The Best Way How To Store Dried Beans Long Term

There are two particularly good methods how to store beans long term.

One of the best ways for medium term storage (several+ years) is to vacuum seal. For very long term storage (many years+), a good method is to use Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Read on for more specifics…

Tip: Rice & Beans are excellent and inexpensive choices for preparedness food storage. Why? Because rice and beans together make a nutritional survival combination:

Rice is rich in starch, and an excellent source of energy. Beans are rich in protein, and contain other minerals. The consumption of the two together provides all the essential amino acids and it is no wonder that this combination is a staple of many diets throughout the world.

~ Rice and Beans | A Survival Combination

Store Beans Long Term with Vacuum Sealer

The enemy of successful long term food storage is oxygen, moisture, heat, and potentially ‘bugs’.

Use an ordinary vacuum sealer (e.g. FoodSaver) and associated vacuum-seal bags to seal individual one-pound bags of dried beans. I buy these bags in bulk. WAY cheaper…

>> FoodVacBags – Quart Sized
(view on amzn)

A typical vacuum sealer will pull out most of the air. Therefore much of the oxygen will also be removed. But my experience is such that the vacuum seal method will last for several+ years without issue.

I like this method because it enables you to store different varieties of dried beans / legumes since you’re only doing one-pound bags at a time. (Versus storing large quantities of beans long term in bulk via a 5-gallon bucket and O2 absorbers).

We enjoy a wide variety of beans and this enables us to pick and choose what we store in a diversified way.


As you can see in the picture, to store them we first vacuum seal each individual one-pound bag of beans with our FoodSaver and vacuum sealer bags.

First, cut a number of slices into the plastic 1-pound bag of beans. This will allow a vacuum to be pulled into the bean bag itself. Then place the bag of beans into a vacuum sealer bag. Vacuum Seal. Done.

Besides the initial outlay for the cost of a vacuum sealer (which we’ve had for quite some time and use it on all sorts of things – paying for itself already), the cost is that of a vacuum sealer bag.

Pro Tip: Buy rolls, it’s cheaper. But don’t cheap out on no-name brands that might not hold a seal for long.

I can easily store 50 pounds of individually sealed one-pound bags of dried beans in a heavy duty Sterlite 70-Qt plastic bin (shown above). That’s a-lot of beans!! They will store well for many years. I estimate 5 years without issue.

>> The Most Popular Vacuum Sealer Machine
(view on amzn)

Store Beans Long Term in 5-Gallon Buckets, O2 Absorbers

Mylar Bag | Oxygen Absorber | 5-gallon bucket

If your intention is to store dried beans for very long term storage (e.g. 10 years more or less), this is what I suggest:

Remove All Oxygen With O2 Absorbers

To get as much oxygen out as reasonably possible, use 2,000cc oxygen absorber for each 5 gallon pail of dried beans.

[ Read: Oxygen Absorbers For 5-Gallon Bucket Food Storage ]

First place an appropriate size Mylar foil bag in a 5 gallon bucket. Then fill with dried beans, leaving a few inches head space for the lid. Drop in a 2,000 cc oxygen absorber. Seal the Mylar bag with an iron.

>> 5 Gallon Heavy Duty Mylar Bags with 2000cc Oxygen Absorbers

Pro Tip: I love the Gamma lids (spin on lids) for easy access to my long term storage in 5-gallon buckets.

[ Read: Gamma Seal Lids | Are They Worth It? ]

Continue reading: How to Seal a Mylar Bag in a 5-Gallon Bucket

4 Things That Affect Food Storage


  1. In comments from earlier discussions about storing beans the cooking time was mentioned quite often. People wrote that it would take hours of boiling to soften the beans. Also, rancidity was discussed.
    I stopped storing beans because of those comments. Does anyone have more information to share?

    1. Skeezix;
      I have never had Beans go Rancid.
      Also the cooking time is not to much more than normal, I usually slow cool them in a Crock Pot, but If/When, I would just keep a pot on the old wood burning stove or next to a fire outside.

      1. With just 2 people to feed storing in a 5 gallon bucket doesn’t make sense. We would only use 1 lb. at a time. If you keep opening the 5 gal. bucket won’t it destroy the long term on that bucket? Can we store the beans in a mason jar with an oxygen absorber?

        1. From what I’ve read you can. I have used an oxygen absorber and sealed them with a FoodSaver attachment. I’ve read several articles that said an oxygen absorber in a mason jar is sufficient and did that in jars too large to seal. Will be interested to see what others say.

    2. Cooking time is relative Skeezix. A slow cooker, a solar box cooker or a straw box cooker to hold your boiling beans in will get’er done while your doing other things. I have found older beans stored in dusty store bags on the shelf for unknown number of years (food rotation failure) can take a bit longer. I do not salt mine until done as that seems to toughen them in my experience. Never had a rancid bean. Rancid old brown rice but never a dry bean.

