20/30 year 5 gallon Bucket Food Storage - I have Questions.

For all your pre- and post-PAW food and beverage recipes. Just because it keeps you alive doesn't mean it shouldn't be tasty.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
* * * * *
Posts: 1458
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:32 pm
Location: USDA Zone 7a

20/30 year 5 gallon Bucket Food Storage - I have Questions.

Post by Merovech » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:31 pm

I have been reading up a lot on the long term 20/30 year 5 Gallon Food Buckets. Seems pretty straightforward, but I want to make sure I am doing this right and I have a few other questions.

I will start with what I have done.

I have purchased 8, 5 gallon food safe buckets with lids. (I have a mallet to seal them as well)
I have the large Mylar bags that fit inside the buckets on order, they will be here this week.
I have purchased a 10 pack of 2000cc O2 absorbers.
I have a flat iron straightener that should seal the bags fairly easily.
I have an dark/dry indoor space to store everything.

I have purchased 100lbs of rice, 25lbs of Pinto beans, and another 25 to 30 lbs of various other beans (Red, Blackeyed, Lima, Navy, Lintel, Northern)


I am of the impression that I can put the mylar bags in the buckets, fill the mylar bags with rice to about 60% of the bucket, drop ziplock bags (ventilated) of the various beans on top of the rice, drop an O2 Absorber on top, seal the bag 80% squueze all the air I can out, seal the remaining 20% of the mylar bag, then drop an off the counter container of sugar and container of salt on top, then seal the bucket and unless acted upon by an outside force everything should be good to go for 20 to 30 years?


My questions are:

#1: Is the above all correct?

#2: What sort of beans are ok to do this way? Is there a list somewhere? I found these neat bags of 'bean soup' that I Was going to buy, but they had dried split peas inside and I was worried they would go rancid. That got me thinking about all the other kind of beans, so now Im kinda worried I bought too many different kinds of beans.

#3: What other sorts of foodstuffs can be stored this way in the 20/30 year range? Im looking to work up to a year of bare bones beans/rice/salt/sugar as long term stored staples and then supplement with my large and well stocked pantry that we rotate foods in/out often.

#4: Can the buckets be stored directly on concrete/tile floor, or should I put a rubber mat or cardboard under them for long term storage?

#5: Have you done this, and if so what have you learned that I should know before I start heat sealing Mylar this coming weekend?

#6: Profit.
What does a month worth of food really look like?: http://tinyurl.com/pvymvrw
Suburban Family Tornado Shelter and Preparation: http://tinyurl.com/na8qsfr
Cast Iron Skillets for Everyday Use and Beyond: http://tinyurl.com/onu62yj

User avatar
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 2951
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:18 pm

Re: 20/30 year 5 gallon Bucket Food Storage - I have Questio

Post by duodecima » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:15 pm

#1 - Can't answer all of it - I hadn't thought of doing the rice & beans together like that! Sounds brilliant. The only thing I would worry about is the taste of food that had been sitting next to a ziploc bag for 30 years. I wonder if mylar or even just paper would be safer? (For some reason I'd rather eat 30 yo paper than 30 yo plastic, maybe I'm bonkers tho.) But for single-item in a 5gal bucket, that was the equipment I used.

#2 - any dry bean or mix of beans assuming it doesn't have oil or something added. Split peas themselves should be fine, I've mylar'd them. I'm not sure what else is in that bean soup mix. I've done blackeyed peas as well. Found whole dried peas once, didn't mylar them but again, should be fine.

#3 - dry seems to be the first thing, nothing with too much moisture. Oatmeal, wheat, barley. Quinoa (won't last 20 years and taste good they say, but mylars just fine). Powdered milk. Really dry dried fruit (like dried to a crisp, not leathery) and veggies. I'm lazy, I buy those last 3 from the LDS. Lots of other things mylar just fine but have a shorter shelf life (powdered eggs, vital wheat gluten, white flour) People are iffy about spice powders & seeds not because of safety but b/c of wondering how the taste will go. Since I've had a thing of red pepper flakes open in my cabinet for literally about 15 years now and they're fine (might be less potent but I like a lot of heat myself), I'm not as worried about that.

#4 - I think metal cans (I have a bunch of 1gal mylar inside some metal trash cans) want to be off concrete for the long run but I think the plastic buckets (I have them too) are OK.

#5 - Like you said, place bags in buckets then fill. LEAVE ROOM for the rest of the bag at the top, I've misjudged that before. :oops: I then seal all of my bag except for a couple inches at one end to drop the oxy absorber in. Wrinkles in the mylar are the devil and your enemy, they might be big enough to have an air channel which ruins your seal and is incredibly aggravating. Then, put the oxy absorbers in, squeeze out as much air as you reasonably can, and iron the last little bit shut. I label both the outside of the bucket and the mylar inside with item, amount, and date.

Have fun! I have a batch of stuff I need to get into mylar but there's basically no way that's happening before Christmas for me.
"When someone shows you who they are believe them" M. Angelou

Post Reply

Return to “Eats and Drinks”