Bulk Foods Storage Containers – Pails, Buckets, Cans and Glass
Select only the best food grade*
containers. Ideally they should block light, oxygen and moisture (for dry goods). This will help to extend the shelf life of your food.
6.5, 5, 3.5 (etc) Gallon Plastic Buckets or Pails
Look for buckets that have tight fitting lids with rubber or neoprene seals set deep within the lid. This method of storing is ideal for large quantities of dried good such as grains, beans, legumes, sugar, flour, etc. Again as I often state, these should be something that you open and use regularly to familiarize yourself with how to use these foods. So we have found a line that has easy spin-off/on lids for those who need to easily access the bulk inventory inside each bucket.
See them at .
You should store them out of direct sunlight unless more precautions are taken.
You can purchase an inner liner that is made from metalized foil if you would like extra precautions. This liner will keep the light from harming the food thus causing deterioration. It also acts as a moisture barrier and keeps rodents out. The bucket with the metalized liner is a very good method of storing food. They are not required, but are an added bonus if you do not have a dark, cool and temperature controlled place to store your bulk buckets.
#10 Size Double Enamel Cans
The #10 cans hold approximately 1 gallon and are ideal for smaller quantities of food. You can purchase plastic lids to put on the cans after they are opened. Most food storage companies use these types of containers. When you purchase them already full of food (not the liquid canned items, but dry), they arrive nitrogen packed with an oxygen absorber packet sealed inside the can.
The glass jar has been proven to be one of the most pure methods of storage due to nothing leaking in or out of the food stored inside. These are suitable for foods that are wet (canning) as well as dry. The sizes range from small serving to half-gallon sizes. Most of them have either a band with seal or whole lid to screw on top.
Again – the light issue can be address, just from the outside this time. Simply wrap your glass jar in aluminum foil to block any potential light and extend the shelf-life of the food stored inside.
What NOT to use
Never use buckets that are not food grade, or have contained chemicals, paint, sheet rock mud, or the like. Restaurant and bakery food grade containers are fine. You will want to wash them well and rinse with a mild bleach and water solution and allow them to air dry for a minimum of 24 hours before filling with the food you wish to store.
*Even some items labeled food grade may still have bisphenal A (BPA) and other harmful toxins that can leak into the food, so be careful that what you are using is not intended for ‘one time use’ only, such as soda bottles, Gatorade bottles, and check the recycle label carefully to be sure it meets the requirements and is free of toxins. The ones linked above are BPA Free.
Donna Miller is an author, teacher and entrepreneur. Her favorite roles are that of wife and mother to three home-school graduates. The Millers own and operate which offers Organic and Chemical-free Whole Grains, Bosch Mixers, the NutriMill, instructional tutorials, recipes and more.