      You can add a well soaked double handful of beans in almost any soup, stew, casserole, and even non fried meat dishes. Extra cheap protein to extend your family’s meals

      Someone was looking for recipes? .Here’s a couple I like. You can grind dry beans and add it to your corn bread or homemade breads to make bean bread. High protein bread, I find around 20-25% of the flour-cornmeal can be swapped this way. A good way to get beans past picky eaters. I’ve been known to make Southwest Cornbread that way with some salsa or such. You can make sweet muffins/corn bread by exchanging the salsa with sugar. White beans have the mildest flavor for this recipe however I like a beany flavor with my SW Corn Bread. Beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      Having a simmering hunters stew (leftovers stew used before refrigeration was common) with a bean base allows easy feeding as folks go about their chores. Just don’t add fish, never seems to work well. Everything else seems to get along with the ever changing flavor of the hunters stew. Works well in my deer camp for a week plus, just keep it simmering and don’t let it cook dry.

      Nice things about dry beans is you can plant them and grow more. Try that with a frozen pizza.

      If someone were thin in the wallet a couple of 5 gallon buckets with lids, one with white sugar, one with a mix of iodized and non-iodized salt, and a couple with dry beans and rice along with a years worth of Vitamin C would be doing pretty well. Vitamin C deficiency is the main issue I have with rice and beans survival. Scurvy is a NASTY Disease and easily prevented.

      Kept cool and dry beans and rice would be good for a couple of years easily BUT if you eat what you store and rotate replacements would never go bad. That and some well selected seeds (after all, all stored food will run out) you’d have a better chance to thrive after the chaos runs it’s course.

      Stored as NRP and Ken has said for long term storage (cache?) you should not have any issues. And a NRP says white rice and beans are still CHEAP. I wouldn’t want to bet they will be cheap this fall as the flooding destroyed a fair bit of the stored silo beans and dry bean plantings have been well below normal per USDA.

    3. Skeezix, on the beans.. i wash. put in first water bring to a boil, turn off, cover, and soak them for at least an hour- 2 if possible. then wash with hot water, put in fresh hot water..pressure cook or slow cook. never salt til they are tender..
      . that said..some members of my family can’t eat them. I now buy some canned and seasoned ones for the one who is able to digest them..taking that space of dried beans for other things-instead of adding more. any we have that one member can’t eat we will add cooked to the food for the chickens. They can use the protein… Split peas very good when served processed thru chicken.

      1. I use a steamer. It cooks rice, beans, grains and veggies, and occasionally hard boiled eggs. It uses a lot less water and I don’t burn anything which I have been know to do on a stove. :)

      2. I let them soak over nite or bring to boil, boil three minutes then sit one hour. Pour off water, add fresh water to cover add 2 tsp baking soda bring to boil or when I see thick layer of foam form, dump in colander, rinse well, procede to cook as usual. Bakinv soda breaks for some proteins causing bean to produce gas in people which is indigestable bean protein. Hope this helps.

    4. Skeez
      Ive always just soaked them overnight or so in water before using them. Usually end up in the crock pot, not always super tender but honestly am not that picky with my food so a bit al dente didnt bother me. The noxious fumes however is a nother animal

    5. I don’t understand the time to cook complaints.
      My mom has always pre-soaked beans overnight or at least for several hours during the day when she used them.
      To me that is just part of the process.

    6. I always soak dried beans in plenty of water, overnight before cooking them in a crockpot.

    7. Using a pressure cooker to prepare beans will lessen cook time and fuel consumption up to 70%

    8. Also remember you can “passively” cook a lot of dry foods overnight by soaking them; reducing the total cook time the next day. Asian-style noodles (rice, glass), are cooked only by placing them in warm/just-boiled water and letting sit until soft. Angel Hair-style pasta is great for this reason; I bet if you soaked them overnight, you’d probably need only heat the water for them to be ready. Thoughts?

      1. I’ve heard that adding a little baking soda to soaking beans speeds up the softening.

    9. Its much easier if you soak the dried beans in water overnight, and then boil them the next day. Otherwise, yes, they will need to be boiled for a few hours. If the beans are dry and vacuum sealed they should not go rancid.

    10. Skeezix:
      I soaked 15+ year old beans for 3 days and cooked them for 3 days. Still hard. Tried electric pressure cooker and they were done in 20 minutes.
      For future batches of unsoaked uncooked beans of various types, they’ve been cooked within 20 to 30 minutes…at least in my inexpensive one. I no longer worry about the age of the beans producing crunchy beans.
      Sometimes I still soak them so I can rinse the gassy water off before cooking in the pressure cooker. FOLLOW your cooker instruction manual regarding cooking beans. Mine is a little different than cooking other foods.
      How age affects the nutritional value, I haven’t researched.

