Dry Canning – 1 Year Report

Back in November 2016 I did a posting about Dry Canning:


This is just a “quickie” status report on how well it works for longer term (about a year) storage.

Tonight we had pot stickers and rice for dinner. I was out of rice in the usual rice tub, but digging into the pantry found a 1/2 gallon glass jar of rice I’d used in the Dry Canning exercise over a year ago. Well, I’m not exactly a rice connoisseur, so who knows what someone who savors the finer points of all things rice might say; but to my taste buds it was quite nice.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the original rice, nor any of the same kind fresh bought, to do an A/B comparison, so all you get is my acceptance of it to go by. Clearly for “preparedness” or “survival” or even long term storage as a way to buy bulk and open smaller sizes, it works Just Fine.

Somewhere back closer to the actual 1 year date, I’d opened and used some of the noodles. They were fine too. The dry cereal I’d canned got eaten at about the 5 or 6 month point and it was unchanged (then again, commercial cereal seems nearly indestructible ;-) Needless to say, things like sugar and salt will keep forever even in a simple jar with the lid screwed on, so dry canning ought to last forever too.

I didn’t do any beans, peas, or lentils, as peas and beans get harder with age. But perhaps I ought to, just to see if air is involved in the hardening process. (Then again, doing some library R&D on how they harden can be done a lot faster than waiting a year or two to see ;-)

With that, my pronouncement is that it’s just a dandy way to store dry goods that can tolerate the heat in the processing. Since I’m now down to my last 1/2 gallon of rice, it’s likely time for me to buy another 10 lbs (or maybe 25 lbs? :-) and can up a lot of it.

Since lentils have been edible after a decade just in a jar with the lid screwed on (they don’t seem to get hard with age, just browner color): you can make a decent cheap emergency food storage system just out of rice and lentils with a jar of sugar and one of salt to keep the flavor interesting. I may try canning some cheap bouillon cubes via this dry canning method just to see if that works. Then again, the cheap ones (like Ramen) seem to last for years on the shelf just stuck there ;-)

Toss in some noodles, jars of sauce, a few tins of tuna and spam, and a bottle of vitamin pills: You’ve got a very fast very cheap and quite usable emergency food kit.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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4 Responses to Dry Canning – 1 Year Report

  1. u.k.(us) says:

    Keep the canned stuff in reserve for that day when the pizza guy doesn’t show up.
    That’s when you know the end is nigh :)

  2. Sandy MCCLINTOCK says:

    Good to hear :)
    I have sometimes wondered if swishing a container with nitrogen before sealing it up, would slow degradation. It should at least slow oxidation rate.
    Any thoughts?

  3. E.M.Smith says:


    I’ve been known to make pizza from stored flower, sauce, spam, and whatever passes for cheese that I could find in the fridge… Pretty good too! Yes, SPAM pizza!

    Wonder if you could can cheese…. (No, not Cheeze Whizz!!!) 8-0


    The dry nitrogen would work fine, but it’s hard to get a big bottle of it at home.

    The usual Prepper DIY method is to put a lump of dry ice in the bottom of a jar, fill it, then wait for the dry ice to FULLY evaporate. Since CO2 is more dense than air, it sits in the jar. Once there is no risk of pressurization (no frozen CO2 left, jar warm enough that expansion of supercooled CO2 on reaching room temperature not a problem) you tighten the bands on the jug.

    I’ve not done it, but it is reported to work very well. Since simple dry canning or even just “stuff in a jar with air and put a lid on it” work for longer periods of time than I need, I’ve not felt the need to prove up the concept. Just read about it.

    I practice the idea that the stored stuff ought to be rotated and you ought to be used to cooking and eating it. So while I mostly use simple stuff like rice, lentils, noodles, sugar, salt, cereals, and such, it is also stuff we regularly eat. I’ve let some jars go a long time just to see what happens, and my major conclusion was that there were fine for any length of time I was likely to ignore them. A couple of years is trivially easy. A decade most stuff is still OK and good enough. (Not peas and some beans, though, they get hard in air storage… You could still eat them, but they are like little clay rocks and not that tasty…) My solution was just to shift to lentils (that at 15 years were still good enough to eat) and rotate the stock every year or three. I’ve come to really like lentil soups and stews with added lentils ;-) Currently in the fridge is a Lamb Stew with barley and lentils in it, both from a couple of years storage. Yum!

    I keep thinking that since dry ice is readily available and I have the jars I ought to run a test series AND document a procedure (like “use 1 cu in / half gallon jar and wait 20 minutes to tighten the band at normal room temp”) but just haven’t cared enough to do it I guess… Or even do a “Dig Here!” to see if someone else has already done it…

  4. u.k.(us) says:

    @ E.M.,
    I have a foggy memory of my dad saying, that while he served in the Canadian military, that he liked the SPAM meals.
    Gotta get that protein into the warriors somehow :)

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