that room.
    2) Reflextic- It looks like silver bubble wrap in the insulation department of the hardware stores. You can use it against the wall that is receiving the heat buildup during the summertime by tacking it. There is a silver tape with which you can couple the pieces together, whereby this will hang like a curtain. I would also cut it out a piece to fit the window(s) so that it creates a barrier to the sunlight building up and heating that room.
    It is not ‘inexpensive’ but when you reduce the amount of heat buildup in a home it is priceless in my book. The packages state it is only an R-3 but it works. I have lined my metal building with it to reduce the heat buildup in those storage rooms.

    1. Antique Collector, You’ll get more power out of your Reflextic if you install it on the outside of your windows. That will keep sun from hitting windows and creating heat inside the building.

Comments are closed.