      1. Wonder if a pressure cooker on a cook fire would work???
        seems it would be the same difference

        1. There is no reason one cannot use a pressure cooker on an open fire. After all, what is a gas flame? Heat be heat…and the vent will vent.

    11. Most beans need to be presoaked. I soak them overnight in twice as much water as beans and then rinse them before boiling. Cool time is much less if you do this. Don’t salt the soaking water but do salt your cooking water. I’ve never had beans go rancid and I’ve stored some for 10 years.

      1. FabGma:
        My 2¢ worth on Beans and “Pre-soaking ” them.
        I hate to disagree, but in my opinion (and just my opinion) most Beans do not need to be pre-soaked.
        Yes if you want to shorten the cooking time, use a lot more water and time, AND actually think ahead HAHAHA, but honestly I have never had the foresight to soak beans overnight for the next day. It’s usually just after Breakfast that “Ohhh whats for dinner” comes up.
        I have to honestly say I have never pre-soaked beans.
        I simply do a quick, very quick, rinse in a colander of a cup of beans (that’s just to take the dust off) drop them in a slow cooker (Crock Pot) or Cast Iron Pot for the wood stove, add 2.5 cups of water and cook on high till they start to boil, than cut the heat down to a nice very slow cook for the remainder of the day. I do stir them a few times and check the water level, but other than that…. Poof, cooked Beans.
        I also don’t add much in the way of other “stuff”, spices and the likes, maybe a slice of bacon from breakfast if left over. BUT in my 2¢, again, I eat the Beans for the flavor of the Beans. Personally there are dozens and dozens of GREAT flavor of Beans around, try a few, they really are good by themselves.
        On the other hand, if all you have is Pinto Beans, than thats time to do some creative cooking for sure.
        One more thing on Beans, I have changed a lot on the way I store them, I used to use Mylar and O2-sorbs, not any more, just a food grade bucket (I like Gama Lids for easy access on the opened bucket, snap on lids for the rest) and a stick of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum. In the Kitchen I store them in 1/2 gallon Canning Jars. easy to see whats in the Jars and easy to access.

        1. My dry beans are stored in canning jars, quarts & pints both. My rationale for this method is to have a small amount at a time as opposed to 5 gallon buckets or large Mylar bags. A variety of beans, peas, oats, rice, and numerous other items are stored in mason type jars for long term. I, as well, enjoy the beans & peas for the flavor each different kind offers. And yes, leftover bacon brings out more of the flavor. I’ve never heard of placing a stick of Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum in the container(s). Would you elaborate on why you use the gum? Thanks in advance.

        2. Mr. Ree:
          The Gum is a bug deterrent.
          It don’t take much.
          As I said, one stick unwrapped in a 5 gallon bucket is sufficient.

        3. NRP,,
          I wonder if its the spearmint or peppermint that keeps the bugs away

        4. My understanding is that it’s just mint, although some types are more effective. I’ve always been told spearmint only, but other kinds of mint are also used for insect deterrence. I’ve also been told “Wrigleys only!” which tells me Wrigleys was probably used by somebody who had a following and it stuck.

        5. Soaking removes phytates which are anti-nutrients. Look it up to read more about it.

        6. I grew up in Finger Lakes Region of New York and grandma & mother used to soak beans over night starting with rinsing beans then soaking in Hot water for one hour then drain water and soak again in hit water one hour then let set over night and drain well put in big pot fill pot with lots of water bring to boil and let cook until done to taste only adding salt the last half hour, Grandma added salt pork ,mother used bacon! Grandma had 10 children and grandpa wanted dinner on at 5:30 after milking was done! Mother had beans Saturday night or baked with Molasses and brown sugar to go with Sunday dinner! I just do same thing as grandma but cooked in crockpot with a small bit of bacon & molasses while at work or school! Kids all four of my kids loved them, grandkids and great grand-daughter too!

        7. I grew up in Finger Lakes Region of New York and grandma & mother used to soak beans over night starting with rinsing beans then soaking in Hot water for one hour then drain water and soak again in hit water one hour then let set over night and drain well put in big pot fill pot with lots of water bring to boil and let cook until done to taste only adding salt the last half hour, Grandma added salt pork ,mother used bacon! Grandma had 10 children and grandpa wanted dinner on at 5:30 after milking was done! Mother had beans Saturday night or baked with Molasses and brown sugar to go with Sunday dinner! I just do same thing as grandma but cooked in crockpot with a small bit of bacon & molasses while at work or school! Kids all four of my kids loved them, grandkids and great grand-daughter too! I live in a Berm home with dirt on three sides and in back only 1 /12 feet from ground and had my hubby covered up a solar light part way so we could cut down on sunlight coming in the room, it doubles as a utility room and laundry & storage, long and narrow so plenty of room for all even medium sized freezer! When putting food stuff away we start at back and come forward on shelving so we know what is what! Jess

      2. I’ve learned salting beans before xookibg does slow cooking. I salt once they are done.

    12. You can rehydrate old beans. I tried this and it works. Go to youtube. Deep South Bama with Mr. TomVery Old Dry Beans. Can they be made to be Edible Again?
      I had some beans I gave up on. Then I saw this and sure enough. It works. I am storing beans again.

  2. Fortunately I live in Bean Country USA I believe. I buy from a place called Adobe Mills, Sorry Ken a little plug for them GREAT people.
    Anyways, I buy the 10#-25#-50# bags. I exclusively use Mylar and O2 absorber and double seal them; have had zero failures with the seals. I package each type in 5# bags, once opened I do use 1/2 gallon Glass Jars to split them and make sure to Vac them down with the handy Jar Sealer…..
    I probably have 600-700 pounds stored and do NOT plan on running out any time soon.
    I keep them under the house that stays around 62-65 degrees.
    I basically do Rice the same, 200 pounds of Jasmin, 200 of KoKuHo and several dozen pounds of assorted Brown, Black, Stickie, and Wild rice’s.
    God, no wonder I’m fat… HAHAHAHA
    PS: Rice and Beans are CHEAP to store and have on hand JIC.

    1. NRP, how about some good recipes to go with the stored beans and rice?

      1. DJ5280:
        Will do, let me dig out 2 or 3 favorites and get them typed in tomorrow.

    2. Do you need to do anything with the beans before sealing them in the mylar bags? I’ve seen where some people are dry canning them and heating them in the oven or freezing them. I’ve got about 200 pounds to put away and I’d like to do it right the firs time…..


      1. Kilroy457:
        No, just as I described above.
        Dry canning them needs the 200 degrees to heat the inside so the jar will seal when it cools.
        I seriously have beens 15-20 years old that are still good.
        Just make sure the beans DON’T have bugs and you seal the buckets tight

        1. I heard that the 200 degree heating was also to kill any eggs/bugs to ensure your beans don’t get ‘buggy’.
          It was a LOT of work. The lady sterilized all the jars in her canner, etc. It was a lot of steps. I don’t mind if it needs to be done, But throwing them in a Mylar bag, vacuuming and O2 absorbers sure looks a lot easier. Lol

          What to do…? Sighhh

    3. 700 lbs of beans! Wow! Good for you! You have helped reassure me that one can never have too many. Those one pound bags will always be great for bartering with too.

  3. We store our long term dried beans in mylar & buckets. We grow an heirloom bean that we get about 5 1/2 quarts a year harvested. We store these in glass quart canning jars in our basement with a temperature of 49-55 degrees. We use 2 cups for a baked dish , so we get about 10-11 meals per year.

  4. I store about 400 pounds of different beans ( not even sure just how much) and have both 1 pound Mylar bags and 5 gallon buckets. I never really got into vacuum sealing.I also buy hams around the holidays and can them. Not much better on those cold winter days than some beans and ham with either fresh cornbread or regular bread baking in the oven. I have been starting to break up rice into 1 gallon bags also instead of just the buckets because I am just to cheap to spend the money on the buckets with the gamma lids. I use about twice the amount of the o2 absorbers as recommended and also sprinkle some dyametrerth earth in each bucket . I know we should all rotate what we eat but I could never rotate the amount of beans and rice I store unless I ate it constantly which I don’t so I do my best to make sure it will still be good years down the road if I do have to switch to only it.

    1. hi p
      I also store an amount of rice and peas that is far more than i can rotate so i also have a dedicated very long term storage (vls) stash similar to the one you describe . I see it as a cheep insurance policy which i put in place over a number of years. I rotate through a smaller food storage personal pantry for day to day supply’s . the vls is kept off of my living space but still very accessible .

    2. P, I have found those buckets at Tractor Supply at a low price. The gamma lids can be purchased there also as well as Home Depot, which gives 10 percent military discount. That said, I also use the smaller Sterlite containers.

    3. Do you wash the beans/rice first or just put in bucket and add absorbers? Thanks so much for your hints. I’m so new at this.


      1. Ann:
        Do not wash the beans/rice first.
        Simply put in the buckets, add an O2sorb if wanted, I toss in a stick of Peppermint Gum, than seal well.
        Store in a cool dark place.

  5. I just tossed out about 35 lbs of white rice and pinto beans; some of which expired in 2013. These were in their commercial bags. The bucket was rank with a smell that I had never experienced before.
    I vacuum sealed about the same amount yesterday of fresh white rice and pintos. The only down side was that the sealed bags are like bricks, and do not conform to fitting in the bucket evenly, and that’s OK.
    Could I do the same with flour? say 5 lbs at a time in a Food Saver with O2 absorbers? I always freeze my flour for a few days to kill off the mealy bug eggs.

    1. extaxanwannabe
      I will have to check my bags that I vacuum sealed the beans in the original packaging to see how they are holding up. Before I can tell you how ours it doing.
      Last few years I have been removing the beans and rice out of the original packaging since I have no idea where it is being manufactured. I have tried plastic bags (zip lock) on rice but have discovered it has to be aired out to eliimate the smell, it has an odor. Did not alter the taste of the rice. What I had done was place the measured rice in smaller plastic bags and then into vacuum bags then processed the rice.

      Recently traded off placing the rice & beans inside of used commerical canning fruit glass jars, with lids placed on lightly then put inside of a vacuum bag for processing.

  6. I really like the suggestion of buying the smaller bags of beans and lentils etc, if prepping on a budget it makes good sense.
    I have put away rice for JIC, either poured directly into mylar bag in bucket or 2/15# bags stuck into mylar in bucket, for us white rice is a common food, grew up eating it so was a natural and easy choice. IMHO is a perfect preparedness food

  7. – Back in 2006-7 after MIL passed, we were cleaning out her pantry and came across a tupperware-type container with Colorado pinto beans in it. Other than the plastic container, it was in the original packaging with no other measures taken. It passed the sniff test, and we put them into a slow cooker with a small can of Coke(R) and water to cover. Later that evening I happened to be looking at the package and noted they had been packed in 1992. They were a little bit chewy, but the taste was fine and the ham hocks we added about an hour after we started them had enough salt that we only added a very little before serving. We’re all still here, except FIL who passed from this life two years ago. He was only 86, so poor eating habits might be a likely cause.

    I do have a vacuumed zip-lock type package of rice (1#) and another of lentils (1#) in my BOB, just in case. Easy way to add bulk/complete proteins to foods without a major investment in time or weight.

    Tommyboy – There is a tourist season, but no one has ever put out a tag or bag limit! Kinda like CON-gress, passing a law and never funding it.
    – Papa S.

  8. For just my wife and myself, I keep well short of 100 lbs of both beans, rice on hand. I also have an extensive amount of pasta on hand for food storage. I keep my foods in their original containers/bags with the only modification being:

    date of purchase written on package in permanent marker. on the outside of the wrapper.

    I try to go through my inventory within a year with my food security being at least 1-unopened 10 lb bag of whatever staple grain, pasta or bean around.

    I store in plastic totes that have vent holes and I check around the perimeter for rodent intrusion on regular basis.

    2 of my favorite recipes that use beans are: Navy Bean soup from the Joy of Cooking which I flavor with bacon or ham hocks. ( In the book, it is referred to as Senate Bean Soup.).

    I also like a Portuguese Kale soup made with chicken stock, small white beans and kale or chard. In the Joy of Cooking, it is called Caldo Verde (Greens Soup is a rough translation.). The listed recipe in the cook book is made without any beans and uses potatoes. The Portuguese guy that taught me used beans in his recipe. The sausage I like using in this soup is a spicy one called andouille sausage. ( it is a bit too spicy for me to eat on its own merits).

    Lastly, I have to mention pinto or pinquito beans cooked with ham hock red and green peppers, a few fresh jalapeños and several white onions to make the beans that go with steak on Santa Maria Style BBQ. ( peppers were cored and seeded.)

    I was taught never to short cut cooking beans. I soaked them overnight in cold clean water. remove the floaters and start the heat on the meat and beans. By the time I served my pinto beans on your plate, the soaking and sorting process took place 24 hrs ago.

    I like making my beans mild or savory in flavor and not too hot. Typically, they are to augment the other foods on your plate. Could be tri-tip, could be top block sirloin, it could be venison or wild hog.

    I am still working these days so I am not too proud to use packaged mixes for things like Chili. I mostly eat beans and bean soup in the winter or cold weather months.

  9. First, I am no chef and have little experience in the kitchen, so take that for what it’s worth. Nevertheless, while I see several references to slow cookers in the Comments section, I see no mention of pressure cookers. In a true SHTF situation, electrical power may be a fond memory for those who don’t have considerable amounts of gasoline, diesel, or LP stored, or who don’t have substantial solar capabilities. With the exception of those living in the densest urban settings, just about anyone can come up with wood to fuel a fire to use with a pressure cooker.

    Secondly, it is my understanding that beans should be left to soak overnight before using them. (The same goes for white rice.) This substantially reduces cooking time, an important issue when using scarce fuel.

    Last of all, grinding really tough beans into powder on a grain mill makes them quite useful when adding to dishes or, of course, to use in making refried beans. Did I miss a comment about substituting bean paste in place of butter for recipes? There are plenty of articles on the internet about this, and it apparently works quite well.

  10. reply to Survivormann99:

    I never soaked white rice overnight. I do rinse the rice because some overseas processors still coat the rice with talc as a desiccant and preservative.

    I rinse white rice in clean, cold water and swish the water around a bit until I see the white residue form in the water. Drain, replace the water with clean cold water ( ratio of 2 cups water to 1 cup rice.) Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low and cook for 25 minutes with the lid on the pot.

    My parents used a rice cooker, I prefer using a bigger pan with tight fitting lid and a standard kitchen timer.

    Soaking overnight may work well for brown rice though.

    1. Calirefugee — I had not heard that white rice was coated in talc…..Sounds unhealthy.

      — Have read many times, though, that rice (white and brown) all has arsenic in it, and some quite high arsenic content. (from soil grown in/fertilizers/etc).

      ==Also read that to mostly eliminate any arsenic, cook rice in a pot with more water than needed, and drain off excess water. Apparently the arsenic cooks out, and drains away with water (mostly).

  11. Question:
    I found several 1 lb bags of beans, lentils, chick-peas,split peas in my sister’s freezer. (In original plastic bags). Cannot keep freezer. Can I put these “bean bags” into glass containers in cool pantry? Or will they then go bad?
    I learned a lot reading these comments. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experiences.

    1. Dpbme;
      Basically yes.
      Make sure you totally defrost the Beans and there is NO moisture in the mix.
      Being frozen will not hurt the beans, also I would Vac-Seal the jars when put into the Jars. I have quite a few varieties sealed in Mason Jars for a LOT of years, no lost of flavor at all.

    1. Jan,

      I see that as a legitimate question, “Can I store two one gal. Mylar bags of beans in a two gallon pail?”

      At first blush, one might say ” of course two one gallon bags will fit into a 2 gallon bucket”…….but will it really?

      Will 8 one quart canning jars fit into a two gallon bucket with a lid? Of course not. Why not? They both equal 2 gallons of content volume. Because of the shape of the jars results in wasted space when trying to confine them in a container that size is rated in water capacity. The shape of a mylar bag filled with whatever content, will result in some wasted space, due to shape (taper on ends, sides), which would result in some loss wasted, unused space, in a bucket.

      So my answer would be no, unless you remove the contents from the bags to fill the bucket. Otherwise, if you want to keep them in the vacuum sealed bag (smart), but want the extra protection and storage of a bucket (also smart), try four one gallon bags in a five gallon bucket.

      1. Dennis and Jan,

        If all you have is a 2 gallon bucket, you could stop short of filling the bags completely full. Fill bags, fold over mylar without sealing, and see if they will fit. Remove whatever’s needed to make it so, then seal bags. It helps that mylar is flexible, so not so much wasted space.

    2. Jan;
      Final answer…..
      Buy some 2 gallon Mylar bags that fit the Buckets, place the bag in the bucket before filling, add Beans, drop in a O2 absorber, seal the Mylar and snap on the lid…..

      OR!!! better yet, if the buckets are “food grade” forgo the Mylar, place the beans in the bucket, add a stick of Wriggles Spearmint Gum, snap the lid on tight, and poof, there you go, will last for years and years.
      That is how I do mine, have Beans and Wheat that are 10+ years old, good as new.

      1. NRP & Blue,
        Bay leaves will also work…. going to wash the beans anyway can also put Diatomaceous earth on them… across the top… Lots of ways to protect beans and rice… I had not heard of the wrigleys spearmint gum… trick.. wonder will spearmint leaves work too?

    3. I’m new to storing grains long term. I read to freeze grains for 4 days to kill eggs and bugs. I noticed how the beans become damp while thawing out. I put them on trays to dry but worry they will get moldy. Some look like they may be? I wanted to vacum bag seal them. Is it better to bake them on trays instead before vacum bag sealing them. I have 25 pound bags and freezing takes up so much space. Also flour 25 lb bags how to kill bugs and vacum bag seal? Thanks!

      1. Bean Lady,
        I’ve heard to freeze flours and grains and such, as well, but I never have the freezer space. I’ve just stored them without that step, and I haven’t had problems. Removing all/most of the oxygen has got to stop a lot of the problem, I would think. (I know that they’re so little that they don’t use much oxygen, so theoretically they could still reproduce for a while.)

      2. If you are freezing dry goods prior storing in long term conditions then just let them come back to room temp. It might take a day or two but that’s okay!

      3. Bean Lady, Welcome! I don’t usually freeze my wheat berries or oat groats. I do put them in good Mylar bags with the oxygen removers placed inside before Sealing and then storing in rodent proof containers. Some people add diatomaceous earth to their bags, which I did for the first couple of bags, but I had no bug problem so I figured the O2 removers were taking care of the insect issue. I do not place the containers directly on the basement floor either. Always on shelf or couple 2 by 4s first so they don’t pickup dampness from floor, some are in Mylar bags and then placed into rubber made containers. And I always have 50 lbs or so that has not had the oxygen removed…just in case I want to try to plant some because I am not sure if that oxygen removal will interfere with growth.

      1. Only regular Wriggles, not sugar free? And the stick of gum is unwrapped then?

  12. Looking at YouTube, USDA, Government sites, and reading your comments, I am confused. Right now I have 8 qt jars, that have been heated to 220 degrees (for sterilization) then opened the 20-pound bag of pinto beans and filled each jar accordingly. Then back into the oven for 1 and 1/2 hours at 220 degrees. I placed the sterile lids on the glass jars they sealed and now are in my cellar. This process was to kill bugs.
    Now you are saying I don’t need the heating step, just pour the beans in my glass mason jars, place oxygen absorber, close, and then don’t worry for about 10 – 20 years?
    Or are both methods correct?

    1. Worried mind in Oklahoma:
      As far as storing Beans.
      Here is my method,maybe not .gov approved by has worked for well over 40 years.
      I toss the beans wheat berries or rice, same process, in the freezer for a week or two to kill any bugs if I feel needed because of source.
      Set out for at least a few days to thaw, then place in containers of choice. I use 5 gallon food grade buckets.
      I usually add a stick of Spearmint Gum and seal the buckets.
      In the everyday Pantry i use 1/2 gallon mason jars and simple fill and vacuum seal the jars. There is an adapter for most Vac Seal units
      PS: I have Wheat Berries and Beans that are well over 15 years old that are perfectly good.

  13. Worried mind in Oklahoma
    Either process will work for your beans. Do not worry you did nothing wrong, each is a process for long term storage.
    I happen to save the fruit jars from Costco, wash the jars & lids to save for projects just like your beans. I fill the jar place the lid on loosely so it will seal down. Then place in a vacuum seal bag(Vacuum Sealer unit)start the sealing process. You will hear the lid click down on to the jar when the oxygen has been totally removed.

    After bag is sealed I mark the date and place into boxes which were picked up from a liquor store for storage. Wine boxes have divider panels but you can use for these jars or your regular canning jars for storage.

  14. Can I just store my 50# beans in the original burlap bag in the basement or just pour in a food grade metal antique lard can?

    1. Storing the beans in the original burlap bag in the basement would not have a good outcome. You’re inviting pests and/or the dry beans will absorb any musty odor or other odors and it will affect the taste. While the food grade metal antique lard can isn’t ideal, it’s better than beans in burlap. At minimum, put the beans in large zip lock bags before putting in the metal container. Ideally, just order proper 5 or 6 gallon food storage buckets, some mylar bags, and oxygen absorbers (or go old-school with dry ice–you can find instructions for it’s use online).

      1. ^^^ its use…my typo radar wasn’t turned on. How often do you eat dried beans? Do you think you’ll go through a pound a week (they’ll rotate in just under a year if you’re using a pound a week). You could also make the beans and use canning and/or freezer for some or all of them, depending on space. I’ve also mentioned in an earlier post grinding them up into bean powder for additional uses.

  15. just me no buckets. I am basicly apartment living and it is just me. I finally found a place that talked how to store 1 pound of dryed something without having to use a bucket(s)! Now, for the cost and where to put a vaccum sealer. sigh.Thanks you all!

    1. Alonelearningprep, I’m kinda in the same boat you are in. I’ve been using canning jars to store my dry and dehydrated foods. I use the “Pump-n-Seal”. You can get it on Amazon or direct order from the company. I think it’s around $35 and you can get replacement tabs for $14. You can use old food jars (cleaned out of course) and it requires no electricity. The box it came in is 2x2x16 inches, so it can easily be tucked away in a drawer. Hope this helps.

      1. alonelearningprep, like Pecora I use a Pump-n-seal with canning jars, quarts and pints. I toss in an oxygen absorber to keepbeansand rice dry. Been doing this for about three years and the stored items are fine. Also vacuum seal mini assorted candy bars, it’s a survival item up there with bacon!

    2. A brake bleeder can replace a vacuum sealer or jars if you have the wide mouth or regular mouth adapter. I am going to try the jar in a vacuum sealer bag to seal it. See Antiques collector above.

  16. Can you put in an oxygen absorber and then use a vacuum sealer? Is it possible to use too much of an oxygen absorber?

    1. Johnson
      Not that I am aware of for oxygen removal. Basically I put the beans in a ‘Mylar’ zip lock bag drop in an oxygen absorber, squeeze the bag to remove the air and then seal it up.

  17. You can use o2 absorbers in plastic vacuum bags. With harder items such as pasta noodles, you do not have to vacuum seal it until it is a tight package. I leave them loose enough so the bag is not going to be punctured by a stray pasta corner. I place enough (often extra) O2s in the bags to be sealed. There is only 20% O2 in the atmosphere. You need enough O2s to remove that 20% of the O2 in the bag. With most of the air removed, O2s will easily remove the remaining O2. The misconception is that a tightly sealed vacuum bag does not have oxygen in it, that is incorrect. There will be air pockets a plenty for micro critters to grow. That is where the O2s come in. Less tight=more O2s in each bag before sealing. The “air” that is left in the bag if mostly nitrogen and other trace gases that will do no harm. I also double bag most of my food items. Plastic will allow small amounts of oxygen through itself over the years. That is why O2s should not be skimped on. Once the O2 is absorbed, the O2s will be dormant until it meets up with O2 that make it into the bag down the road. They will eventually be unable to absorb O2, but that buys you a year as a minimum. When I double bag I also put O2s in the outer bag. Dessicants are also used with the appropriate food item be sealed.

  18. I just started looking into the prepper ideal and I’m very interested with todays life and times

    I live in Florida and the 45 to 70 degrees is not really an option is there another way I could store the items. I would appreciate some suggestions thanks

  19. TereLyn | Tree:
    Sorry, but if the oil has absorbed into the beans, toss them out.
    Or even the bag.

  20. TereLyn | Tree,
    without seeing the saturation of the bags hard to say.
    Here is my assessment/how i would handle… from my seat. Carefully look at the amount of the bag that has acted as a wick. Get at least 2-3 large containers (A big cake taker works well.)( of course after getting up all oil surrounding.) take a pair of scissors or kniffe and cut the part of the bag open, so you can visualize beans…(if laying on their side leave same position) Look at surfacee of as much of product as you can… can you see a color quality change.?ie. are some oily? are they all dry.?./some of those bags have a plastic/ moisture resistant liner.. if so all of them may be ok.. first get up all of the dry ones. carefully separate them and place them aside. take remainder and put them in separate container(s) those saturated. I would rinse with HOt water, drain/ blot dry. and freeze and use from frozen The barely damp. I would QUICKLY rinse with hot water.OR JUST blot dry . I would pack them in a clear gallon jar if available with rice.leave them for a few days.,letting the rice absorb the oils. shake them…if you get a chance.
    . when you remove the beans.. Use the rice for fried rice.. I would also after fully dry-to the extent they can be..put beans in ziplock bags freeze if you have space. and put them aside to use after the most saturated are..
    I once saved some myocoba beans that were accidentally left in back of pickup(for 2 days) in rainstorm…using this method.

  21. I intend to vacum seal invidual 1 pound bags of beans, peas, rice etc. in mylar bags.
    Only need to feed two and occasionally 4.
    I then am then going to place the bags in my on hand gamma buckets. What i need to know is what size mylar bag and absobers do i need to order for storing 1 pound bag?

    1. The rule-of-thumb for O2 absorbers:

      Pint = 100 cc
      Quart = 150 cc
      Gallon = 500 cc

  22. I have been storing dry beans for years and I only put them in quart canning jars with new seals. No vacuum sealer and no absorbers. But they get used within 2 years and I have had no problems so far.
    Other dry goods? Leave in regular packaging and put them in a large Tupperware container.
    I put sugar in quart jars. It gets hard after a while, so I dump it in a Tupperware container. Put a slice of bread in a sandwich bag with sever small holes in it and add it to the container. The bread helps absorb the moisture and softens the sugar. Been doing it that way for about 10 years now.

  23. Question? Vaccum sealing dry beans can they be stored in the freezer ?

    There is some confusion on this.
    Store for less than 2 weeks to rid any insect eggs.. but once you pull them from the freezer then what ? Won’t there be moisture from the freezer to room temp ?

    1. Happydays07
      Any items which are a dry goods requires time to dry out the moisture it collected from being the freezer. Usually at 3-5 days depending the material of the food item. Then you can package said food into your containers, if you have extra jars then put the beans into that, but most of us use Mylar bags. We try to purchase 7mil do the thickness of the bags. If they are not damaged you can use them over and over again.

  24. Vacuum sealed in bags will last approx. 5 years. I do seal mine in one lb bags in a bucket and open to take out as needed. I also seal some in quart mylar bags with oxygen absorbers that are good approx. 10 years. I also keep those in buckets to be able to remove as needed. No issue with opening the bucket, because oxygen absorbers are in each pouch.

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